Many pet owners have shown an interest in CBD oil for dogs as a natural way to enhance the health and wellbeing of their pets. CBD, or cannabidiol, can offer a wide range of health benefits for animals, just as it can for humans. In this article we'll offer background information on CBD oils for dogs as well our recommendations for the best brands and products.
To help clarify any misconceptions about the use of CBD on animals, we wanted to outline important information regarding effects, dosing, and scientific research related to CBD use on pets. Those that have personally tried CBD for their pets say it has the potential to reduce pain, anxiety, inflammatory conditions, and seizures, among other advantages.
It's worth doing your own research to find the best CBD solution for your pet, since they now come in CBD treats, shampoos, peanut butters, and more. Our article will recommend the best CBD oils for dogs and will also provide important information for you to consider about giving CBD to your pets.
Our Top Picks for Dog CBD Oils
- Best Organic Oil - NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD
- Best Price - Medterra Pets CBD
- Best Flavor - Cornbread Hemp CBD Oil for Pets
- Best Variety - Honest Paws USDA Organic CBD Oil for Dogs
- Best Satisfaction Guarantee - CBDistillery CBD Pet
Below is our list of the best CBD oil products for dogs. Each of these brands has exhibited a commitment to third-party lab testing and creates products we think you and your pet can trust.
How We Review CBD Oil for Dogs
To create our list of best CBD tinctures for dogs, we evaluated each brand and product on six specific categories that we use for all of our reviews.
- Value — Is the brand's pet CBD oil affordable and does it work as advertised?
- Strength — How many total milligrams of CBD does each dose of CBD oil contain? Is it full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate?
- Source — Where does the company get its hemp? Is it grown in the USA?
- Flavor — Do they flavor their CBD oil? If so, do they use natural ingredients?
- Transparency — Can you view third-party lab test results and information about their extraction process?
- Customer Experience — Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee? What do customer reviews say about the product?
Learn more about our picks for best CBD oils for dogs below.
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
NuLeaf Naturals makes dosing easier, as the oils all come in a consistent strength. NuLeaf Naturals offers a clean, natural way to try plant-based relief for your pet. All products are also certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture —the only dog CBD products to bear that distinction.
Strength: 3mg full spectrum CBD per dose, available in 300mg, 900mg, and 1800mg size bottles
Why buy: USDA certified organic; full spectrum CBD oil; Co2 extraction method from hemp grown in Colorado; third-party lab tested with results available online.
All Medterra pet products are THC free and this CBD oil comes in a natural beef flavor. Concentrations available are 150, 300, and 750 milligrams per bottle. As with Medterra's human-focused products, these oils are made with Kentucky-grown hemp.
Strength: 150mg, 300mg, or 750mg broad spectrum CBD per bottle.
Why buy: THC-free broad spectrum CBD; natural beef flavoring; organically grown, non-GMO hemp from Kentucky; U.S. Hemp Authority Certified;
Cornbread Hemp's CBD Oil for Pets is made to be tastier for your dog (or cat) with a vegan corndog flavor. This makes it more appealing to furry friends than the natural flavors of some CBD oils. It's also vegan, non-GMO, and contains no fillers or preservatives. All of their products are also third-party lab tested and include seed-to-sale tracking and a tamper-proof seal.
Strength: 17 mg full spectrum CBD per serving, 500 mg per bottle.
Why buy: This CBD oil for pets from Cornbread Hemp contains a stronger concentration of CBD per serving than some other alternatives; includes vegan corndog flavoring to make it easier to add to your dog's diet.
Honest Paws is a brand specifically dedicated to high-quality CBD products for pets. They sell everything from CBD peanut butter and treats to shampoo and more. Their Wellness line of USDA Organic CBD Oil for Dogs is made from full spectrum hemp and can help boost your dog's immune system as well as their physical and mental wellbeing. Since it's made from organic hemp, you can trust that it is free from preservatives, additives, pesticides, soy, corn and GMO products.
Strength: 125mg per bottle (for small dogs), 250mg per bottle (for medium dogs), 500mg per bottle (for large dogs)
Why buy: USDA certified organic; full spectrum quality CBD oil; easy to access lab results online; tincture makes it simple to apply CBD with a dropper in your dog's food.
CBDistillery CBD products are processed in cold-pressed hemp seed oil. This is meant to aid in the dog's digestion of the product. They have a 150-milligram tincture for small to medium sized dogs and a 600-milligram pet CBD oil made for larger breeds — each is affordable when compared to other brands on the market.
Strength: 5mg or 20mg full spectrum CBD per serving, available in 150mg and 600mg size bottles
Why buy: Non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the U.S.; full spectrum CBD oil; cold-pressed hemp seed oil; U.S. Hemp Authority Certified; 60-day money back guarantee; third-party lab tested with easily accessible results.
About CBD for Dogs
When it comes to cannabis, dogs have a slightly different endocannabinoid system than humans. Canines have a higher concentration of CB1 receptors in the cerebellum than any other species, and THC is a partial agonist of these receptors. This means that dogs have increased sensitivity to THC, but since CBD is different compound it does not have much direct action with these CB1 receptors. Since CBD oils made from hemp have high amounts of CBD and extremely low amounts of THC, it's unlikely that CBD would harm your dog. Any product high in THC should probably be avoided unless otherwise recommended by a trusted vet.
While THC may have medicinal value in certain cases, it can produce a psychoactive effect that might actually increase anxiety in animals when administered in high doses. If you want to introduce cannabis extracted ingredients into your dog's diet, it's generally safer to use CBD dominant extracts.
Although THC and CBD can be used in conjunction for therapeutic purposes, it's more difficult to obtain extracts with a high concentration of THC — unless you live in one of the few states that allows for recreational marijuana use. Cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC are preferred, as they are considered to be widely available and legal in more areas. Lab test results, especially from a third party lab, can determine the percentage of CBD and THC within a cannabis extract. This way, you can ensure that any cannabis extract given to your dog is accurately labeled and contains only CBD extracted from hemp.
CBD Oil for Dogs FAQs
What are the benefits of CBD oil for dogs?
There are plenty of personal stories about the health benefits of CBD on pets, but what science is there to back up these claims?
One survey from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) included responses from more than 600 pet owners, and found that the most successful uses of CBD in pets were:
- Pain relief
- Sleep aid
- Anxiety relief (including thunderstorm or firework phobia)
- Nervous system support
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced seizures
- Preventing vomiting and nausea
- Mitigating muscle spasms
- Helping with digestive tract issues
- Skin condition treatments
On top of these findings, a recent scientific study conducted by Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine has shown that CBD oil helped decrease pain, and increase activity, in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis.
How do I choose the right CBD product for my pet?
With increased popularity in CBD and hemp products, new sellers are popping up everyday. There are a range of CBD products designed for pet owners, including:
- Sprays (oral and topical)
- Dog treats
- Balms, salves, and other topical treatments
It can be difficult to distinguish between the quality of different brands and what product is best suited for your pet. You'll want to do your homework before buying anything. We recommend using CBD products that are intended for pets, as well as brands who use third-party labs to verify CBD potency and test for the presence of any pesticides, microbials, or solvents.
Most quality CBD pet products will have dosing guidelines, which makes it easier for owners to give their animal the right amount. But these guidelines are often coming from the company, not a veterinarian, so keep this in mind.
It's important to take existing medications into consideration before using CBD on your pet, as it may alter the efficacy of these treatments for certain conditions. According to Dr. Tim Shu, CEO and founder of VETCBD, "CBD has been shown to be very safe across a wide range of doses in multiple animal species. But if an animal is on other medications, especially ones with narrow therapeutic ranges, a pet owner should discuss the concurrent use of CBD with their veterinarian prior to starting."
Using CBD products designed for human consumption can be a bit more difficult, and they may include ingredients that are not healthy for dogs or cats to ingest. Currently, there are no pet products certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
What should I look for in CBD for my dog?
Here are four important factors to consider when shopping for a CBD oil for dogs:
- CBD products extracted from hemp: CBD can be extracted from hemp or marijuana, as both plants are from the cannabis family. Marijuana plants contain more THC than hemp plants, so it's likely that marijuana extracted CBD products will have a higher concentration of THC. CBD oils extracted from hemp can sometimes still contain trace amounts of THC. Some brands distill out these cannabinoids and terpenes to create a CBD isolate, but we recommend using full-spectrum CBD extracts for a synergistic effect and greater therapeutic value.
- The product's origin story: Since cannabis is a hyperaccumulator, it absorbs the elements of the ground within which it was grown. This is of particular concern when it comes to CBD oil because heavy metal toxicity can be prevalent, and you certainly don't want to feed your pet anything toxic. Even "natural" doesn't always equal safe. Make sure you know where a product's hemp was sourced and how it was grown.
- Is it infused with oil? CBD oil for dogs is easy to add into your pet's food without them detecting a difference. For ease of absorption, look for a CBD product that's infused with olive oil. Olive oil is rich in unsaturated fats, and healthier for your pet than other options like coconut oil.
- Is it made with CBD or hemp seed oil? Hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD oil, and this can cause some confusion. Hemp seed extract is pressed from the seeds of hemp to produce an oil that may help give your dog a shinier coat or better skin, but it does not contain any cannabinoids. Some products contain both.
Our curated list above features some of our favorite CBD brands selling trusted pet products.
Is CBD safe for dogs?
In the emerging CBD space, it helps to look to medical professionals, review sites, and other experts to help you decide if CBD is the right fit for your dog.
The American Kennel Club says "while there's no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there's anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures."
There is also some compelling research now being done on CBD's effects on canines. For instance, a study conducted by Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine showed that treatment with CBD oil resulted in decreased pain for dogs with osteoarthritis.
And in a survey collected by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, data from over 600 pet owners found that CBD use in animals also seems to yield positive results. These owners found success using CBD for anxiety relief, sleep assistance, nervous response support, treating skin conditions, reducing nausea, and preventing inflammation in dogs.
What are the side effects and risks?
The biggest risks to pets when given CBD are usually caused by an overdose of the compound. Some adverse side effects, such as an upset stomach or drowsiness, may occur in rare instances — but these can likely be avoided by supplying the proper dose.
If you're using a product that includes THC, you increase the risk that your pet may have a negative reaction. Dogs that suffer from too much THC intake develop static ataxia, which is specific to canines and results in loss of muscle coordination, balance, and problems controlling their bowels or bladders. For this reason, proper dosing of CBD and THC products is extremely important.
How much CBD should I give my dog?
Since official dosing recommendations from the veterinary community are limited, it's always best to start small. You can increase dosage slowly to gage your pet's response, and once you notice positive improvements in their condition, you can stick to this dose amount. Most products come with dosage recommendations and guidelines, depending on the size of your pet.
A general guideline is 0.2mg of CBD per pound of body weight per day.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Dogs
Although CBD is generally considered to be safe for pets, it has not been approved by the FDA for this purpose. For this reason, it's important that you do your research and find a CBD product that you trust with verifiable third-party lab testing results.
As with anything you give your pet, it's important to recognize when something's off. If you are concerned about how your dog or cat is responding to CBD, contact your veterinarian and discontinue use of the product until professional guidance has been given.
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Therapeutic riding as occupational therapy, dogs visiting children with learning disabilities in school or hens spending time with seniors in elderly homes – so called animal-assisted interventions are manifold.
But administering treatments by professionally trained therapists and maintaining animal welfare are key, says Dr. Andrea Beetz. She is a psychologist, researcher and teacher and has worked in the field of human-animal interaction for more than 20 years.
DW: In what contexts have animal assisted interventions been particularly successful or used ?
Dr. Andrea Beetz: Animals have been integrated in all kinds of education and therapy for children. Children are very open. They have a natural affinity towards animals. They're curious about them.
So you can find a lot of school-visiting dogs or animal-assisted education approaches like therapeutic riding for the disabled, for instance.
We have a lot of success because children who are often tired of being in therapy and being in special kinds of support trainings, they are motivated again to participate in these interventions.
Another group that is highly visible in the field of animal-assisted interventions are seniors. One of the earliest interventions was a visiting program with dogs in homes for the elderly.
These visits were aimed at improving wellbeing, lightening the mood, occupying them, getting their mind off their age and illnesses.
So dogs are a great distraction and they are also social catalysts. They enable and facilitate conversations between humans.
DW: What do we know about the effectiveness of animal-assisted interventions?
Dr. Beetz: During the last 10 to 15 years, there have been numerous studies that document very positive effects of animal-assisted interventions.
For instance, there are several studies documenting that animal-assisted interventions can reduce depression and anxiety, they can improve mood, trust and also empathy. They reduce all kinds of stress indicators.
Blood pressure goes down, heart rate goes down. The levels of the stress hormone cortisol are reduced. And one hormone is especially interesting – the hormone oxytocin – the levels of this hormone increased.
And you have a lot of positive effects from that because it governs the whole system for calm and connectedness.
DW: If one has a pet, does that offer any kind of benefits just on its own?
Dr. Beetz: I would say yes, if you have contact with animals or you visit a horse every second day that's on the pasture where you go for a walk, you get some kind of interaction that can have positive effects for you.
It's not the same as a structured therapy or an educational approach. But yes, if you manage to pet the horse and both of you enjoy it, it can reduce your stress level and you can feel more connected and calm.
Studies have shown that pet owners actually are, on average, a bit healthier than non-pet owners. They sleep better. They have better cardiovascular parameters, like blood pressure. They have a higher survival rate after heart attacks.
DW: Does that mean that any animal can be used in animal-assisted interventions?
Dr. Beetz: No. We, at the International Society for Animal-Assisted Therapy, say that only certain species should be used. These species are usually domesticated species like dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats, sheep. But also llamas and alpacas are very popular. They also have a long history of being domesticated by humans.
This is important because these animals are more used to and they are less stressed by interactions with humans.
In addition to being a domesticated species, they also need to be well socialized with humans from a young age so that they are not stressed by the interaction and they actually enjoy it.
This group of animal species are also the most suitable for animal protection reasons. We also do not recommend working with snakes or other kinds of reptiles because there is a risk of salmonella infections.
So there's a lot of thought behind it. Even though you will find different examples where other species like dolphins are used, this is a wild species. But in the field we say, please keep it to domesticated animals.
DW: Are there certain limitations to animal-assisted interventions?
Dr. Beetz: One exclusion criteria could be that there's a strong allergy to the species involved.
People who are immunosuppressed or on immunosuppressants due to some kind of sickness are also at higher risk.
And another reason could be that people are just afraid of certain kinds of animals. Then you really need to consider, if you're going to take the time to first work on that fear and then have the positive effects of animal-assisted interventions, or if another kind of animal-free therapy would be better.
Dr. Andrea Beetz works at the IUBH University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Beetz is also active on the board of the International Society for Animal-Assisted Therapy (ISAAT).
The interview was conducted by Mira Fricke for TV and has been edited for clarity.
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
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Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
waterlust.com / @abamabam
The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
"They're doing their part for sure, pushing the information out across all of their channels, and I think that's what makes them so interesting," Caruso said.
And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
waterlust.com / @oceanraysphotography
Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
By Ellen Furlong
On Jan. 24 the White House welcomed two new residents: Champ and Major, the newly minted first dogs of the United States. The first dogs are poised to offer special benefits to workers in the White House.
Since entering the political spotlight, Champ and Major have achieved celebrity status, making news when then-President-elect Joe Biden fractured his foot while playing with Major and stumping for Biden on the campaign trail. The dogs even share a Twitter account, which features photos and doggie press releases. Major, the first shelter dog to live in the White House, has delighted so many people, the Delaware Humane Association, from which Major was adopted, held an "indoguration" ceremony for him.
Pets in the Oval Office have long fascinated many on both sides of the aisle. George H.W. Bush's springer spaniel, Millie, "authored" a book on life in the White House that charmed many readers – and even outsold her presidential guardian's autobiography. More recently, Buddy Clinton, Barney and Miss Beazley Bush and Bo and Sunny Obama have captivated the American public while roaming the halls of the White House.
As a dog enthusiast, I too take enormous delight in seeing presidents' dogs run down the White House hallways, deplane from Air Force One or campaign with their guardians. But as a psychologist studying dog cognition and behavior, I must add a crucial point: Dogs have much more to offer than feel-good stories and cute photo ops. A growing area of research suggests that dogs can provide real benefits, not only to their daily companions, but also to those in their orbit.
Presidential pup Major Biden stretches his legs on the White House lawn. Adam Schultz / Official White House photo
These benefits explain why many workplaces – from Amazon to Zygna – have begun welcoming dogs into their offices. Recent research suggests that dogs in the workplace can lead to increased worker engagement, lower employee turnover, greater work satisfaction and even enhanced employee cohesion and communication.
The Oval Office, the site of momentous decisions, enormous stress and complex social dynamics, may benefit from dogs even more than typical workplaces. After all, stress can compromise decision-making and problem-solving abilities. Pets can alleviate stress, however, dampening these effects and leading to improved performance on difficult tasks.
Not only do people report feeling less workplace stress around dogs, but their very bodies tend to support this claim. A growing area of research suggests human heart rates slow, levels of the stress hormone cortisol shrink and blood pressure decreases when people hang out with dogs. Interestingly, the positive effects of pups on stress levels exceed that of even a close friend or family member: A dog will reduce your stress more than your spouse or best friend will. After all, dogs are naturally inclined to love you unconditionally and will never find fault with the way you slurp your soup.
Dogs may reduce stress because they provide social support. You may feel supported by your pooch, in part, because of the oxytocin feedback loop between humans and dogs. Oxytocin, a hormone involved in promoting social bonds, is released in both dogs and humans when gazing into each other's eyes.
People report improved mood, increased happiness and greater energy levels around dogs. And, on the flip side, they enjoy reduced feelings of depression, loneliness and negativity when dogs are present.
Given dogs' skill at providing these supports and boosting mood, it may not surprise you to learn they work their magic not only one on one, but also in group settings. In the presence of a dog, people in groups have better social interactions, engage in more conversations and are more likely to form long-term friendships with one another.
President Clinton and President Chirac of France showing Buddy some love in 1999. National Archives and Records Administration
The effects of dogs as social lubricants can go further: Dogs even foster development of social support networks among their humans, leading to a sense of community, and more social interactions between people in their vicinity. These engagements offer opportunities for even more social support in high-stress environments. And perhaps most importantly, people are more likely to offer help when a dog is present.
Having Champ and Major in the White House may help President Biden and his staff navigate the stresses and tensions of the current political landscape. Beyond "indogurations," tweets and cute photo ops, Champ and Major will offer physical, psychological and social benefits in the Oval Office.
In short, pets (yes, cats too!) improve the quality of life in almost every context – including presidential ones. Perhaps they can, even in a small way, play a role in uniting a divided country. After all, personal politics aside, isn't it comforting to know there will be paws pattering around the White House again?
Ellen Furlong is an associate professor of Psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Disclosure statement: Ellen Furlong has written for Audible / The Great Courses. She has received funding from The National Institute of Health. She is a member of The Animal Behavior Society, The Comparative Cognition Society, The American Psychological Association, and The Society for Teaching of Psychology.
Reposted with permission from The Conversation.
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Maybe you've tried CBD and hemp oil products yourself or you've heard another pet owner talking about it, and you're curious if it can offer the same health benefits to your furry friend. In fact, pet treats infused with the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant can help dogs and other animals to manage symptoms associated with various conditions and environmental factors.
If your dog gets anxious during a car ride, or is experiencing chronic pain, hemp dog treats may be able to help. Pet owners have found organic hemp products to be easy to administer and quick to provide relief to their dogs. To understand a little more about hemp dog treats and their benefits, read on.
How Can CBD Pet Products Help My Dog?
You might see both CBD dog treats and hemp dog treats being sold online. You'll want to make sure whatever hemp extract you purchase contains CBD, which is the key cannabinoid and the principal source of relief. Benefits of CBD include its ability to relieve pain, separation anxiety, and reduce aggressive tendencies in some dogs. It has also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties.
It's important to buy CBD products that are specifically designed for dogs. Regular CBD products contain concentrations that are too high for pets. Feeding your dog the right CBD treat or CBD tincture could result in a happier, healthier best friend.
Many owners find success using CBD oil for dogs. Oil products can be mixed in with your dog's food from a dropper and come in flavors like bacon or beef your dog might like. CBD can also improve your dog's coat and skin health. CBD topicals can be rubbed onto itchy or irritated skin. Hemp dog treats are perhaps the easiest to work into your dog care routine. But with so many options, it's hard to know which treat to choose.
CBD Oils for Dogs to Consider
Below is a list of high-quality CBD oil products that we recommend for dogs. Each of these brands has exhibited a commitment to third-party lab testing and creates quality products we think you can trust.
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Honest Paws USDA Organic CBD Oil for Dogs
- NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD Oil
- Medterra CBD Tincture for Pets
- CBDistillery Pet Tincture
What to Look for In CBD Oils for Dogs
While most CBD products are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, there are still important things to look out for when you buy. Whenever we evaluate a CBD brand or product, we look at six main categories: value; strength; source; flavor; transparency; customer experience.
Each of these categories allow us to ensure that the CBD oil offers the right potency, is sourced from hemp grown in the US, contains natural ingredients, and is properly tested by an independent third-party lab. We prioritize products that are organic, free from gluten, pesticides, heavy metals, and artificial ingredients. The American Kennel Club emphasizes that it's important to choose organic products, to not skimp on the price, to make sure you can access the product's lab analysis, and to go with liquid CBD tinctures
Honest Paws Wellness
Honest Paws offers everything from CBD oils and treats to peanut butter and shampoos. We personally like their Wellness USDA Organic CBD Oil for Dogs. It offers a natural way to help support your dog's immune system and boost their physical and mental health as well. This full spectrum CBD oil is made from Colorado hemp and is 100 percent USDA organic, non-GMO, and made without soy, corn, or other additives.
NuLeaf Naturals makes dosing easier, as the oils all come in a consistent strength and are made from hemp grown in the USA. NuLeaf Naturals offers a clean, natural way to try plant-based relief for your pet. All products are also certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture so you can trust what goes into them.
All Medterra products are THC free and come in a variety of flavors — including chicken and beef. Concentrations available are 150mg, 300mg, and 750mg per 30 milliliter bottle. As with Medterra's human-focused products, these oils are made with broad spectrum CBD from Kentucky-grown hemp.
CBDistillery CBD products are processed in cold-pressed hemp seed oil. This is meant to aid in the dog's digestion of the product. They have a 150-milligram tincture for small to medium sized dogs and the 600-milligram pet CBD oil is made for larger breeds — each is affordable when compared to other brands on the market.
Learn More About CBD for Dogs
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol is found in the cannabis sativa plant, which has become popular for its function as a wellness supplement with a range of health benefits. Most CBD products are derived from hemp rather than marijuana. Hemp typically has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The marijuana plant, however, is high in THC, which creates its trademark psychoactive effect.
In humans and dogs, once CBD enters the body it interacts with the receptors in something called the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates other systems in the body and helps to maintain proper functioning and general wellness.
The FDA is still trying to learn more about CBD and its long term effects, and has yet to approve the compound for use in treating, curing, or preventing any condition or disease. The lack of FDA approval means there is a lack of oversight in the industry and little regulation of the companies competing in the space. Consumers should do their own research before taking CBD or giving it to their pets.
What the Experts Say About CBD and Dogs
The American Kennel Club says "while there's no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there's anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures."
A study conducted by Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine showed that treatment with CBD oil resulted in decreased pain for dogs with osteoarthritis.
And in a survey collected by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, data from over 600 pet owners found that CBD use in animals also seems to yield positive results.
Is CBD the Right Choice for Your Dog?
If you're unsure of how effective hemp dog treats will be in relieving your pet's symptoms, you may want to consult a vet. It's also important to talk to a medical professional about any existing medications your dog may be taking and how they'll interact with a hemp extract. Hemp extracts have minimal side effects, but it still helps to be cautious with dosage and the concentration of the product.
It's also a good idea to seek out reputable brands who care about their customers and put effort into taking the proper safety precautions. If you find a brand you trust, then you can feel assured that the contents and recommended dosage listed are correct.
CBD Oil for Separation Anxiety in Dogs
If your dog has mild separation anxiety, their veterinarian will likely suggest that you begin by trying to teach them new behaviors and a new emotional response to being alone. This is called conditioning and often includes creating a pleasant emotional response to separation by leaving a treat or toy for your pet.
Many pet owners have some success by beginning with leaving for a short period of time and slowly working their way up from there.
Just like humans, daily rigorous exercise is a great way to help lessen the symptoms of anxiety. More severe cases of separation anxiety may require your dog to see a specialist. In some cases, prescription medication is used to lessen the symptoms of their anxiety.
These medications may have side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, increased appetite, and more.While there isn't formal research that has been conducted to evaluate the use of cannabidiol for treating separation anxiety in dogs, there are plenty of products marketed for just that. It is understandable if you feel hesitant about this alternative treatment or feel hesitant about unsupported claims.
What the Research Says
So far, the research concerning the use of CBD oil for dogs has looked at its usefulness as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis. For instance, a 2018 study published by Frontiers of Veterinary Science found CBD oil to provide a significant decrease in pain symptoms. What does that mean for dogs with anxiety? One worthwhile piece of evidence provided by this study is the fact that the use of cannabidiol oil did not result in negative side effects in the dog, making it a potentially safe alternative treatment for canines.
Outside of the safety of cannabidiol for dogs, we also know that it has been deemed an effective method for reducing anxiety in humans. In a 2015 literature review published in Neurotherapeutics, we see that cannabidiol has been known to reduce anxiety in a variety of anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and even symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
It is believed that it is a fair assumption that this also applies to dogs. This is because dogs also have an endocannabinoid system, the system that responds to cannabidiol oil and ultimately influences the nervous system as explained by the American Animal Hospital Association in their publication Trends.
How to Use CBD for Dogs
In order to produce maximum results, pay attention to the concentration of CBD in each package or treat in order to determine proper dosages. Dog treats and other hemp products for pets should be taken once or twice a day at a consistent time for effective relief.
CBD dog biscuits and chews come in many different flavors your dog may find appealing, making fitting them into your dog care routine simpler. The advantages of using CBD oil for dogs are that oil normally has a higher CBD concentration than CBD dog treats, and oil can also be easily mixed into your dog's food.
Risks to Consider
Although CBD shows potential in the world of veterinary medicine, many vets will be unsure of its long-term effects and if it's something they should recommend. But it can still be helpful to consult a professional who knows your pet's medical history. Talk to a vet about the potential side effects of CBD and how it could interact with any existing medication. If you're cautious and thorough in your search, it will pay off and your dog will be healthier and happier for it.
Some adverse side effects, such as an upset stomach or drowsiness, may occur in rare instances — but these can likely be avoided by supplying the proper dose.
Melena Gurganus is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.
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Studies show that it has several impressive health benefits for humans.
Interestingly, many people also give coconut oil to their dogs or apply it to their dogs' fur.
While most studies on coconut oil have been conducted on humans, the results may be applicable to dogs as well.
This article explores the benefits and risks of using coconut oil on dogs.
Coconut Oil May Help Your Dog's Skin Issues
Using coconut oil to treat skin conditions is a common practice with well-known benefits. The positive effects are likely due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
One study found that coconut oil effectively hydrates the skin of people with xerosis, a condition characterized by dry and itchy skin.
This study was conducted on humans — not dogs. However, many dog owners and veterinarians claim that coconut oil can help treat dry skin and eczema in dogs when applied topically.
Coconut oil may help treat skin conditions in humans, and some people claim that it's also helpful for the skin of dogs.
It Can Improve the Appearance of Your Dog's Fur
Coconut oil may improve the appearance of your dog's fur.
When applied to the skin, it can make hair shinier and less prone to damage.
This is because lauric acid, the main fatty acid in coconut oil, has a unique chemical makeup that allows it to easily penetrate hair shafts.
Other types of fat don't have this same ability, so using coconut oil may help keep your dog's coat healthy and beautiful.
The lauric acid in coconut oil has been shown to keep hair healthier than other fatty acids. It can be used to improve the health and appearance of your dog's fur.
It May Help Fight Off Pests
The antimicrobial effects of coconut oil may prevent dogs from being infected by ectoparasites, such as ticks, fleas, and mange mites.
It has also been shown to help eliminate these pests in dogs that have already been infected.
These effects were confirmed by two studies in which dogs were treated with a shampoo made with coconut oil.
Moreover, coconut oil has also been shown to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi in lab studies.
Coconut oil may be beneficial for preventing pest infections and treating bites.
Risks Associated With Using Coconut Oil on Dogs
Although adverse effects are rare, there are a few things to consider before using coconut oil on your dog.
There's always the risk for an allergic reaction when introducing something new to your dog's diet or grooming regimen. If a reaction occurs, stop using it.
Also, some studies have shown that coconut oil can cause high cholesterol in dogs. In extreme cases, this can cause fatty plaques to develop in the arteries.
Furthermore, due to its high calorie content, using coconut oil in excess may lead to weight gain.
Lastly, one study concluded that a diet high in saturated fat reduces dogs' scent-detecting abilities. More research is needed to better understand this finding, but you may want to use caution with coconut oil if you have a working dog.
Coconut oil may cause high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, and weight gain in some dogs. If your dog is prone to any of these conditions, talk with a veterinarian before use.
How to Use Coconut Oil on Dogs
Coconut oil is generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts or have applied to their skin or fur.
When it comes to selecting a brand, virgin coconut oil is best, as most of coconut oil's benefits have been observed with this type.
According to some sources, coconut oil can generally be given to dogs one to two times a day with meals.
The amount you give your dog will depend on its size. If your dog is overweight or has obesity, don't give it coconut oil more than once a day.
Veterinarians stress the importance of starting slowly with coconut oil. This will allow you to monitor how your dog reacts to it.
Start by giving 1/4 teaspoon daily to small dogs or 1 tablespoon daily to big dogs and gradually increase the amount. If your dog tolerates it well after 2 weeks, increase the dose to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight.
Due to a lack of research, these recommendations are not established.
Don't feed your dog coconut oil alone. Instead, mix it in with your dog's regular food. This will keep its diet varied and nutrient dense.
All dogs being fed coconut oil should be monitored for weight gain, diarrhea, and other symptoms that may signify intolerance.
Keep in mind that studies haven't revealed any benefits of using coconut oil in dog feed. On the other hand, using it on your dog's skin may improve certain skin conditions.
If you're applying the coconut oil topically, rub a small amount onto your hands and then gently pat its coat, running your fingers through the fur and massaging a little into its skin.
Coconut oil can be fed to dogs or applied to their skin. Start slowly and increase the amount you give your dog gradually.
Research on using coconut oil for pets is lacking. The benefits are mainly anecdotal, as well as based on findings in humans, rodents, and test-tube studies.
Despite the lack of research, giving it to your dog in small doses is relatively safe.
Ultimately, it's a personal choice. Using coconut oil on your dog has a few potential benefits and might be worth trying.
The risks are unlikely but worth keeping in mind. It's important to monitor your dog's health after adding anything to its regimen.
Talk to a veterinarian if you have further questions or concerns about giving your dog coconut oil.
Dogs with terminal bladder cancer improved with a new modified anthrax treatment. pyotr021 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
By R. Claudio Aguilar
Can the feared anthrax toxin become an ally in the war against cancer? Successful treatment of pet dogs suffering bladder cancer with an anthrax-related treatment suggests so.
Anthrax is a disease caused a by bacterium, known as Bacillus anthracis, which releases a toxin that causes the skin to break down and forms ulcers, and triggers pneumonia and muscle and chest pain. To add to its sinister resumé, and underscore its lethal effects, this toxin has been infamously used as a bioweapon.
I am a biochemist and cell biologist who has been working on research and development of novel therapeutic approaches against cancer and genetic diseases for more than 20 years. Our lab has investigated, designed and adapted agents to fight disease; this is our latest exciting story.
Among all cancers, the one affecting the bladder is the sixth most common and in 2019 caused more than 17,000 deaths in the U.S. Of all patients that receive surgery to remove this cancer, about 70% will return to the physician's office with more tumors. This is psychologically devastating for the patient and makes the cancer of the bladder one of the most expensive to treat.
To make things worse, currently there is a worldwide shortage of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, a bacterium used to make the preferred immunotherapy for decreasing bladder cancer recurrence after surgery. This situation has left doctors struggling to meet the needs of their patients. Therefore, there is a clear need for more effective strategies to treat bladder cancer.
Anthrax Comes to the Rescue
Years ago scientists in the Collier lab modified the anthrax toxin by physically linking it to a naturally occurring protein called the epidermal growth factor (EGF) that binds to the EGF receptor, which is abundant on the surface of bladder cancer cells. When the EGF protein binds to the receptor – like a key fits a lock – it causes the cell to engulf the EGF-anthrax toxin, which then induces the cancer cell to commit suicide (a process called apoptosis), while leaving healthy cells alone.
In collaboration with colleagues at Indiana University medical school, Harvard University and MIT, we designed a strategy to eliminate tumors using this modified toxin. Together we demonstrated that this novel approach allowed us to eliminate tumor cells taken from human, dog and mouse bladder cancer.
This highlights the potential of this agent to provide an efficient and fast alternative to the current treatments (which can take between two and three hours to administer over a period of months). I also think it is good news is that the modified anthrax toxin spared normal cells. This suggests that this treatment could have fewer side effects.
Helping Our Best Friends
These encouraging results led my lab to join forces with Dr. Knapp's group at the Purdue veterinary hospital to treat pet dogs suffering from bladder cancer.
Canine patients for whom all available conventional anti-cancer therapeutics were unsuccessful were considered eligible for these tests. Only after standard tests proved the agent to be safe in laboratory animals, and with the consent of their owners, six eligible dogs with terminal bladder cancer were treated with the anthrax toxin-derived agent.
Two to five doses of this medicine, delivered directly inside the bladder via a catheter, was enough to shrink the tumor by an average of 30%. We consider these results impressive given the initial large size of the tumor and its resistance to other treatments.
There Is Hope for All
Our collaborators at Indiana University Hospital surgically removed bladder cells from human patients and sent them to my lab for testing the agent. At Purdue my team found these cells to be very sensitive to the anthrax toxin-derived agent as well. These results suggest that this novel anti-bladder cancer strategy could be effective in human patients.
The treatment strategy that we have devised is still experimental. Therefore, it is not available for treatment of human patients yet. Nevertheless, my team is actively seeking the needed economic support and required approvals to move this therapeutic approach into human clinical trials. Plans to develop a new, even better generation of agents and to expand their application to the fight against other cancers are ongoing.
R. Claudio Aguilar is an associate professor of biological sciences at Purdue University.
Disclosure statement: R. Claudio Aguilar received funding from National Institutes of Health.
Reposted with permission from The Conversation.
By Sharon Elber
You may have heard that giving a pet for Christmas is just a bad idea. Although many people believe this myth, according to the ASPCA, 86 percent of adopted pets given as gifts stay in their new homes. These success rates are actually slightly higher than average adoption/rehoming rates. So, if done well, giving an adopted pet as a Christmas gift can work out.
However, to increase the odds that you will find a good fit for your family and will be ready for the challenges of pet adoption during a busy time of year for many, consider the following tips before you sign the dotted line and commit to opening your home to an adopted dog this holiday season.
1. The right fit is more important than the right time.
One mistake to avoid when deciding to rescue a dog over the holidays is to force the timing while compromising on the right fit for your lifestyle. Important considerations like breed mix and/or personality type can be neglected as families rush to adopt and make a selection from the limited options available at that specific time.
The holidays are a busy time for animal shelters which can cause the selection of dogs to wane in the weeks leading up to Christmas in particular. It is a mistake to adopt a dog simply to check the box. Instead, carefully consider your family's lifestyle and work with a shelter and/or foster and breed rescue groups in your area to find a canine companion with the right personality, exercise needs and training requirements for your family.
Consider offering an "Adopt a Dog" coupon if you can't find the right fit in time for the big day. This will give your children the excitement of knowing a new furry addition to the family is on the way, while also offering the benefit of getting them involved in the selection process. Dog toys in advance of your new dog's arrival also make great stocking stuffers.
2. Make sure to budget for post adoption expenses.
The adoption fee often covers the cost of any vaccinations and/or spay/neutering that your rescued dog has already had prior to adoption. However, it is important to schedule a vet visit within a few weeks of your adoption, make sure your new family member is up to date on vaccines, and cover the initial cost of monthly medications such as heartworm and flea/tick prevention. These costs can easily mount to $300 or more, so be sure your post-holiday budget has room for these costs.
In addition, you will have food, toys and bedding costs that always spike when adopting a new dog. Allow for these costs as well or incorporate them into your other gift purchases this year.
3. Build a holiday schedule that accounts for the needs of your new pet.
Rehoming is generally a stressful time for animals in the rescue system. Often unsure if they have found a permanent home or just another temporary location, dogs can be prone to developing anxiety issues if transitions are not handled with care.
If you have holiday travel plans, it might be better to wait until the new year to adopt. Bringing a dog home only to drop them off at the kennel a few days later is not the best idea for your new pet. Instead, plan a "staycation" if you adopt a dog this holiday season and make sure to schedule time for dog-focused events such as extra walks, training sessions and fun games like fetch and tug.
4. Get the kids involved in the care of your new pet.
Depending on your child's age, taking on some level of responsibility for the care and training of the new member of your family is critical. This helps them to learn valuable lessons about caring for animals, responsibility, as well as offering a chance to build a human/animal bond built on trust and respect.
For example, children ages 3 - 5 years old can assist with daily care routines such as feeding, checking water and walking your dog. Older children can participate in training sessions and take on more responsibilities like joining in on puppy classes. Dogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation, so consider creating a responsibility calendar for kids so everyone in the household has a part in caring for your pet.
5. Look beyond the shelter for adoptable dogs.
Finally, if you visit the shelter and don't find the dog you are looking for, do some research to locate other adoption options in your community. For example, there are many breed rescue organizations devoted to saving particular dog breeds from kill shelters, puppy mills and abandonment. In addition, many communities have networks of volunteers devoted to fostering dogs until they find their forever homes that you may find on social networks or by a basic internet search.
One big advantage of going through these volunteer organizations before adopting a dog for Christmas is that they have direct experience living with the dog in a home setting. This means they can speak honestly and knowledgeably about any special needs, compatibility with other pets in the household, or suitability for your family's lifestyle, dog friendly amenities (such as a fenced yard), and dog ownership experience.
Giving your kids an adopted dog at Christmastime is about more than watching their faces light up with joy when they receive their new pet. With a little planning and consideration, you can make sure your adopted dog is a good fit for your family so that the joy your new pet bring extends way beyond the holiday season.
Sharon Elber is a professional dog trainer and a writer at WileyPup, a website that provides information about canine health, nutrition, breeds, training and products.
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The Dog Aging Project at the University of Washington is looking to recruit 10,000 dogs to study for the next 10 years to see if they can improve the life expectancy of man's best friend and their quality of life, as CNN reported.
The project hopes that the study will also reveal something about human health, especially if they are able to identify genetic markers for particular diseases like cancer.
The researchers will collect a trove of data and test out a new drug. The data will include vet records, DNA samples, gut microbes and information on food and walks. Five hundred study participants will test out a pill that may slow the aging process, according to the AP.
"What we learn will potentially be good for dogs and has great potential to translate to human health," said project co-director Daniel Promislow of the University of Washington School of Medicine, as the AP reported.
The potential benefits to human health is what convinced National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health to give the researchers a $15 million grant to conduct the study, as Geek Wire reported.
The researchers, which include teams from the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, issued a joint statement to CNN that said, "Dogs truly are science's best friend. Though they age more rapidly than humans, they get the same diseases of aging, have a rich genetic makeup, and share our environment."
"By studying aging in dogs," they said, "we can more quickly expand our knowledge of aging not just in dogs but also in humans." They added that the scientists are hopeful that their discoveries could lead to better "prediction, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of disease," as CNN reported.
Dogs make excellent study subjects because they are intertwined with humans.
"Unlike laboratory animals, they also share our environment," said Matt Kaeberlein, a professor of pathology at the UW School of Medicine to GeekWire. "So we absolutely believe that, in that respect, pet dogs are going to be superior to laboratory models for understanding the aging process in humans, because we're able to capture that environmental diversity."
To participate, dog owners need to complete a form on the Dog Aging Project website. Owners will have to share health and lifestyle information about their dogs. They will also be asked to share their dogs' veterinary records. Dogs will continue to live at home with their owners. All ages, sizes, purebreds and mutts are invited to participate in the study, as the AP reported.
To contribute to the study, owners will complete periodic online surveys and take their dogs to the vet annually, with the possibility of extra visits for certain tests. A bioethicist and a panel of animal welfare advisers will monitor their welfare, as the AP reported.
"All owners who complete the nomination process will become Dog Aging Project citizen scientists, and their members will become members of the Dog Aging Project 'pack,'" said Promislow in a news release, as GeekWire reported.
Since large dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than small dogs, they will be prime candidates for the pill designed to slow the aging process. The dogs chosen to experiment with rapamycin, a drug that has extended the lifespan of mice, must weigh at least 40 pounds. Kaeberlein said a small study found no dangerous side effects in dogs taking the pill, according to the AP.
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Pet owners around the country are seeing their beloved canines perish after letting them cool off in waters harboring toxic algae.
Dogs in North Carolina, Georgia and Texas have all died recently after swimming in waters covered in a harmful algae bloom, which is difficult to detect.
"Your typical lay person will not be able to tell one algae from another, or a good from a bad," said Dr. Mark Aubel, of Greenwater Laboratories who studies harmful algae blooms, to Atlanta's 11 Alive. "It just kind of behooves anybody that sees algae in a lake, in a pond, that they'd probably want to be cautious and just not expose themselves to it or to their pets."
Last Thursday, a couple in Wilmington, NC tried to give their three dogs some relief from the heat by letting the dogs splash around in a nearby pond. Within 15 minutes of leaving the water, one of their West Highland terriers started to suffer from seizures. When they arrived at the veterinarian's office, the other Westie started to decline, followed shortly by the couple's "doodle" mix therapy dog. By midnight, all three dogs were dead, as CNN reported.
All three died from ingesting harmful blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, in the water.
"What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives," wrote Melissa Martin, one of the dog owners, in a Facebook post that has been shared more than 15,000 times, according to CNN.
Since she did not see any warning about the harmful algae bloom, "We are now on a mission to put signs at every body of water that can have this deadly bacteria," Martin added at the end of her Facebook post.
In Austin, TX, three dogs have died after exposure to the toxic algae at Lady Bird Lake in Red Bud Isle. While people are not allowed to swim in the water, the popular spot for an off-leash dog walk had no signs warning dog walkers to keep their dogs away from the lake.
Now, after three dogs have died, the city closed Red Bud Isle to the public after discovering that 40 percent of Lady Bird Lake's surface is covered in a harmful algae bloom.
The first dog death at Red Bud Isle happened a month ago when an Austin dog-owner's German shepherd-Rhodesian ridgeback mix lost control of his legs and struggled to breathe after swimming in the lake. The dog was brain dead shortly after arriving at the vet's office, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
The other two dogs died on Aug. 1 and 3, respectively. All three dogs had the same story: after entering the water, the dogs struggled to keep their balance and lost the ability to stand. Within an hour they were dead, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
It's not fair, and it's not okay," wrote Brittany Stanton, the owner of the last dog to die from swimming in Lady Bird Lake, in a lengthy post on Facebook. "Word needs to be spread about this incredibly devastating risk."
This weekend, a similar story happened in Georgia, when a couple took their border collie to Lake Allatoona. Shortly after splashing around, the dog began to vomit and by the time the owners reached the vet, the dog was brain dead, according to the owner's Facebook post.
This summer has seen an unusually intense wave of algae blooms that have shut down lakes in the Pacific Northwest, New Jersey and every beach on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Scientists say the climate crisis is probably a factor in the increase of cyanobacteria, which can grow in dense clusters and produce toxic substances. An increase in the frequency and intensity of rainstorms has pushed fertilizer runoff into waterways. Furthermore, hot, sunny days and the conditions are set for a harmful algae bloom, which are appearing more frequently and earlier in the season, according to The New York Times.
Dogs are particularly vulnerable to cyanobacteria because they swallow so much water when they swim, as Heavy.com reported.
The Many Hazards of Toxic Algae Outbreaks https://t.co/VDx3L4PPR0— Enviro Voter Project (@Enviro_Voter) September 18, 2018
O_Lypa / iStock / Getty Images Plus
U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors documented 60 percent fewer violations at facilities that use animals in 2018 compared to 2017. The drop, reported by the Washington Post this week and also documented by our researchers here at the Humane Society of the United States, is the latest sign that the federal agency is pulling back from its job of enforcing the Animal Welfare Act, which protects animals used by puppy mills, zoos and research labs, among others.
The Post also noted a drop in the number of "critical" or "direct" violations issued by the USDA — serious violations that would trigger faster follow-up by the agency and possible enforcement action. In 2017, inspectors recorded more than 4,000 citations, including 331 marked as critical or direct. In 2018, the number of citations fell below 1,800, including 128 that were critical or direct.
The agency now appears to be giving the facilities it inspects more leeway to cover up their deficiencies and their misdeeds. Above, a dog at a USDA-licensed puppy mill.USDA
HSUS researchers have come across instances where inspectors found animals who were clearly injured or emaciated, but did not write up a critical or direct citation or even require a puppy mill owner to take a sick dog to a veterinarian for an examination. For instance, in June last year, a USDA inspector visiting a commercial dog breeding operation in Kokomo, Indiana, came across a female boxer who was nursing a litter of puppies.
The dog's ribs, spine and hip bones were protruding, but the inspector simply allowed the breeder to talk to a veterinarian on the phone, who instructed that the dog be given a different diet. The dog was not examined by a veterinarian in person and no tests were done to check if she was sick due to a non-dietary reason, like an underlying infection or parasite — an omission that could endanger her life and the lives of her puppies.
This slackening of enforcement commitments is just the latest in a long-running and disturbing saga that has unfolded at the USDA under the current administration. The agency now appears to be turning a blind eye to most violations while giving the facilities it inspects more leeway to cover up their deficiencies and their misdeeds.
Meanwhile, the public is being largely kept in the dark about what goes on behind closed doors at such facilities. In February of 2017, the agency deleted inspection reports of thousands of these facilities that groups like ours had relied on for years to inform the American public of how businesses treat the animals in their care. We are challenging that decision with a lawsuit, but to date, the USDA continues to redact breeder names, addresses and license numbers on its public Animal Welfare Act records.
In April 2018 the USDA announced a pilot program that alerts some facilities about upcoming inspections in advance. This gives some breeders and other regulated facilities time to cover up violations or even hide or destroy sick or injured dogs.
In May 2018, a new USDA tech note explained facilities can now "self-report" to avoid having certain violations identified in their records, even some critical violations, as long as they follow certain guidelines. That same month, the USDA issued a revised Animal Welfare Inspection Guide that was missing many important elements, such as the long-standing requirement that a facility's written program of veterinary care be signed by an actual veterinarian, and requirements related to identifying suffering animals and taking sick animals to a veterinarian.
In October last year, the Post reported that the USDA issued only 39 written warnings in the first three quarters of 2018, and had settled only one civil complaint against a puppy mill operator. This was a huge drop from just two years before, when the agency issued 192 warnings and filed civil complaints against 23 licensees.
To make matters even worse, the recent government shutdown, the longest in American history, resulted in many puppy mills operating without an inspection during the early part of the year.
A USDA spokesperson admitted to the Post reporter that the agency is backpedaling on enforcement, stating that it is putting more emphasis on "working with" the regulated community instead. But this makes no sense because the USDA's own audits show that this approach has failed in the past. In reality, the lack of enforcement is likely due to the influence of vested interests, including Big Ag groups and breeder collectives, which, under the current administration, have an unprecedented amount of influence on the agency's strategy. It's the fox in the henhouse.
Ironically, the only class of dealers that the USDA is increasingly cracking down on is animal rescues, especially nonprofit pet rescue transporters that obtain minor fees for moving dogs and cats from overburdened rural shelters to shelters that have more space. In 2018, the USDA updated the interpretation of its rules to require some pet rescues to obtain a license under certain circumstances, even if payment they receive to transport pets is just compensation for vet care or gas money.
We are keeping an eye on these developments and challenging them whenever possible, but we cannot do it without your help. Please contact your U.S. Representatives and ask them to join a member sign-on letter to the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee that will be circulating soon. The letter will shine a spotlight on these problems at the USDA and call for tougher enforcement. Also ask your Representatives to support the Welfare of Our Friends (WOOF) Act, H.R. 1002, in Congress.
This important bill would require the USDA to ensure that pet breeders demonstrate compliance with the Animal Welfare Act before their licenses can be renewed, and it would also prevent puppy mill operators whose licenses have been suspended or revoked from opening a new license in a different name.
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By Julie Wilson
We know that humans increasingly test positive for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller. For example, in tests conducted by a University of California San Francisco lab, 93 percent of the participants tested positive for glyphosate residues.
In the European Union, when 48 members of Parliament volunteered for glyphosate testing, every one of them tested positive.
In October 2017, Time magazine reported on a study involving 50 Californians who were tested between 1993-1996 and again between 2014-2016. Scientists found that not only did the number of people who tested positive for glyphosate residues increase, but so did the amounts of the residues detected.
Humans are exposed to glyphosate via the food they eat, the air they breathe, the water they drink and the lawns, gardens, parks and other environments they frequent. If humans are contaminated with glyphosate, it stands to reason that their pets are, too.
In fact, a recent pilot study shows that animals are likely to have even higher levels—up to 50 percent higher—of glyphosate in their bodies.
"In a pilot study, we noticed that dogs' glyphosate levels were, on average, 50 times higher than people's," said Dr. John Fagan, chief scientist at HRI Labs and former researcher at the National Institutes of Health. "Recent biomedical research suggests harm to health at these levels, and even lower," he added.
To follow up on the pilot study, HRI Labs has launched a citizen science research project whereby the lab will work with pet owners to determine why animals have such a high exposure to glyphosate.
The project, launched on Tuesday, May 8, aims to identify the primary route by which pets are exposed to the weedkiller. The outcome is expected to give pet owners the information they need to protect their loved ones from a potentially deadly toxin—one that has already been found in disturbingly high levels in dogs.
Pets may be more vulnerable to toxins because they are lower to the ground, have unprotected paws and may eat foods laced with glyphosate, says Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian known for her Healthy Pets blog.
Pet owners throughout North America can participate in the study by requesting a collection kit, sending a sample of their pet's urine to HRI Labs and completing an online survey about their pet's diet, health and lifestyle. Learn more about the study here.
Studies Link Lawn Chemicals to Canine Cancer
New research suggests that exposure to pesticides may affect canines similarly to how it affects humans. Scientists have increasingly been able to link lawn chemicals, particularly 2,4-D, to canine cancer.
"Studies found that lawn chemicals travel to neighboring yards and inside homes, and chemicals have been found in the urine of dogs whose owners did not spray their lawns," reports Think About Now.
"Chemicals were detected in the urine of dogs in 14 of 25 households before lawn treatment, in 19 of 25 households after lawn treatment, and in 4 of 8 untreated households. Chemicals were commonly detected in grass residues from treated lawns, and from untreated lawns suggesting chemical drift from nearby treated areas."
Other studies have also linked herbicides containing 2,4-D to CML, which is reported to have "a similar histology and epidemiology" as non-Hodgkin lymphoma—also linked to 2,4-D exposure.
Recent reports say glyphosate may alter the human microbiome—a complex ecosystem made up of microorganisms that control a range of important processes including immune system function and brain health—and at levels considered "safe" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
If glyphosate is capable of wreaking this much havoc on human health, then what impact is it having on the health of our pets?
The scientists at HRI Labs aim to find out.
''The citizen science movement makes it possible to carry out rigorous scientific research on topics that are not necessarily of interest to corporations and government agencies that typically fund most research," HRI Labs stated in a recent press release.
To learn more about the study or to participate, click here.
California Court Ruling Ends Decades of State Pesticide Spraying https://t.co/Wus6twhgFU @wwwfoecouk @greenpeaceaustp— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1520158805.0
Julie Wilson is communications associate for the Organic Consumers Association.
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By Dan Nosowitz
In January of 2017, the worst wildfires in Chile's history rampaged through over a million acres of land, destroying homes and leaving at least 11 dead. One of the many recovery solutions, as reported by Mother Nature News, is unexpected—and very cute.
Enter dog trainer Francisca Torres and three border collies, who took to the scorched forest after the fires were extinguished. Each dog wore a specially designed pouch filled with native seeds; as the dogs happily sprint through the forest, the seeds scatter from the pouches.
Border collies are work dogs. They're by far the most popular choice for herders, as their work ethic, herding instinct and intellect—they're routinely listed as the most intelligent breed of dog—make them ideal for farm work. These dogs can cover up to 18 miles each day, far more than a human could, and what could be more fun for a dog than being rewarded for sprinting through a gigantic forest?
Seeding after a fire, interestingly, is a widespread practice that is not without controversy. Fires are an essential part of the life cycle of many forests, with an established pattern of recovery: A certain type of fire might encourage a certain type of seedling, which could be eaten by a certain animal, which could attract other animals, and the entire system comes back online.
And yet, millions of dollars is spent on post-fire seeding each year, with the goal being to encourage rapid growth, box out invasive or non-native plants, and reduce the chances of erosion while the forest gets back on its feet. But recent research indicates that post-fire seeding is not necessarily all that effective: a review from the U.S. Forest Service says, "According to the literature review and monitoring data, seeding is not a reliably effective post-fire treatment for short-term soil protection." (To note: some of the studies reviewed in that paper included non-native seed, which obviously is a bad idea.)
In any case, post-fire seeding with exclusively native plants is not widely controversial. You know what else isn't controversial? Very good dogs running freely around a forest.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.