CBD for Working Dogs
Perhaps no other canine population needs CBD more than working dogs.
This will be an ongoing series, as the different types of working dogs and the jobs that they perform are probably much greater than most people think.
There are many different jobs for working dogs, and some are more hazardous and mentally trying than others. I would be intellectually dishonest if I didn’t address each job’s individual hazards.
For now, let’s take a look at the three main reasons why working dogs should be on a high quality CBD product.
Physical Recovery (long hours, injuries, exertion, sleep)
Mental Recovery (long hours, combat, anxiety, PTSD)
Cardiovascular benefits (cardiovascular disease is the #2 killer of dogs)
If CBD can help working canines with these issues, it will help keep dogs in the working field longer, and involve less turnover/retirement for dogs in both critical roles and in high stress jobs.
Being a working dog can be one of the most physically demanding jobs on the planet. From running down and fighting armed suspects, to catching and holding wild boars that may outweigh them by over 300 lbs, to traversing mountain sides in subzero temperatures to look for lost people in the wilderness, working dogs to it all.
All of this can take a great toll on the body. From injuries sustained from hostiles/suspects, to injuries from wild animals, to pushing the body to the limit for long distance treks through inhospitable lands.
Inflammation runs rampant in the body when it is pushed or seriously injured.
CBD has been shown to combat inflammation (Burstein, 2014).
This will help speed along the healing process, and decrease the chance of wear and tear from job related activities which can cause a serious or long lasting injury if they go unchecked (Ribeiro et al., 2012).
CBD can also help dogs recover faster by getting better sleep (Chagas et al., 2016).
Sleep is the single greatest restorative activity any mammal can partake in (nih.gov).
According to Dr. Walter F. Burghardt Jr., the head chief of behavioral medicine at the Daniel E. Holland Military Working Dog Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base has stated that dogs can indeed suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Dao, 2011).
According to several canine health and behavior experts such as Dr. Karen Becker, search and rescue dogs fell into a deep depression when working the site of the World Trade Center attack in 2011 (Becker, 2011).
Also working long hours does take it’s toll on the not just a working dog’s body, but their mind as well (Rooney, Gaines, & Hiby, 2009).
While many people can empathize with dogs, research shows that dogs can empathize with people (Jones & Josephs, 2006; Silva & de Sousa, 2011).
They also pick up on their handler’s emotions and tend to respond in kind (which is why working dog handlers should also be on a high quality CBD product) (Jones & Josephs, 2006; Rooney, Gaines, & Hiby, 2009).
Performance anxiety is also something that exists with working dogs (Kato, Miyaji, Ohtani, Ohta, 2012). The pressure of the job and being able to perform certain arduous tasks does take it’s toll on our canine companions.
Cardiovascular disease is the #2 killer of dogs (Bonagura et al., 2009), and according to several experts, it’s also one of the main reasons why working dogs are retiring at an earlier and earlier age.
CBD has been shown to help cardiovascular function by reducing the effects of oxidative stress, reducing the impact nitric oxide, reducing inflammation, reducing cell death, and reducing fibrosis (Rajesh et al., 2010).
As previously mentioned, certain working dog careers are extremely taxing on the body due to physical exertion.
Having a healthy supplement which has wondrous heart health benefits can be a literal life saver, as unfortunately working dogs dying on the job is a somewhat regular occurrence in several fields.
It’s time for the owners of working dogs, working dog handlers, and working dog partners to take a serious look at how they are helping their canine companions recover from job related stress. Unfortunately the stresses of these jobs are not going to go away anytime soon. But we can listen to what dozens, if not hundreds of scientists have found to be a possible treatment aid.
Looking at CBD’s physical recovery effects, mental recovery effects, and its cardiovascular benefits, CBD can help our working canine companions have a longer, happier, and healthier career.