As CBD products become more popular, and their many health benefits become widely known, people have naturally begun to wonder if these health benefits could be extended to their pets as well. To no surprise, there has recently been a surge of hemp CBD products dedicated to dogs and other animals, which claim to be able to help with their ailments and encourage overall health.
With this emergence of CBD products for pets, a number of questions are raised. How is CBD given to pets? How does CBD help dogs? Is CBD safe to give to pets? Let’s explore the answers to these questions and find out what CBD has to offer our four-legged companions.
An Overview of CBD for Pets
CBD pet products are a natural result of the increased awareness of CBD’s health benefits when used by humans. One main appeal of CBD products for dogs is that they contain little to no THC, so there is no risk that it will cause a pet to become intoxicated.
Furthermore, like humans, all animals have an endocannabinoid system, which regulates certain cognitive and physiological processes in the body. Considering that people’s pets also suffer from a number of acute and chronic ailments, it was inevitable that CBD would find its way into the pet market.
As of right now, CBD has been used as a natural way for pet owners to help aging pets, those with physical, mental, or behavioral conditions, and as a way to promote good health. People have reported that CBD can provide relief for their pet’s inflammation, pain, anxiety, and hyperactivity.
As an example of how helpful CBD hemp oil can be for pets, take a look at these stories…
Ella the dog used to experience severe anxiety from fireworks or other loud noises, but this anxiety disappeared after her owner (who is also a veterinarian) started giving her CBD.
Jet the cat used to be highly shy and defensive settling into his new home, but after daily doses of CBD, he became much more sociable and compassionate. While these are just two anecdotes, they demonstrate how CBD can be effective in both dogs and cats.
How Do You Give CBD to Your Dogs?
The options for administering CBD to pets are various, allowing for pet owners to choose a method that their pet is most comfortable with.
The most common products come in the form of pet treats made with a specific amount of hemp-derived CBD. Treats are usually made with healthy all-natural ingredients that are safe for pets to eat, and are available in a variety of flavors aimed at dogs and cats. Treats provide the simplest way for pets to enjoy the benefits of CBD, and it’s a plus if they enjoy the flavor!
For pets that are more picky about their food, there are also CBD hemp oil tinctures and capsules. Tinctures can be applied to the back of the animal’s tongue, or the appropriate dosage can be dropped into their food or onto one of their favorite treats.
In addition, cats will lick CBD oil off of their paws when it is applied there, which is a good non-intrusive method to get CBD into their systems.
Note: If you give your pet CBD oil using tinctures, make sure there are no added ingredients that could be harmful for animals. Also, it’s best to stick with “natural” flavor as some essential oils, such as peppermint oil, may be toxic to some dogs.
CBD balms and oils can be applied directly to a pet’s skin so it can be absorbed transdermally. A common location for applying balms is on the bare skin inside the ears of dogs and cats, which allows for quick and easy absorption. Balms are good for a pet’s skin, and can also help relieve tired or sore muscles and joints. CBD balms have been particularly helpful for treating horses.
Lastly, some product lines offer a CBD pen that administers the dose intravenously, though this isn’t a popular option as many pets aren’t too happy about this method!
How Much CBD Should You Give Your Dog?
Just as figuring out how much CBD you should take as a human, determining the appropriate dosage of CBD for a pet is essential to make sure they get the most benefit. Just like with humans, every animal is unique, and will require a different amount of CBD to achieve a desired result.
An effective dose is typically determined by pet species, breed, weight and ailment being treated. Veterinarian Judy Morgan recommends starting with a dose of 1 mg per 10 pounds of weight, and then monitoring your pet’s reaction to decide if the dose needs to be increased.
It is also important to note that some hemp-derived CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, which has shown to be toxic to some dogs and cats. This is all the more reason to keep the dosage low to start out with, and stick to either broad spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate.
While CBD treats will probably be the preferred method of administering a dose to pets, they are not as flexible as oils or tinctures. Unlike with treats, tinctures allow for the dose to be easily adjusted as needed.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Pets?
As of 2019, there have been few formal scientific studies examining how CBD affects dogs and other domestic animals. One study found that hemp-derived CBD is perfectly safe to administer to dogs, but research on other animals is limited.
However, the amount of anecdotal evidence from pet owners suggests that CBD causes no serious side effects when given to animals. The side effects that could present themselves are comparable to side effects seen with humans, which include decreased salivation, nausea and drowsiness.
With that being said, it’s still important to only purchase organic, all-natural CBD products that are sourced from reputable sources. Non-organic hemp could potentially contain additives that would be harmful for pets, and a lack of FDA regulation means that some products could mislabel their actual THC/CBD concentrations. Moreover, pets should not be given edible CBD products meant for human consumption, as they could contain other ingredients that might be toxic to animals.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation is currently sponsoring a study that will investigate the use of CBD in treating epileptic dogs. Hopefully, this will spark new research that will uncover even more information about how CBD affects pets, and the potential benefits that CBD products have to offer them.
If you’ve tried giving CBD to your pets, please leave a comment below as we would love to hear your experience!
- CBD for pets is a booming sector within the explosive CBD hemp industry.
- CBD may help pets with age related conditions as well as pain, anxiety, and hyperactivity.
- Popular options to give your pets CBD include hemp dog treats, tinctures and topicals.
- Finding the right dosage is key for pets, it’s best to start low and slowly increase over time until you see the desired results.
- So far, CBD has ben shown to be generally safe for dogs and other pets.