Do Vets Recommend CBD?

In 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law, making hemp legal in the United States. But, with this massive step forward came a whole lot of confusion for pet parents everywhere.

Ultimately, the Farm Bill legalized hemp, but it made the crop a highly regulated one, both for personal and industrial production, which means that laws around hemp-derived products, such as CBD, are not so straightforward.

And while this new bill allowed and protected research about hemp use in humans, the same did not go for veterinary cases. In other words, cannabis and CBD for pets are stuck in a grey area: legal yet unapproved for your favorite companion. 

So, the question remains. Do vets recommend CBD? Let’s get into it…

Why can’t vets recommend or prescribe CBD for pets?

As of July 2021, 36 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use by people—or both. And yet, none of these laws account for use of cannabis in veterinary medicine.

The result is a world where the hemp industry is booming and stores are being lined with supplements for animals and humans alike, and yet most veterinarians cannot even speak about cannabis and CBD with their clients. 

States with more established cannabis industries, such as California and Nevada, are more lenient with their veterinary restrictions. In fact, a bill passed in May 2021 will take effect on October 1, 2021, making Nevada the first state in the U.S. where veterinarians may recommend and administer CBD, if the products contain no more than 0.3% THC, to patients without fear of disciplinary action. 

Until this legislation, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

“California [was] the only state to specifically address veterinarians’ ability to engage with clients, indicating that veterinarians can discuss the use of cannabis for medical purposes with clients without being disciplined by the veterinary medical board solely for having that conversation.”

With the existing law, Californian vets cannot prescribe, dispense, or administer any cannabis or cannabis-based products, including CBD. However, a newly proposed bill is fighting to change this as well. 

The only other states with explicit language that allow veterinarians to have a conversation with their clients about cannabis for pets are Michigan and New York. 

Other states like Washington are stuck with unclear laws. Their State Department of Health even admits “Due to confusion on federal and state levels, we’re unable to give guidance on the legality of providing advice to clients regarding cannabis use.” 

Then, states like Utah have no state veterinary board and lump all medical professionals into the same category, providing Utah vets with absolutely no clear guidance on what does and does not put their license at risk when it comes to hemp and cannabis.

Further still, many states, such as Georgia, follow the lead of the FDA, DEA and AVMA and don’t allow the recommendation of cannabis-derived products for veterinary use.

Want to do something about this?

Contact your federal, state, and local elected leaders to improve the current veterinary cannabis laws. Visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials to do your part today. 

Overall, vets are put in a difficult position with respect to guidance from their state boards and this means some cannot or will not mention cannabis to clients. That’s in part why we founded Canna Companion: to provide education where it’s prohibited or not yet available.

There are many complex considerations around giving hemp to your pet: how the specific product works, proper quantities, possible drug interactions, side effects, etc. As state boards are still only learning, businesses like ours are spending every waking moment providing this exact education to our clients. 

Other organizations like Veterinary Cannabis Society and Veterinary Cannabis.org are also trying to change this gap in education and help pet parents understand what to buy and how to administer it. 

So, as your resident veterinarian cannabis experts, we can help you determine whether CBD and cannabis supplements are appropriate for your pet. 

Do vets recommend CBD?

The truth is that CBD supplements may not be right for every pet. It is important to understand the way cannabis and hemp interact with other prescription medications and/or supplements that your pet is currently taking. 

Moreover, not all CBD-containing products are labeled accurately. They may claim to have certain levels or ratios of CBD to THC, but unless you are finding reputable, third-party lab-tested products with a NASC Seal, you may be unknowingly risking your pet’s life. 

One thing all veterinarians – proponents of cannabis or not – can agree on is that supplemental care should always be discussed with an attending veterinarian. 

While your primary care veterinarian may be restricted in what they can and cannot discuss with you about your pet’s health, we at Canna Companion are happy to cover it all. In addition to being able to ship our highest-quality products to states where veterinarians cannot even talk about hemp with their clients, our consultations can answer every question under the sun as it applies to your specific pet. 

Long story short: we are the veterinarians you never knew you needed. 

Our free consultations are meant to answer this exact question for your pet’s unique needs.Just as anti-inflammatory drugs are not appropriate for all humans, CBD and cannabis supplements may not be beneficial for every pet.

Our entire management and advisory team is made up of highly esteemed doctors of veterinary medicine, licensed veterinary technicians, and veterinary cannabis counselors. Whether it’s your dog or cat or your horse, bird, or alligator, we are equipped to give you custom recommendations that are appropriate for your pet.

Overall, our team of veterinary professionals and consultants are able to provide you with the full picture. Through our consultations and deep knowledge of the field, we will be able to help you navigate the murky waters and determine whether or not CBD is right for your pet. 

Book a free consultation today and learn more about whether or not CBD is recommended for your pet.

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Oil Last in Dogs?

 

Did you know that human-dog relationships are shown to potentially help with mood stabilization, particularly under stress-prone conditions? In fact, studies have shown that human–animal interactions may even improve peer-to-peer social relationships, as well as increase feelings of respect, trust, and empathy between people. 

 

It is no surprise, then, that dog guardianship has skyrocketed since the onset of a global pandemic. According to Sara Kent, CEO of the nonprofit database Shelter Animals Count, reported that by the end of 2020, spending on pet care and supplies had reached a record $99 billion.

 

The intersection of CBD and pet products.

Combined with the fact that we can see similar growth trends in the cannabis industry, the possibilities seem endless for the intersection of the two markets. In fact, a 2020 Nielsen report revealed that 74% of CBD buyers have pets. Further, they predicted that hemp-based CBD pet products will represent 3-5% of all hemp CBD sales within the U.S. by 2025.

 

The truth is, better, more affordable pet care is made possible by the increasing availability of these products such as CBD oil for dogs and American pup parents are ready to try it out – pandemic or not.

 

Aiding your dog’s overall health through wellness products offers greater support and quality of life. Similar to how humans benefit from nutrition, exercise, vitamins, and other supplements, your dog can benefit from these measures as well. 

 

Pet products like CBD oil for dogs may help to encourage a normal digestive process, maintain neurological balance, and support healthy joint function so your pup can play fetch all day long.

 

However, while the benefits and growth of CBD supplements and oils are becoming more widely accepted, it is important to have a full understanding of how these products work in your dog. 

 

This guide will walk you through how to use CBD for dogs, from the science behind how it works and how much to give your pet to how long the effects last. Check it out! 

How does CBD affect your dog’s body? 

The way that CBD and cannabis provide benefits to both animals and humans has to do with one complex system in the body: the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

 

Dogs and the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is found in all mammals and helps regulate a number of functions and processes in the body such as digestion, mobility, mood, neurological and immune system responses, and sleep cycles. 

 

There are three main components to the endocannabinoid system: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. Long story short: the endocannabinoids bind to receptors in order to signal that the entire system needs to take action. 

 

This is important because the ECS communicates with cannabinoid receptors using the endocannabinoids that it produces naturally. However, the buzz around CBD has to do with the fact that the ECS can also stimulate communication through external compounds, such as plant cannabinoids, known as phytocannabinoids. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one such phytocannabinoid found in the hemp plant.

 

A deeper dive into the endocannabinoid system will show you that different cannabinoid receptors are associated with different systems in the body. 

 

So what does this mean for your dog? Ultimately, CBD can provide your pup’s endocannabinoid system with additional compounds to use and carry out functions that help address different normal processes. 

 

For this reason, CBD is a great supplement to give your dog for:

 

  • Supporting normal GI tract health 
  • Encouraging key digestive processes 
  • Providing peak immune system condition 
  • Helping with temporary joint discomfort and general joint health 
  • Maintaining healthy neurological function 
  • Supporting your dog’s mental health and performance 
  • Promotes a calm and relaxed demeanor 
  • Helping overcome temporary or situational anxieties
  • And more

 

These benefits can be delivered in a number of forms, which is why you often see so many different types of cannabis and CBD products for pets. At Canna Companion, our data-driven products are formulated to maintain your dog’s optimal health through CBD capsules and hemp oil.

The lasting effects of CBD oil in dogs? 

As you may know, your dog has a unique personality with quirks, likes and dislikes, preferences for foods, toys, and people, and more. In the same way, every dog and every breed is different – and all these factors may affect the length of time that CBD remains effective in your four-legged friend’s body. 

 

Here are some factors that will determine how long CBD lasts in your dog:

 

  • Weight   
  • Diet
  • Activity level
  • Metabolism
  • Duration of exposure to CBD 

 

Typically, it takes around 30 minutes for your pup to feel the full effects of an appropriate CBD oil quantity. After that, the effects last anywhere from four to twelve hours – again, depending on the above factors.

 

These varying factors are why determining the appropriate frequency and quantity of CBD for your dog will depend on the brand and product you select.

 

For instance, Canna Companion’s experienced team of scientists and veterinarians have carefully developed NASC Seal-stamped products that already take into account all of these factors. Using bracketing methodology, we analyzed a distinct pattern of data which we used to design our product administration recommendations for both our capsule line and CBD oil products.

 

With these labeled recommendations, finding the right amount of CBD for your dog becomes a lot less complicated and you can better observe the effectiveness of the products you use. 

 

| Related: How to Introduce CBD to Your Pets

 

Keep in mind that if you begin to notice the effects of CBD oil wearing off faster, it is a good idea to contact us or your veterinarian as simply slowly increasing the amount in your pet to maintain the same positive results may not be appropriate.

 

Furthermore, your method of delivery (i.e. a capsule versus an oil) will likely result in a change in how long the effects last.

Wondering if CBD is right for your dog? Talk to one of our licensed veterinarians.

As pup parents begin to increasingly adopt the usage of CBD oils for dogs, it becomes more important to learn about the proper amount, frequency, and effectiveness so you can provide your furry friends with the best possible care and keep their tail wagging all day long.

 

Although there are many factors that affect how long the effects of CBD oil last in dogs, a range of four to twelve hours is typical based on the size and weight of your pet. Seeking out trustworthy brands and products is key to your pup’s overall wellbeing. 

 

As always, it is important to always speak to a veterinarian prior to starting any new supplementation routine, including CBD oil, to make sure it’s a good fit for your dog’s routine. Canna Companion offers free consultations with our licensed veterinarians so you can discover if CBD oils are the right choice for your dog. 

How to Introduce CBD to Your Pets

According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. From cats and dogs to birds and horses, we know that your pet is part of your family – and you would do anything to keep them healthy and happy. 

As more and more families consider plant-based remedies for their pet worries, CBD has come to the forefront of the race. While CBD product research is limited on the veterinarian front compared to available human studies, many have used CBD products for pets to support a healthier lifestyle.

The question that remains is: 

How do I safely introduce CBD to my pets?

Pets can be more sensitive to cannabis compared to humans. Knowing precisely how much CBD you are giving your pet is important when determining their supplement schedule so you can avoid overdosing your four-legged friend. 

The amount of CBD you give your pet should be based on the species (i.e. cat vs dog) and size of your pet. Dogs metabolize plant-based compounds faster than cats, and generally need administration twice a day for capsules and three times daily-administration for oils. Cats typically take CBD capsules once daily and oils two times a day. Do also keep in mind that sometimes, sensitive pets are able to take less while realizing the same benefits as others. 

Will CBD get my pet high?

Cannabidiol found in cannabis pet supplements is typically sourced from hemp, which is a variation of the cannabis plant. Hemp naturally contains extremely low concentrations of THC, which is the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis products that produce a ‘high’. 

In other words, no. CBD supplements are non-psychoactive and therefore may be used on pets.

How much CBD do I give my pet?

Recommended CBD administration guidelines tend to vary slightly as you switch products, as pet CBD products are manufactured differently from brand to brand. This is because CBD is known to have the quickest and strongest effect when administered in the presence of other compounds (called the entourage effect). Therefore CBD-only products versus products that balance CBD:THC also have different administration recommendations. It will also depend heavily on your pet’s weight and the way their body functions. 

For instance, Canna Companion has accommodated special requests for a number of animals beyond the typical household pets, such as birds, skunks, alligators, etc. The recommended amounts for these animals need to be modified and monitored to promote better overall health. 

That is why Canna Companion’s licensed veterinarians custom-developed our products via bracketing methodology. We analyzed thousands of patients to observe a distinct pattern corresponding largely to weight. Using this data, we designed our product administration recommendations for both our capsule line and hemp oil products. This means that using our guidelines, you will gain a solid understanding of where to begin CBD administration for your pet. 

CBD products for your pets’ specific needs

Canna Companion intentionally created a living database of exploration in this area to confirm our veterinarian expertise. Therefore, our products are created with your pets’ specific needs in mind, which is why many veterinarians and pet parents around the country use our products. 

If you have any questions or concerns about CBD administration for your pet, Canna Companion offers free consultations with our licensed veterinarians.

Hemp Oil for Dogs: 8 Things You Should Know Before Buying

Girl walking her dog in a fieldIf you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably heard about hemp oil. Maybe you’ve even looked into purchasing some to improve your pup’s quality of life. But given the massive number of conflicting articles and claims made on the internet, where on earth can you start looking for reliable, science-based information? Is hemp oil even good for dogs? 

We’ve got the answers. Canna Companion is a leader in cannabis science and education. Our team is made up of veterinary experts who are dedicated to dispelling false information and sharing the potential benefits of this natural resource. So today, let’s talk about hemp oil for dogs: is it safe, and what should you know before you buy?

1. High-Quality Hemp Oil Is Safe for Dogs

Canna Companion whole plant hemp oilThe first thing you should consider before making any changes to your pet’s diet or daily routine is safety. So, is hemp oil safe for dogs? The answer is yes—so long as you choose a product specifically formulated for pets.

Marijuana products made for medical or recreational use are not appropriate for pets. They may contain unregulated or unspecified ratios of CBD to THC, which can cause distress and other adverse reactions in your dog. An overdose of these products can leave your pet dizzy and unable to walk or eat until the effects fade. 

Hemp-based products made just for pets, on the other hand, contain specific ratios of chemical compounds, which enables animals to enjoy the benefits of hemp while minimizing the dangers of marijuana products.

Here are just some of the benefits of hemp oil for dogs:

2. It Won’t Get Your Dog High

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychotropic compound that produces a feeling of euphoria or “highness.” This compound is present in marijuana products. CBD, or cannabidiol, is non-psychotropic, meaning that it conveys the benefits of the cannabis plant without the adverse effects associated with marijuana. 

As we mentioned, hemp oil for dogs is produced with carefully-controlled ratios of CBD to THC. The amount of THC in these products is extremely minimal, meaning that properly formulated hemp oil will not get your dog high. Canna Companion’s Whole Plant Hemp Oil, for example, contains an amount of THC well below the threshold where a dog might experience a euphoric effect.

3. Not All Hemp Oil for Dogs Is Created Equal

That being said, not all hemp oil for dogs is the same. Some CBD products are considered “single compound,” meaning that they’re formulated with a cannabinoid and terpenoid profile mostly made up of one major compound. This type of product prevents animals from enjoying the full benefits of CBD and can even throw off the entire endocannabinoid system when administered over a lengthy period.

Instead of single compound CBD products, you should look for “whole plant” or “full spectrum” formulations, such as Canna Companion’s Whole Plant Hemp Oil. Full spectrum products utilize the full range of cannabinoids and terpenoids, resulting in more effective support to the endocannabinoid system. These products should have a Certificate of Analysis available for you to ensure that the hemp oil for dogs you’ve chosen is in compliance with current hemp definitions and regulations.

4. It Can Help With Anxiety

Hearing your dog cry when you leave the house is heartbreaking for you but can actually be damaging for them. It’s perfectly normal for your dog to experience a certain level of anxiety—humans do too, and it’s a natural part of life. But when that anxiety becomes overblown, and the symptoms begin affecting your dog’s quality of life, it’s important to address the situation. That might mean minimizing the situational stressor that’s causing the behavior; fireworks, thunderstorms, car rides, and changes to a daily routine are all common causes of situational anxiety.

If you’ve already done your best to minimize your dog’s exposure to these stressors, hemp oil can provide further comfort. The substance can calm the mind and soothe the body, allowing your dog to be more relaxed and comfortable in the face of a big move or an exciting training session.

5. It’s Great for Senior Dogs

Getting old isn’t easy for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult to watch a beloved pet go grey in the muzzle or stop wanting to go for long walks. Fortunately, hemp oil for dogs can ease the transition into old age and beyond. 

Senior canines often experience issues like a weakened immune system, separation anxiety, and stiffness from normal daily activities. You may want to consider introducing a high-quality hemp oil made specifically for dogs to help encourage a calm demeanor, ease the discomfort that comes from regular exercise, and support a functioning immune system. 

6. Hemp Oil Dosage Depends on the Size of Your Dog

What’s the correct dosage of hemp oil for dogs? There’s no exact answer, but it typically depends on the size and breed of your dog, as well as their unique needs and how their endocannabinoid system responds. Dogs can normally enjoy the benefits of CBD oil by ingesting .1mLs of our Whole Plant Hemp Oil for every 10 lbs., two to three times a day. We also recommend administering hemp oil for dogs during or just after feeding time in order to minimize the risk of GI upset.

Again, the exact hemp oil for dogs dosage should be determined by your canine’s needs. If you’re having trouble figuring out the right amount for your dog and believe he may need more or less than the recommended amount, consider reaching out to a veterinarian for additional insight. 

7. Oil Formulations May Be Easier to Administer Than CBD Capsules

You may be wondering what the difference is between hemp oil for dogs and CBD capsules. To begin, these options will have unique CBD to THC ratios and terpenoid profiles. Oil formulations have 3.5:1-5.5:1 CBD to THC ratios. In contrast, Canna Companion’s regular strength CBD capsules are formulated with a ratio of 3:1-4:1, and our extra strength capsules are 5:1-6:1. The correct choice will depend on the unique needs of your canine.

In addition to ratios of CBD to THC, ease of use should also factor into your decision. If your dog has trouble swallowing pills or manages to find and spit out every capsule you try to sneak into his food, hemp oil may be easier to administer. It’s also a better choice for canines who need more immediate support for their endocannabinoid system.

8. We’re Still Uncovering the Full Benefits of Hemp Oil for Dogs

Researchers have spent decades studying the effects of CBD on the body—and we still have yet to uncover the full potential of this resource. In fact, the cannabis plant contains an enormous variety of chemical compounds, and we’ve only discovered 545 so far!

Cannabis science is an immensely promising field, and we’re looking forward to further expanding our knowledge of the cannabis plant and its compounds in the years to come. In the meantime, your canine companion can benefit from a whole host of known effects, including support for her immune system, joints, demeanor, GI tract, and neurological system.

Your Pup Deserves the Best: Choose High-Quality Hemp Oil for Dogs

As you can see, hemp oil for dogs offers a wide range of supportive health benefits; but it’s crucial to choose a product you can trust. After all, your dog depends on you to care for them and keep them healthy, happy, and comfortable. Canna Companion’s Whole Plant Hemp Oil for dogs is formulated with a carefully-controlled ratio of CBD to THC, ensuring that it’s not only beneficial but also safe for your dog to consume. 

Have more questions about hemp oil for dogs? We would love to hear from you. We’d also be happy to set up a complimentary consultation with a licensed veterinary professional who can advise you on your dog’s unique needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.

What Does CBD Do for Dogs?

Here at Canna Companion, we understand full well how important your canine is to your family. Your dog is a constant source of entertainment, joy, comfort and unconditional love, which is why it’s imperative to protect his or her mental and physical well-being through supplementation. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly challenging to determine the best ways to do so, especially considering the fact that there are thousands of dog health supplements on the market. How are you supposed to research and understand the effects of these products, let alone decide on the ones which will suit the needs of your lovable four-legged family member? In this blog, we’ll be helping you to sift through your list of options by discussing the uses and benefits of pet supplements that utilize CBD (cannabidiol).

Understanding the Benefits of CBD for Dogs

CBD is one of the many active cannabinoids found in cannabis. This extraordinary chemical compound is found throughout the cannabis plant in its natural state, cannabidiolic acid (CBD-A.) All types of CBD are phytocannabinoids, one of 111 compounds unique to the cannabis plant. Moreover, biologically active compounds like CBD have been proven to demonstrate a number of physiologic and pharmacologic effects on multiple mammalian tissues by supporting the endocannabinoid system (ECS), resulting in a variety of invaluable health and behavioral benefits. Put simply, with the help of high-quality cannabis products for pets, your pet’s endocannabinoid system gains unrivaled support for their GI tract, immune system, mobility, joint health, neurological systems and more, maintaining their overall quality of life.

When paired with other active cannabinoids, CBD can also produce the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect results when the cannabis plant’s major phytocannabinoids and other components are permitted to synergize with each other, creating an increase in health benefits and a decrease in adverse effect.  Cannabinoids combine with terpenes and flavonoids to produce complex molecules which the ECC (your pet’s natural cannabis receptor system) then utilizes to activate receptors throughout the body. The liver plays an important role as well in that each pass these compounds make, a slightly different molecule is made which supports the ECS in its own unique way.  These larger molecules allow for smaller amounts of the individual compounds which lessens adverse reaction risks, while still allowing your pet to reap the health benefits of the cannabis plant.

Are CBD Products Safe for Dogs?

Regrettably, not all cannabis products are designed with the well-being of our animal companions in mind. In fact, because marijuana products contain high concentrations of the psychotropic compound known as THC, they can lead to several negative effects for pets, including low blood pressures, anxiety, aggression, incontinence, an inability to walk, extreme lethargy, excessive pacing and more. Considering how distressing these adverse conditions are, it’s no surprise some pet parents are hesitant to invest in cannabis products due to concerns for their companion’s safety. However, it’s important to remember that animal-friendly cannabis supplements use hemp as the base ingredient, a variant of Cannabis sativa which is more appropriate for pets because of its low levels of THC. Consequently, hemp products have all of the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids without subjecting your pet to large quantities of THC, effectively preventing them from feeling high or stoned.

Bear in mind overdoses can still occur when using hemp-based pet supplements,and can cause your pet to become extremely sedate, develop diarrhea, and other short-term symptoms. Cannabis dosages are largely unregulated, meaning that even if you purchase hemp supplements for your dog, they may contain ratios of CBD:THC which are not ideal for your canine’s system. To exacerbate matters, many companies  in the industry do not provide Certificate of Analyses, 3rd party test results which prove a company’s claims.  This can make it difficult to determine how much of the beneficial substance you are giving to your pet. Because most pets are significantly smaller in size than humans, it’s important to know exactly how much you’re giving them in each serving to avoid instances of overdose. That’s why we highly recommend choosing a hemp supplement provider with clear and regulated administration guidelines. After all, the safety of your dog is too important to leave to chance.

Canna Companion’s Industry-Leading Administration Guidelines

Canna Companion works with a team of licensed veterinarians to guarantee each and every supplement we produce meets our strict quality standards. Thanks to our tireless commitment to safety, transparency and clarity for customers, veterinarians and pet parents around the country use Canna Companion to take the guesswork and risk out of administering hemp to canines. Our hemp supplements are carefully measured and crafted, ensuring a standardized amount per capsule every time. Moreover, our user-friendly dosage recommendations take the unique weight, size and conditions of your pet into consideration to guarantee your dog receives the perfect levels of CBD, THC, terpenes and other compounds naturally found in hemp seed and mature stalks to achieve optimal health.

Choosing the Best CBD Supplement for Your Dog

Now that you have a basic understanding of how CBD and hemp supplements can benefit your canine, all you need to do is decide on which cannabis products will provide the most value for your dog. We recommend consulting with your veterinarian before starting your canine on any new form of medication or supplementation. These experts in the field of animal health can give you detailed information on your dog’s specific needs and help you determine which products will work best for them. Remember, your veterinarian should be your first source of advice and counsel when it comes to the health and wellness of your pet. Together, you’ll find a high-quality product that offers your pet all of the support he or she needs to stay happy and healthy for many years to come.

Canna Companion Benefits

Canna Companion is a unique blend of hemp that is specially designed to enhance the health benefits of cannabis while negating the adverse effects of all compounds, including CBD. As we mentioned earlier, each capsule contains multiple cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, which boost the benefits of CBD and other natural compounds within the plant while reducing the adverse effects of THC. Our supplements can be used to help support and maintain your canine’s overall quality of life, all while adhering to the ever-changing legal landscape. Here are some of the specific benefits that Canna Companion may provide your pet:

GI Tract Support

Canna Companion can be used to support normal GI tract health and function by supporting key digestive processes.

Immunity

Your dog’s immune system is his or her first line of defense and our hemp supplements help to support the immune system, a great boon for owners who want to keep their dogs in peak condition at all times.

Mobility and Joint Support

Normal daily exercise and activities can cause discomfort in dogs, especially once their joints begin to degrade as part of the normal aging process. Canna Companion supplements mitigate this by helping with joint discomfort and supporting general joint health in dogs of all ages.

Neurology

Canna Companion can be used to maintain healthy neurological function, supporting your dog’s mental health and performance.

Comfort and Care

Canna Companion can be used to assist in “end of life” comfort and care.

Demeanor

Canna Companion encourages a calm and relaxed demeanor in dogs, helping them to overcome temporary and/or situational anxieties.

Contact Canna Companion Today

Be sure to call or message Canna Companion if you’re interested in purchasing Canna Companion for your dog. You can also reach out to us if you want to learn more about our high-quality hemp supplements and how they can be used to maintain the well-being of your dog. We pride ourselves in offering exceptional customer support and are more than happy to provide you with any additional information or resources you need to care for your companion.

ECS Series: Neurological System

When CBD first became the buzz word, many had never heard of an endocannabinoid system (ECS), let alone how important it is for the normal development of the nervous system. And while the medical community has learned volumes regarding exactly how the ECS interacts with and modulates neurological tissues, passing that complex information to pet parents … well, it’s left folks scratching their heads. Today we’re going to simplify things so you have an understanding of just how important a healthy endocannabinoid system is to the well-being of your pet’s nervous system. 

Let’s start with what makes up a nervous system in cats and dogs. Hint: it’s the same cells, tissues, and organs which make up the nervous system in humans … just like the ECS. The nervous system is made up of two main parts based on location: central and peripheral. The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system (PNS) encompasses all other parts of the body. 

Image from FourLeg.com

 

Central Nervous System

The brain has three main sections, each with its own special functions but not isolated from others. Cerebral tissues govern conscious decisions; the brainstem hosts nerve centers which oversee most of the critical life functions; and cerebellar input controls movement and balance. 

Within the cerebrum, nerve cells (neurons) transmit information via action potentials – electrical impulses which must meet a certain milli voltage threshold before messages jump to the next cell. Signalling for action potentials, whether initiation or cessation, is performed by neurotransmitters like endocannabinoids. If too low, no information is passed at all or is rerouted to nearby neurons which are capable of continuing the action potential. This happens all the time as part normal neurological functions. It can also occur after traumatic injuries, stroke, and other serious neurological imbalances. Sometimes those same imbalances can cause an action potential to be too high or continue too long, contributing to imbalances like seizures, insomnia and anxiety (runaway thoughts especially). 

The brainstem controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Bodily functions like breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, and whether one is awake or sleepy. No, cats do not have a more developed brainstem which tells them to sleep 24/7; that’s their prey drive telling them to save as much energy as possible. When hunting, cats usually miss their targeted meal 7/10 times … that’s a lot of energy use and sleeping helps their body remain ever ready for an opportunistic chance to pounce. When balanced, the brainstem functions normally in the background, a part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Thankfully, imbalances are not common as they are often life-threatening. 

Cerebellar functions are markedly pronounced in cats when compared to dogs and humans. This is why they often land easily on their feet after catching birds, an adaptation that increases their chance of survival both from a meal perspective and in escaping injuries. It’s not foolproof and gravity affects us all when 10 stories high, so consider screening in balconies for safe outside time. When balanced, the cerebellum allows dogs and cats to navigate the world with more agility and us mere humans. When unbalanced, conditions like cerebellar hypoplasia occur, a congenital malformation in kittens whose mothers contracted certain viruses while pregnant. Despite the condition being permanent, CH cats often have very healthy long lives … and are adorable in their awkward playing

Frederico happily posing for the camera.

 

Spinal cord functions can best be described as a multilevel highway whereby certain information is transmitted in different anatomical locations. Like the brain, the spinal cord contains both white & gray matter, though the white matter of spinal cords is peripheral, whereas the brain’s white matter is centrally located. This makes sense when we consider white matter contains relatively few cell bodies and is composed mostly of long-range myelinated axons, a type of neuron which can speed electrical information across relatively long distances. 

In the spinal cord, peripheral white matter neurons are responsible for proprioception, the ability for dogs and cats to place their feet without conscious thought. Try this: with your dog standing quietly on solid ground, gently lift a front paw and place it furred sided down. Your dog will immediately turn it over so that his pads are ground-facing. A little deeper into the spinal cord’s white matter we find motor skill neuronal transmission. Simply put, information on this level allows your cat to make those amazing leaps straight up to catch birds, bugs and feather toys. The next level allows the body to recognize and respond to mild sensory stimuli, allowing dogs and cats to avoid thorny ground and similar pinprick like sensations.The deepest layer of spinal cord white matter transmits deep pain, that which really hurts, like traumatic injuries or severe soft tissue damage. Centrally located, spinal cord gray matter is the workhorse, transmitting all kinds of data between the body and brain.

From Today’s Veterinary Practice

Peripheral Nervous System

Neurons found within the PNS transmit both sensory and motor input, much like neurons do in the CNS. In this case, motor information directs muscle movement in tissues like the heart, intestines and skeletal muscles. Sensory input helps determine things like when to stop eating (stretch receptors in the stomach), when to use the litter box (stretch receptors within the bladder), and when to roll over during solar charging (temperature sensors within the skin). While it’s the CNS which tells the body to perform these tasks, it is the PNS which informs the brain of the stimuli, and the spinal cord which carries the information. The PNS is highly flexible and imbalance in any one area can often be compensated for elsewhere. For example, if your dog sustained an injury which severed a peripheral nerve in his paw, he may have areas of insensitivity … but nearby sensory and motor nerves are likely to take over allowing for a normal gait. 

 

Endocannabinoid-Neurological System

No, there’s not actually a system named that but the integration is so deep that it might as well be called such. Endocannabinoids and their plant-based counterparts (phytocannabinoids) like CBD, function as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and immunomodulators. In addition, the entire ECS integrates with a variety of other receptor systems, modulating their functions in order to maintain healthful homeostasis. Other neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, glutamate & gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are directly or indirectly modulated by the ECS. While this process is complex, the effects can be simplistic and drastic. 

 

Via influx of compounds like CBD & THC, cannabis receptors are able to calm action potentials attributed to imbalances within any tissue containing neurons. In other words, all tissues within the body are modulated by the ECS. This means a healthy, well-supported ECS is able to quickly cause peripheral vasodilation, bronchodilation and release of compounds which are soothing, all during times of anxiety. In addition, balanced cannabis receptors are vital in helping the brain’s action potentials remain healthy, working with the body when action potentials become too great. In order to help them remain balanced, supplementation with ratioed hemp supplementation is important as CBD only products only address a part of the complex system. 

I know we’ve covered a lot today, but I hope you are left with a better understanding of the nervous system and how the ECS supports its normal functions. Furthermore, providing the ECS with balanced compounds it can use wherever chemical messengers signal, can help your pet remain in top shape for years to come. We’ll see you next time when we discuss the ECS and behavioral responses. 

 

ECS Series: GI Tract & Immune Support

Trust is no small thing and it’s sometimes hard to know who to trust when it comes to your pets’ health care. Your dog is a member of your family, and your cat allows you to be a member of hers. As family members, our cats and dogs hold special places in our lives, so we want to be extra careful when choosing supplement companies. We are humbled to have your trust that Canna Companion products are grounded in science and made with love, providing the best hemp pet supplement for your family member. 

Today we’re continuing our discussion on how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps the body remain balanced, specifically within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and immune system. Did you know 70% of the immune system is found in the GI tract, and that the ECS is integral to the normal development of GI tract motility? In addition, the balance the ECS always strives for has significant homeostatic effects on the immune system. Supporting the normal functions of that system with hemp supplements, a healthy diet and regular exercise, ensures your pet remains balanced and happy. 

The Immune System

The immune system, like the endocannabinoid system, is quite complex in action, yet simplistic in function. And like the ECS, the immune system functions relatively the same between species. Immune systems aim to protect the body from all things and do this by incorporating three key types of immunity: physical barriers (skin, mucous membranes), innate immunity (certain white blood cells and their responses which are present at birth) and adaptive immunity (responses based on exposure to threats, whether perceived or real). They enlist the help of chemical messengers (interleukins), entire cell lines (immunoglobulins, white blood cells), and organs (spleen, thymus, GI tract) in order to protect the body from harm. When harm does occur, these same helpers go into overdrive, helping the body return to a healthful homeostasis.  

Adaptive immunity is perhaps the most familiar aspect of the immune system as it deals with microbial exposure, which triggers a cascade of cellular events starting with chemical messenger release and culminating in memory cell formation. Interleukins alert the body that an invader is present, while memory cells help the body mount an appropriate immune response should exposure occur in the future. It is during this process that antibodies are made, either via vaccination or actual exposure to microbes.

When balanced, this system may produce mild fevers and malaise as the body defends itself with adaptive immune responses, a very active process. If unbalanced, responses from initial or subsequent exposure can be inappropriate relative to the inciting factor. Allergic responses are an example of an unbalanced state, whereas mild fevers in kittens during their first exposure to common upper respiratory tract viruses indicate a balanced healthy immune response. 

Innate immunity is essentially the inflammatory responses which help the body repair minor damage like bruising and lacerations, and their associated mild/superficial infections. Inflammation ensures delivery of white blood cells specializing in eating or otherwise destroying invaders and dead tissues. When your puppy barrels around the corner, playing chase with your human child, and catches his hip on the hallway corner, innate immunity immediately goes into effect. Interleukins again alert the body something is awry and the acute inflammatory cascade is triggered, bringing white blood cells which can repair the damaged tissue. The process is clearly visible in the form of a large bruise which fades over time. This too can become unbalanced though there are often a variety of causative factors which result in runaway inflammation (and are beyond the scope of this discussion).

Physical barriers are arguably the most important aspect of the immune system as they are the first line of defense. They are also the largest aspect of the immune system covering the body inside and out. Externally our pets rely on fur and skin, and even ocular tissues like the cornea, to physically protect deeper, more delicate tissues. Internally mucous membranes cover all non-furred areas, offering both a physical layer and an antibody rich liquid covering (mucus) which sheds potential invaders while bathing them in defensive cells.

In addition, commensal microbes make up a large portion of physical barriers, greatly contributing to the overall immune system’s appropriate response. They challenge the immune system on a regular basis, keeping it on it’s toes and ready to respond to more aggressive threats. Lastly, commensal microbes compete for valuable housing space, preventing harmful organisms (pathogens) from colonizing and causing disease.   

 

Gastrointestinal Tract

It is both the liquid covering (mucosa) and commensal organisms (microbiota making up the microbiome) that greatly contribute to the immune system. But the gastrointestinal tract has a few more tricks up its sleeve which makes it the workhorse of the immune system: digestive enzymes which can be lethal to pathogens, extremely large surface area (more than the skin) and highly muscular “tubes” designed to expel toxins quickly (when needed). The GI tract begins in the oral cavity, extends into the stomach and small & large intestines, then into the rectum and finally anal tissues. Along the way, the neurological system is deeply involved, as are the spleen (reservoir for many immune cells) and the gallbladder and pancreas (digestive enzyme excreters). 

Tying It All Together

Now that we understand a bit about how the immune system works, and how the GI tract is included in that system, let’s bring things back around to the ECS. A healthy, normally functioning endocannabinoid system is necessary for the normal functions of the GI tract. It accomplishes this task primarily via modulation of nerves at various stages and junctions throughout the body, including mucosal cells and blood vessels. That modulation occurs via cytokines, chemical messengers like interleukins. 

We’ve learned that interleukins are involved in all aspects of the immune system, serving as an alert system that something is unbalanced, or signaling the all clear – balance is restored. The ECS is also listening to those same interleukins and responds via down or upregulation of cannabis receptors in those areas, whatever the body needs to maintain balance. It does this via alterations in intracellular and extracellular concentrations of compounds like CBD & THC at receptor sites. When in balance, receptors are better able to respond to interleukins and thus to the needs of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system. Supporting the endocannabinoid system with similarly balanced supplements, provides the body all it needs for healthful homeostasis. That support translates into more quality time with your favorite lap warmer or running enthusiast. 

Thank you again for placing your trust in Canna Companion. We continue our ECS Series with the neurological system, the foundation for all ECS actions.

ECS Series: Joint Support

When it comes to the health of your pets, you want them to have the best food, medical care, toys, bed, treats, supplements … the best, period. We believe the only way for you to determine what exactly is ‘the best’ is through education. How can you choose from all the products on the market; which one is best for your beloved furry friend?

These questions are especially true when considering hemp supplements. In an exploding market during uncertain times, everyone seems to have an opinion, but those opinions, while well intended, may not be rooted in fact. In our Endocannabinoid System series, we’ll provide the facts about how hemp can support the body in a variety of ways, beginning with the system’s normal functions and how that relates to mobility during injury (short term support) and the normal aging process (long term support). 

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

By now you’ve probably heard cats and dogs, like humans, have a receptor system which responds to cannabis administration, called the endocannabinoid system. That response can be positive (reduced anxiety during times of high stress) or negative (overdose of single compounds like CBD and THC), and the difference is sometimes a complex thing incorporating individual response, relationships between compounds, health status, route of administration, dose of compounds, and more. But at its core, the ECS is a simplistic receptor system whose sole purpose is to maintain healthful homeostasis within the body.  

Researchers have known for some time the ECS is integral to normal development of nervous tissues from embryo to adulthood, and it performs such actions via DNA-directed chemical release at key times during cell differentiation, division and migration. In short, genes signal protein development within cells, essentially waiving chemical ‘flags’ in front of cannabis receptors to get their attention. Depending on the type of flag being waived, the cannabis receptor responds in a number of ways, all with the express goal of normalising that one cell. Applied all over the body, the ECS helps the body develop a normally functioning nervous system, including nerves which integrate with muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joint tissues. 

 

The Normal Joint

Joints develop during embryonic stages and continue until physical maturity, about 2 yrs of age for most cats and dogs. The structure of joints is made up of a variety of tissues including bone, cartilage, joint fluid, ligaments, tendons, and the connective and muscular tissues surrounding them. Each tissue has specific uses and limitations. For example, ligaments are designed to be somewhat flexible for normal range of motion, but are limited in that capacity so they can support the heavy bones on either side of the joint capsule. Inside the protective joint capsule are compounds (synovia) and tissues (cartilage) which provide lubrication for normal range of motion. Via the same chemical messaging system as above, the ECS helps direct and is directed by the cells within these tissues so that joints grow and develop normally, including changes found in healthy senior dogs and cats. 

The Normal Senior Joint

Nothing can stop the aging process, but having an understanding of what’s going on can allow you to better support your pets’ aging joints, allowing your older cat or dog to maintain healthy range of motion during all stages of life. Normal daily activities, which differ greatly among species, place stress on all aspects of the joint. Twisting motions of chasing agile prey (toys) test the limits of ligament flexibility, and jumping onto / off of surfaces places significant impact on bones, cartilage and joint fluid. Over time, and as genes are less able to instruct bodily repairs, ligaments become less flexible, cartilage thins and joint fluid lessens, making the joint overall less mobile. Does this mean no more feather toys for your small lioness or that you should forgo agility classes for your Border Collie? Definitely not! The benefits of gentle and sustained exercise over a lifetime far outweigh any negative impacts on aging joints; this is especially true when combined with a healthy diet and ideal body condition score

 

The ECS & Normal Aging Joints

Let’s recap what we’ve learned today: the ECS is vital to normal development; the ECS responds to the body via chemical signals; normal joints have tissues supporting flexibility and strength; and older joints have less flexibility and less cushioning ability during impact. In order to respond to the body’s ever-changing needs, the ECS must remain highly adaptable and has developed the ability to make and activate receptors within a short period of time (< 72 hr in most cases). Up/down regulation is not a new concept in veterinary medicine as many receptor systems do this. However, what is especially adaptive regarding the ECS is its ability to up and down regulate using both internal signaling and externally administered compounds. 

We know there are cannabis receptors within joint tissues, not just from current research, but from a developmental perspective as well. Because the ECS is required for normal nervous tissue, and nerves integrate with other tissues like bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, there must be cannabis receptors within those tissues. Receptors listen and respond to chemical signaling from cells found within and around joints, helping it maintain normal flexion and extension motions. Whenever an imbalance is found within the joint, like a temporary knee sprain, the ECS will upregulate receptors until balance is restored, then downregulate so it doesn’t waste resources. Long term, however, the ECS simply cannot keep up with upregulation signals without external support. 

It’s all about balance.

Supplements providing multiple compounds from which the ECS can choose, are often more beneficial than single only ones. This is due to the complex nature of the ECS and how it serves as a homeostatic receptor system in the body. Simply put, its job is to maintain balance, and it cannot do so unless it too is balanced. In this case, cannabis receptors appear balanced when the primary endocannabinoids (anandamide & 2-AG) or their external phytocannabinoid counterparts (THC & CBD), are also in balance.  Currently it appears ratios of 1:1 – 10:1 provide the ECS with compounds which allow maintenance of normal functions without unbalancing itself. Furthermore, because we want to avoid dysphoria (“high” from THC) and liver value elevation (from excess CBD), ratios CBD:THC 3:1-7:1 are preferable in cats and dogs. Using small amounts of both compounds also allows for lower doses, lessening the risk of minor adverse effects like mild sedation and soft stool. 

How does this apply to long term ECS support and normal aging joints? If we want to offer the best support possible so that it can better maintain joint homeostasis, we need to provide compounds in ratios and amounts the ECS can use without unbalancing itself. Signaling from normal older joints occurs more frequently and with more “oomph” than in normal adult joints, putting more strain on the ECS internal reserves. Less flexible ligaments send signals indicating a less balanced state and the ECS responds, encouraging more normal joint mobility as a result. The same happens with worn cartilage and the signals it sends out, and with all other joint-related tissues. When you administer a low dose, multicompound, CBD-rich external source of phytocannabinoids, the ECS can more quickly respond to joints, and you can rest assured your beloved senior friend can chase her prey and run his trial in comfort for a bit longer. 

 

We look forward to continuing your ECS education in our next segment: GI Tract and Immune System Support.

Pet Guardianship Responsibility

When I was in college, I called my roommate one day to let her know I was on my way back from my weekend visit at home and to ask her to pick up some kitten food. “We have cat food,” she replied. I repeated my request and she said, “What have you done?” What I had done was to pick up a kitten out of a feral colony that lived in the neighborhood. She was from a litter of only two, her sibling had died, and her mom was sick. I was sure I could handle this. There are a lot of things that you should consider before adding a new animal to your household. I considered precisely none of these when I first brought Foxfire home.

Over a decade later, when I brought Tori home, it was after over a year of research into whether I was able to provide a household appropriate for her needs. Among the things that I learned during that time was the fact that the most common reason corgis are surrendered to shelters is behavior. People often get corgis because they’re cute and they give no thought to the fact that they are high energy, stubborn, herding dogs. When things don’t work out, everyone is unhappy, including the animal who is frequently surrendered or rehomed. Today we’re going to discuss some of the many things that you should look into and prepare for before you welcome a new pet into your life.

Tori modeled for our Extra Strength Medium Dog packaging.

 

Different animals have vastly different needs, but they all need veterinary care. If you already have animals in your house, consider speaking to the veterinarian you take them to for information on introducing a new pet to the household, but also what type of pet might fit well with the ones you already have. If not, ask any friends or family in the area who they take their pets to. Find out if they are taking new patients, then schedule a tour to get a feel for the place and people. Make sure that you consider how you will pay for the veterinary care for your new addition. Veterinary insurance is widely available with many different types of plans that can help you cover costs. Consider setting up a savings account to pay for any routine care, accidents, or illness.

Cats and dogs have social needs. If you aren’t at home for long stretches of time, it’s important to ensure those are met. Many places have daycare for dogs where there is a controlled environment for them to interact with other dogs. This will also help with their need for exercise. If you are getting a cat and don’t already have other animals at home, consider adopting two together so that they have a companion. Tech is also providing us with a growing number of ways to interact with our animals even when we are away. Cameras allow you to watch your pets, but now some of them also allow you to speak with them, offer them treats, or even activate toys with play routines that actively learn what your pet’s preferences are.

Another critical thing to consider is what temperament you are looking for in a companion animal. If you want someone to keep you company while you’re reading all day long, consider adding an older cat or dog to your household. Whereas, if you’re looking for a running buddy, a puppy and a high energy breed might make more sense. And be sure to check with their veterinarian about how to safely train a dog to run with you. If you have children, you may want to avoid herders, since they can have a tendency to nip. There are so many different pets who need homes, ensure that you’re getting one who fits with the pace and style of yours.

Chihuahuas like Allie Lou prefer plenty of warm place to snuggle.

The floorplan of your home, the amount of time you have available, and even the local weather are all things that you need to take into account. Food, exercise, access to litter boxes or yards, all of these are things that you should take the time to review before bringing a new pet home. Some breeds don’t tolerate cold climates well and will need sweaters and warming beds. Some have high grooming needs and will require a lot of time, money, or both to keep them comfortable. If you have your heart set on a specific breed, talk to other people who own them (either in person or online) and see what it’s like. And take that information into account when deciding if they are, in fact, a good fit for your life.

 

Animals enrich our lives in so many ways. We owe it to them to consider their needs and whether we are prepared to meet them before we make the decision to bring them home. Doing this research in advance can ensure that you and your companion have a long, healthy, happy time together.

Monty, a Belgian Malinois, is happiest after a long day on the trail.

First Aid Tips for Dogs

 

First Aid is important knowledge for any pet parent to have. It is particularly critical during times where there is a lot going on, such as the holiday season. There are numerous changes to routines animals face during this time: out of town guests, travel, inclimate weather, and more. Any of these can pose a threat to their well-being and emotional state, whether it is via food they shouldn’t eat, stress from air travel, or a paw sliced open on ice. 

The best thing we can do to protect our canine companions in these circumstances is to be prepared. There are really only two steps to canine first aid preparedness: know the basics & consider additional circumstances.  The basics are pretty easy, if a bit detailed.  

 

Medical Information

Have the contact information for your regular veterinarian and for the closest emergency vet clinic posted in an easy to find place, and placed in an outer pocket or luggage tag in your dog’s first aid kit.  Include hospital name, regular doctor’s name, phone number, and physical & website addresses. On the other side of this paper, have your dog’s information.  Be specific and include name, age or date of birth, breed, sex, known conditions or special handling needs, and medication/supplement list.  It’s also a good idea to download the Red Cross’s app, so you have quick access to first aid information for your dog.  

 

First Aid Kit

The main portion of first aid kit should contain a minimum of 3 days worth of basic supplies: collapsible food & water dishes, food & favorite treats, unopened bottle of water, and security item(s) like favorite blanket or toy.  For you preppers, check out doggie bug out bags; you can buy one ready-made though it’s ideal to tailor one for your dog’s specific needs.  

Packed and labeled in a smaller container, include items like medications, supplements, rescue therapies, unopened bottle of artificial tears or small bottle of unopened contact lens solution (both great for gently washing debris from eyes and wounds).  Some medications may harm your dog if stopped without tapering. Examples include anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, and GI or immune-modulation medications. Drugs like antibiotics, antacids, and prescription eye/ear medications should also be in the first aid kit, but a missed dose is unlikely to cause serious problems.  

 

Good supplements to have are those which serve multiple purposes so you don’t have to pack a ton of them.  Here are our favorites and why; remember to pick ones you know historically help you dog, and change them up as her health care needs change.

  • Hemp supplement: the endocannabinoid (ECS) excels at helping manage temporary stressors.  When your dog has need of first aid, her ECS is in high gear and will happily utilize compounds from hemp products.  This is one case where hemp oil is preferred as it absorbs quickly and repeat administration is easy; if your dog is already taking capsules, it is okay to administer hemp oil on top of her normal regimen.  
  • Essential oil blend or kit: terpenes found in many essential oils, like lavender oil, can be quite helpful in calming your dog and assisting her immune system in wound management.  You can place a drop on her collar or bedding for aromatherapy, and around the edges of a wound for immune system support. Warning! Make sure you choose essential oil brands which source responsibly and extract safely.  Here are some resources if you want to learn more: First Aid with Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy (great to have in a first aid kit) and Animal Desk Reference II (very detailed). 
  • TCVM or other herbal blend supplements: if your dog takes such supplements, make sure to pack them.  Contact your holistic or integrative doctor regarding any first aid herbal blends they recommend and have those on hand too. If your dog isn’t seeing an integrative doctor yet, the AHVMA is a place to start the search.     

 

Lastly, and also in a separate labeled container, have all wound care products, including nitrile gloves for you.  Your dog’s veterinarian may have a list of recommended items, or you can create your own. If you make your own, pack just enough to protect open wounds until you reach the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.  Items to consider: no stick pads, cling gauze, and paper tape. You may need someone to assist you during the wound cleaning process, as your dog may be in pain and can lash out.  

The basics of first aid wound care are thankfully simple.  With gloved hands, remove any loose large pieces of debris.  Next, rinse the area with contact lens solution, then apply anything your veterinarian recommends as directed, or lavender essential oil around the wound.  Start with the no stick pad placed over the wound, then bandage as shown here .  For non-limb wounds, you may need to hold a few no-stick pads in place if paper tape is too loose, or fit your dog with a snug (but not too tight!) T-shirt over the bandage.  Remember, your aim is to protect the lesion until you can get to a veterinary hospital.  

 

 

Now, let’s consider additional circumstances, where things like travel, guests and weather come into play.  If you’re traveling, look up nearby emergency veterinary hospitals and add them to the medical professional contact list.  Similarly, prepare for seasonal weather changes specific to the region in which you’ll be traveling. Always be sure that it is warm enough if you are taking your dog out for a walk. Cold winter weather comes with risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and wounds to paw pads among other things. You can help protect against these things by ensuring that your dog has a sweater or jacket if they are a short-haired breed, or one without in insulating double coat if thicker coated. Numerous companies sell booties or other paw pad protectors specially designed for snow and ice. 

Should your dog get too cold (body temperature is below 98.5° via rectal thermometer) or if you find a dog out in the cold weather, the key is to rewarm slowly. First, wrap them in a wool or fleece blanket or equivalent (hoodies work for small dogs), and then place heat packs or water bottles near them. Make sure these items, too, are wrapped in towels to protect from rewarming too quickly or burning their skin. And make sure to get your dog veterinary care as soon as possible.

Of course veterinary care should always follow first aid. Whenever possible, take notes on any care that was provided so you are able to inform your veterinarian of what treatment has been offered. While accidents cannot always be prevented, a little knowledge goes a long way toward keeping our pets safe and healthy.