If your dog isn’t getting hemp oil, he’s missing out. …
Hemp oil belongs in the diet of most dogs. And I’ll give you 6 good reasons why.
But first, let’s first be clear about what I mean when I say hemp oil is good for dogs:
Hemp vs CBD
People often say hemp oil when they mean CBD … and it’s easy to get confused.
So what’s the difference?
CBD and hemp oil both come from the hemp plant. It’s also called Cannabis sativa or industrial hemp.
But there are two different parts of the hemp plant, both with different purposes.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil comes from from the stalks, leaves, and buds of the hemp plant.
It’s used to manage pain, inflammation, anxiety, seizures and even cancer.
Hemp (or hempseed) oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant.
While CBD is more “medicinal” in its uses, hemp oil has a ton of nutritional benefits.
Let’s take a closer look at how hemp oil can help your dog …
#1 Hemp Contains Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
Hemp oil is rich in Gamma-Linolenic Acid (or GLA), an important fatty acid.
Here a few health benefits of GLA:
GLA Fights Joint Pain
According to a study in The Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology … GLA in hemp seeds reduced arthritis symptoms by 25%. The improvement with placebo was only 4%.
Hemp has the perfect balance of fatty acids to reduce inflammation. I’ll talk more about this later when we get into omega-3s …
GLA Improves Skin And Coat And Helps With Allergies
GLA can help manage allergies and skin problems.
- A 2005 study showed GLA improved clinical symptoms of atopic dermatitis in humans.
- GLA helps moisturize the skin … meaning suppler skin and a smoother coat for your dog.
- GLA penetrates the inner layers of the skin to promote healthy cell growth. (There’s a reason they use hemp seed in cosmetics and soaps.)
GLA Supports Healthy Weight And Metabolism
GLA can activate fat-burning … so it can rev up your dog’s energy levels.
And by increasing the brain chemical serotonin, it helps your dog feel full faster.
GLA Fights Cancer
A 2006 study reported that GLA-rich diets boost immune function.
Plus GLA stimulates apoptosis (cancer cell death) … and it can stop some types of tumors from growing.
GLA reduces chronic inflammation in your dog. Chronic inflammation leads to cell damage and a weakened immune system. (More on inflammation coming up.)
GLA can also minimize the side effects of conventional cancer drugs.
#2 Hemp Is Rich In Omega-3 Fats
In fact … hemp oil contains the perfect 3:1 ratio of omega-6 (linoleic acid) to omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) fatty acids.
Remember I said I’d get back to inflammation? Here’s how it works …
Omega-6 and omega-3 fats work together to control inflammation in the body. So it’s important to balance these fats.
- Too much omega-6 turns on the hormones that raise inflammation
- Too much omega-3 can cause immune dysfunction
Why would you want inflammation?
Because it’s how the body heals from injury or disease. Omega-6 fats increase inflammation to help the body recover.
But long term inflammation isn’t a good thing. When it’s chronic, it can lead to chronic health issues, like:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Heart disease
- Liver or kidney disease
Fortunately, omega-3s help control chronic inflammation in the body.
So adding hemp oil to your dog’s diet can help prevent these diseases.
Omega-3 fats also benefit the eyes, brain, skin, heart, bone, joints and immune system. They promote good blood flow and improve organ function.
[Related: Omega-3 For Dogs: The Ultimate Guide]
#3 Hemp Is Loaded With Antioxidants
Hemp oil contains vitamin E and vitamin A (carotene).
These are antioxidants that help the immune system by fighting free radical damage.
Free radicals happen when your dog absorbs toxins … from things like vaccines, drugs, chemicals, pesticides, processed foods and pollution.
The build-up of free radicals is called oxidative stress. It builds up like rust in your dog’s body and damages his cells, proteins, and DNA.
But antioxidants help keep free radicals under control and prevent the disease and premature aging they can cause.
Antioxidants also increase natural killer cells in your dog’s immune system … which helps your dog fight disease.
Vitamin E can also benefit your dog’s skin, eyes, heart, cognitive function, and immune system. And vitamin A supports immunity, eyes, skin and can help prevent urinary stones and fight cancer.
#4 Hemp Contains Phospholipids
Phospholipids are molecules that form part of the outer membrane of cells in the body. They help the cell maintain its internal structure and environment … called homeostasis.
A 2012 study in Germany looked at the effects of dietary phospholipids and found they help:
- Manage inflammation and arthritis pain
- Reduce gastric acid
- Inhibit tumor growth in cancer
- Lower cardiovascular disease risks
- Improve cognitive disorders and brain health
- Boost immune function
- Repair liver damage
So adding phospholipids to your dog’s diet is a healthy idea.
#5 Hemp Is Rich In Minerals
One of the main benefits of hemp oil is its minerals and trace minerals.
This is important because most dogs are deficient in trace minerals!
Here are some examples of minerals that are commonly missing in dogs (and the problems it can cause):
- Copper deficiency
- Bone and joint disease
- Poor coat color
- Ligament and tendon issues
- Manganese deficiency
- Reproductive issues
- Skin and hair abnormalities
- Bond and joint development issues
- Selenium deficiency
- Low immunity
- Muscle cramping
- Low stress tolerance
- Iron deficiency
- Poor growth
- Zinc deficiency
- Fertility issues
- Bone and joint problems
- Decreased healing of wounds
Hemp is rich in most trace minerals … but fish oil is devoid of these critical nutrients.
#6 Hemp Oil Is Safer Than Fish Oil
There are no reported side effects from using hemp oil for dogs. That’s something you can’t say about fish oil. And that’s because …
Hemp Is Stable
Fish oil is processed with heat. This makes the fat unstable. It can turn rancid very easily … and rancid oil can cause inflammation in your dog.
Since one of the main reasons to give dogs fish oil is to manage inflammation … that’s a problem!
Hemp oil is cold-pressed, making it more stable than fish oil. So it’s less likely to oxidize or become rancid.
But you should still refrigerate your hemp oil because all oils will turn rancid.
Hemp Can Be Grown Without Pesticides
Organic hemp oil is grown without pesticides or other toxins. And hemp has a long root system, which not only delivers its minerals, but helps regenerate healthy soil.
But fish oil can contain mercury, radiation and other contaminants.
Hemp Oil Is Sustainable
Sustainability is also a major concern with fish oil. Using fish oil removes a food source for ocean animals.
But hemp is a sustainable crop. It’s easy to grow in many different climates and soil types. There’s a reason they say it grows like a weed!
But hemp oil isn’t for all dogs or all diets …
When NOT To Use Hemp Oil For Dogs
Hemp oil with chicken and other poultry is a bad combination. So if you feed your dog mainly poultry, you’ll want to avoid hemp oil.
That’s because both hemp and poultry are high in polyunsaturated fats. So giving both makes the fats in your dog’s diet unbalanced.
So when you feed chicken, use flaxseed oil or give whole, oily fish like sardines or mackerel instead. They’ll help round out the fats in your dog’s diet.
But it’s great to use hemp oil when you feed ruminant meats like beef, bison, lamb, goat, or venison … or if you combine ruminant with poultry.[Related: 5 Reasons To Dump Your Dog’s Fish Oil]
How Much Hemp Oil Do I Give My Dog?
If you’re feeding beef or other ruminants, here’s how much hemp oil to give your dog:
- Under 20 lbs: 1 teaspoon once or twice daily
- 21-50 lbs: 2 teaspoons once or twice daily
- Over 51 lbs: 1 tablespoon once or twice daily
One word of caution: if you cook for your dog-don’t cook with hemp oil. It’s unstable at high temperatures and heat can make it toxic.
So … add the oil after cooking!
Cannabis sativa actually means “useful hemp” in Latin.
Try adding some to your dog’s diet today. You’ll find out why this ancient superfood is making such a huge comeback!