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Pet owners always want the best for our four-legged friends. So, as we’ve started incorporating CBD into our daily routines — and seeing remarkable benefits — it’s left us wondering whether or not CBD for pets could be beneficial, too.

Cannabis and pets are a bit of a gray area, as are many things in the cannabis world. However, when it comes to CBD, it appears as though cannabidiol pet products are not only safe, but they can be incredibly beneficial.

But, just as you need to be cautious when consuming CBD, so does your furry friend. That’s why, today, we’re addressing the ins and outs of CBD for pets, safety, dosing, and everything in between. 

What is CBD for Pets?

To understand pet CBD, you must first understand what cannabidiol is, what it entails, and its relationship and interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundant cannabinoids — a class of natural compounds — found in cannabis.This cannabinoid doesn’t get you high, but instead provides myriad undeniable therapeutic benefits.

Like humans, our pets also have an endocannabinoid system, a complex system of cell signalers that lets the body know where it needs support/regulation. The ECS is functional in helping maintain homeostasis and carry out other functions in the brain and muscles, including pain management.

When we consume CBD, we supply the endocannabinoid system with more cannabinoids to process its functions. 

Experts theorize that a similar process occurs when we give our pets cannabinoids. As a result, manufacturers have developed CBD oil for pets to suit pets’ needs more aptly.

So, what is CBD oil for pets, then? They are pet CBD products, including hemp oil and CBD-infused pet treats specifically produced for animal consumption.

You are likely to find many pet CBD products in the market, but you should be cautious about what you buy and how you offer them to your furry friend.

Can I Give CBD to My Pet?

If you’re wondering, “Can I give CBD to my pet?” The answer is likely yes. But, there are a few things involved in giving your pet CBD that you have to be aware of.

First off, you must understand that animals don’t have as many endocannabinoid receptors as human beings. 

Therefore, consuming as much CBD as a human can result in a much higher effect. As a result, they could become very clumsy, vomit, or have diarrhea and dehydration.

Secondly, the CBD industry is somewhat unregulated. (Well, not as regulated as the medical industry, at least.) So, while hemp pet products may indicate that they only contain CBD, some might contain THC as well

THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid also found in cannabis plants. Some pets – particularly dogs and cats – can be allergic to THC. If you don’t want them consuming THC, turn to broad-spectrum products instead. 

You should only buy pet CBD products that provide a certificate of analysis (COA). They demonstrate the test analysis results of your CBD pet products, helping to show their purity and quality. 

Interestingly enough, it may be best if you stick to buying full-spectrum CBD or hemp oil for pets. These products don’t have additives other than the carrier medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, giving your four-legged friend the purity they deserve.

Speaking of, full-spectrum CBD often contains trace amounts of THC — less than 0.3%. At this low level, it is not particularly a cause for concern. 

Plus, the slight trace of THC helps in ensuring the complete absorption and effectiveness of CBD in a process called the entourage effect. 

However, if you don’t want even the slightest business with THC, opt for broad-spectrum, or CBD isolates, which are pure CBD extracts with no trace of other compounds.

Finally, suitable doses differ from pet to pet depending on their size and weight. Also, bear in mind that different CBD for pets have different levels of CBD content. Hence, a reasonable dosage in one product may yield different results with some other CBD for pets products. 

Always seek the appropriate recommended dose of each pet CBD product for your dog or cat.

So, can you use CBD for pets? Yes, most likely! However, do pay attention and always act with caution. After all, your pets can’t tell you what they do and don’t enjoy.

Is Hemp Safe for Pets?

Researchers have used animals in many CBD studies, and some studies on pet CBD are currently ongoing. Although there aren’t a lot of studies on our usual furry friends – dogs and cats – other animal studies, like those from the World Health Organization (WHO), have shown some positive results.

Frontiers in Veterinary Science have also conducted a study to determine the efficacy of CBD on osteoarthritic dogs. The study’s result suggests that giving dogs 2mg/kg of CBD twice daily could help increase comfort and activity in dogs.

In all, CBD for pets appears quite safe. Irrespective, bear in mind that there are not enough cannabidiol studies on conventional pets yet. 

And while CBD is considered primarily safe for pets, it doesn’t mean they come without any side effects – as reactions may differ from animal to animal. 

Just like when you consume CBD, you have to make sure you do so slowly and carefully for your pet. A good rule of thumb is to give your pet 1 – 2 mg. of CBD for every ten pounds. So, if you’ve got a pup at 30 pounds, 3 – 6 mg. is a good place to start. 

If you find that this dosage isn’t enough, try increasing it by about 3 mg. at a time. Doing this helps to ensure a comfortable, productive experience for your furry friend. 

LEARN MORE: What is a Therapeutic Dose of CBD?

How to Give Your Pet CBD

Hemp oil for pets in tinctures is one of the most common methods you can give your pet CBD. Your companion could also try products like soft chews and other CBD pet treats; however, pet CBD oil is the most effective way to give your cat or dog CBD.

Doing it this way helps ensure the quickest, best absorption possible. 

Since not all pets are the same, not all consumption methods are the same. Here are a few ways you can give your pet CBD oil, depending on their temperament and personal preferences. 

Try Using a Dropper!

If your pet doesn’t mind being fed directly from a dropper, this is an easy-peasy way to give them CBD.

Measure the correct dosage and give the drops by placing them directly on your dog or cat’s tongue. And voíla! You can go about your business until it’s time for the next dose.

Given the varying factors determining how much CBD your pet can take, there’s no definitive dosage recommendation. However, when in doubt, it is always best to start with minimal doses and increase gradually over time, depending on how your companion reacts to CBD.

As we mentioned above, try starting the amount based on your furry friend’s weight. 

Mix Their Treat or Food With Hemp Oil for Pets

Maybe your pet doesn’t fancy the looks of a dropper. (Or maybe getting anything in or out of their mouths is a challenge.) That’s totally okay: you can still give them CBD in other ways.

Simply mix the appropriate dose of CBD oil right into their food.

If it’s a hard treat, allow some time for it to soak in before offering it to your pet. Bear in mind that it may be best to use unflavored CBD oil, so you don’t spook your pet from having a good chow. 

Then, after they eat it, their dose of CBD should kick in within about an hour or so — maybe less. 

Opt for CBD Soft Chews or Treats

Plain and simple, some dogs and cats may not like CBD pet oil. And that’s okay! All hope is not lost: you can always offer them CBD-infused treats, edibles, or soft chews.

With hemp-infused treats, they’ll come in varying strengths and flavors depending on what’s best for your pet. If your furry friend is picky, try getting a CBD treat in a flavor you know they love.

You can give them these soft chews once or twice a day, and they’re completely safe as long as you buy them from reputable CBD brands. (We suggest Charlotte’s Web pet product line, as you can find them at your local Petco!)

Topical Applications

There are CBD ointments, balms, shampoos, and sprays for pets, which you can apply topically on your pets, during or after bath time. Or, you can use them when you notice your furry friends in some pain or discomfort. 

Because topical CBD pet products don’t reach your pet’s bloodstream, you can give them other doses of CBD if need be.

For example, if you notice your elderly pup is in extra pain today, you could give them their CBD soft chew or oil, as well as give them a gentle, soothing CBD shampoo bath. This won’t double their dosage. 

Benefits of Hemp Oil for Pets: Why Give Your Pet CBD?

Just as with humans, CBD also offers many benefits to pets. (Refer back to the Frontier study if you want to see some benefits for osteoarthritic dogs.)

In general, people have found CBD to have so many benefits for their four-legged friends. Here are just a few:


      • Hemp-derived CBD can help your pet manage their joint pain or chronic pain
      • It can help alleviate their anxiety or make them less apprehensive before an upsetting event
      • CBD may help control or reduce seizures
      • Cannabinoids like CBD may stimulate appetite
      • It can improve overall comfort and mood

    Helping You Understand Pet CBD to Its Fullest

    To help you understand CBD for pets as comprehensively as possible, let’s quickly go over a few major points:


        1. Generally, CBD products are safe for pets. But do consult with a vet before administering CBD to your dog or cat.

        1. Only buy products that show a certificate of analysis, so you know what your pet is consuming.

        1. Consult a vet to determine the appropriate dosage for each pet – don’t use one dose recommendation for all your pets.

        1. Don’t cut costs: always opt for pure, high-quality pet CBD products.

      Here at Elevate Holistics, we may not be local veterinarians, but we do know a thing or two about medical cannabis. 

      When it comes to CBD, our experts fully believe in the safety and benefits behind the natural compound. That’s why we want to be the ones to give you the most accurate information on CBD consumption and more — even if it’s for your furry friend. 

      To find out more about medical marijuana for you, book an appointment for an MMJ card today and see if you qualify! 

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      About the author

      Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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