Hemp Oil for Dogs: Benefits, Risks, and Dosage

Can dogs eat it

The CanDogsEatIt Team

Hemp Oil for Dogs: Benefits, Risks, and Dosage
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Hemp oil for dogs has exploded in popularity as a dietary supplement. Countless dog owners are impressed by its numerous health benefits to their pets, such as soothing inflammations, improving mobility, and hastening weight loss.

Let us take a closer look at the health benefits hemp oil for dogs offers to our canine companions and the dangers pet parents should be aware of before giving it to their pets.

What Is Hemp Oil?

hemp oil for dogs 1
Hemp oil for dogs is created by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Thus, it is also called hemp seed oil. It can be processed into 2 types: refined and unrefined.

Unrefined hemp oil is green in color and has a nutty flavor. It is often formulated with nutritious content and comes with raw, virgin, or pure labels.

On the other hand, the refined hemp seed oil is colorless and has no flavor. It is commonly used in manufacturing various hemp products, from lubricants and body care to plastics and fuel.

Will Hemp Oil Get My Dog “High”?

Dog owners who are not familiar with hemp oil may wonder about this question a lot. The simple answer is no. Hemp oil is safe for dogs since it will not give them psychoactive or “high” feelings.

To understand why we need to distinguish the difference between hemp and marijuana. Both plants are subspecies of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). However, their psychoactive properties are not the same.

Marijuana contains high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the compound that primarily causes intoxicating effects.

On the other hand, Hemp has low amounts of THC and contains more cannabidiol, which does not get our furry friends stoned.

Is Hemp Oil the Same as CBD Oil for Dogs?

hemp oil for dogs 4No, hemp oil is not the same as CBD oil for dogs. Hemp seed oil is extracted from the plant’s seeds, so it only contains traces of chemical agents called cannabinoids, which have different effects on a canine’s body.

Cannabinoids are found in the hemp plant but are more concentrated in its flowers and stems. CBD oil for dogs is extracted from these specific parts, making it rich in cannabinoids.

Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil for Dogs

CBD and hemp oils for dogs come from the same plant but produce distinct good effects on canine health.

Hemp oil for dogs mostly provides nutritional benefits. It is rich in omega -3, -6, and -9 fatty acids. High levels of proteins and amino acids can be found in hemp oil too. All of these nutrients help improve your dog’s health.

One of CBD oil’s effects on dogs is regulating the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for sending signals throughout the body. Combining CBD oil with MCT oil increases its absorption into the endocannabinoid system.

CBD oil for dogs is also particularly used to address specific health issues. For example, separation anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, inflammation, chronic joint pain, and seizures can be alleviated by dog CBD.

Some dog owners ask: “Will hemp oil calm my dog?” Yes, but CBD oil is more likely to calm down your dog. Several studies suggest that it reduces anxiety or distress in canines.

What Are the Health Benefits of Hemp Oil for Dogs?

hemp oil for dogs 5
Is hemp oil good for dogs? Yes, hemp oil is good for dogs. We have mentioned above that hemp oil for dogs contains a good amount of healthy omega fatty acids. These provide a broad range of health benefits for dogs, such as:

  • Promotes Healthy Coat and Skin

    The omega fatty acids in hemp oil are renowned for their ability to rejuvenate the skin and coat of dogs and cats, just like coconut oil. They moisturize and hydrate the skin’s surface and help stimulate hair growth.

    Because of this, hemp oil for dogs is commonly used to address various canine dermatological issues such as hair loss, flaky skin, and dandruff. Generally, it produces good results on a dog’s skin and coat within a month of use.
  • Prevents Cancer

    According to studies, dogs suffering from cancer do not produce enough gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is a type of omega-6 fatty acid essential in strengthening a dog’s immune system and fighting off inflammation.

    Thus, dogs with cancer need to have GLA-rich diets, as it is observed to prevent cancer tumor growth. Hemp oil for dogs can be used as a GLA supplement since it contains high levels of this omega-6 fatty acid.
  • Controls Inflammatory Response

    GLA in hemp oil for dogs has anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate swelling caused by certain health conditions.

    In a study, it was observed that GLA found in hemp seeds could reduce arthritis symptoms by 25%. This can help improve the mobility of senior dogs and pooches with joint problems.
  • Good for Weight Management

    The omega fatty acids of hemp oil for dogs aid in improving a dog’s metabolism. These encourage the production of prostaglandin, which hastens the fat-burning process.

    The hemp oil’s GLA also releases serotonin, making dogs feel full quickly. It reduces their food consumption and prevents weight gain and obesity.

    Hemp oil for dogs promotes muscle development too. Its 9 essential amino acids play an important role in muscle growth.

What Are the Potential Side Effects of Hemp Oil for Dogs?

hemp oil for dogs 6Hemp oil for dogs is considered safe and has little to no side effects. Despite this reassuring statement, it is still important to know the problems that may occur. This prepares pet owners in advance on how to handle the situation.

Here are some of the side effects of hemp oil in dogs:

Hemp Allergy

Although uncommon, hemp allergy can happen in some pooches. That is why it is best to start with a small amount of hemp oil for dogs. Wait and see if your furry friend shows an allergic reaction, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Hive
  • Itching
  • Vomiting

Do not give him any more hemp oil if he exhibits these symptoms. Make sure to bring your dog to the vet right away so that he gets proper treatment.

May Counteract with Certain Drugs

Hemp oil for dogs can affect the activity of liver enzymes used to metabolize prescription drugs. Consult a holistic vet before using hemp oil if your dog is under any medication.

Digestive Upset

The most common side effect of hemp oil for dogs is tummy troubles. This usually occurs when large amounts of it are given to dogs. Other symptoms that signal excessive ingestion of hemp oil for dogs are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Increase potty incidents
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of body coordination
  • Vomiting

Fortunately, these symptoms will cease within a few hours. However, do not take any risks. Always administer the right amount of hemp oil for dogs to avoid this problem.

Other potential negative side effects

According to studies, hemp oil for dogs may affect their saliva production, causing it to decrease. This could lead some canines to experience dry mouth.

Low blood pressure is another adverse effect of hemp oil for dogs if it is administered in high doses. Affected pets may experience a feeling of lightheadedness.

What Is the Safe Amount of Hemp Oil for Dogs?

hemp oil for dogs 3

The recommended dosage of hemp oil for dogs is 1 milligram for every pound of body weight. Initially, give small amounts to your canine companion.

Stick to this minimal dose for about 1–2 weeks. If he does not show any changes within this duration, slowly increase the amount of hemp oil until you reach the ideal dosage.

You can also mix hemp oil in your dog’s food and dog treats. However, never use it as cooking oil since it can turn the food rancid.

Hemp oil for dogs can be used topically too. Do this by simply applying it to the affected area.

How to Choose the Best Hemp Oil for Dogs

The production of hemp oil for dogs continues to be unregulated. Thus, many companies can get away with manufacturing low-grade products.

Below are a few tips to help you find a high-quality hemp oil for your pooch:

1. Opt for hemp oil produced through carbon dioxide and cold press extraction.

Using solvents such as butane or petroleum products is the cheapest way to extract hemp oil. However, this compromises its safety to dogs since these can be toxic.

Some manufacturers prefer to use natural solvents such as ethanol or olive oil. While this is a safer method, it renders the hemp oil for dogs ineffective since the process destroys the waxes of the hemp plant.

The best and safest way to extract hemp oil for dogs is through the CO2 extraction process. This simply involves placing pressure on the hemp seeds to squeeze out the oil. Thus, the product is free from any toxic substance.

2. Check if the hemp oil for dogs has a certificate of analysis.

A certificate of analysis shows what hemp oil contains. It provides the specific quantity for each cannabinoid, like CBD and THC, of the product.

Aside from that, this document also means that the product is 3rd party tested for safety. It ensures that the hemp oil for dogs has no heavy metals and other harmful chemicals.

Always check the company’s website to see if they provide a certificate of analysis before making a purchase. Be sure to check if the product is made from organic hemp too. This reduces the risk of the oil being contaminated with pesticides and fungicides.

3. Hemp oil for dogs should contain low amounts of THC.

Hemp oil for dogs that contains large concentrations of THC can cause a bad reaction. Thus, make sure to choose a product that only contains .03% THC, such as the broad-spectrum hemp oil variety.

Note that there are hemp oil and CBD products with zero THC, which are called isolated varieties. These are not recommended since they lack important cannabinoids and terpenes.

Choose full-spectrum CBD or full-spectrum hemp oil for dogs instead. These are of the highest quality in terms of cannabinoids. They are more loaded with essential cannabinoid varieties such as CBGA, CBDA, and CBC.