Much has been said about humans using CBD oil to improve their quality of life — but what about dogs? Can our four-legged friends benefit from CBD the same way as we do?
After all, dogs, cats, and actually all vertebrae have endocannabinoid systems, so they respond to cannabinoids.
But what if you’ve never given your pet CBD oil?
What’s the right way to introduce CBD to your pup?
Continue reading this article to find the answers!
Can My Pet Take CBD?
As mentioned, pets have endocannabinoid systems with the same cannabinoid receptors as humans.
So yes, they can take CBD because this compound packs a serious punch of health benefits for pets.
The endocannabinoid system is present in the entire body, with the highest concentrations of its receptors in the brain, nervous system, and immune system. The role of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis — the neurochemical balance in the body and brain. It controls key biological processes, such as mood, memory, stress management, appetite, pain signaling, body temperature, and more.
However, not every cannabis plant is suitable for pets.
For example, you shouldn’t give marijuana to your pet as THC — the primary compound in marijuana flowers — is toxic for them.
With that said, you can use hemp-derived products. CBD sourced from hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, which cannot produce any psychoactive effects or cause toxicity.
Since CBD is non-intoxicating, it’s completely safe for pets.
Why Hemp and Not Marijuana-Derived CBD?
Like we said, THC can pose a threat to an animal’s life. It has been shown to be toxic for pets even in moderate amounts. While the release of serotonin and other chemicals in humans is less abrupt, the reaction experienced by smaller animals (like pets) can be overpowering.
Moderate exposure to THC in pets can lead to problems with breathing, loss of balance, excessive vomiting, impaired cognition, and seizures.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about the benefits of CBD for a change — and how to introduce it to your pet the right way.
How do People Give CBD to Pets?
You can choose between three types of products while looking for CBD dedicated for pets.
- CBD oil
- CBD pet treats
- CBD topicals
Oils are administered under the tongue. You need to place a few drops under your pet’s tongue and wait for around 60 seconds until the oil absorbs through the sublingual membrane. The effects should be there after about 15–20 minutes, although in certain cases, the onset may be delayed.
If your pet dislikes the taste of natural CBD oil, you can introduce them to CBD with some infused pet chews. They are almost the same as regular pet cookies, with one major difference — each piece carries a fixed dose of CBD, which makes dosing much easier because you don’t need to measure out the dosage as you would with oil. However, the effects can take more time to take hold because the CBD must be processed by the digestive system — it usually takes about 40–120 minutes.
For temporary or chronic localized pain, or inflamed areas and joint stiffness, we recommend CBD topicals. These products are applied to the problematic area to reach the cannabinoid receptors in the deeper layers of your pet’s skin to produce their effects.
Before introducing CBD to your pet, make sure to consult an experienced veterinarian about CBD use. Some vets already recognize CBD as a safe and versatile compound, openly supporting this kind of supplementation.
What’s the Best CBD Dosage for Pets
It’s difficult to give a straight answer to that question.
Truth be told, it’s impossible to provide a one-size-fits-all CBD dosage.
Dosing CBD to your pet depends on many variables, such as their age, weight, the potency of CBD, expected effects, and the severity of the condition.
The right way to introduce CBD to your pet is to star low and slowly increase the dosage until you notice the desired effects. Many companies have their own dosage guidelines written on the packages of their CBD pet line — they’re mostly based on prior consultations with vets. You can use those recommendations as a good starting point.
The CBD dosage range for pets varies between 0.05–0.25 mg per lb twice a day.
Check whether your pet fits into one of the following dosage tiers:
- Tier 1: 0.05 mg per lb of body weight
- Tier 2: 0.125 mg per lb of body weight
- Tier 3: 0.25 mg per lb of body weight
You can start with Tier 1 twice daily and monitor the results over one week. If your pet doesn’t feel any difference, up the dosage to Tier 2, and then — if necessary — increase to Tier 3 twice a day.
Once you figure out the effective dosage for your pet, you can stick to it because CBD doesn’t cause a tolerance buildup.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of CBD for Pets?
Negative reactions to CBD are very rare in the normal dosage range. CBD interacts with the human body and brain in a different way than THC, making it a safer compound for pets.
If your pet consumes too much CBD oil at a time, they may experience dryness in the mouth, lower blood pressure, dizziness, and diarrhea.
Summarizing Different Methods of Introducing CBD to Your Pet
CBD is a natural, versatile, and above all, safe compound that can greatly improve the quality of your pet’s life.
Even if your furry friend isn’t struggling with any particular health condition, CBD oil can be a great tool for maintaining optimal health, reducing stress, and improving bone function in a completely natural way.
We hope this article has cleared up any confusion around introducing CBD to your pet. Now that you know how different products work, how to dose CBD to your pet, and what the limits are, you can make a well-informed decision and support your pet’s health with cannabinoids.
Do you give CBD to your pets? Share your stories in the comments!