The legalization of hemp back in 2018 has really allowed us to explore all the benefits of this magnificent plant. Medical and recreational users alike have started using hemp-derived products like CBD to reduce their stress levels, handle pain, get a hold of their anxiety symptoms, deal with insomnia – it seems to be that there’s little that CBD can’t do.
And while it’s mostly CBD for human consumption that’s been at the center of attention recently, more and more pet owners have started giving CBD treats like FOMO bones to their furry companions. Since all mammals, including humans, cats, and dogs, have natural endocannabinoid systems that effectively respond to cannabinoids like CBD, such hemp-derived compounds could prove to be most helpful.
Let’s take a closer look at CBD for pets, and examine some of the best ways to give your cat or dog CBD treats.
Is CBD Safe for Pets?
Since it’s non-psychoactive, non-addictive, and non-toxic, CBD is generally considered safe for both dogs and cats. Many pet parents give their four-legged best friends CBD to help with conditions such as separation anxiety, seizures, cancer, and pain. So, CBD for pets is used in pretty much the same ways as CBD for humans.
As mentioned, cats and dogs have the endocannabinoid system (ECS) just like humans and all other mammals do. It’s a natural biological system, just like any other, and responsible for many bodily functions and processes, including appetite, sleep, mood, and pain sensation.
In order to help the ECS function well, your pet’s body releases substances known as endocannabinoids – very similar in structure to cannabinoids in hemp like CBD, which is why CBD has such potent effects on a variety of conditions your pet may have.
However, keep in mind that not all cannabinoids are completely safe for your cat or dog! You should never give your pet psychoactive substances like THC. Only use non-psychoactive CBD treats and oils that contain less than 0.3% THC.
Types of CBD Products for Pets
Since CBD for pets is quickly growing in popularity, there are many product varieties you can get. The best and usually the most effective type of CBD product for pets comes in the form of treats.
Since your pet is likely used to receiving frequent treats, they’ll get adjusted to CBD treats pretty quickly. There’s no distinct hemp scent or taste that they might avoid. It’s a simple, tasty treat infused with a small dose of CBD, so in all likelihood, your pet will love it.
Another option could include pure CBD oil. And yes, you could use human CBD oil if you prefer since there’s no real difference between CBD oil for pets and people. However, CBD concentration might be slightly higher, so you’ll want to give your pet a very small dose.
The last popular CBD product type for pets is CBD lotion/cream. It’s for external use only, and you can rub it directly on your pet’s injured area. Make sure that your pet doesn’t lick or eat the CBD lotion – while the CBD inside it is edible, other ingredients aren’t.
Getting the Dosage Right
Determining the CBD dosage is exceptionally important if you want to keep your pet safe. While there haven’t been any major side-effects reported and your pet can’t get overdosed on CBD, they could experience discomfort. Most commonly, CBD can make them feel nauseous and exhausted.
It’s in your pet’s best interest that you consult the vet before you start administering CBD. They’ll tell you whether CBD is a good option for your pet and help you determine the right dosage.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need to consider your pet’s weight when dosing CBD. A light dose for both cats and dogs would be about 1mg of CBD per 10lbs. So, for a 30lbs-dog, for example, you’d need about 3mg of CBD.
It’s best to start with a very light dose and closely monitor your pet’s reaction to it. If you see no response within six to eight hours, you can increase the dose slightly. Slowly work your way up until you’ve found the best dose for your pet.
Getting Your Pet to Love Their CBD Treats
Most cats and dogs will love getting CBD treats. Since they generally have the same taste like any other treat, they’ll be more than happy to eat it. But if your pet doesn’t like it for some reason, you can try positive reassurance. Don’t force your pet to eat the CBD treat. Use it as a reward for good behavior.
Alternatively, you can crush up the treat and mix it in with your pet’s favorite food (wet food usually works best). You can do this with both pet CBD treats and CBD oil.
The Bottom Line
If your cat or dog has a medical problem that could be alleviated with CBD, giving them CBD treats could be the best neutral remedy for them. Slowly introduce the treats to their diet and pay very close attention to the dosage. You should notice a positive change pretty quickly.