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As spring has sprung, puppy fever is spreading like this years flu. But unlike the deadly disease, puppy fever won’t leave you bedridden, just sick with puppy love.
With people packing the puppy park as the sunshine finally arrives, you surely don’t want to miss out on all the tail-wagging fun. And what better way to make a new addition to your family than to check out your local shelter.
Approximately 6.5 million companions are confined to shelters each and every year. Of those animals, some 1.5 million possible pets will be euthanized within the coming year. Although those numbers are down significantly from 2.6 million in 2011, no amount of tear-inducing Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials can bring any of these furry friends back.
This is where you, the hero in this story, step in to help. By providing a loving home to a once neglected animal, you are giving them a new lease on life; but no one said this would be easy. Many times sheltered animals have been neglected or abused and their instincts are simply reactionary. Sometime shelter pets are labeled as problem animals because owners do not put in the necessary time and training. It should be noted, this will not be easy.
But, there is definitive hope. For many skittish and stressed out animals, cannabidiol, or CBD, can be the perfect addition to help ease their new transition. A change of scenery can cause a stressed-out pup to lash out or act a bit stubborn, but do not lose hope! “While there are some differences in how cannabis affects pets compared to humans, they can benefit in many of the same ways as people do,” shared Dr. Gary Richter. Richter has been a veterinarian for 20 years in the California area and has seen “that there is enormous potential to treat medical conditions with cannabis.”
With that being said, most doctors recommend CBD over THC cannabis treatment as it provides all of the healthy benefits with none of psychoactive effects. Both humans and any animal with a spinal column possess what is called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is an intricate highway of receptors throughout the brain and body that help regulate many physiological processes such as mood, appetite, and cognitive functions. CBD works by mimicking the properties of these receptors to better regulate internal processes.
Even those that have been around animals for years are beginning to open up to the idea of cannabinoid treatments. Retired 37-year-old vet veteran, Robert Silver, was initially quite skeptical of CBD — which is derived and extracted from the hemp plant. “As I explored the phytopharmacological aspects of the plant, I fell in love with it,” said Silver. Silver has seen the miraculous effects of CBD firsthand: from seeing tumors shrink, to the reduction of epileptic seizures, to witnessing dogs be given CBD instead of prescription arthritis medication and them “do better than on NSAIDs.” (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which in it of itself sounds truly horrifying.)
Silver has quickly become a CBD advocate, especially after witnessing its healing effects. But, he is wary of the federal government doing anything to lift the ban on hemp production as “the DEA has put a hold on research by veterinarians making it very difficult for them to use even non-psychotropic hemp.”
But despite the man-behind-the-curtains attempt to keep Mother Nature’s all-natural healer out of our precious pups’ paws, out cries and barks of support continue to ring out.
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