Heidi and CBD (Part Two)

 Is it legal to give your dog CBD oil?

A 2018 farm bill made the widespread farming of hemp legal, in turn making hemp-derived CBD legal nearly everywhere in the US (not to be confused with marijuana-derived CBD, which is much more of a murky subject and depends on your state’s medical marijuana stance)

 That said, the 2018 farm bill that legalized hemp did not legalize veterinarians prescribing CBD to pets. They can recommend it, but no official prescriptions can be written.

Pet owners aren’t discouraged by the lack of guidance, though:  According to an online survey done across the Veterinary Information Network, two-thirds of participating vets said that patients ask them about cannabis for their pets at least once a month.

If you see a site that sells oil for people and animals, you may be wondering what the difference is. Trick question: There’s typically no difference. Flavoring, added ingredients like fish oil or different dosage suggestions may set the pet oil apart from the regular oil, but the base product is generally identical.

How much CBD should dogs have? There are no FDA-regulated dosages for dogs taking CB, but no adverse effects of giving a dog “too much” CBD have been found.

The general belief is that orally is the quickest method for dogs. For animals with strict diets, who will notice something extra being put in their food, oil can also be absorbed through the dog’s inner ear or the gums. Dogs can also lick oil right from the dropper itself, or right off of your hand.  

Weight is currently the main deciding factor when determining how much CBD a dog should have Recommendations vary by who you talk to, but the general idea seems to be 1-5 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight.

 Min Lee, the president of brand development at Honest Paws says a 75-pound German shepherd suffering from severe hip dysplasia would typically require a more concentrated delivery method (ie high-potency oil) than a 10-pound poodle who has anxiety. In the poodle example, edible CBD treats should be enough. Of course, small dogs could have a list of serious problems and big dogs could have a single mild one — the rule is simply to start small and note the dosage where you see changes in behavior.

CBD isn’t a fix-all for your dog’s pain or anxiety and doesn’t eliminate the need for vet visits, but it’s exciting to see customers gushing about it helping their dog.

Here’s what to keep in mind while you shop: Choose a site that sells a variety of dosages

This will make it easy to test out what works for your dog, and will be especially helpful if you’re buying for dogs of different sizes.

Some pet oil will be flavored and some won’t be. If your dog is picky reviews can tell you if other people’s pets liked the oil.

 To ensure that you’re buying a quality hemp product with less than 3 percent THC, the site should have ingredients and third-party lab results posted (or at the least, offer QR codes on each product) Bonus if you see CO2 extraction listed — that’s the gold standard purification process. Bigger dogs will likely require higher daily dosages than smaller dogs, and higher-potency oils are more expensive.

Have you given CBD to your pets?  I’d like to know.  How have they reacted? Please leave a comment below.

Heidi and CBD

My six year old basset hound Heidi has separation anxiety. Five months ago she also hurt her back.  Our vet prescribed Rimadal for inflammation and pain.  Yes, it worked, but I didn’t want to keep Heidi on the drug indefinitely. I decided to do some research into CBD. Heidi has been taking the CBD oil now for three months. She takes it easily from the eye dropper that came with the oil.  The CBD has done wonders for her back….no more Rimadal, and her separation anxiety has improved also. I also plan to use it for the upcoming 4th of July festivities.

 First of all…THC/CBD edibles and additives are not necessarily FDA-approved Despite the fact that CBD is suddenly everywhere, the knowledge gap still isn’t closing as fast as new products are coming to the market.

Dogs can freak out— fireworks, thunderstorms, and even their vet can all trigger episodes.  And if it’s a rescue dog or a puppy, then it’s probably all of these things. It’s a fur baby fact. Or perhaps your dog is actually a very brave soul, but has been slowed down by an illness, arthritis, or simply from being 100 years old in people years.

Regardless of the problem, watching your dog get anxious, scared, or be in pain is nothing short of heartbreaking. Folks like me, looking for alternatives and are turning to things like CBD oil. Owners of dogs, cats, horses, and even bunnies have written positively about the effects of CBD on their furry families.

There hasn’t been much peer-reviewed research done about the effects of CBD on dogs. Numerous studies are currently underway, but for now, most of what we have to go on are other people’s experiences. Luckily, there’s no shortage of obsessive dog moms and dads raving to the internet about CBD.

 Mashable surveyed more than 2,000 US consumers via Google Surveys in January and found 17 percent said they give their dog CBD, while 19 percent of people have tried CBD for themselves, and 40 percent of people would only give it to their dog if the vet recommended it.

A 2016 survey done by the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found that a majority of customers who have given hemp products to their dog marked that the products were “moderately or very helpful” (as per the wording of questions in the study) in areas including pain relief, sleep help, and reduction in anxiety.

 But where did those people get hemp products for a dog? How did they know how much to give them? Is this stuff even safe for animals?

In 2016, Dr Stephanie McGrath lead a study on CBD for dogs with epilepsy and found that 89 percent of dogs who receiving CBD during the clinical trial had a reduction in frequency of seizures.

Another study at Cornell University in 2018, found that 2 mg of CBD per kilogram of dog twice a day can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.

 Experts acknowledge that only a fraction of the possibilities have been clinically tested, but as of right now, there are no known adverse side effects for dogs taking CBD. If your dog is on other medications, it’s still smart to keep an eye on your dog to ensure that there are no wonky interactions between CBD and those meds. (Check with your vet)

An important distinction: Giving CBD oil to your dog is not the same as giving marijuana to your dog.  Getting your dog stoned is bad. You’d think this would be obvious, but since emergency pet marijuana calls have increased a disturbing amount in the past year, I guess it isn’t.

“At certain dosages, THC can be toxic for dogs,” says Dr Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University’s James L Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital  “But it [CBD given to dogs] should be coming from the hemp plant, which has THC levels of 3 percent or under.

 Though we’re still waiting for official studies on dogs with anxiety or arthritis, the pet owners who have tried it seem to swear by it in the form of anecdotal reports and customer reviews.

(Part Two coming next week)

How To Sell More Books and Create Loyal Fans.

Writer’s Weekly Insider from Chris Syme
Welcome to the weekly newsletter designed with one goal in mind: to give every author the info and tools to successfully navigate social media to sell more books and create loyal fans.We had one whole week of spring this week in Bozeman. It was enough to get me out in the yard. Spring rituals. What are yours?
This week we are going to tackle the holy trinity of book marketing–what every self-published author needs to sell their own books successfully. There’s a big difference between just having a website, an email list, and a Facebook page and having them optimized and built for selling books. Are your big three set up for selling more books?
Top 5 Tips For Authors This Week [Apr. 24]
1. Optimizing your social media channels for selling. This pdf download shows you six quick tips for optimizing your social media pages for selling books.
2. Especially helpful for nonfiction: How to sell books and products directly from your website (from authorpreneur Joanna Penn).  Building a direct channel for sales is one option to grow an income stream that has no intermediary except a buy button.
3. Why authors need a personal profile and a business page on Facebook. Authors should be thinking about building connections and selling more books. It’s not one or the other on Facebook.
4. Why you don’t need to produce a newsletter to build an email list. from David Gaughran. A viable option for authors who don’t want to produce a newsletter.
5. Email marketing 101 for authors (from Tim Grahl). If you’d like to get off on the right foot building your email list, this post is for you.
Why Connecting Without Selling is Only
Half the Equation on Social Media
Working with authors, I’ve found they usually have one of three goals for using social media:
1. Build reader loyalty and connection with fans.
2. Selling books.
3. Building connections and selling books.
Goals number one and two are only half the equation. To be successful in selling books on social media, authors need to take approach number three.
In the world of marketing, there are best practices, or successful strategies, that apply to selling any kind of product online whether it is books, appliances, or wedding invitations. Books are not in a world of their own despite what some book marketers would try and tell you. Data from large online research companies like Nielsen, AOL, and HubSpot tell us the same thing: social media selling works. Successful authors connect and sell, in that order.
The one-two punch of social media selling is developing word-of-mouth connections and then using that depth of relationship to sell books we know those valued fans will enjoy. Yelling “buy my book” will fall on deaf ears for the most part, especially if the author is unknown to the reader. But equally as frustrating for authors will be trying to sell books by “osmosis.” This is the method where we believe if we connect and make ourselves available on social media people will automatically buy our books without being asked.
The bulk of authors I talk to have no idea how to approach selling. They try throwing different promotions against the wall to see if they stick, looking for that silver bullet. In reality, selling is a science with proven tactics that is built on cultural norms. Fifteen years ago readers relied on publishers to tell them what to buy. We had no social media, no word of mouth. Today that tide has shifted. Readers now do their own research and seek the opinion of their friends in forums and book clubs. They build relationships directly with authors online and don’t have to rely on the bookstores and publishers to tell them what is good. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising (Forbes). The first step to giving a reader value is building friendships on social media.
The second step is giving those valued connections opportunities to buy your books. It’s about optimizing your social media channels with the tools and apps that are available to sell books. It’s about putting together the types of content proven to build connections. It’s about taking a long view approach and not relying on a stop and start “book launch or bust” mentality.
The art of selling books online begins with connection, is propelled by valuable content, and is sealed with opportunities to buy your books, both through content and through highly visible embedded calls-to-action on your social media pages.
To learn more about social selling for authors, be sure and follow my blog at cksyme.com. Be sure and reply to this email if you have any questions. See you next week!
Free Books for Review Team Members 
I am looking for readers who would like to receive free books in exchange for writing a review on Amazon and Goodreads.Review team members who review books will also receive opportunities for discounts on classes and my new monthly webinar series coming in May.
Right now I have several free audio copies of my book SMART Social Media For Authors (normally $14.95) to give away if you’d like to become part of my advance reader team–get one before they are gone. If you’re interested in getting free advanced copies of books and class discounts, email me at chris@cksyme.com.

Grammatical Pet Peeves

Short and sweet this morning, grammatical pet peeves that drive me crazy.  I’m sure you have yours. We authors have a hard time turning off our editor brains when we read for enjoyment. I’ve learned to live with it, but there are a few things that jerk me out of story so fast and here they are.

Number one–the word till. Till is a verb. It means to plow, turnover the ground, etc.. It does not mean, up to a time or event, but not afterward.  That is, until, a preposition,  or if you want to shorten it use, ’til.

Number two, the word, that. It is a filler word. Yes, sometimes we need it, but there are many times when it is excess baggage, like cellulose in graded cheese. Cellulose is supposedly added to make the cheese flow. The word, that, doesn’t seem to work in the same way.  The same with the words, just and very.  If the word isn’t needed, then don’t include it.

Number three, excess exclamation marks.  If your sentence or dialogue shows action, you don’t need to end it with an exclamation mark. Trust your reader to get it.

Number four, why is it necessary to add a question mark to dialogue if you already say, she asked? To me it’s overkill. Why not.  “Hey, is everybody awake out there,” she asked.  or  “Hey, is everybody awake out there?” Susan shouted out the window.

Okay that’s my rant for this morning. What about you?  Do yo have some grammatical pet peeves. List them here in the comments and tell me why they drive you crazy.



April’s No Limits Blog Talk Radio show.

One of the many good things I’ve found with hosting my monthly Blog Talk Radio show, No Limits, is meeting new authors.  I love discovering someone new to read. I always ask for a copy of the book they want to talk about ahead of time, and the majority of them have been a joy. Like any individual, there have been those I’ve enjoyed more than others, but I’ve yet to come across one that I’ve hated. An even bigger thrill is when they have more than one book that I can delight myself with.

My April show is no different. My two guests are Kait Carson and Richard Paolinelli.  Both authors are new to me.  I’ll learn more about each of them on No Limits. That’s what my show is about, discovering how an author creates, what works for them, if there is anything they have to have before they can write, or what they did to celebrate when they signed that book contract.

For my blog today I am giving you quick reviews of their latest books.

Kait Carson’s latest book, Death by Sunken Treasure, is a Hayden Kent mystery.  I like Hayden Kent. When something doesn’t set well with her, she has to find out why. Hayden is a paralegal and an avid scuba diver. When Mike, the son of a woman she considers a second mother, is found dead in full scuba gear Hayden is devastated. When his death is judged a suicide, she is full of disbelief. The way the man died just isn’t logical for a diver.

Mike had been in her office only days before signing his will. He had left everything to his infant son. Nothing to raise an alarm, until another will surfaces, this one very different.

The more Hayden digs, the more questions surface. There is sunken treasure involved, gold doubloons among it that seem to bring out the worst in people.

Hayden’s suspicions rise even more when she receives notes and emails telling her to back off and accept the suicide verdict. Of course she doesn’t, or we wouldn’t have story. She sees it through to the end, a course of action that will alter her life in a very big way.

I’m not a scuba diver. I don’t even like to be in water above my head, but Kait Carson’s descriptive style, made me feel as if I was there. There is another book in the Hayden Kent series, Death by Blue Water. It has joined my list of books that I just have to read. Pick up a copy of Death by Sunken Treasure and lose yourself in deep sea mystery. You won’t be disappointed.


Richard Paolinelli’s  latest book, Reservations, couldn’t be more different. Richard takes us to the desert of New Mexico, into the world of Navajo, Hopi and Zuni.   Reservations starts off with a murder. The victim knows his killer, and is sad he will die before he can identify the person. Even more devastating to him is knowing more people will die and he can do nothing to prevent it.

I’m a big fan of the late Tony Hillerman, and a new fan of his daughter, Ann. I’m also an avid read of Craig Johnson’s Longmire series. Reservations has the same feel.

One of the main characters,  Ben Yazzie, who is the President of the Navajo Nation, knows more than he wants to share about the murders and calls for help from an old friend, Baker Collins, the Deputy Director of the FBI.

Baker sends his best agent, Jack Del Rio, to Gallup, New Mexico to catch the brazen murderer.  Jack is met with hostility, they don’t need a fed to catch their killer, they can do so themselves.

I loved the twist and turns of this mystery and the interaction between the characters, most with their own agendas that hinder Del Rio’s objective.

I am happy to know that Richard Paolinelli has another novel due out this year. I’m looking forward to reading it.

So, there’s some hints about two great mysteries.  If you’d like to learn more about the authors, the join me for No Limits.  Here is the link to the show:


kait carson


No Limits copy




A Perfect Murder.

A perfect murder, is there such a thing? I’ve killed people in many different ways, after all I write books.  It’s not only my thrillers, I’ve killed many folks and out of this world creatures, in my fantasy and science fiction stories. I’ve used a knife, poison, guns, dark magic and even quantum physics.

Some years back there was a television show, I can’t remember the title now, but a man was found dead and police were investigating. Of course the wife was their number one suspect.  I remember the woman inviting the detectives for dinner and serving them lamb from a gorgeous roast.  I don’t remember how the audience finds out, but the leg of lamb was the murder weapon and she got away with murder.

I wonder if that would work in this modern day?

So all of you readers, what’s your favorite murder? For all of my crime fiction author friends, how have you killed people in your books?

Me?  I think an airplane crash would have to be my favorite, although that is a pretty knife.


Meet Word Wizard, Jay Dismas

I’ve got a book inside me. It has been there for years. Nobody has written it.

I have attempted to contact movie producers: the Weinstein brothers, Spielberg, well-known actors DiCaprio, Brad and Angie, starting at the top and working my way down, to name a few. None of them were interested in my story. Those pursuits have gotten me nowhere. So, I am writing it myself.

It is through the help of the local writers group, the Word Wizards, that my book is coming together. It has been nearly five years since I joined the group and since then the book has seen many revisions. I am beginning to see a professionally written copy of Letters to Tami.


Wonderful Poetry.


         Like mystical knights from a time long since past,

         These three surviving warriors are back at last.

A golden god wailing tunes that echo through our minds,

With emotion to his audience, a performer so fine.

From a magical guitarist born back in time,

Plays a bow on the strings like a wizard casts a spell.

On his Organ he plays sounds like they were made up in heaven,

Also a guitar would be another weapon.

Together a power none dreamed of before,

A masterpiece of song never seen on a stage floor.

Missing from them, one fallen warrior whose hammering

On his drums shook the ground like thunder,

They called him Bonzo, now a spirit in a new world of wonder.

From England they were born some time ago,

Their music lives on forever you know.

Robert Plant, Jimmy…

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