As pet parents, most of us know a little about the latest pet trends. We see the fads come and go with all the cute and clever advertising – from doggie sweaters to those invisible fencing things to all the healthy food options we have now that allow us to feed our fur-babies meals that look like people's food. But what about CBD and pets?
It seems this thing came out of nowhere a few years ago, and now we see other pet moms and dads talking about it on Facebook so much that it seems like common knowledge. Maybe this whole thing isn’t another pet fad or trend. Maybe there is something to this CBD thing after all?
If you’re hearing a lot about it and you’re curious, you start Googling – but whoa, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. There are so many to choose from, and the prices! They are all over the place. It’s easy (and understandable) to be a bit leary of trying something so “new” on your pet.
We’re one of the industry leaders, pioneering for pet health and wellness, and helping loving pet parents be well-informed so they can make the best decisions for the pets they love. And we thought we’d address some of the confusion. Clear up a bit of the conflicting information you may be seeing and hearing about CBD oil and pets. Let’s get into some of the questions you may have.
First Off: What the Heck Is CBD Oil for, Anyway?
Yes, lots of people are talking about it – even swear by it – but what is CBD oil, and why would you give it to a pet? I mean, is it some kind of crazy diet fad thing for pets?
The answer is no, not at all. It’s not some hinky product trend designed to get you hooked. It’s a fairly new (within the past decade) application for a very old plant, the Cannabis sativa plant – and before you ask, yes, that is the marijuana plant. Before you freak out, CBD oil is typically made by extracting cannabinoids from a non-intoxicating strain of the plant called hemp. By definition, in federal law, hemp is a cannabis plant that contains 0.3 percent THC or less (the intoxicating part), making it incapable of causing a “high” feeling.
The CBD is then put into pet-safe formulas that can be given orally or topically, so some of the benefits offered by cannabinoids can be useful for your pets. Let’s be clear that using CBD is not at all the same thing as giving psychogenic substances to your pet – so let’s just get that out of the way. If you are not all that familiar with hemp products, this may be worrying you. But CBD is a different and isolated extract of the plant.
CBD binds with endocannabinoid receptors, and the applications extend to our pets since we know that cats and dogs have these same receptors that we do. The results have created a wave of support for using CBD for dogs and cats.
If you have concerns about the safety of using a CBD oil product on your dog or your cat, we’ve covered, in detail, the safety of CBD oil for pets in another blog post, CBD for Dogs: Is CBD Safe for Dogs? The American Kennel Club weighs in with more information on safety and advises using tinctures, especially when getting your pet started on CBD products, as it is easier to control the amount you give your pets and introduce them to CBD.
Why Do People Give CBD to Their Pets?
Now, for why. The reasons people give CBD to their pets vary widely: to help older pets stay comfortable, support mobility, and sustain overall wellness for both dogs and cats. Scientific studies are wide and numerous but currently running behind the soaring popularity of CBD oil for pets. Such is often the case with wellness products for cats and dogs.
We know that CBD appears to be well-received by pets and also useful, although quantifying that is a bit difficult. After all, our pets can’t really say. All pet parents can do is make observations, trust their instincts, and follow the advice of their pets’ veterinarians.
Soon enough, the trend of CBD and pets will no longer be a trend but commonplace. It wasn’t that long ago that even having the conversation about any kind of wellness product for animals may have been considered taboo. Thankfully, things are changing.
One attractive aspect of CBD products for pets is that they don't commonly cause unwanted issues. Some pet parents have noticed their pets have dry mouth or nausea when starting CBD, but it is easily managed by lowering the amount given to allow pets to adjust.
CBD and Pets: A Growing Field of Use
The CBD cannabinoid was discovered in the 1940s, and testing efforts continued widely until the 1970s when tighter regulations of hemp became implemented. Now that these regulations are adapting and becoming more accommodating of hemp products, the use, acceptance, and applications for CBD products are growing exponentially, including in the pet industry. Today, testing is ongoing. Colorado State University and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine have done the most pet-specific testing of CBD and dogs.
Word of mouth and personal testimonies of pet parents certainly drive the growth of CBD pet products, especially with the use of social media sites.
How Can I Start My Pet on CBD?
Now that you’ve heard all the good things CBD can do for your pet family members, you may want to try some of it in your pet’s daily routine. It’s not super-hard to begin a CBD regimen, and in fact, your pet may not notice when you’ve added the tincture drops to their food. One advantage to using a tincture is that you can add in a few drops, observe your pet’s behavior and how they respond, and increase or decrease drops, making it easy to find the right amount for your pet.
Here are a few of the ways you can incorporate CBD into your pet’s diet.
- CBD Tinctures for Dogs: Tinctures come in varying strengths, so you can find the one that is just right for your dog. These are given with a little dropper. You can add it to your dog’s regular food.
- CBD Tinctures for Cats: These are given with a little dropper and come in different strengths and flavors, so you can find the one that is right for your cat. You can add it to your pet’s regular food.
- Calming CBD Tinctures for Dogs: These are similar to the CBD tinctures but have added melatonin to help dogs relax.
- CBD Treats for Dogs: These can be given as a treat. Note: They should not be used as a treat for training since you want to give a certain amount daily rather than abundantly as a reward system.
- CBD Hard Chews for Dogs in cheese or peanut butter flavors
- Hip and Joint Chews for Dogs in bacon flavor, with specialized ingredients for joint support
- CBD Soft Chews for Dogs in chicken and bacon flavors
- CBD Treats for Cats: These can be given as a treat. Note: They should not be used as a treat for training since you want to give a certain amount daily rather than abundantly as a reward system.
- Other Helpful CBD Products for Pets
- CBD Peanut Butter: Use it as a special treat or to bake your own pet treats for your dog.
- CBD topicals like CBD Balm for Dogs: This is a great method for targeted application and skin support.
Is CBD Right for YOUR Pet?
When you are considering a CBD regimen for your pet, you can read the reviews of other pet parents, and you can also ask your pet’s veterinarian for advice. You know your pet, and it is good to have the CBD option available for you to try. Whether you are looking for wellness support or something to help your pet stay mobile or calm during everyday stress, CBD products have a lot to offer.
Though it seems like a trend or a fad, CBD is fast-growing and looks like it will be part of the pet-care landscape for a long time to come, which is partially due to the positive experiences many pet owners are having with CBD for their pets. We will continue to provide information on CBD and pets along with helpful guides for you on our pet blog.