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CBD Oil for Cats & Dogs

01/16/2018 by Wendy Rose Gould
January 16th, 2018 by Wendy Rose Gould

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Over the last few years, marijuana has become particularly ubiquitous in a variety of lifestyle sectors. From weed weddings in states where recreational use is approved to beauty products infused with the stuff, it seems only natural that it’s now readily available for our pets. Yep, pet-approved “weed snacks” are totally a thing — and we’re not just talking about good old catnip! Here’s what you need to know before throwing Spot or Sylvester a cannabis-infused treat.

What is CBD Oil?

First, let’s do a little unpacking. The cannabis sativa plant contains both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). While THC is what’s responsible for the psychoactive “high” that marijuana is known for, CBD does not get you (or your pets) high. Derived from hemp, CBD is often used medicinally to relieve pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other disorders and ailments.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

Though CBD oil is found in hemp, the legal non-psychoactive component of cannabis, it is not 100% legal in all 50 states. That said, you can find many options that are legal. You just need to do your research on the brand, the product, and your state’s rules before buying.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Pets?

We recommend that you speak to your veterinarian about CBD oil for your pet, but as a whole it has been deemed safe for cats and dogs by vets. Research has found that CBD has no known toxicity and that you cannot overdose on it. It has been used medicinally for countless years across myriad cultures in humans, and anecdotal findings of usage in pets have been positive. The most common side effects in pets are lethargy/sedation and an allergic reaction (rare).

How Can CBD Oil Help Pets?

“While there is emerging research on the use of cannabis for dogs, much of what we know today is anecdotal or extrapolated from human medicine,” writes veterinarian Dr. Angie Krause for Boulder Holistic Vet. “Anecdotal evidence is mainly composed of individual reports. For example, a dog or cat might have accidentally ingested some medical marijuana and the guardian noticed a resolution of symptoms. Maybe after consuming the cannabis, the pet was able to jump on the bed again or was more playful.”

For cats, she wrote that CBD oil can be helpful in cats who have irritable bowel disease, pancreatitis, arthritis, cancer, and asthma. It can reduce symptoms — including pain and discomfort — and even lengthen lifespans. Much like in cats, soothing anxiety is one of the best uses of CBD oil for canines, Dr. Krause wrote.

For both, it can also help with situational anxiety, such as loud storms, traveling, separation, moving into a new home, introducing a new pet, or having guests in your home. Lots of pet parents use CBD oil treats for Independence Day or New Year’s Eve; and it can also be used to manage arthritis and control seizures/epilepsy.

Product Options

As we mentioned above, make sure to do your research before buying CBD oil for your pets. It is also advised that you get input from your vet about how much your pet should take (this website also provides guidance). The following brands are a great place to start, though!

  • Austin & Kat: This company sells CBD oil-infused dog biscuits that are free of preservatives and fillers.
  • HempRx for Pets: Recommended by Dr. Krause, HempRx makes CBD extract and chewable treats that you can give to your cat or dog.
  • Hemp Health: They sell a variety of pet-approved CBD products, including edibles, suppositories, powder, oil, spray, and capsules.
  • Canna-Pet: In addition to CBD products for cats and dogs, they also make products for horses.
  • RxCBD: Lots of CBD options here for cats and dogs, including treats and sprays for cats.

Healthy Paws does not cover CBD oil treats or supplements, however, should an accident or illness occur, youd be covered by the Healthy Paws Pet Insurance plan. If you’re not already part of our pack, start by getting a free quote today.