While research on CBD use for pets is definitely lacking, the fact is that our furry friends (like every animal with a spine) have endocannabinoid systems just like us!
The Endocannabinoid System, or the ECS, is responsible for managing things like sleep, mood, pain, stress, appetite, skin and nerve function, and much more. Just like in humans, the ECS in cats and dogs is crucial in maintaining an internal balance.
When your pet’s ECS isn’t working as it should, your pet’s quality of life suffers. Yes, research suggests that the health of your pet’s ECS is directly reflected in their physical and emotional wellbeing!
How CBD’s Benefits Increase Your Pet’s Quality of Life
Cats and dogs can suffer from anxiety, depression, and painful conditions like arthritis.
The onset of older age can also cause a decline in a pet’s body and mind. The effects of aging can make your dog or cat experience loss of joy and drive for the daily activities that once kept them happy and healthy, leaving you frustrated and unsure of what to do to help them feel better.
Dogs and cats, like humans, can develop strong and lasting emotions of stress and sadness in response to major life changes in their human owner’s life.
- Things like you moving houses, changing jobs, or anything, really, that is disruptive to your pet’s routine, can lead to unforeseen shifts in pet behavior and lasting effects on your pet’s overall health.
CBD may help your pet by acting as a plant-based supplement for their ECS.
- With daily use, CBD acts like a vitamin for wellness, increasing your pet’s quality of life by giving them the relief they need for anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, bad sleep, you name it!
- With CBD helping your pet not only BE but also STAY healthy and happy, you’ll finally get some peace of mind!
Is CBD safe for your pet?
While no one can say with 100% certainty that CBD is safe for pets OR humans (and if they do, they’re making false claims!), there is powerful research supporting CBD’s benefits for pets. Plus, anecdotal evidence is seemingly omnipresent these days when it comes to CBD and its benefits.
- We'd even bet that this anecdotal evidence can be found much closer to home than the Internet; someone close to you has probably used and benefited from CBD, so don't be shy and ask around!
- Many dog owners, cat owners, and even veterinarians have turned to CBD for long-lasting relief, especially for conditions like osteoarthritis and seizures.
CBD is not psychoactive, so it won’t get your pet high. Remember, however, that full-spectrum CBD products do have trace amounts of THC levels (less than 0.3%). There are many studies supporting the inability of such low levels of THC causing a high in humans (besides, CBD actually counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC to begin with).
While studies on the effects (or lack of them) of trace THC levels in CBD oils on pets don’t really exist, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that supports the effectiveness (without a high) of full-spectrum or whole-plant CBD oil in pets. When in doubt, always starts with the lowest dose, follow the product’s instructions, and consult your pet’s vet!
CBD Oils for Dogs and Cats
CBD oils for dogs and cats have the highest pharmacokinetic profile out of all CBD products for pets. Having the highest pharmacokinetic profile is the fancy way of saying that just like with humans, CBD oils in pets deliver the benefits of CBD faster, longer, and with more potency.
The studies that do exist have found the CBD oils taken by pets:
- reach the highest concentration in the blood (meaning, more CBD is absorbed)
- stay in the bloodstream the longest (meaning, the effects of CBD’s benefits are felt for more time)
- perform more consistently compared to other CBD-infused products (meaning, CBD oils reacted with the same potency, absorption, speed, and duration in all pets that were part of any given study involving CBD oils and their benefits)
CBD Topicals for Dogs and Cats
While CBD topicals are generally ineffective for entering the bloodstream, they’re great for inflammation and pain relief that is specific to one area. The only topical products (both for pets and humans) that go against this rule of lower absorption/less whole-body effectiveness are transdermal products.
By the very nature of their name and categorization, “transdermal”, these products are specifically designed to penetrate the skin’s tough dermal layer, thereby allowing CBD to enter the bloodstream just as it would with a CBD oil.
CBD Treats for Dogs and Cats
CBD treats and CBD-infused edibles are a great way to add flavor with the benefits of CBD in a familiar form to your pet’s life. Plus, they’re portable!
- You can bring CBD treats with you for wellness-on-the-go on all your walks, playdates in the park, and adventures in the great outdoors.
CBD that has to go through your pet’s digestive system, just like with humans, can take the longest to “work”.
- It’s important to remember that the effects of CBD in treats and edibles can sometimes take up to 2 hours to be felt.
- Don't risk over-feeding your pet! Don’t forget: safety with CBD starts with finding the right dose (and not over-dosing)!
How to Use CBD for Pets
CBD application will depend on the product. For CBD oils, the uses are pretty much limitless. You can give your pet CBD oil by emptying out the desired dose directly into their mouth. You can also add CBD oil to their food (wet or dry) or soak their favorite treats in it.
Topicals should be applied to specific areas that need relief while treats should always be given with the understanding that it may take up to 2 hours for your pet to feel CBD’s benefits.
The most important part of adding CBD to your pet’s life is to a, ALWAYS start with the lowest possible dose and b, follow the product’s instructions. Pets that take too much CBD can experience drowsiness, dry mouth, and a temporary drop in blood pressure.
CBD Products for Pets
Social CBD Pet Drops
This CBD oil from Social CBD ($59.99) has a whopping 750 mg of CBD derived from broad-spectrum hemp extract! The broad-spectrum nature of this oil makes it ideal for giving your pet all of the whole-body benefits of the hemp plant without any trace levels of THC.
Plus, the strength of this amount of CBD means it’s suitable for both big and small pets (although, of course, a bottle of this CBD oil will last longer for smaller pets)! To top it all off, Social CBD has infused this CBD oil with the natural flavoring of chicken or bacon, making it that much easier (and tastier) to add the benefits of CBD by infusing food or delivering the oil directly from the dropper to your pet’s mouth.
Mary’s Tails Hemp Extract Transdermal Gel Pen
Mary’s Nutritionals pet brand, Mary’s Tails, ensures that every member of your family (especially the furry ones) have access to Mary’s award-winning CBD relief. Fast-acting and potent, this gel pen ($40) is specifically designed to penetrate the skin, allowing the CBD to enter your pet’s bloodstream. That means you get the benefits of localized pain and inflammation relief WITH the whole-body benefits typically felt by a CBD oil.
Each Mary’s Tails gel pen has 50 mg of CBD and delivers 1 mg of CBD per pump. For a dose-effective option that’s mess-free, localized, whole-body, and portable, this gel pen really can’t be beaten!
Paw CBD Soft Chews for Cats
Paw CBD, the pet brand of the trusted and established cbdMD, made these tasty chews ($24.99 or $34.99) specifically for cats. Older cats will love these for how easy they are on feline teeth! Plus, with two CBD strengths (150 mg or 300 mg of CBD) per jar of 150 chews, you’ll have enough treats to last you a good amount of time. Thanks to these chews’ enticing taste of catnip and chicken, your cat won’t know how to say no!
Paw CBD Hip & Joint Chews for Dogs
Another home-run pet product from Paw CBD, the pet brand of trusted CBD brand cbdMD. Specifically formulated for hip and joint support in dogs, these chews ($29.99 or $39.99) are great for helping dogs maintain wellness as they age! While your dog getting older can’t be stopped, you can make the whole process easier by them with these soft, bacon-flavored chews. Plus, Paw CBD further infused these with rosemary extract to boost CBD’s benefits for healthy bones and muscles. Each jar has 30 chews and comes in two CBD doses (150 mg or 300 mg of CBD).
JustCBD Pet Treats for Dogs
Does your dog love the taste of cheese or beef? Then they’ll love these treats ($30) from JustCBD! Each bag of treats is packed with 100 mg of CBD with the mouth-watering flavor of cheese or beef in wrap form. The amount of treats vary per bag, so be sure to watch how many your dog scarfs down!
Disclaimer: This blog post and any recommendations made within this blog post have not been approved by the FDA. This blog post should not be regarded as making any medical claims, offering any medical advice, or as offering criteria for diagnosis. If in doubt, you should always consult a veterinarian before incorporating CBD use for serious conditions afflicting your pet. You should never replace the medication prescribed for your pet by a veterinarian without consulting them first. CBD research is ongoing and any strong statements made within this blog post should be regarded as the opinion of the writer.