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CBD oil for dogs, and maybe for me


A number of different people have been singing the praises of CBD oil for their dogs lately, so Mom decided that we should try it out on Cricket. Cricket is eleven and a half years old and has struggled with a reactive nervous system her whole life, and a tendency to back injuries over the past few years. The hope was that the CBD oil could help ease her pain and calm her down, maybe even make her less reactive to loud (or almost imperceptible) noises, and less likely to bark at random neighbors trying to enter or leave their apartments. We’ve tried Prozac and Neurontin and doggy Xanax in the past, without great results, so, I agreed that it was worth a shot. And they sell CBD oil at the local pet store, in bottles and baked into doggy cookies. I assumed that CBD oil, being made of hemp, would be the equivalent of marijuana, and require a prescription, but I did some research online and, supposedly, CBD oil has no THC, which is what gives Marijuana its psychoactive properties. That means you can even buy CBD oil on Amazon!


“I’m not grumpy!”

We bought a packet of CBD cookies at the pet store, because Mom got a recommendation for a specific brand from a friend. I was a little nervous about giving Cricket her first dose, because I’d been hearing stories about humans vomiting prolifically after a single unregulated dose of CBD oil, so I broke the cookie in half, and Ellie volunteered to eat the second half. I watched both dogs for the next few hours, more for signs of distress than expecting any great miracles right away, but there was no vomiting, and no seizures, and Cricket even smiled at me, though it’s really dry in the apartment with the heat up, and it’s possible that her lip just got stuck on her teeth. I refilled her water bowl, just in case. Both girls ate a lot of chicken after their CBD snacks, but it’s chicken, and they don’t need to have the munchies to make them overeat chicken. Ellie did go ahead and eat through the parchment paper the chicken had been baked on, but that’s also something she’s prone to do, without the excuse of drugs making her do it.


“Mmm. Chicken.”

The second day’s dose went similarly, without event, nothing negative and nothing specifically positive either. So for day three we decided to give Cricket half a dose in the morning and half in the afternoon (slathered with plenty of peanut butter, because once her sister was not sharing the treat anymore all of Cricket’s motivation to eat it disappeared). We finally gave her a whole treat on the fourth day, but the only noticeable result was a tiny bit more napping, which is hard to prove, since Cricket naps quite a lot as it is. We wondered if maybe the treats were the wrong form for her and we should try the oil tincture instead, but we put off a second trip to the pet food store, because, laziness.

The thing is, when I went to a new Rheumatologist this past fall, to see if there was some good alternative to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) I’ve been taking for ten years, which have been known to cause kidney damage, the doctor suggested CBD oil. At the time I said a polite no, because I assumed she meant medical marijuana, and that I’d need a prescription, and then I’d have to find one of the few dispensaries on Long Island, and then I’d end up hallucinating, and then eating the whole contents of the pantry in one sitting.

But a couple of days after Cricket’s CBD experiment, my own pain ratcheted up, and I saw the little bag of CBD dog treats sitting on top of the bookcase, abandoned, and decided to give it a try. I don’t generally feel tempted to eat dog food, and the first taste reminded me why: it did not taste good. Supposedly it was pumpkin flavored, but it didn’t taste like much of anything, except bitterness. I couldn’t force myself to finish it, so I shared the last few bites with the dogs, who looked up at me like, see what we have to put up with?


“We suffer so much.”

            I took a nap soon after, and woke up feeling better; I was even able to get some exercise done. I didn’t want to make a habit of eating dog treats, but when the pain kicked in again the next day I shared the last treat with the girls, took another nap, and woke up feeling like the world might not be ending, at least not right away. Mom, because she’s a reasonable and responsible adult, said that I should call and make an appointment with the Rheumatologist to get a prescription for CBD oil or the equivalent. But I hate going to doctors, and I have no patience, so I went on Amazon and ordered the nonprescription form of CBD oil for humans. I studiously avoided the edibles (gummy bears! brownies!). I have a hard enough time eating a single cookie as it is, if you hand me a bag of gummy bears and tell me to eat only one you’re basically sending me to the hospital. I also ordered a separate bottle of CBD oil for dogs, in case there’s a difference.


“We like Gummy Bears.”

We’ll see how it goes!

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out my Amazon page and consider ordering the Kindle or Paperback version (or both!) of Yeshiva Girl.

yeshiva girl cover

Yeshiva Girl is about a Jewish girl on Long Island named Izzy (short for Isabel). Her father has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with one of his students, which he denies, but Izzy implicitly believes that it’s true. Izzy’s father decides to send her to an Orthodox yeshiva for tenth grade, out of the blue, as if she’s the one who needs to be fixed. Izzy, in pain, smart, funny, and looking for people she can trust, finds that religious people are much more complicated than she had expected. Some, like her father, may use religion as a place to hide, but others search for and find comfort, and community, and even enlightenment.

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

93 responses »

  1. So many great moments in this piece, Rachel. One favorite: if you hand me a bag of gummy bears and tell me to eat only one you’re basically sending me to the hospital.
    And it ends with a cliff-hanger! CBD oil didn’t do much for the dogs when we tried it, but we’ve seen decent results with our human children. Takes time to discern among all the possibilities, as you know. I hope you and the kids get some help from it.

  2. wishing all the doggies
    restful ease!
    back in the day
    many of us experimented
    and found healing
    in that self medication 🙂

  3. I give Princess CBD oil, and I’ve been a consumer of medical marijuana for about 2 years. It’s the only thing I’ve found that is really effective for my arthritis pain. I swear by the stuff.

    Glad you have found something that helps you!

  4. I have pretty much avoided anything to do with this also figuring it was a deceptive way for big pharma to get us hooked on gateway drugs. Thanks for clarifying. I don’t need it but glad to know it really does do some good.

  5. That’s great that you and your pups are trying CBD oil. I have been using it a little over a year now and it helps me sleep when my neck pain acts up. I order from healthy hemp and they are a trusted company with many positive reviews. I have been wanting to write about CBD oil in my blog because of everything I’ve learned but wasn’t sure. I have so many things to say about it. The farm bill was just passed not long ago so it’s totally legal in all States now.

  6. You sprinkle a basically informative article with unexpected funnies so that
    I’m giggling all the way through—to say nothing of those spot-on photo captions. Always a good read. Hope you’re feeling better—and no more of the dog version of CBD or you’ll be barking along the way!

  7. If Cricket and Ellie give it two paws up, why would you not try it? Sounds like it is a very mild help for you and the pups. I so agree with Monica–your photo captions are always a riot, Rachel.

  8. I tried CDB for knee pain. Did nothing for me.

  9. A very trusted friend is a pharmacist and she says CBD oil is effective for pain and insomnia. She uses it herself and is getting some for me because she can order it from safe sources. I hope it works for you if you continue to experiment with it. Please keep us posted.

  10. I have a friend with severe constant back pain and started using the spray. She can’t stop raving about the amount of significant relief within a few days. Might be worth a try.

  11. Wow, I have to tell a friend about this. Thanks for writing! (Hope you feel great when your oil finally comes.)

  12. Well written, very funny! In the “we like gummy bears” picture I wanted to say: “You ARE gummy bears!” But only because they are so cute. Gummy bears don’t as a rule have that much fuzz on them, unless one escaped and ended up in the bottom of a purse.

    Hope CBD oil has good results for you!

    P.S. I am not ignoring your book — have neck pain that severely limits how much I can read (hmm… do I have CBD oil in my future?) and have to do a fair amount of reading to tutor my student. But still hope to, so keep the reminders coming! 🙂

  13. Let us know how it goes, I am debating whether to go the same route for my reactive dog, he has gotten better, but I am fairly sure the neighbours would like to enter their flat without the dog barking at them

  14. I don’t need it but it’s nice to know that there’s an option out there in case I do.

  15. My sister in KY uses CBD oil she buys from Amazon and swears it helps her pain. I intend on trying it as well for my back. Let me know if it works for you.

  16. My son who has chronic pain from injuries incurred in the service was telling me about using CBD oil. I think it comes in a vaporizer pen as well. Relief without the side effects or pharmacological issues of prescription drugs. I never considered that it could also be helpful for our pets. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Hope it all goes well for you and the girls. The product is new to me. Interested to see how it goes…

  18. I love that photo ‘we suffer so much’.

  19. Fingers crossed that the oil does you all some good.

  20. My stepson’s girlfriend is trying CBD oil to lessen the effects of Multiple Sclerosis. Early days yet, but we are hoping it helps her. Luckily, Ollie is not an anxious dog, so we won’t need to get him those treats. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  21. Good luck! I started giving Maggie glucosamine for her arthritis and saw results in a couple of months, so thought I’d try some for me, purchasing a larger dosage accordingly. It seems to be helping.

  22. My wife, who suffers from chronic pain in part due to psoriatic arthritis, takes CDB oil. It doesn’t remove all pain, but it keeps her off the more radical pain killer OxyContin. That, and water therapy exercise. And heat. Basically, she’s spent decades learning and adapting to control her pain. She doses with a dropper under her tongue along with pills.

    She does NOT take THC. She tried it just once and it caused a reaction akin to anaphylactic shock. It might have been the THC, and it might have been how it was compounded (i.e. the other materials used to compound the THC).

    Which leads to my final bit of advice. None of the CDB products are regulated, so if at all possible you need to ask a real professional (a doctor) in your area what they recommend. And if your area is like my area, that’s going to be tough. Doctor’s are notoriously conservative when it comes to the use of CDB and/or THC for pain control.

    In spite of all of that, my wife recommends it whole heartedly as long as approach its use in controlling pain with the realization it’s another tool for pain management, not some miracle cure.

  23. I’ve had two of my girls on CBD oil for some time now to help ease the pain and symptoms of hip displasia with good success. As you say CBD contains no THC. I know of other pet owners who use it for anxiety and epilepsy (Monica fro Tales Around The Ranch can tell you how much it has helped her Elsa). The other day we had loud thunder which usually puts my girls in distress and it didn’t even phase them I think due to the regular regimen of aCBD…. I encourage you to stick with it. The oils provide a better way to get a very targeted dose and it is faster acting than the edibles especially when given on an empty stomach. As for your chronic pain I have a friend who takes it regularly to ease his own back pain. Good luck; I hope it works out for your pups o
    And yourself.

  24. I’m so glad you overcame your hesitation to try CBD. As a huge proponent of CBD, I know first hand its benefits for treating reactive dogs, providing pain relief for both pets and humans, as well as other conditions (epileptic seizures and anxiety issues). I hope you continue finding relief for both Cricket and yourself but urge you to purchase only high quality CBD from ethical sources. Unfortunately there are far too many low quality products in the marketplace. If you have questions about its use, please feel to reach out. Continued good luck. As a side note, drops provide a more reliable delivery results over treats. All the best.

  25. This really made me laugh, especially the play about you eating dog cookies. A fellow blogger, Monika at lives in Denver and has recently opened an online store where you can buy high grade, locally sourced CBD oil. It’s important to know what you’re getting. And both you and the dogs can use it.

  26. This made me smile: “if you hand me a bag of gummy bears and tell me to eat only one you’re basically sending me to the hospital”. I’ll be curious to hear your results!

  27. i would have done the same as you. i actually try almost everything i give my animals. I try it on me first. I found my shampoo that way that works wonders on my hair.It is actually for horses. I use a hoof medicine for chapped lips. lol. I won’t risk my friends health without me knowing for sure. The thing about animal cookies versus human ones. The animal ones will probably have less toxic ingredients then what they ”allow” for humans. They will lack the high fructose corn syrups. The msg’s and other artificial things that negate the health effects of the cbd in the human version. . Don’t know if they have a food grade CBD versus non food grade. i would opt for food grade. though I don’t know much about it. I certainly would be willing to try it in your position.

    i love how happy your dogs are and how well you take care of them. They are happy souls. you can see it in their face and eyes. lucky dogs to have you for their friend!

  28. Interesting. I may talk to my doc about it for my arthritis.

  29. “I didn’t want to make a habit of eating dog treats” ^_^ best line ever.

  30. I hope you find something that works for you! I have a number of patients who use CBD oil to keep their pain at a tolerable level – since it does not have THC you can buy it even in areas where marijuana is not yet decriminalized. (A few others have told me marijuana is the only thing that works for their fibromyalgia or phantom limb pain with the fewest side effects, so I hope medical marijuana can become legally available more widely, soon.) Of course, everyone is different, so what works well for one person might not be effective at all for someone else. Good luck!

  31. Charlee: “Towards the end with Dennis, Mama and Dada were giving him CBD oil.”
    Chaplin: “They think it helped with his pain from the bone cancer and with the nausea from the IBD.”
    Charlee: “We hope it helps you guys!”

  32. You had me laughing out loud when you told me you ate a dog biscuit. I once had a bowl of cat kibble on the kitchen counter and a friend took a nibble thinking they were snacks…never again.

  33. My sister-in-law uses CBD oil to calm her cats when she has to put them in a carrier and take them somewhere and it works for her. As for eating dog cookies, the local pet store keeps a container of them at the cash register because lots of people shop there with their dogs. Some of them look like animal crackers. My two grandkids were eyeing them hungrily one day and when I said they were for dogs the cashier said they tasted quite good and she ate them sometimes so of course the kids had to try them – and they liked them. I would guess those have less sugar than animal crackers made for people, so better for the kids anyway.

  34. Our dogs get daily CBD doses, Rachel. They’re old girls with aches and pains. The effect isn’t huge, but it does seem to help – they can take the stairs a little easier. You’re right about no THC, so our pets aren’t getting high! We give them the CBD in liquid form – coconut flavor – dribbled on their dog food. They love it. My husband has back trouble, and he took a CBD tincture for a while, but we couldn’t really tell if it was helping since he was getting other kinds of treatment at the same time. Good luck to you and Cricket. 🙂

  35. Oh what cuties 🙂 Love the one with there mouth wide open..

  36. There are so many pluses to hemp — it is a fast growing plant that can be used to make paper, it can be used to make material for clothing, and it has medicinal properties. The only reason it has been so hard to get is because it’s much more effective and cheaper than pharmaceuticals. Let us know if the Amazon variety works. 🙂

  37. So, it was nice to see that you are giving your babies CBD. We sell CBD dog treats and i will say we have had customers try the cookie and have been told that they taste like banana muffins without the sugar.. so i was tickled but sorry to hear that they taste bitter. We use it for our big lab mix and it has done wonders for him .. For his itching, joint pain, anxiety, and just being an old dog.. He has changed and it is a blessing to see him moving around more.. as much as an old dog can.. and able to get up and down the stairs was just awesome. We started giving it to him by making cookies as he doesnt like the cbd oil by itself.. He cant get enough of the cookies.. so we said why dont we sell them and turn people away from prescription drugs like Prozac, xanex, etc that destroy their liver and have severe side effects.. and these pills are not cheap! We are a low income family wanting to spread the word about CBD. Would love to hear how your babies are doing.

  38. Haha, I love that you actually tried the dog treat! I certainly hope the human variety works for you.

  39. Having always had dogs with something of a nervous, highly strung disposition my trick to help them relax, settle and rest up well has been natural essential oils and music.

    Some dogs are more highly strung than others and obviously in a more severe case of anxiety and agitation it’s not always going to do the trick but with all of my dogs and even the horses, I’ve found lavender, mint, jasmine and rose together with gentle music and a few tea-light candles can work wonders.

    I buy good quality dried lavender, scoop a spoonful into a muslin pouch and hang somewhere so it’s out of reach but catches the draft from a window or door and gives a nice soft waft of lavender.

    Also use an oil burner with water and one drop of lavender or rose oil to give a very subtle scent.

    Even wash dog bedding, cushion / chair covers and the horse’s stable rugs with a couple of capfuls of Zoflora disinfectant thrown in. Gives a lovely fresh smell in your house and helps the doggos settle down.

    Dim the lights and put on a playlist of gentle music and they’re away all zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  40. I did some research on this. Make sure you get CBD oil and not hemp oil. Apparently hemp oil is made from stalks and does not have the same medicinal value as CBD which also contains oil from the flowers and leaves. I have used it on my dog Zeke for severe separation anxiety. It may have marginal benefits for him.


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