CBD for Pets: Everything You Need to Know

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CBD products are fast becoming a popular treatment for humans, and they’re also being used to help pets with a variety of issues. CBD products are available for both dogs and cats, and many pet owners are choosing to give their furry friends CBD in oil or other forms to improve their health.

If you’re thinking about using CBD wellness products for your pet, or if you’re just curious about what CBD for pets is and how it works, read on! In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about CBD products for pets.

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What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis plants. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not have any psychoactive effects and will not get your pet “high.”

CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate things like pain, inflammation, and anxiety. The endocannabinoid system helps the body maintain a level of homeostasis, which is a proper balance between different biological systems.

Like humans, pets like dogs and cats also have an endocannabinoid system that is affected by CBD. Taking the cannabidiol compound in any form affects how the endocannabinoid system’s receptors regulate the rest of the body.

These effects are why human CBD products are already popular, as well as why pet CBD products are becoming more popular.

CBD for pets is made from cannabidiol that has been isolated from the THC in cannabis plants. This means that the CBD in pet products will not make your animal friend “high” or have any other psychoactive effects. CBD pet products are safe and effective for animals, and they can be used to treat a variety of issues.

This is an understandable question, given that CBD comes from the cannabis plant family. However, commercially available CBD products (including pet CBD products intended for dogs, cats, and other animals) are legal in all 50 states.

This is because the US Congress has legalized hemp products that do not contain more than trace amounts of THC, which is the main psychoactive compound in substances derived from cannabis plants. Since CBD that has been made from the hemp plant is legal across the country, it’s also legal to give to your pets.

Unfortunately, there are minimal legal guidelines regarding CBD for pets, which means that veterinarians can’t prescribe it to their patients. On the other hand, this means that you have the freedom to seek out the right type of CBD for pets on your own!

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Benefits of CBD for Pets

CBD products can be used to treat a variety of issues in pets. CBD is commonly used to help with anxiety, pain, and inflammation. CBD for pets can also be helpful in the case of animals who suffer from seizures, arthritis, and other health conditions.

While research into CBD’s effects on pets is still ongoing, anecdotal evidence from the American Kennel Club (AKC) supports the idea that CBD can help pets with pain relief and anxiety issues.

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Pain Relief

One clinical study found that dogs suffering from osteoarthritis experienced a significant reduction in pain and a higher level of comfort and activity after receiving twice daily dosages of 2mg of CBD.

An informal survey commissioned by iHeart Dogs found that over three-quarters of a group of 455 users perceived that CBD products were effective for their dogs’ pain management.

Again, research into the full effectiveness of CBD for pets is still ongoing, but the earliest studies tend to be promising. Perhaps CBD is what you’ve been looking for to help your pet’s pain relief.

Anxiety

While hard scientific data has not yet fully demonstrated the effectiveness of CBD products for reducing anxiety in pets (such as shelter dogs), CBD has been known to help produce a sense of relief and relaxation in humans. It is thought that the same effects could be seen in animals.

For example, a study from the University of Western Australia found that shelter dogs who had previously shown aggressive behaviors displayed less aggression following just over two weeks of CBD treatment. 

If your pet experiences anxiety, CBD products could be worth considering. CBD’s calming effects may help to ease your pet’s anxiety and improve their quality of life.

Arthritis

Of the over 23,000 published papers about the effects of CBD on animals, several of them have examined the effects of CBD on pets with arthritis. A relevant Cornell University noted a clear improvement in both quality of life and pain for arthritic dogs that received large amounts of CBD twice daily.

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Itchiness

Studies in Australia and the US both found that CBD products can help reduce itchiness and skin lesions in pets. In the Australian study, the positive change was as high as 51%! This just points to the improvement in the quality of life that pets who received CBD products can experience.

Cancer

Though it may seem far out, some research also suggests that CBD can help animals that are struggling with cancer. According to the AKC, a Cornell study found that administering CBD in tandem with chemotherapy treatment did a better job preventing the increase of cancer cells than chemotherapy by itself.

Other Miscellaneous CBD Benefits

According to the AKC, research conducted on lab animals has found that CBD can be effective for other conditions, such as infections, bowel conditions, and nausea. There are plenty of issues with your pet that CBD may be able to help with.

Potential Pet CBD Side Effects

CBD is generally well-tolerated by animals, but like any substance, there is always a chance of side effects. The most common side effects of CBD in pets include drowsiness and dry mouth. Diarrhea has also occurred in more extreme cases.

If you notice any side effects when giving your pet CBD, stop giving them the CBD and contact your veterinarian. You should also talk to your veterinarian if your pet is already on prescription medication. This is because CBD products affect the body’s metabolism, which may affect how your pet processes any other meds.

Starting a CBD Pet Wellness Routine

Like with any major change in your pet’s lifestyle, such as introducing a new food or form of exercise, you need to make the addition of CBD products a regular part of daily life. Giving your dog or cat the rare CBD treat or a bit of pet CBD oil every once and a while, without any consistency, is unlikely to produce successful results in the long term.

If you’ve decided to take the step for your pet’s wellness by introducing CBD products, there are a few steps to follow to give your furry or feathered friend the best chance for success.

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Talk to Your Veterinarian

Your pet is unique, and outside of yourself, there is probably nobody who knows your animal better than your regular vet. He or she is a trained professional who cares about animals and has your pet’s best interests in mind.

When you open up a discussion of CBD pet products with your vet, make sure to stay general and avoid mentioning specific CBD brand names or similar particular details. In general, vets are legally limited in what they can say about CBD. Just give your vet the chance to discuss any general questions you may have and to provide guidance.

CBD products are a new and rapidly growing industry, so your veterinarian may not be as familiar with CBD as you are. This is why it’s best to start the conversation by focusing on what you want to achieve with CBD products and how they might help your pet. From there, you can ask your vet’s opinion on CBD and get their guidance on CBD pet products.

Choose a Way to Give Your Pet CBD

CBD products for pets come in a variety of forms, including oils, treats, chews, and topical creams. The best way to give your pet CBD will depend on their individual needs.

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Pet CBD Oil

If you’re using CBD to help with anxiety or pain, for example, you might want to give your animal a pet CBD oil that can be placed under its tongue. These types of pet CBD oil tinctures can also be dripped onto a pet’s food. This makes it easy for even the fussiest eaters to enjoy the benefits of taking CBD oil.

The most effective CBD oils are known as broad-spectrum CBD oil. You may also see them labeled as “full spectrum CBD oil” or “superior broad spectrum CBD.” All of these labels indicated that the hemp oil used in the CBD oil contains a greater variety of compounds from the hemp plant.

This means that your pet will have the chance to experience more of the health benefits of CBD than if the hemp oil were made of isolated CBD extract, which has no compounds other than pure CBD.

It is also a good sign if a certain CBD oil is labeled as an organic CBD oil.

Pet CBD Treats and Chews

CBD treats can also be a good option, and many pets love the taste of CBD-infused peanut butter treats, calming chews, or snacks with other animal-approved flavors. Chews are also a smart option for cats and other pets with more sensitive teeth.

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Pet CBD Creams

For topical application, there are CBD creams that can be applied to your pet’s skin. These can be helpful for treating conditions like arthritis or hot spots.

Choose the Proper Pet CBD Dosage

No matter what form of CBD you choose for your pet, make sure to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed. CBD is safe for pets, but it’s always best to start slow and increase the dosage as needed. You wouldn’t want to make your pooch or parrot too drowsy!

Look for CBD brands that label their products based on the size of the pet (i.e. small, medium, large). That way, you can make sure your initial dosages are based on your pet’s weight, not the size of a smaller or larger animal.

Many CBD products, such as pet CBD oil tinctures, often come with a dropper that is labeled by milligrams. This type of CBD tincture makes it easy to measure just how much pet CBD oil to give to your dog or cat.

Pay attention to your pet after you give them a dosage of CBD. Each dog, cat, or bird responds to CBD differently, so make sure that the dosage you selected is just right for your unique pet.

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Choose Quality CBD Pet Products

With so many different CBD brands on the market, how can you be sure which one is just right for you?

There are a few different markers of high quality in a pet CBD product. For example, CBD products can qualify to be labeled as certified organic or receive third-party lab testing to verify the purity of their products.

In addition, it’s a good sign if a CBD product has been made from USDA-certified hemp farms. Knowing what goes into a CBD oil, chew, or treat, as well as where those ingredients come from, is an important part of ensuring your pet receives only high-quality CBD products.

CBD brands that are transparent about their ingredients and manufacturing processes are usually the best quality. It’s also nice if a CBD brand includes additional helpful ingredients, such as wild salmon oil (rich in omega fatty acids that are good for joint health), chamomile (good for digestion), or organic MCT oil (good for energy).

Finally, don’t forget to read customer reviews before selecting a CBD brand. Customer feedback can be very helpful in learning about a company’s customer service and the quality of its CBD products.

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Conclusion

We hope you’ve answered some of your most pressing questions about the science behind and potential benefits of CBD products for your beloved dog, cat, bird, or other fluffy friends. Whether you want to give your arthritic dog help with pain relief or just want your cat to have a more relaxed quality of life, CBD oils, chews, and treats can be a game-changer for your beloved pet.