You may be familiar with the natural wellness benefits of CBD for people of all ages, but did you know that pets can benefit from CBD the same way as humans?
It’s true! CBD products can be great for the entire family, including the furry family members that you love and care for.
All mammals, including you, your dog or cat, have an endocannabinoid system with which cannabinoids like CBD interact. This means that your pet can likely experience the balancing benefits of a nourished endocannabinoid system, with the help of hemp-derived CBD, in many of the same ways that you do.
If you’re a devoted pet owner, you want to do everything you can to keep your dog or cat happy, healthy, and safe. That’s why a growing number of pet owners are choosing to naturally encourage the wellness and health of their pets with hemp-derived products like CBD.
Why Does My Pet Need CBD?
Regular servings of CBD can naturally promote better overall health and wellness in cats and dogs, just like in humans.
This is because all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, a major regulatory network with which CBD interacts, that is responsible for maintaining balance in the body. You and your pet’s endocannabinoid system, when it’s well operating, ensures that a long list of bodily functions — including appetite, sleep, mood, metabolism, immune response, and more — are able to successfully adapt to fluctuating environments and keep running at their best.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of more than 100 cannabinoids that scientists have so far identified in cannabis, including hemp. Hemp-derived cannabinoids, including CBD, share a similar molecular structure to the cannabinoids a mammal’s body generates on its own.
While the natural benefits of CBD for pets are less documented than the benefits for humans, all mammals can experience the compound’s natural wellness properties. When your pet ingests CBD, the natural plant compound eventually reaches the bloodstream, where it’s able to indirectly interact with the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors found on cells throughout their body.
Cannabinoid receptors play a key role in the endocannabinoid system’s efforts to keep the body and its functions balanced. There are two major types of cannabinoid receptors:
- Cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1) are mostly in the brain and central nervous system, but are also on cells in the lungs, vascular system, muscles, gastrointestinal tract, and reproductive organs.
- Cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB2) are mostly in peripheral organs, especially immune cells. They’re also found in cells in the skin, bones, and glial cells.
Now that you have an idea of just how vast the endocannabinoid system’s role is in the body, you can imagine just how beneficial daily servings of cannabinoids like CBD can be. The interaction between CBD and these cannabinoid receptors stimulates the endocannabinoid system, supporting its efforts to reach and maintain homeostasis. In dogs and cats, a more well-operating endocannabinoid system supports better cardiovascular function, encourages better neurological health and emotional behavior, and promotes healthy joints and skin and coats
And these benefits of CBD are advantageous for any cat or dog, whether they’re facing challenging issues or are at the peak of good health. All pets that are mammals can benefit from the natural balancing properties of daily use CBD and a better operating endocannabinoid system, even if they are healthy and feeling good every day.
Many pet owners have found that CBD is a natural alternative they can trust to encourage well-being in their dogs and cats, as well as horses and other livestock animals. Because CBD is non-toxic, non-intoxicating, and well-tolerated by pets, full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate products are a safe, effective way to support the health of your four-legged companions.
CBD Products for Pets
With the rapid growing understanding of the benefits of CBD for pets, forward-thinking hemp companies have started to offer a range of CBD pet products. These hemp extract products are infused with isolated CBD or CBD oil, and are specifically designed to promote the overall health and mental wellbeing of dogs, cats, horses, and other animals.
CBD products for pets can come in a variety of forms, some of which include:
- Pet CBD oils and CBD tincture
- Pet CBD-infused tablets
- Pet CBD soft chews and dog treats
- Topical pet CBD balms
When trying to decide which CBD pet product is best for your pet, there are some considerations you should keep in mind. First, you’ll want to only purchase CBD from a reliable and trusted source. Responsible hemp product manufacturers will ensure the safety and reliability of pet CBD with stringent manufacturing and rigorous third-party testing procedures. Regardless of which type of CBD product you decide to give your pet, you’ll want to make sure that it’s been third-party verified free of contaminants – like mold and mildew, microbes, chemicals, and heavy metals — and that it’s been tested for its CBD concentration.
We also advise that you choose a CBD pet product supplier that clearly lists all of the ingredients on their products and avoid making any type of irresponsible medical claims. Unfortunately, with CBD oil hot in demand, new companies have tried to take advantage by releasing their own products. While this influx of CBD for pets awareness is positive, it’s also led to some low quality products and irresponsible marketing efforts.
It’s also a good idea to make sure the products your purchase for your pet are made with CBD that comes from organic hemp, rather than from marijuana. Hemp naturally contains no more than miniscule amounts of THC, the cannabis plant’s psychoactive compound that can also be toxic for dogs and cats. Marijuana, on the other hand, naturally has higher levels of THC, which has undesirable effects and can even be toxic in dogs. To avoid all measurable amounts of THC, it’s best to choose products that are either made of CBD isolate or broad-spectrum hemp oil, which have had all detectable amounts of THC removed.
CBD Oil for Pets
The high-quality products that are meant for pets may be made with the same CBD oil as products crafted for humans, but in many cases there are small differences between the two that can make a big difference for your pet.
CBD oil products that are specifically designed for pets, such as a pet tincture, offer various advantages. For example, CBD oil servings sizes in dog- and cat-specific products are adjusted to account for a pet’s size and weight. Your pets, being much smaller than you, don’t need such a high concentration of CBD to adequately stimulate their endocannabinoid systems!
Also, dog and cat products with cannabidiol tend to be designed for serving methods that are better for pets. The most popular type of pet CBD comes in the form of a versatile pourable liquid that can be given to your dog or cat directly, added to their favorite treats, and even mixed into their food. If you have a dog or cat with a more particular palate, there are also CBD pet treats, or soft chews, that are often found infused with flavors like natural bacon that pets enjoy.
It is simple to add CBD to your pet’s daily routine with the wide array of products that are available. High quality CBD oil products for pets vary in potency, route of administration, and price to offer solutions that meet you and your pet’s needs.
When it comes time to choose the right product for your pet, consider their size, the health situation, and whether they have a picky palate. This will help you select a product that works for you and your pet.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Pet?
If you’re new to giving your pet CBD, you’re likely wondering how much CBD is the recommended daily serving size. In short, there is no perfect answer. The right amount of CBD for your pet may be different than what’s best for another pet. You may find that your dog, cat, or horse responds best with either a higher or lower CBD serving than recommended usage amounts.
Ultimately, the amount of CBD you feel is best for your pet is up to you and your veterinarian. With that said, you’ll want to take into account your pet’s size as you dial in on the right amount of CBD oil.
Use the following serving guidance when measuring out your pet’s daily serving of liquid CBD oil:
- 0-5 kg – up to 0.25 ml
- 5-10 kg – up to 0.5 ml
- 10-15 kg – up to 1 ml
- 15-20 kg – up to 1.5 ml
- 20+ kg – up to 2 ml
Generally, pourable pet CBD oil comes with a dropper pipette that makes it easy to dispense the right serving size every time. Pipettes tend to hold a total of 1 ml, allowing you to easily draw up and dispense the correct amount.
If you have any doubts about how much CBD oil you should give your pet when first starting out, we recommend following the motto, “low and slow.” This means that you begin with a lower serving amount than recommended, and then observe how your pet reacts to that serving size. After monitoring their response, you can slowly increase their serving size every few days until you discover the optimal amount.
Keep in mind that it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours after administration for the effects of CBD to be noticed by your pet.
CBD in pets has shown to be safe and well-tolerated, even in high amounts. While we do not advise giving your pet extremely high servings of CBD, there is likely no cause for concern if you give your pet more CBD than needed.
While supporting your pet’s systems with CBD every day is not essential, doing so may enhance the natural benefits of CBD. CBD, like all cannabinoids, can build up in your pet’s body and cause an increase in cannabinoid receptors. This makes the endocannabinoid system more active and sensitive to stimulation by cannabinoids, making it even more efficient at keeping the body balanced.
Is CBD Safe for Pets?
CBD has become the cannabinoid of choice for many pet owners because it is safe and well-tolerated by pets, including dogs, cats, and horses. You’re right as a responsible pet owner to consider the safety of anything you give your cat or dog. But it’s true– CBD is indeed safe for pets, just like it is safe for humans.
Provided they’re responsibly manufactured and rigorously tested for safety and consistency, you can feel comfortable that CBD pet products are safe and healthy for your pet.
Will CBD get your pet high? It’s a question we’re sure you’re curious about. Since quality products are made from industrial hemp and contain no detectable amounts of THC, there aren’t any intoxicating effects, making them a safe choice for use with pets. You don’t have to worry about any undesirable side effects of CBD pet products when they’re given at recommended serving sizes. Your dog or cat can benefit from cannabinoids without any euphoric or adverse side effects.
While CBD is safe for pets, THC can be toxic to dogs and cats. To best protect the health and safety of your pet, choose a product made from hemp-derived CBD isolate or broad-spectrum hemp oil. Both have undergone a proprietary filtration process to remove all detectable amounts of THC.
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate in the UK have released a statement stating that products containing CBD for pets should be regulated and require Marketing Authorisation to be sold or supplied in the UK, however, you can obtain a prescription from your veterinarian to use CBD on your pet. Whilst any other official veterinary associations in the rest of Europe have yet to take an official stance on CBD oil, a growing number of veterinarians are now consulting pet owners on creating a safe, effective daily CBD routine for pets. Also, the American Veterinary Medical Association has adopted a position acknowledging the potential benefits of CBD in pets: “There is a growing body of veterinary evidence … This herb may be able to improve the quality of life for many patients.” Numerous vets have seen firsthand the benefits of CBD for dogs and cats, and are now recommending giving pets servings of CBD.
If you’re unsure about giving your pet CBD, we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian. You should also talk with your veterinarian before giving CBD to your pet if they are on any type of medication. There is some evidence that CBD may increase concentrations of some medications when used together.
How Do I Give My Pet CBD?
CBD oil products have proven to be a trusted and all-natural option for thousands of pet owners, as they have successfully used CBD oil products to help improve the overall health of dogs, cats, and other pets.
Pet CBD products are designed for everyday use to support your pet’s well-being. There are several administration methods that you can choose to add CBD to your cat or dog’s daily wellness regimen.
Here are some of the most popular ways to give your pet CBD:
- From a spoon: If your pet enjoys the flavor of a pourable pet CBD oil, the easiest way to give it to them is to measure out the desired serving onto a spoon and have your cat or dog lick up the CBD liquid.
- With a treat: CBD in the form of a treat or soft chew can be given in the same way you would give your pet any type of treat. If your pet is unwilling to lick the CBD oil from the spoon, you can also drip their daily CBD oil onto their favorite treat for them to enjoy. Wide, dry treats tend to work best when pairing with CBD oil. You may also find that multiple treats can be helpful for making sure your pet gets their full daily serving. Dogs in particular are motivated by treats, making them a highly effective way to administer the beneficial cannabinoid each day.
- Mix it into their feed: Try adding your pet’s CBD, whether in the form of an oil or an edible soft chew, to their wet or dry meal. This method can help mask any flavor that your pet may prefer to avoid. If using a liquid oil, mix it into your pet’s food thoroughly to ensure even saturation throughout the food.
- Dripped onto their paw: A clever way to get your dog to take their daily serving of CBD oil is to drip the natural extract directly onto their paw. Your dog will then instinctively lick it off. If you’re giving a large serving, you may need to administer portions of the serving to the paw multiple times. This way, you prevent the oil from spilling off your dog’s paw onto the floor.
- Apply topically onto their skin: CBD oil can also be used to help manage skin-specific issues. Topical CBD pet products are best for targeting the natural soothing benefits of CBD to calm skin redness, scrapes, itchiness, hot spots, insect bites, and other skin irritations that your pet may experience.
If you find that it’s difficult to give your pet their full daily serving of CBD oil at a single time, know that it’s completely fine to break up the daily amount into smaller servings that are given throughout the day.
Where Can I Purchase Pet CBD Products?
CBD is great for the entire family, including your pet! But with a wide range of CBD pet products available on the market, there is no doubt you’ll find large variations in quality. If you’re looking to buy CBD oil for dogs or CBD oil for cats, it’s important to choose only authorized CBD pet products from a supplier that you trust has your pet’s safety and health at top of mind.
Whether you’re buying products in person at a store or online, check the labels and any other information materials for information on how and where the hemp used to make the product is grown, how the CBD oil is processed and tested, and whether the CBD manufacturer has a reliable track record.
Is it Legal to Give My Pet CBD?
Now that you’ve learned about the exciting benefits of CBD for pets, the one question you probably still are asking yourself is– “is it legal to give my pet CBD?”
In short, yes! CBD pet products made from hemp plants are legal throughout the Member States that make up the European Union. They are also legal in the United States, thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp and hemp-based products. We would recommend you check locally in your own country with regards to any specific regulations that may be in place. For example, in the United Kingdom, you would need to obtain a prescription from you vet to allow you to use CBD on your pet.
Throughout all European countries, the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of hemp remains legal. Under the European Union’s free movement of goods, any products that are placed lawfully to the market in one of the Member States can be legally sold, bought, and used in all Member States. This means that it is legal to purchase and use CBD products made from hemp, provided their THC levels are below 0.02%, no matter whether you’re buying them to use for yourself or for your pet.
As pet owners, it’s up to us to keep our dogs and cats happy, healthy, and safe. Giving your dog or cat daily servings of hemp CBD oil can be a valuable way to support your pet’s systems, just as you would your own.
Want to learn more about CBD and hemp? Visit the Hemp for Humanity blog, which has tons of useful resources and educational articles to help you.