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Is CBD Safe For Pets?

by Angel Ferrer 6 min read


Is CBD Safe to Use With Pets?

CBD (also known as cannabidiol) has recently made its way into retail stores, sold as a natural remedy and wellness supplement. CBD is just one of the non-psychoactive components of the cannabinoid family naturally found in cannabis (THC) and hemp plants. Cannabinoids work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system responsible for regulating and balancing most bodily functions, including our immune response, memory, metabolism, appetite, and fundamental cellular communication. 

Endocannabinoid receptors can be found throughout the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. As it turns out, this essential biological system also exists in all other animals, including reptiles and invertebrates. This means your furry or scaly friends at home may experience benefits from consuming CBD. And while research into this compound and its effects are still happening, many humans have already turned to CBD as a natural alternative to over the counter pet-care. 

Research on this subject is not as extensive because the concept is relatively new. However, some reports support the idea that CBD effectively prevents and cures disease and alleviates pain and inflammation in most cases. Regardless, the lack of informed advice online and in veterinary offices certainly isn’t stopping the hundreds of thousands of pet parents who have shared their testimonials, which often suggest that CBD is an excellent natural alternative to pain medication for pets in need. 

How Do Pets Take CBD?

Typical uses of CBD for pets include pain prevention in senior animals to help with arthritis and injury. It can also treat medical disorders such as inflammation, anxiety, gastric issues, cancer, and seizures. Research suggests that CBD oil and tinctures are the most effective methods of administering CBD to your furry companions. This is due to a faster and more efficient absorption rate in comparison to other products. The crucial part of administering CBD to your pet is ensuring it is effective and in a way that isn't traumatic to your pet. 

Many owners who want to give their canine, feline, or reptile friends the benefits of CBD use their pet's favorite treats to do so. This is best with porous treats (baked goodies are a great example), as they absorb the CBD oil more efficiently than meaty treats. Once you have the correct CBD dosage, you can apply it to the treat and give it some time to absorb. Most tinctures and oils come equipped with a dropper to make this process easier.

You can also purchase pet CBD treats that have the CBD already baked into them. These are preferred for several reasons, mostly because the pet parent doesn't have to spend time applying the dose themselves and risk inconsistent dosing. 

Another method is to apply the CBD oil sublingually (to your pet's mouth directly). We only recommend this if your animal tolerates this method. It is imperative to be gentle and not to squeeze their mouth too hard or gag them as it will create an adverse reaction to your future attempts to administer the CBD, making it tough to get your pet the benefits they need.

If you’d prefer to mix CBD with your pet’s meal, it works best to add powders and oils to wet food, but don’t be swayed if your pet only eats dry kibble; you can still add CBD tincture to their dish. Once the CBD oil is mixed into the food, let it settle for a couple of minutes before serving. 

One of many great things about the hemp industry's growth is that manufacturers spend an incredible amount of time on R&D to bring you products that your pets will genuinely love, so there’s no need to be worried about your pet hating the taste or smell. You will notice various listings for products like bacon or salmon flavored CBD tinctures, powders, and treats by conducting a simple internet search.

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How Does CBD Work in Animals?

CBD works the same in animals as humans since we are similar in physiology. How CBD is absorbed depends on how it is administered and how it is consumed. This will in part determine how effective your pet’s CBD will be.

When ingested orally, CBD passes through the digestive system and into your pet's stomach. From there, the CBD makes its way to the liver. The liver then metabolizes the CBD molecules so it can enter the bloodstream. Studies have found that consuming CBD oil with fatty acids can help bypass first-pass metabolism (which can reduce the actual amount of CBD that reaches the bloodstream). Therefore, it increases the proportion of CBD that will affect your pet when introduced into the body and how much CBD they absorb.

Is CBD Safe for Animals?

As the demand for pet CBD continues to grow, advancements in extraction technology have motivated the hemp industry to adopt certified processing and quality control methods that will ensure your pet receives superior products that make sense for their species. There are now hundreds of brands that manufacture CBD for animals. So start your research, and take your pick!

By purchasing products from a highly rated manufacturer, you can trust that your pet will get an accurately measured dose of a high-quality CBD product. We recommend following the dosage instructions on the packaging of whichever product you choose so that you safely and adequately introduce your pet to CBD. Too high of a dose may result in vomiting, lethargy, or diarrhea. If your pet is on any medication, it is best to consult your veterinarian before giving your pet CBD for the first time. Reactions to other medications are not common, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

When putting your pet on a CBD supplement program, keep in mind that it is advised to start with the lowest dose possible and closely monitor your pet's progress over time. We recommend that you maintain a consistent routine for at least 30 days to achieve the desired results, and you will likely want to continue to use the product long term for maintenance and prevention. If you don't see desired results after a couple of weeks, it may be because the serving size is too small. In this case, you should gradually increase the daily serving size.

Health Benefits of CBD for Animals

Concentrated CBD directly activates serotonin receptors when consumed, thereby creating an anti-anxiety effect. If your fur baby suffers from separation anxiety, is scared of the vet, groomer, or loud noises such as fireworks, it could benefit them greatly to indulge in CBD before these events. 

CBD may also help animals with painful arthritic conditions. Osteoarthritis is a common inflammatory condition in elderly animals marked by chronic pain, joint stiffness, and even loss of mobility. It can leave them lethargic, irritable, and avoidant of playing, running, or jumping.

If your pet is epileptic and suffers from seizures, you know how helpless and terrifying it can be to witness. Unfortunately, common medications used to treat epilepsy, such as diazepam, potassium bromide, and phenobarbital can cause serious side effects in pets. Even with medication, many animals with epilepsy continue to experience seizures. Thankfully, CBD has anti-seizure properties. And while there is mostly only anecdotal evidence that it treats recurring seizures in animals, Science Daily recently reported that scientists have found in a small clinical trial that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. 

While CBD is not a one size fits all treatment for cancer in pets, there are research-backed reasons to support the idea that it may help manage cancer and cancer treatment's side effects. CBD aids in boosting the immune system, better sleep, decreased nausea and can stimulate the appetite. Giving CBD to your pet with cancer will help them manage the discomfort and increase their overall mood and wellness. 

CBD May Help Pets

The fact of the matter is that CBD has many beneficial properties and is safe for most pets. It promotes homeostasis and general wellness in healthy animals and treats illness and disease in sick or injured animals. You won’t have to look very hard for testimonials from other fur parents who have tried it with excellent results.

Many people want to take care of their pets via all-natural methods, as some animals can experience severe side effects from prescription medications. If you plan to use CBD as a preventative measure or for general wellness for your fur-baby, be sure to research the various brands, their ingredients, and purchase only certified and regulated products to help you pick the safest CBD for your pet.

We recommend consulting with your veterinarian if your pet is injured, ill, or shows any signs of discomfort. It is best not to self-diagnose or self-treat ailments without consulting with a medical professional first. Once you have a thorough understanding of what is going on with your pet, you’ll have a better idea of whether CBD will be a beneficial treatment option. Just like humans, every animal is different, so it is essential to go the extra mile to make an educated decision on how to keep your best friend healthy and happy.