It’s no secret that we love our pets. From doggie daycare to throwing them birthday parties, our furry friends have become an integral part of the family unit and we treat them as such! We want to give our pets the best life and top notch care whenever possible.
A recent trend in the household pet world is CBD. The use of CBD has been up and coming for humans for a little while now, so it only makes sense that we have begun exploring it for our pets as well. But does it work and is it safe for our four legged friends? As it turns out, it is generally considered to be safe and may have many of the same benefits for animals as it does humans.
How Does CBD Work In Our Pets?
Although clinical research is still ongoingfor how CBD affects our pets, it is thought to work within animal’s bodies the same as it does for humans, in the endocannabinoid system. Yep, our pets have the same internal system that regulates functions such as mood, appetite, and sleep to name a few. The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems that help to keep our pets healthy and in a balanced state.
Why is CBD Beneficial? / What can it do for you pets?
- Relieves Anxiety and Depression
- Pain Management
- Reduce Frequency of Seizures
- Appetite Stimulation
Once you have decided you would like to explore giving your pet CBD, you then need to decide the method to do so, along with the dose that is ideal for your specific pet.
How To Choose the Right CBD For Your Pet
Here is what the AKC suggests for choosing the proper CBD products to give to your pets.
- Look for organically grown CBD. Organically grown CBD is less likely to contain harmful ingredients, additives, or pesticides
- Don’t go for the cheapest options on the market. As a general rule, the higher the price tag the higher quality product. While this may not always be true, most organic CBD products will be slightly more expensive but, as they say, you get what you pay for!
- Look for 3rd Party Lab Results. You want to make sure you can trust the lab analysis and products that are 3rd party lab tested are a good way to do so. When looking through the lab result, look for the actual amount of CBD the product contains as well as ensuring you’re getting THC-free CBD.
- Start out with liquid CBD. Don’t get us wrong, we love CBD dog treats. However, when you are starting out with giving CBD to your dog, using a CBD oil or tincture can make it easier to make sure you’re giving your dog the exact amount of CBD you want. Once they are used to ingesting CBD and you find the right amount for them, CBD treats are a great option!
How To Dose CBD For Your Pet
Knowing how and when to start your dog on CBD can feel like tricky business. Since our pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling or what they need, it’s up to us to make sure we’re dosing them properly. A good rule of thumb is to start with 1mg of CBD daily per 10 lb of body weight. Below us a simple chart of suggested dosing to help you decide how much CBD to give your pet when starting out:
|Pet Weight||Suggested Dose|
|10 lbs||1 - 2 mg|
|20 lbs||2 - 3 mg|
|30 lbs||3 - 4 mg|
|40 lbs||4 - 5 mg|
|50 lbs||5 - 6 mg|
|60 lbs||6 - 7 mg|
|70 lbs||7 - 8 mg|
|80 lbs||8 - 9 mg|
|90 lbs||9 - 10 mg|
|100 lbs||10 - 11 mg|
These are our conservative suggestions for dosing your pet. We always recommend speaking with your primary veterinarian to see what they recommend is best for your specific pet.
Monitor your pet over the course of 2-4 weeks to see how they handle the CBD dose. Once you are able to assess how your pet reacts to the CBD, you can then begin to reduce or increase the dose to find what works best for your furry friend.
At this point, you may also begin to play around with giving your pet CBD treats. Just be mindful to keep track of the amount of CBD in each treat combined with any oils you may also be giving them. If you are having trouble finding the exact treat dosage you’re looking for, you can always break the treat up to provide a lower dose of CBD!
Can I Give My Pet The Same CBD I Use?
The short answer to this is no, you can’t. This is for a few reasons:
- Many CBD products designed for humans contain extra ingredients or flavorings that could potentially be harmful to your pet
- Many CBD products have extra ingredients to aid with things such as sleep. Again, these things are not appropriate for your pet.
However, if you are currently taking a low dose of CBD (500 mg bottle or less) that is unflavored and contains nothing more than a carrier oil and CBD, you may be able to share with your cat or dog. Just make sure to follow the proper dosing guidelines for your pet. Additionally, it is always a good idea to check with your vet first and you should never feed your dog any of your edible CBD candies.
Will CBD Get My Pet High?
Nope! Just like in humans CBD generally contains little to no THC (the psycho-active compound on marijuana that creates the feeling of being high). In fact all pet CBD products should always be THC-Free and should never cause your pet to become high. Be sure to read your labels!
Things To Watch Out For
Like we mentioned before, it’s hard to know exactly what your pet needs since they can’t exactly tell you! You should also be aware that cats and dogs metabolize CBD differently in their body. Here are some signs to look out for to help you know whether or not they are getting the proper dosage for both cats and dogs specifically:
- Sleepy all of a sudden. If your dog has started to become extra sleepy or drowsy, it is possible you are giving them too high of a dose. Try scaling back a little.
- Diarrhea. While not super common, it can be a known side effect of CBD and may not be dependent on the dosage. If any vomiting or diarrhea occurs, it is best to give your vet a call.
- Dry mouth. This symptom shows itself as an increase in thirst in your dog.
- Reduced production in liver enzymes. This reduction in enzyme production within the liver may result in an interference with some medications. If your pet is taking any medications, speak with your vet before giving your dog CBD.
- Drowsiness. As is the same with dogs, CBD can cause your cat to become extra sleepy if given too much CBD. Make sure to follow the specific dosage instructions and monitor your cat’s nap schedule when first starting them out with CBD.
- Nausea and Diarrhea. Again, these symptoms are rare and could be a result of too high of a dosage or simply that your cat may take some getting used to ingesting CBD. If these symptoms occur, it is always a good idea to contact your vet.
- Reduced production in liver enzymes. Just as with dogs, the reduction in enzyme production within the liver may result in an interference with some medications. If your cat takes regular medications, speak with your vet before giving your cat CBD.
- Increase in licking. This may be a mild symptom of CBD in your cat. While this may be mild and uncommon, it’s a good idea to watch your cat to make sure licking or grooming does not become excessive.
The good news is that overall, most vets consider CBD to be perfectly safe and beneficial to dogs and cats! When properly dosed, CBD has been shown to help with a myriad of issues such as reducing joint pain, depression, and anxiety in our precious pets with minimal side effects.