Everything You Need to Know About CBD for Pets

CBD Oils with Pet Collars

CBD, or cannabidiol, is quickly becoming all the rage across the country and even other parts of the world. There are millions of consumers that have taken to incorporating CBD into their daily routines – and now, some are going even further to give similar CBD products to their beloved furry friends.

That’s right – CBD is safe for pets, too. Today, we’re going answer the most commonly asked questions regarding giving CBD to your dog, cat, or other pet, effective plans you can incorporate into their daily routine, and much more. Let’s dig into everything you need to know about CBD for pets.

What is CBD?

We’ve broken down what CBD is in our other blogs, but just as a short summary, CBD is a compound found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Typically made into an oil, a lot of research has already been put into CBD’s potential for providing intense relief. From inflammation and chronic pain to anxiety and trouble sleeping, cannabidiol continues to show promise that it may help provide relief from these symptoms and conditions.

When you extract CBD legally from a hemp plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, you can use this extract in a variety of different cannabidiol products. For dogs, cats, and other family pets, CBD extract is often crafted into a CBD oil that can be dropped into their food or water, or a treat of some kind that they can enjoy on top of getting relief through CBD.

Why do People Give CBD to their Pets?

CBD Oil Wrapped in Collar and Dog

CBD has a massive variety of uses, so there’s not just one reason that someone might consider giving it to their pet. The more common reasons are to help promote general wellness for their dog, cat, horse, or other animal that they care for like a family member. There’s a lot of research going into CBD’s ability to promote proper bone and joint health, better cardiovascular health, and more.

On the anecdotal side, pet owners that started giving their pet CBD daily noticed an improvement in the quality of their life over time. A daily serving could improve the shininess of their coat, how much energy they have throughout the day, and help them feel relief from minor pain you may not even have known they were experiencing. Older dogs and cats, for example, are likely to eventually have to deal with arthritis pain, which brings with it inflammation.

Is it Legal to Give CBD to Your Pets?

Since there are two ways to get CBD, this is a tricky question to answer. To break it down, hemp-derived CBD is safe and legal to give to your pets. As long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, adheres to all federal and state regulations, and was grown by a properly licensed grower, then you’re good to go. Marijuana-derived CBD is legal in 10 states, though hemp-derived CBD that’s easier to refine THC out of is considered much safer for pets.

Altogether, though, there are no laws for any states that specify you cannot give CBD to your pets.

Is CBD Safe for Pets?

It’s important to remember that cannabidiol research is still relatively new. The veterinary and animal care community is divided on how effective they believe CBD is for pets. Until regulation across the CBD industry becomes more stable, it’s not uncommon to see two veterinarians from the same practice differ wildly on their opinion of CBD for pets.

Is CBD safe for pets, though? The FDA has not approved or evaluated any CBD products for pets, but what an CBD do for pets? Let’s look at the risk involved when giving cannabidiol to your pets; we feel it’s your decision to make whether CBD is safe to give to your furry friend, so we will merely provide the pros and cons associated.

Potential Drug Interactions

Just like with humans, you should speak with a certified medical professional or vet before adding CBD to your pet’s daily routine, especially if they’re already taking prescription medications. CBD can interact with certain medications; in some cases, it can increase the efficacy of other prescriptions, requiring dosage for that medicine to be scaled down.

The Risk of THC

While there appear to be benefits of adding CBD to your pet’s routine, their endocannabinoid system does not respond to THC the same way us humans do. In fact, THC can downright be dangerous for most pets – dogs, cats, and other animals are known to have negative reactions to too much THC in their system. It’s this fact that makes it necessary for CBD pet products to be completely free of THC.

Side Effect Possibility

Though many pet owners report that their pet’s symptoms are alleviated by cannabidiol, some also report minor side effects they noticed with their furry friend. Most of these side effects can be eliminated by planning ahead of time. For example, CBD may cause dry mouth or intense thirst for your pet, so just make sure they have plenty of water handy.

Likewise, pay special attention to how much CBD you’re giving your pet at one time. Start below the recommended serving size and go up from there. If you notice them sleep more, become more sluggish, or lack energy, you may need to lower the amount they consume each day.

How to Speak with Your Vet About CBD

As we said, not every veterinarian feels the same way about CBD as even another vet in their own practice might. However, we feel it’s too close to vital not to speak with your veterinarian first before giving your pet CBD. You are the one who will need to bring it up, too – in every state except California, veterinarians are legally not allowed to bring up CBD with their clients.

If you bring up CBD first, however, they can provide their stance on the matter and give you another perspective. When you broach the subject, it becomes a golden opportunity to get their expert opinion on the correct dosages, the type of CBD they recommend most, and even a dosing schedule if they have something in mind.

Even more importantly – ask your veterinarian what signs to look for that should indicate your should stop giving your pet CBD. While cannabidiol can be a difficult topic to bring up, initially, it’s in the best interest of your pet to lay everything out and communicate openly with your veterinarian.

Signs to Watch Out For

While these questions should be breached with your vet, it doesn’t hurt to start looking at answers ahead of time. What signs of distress from your pet should tell you that they shouldn’t take CBD anymore? The most common side effects are drowsiness, lowered blood pressure, and dry mouth; keep a careful eye on these symptoms to make sure they don’t worsen or become serious.

Cannabidiol is a journey that you and your pet can take together, but it takes time to get everything right. You can avoid easy mistakes by ensuring you choose a reputable product worth giving your pet.

What to Look for in a CBD Pet Product

This brings us to everything you should keep an eye on to make sure you’re setting your pet up for success with their new CBD product. There are some important things to watch out for.

First, xylitol and grapeseed oil can be toxic to animals, so make sure the CBD formula you intend on purchasing is free of both. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) can provide a more in-depth, third-party look at everything in the CBD product formula, so having access to that for your pet products is ideal (we even consider it a requirement).

While it’s not a complete requirement, a CBD pet product shows more promise if it has a seal from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). Likewise, if the products claim to follow Good Manufacturing Practices, you can feel a little more confident that the product is certified to be made in a clean environment with safe ingredients.

When you look at the third-party lab results, verify that there’s a non-detectable level of THC in the product. The label might claim to be THC-free, but the lab results will be able to confirm that. Finally, make sure you only choose a product designed for pets – don’t give your dog, cat, or other furry friend something intended for humans just because it has a low enough dosage.

Final Thoughts

Have you been considering incorporating CBD into your pet’s daily routine? If you’ve been mulling it over, we hope this guide helped you decide if you were going to start that journey with your dog, cat, horse, rodent, or other animal that may benefit from cannabidiol.We look forward to a CBD industry where veterinarians can feel more confident about the products they see their clients give animals. Until then, make sure you’re going with a CBD brand that puts genuine care and effort into their pet products. Shop for a CBD pet product free of THC, grapeseed oil, and xylitol for your pet today.

Author Profile Picture

Rachel Sims | Author

Rachel Sims is a passionate CBD and cannabis writer. A huge proponent for marijuana legalization across the country, Rachel's proud to be on the ground floor of an industry making history. Her goal is simple -- help spread awareness and destigmatize cannabis. Rachel regularly writes for companies in the CBD and marijuana industries, as well as on her own website, Hashing It Out.

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