CBD for pets can be an awesome way to give your pet relief from physical and emotional distress. As more pet owners learn about the benefits of using CBD oil products on their furry friends is becoming increasingly popular.
But what is CBD? Is it the same as THC? How does it work? And, most importantly, should you give it to your pet?
What is CBD Anyway?
Hemp, marijuana, THC, or something else
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. Unlike THC (marijuana), which is also found in the cannabis plant - but not in CBD products - it does not have psychoactive properties and won't get your pet “high.”
While still a relatively new product in the mainstream market, CBD is growing in popularity not only for humans but also for dogs and cats.
How Does Pet CBD Oil Work?
Although some swear it's magic, it's actually science
CBD works by interacting with our pet's built-in endocannabinoid system, which is like a network of receptors and messengers in a pet's body.
These receptors are spread throughout a pet's body and respond to different internal signals and its surroundings. They help control important things like hunger, mood, and pain.
When broad spectrum CBD is taken orally or applied topically (such as behind a cat's ears) - like in a pet CBD oil - it interacts with the serotonin receptors, helping to regulate a pet's biological systems.
This is why many people turn to CBD pet products for relief from physical or emotional distress for their pets.
What are the Potential CBD Benefits for My Pet?
CBD pet products can help with inflammation, pain and more!
There is anecdotal evidence that CBD can provide many therapeutic effects, such as calming anxiety and relieving pain in dogs and cats. It's also known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with things like arthritis.
Some dog owners administer CBD products, under the direction of their pet's veterinarian, in place of traditional seizure medications.
Studies show it can improve overall wellness by providing a natural anti-inflammatory response, reducing anxiety levels, and helping with chronic pain. Many people who use CBD as an anxiety treatment for their pet report their furry friend seemed calmer and more relaxed when given before a stressful event like a storm or fireworks.
Additionally, CBD can also provide relief for pets suffering from arthritis, seizures, stimulating appetite in dogs who are picky eaters, to treat anxiety and other conditions.
Yeah, but is CBD Safe for Pets?
Great question; We're glad you asked
CBD for pets is still relatively new to mainstream and there aren't as many research studies into the potential benefits for both dogs and cats as there are on human products. Overall, CBD oil generally considered safe, and there are very few reported side effects.
While CBD is pet-friendly, THC and marijuana can be very toxic for them. All pet CBD products are required to be derived from hemp oil, with .3% or less of THC, but it's still a bit wild, wild west when it comes to products.
When using a new CBD oil or product, it's a good idea to closely monitor your pet, watching for any adverse reaction.
Knowing the ingredients and manufacture of the CBD product you give your pet also helps keep them safe. The more you know about the product and follow the proper dosage, the less likely you are to see adverse effects from use. Each pet is an individual, so how dogs react to CBD may vary.
How Does CBD Fit in with Traditional Veterinary Medicine?
Make your pet's vet part of the conversation
As the potential benefits of broad-spectrum CBD oil and other products become more evident, more and more veterinary professionals are recommending this alternative or addition to traditional medicine.
As with any supplement or medication, always consult your veterinarian before introducing anything new into your pet’s routine.
Since it's 'new' to the pet space, determining how much CBD to give can be challenging, but most vets work with pet parents to provide guidance. They can help you find the best CBD oil and dosage for your pet's specific needs.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that CBD is not a miracle cure for all ailments in pets and benefits of CBD has its limitations, like any other treatment option.
Should You Give Your Pet CBD Products?
The short answer, it depends
As with anything you give your pet - from medications to treats - it's important to do your research and talk to your veterinarian first before introducing any new products.
Keep in mind that each CBD product is different, and we encourage you to read product descriptions thoroughly to ensure it is a good fit for your dogs or cats.
As with any other medications, it's best to consult your vet before using any CBD oil or other product. They can discuss how CBD might work for your pet's medical needs, potential benefits and side effects, and give you advice on finding a high-quality CBD extracted product.
How Do I Know What to Look for When Shopping?
You've talked to a vet and are doing the thing, here are some tips
CBD has been used for a variety of conditions in humans and pets, but not all products are created equal.
While finding the right product for your pet can be a bit tricky, with so many companies offering a variety of CBD oil, tinctures, capsules, and treats, there is something out there that will work for every pet.
It’s also important to make sure you purchase your pet’s CBD product from a reputable company and that the product is made specifically for pets. Read the label closely.
Here are a few key points to help you spot trustworthy CBD treats, oil, and other pet products:
Third-Party Lab Testing:
Look for brands that have their products tested by an independent lab. This ensures that the product contains the correct amount of CBD, is free from harmful residues, pesticides, is non GMO and less than the legal limit of 0.3% THC.
Source of Hemp:
Hemp farmed in the United States tends to be of better quality due to strict farming standards. Brands that use organically grown hemp are typically safer.
CO2 extraction is considered the gold standard for producing high-quality CBD oil. Avoid brands that use solvents for extraction as this may leave harmful residues.
Full Spectrum CBD:
Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds work together in what is known as the 'entourage effect' to enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD.
Reputable brands are transparent about their processes, ingredients, and testing methods. If a brand is not forthcoming with this information, it's best to look elsewhere.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Pets
Anecdotal evidence and testing have shown that CBD oil and other products can be a natural alternative to traditional medicine for our furry friends, and it is becoming an increasingly popular choice.
Before introducing CBD or any other supplement into your pet's routine, always consult with your vet so you can find the right product and dosage for your pet's health history and specific needs. This will help your pet receive all of the therapeutic benefits of CBD without adverse effects.
When shopping, check the ingredients list for an all-natural product with no artificial fillers or preservatives. Then, confirm the product is tested by a third-party lab to ensure its potency and quality. Members of the PetHub team have used CBD products from Pet Releaf and CBD Dog Health in the past and we've found both brands to be helpful for anxiety.
Whether you’re looking to reduce anxiety levels, support joint and muscle health, or provide pain management – this could be the right choice for your cat or dog.
Want to learn more?
Don't miss our Pet Lover Geek podcast featuring integrative veterinarian, acupuncturist, chiropractor (and more)- Dr. Judy Morgan, What Exactly is CBD, and should I give it to my pet?
Learn more about our favorite anxiety-reducing products for pets - 12 best Calming Aids for Pets!