So, you think some CBD might do your furry best friend some good? Many caring “pawrents” are starting to turn to CBD as a solution for common pet ailments, including chronic pain, arthritis, or stiff joints. Dog owners, in particular, are starting to use CBD to lessen their pet’s acute anxiety or constant hyperactivity. However, a few questions remain -- Can you give the same CBD products to both humans and pets? Is CBD safe for cats and dogs to ingest? And what kind of CBD products are made for pets?
As a pet owner, you’re probably constantly concerned about the health and safety of your pet. You also probably carefully evaluate all of the ingredients included in your pet’s food and treats. Well, CBD treats should be no exception when it comes to safety inspections. However, without the proper research and studies looking into it, it’s difficult to determine the entirety of the effects CBD may have on your pet in the long run. Currently, the FDA has not approved any CBD products specifically for use on pets. And even in states where medicinal CBD use is legal for humans, it is not legal for pets. Yet, there are some veterinarians who recommend CBD oils and treats for specific conditions.
You will, of course, want to speak with your pet’s veterinarian before giving them any CBD products or treats. CBD can interact with different medications your pet may already be prescribed. Also figuring out the appropriate dose of CBD for your dog or cat can be a difficult task, depending on their breed and weight. That's why it’s best to get your pet’s health expert involved.
CBD or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis, according to this Harvard article about CBD. So, you'll want to understand the difference between CBD for humans and CBD for pets. You will see a lot of hemp-based CBD products being marketed for pets. This is because if a dog or cat consumes too much tetrahydrocannabinol it can have adverse side effects and make them sick. However, this popular plant compound is also found in trace amounts in hemp plants. So, although a CBD product might be safe for humans to take, it might not be safe for your pet, especially if overdosed.
If you’ve checked with your vet though and they believe CBD might help make your pet’s life a little easier, be sure to check the label for the CBD product carefully. Make note of the ratio of CBD in the product, the manufacturer, and the batch number. This will hopefully lead you to third-party test results for the contents of the product. In the end, laboratory testing will be able to give you the most information about what is in a CBD product. And all of this information will help you and your vet determine if it’s safe for your pet.
There are a few potential side effects that you should keep in mind when giving your dog or cat CBD treats or treatments. Not surprisingly, they are also common side effects that humans experience when taking CBD products. This can include, dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness. When trying out CBD with your pet for the first time, be sure to have available remedies for these, including extra water, extra attention, and an extra comfy bed to sleep on. Also, make sure you follow the recommended dosage for your pet’s breed and size, to avoid creating any uncomfortable side effects.
With the industrial production of hemp in the United States, a lot of CBD products designed for pets are made with CBD extract from hemp plants. As mentioned before, this hopefully translates to fewer compounds being present that are potentially toxic for cats and dogs. Since hemp is defined as containing no more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol, it is generally considered a safer option. However, that does not take into account that the FDA does not regulate CBD products for pets. Again, you’ll want to do your own research into any pet CBD product you are considering and consult your veterinarian. However, here is a quick overview of the most common CBD products you’ll see:
CBD treats are the most common and probably would be named the most popular by pet’s vote. These pet treats are similar to CBD edibles for humans, but typically have much lower doses of CBD. And although they are a lower dose than what you would take, a pet might take the whole bag if it is available. So, it’s important to always keep the CBD treats safely out of the reach of your pet.
CBD tinctures for pets are very similar to CBD tinctures for humans. They should both be made to food-grade standards with safe and natural ingredients. Oftentimes, CBD tinctures can include just two ingredients, with a base of MCT oil or alcohol being one of them. Since you’re giving the tincture to your pet though, it might be best to opt for the oil-based options. The tinctures should also come with a measuring dropper so that dosing is easy for both you and your pet.
CBD topicals for pets are less common, however, they come in a variety of forms. You’ll see CBD lotions, shampoos, conditioners, oils, and creams that can be rubbed into your pet’s sore spots. CBD topicals are especially popular with owners who have aging pets and are looking for a way to soothe the symptoms of arthritis or joint pain.
The treats, tinctures, or topicals you give to your pet should be made with the same high-quality ingredients and safe manufacturing standards that you expect for human CBD products. If possible, check the third-party laboratory test results for the product so that you can show it to your pet’s veterinarian. Be sure to play it safe when pampering your pet with CBD. When choosing a CBD product for your pet, don’t give them anything you wouldn’t take yourself!