CBD for Pets – Things to Know

A picture of a cat looking at a dog

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the many cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. Like the well-known cannabinoid THC, CBD is taken medicinally for pain, anxiety, and other ailments. Unlike THC, it does not contain psychoactive properties. Due to the legalization of medical marijuana across thirty-one states, increased interest in CBD’s medicinal properties means that we’re discovering more about the chemical’s effects than ever.

For more information, check out our article on how CBD works.  

CBD and Pets

Between 2008 and 2014, the market for CBD for pets has nearly doubled and is expected to continue to grow. Although popularity is booming, few studies have been done on CBD’s effects on pets. Based on the few studies we do have, anecdotal evidence, and some studies on humans, many believe that CBD can help treat some conditions in pets. Before giving CBD to your pet, always consult a veterinarian and never abruptly stop administering other medication.

What can CBD treat in pets?

Epilepsy in dogs

Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder for dogs and their owners are eager to find treatments for it. Unfortunately, many drugs used to treat epilepsy have harmful side effects including anxiety and liver damage. As such, dog owners are progressively turning to alternative medicines with less, more minor side effects like CBD. While few studies have been done specifically on CBD’s effects on dogs, the veterinary school at Colorado State University’s studies have shown promising signs that CBD helps treat epilepsy in dogs. They found an 89% reduction in epileptic seizures in dogs that were given CBD. Moreover, the FDA has approved a drug in which CBD was the active ingredient to treat epilepsy in humans. Anecdotal evidence, like this reddit user’s story, also claims that CBD does help with epilepsy in dogs. Fortunately, we will have even more evidence soon because of a major study that is being conducted by the ACK American Canine Foundation.

Anxiety in cats

Anxiety in cats can manifest in many forms such as aggression, lethargy, and skittishness. Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD may help alleviate anxiety in cats. According to this reddit user, their cat stopped their erratic behavior after taking CBD. Studies have shown that CBD can have anti-anxiety effects in rats, which has led many humans to take it for anxiety. Since there is only anecdotal evidence to specifically support using CBD to treat anxiety in cats, always ask a veterinarian before giving CBD to your cat.

Chronic pain in pets

Due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties and effects on nerve-related pain, it is becoming an increasingly common treatment for humans to relieve the effects of chronic pain. A study done by Cornell University suggests that CBD can help increase comfort in dogs that suffer from osteoarthritis, one of the most common musculoskeletal diseases in dogs. Further studies are being conducted on how much CBD can treat chronic pain in pets. Anecdotal evidence, like from this reddit user, also suggests that it can help relieve pain in dogs.

How much CBD do I give my pet?

Proper dosing is crucial to treating your pet’s ailments. Dogs, for example, have a much more complex endocannabinoid system than humans do and feel the effects of cannabinoids much stronger. Fortunately, CBD alone appears to be non-toxic. According to Dr. Cornelia Wagner, owner of Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic in Portland, Oregon, about 1 mg of CBD can be safely administered to your pet daily. The rule of thumb is to start low and go slow, increasing doses slowly every 5 days or so until desired effects are noticed.

How do I give my pets CBD?

Many CBD brands offer pet-friendly products. Pets can be administered CBD in the form of oils, tinctures, and even treats. Before giving your pet CBD, always talk to a veterinarian first and make sure to give them the proper, safe dosages.

CBD Products for Pets on Halso

Hypatia Extracts Pet-Tracts Tincture

Why we love it: Hypatia Extracts extracts CBD in small batches by hand without the use of harsh chemicals.

Price: $59.99

Receptra Pet Tincture

Why we love it: Receptra’s pet tincture is formulated with MCT oil to help your pet lose weight and feel more energetic.

Price: $44.95