CBD for Pets

Uses, Benefits, and Everything Pet Parents Should Know 

CBD for pets has become extremely popular in the past few years. In 2021, 28 percent of pet parents polled in Spot’s pet behavior survey said they had tried a CBD product for their dog or cat.

From the drugstore to bars to local corner stores, CBD is seemingly everywhere. The benefits for people are well known in the health and wellness industry.

Does CBD have benefits for our non-human besties? Is it safe for our pets? It can be difficult to get accurate information. With this article, we provide common questions about CBD for pets, including effects and safety. 

New to CBD? Common Questions for Pet Parents

For pet parents who are new to CBD oil, we answer some common questions that pet parents may have.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s commonly known, is the second most prevalent naturally occurring substance found in cannabis plants (marijuana or hemp). It is used in products like oils, lotions, and edibles.

Will my pet get high from CBD?

No, CBD won’t get your pet high. The cannabis plant is made up of two primary components: CBD and THC. THC is what causes someone to feel euphoric, or “high.” CBD is non-psychoactive and CBD products do not contain THC (or contain only up to 0.3 percent max) and will not make the user feel altered at all.

Is CBD legal?

CBD derived from hemp and contains no more than the aforementioned 0.3 percent THC is legal in most states. However, the industry still resides in a bit of a gray area at the federal level. Check the law’s in your state if you’re unclear.

Is CBD safe for my dog or cat?

That’s a bit more complicated. Most studies and anecdotal evidence have found that CBD is safe for pets. CBD pet products are marketed as natural remedies to treat various conditions instead of traditional pharmaceuticals, which has made pet parents curious. However, there currently aren’t any CBD products for pets that have been approved by the FDA. Before you consider CBD for your dog or cat, make sure you are informed and able to make an educated decision.

How do I choose a CBD product for my pet?

When considering the safest and most effective product for your dog or cat, choose the highest quality CBD oils, typically made from organically grown hemp that is free of toxins. Consider how it’s processed and tested and always look at the THC level. Remember, products should always have less than 0.3 percent THC to be considered safe.

Another good rule of thumb is to read product reviews. Most CBD oils and products have extensive reviews, lists of pros and cons, and dosage instructions.

Using CBD for Pet: What to Know

How does CBD for pets work? What should I know as a pet parent? If you’re interested in learning more about CBD products for pets, the perceived benefits, and how to use it, we interviewed pet CBD expert, Dr. Christopher Brooks DVM.

What can CBD oil help treat?

Although we cannot make any claims that CBD can cure or treat any illnesses or diseases, it can offer an abundance of benefits to a pet’s body. CBD may help support: 

  • a healthy immune system

  • hip and joint health

  • digestive health

  • promote calmness and relaxation

  • and more 

What are some possible side effects of CBD oil for pets?

There should really be very few if any at all. As with any pet product, it is paramount to read through all of the ingredients carefully before administering them to your pet. You’ll want to proceed with caution if your pet has any sensitivities or allergies to any of the ingredients. Because veterinarians have a complete view of your pet’s health profile, it’s always a good idea to discuss with your vet before giving your pet any new supplement. When it comes to CBD and side effects, the most common ones are: 

It is always a good idea to watch your pet closely when starting any new supplement.

What’s the best way to give your pet CBD?

CBD-infused products are available in many different forms, such as tinctures, soft chews, capsules, topicals, and more. All options are designed specifically for your pet’s preferences and specific health concerns. Chews and oils with a lower amount of CBD are often a great way to start. Make adjustments based on your pet’s preferences and needs. Some pets like to have their CBD oil administered alone or during mealtime or via a highly palatable chew. There are many different product varieties available.

How should I dose my pet? And how often?

As CBD offers so many healthful benefits, we recommend administering CBD to pets daily! Many people start low and gradually increase over a few days. If a pet parent would rather administer CBD to their pet only as needed, whether it be for stress during travel or occasional joint discomfort after a long hike, they can absolutely do so. We encourage pet parents to administer Pet Releaf CBD daily as a wellness supplement to keep their healthy pets healthy.

Which additives, pesticides, or other ingredients should pet parents watch out for in some CBD oils?

As with many things these days, it’s always important for pet parents to do their research on specific brands when it comes to finding high-quality supplements and CBD for their pet companions. Look for a trusted company that oversees their entire manufacturing process from seed to sale, from plant to pet. This can make all the difference. When choosing, be on the lookout for quality certifications, such as USDA Organic and NASC (National Animal Supplement Council). These certifications ensure that there are zero pesticides or herbicides used in the organic farming process. These certified products also follow strict ingredient, manufacturing, and labeling guidelines, so you know exactly what is going into your pet’s body.

Dr. Christopher Brooks has dedicated his life to helping animals on a larger scale. He has held a variety of senior leadership positions at several of the top animal health companies in the world. He has led teams in veterinary technical training, sales, national accounts, veterinary professional development, and medical affairs at Boehringer Ingelheim, Merial, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and most recently, Canopy Animal Health. Dr. Brooks holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from North Carolina State University.

A dog licks a dropper held by a person with text stating "28% of 2,000 Pet Parents surveyed have tried CBD products for their pet" and the Spot Pet Insurance logo in the corner.

The Takeaway

CBD is an effective and safe way to treat some common ailments for dogs and cats. Always start with a low dose and monitor your dog’s reaction. If you notice any negative effects, (vomiting, excessive panting, lethargy) your dog may have consumed too much and you’ll need to consult your veterinarian right away.

And because CBD isn’t yet regulated by the FDA for pets, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet before deciding whether to give it to your pup.

Is CBD Covered Under Pet Insurance?

Currently, Spot pet insurance plans do not cover CBD oil treats or supplements.

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