What to Know Before Giving Your Pet CBD

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Over the last few years, cannabidiol (CBD) has grown to become one of the most talked-about supplements on the market. Consumers turn to give their pet CBD to alleviate a range of ailments like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain and inflammation. Since animals also suffer from these disorders, it’s no surprise that people are starting to purchase CBD for pets. Here’s what to know before giving your pet CBD. 

Many companies have expanded their product lines to include CBD edibles and oils made for animals. For example, see this bespoke product from Cope CBD. There are even a few brands that exclusively sell CBD for cats and dogs.

CBD is widely regarded as a safe supplement that causes only mild side effects if any. With that said, it’s essential to understand a thing or two before giving CBD to your furry friend.

How does CBD affect animals?

The evidence right now suggests that CBD’s effect on animals is similar to its impact on humans. In humans, CBD helps reduce anxiety, depression, nausea, pain, and inflammation. It is also very effective in treating seizure disorders like epilepsy.

CBD offers the same benefits when ingested by animals. For instance, one study published in Frontiers in Veterinarian Science found that a CBD-rich extract alleviated symptoms of arthritis in dogs with no side effects.

Keep in mind that CBD does not produce a high; THC is the compound that gives marijuana its intoxicating property. So you don’t have to worry about your pet experiencing any psychoactive effects from CBD.


How much CBD should you give your pet?

For the time being, there isn’t a cut and dried answer to this question. Since the FDA doesn’t yet regulate CBD for pets, there aren’t any official dosing guidelines available for reference when it comes to giving your pet CBD. 

As with all supplements and medicines, proper dosing for CBD varies from patient to patient. Some get the full effect from a small amount, while others require a more massive dose to experience the therapeutic benefits.

It’s best to consult your veterinarian for advice on how much CBD to administer to your pet. When in doubt, err on the side of caution; start with a small dose and gradually increase it until you notice an improvement in symptoms.

Make sure the product tells you how much CBD is included per serving. Without this information, dosing will be challenging.


How should CBD be administered?

Oral is generally the best route when administering CBD. Unlike topical creams, which may not be fully absorbed into the system, orally-administered CBD is predictable and consistent. This can take the form of dry CBD-infused food or a CBD oil that can be added to your pet’s canned food.

You may want to consider a product that contains various cannabis ingredients along with CBD, as this tends to enhance the CBD’s effects. These products, known as “full-spectrum,” might include terpenes or small amounts of THC.


What are the risks?

CBD is a low-risk supplement that is well-tolerated by both humans and animals. While the effectiveness varies between species, there is no evidence that CBD is unsafe for animals. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that you work with a vet to determine how much CBD your pet should be given.

If there is any risk associated with CBD for pets, it stems from the lack of official oversight. As we mentioned before, the FDA is not currently regulating these products. It is, therefore, hard to know how much CBD or THC a product contains. With that in mind, buy only from established, trusted companies that have positive customer reviews.

If you’re worried about giving your dog or cat too much THC, go with a product that has been derived from hemp rather than marijuana. Hemp contains much lower levels of THC.

For added peace of mind, select a CBD product that is certified organic. Then you can rest assured that it was not developed using any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other harmful substances before giving your pet CBD products.

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Written by Amanda Howard

Amanda Howard, a LA native, is one of Dine Magazine's writers with a focus on lifestyle, food, wellness, and cannabis. When she's not traveling the world for the next best eat, she focuses her time writing and snuggling her overweight Pug.

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