CBD and Pets: What to Know

on August 01, 2019

We dote on our pets more than we dote on ourselves. They’re the center of our universe. So it’s not surprising that many pet owners are indulging in CBD oil for their cats and dogs. 

CBD isn’t just a trend among humans. Pet products infused with CBD make up a $199 million industry. By 2020, sales are set to increase to a whopping $1.16 billion. Pet owners are going to spend one billion dollars on CBD for their furry friends. So it must be great, right? 

We know that you probably have a lot of questions about CBD for pets. Is it safe? Is it legal? Why am I buying this anyway? We’ve got all the answers you need and the information to know about CBD and pets. 

What Is CBD? 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid. It’s a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant family, which includes marijuana and hemp. The biggest difference between hemp and marijuana plants is THC content. Hemp plants generally test positive for less than .03% THC. Marijuana plants can have THC content in the double digits. 

THC is important to know because it is a chemical compound that gets you high. CBD, on the other hand, is not intoxicating. When humans (or pets) take properly-labeled CBD products, especially those derived from hemp, they endure no risk of getting high. 

Why Should I Give My Pet CBD Oil?

One of the most popular CBD-infused products is CBD oil. CBD oil, also known as hemp oil, is a concentrate that contains high levels of CBD without other chemical compounds or ingredients. 

Why Should I Give My Pet CBD Oil? 

CBD oil for pets has gained popularity this summer for its ability to reduce anxiety. The Fourth of July garnered a lot of attention for pet CBD oil. A few drops of tincture or CBD treats has helped to soothe many dogs on a holiday that normally causes a lot of fear and trembling.

But CBD doesn’t just help your pet's mental health. It can also have physical benefits. Pet owners are snatching CBD oil off the shelves to help your pet with physical recovery as well.

We do not recommend that you swap all of your pet’s medications for CBD oil. Before you try out CBD products, talk to your veterinarian. They can give you the best advice for your specific pet on how to administer CBD.

Is CBD Safe For My Pet? 

Generally, yes, but there is still a lot of research to be done on the subject. 

Studies have been conducted on CBD’s benefits for humans and other animals. CBD is a cannabinoid that works within the endocannabinoid system to help the body achieve physical and mental balance. But the legal loopholes that come with marijuana’s federal criminal status have slowed down other research efforts. 

Are There Any Risks Or Side Effects of CBD?

The best way to keep your pet safe is to follow the instructions on your pet’s CBD products. 

Are There Any Risks Or Side Effects of CBD?

In general, you shouldn’t notice any wild changes in your dog after administering CBD. (They will have a little more pep in their step.) Side effects are uncommon, but check to see if you dog displays any of the following after their first dose of CBD:

  • Dry mouth or dry eyes
  • Drowsiness or dizziness

If you notice these side effects, reach out to your veterinarian. You may just need to lower the dose of CBD that you gave to your pup, or reduce the frequency in which you administer CBD to your pets. 

How to Administer CBD to Pets 

CBD products for pets generally come in two varieties: treats and tinctures. (Sorry, but your dog doesn’t know how to vape yet.) 

Treats come in a lot of varieties. It doesn’t matter if your dog prefers peanut butter or bacon flavors - you can find CBD treats that they will gobble up in seconds. There is no standard for how much CBD each treat should contain. Some contain 2mg of CBD. Others contain 10mg. Read every product and its description thoroughly before giving it to you pet. 

The range in CBD per treat is one of the reasons why the American Kennel Club recommends tinctures and CBD oil over treats. Tinctures are safer all around. If your puppy gets into your pantry, it might gobble up all of your CBD treats at once. Pups haven’t taught themselves how to unscrew a dropper and give themselves an excess amount of CBD oil (yet.) 

How to Administer CBD to Pets

You can give your dogs CBD oil or tinctures by dropping it directly in their mouths or adding it to their food. 

Other products, including CBD balm for dogs, are available on the market. Keep an eye out for new innovation in the world of CBD pet products. 

What’s the Difference Between Human- and Pet-Friendly CBD? 

The term tincture refers to any concentrated, liquified version of an herbal extract. While most cannabis lovers think of THC and CBD tinctures first, you can make a tincture out of cinnamon, chipotle, you name it. 

Tinctures are simple and pure products. So why is there a distinction between CBD tinctures for humans and CBD tinctures for pets? If you run out of your CBD oil, can’t you just use Skip’s? 

The answer is: yeah, probably. 

One of the main reasons that CBD is recommended for pets or humans is to pass FDA regulations. The Food and Drug Administration has different requirements and processes for products intended for humans and those intended for puppies. That being said, you’re most likely consuming the same product, just with a different label.

Before you run to your dog’s medicine cabinet, we should tell you to read the label first. Not all CBD products for pups are the same. Some may contain additional flavors or ingredients. Just give your pet’s CBD products a once-over before you make a decision. Even better, just grab your own tincture and spare yourself any risk.