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CBD For Pets: Is it Safe?

There is a rising trend in CBD for pets. Studies claim that medicinal marijuana and hemp plants have health benefits that can improve quality of life. From slowing the spread of cancer cells to managing epilepsy symptoms, people swear by CBD products and attest to its healing abilities. 

Today, pet owners can extend their CBD products to their furry companions. 

Health Benefits of CBD for Pets 

Americans spend roughly around $72 million on their pets each year. It should be no surprise that industrial hemp is being added to their list of things to buy for their pets, especially if they are ones with medical conditions.

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There are no formal studies on how the highest quality of CBD products affect pets (specifically, dogs) as far as the American Kennel Club is concerned. However, pet owners are sharing their personal experiences of administering CBD oil to their pets with positive results.

Reduces anxiety

Introducing CBD-infused products into the body allows it to interact with the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system (ECS). The end result of this is a calmer disposition because it soothes anxiety levels.

Pet owners use high-quality CBD products to calm dogs, especially during festive seasons like the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. These are holidays when excessive noise from firecrackers leads dogs to experience heightened forms of anxiety. 

Relieves chronic pain/arthritis

Purebred dogs are prone to suffering illnesses and pains. A study from 2018 assessed the anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties of CBD. The purpose of this study was to check its safety for dogs with osteoarthritis. Researchers gave dogs doses of two to eight milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight.

The results of this experiment showed that they experienced improvements in their mobility with reduced signs of pain. While more research is needed in this area to fully explore the potential of CBD to prevent any disease, it remains highly regarded as a form of pain relief.

Prevents and fights cancer

Humans are not the only ones who experience cancer. Animals are just as susceptible to them. Studies show that one in three dogs develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. Cancer is actually the main cause of death in dogs over two years old. 

Concerned pet owners should be aware of the types of cancers their pets can get and how to treat them.

Studies suggest that CBD promotes the death of cancer cells (cancer apoptosis). While CBD cannot completely cure cancer, more traditional treatment methods are expensive, ranging from $3,000 to a staggering $10,000. It also includes negative side effects in dogs like weight loss and vomiting.

Treats seizures and epilepsy

Science cannot definitively back up the health benefits of CBD for animals, however, pet owners are claiming that CBD can treat pain and control seizures in dogs.

A Colorado State University study concluded that CBD products can minimize epileptic seizures in dogs. This study also found that administering CBD orally was more effective than applying it topically through a cream or gel.

Dr. Klein, the AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, says that CBD can be beneficial for its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits. To date, there is no conclusive data addressing these claims.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is funding research that will further study the use of CBD for epileptic dogs. This will be the first study to gain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.

How to Administer CBD for Pets

There are different ways to give animals CBD products. The most common way to administer them is orally because it can be given simultaneously with other medication. It can also be mixed in with their food. 

Pet owners need to keep watch of their pets to make sure they do not vomit it out. Other methods of giving CBD to pets are through topicals and creams. 

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The most important factor to take note of is giving the correct dosage. Success in any medication has everything to do with dosing. Humans and animals alike will reap the benefits of any medication and supplement if given in the correct manner and dosage. Giving too much or too little may increase the likelihood of unwanted side effects.

Problems arise when it comes to dosing because the research needed to determine the correct of CBD in animals has not been conducted yet. Products evaluated by the FDA contain little to no CBD, so there is no way to know for sure what the correct dose is.

The best option for pet owners is to consult with a physician and veterinarian in order to find the correct method and dosage of CBD for animals.

Side Effects

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of full-spectrum CBD for humans, much less in animals. They have not released any medication or dosing recommendations because it carries the risk of reaction.

If you are going to give your pets such as dogs CBD products, it’s imperative that you try a small dose first and watch how they react to it. There are also no studies on how CBD affects pregnant or nursing animals.

The use of CBD contains side effects in animals. Here are the most common.

Dry mouth

Research showed that CBD can cause cottonmouth because it decreases the production of saliva. In animals, this results in increased thirst and possible shortness in breath.


A common side effect of CBD in dogs is drowsiness, especially if using high doses.

Lowered blood pressure

High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness for your pet.

It is best not to leave your pets alone especially if they are not regularly given CBD products. 

Final Verdict

There exists a lack in conclusive research for CBD products in animals. We advise pet owners to talk to a team of doctors and veterinarians to evaluate the effectiveness of CBD.

CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any forms of disease in animals. 

Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.