Dog ownership doesn’t come cheap. In fact, dog owners in the US fork out an average of $1,200 in the first year of owning one. Each year after that adds another $500 (on average) to the bill. It pays to do anything you can to keep them healthy and happy! Don’t, and risk regular visits to the vet that can rapidly deplete your bank balance!
Of course, it pays in other ways to keep your trusty canine companion in good form. After all, there can be few things sadder than a sick puppy! Dogs become another member of the family! Their health has a direct impact on the joy they provide the household.
One increasingly popular method of caring for dogs (and other pets) is the use of hemp-based products. This alternative approach to supporting animal well-being is causing all sorts of conversations.
Interested in learning more about them and why they’re becoming so popular?
Keep reading to discover 8 potential health benefits of hemp chews for dogs.
Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana
It seems appropriate to begin by addressing what hemp actually is.
After all, it’s a commonly misunderstood product. I don’t want you to think I’m spreading the wrong messages! It absolutely isn’t the same as medical (or recreational) marijuana.
I’m absolutely not advocating the use of marijuana for your dog!
In fact, marijuana and hemp are in no way the same. Sure, it’s true they’re both derived from the same plant (cannabis-sativa). That means they share certain characteristics. For one, they both contain naturally produced chemical compounds called cannabinoids.
The most common cannabinoid (and one that you’ve probably already heard of) is called tetrahydrocannabinol. Or, THC for short. That’s the stuff that gets you high when you smoke ordinary weed. However, another major cannabinoid is called cannabidiol (CBD for short). CBD is in no way psychoactive.
Both hemp and marijuana contain both types. However, the key difference is in the ratio of CBD to THC in each of them. Marijuana has masses of THC (as high as 20% or more); hemp has less than 0.3%.
That means the effects they have are entirely different.
Hemp (among its many varied uses) is used predominantly for its health benefits. Marijuana can have similar medicinal qualities but is attached to a psychoactive effect.
8 Health Benefits of Hemp Chews for Dogs
Let’s move on how these cannabis-based products can help.
Here’s a handy resource if you’re wondering where to buy organic CBD oil dog treats. But for now, check out the many potential benefits of feeding them to your dog(s)!
1. Reduced Anxiety
You may or may not know that anxiety is a common issue for dogs.
It’s never fun. Whether they run and hide at thunderstorms, quiver and shake at the vets, or become nervous around other dogs, it’s a common issue that manifests itself in different ways.
In reality, there’s nothing unusual about this. Anxiety is a normal, functional emotion. However, just as with humans, too much anxiety can start impacting their day to day life. Alas, the typical treatment approach is anti-anxiety medication from the vet. These can be expensive and pack numerous debilitating side effects.
The CBD content of hemp dog chews is a known antidote for stress and anxiety. Indeed, humans can benefit from CBD in the same way (though you’ll probably want a different way of ingesting it!).
2. Pain Reduction
Another common hemp-related benefit is reducing pain.
Dogs often have some sort of ailment bothering them at any one time. They might step on something, swallow something, get in a scuffle, be stung by a bee, get a cut from a thorn…and so on.
Likewise, as they age, joints can get stiffer and it can be harder to move around. Maybe they’ve undergone surgery and are in the difficult recovery process.
Whatever the matter, hemp is a known and effective method of targeting any type of pain. Again, humans can enjoy the same benefit!
3. Helps Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is another common bugbear for dogs.
All of us have seen old and greying hounds waddling around the neighborhood park on stiff, uncomfortable-looking limbs! Of course, hemp chews can’t make a dog any younger. But they may be able to overturn this common sign of aging!
Inflamed joints are one such problem they can support. Indeed, inflammation can occur anywhere in the body for all manner of reasons. It’s a natural physiological response to certain threats in the body. Unfortunately, sometimes it develops into chronic conditions such as arthritis (especially in older animals).
Thankfully, hemp can effectively support the immune system and reduce inflammation. As a result, pain is reduced and mobility is improved.
4. Increased Energy Levels
You might hear this and think, ‘my dog definitely doesn’t need even more energy!’
Many hounds rush, run and bundle their way through life without issue! If anything they could do with less energy! However, that’s not the case for all hounds. Many dogs can suffer from something akin to lethargy.
Particularly older dogs will have far less energy than they once did. Feeding them hemp chews is a known way to restore their energy levels!
Metabolism speeds up and happy-mood-inducing brain chemicals get released. That all amounts to a dog with greater energy. Combined with healthier joints, dogs long in the tooth will soon be running around like a brand new puppy!
5. Immune System Boost
There’s nothing worse than a sick dog.
Not only is it a hassle to clear up after them, but it’s also downright distressing for everyone involved. Sick dogs are sad dogs, and sad dogs make sad humans!
Prevention is better than a cure. Sure, all dogs will get ill on occasion. It’s vital to have treatment options available when it happens.
However, it’s most important to take steps to prevent it from happening. The more active you can be in keeping them well, the better for everyone (as well as your bank balance!). Hemp is an effective way of doing that. It helps boost the canine immune system. As a result, it’s far less likely that they’ll fall foul of as many illnesses.
A better immune system means dogs can more easily fight off illness and disease.
In this way, hemp serves a dual purpose. It can be used as both prevention and cure for many dog-related problems.
6. Cancer Treatment
There’s some evidence that hemp can be used to support cancer treatment.
Indeed, numerous studies have shown how cannabis can reduce the size of tumors and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. That’s thanks, in part, to do with the immune system boost it provides.
Of course, you definitely shouldn’t forgo traditional cancer treatment for either yourself or your dog. However, there’s clearly some incentive to pursue it as an additional, alternative approach.
Cancer is always a threat to dogs as they get older. Even if hemp chews can’t entirely inhibit or prevent cancer, their anti-pain and inflammatory qualities will always help. That’s often reason enough to use it when your furry friend is struggling with this disease.
7. Supports Health Canine Weight
Again, this issue may not be immediately apparent in your dog!
Most hounds would eat their weight in food if they got the chance. It’s more often a battle to stop them eating than ensure they eat enough.
However, this is another unfortunate symptom of aging dogs. As the years roll by they may stop eating as regularly and lose weight. It’s a vicious circle. Less food means less energy; becoming weaker leads to less exercise and more sickness.
And that leads to even less of an appetite.
Hemp is an effective means of restoring it. Indeed, there’s a reason people talk about munchies! With their appetite back, dogs can eat enough to sustain their energy levels. And that can make for a longer and happier life.
8. Reduces Nausea
Feelings of nausea are never nice.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a human or a dog! It’s always preferable to avoid feelings of sickness when possible. Thankfully, this is another benefit of hemp.
Indeed, vomiting and nausea are common side-effects of vet medication. If your dog is throwing up from essential medication, try combating the symptoms with hemp. Indeed, vomiting is another cause of malnutrition. Not only is your pet losing vital calories and nutrients, but they also aren’t eating anything more. Their appetite goes with the sickness.
As we’ve just noted, hemp can combat a lack of appetite at the same time.
Time to Wrap Up
There you have it: 8 potential health benefits of hemp chews for dogs.
Owning a dog is never cheap. But it gets far more expensive when they get sick or hurt.
For that reason, it’s in every dog owner’s interest to take steps to keep them healthy and happy. Moreover, not doing so would be tantamount to neglect! Dogs become members of the family. It’s natural to want them to remain in good physical form.
As we’ve seen, hemp (not to be confused with marijuana) is a fantastic way of doing just that.
Like this article? Read more of my pet-related articles on the blog!