You’ve got the PERFECT dog.
She could be black, chocolate or yellow, but either way I know for sure she loves the water, and is a huge part of your family.
But I’m guessing you’re concerned about her health, as Lab’s can suffer from a wide variety of health problems, including cancer, anxiety, hip dysplasia, arthritis, and more.
Luckily, CBD can help you manage many of the conditions your Lab might be dealing with.
Below I’ll explore some of these conditions and show you how CBD can help manage them.
I’ll also share my personal experience using CBD on Rosie, my Golden Retriever.
Labradors: A True Best Friend
Labradors are extremely popular dogs, especially in Canada, the US, and the UK.
As the name suggests, Labradors originate from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, CA.
Modern Labradors stem from St. John’s water dog and were bred, like other retrievers, to be hard-working and loyal companions.
They were often used by fisherman in the North Atlantic as work dogs to haul and fetch ropes from the water, as well as fish.
They are also prized hunters and often used to retrieve shot fowl.
Today, you’ll often see Labradors working as guide dogs or in screening/detection for law enforcement authorities.
Labradors have a short, dense, and water-resistant coat to prevent them from getting cold after having been in the water.
Labs can be either black, yellow, or chocolate in color, and have a gentle, loving, and even temperament.
They are often referred to as the “perfect family dog” thanks to their good behavior and tolerance of children and other animals.
In fact, Labradors are renowned for being really open and friendly even with strangers, which is why you won’t generally find them working as guard dogs.
Labs enjoy walking and playing, although they can also be lazy and have no problem relaxing by their owner’s side and having a snooze.
Common Conditions in Labradors
Labs tend to live for about 10-12 years.
They tend to have a strong, muscular, and heavy build, and are prone to developing a variety of health problems, especially as they get older.
Here’s a list of some conditions and illnesses commonly affecting Labradors:
- Joint problems (like hip, elbow, and shoulder dysplasia or patellar luxation)
- Muscular dystrophy
- Hot spots
- Itching and constant scratching
- Obesity and related conditions
- Anxiety and phobias
Most of these conditions are manageable when detected early by a seasoned vet.
Hence, make sure to take your dog for regular health checks to catch any of these problems early.
How Can CBD Help My Labrador?
CBD is a really powerful compound found in cannabis and hemp plants.
It is one of over 400 different chemicals found in these plants and has attracted a lot of attention for the potential health benefits it can bring to humans and animals.
Below I’ll show you how CBD works and how it can help you manage 2 conditions that typically affect this breed: cancer and anxiety/phobias.
Many Labradors suffer from cancer and anxiety, however your particular dog might have other health concerns.
How CBD Works
Just like you, your dog has an Endocannabinoid System (or ECS).
The ECS can produce its own cannabinoids and also mitigates the effects of plant-derived cannabinoids like CBD.
While we don’t completely understand the ECS yet, research shows that its a complex system involved in managing a variety of bodily processes, including:
- Fear, anxiety, and other emotions
… and much more.
The ECS is essentially made up of 2 kinds of receptors; CB1 and CB2.
CBD doesn’t directly stimulate these receptors but activates the endocannabinoid system in other, non-direct ways.
It is a non-psychoactive substance and produces no psychoactive “high” like that which we normally associate with cannabis.
In fact, research shows CBD can produce a wide variety of beneficial effects for both humans and other mammals, including:
- Pain relief
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Anti-anxiety effects
- Appetite stimulation and regulation
- Antiemetic effects
- Antitumor effects
How Can CBD Help Labradors With Cancer?
“Cancer” is one word we never want to hear come from the mouth of our vet.
When my dog Rosie was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, I was frozen in place.
And while we’re still a long way from a cure, new research has given us a variety of alternative ways to manage this condition.
And CBD is one of those alternatives.
A whole lot of recent research has looked into CBD and how it affects cancers and tumors.
They induced cancer in healthy colon cells using azoxymethane, a carcinogenic chemical used to induce cancer in these kinds of experiments.
They then treated the cancer with CBD and noticed that the cannabinoid had clear antitumor effects.
One of the earliest signs of colon cancer is the formation of aberrant crypt foci, clusters of abnormal cells in the lining of the colon and rectum, which usually form before polyps.
The researchers noted that CBD reduced the rates of aberrant crypt foci as well as the formation of polyps.
The also noted that CBD reversed the chemical changes induced by the azoxymethane and helped protect cells against the oxidative stress caused by the chemical.
The authors also wrote that CBD helped reduce cell proliferation, which usually increases as cancers form and further develop into tumors.
Studies have also noted that CBD is very successful at managing the symptoms of pain and chemotherapy.
In general, veterinary chemotherapy drugs are much better today than they were a few years ago, and cause far fewer side effects than human chemotherapy drugs.
Rosie, for example, handled chemo surprisingly well.
Like most healthy dogs, she’d get a little “under the weather” roughly 3 days after treatment, and seemed a little groggy and lethargic.
She also had some problems maintaining a healthy appetite during her treatment, which didn’t do her condition any favors and only made her lack of energy worse.
Nonetheless, she’d usually return to her normal self within 1-2 days.
And while Rosie handled chemo quite well, not all dogs respond the same way.
Some dogs are simply more sensitive to chemotherapy drugs and can suffer from more serious symptoms, such as:
- Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and other gastro-related symptoms.
- A drop in white blood cells, sometimes resulting in a vulnerable immune system.
- Hair loss. Some breeds are more susceptible to hair loss than others.
- In some extremely rare cases, chemotherapy drugs can cause skin irritations if they leak outside of the vein during injection.
- Neuropathic pain.
If your Labrador experiences these symptoms as a result of chemo, I highly recommend giving CBD a try.
Research shows that CBD is great for managing appetite problems, as well as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
CBD is also a powerful painkiller.
Remember, pain is a common symptom of cancer; as tumors grow and develop, they impair the overall functioning of our bodies and often cause either acute or chronic pain.
By helping your dog manage pain, CBD can directly improve his/her overall quality of life, which is worth gold, especially in their final years.
You can find more information on our CBD for dogs with cancer guide found here.
How Can CBD Help Labradors With Anxiety?
We often think of anxiety as a strictly human condition.
However, your Lab can experience anxiety just like you.
In fact, with Labradors being such loving and compassionate dogs, they’re also known to become very dependent on their owners for constant attention.
Hence, some Labs can end up taking up nasty habits like chewing or digging while they’re left alone or may get so excited when you get home that they urinate all over the floor when you walk through the door.
These symptoms are all signs of what vets will refer to as separation anxiety, and it’s extremely common in all kinds of dogs, including Labradors.
And, just like you can get anxious or nervous before a big work presentation or before boarding a plane, so can your Lab.
You might find that your dog is the sweetest, calmest creature in the world until you try to put a leash around their neck and take them for a walk, or until they get into the car.
Alternatively, you might find your dog can’t deal with thunderstorms, fireworks, or a big groups of people over at your house.
These are all forms of anxiety or phobias and are really common in all kinds of dogs.
Dog anxiety can have many causes and usually manifests itself in a few key symptoms, including:
- Whining or whimpering
- Dilated pupils
- Anti-social behavior (like moving away from other dogs or people)
- Displacement behavior (like yawning, lip licking, shaking)
Once your dog’s been diagnosed by your vet, they’ll come up with a treatment plan to help control the condition.
This will usually consist of behavioral training and, in severe cases, some kind of medication.
If your dog has to take anti-anxiety medication, they may suffer from some of the following adverse effects:
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Drowsiness, sleepiness, and sedation
- Affected learning and memory
- Increased urination
- Stomach upset
- Increased aggression and anxiety
If your dog suffers from these symptoms or doesn’t respond to medication, you may want to consider trying CBD.
There’s a great review of CBD and its role as an anti-anxiety medication published in the Neurotherapeutics journal.
The review explores a variety of papers on the topic of CBD and anxiety and discusses the findings of over 15 different studies on the topic.
Unfortunately, exactly how CBD reduces anxiety still isn’t clear.
Some research suggests it works similar to other anti-anxiety medications (like Prozac or Paxil) to temporarily block the absorption of serotonin and ultimately increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter responsible for managing our moods, social behavior, and emotions, and is a key target of therapies for depression, anxiety, and other related conditions.
Research also shows that CBD might help promote the growth of healthy brain cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain believed to be a key target for depression and anxiety treatments.
Are Other Labradors Having Success With CBD?
You’re probably reading this and thinking:
“This all sounds good, but are people actually using CBD on their dogs and having success?”
Well, the answer is yes.
Dog owners all around the world are using CBD to help their dogs with all kinds of symptoms and conditions.
Like me, many dog owners whose dogs suffer from cancer use CBD to improve their pet’s quality of life and relieve some of the adverse effects of chemo.
Others use CBD to help their dogs deal with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases and treat the pain associated with these conditions.
Dog owners also use CBD to treat anxiety, skin conditions, or allergies.
Trying CBD With Your Lab
If you’re looking to try CBD with your dog, I highly recommend using King Kanine’s CBD line.
Available in oil, treats, balms, and sprays, these CBD products helped my dog Rosie and thousands of others manage all kinds of symptoms and conditions.
Best of all, these products are all 100% safe, reliable, and easy to dose.
To find out more about my experience with King Kanine, check out my review of their products here.