a dog and a cat laying in the grass benefiting from CBD for pets

What You Need To Know About CBD and Your Pets

We talk a lot on this blog about the therapeutic applications of CBD for people, but did you know that your four-legged family members may benefit from the cannabinoid as well?

CBD products have exploded in the last decade, especially since the 2018 Farm Bill federally decriminalized hemp. Hemp-derived CBD is now showing up in everything from infused gummy candies to beauty products. This boom also includes a large market of CBD products made just for your pets.

If you’ve been wondering about giving CBD to your dog or cat, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about pets and CBD.

Is It Legal to Give My Pets CBD?

Is CBD legal? This is by far one of the biggest questions pet owners have regarding CBD when first looking into the cannabinoid. CBD has been federally decriminalized as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC or in some states, is THC free, but its legality is still somewhat complicated. 

While it’s true you won’t get into any trouble with the federal government for having CBD, it’s ultimately up to the states to set their own laws and regulations surrounding the sale and possession of CBD. The majority of states have legalized CBD and other hemp products, but check our blog to see if CBD is legal in your own state.

Can My Vet Prescribe CBD to My Pet? 

It’s always a good idea to bring up CBD with your vet before you begin administering it to your furry friend, though your vet may be limited in the advice they’re allowed to give you. 

A recent survey determined that out of over 2000 American veterinarians questioned, the vast majority believe that CBD should be allowed for pets. However, less than half of these same vets reported feeling comfortable talking with patients about CBD. Around 80% also reported that they felt the state veterinarian organizations didn’t provide enough meaningful guidance on the subject. 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, vets should abstain from prescribing any amount of CBD to patients until further research is conducted and shouldn’t recommend any cannabis products to animals.

While this is the official statement from the AVMA, cannabis laws are in a constant state of flux and vary significantly from state to state, so your vet may still be able to offer advice regarding CBD. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

CBD Benefits For Pets

If you’re new to cannabis in general, you may be wondering what exactly CBD can do for your dog or cat. 

Research suggests that one major health benefit of the cannabinoid is anxiety relief. These anti-anxiety properties can be useful in helping dogs who may suffer from extreme separation anxiety and can’t help but bark when left alone. It could also benefit dogs who have trouble remaining calm during loud thunderstorms or during holidays like New Year’s Eve, where fireworks are often set off.  

CBD has also proven to be so effective at treating seizures in humans with conditions like Dravet syndrome that the food and drug administration (FDA) has approved its use under the name Epidiolex. Clinical trials suggest that CBD has a similar seizure-reducing effect in dogs. This trial found that nearly 90% of dogs treated with cannabidiol had a reduction in seizures.

CBD has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. One of the most difficult parts of being a pet parent is watching the animals we love grow old much faster than we do. With this rapid aging comes increased pain, and many times the current drugs used to help ease their suffering comes with terrible life-impairing side effects. CBD may be a way to help manage our pet’s pain without the debilitating side effects of conventional treatment.     

Where to Get CBD For Pets 

Nowadays there are plenty of CBD products designed specifically for our pets. These include things like CBD-infused pet treats, CBD oil for dogs or cats, and CBD topicals to help ease sore joints. Even mainstream pet companies like Petco offer CBD products.

For those wondering, the CBD used in pet-specific products is the same exact high quality CBD used in products marketed for humans. The only difference is in the concentration of the compound, so it would be feasible to use human CBD on your pets so long as you adjust the dose accordingly.