Organic hemp is popping up everywhere. It’s in lotions, makeup, clothes, rope, biofuels, and vegan protein powders. It’s also the plant that many CBD products are derived from.
As hemp oil and other types of cannabis plant products continue to be destigmatized and appreciated for their wellness benefits, dozens of these products are popping up in stores where most people shop like the grocery store or The Vitamin Shoppe.
If you’re a pet owner, you’ve likely seen CBD treats made just for pets.
You’re probably curious about whether or not these treats are beneficial for your dog’s health. Humans and dogs cannot enjoy some of the same things. While you might love grapes, chocolate, and avocado, it’s not safe for your dog to have any of these everyday natural ingredients. So, which side of the line does hemp fall on?
Thankfully, hemp and hemp derivatives are perfectly safe for animals, as long as they’re administered appropriately. Hemp dog treats might be the right way to go, but in some cases, it’s better to administer hemp-derived CBD directly through full spectrum CBD oil to gain more benefit, or you might even make your own treats so you know exactly what’s going into your dog biscuits.
Here’s what to know about hemp dog treats.
The Two Types of Hemp Dog Treats and Their Benefits
Not all hemp foods and dog treats contain CBD. Those that contain hemp seeds or hemp seed oil typically do not contain any cannabinoids at all. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein, and hemp seed oil is a source of healthy fatty acids, but the cannabinoids (one type of beneficial compound from the hemp plant) are not naturally present in the seeds.
Hemp extract dog treats contain CBD, which is the cannabinoid in the hemp plant that is highly regarded for its potential wellness benefits. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that won’t get people or dogs high like THC does, which is the intoxicating cannabinoid most people associate with marijuana and cannabis. Instead, CBD works to promote relaxation and homeostasis in mammals.
Hemp seed and hemp seed oil do still possess potential health benefits. Healthy fats and plant-based protein play a valuable role in a well-balanced diet. Hemp extracts containing CBD, however, impart wellness benefits which are not the same thing as just being nutritious. CBD is not a nutrient of any kind. It isn’t a vitamin or mineral, and it isn’t necessary to supplement with CBD for ongoing health.
Nutrients are a necessity, and wellness-supporting extracts like CBD are a wellness bonus. Although it may be indirectly beneficial to your dog’s health to promote relaxation and support the health of other systems, the CBD itself does not treat or cure anything. It plays a supportive role in the body’s ability to self-manage.
The Health Benefits Depend on the Ingredients of the Treat
Low sugar, high protein treats can play an important role in your dog’s diet. You would quickly get tired of eating the same thing every day without variation, and your dog might feel the same way. Many healthy eating practitioners recommend something called the 80/20 rule for people. If 80% of what you eat is healthy and 20% of what you eat is a little more indulgent, you’re on the right track.
Your dog’s food should be nutritionally complete without the use of treats, but there’s nothing wrong with giving your dog a treat or two every day if their veterinarian doesn’t recommend a strict or controlled diet otherwise. Dogs can abide by a similar 90/10 rule. About 90% of their diet should be complete and nutritious dog foods, and 10% can be from treats.
If you decide to use hemp based treats as a part of that 10%, whether or not they contain CBD, you need to be mindful of the ingredients in these treats. If they’re very high in sugar, made with low quality grains, filled with artificial colors and preservatives, or made with low quality animal byproducts, they probably aren’t the best CBD dog treats available.
Dog treats with natural color and natural flavor, made with whole grains, whole meats, fruits, and vegetables are best for your dog. Nut butters without added sugar or naturally sweet foods like banana can serve as dessert-like treats when served in moderation. These kinds of treats can be made with hemp or hemp derivatives so your pet can enjoy the benefits of CBD without the added junk commonly found in ready-made treats.
The Wellness Benefits Are Plentiful
Dog treats with hemp-derived CBD can potentially offer a whole host wellness benefits. CBD can help to support normal gastrointestinal health, overall mobility, joint health, and normal brain functioning. An addition to these supporting properties that impact the body’s function, CBD can also promote relaxation in stressed dogs.
If your dog is prone to environmental stress, CBD may be a useful wellness tool. Dogs that don’t like loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms and dogs who have a difficult time being separated from their owners may feel more at ease after their daily CBD dosage.
Making Healthy Hemp Dog Treats
Your dog doesn’t technically need a treat to enjoy the wellness enhancing effects of CBD. VETCBD Hemp’s CBD extract is safely administered with a plastic syringe. If your dog will ingest the tincture without much of a fuss, you can give them CBD directly.
If your dog runs and hides when anything that looks similar to medicine enters their orbit, healthy treats are a great workaround. You can hide the CBD inside of a treat, and your dog will be so happy to have a special snack that they’re unlikely to notice the CBD at all.
If you want to assure the treats you’re giving your dog are healthy, the best way to do that would be to make them yourself. Since our CBD is suspended in oil, it easily blends into almost any kind of healthy dog treat you can prepare at home. You can even add a few drops of CBD oil right into their food bowl — CBD has been shown to be better-absorbed when consumed with food.
If you aren’t much of a cook, you can mix the CBD into a small spoonful of unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter or a cup of unsweetened, unflavored yogurt. Remember that “sugar-free” and “unsweetened” are not interchangeable terms. Many sugar-free products contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which can be highly toxic to dogs.
If you’re up to the task, mix a cup of cooked quinoa with half a cup of unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter and two mashed bananas. Form the mixture into balls. You can use the syringe to place the appropriate dose of VETCBD Hemp’s tincture into the treat ball just before serving. If you prefer to disguise the taste of your own CBD tincture, you can use the same little treat balls for yourself, though you might want to sweeten yours.
Keeping Your Dog Healthy is a Full Time Job
Pets are a big responsibility. Unlike children, dogs will never grow up to become independent. They rely on you for everything, but all that work is worth the reward when you get to play or snuggle with your happy, healthy pup.
Health and wellness are not necessarily the same thing, but they’re both vitally important to your dog. A high quality diet, plenty of exercise, proper socialization, and regular veterinary care are crucial for the health of your dog.
The VETCBD Hemp team is composed of experienced veterinarians who understand the needs of your animal and want to see your pet happy, healthy, and thriving. Wellness products aren’t meant to replace veterinary care. They’re intended to act as a supplement. If your dog’s vet agrees that they might benefit from the use of hemp infused or CBD wellness products, add the appropriate amount to your dog’s daily wellness routine with our pet-specific CBD tincture.
The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed | National Institutes of Health
What is CBD? Definition of Cannabidiol & CBD Oil | Project CBD