To CBD or not to CBD – Dog Edition

I have the best dogs – you can disagree with me, but I am right.

Long before we ever adopted Dale we of course had Jack. You can read Jack’s whole life story here, but in summary Jack has arthritis in both elbows and most likely either pinched nerves or arthritis in his hips. Go, Jack!

Jack has been dealing with pain since he was about two years old and occasionally would need to take medications to reduce inflammation and in turn reducing pain. When Dillon and I moved to our new house we had Jack and noticed decreased mobility and several days a week he would have difficulty getting up and down. Although, I like to imagine I live in a world where my first born never ages, I am aware that I do live in said world and have to deal with these issues appropriately. I have never really been comfortable giving him pharmaceuticals not only because I am a hippy that uses modern medicine daily to keep myself alive but would rather always seek holistic measures first but also because man made drugs are toxic on dog’s kidneys and livers – much more harsh and quicker to cause damage than in humans.

There is a local pet supply store that we take Jack to for bathes. They have a cute little station that has washtubs on stands so you don’t have to get into a tub with your dog to bathe them. The store supplies everything you need to wash your dog and charges a reasonable fee. I buy way too many treats there. One afternoon when I was busy buying way too many treats I saw they carried CBD treats and oils. I was intrigued enough to ask about them and that is really where this story starts. Sorry that you had to read 3 paragraphs to get to the point – welcome to reading blogs, hello! I am going to give a full review of the two brands we have tried over the last several months – if you have a dog – with or without health issues I encourage you to continue reading.

Pet Releaf Review

I bought a brand of treats called Pet Releaf – you can check out their website here. I bought a large bag of banana flavored treats. Based on the bag’s recommendations Jack would need to eat 3 treats per day for a total of 12-15mg of CBD per day. Now, I say a range because the bag is not precise – there is not an exact count of how many treats you receive but rather a weight or grams and a statement that each bag contains a total of 150mg of CBD. We calculated that a bag would last about 2 weeks if he were to take a full dose daily. Below is exactly what we bought:

Proof we bought them!!

Jack ate them – no review on flavor because he is a dog and will eat anything – obviously they taste great. Can’t say or write the word “great” lately without thinking in my head I’m saying it just like the President. Great.

Now, Jack was …. different. He was not stoned … remember this is not THC – it’s CBD – which does have a calming effect but it doesn’t get a dog or anyone else high or out of their right mind. Please remember that judgy grandmas of the world. I can say that because one of my grandma’s already uses CBD – she’s cool. Jack seemed to have just all around better demeanor to him and it’s hard to describe when he isn’t your dog, right? He didn’t seem anxious or needy all the time and I say that with love because he is 300% a mama’s boy and giant baby. He was the only dog in the house, he did not like being left alone – who would? Yet, after about 3 days of eating the treats daily he just seemed relaxed – chill. He didn’t mind staying home while we were at work – I spied on him daily on our cameras and he was just cool as a cucumber – he never did awful at home but you could tell he was agitated and it would take him an hour or two to get comfortable – after CBD it was instant. Now, the real kicker. Jack’s improved chillness was great and all but we didn’t buy CBD with the intent to help with his little anxiety or any behavioral issues – he’s always been a great dog, but rather we bought CBD in order to help with his pain and discomfort. About a week after Jack started taking CBD I stepped outside to watch him play ball with Dillon and I nearly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Jack could run. Yes, he’s always been able to physically run, but he hopped almost like a rabbit, and it was clear as day to anyone that observed him something about him and the run wasn’t normal. In fact I had not seen Jack run like since before his surgery which was 6 years ago. I’m not exaggerating – most people haven’t been around Jack his whole life so they wouldn’t understand my pure joy of witnessing this dog running for the first time in several years. At that very moment I believed. I believed all the hype. I also, being me, knew I needed to more research to make sure he was taking the best brand.

After a few hours of research and talking to the same super sweet staff at our local pet supply store we bought an actual CBD oil under the brand Charlotte’s Web, and you can also review their website here – ps. they also make treats for humans!

We bought an oil with 17mg of CBD per serving and Jack gets half a serving with each meal. We bought this oil because it was definitely a higher quality than the previous treats, tested more, removed chemicals, and just a cleaner product all around. Dillon also broke out that is was more cost effective at $60 for a bottle, but the bottle would last two months – where the previous treats were $27.99 but only a two week supply. Below is the product we bought and use.

Proof that we bought it!

Now, I won’t lead you on and tell you that this product was DRASTICALLY different than the previous treats. We do notice a difference if he misses a dose now that he has been taking CBD for more than 2 months, but one product to the other we saw no difference. Now, this may be because we never had an intermission period between both products as we never went into buying CBD with the long term thought process of writing this post – that was never the intent.

So which one do we like more? Jack eats both – so from a dog perspective your pup will eat and enjoy either one. If you have a really picky pup the oil might be best as it mixes right into the dog’s food.

Price point – Same.
Pet Releaf – $58/month
Charlotte’s Web – $60/month

Now, the price point really gets into how often or how much your dog ends up using. The treats we did give Jack the full daily serving as that was when we saw the CBD truly working(12-15mg), but with the oil he only gets 1 full serving (17mg) per day, but the bottle instructs 2 full servings twice per day – the bottle for us ends up lasting about 6 full weeks – drastically cheaper than the treats, but I wanted to break down the prices as if you would give a FULL serving every day and how much you would ideally need. Personally, I feel better about the oil – it is better quality, can be mixed into food, and for us it is the better cost. The treats are great though if you do not have a dog that would need CBD everyday. If you have a pup that has anxiety around fireworks, the vet, bath time, etc – treats are perfect because you can use them when you need them and a bag would probably last you a long time. The oil is not as function as I don’t think most dogs would just eat oil out of a pump you would still have to mix it or put it on a spoon etc, and for a once in a great while item $60 can seem unreasonable. Now, right around the time I was doing this comparison Jack did need a refill and we adopted Dale so I have ordered Charlotte’s Web Calming Oil. It’s the same oil as above but with additional calming effects – they are running a special for a bundle where you get treats and oil. I am hoping to introduce Dale to CBD and the treats will be perfect. Dale has some anxiety when it is nail trimming time and he did break his paw as an infant and I think arthritis is already setting in – treats will be perfect for Dale on the rare occasion he needs some de-stressing in his life!

Now, I know most would not want to spend this kind of money on their dogs and I totally get that, but I also imagine that if you don’t care about animals the way I do you never would have made it to the end of this post. For Jack CBD has truly been a life saver. I could cry thinking about it, because I truly stand behind the fact that it has changed his life for the better. Jack seems happy and pain free – the pain free piece even with surgery and assistance from vets I never thought I would be able to give him. The CBD takes away his pain. A life with no pain is a happy life. No animal or human being deserves to live in pain so as a dog mom, as a fellow pain advocate, and as a decent human being I am going to do what is best for my dogs. Let me know if you try either of these products! We truly enjoyed them both – one brand just worked best for our dogs and life style!

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