As a small animal veterinarian, I see trends in pet healthcare come and go all the time. An extremely popular trend for some time now has been CBD oil for cats and dogs.
In my animal hospital, I actually carry and prescribe CBD oils for pets for a variety of ailments, such as inflammation and anxiety, and it can be extremely helpful.
However, it is important to know the correct information regarding CBD oils in pets, which products are safe, when CBD oils can be helpful in pets, and the proper and safe way to utilize CBD oils for pets.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol, known as CBD oil, is a compound in cannabis and hemp. CBD oils do not contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound that creates a psychoactive effect.
When Would I Consider CBD Oil for My Cats or Dogs?
The following are the main reasons CBD oils are prescribed to pets*:
- Pain conditions
- Inflammatory conditions
- Cardiac benefits
- Anti-nausea effects
- Appetite stimulation
- Anti-cancer benefits
What Are Side Effects of Using CBD Oil for Pets?
Possible side effects include the following*:
- Dry mouth
- Lowered blood pressure
What Are the Risks?
Unfortunately, the safety and risks have not been fully researched. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved a dosing chart for CBD oils in pets. And we do not know the toxic levels of CBD oils for pets.
Your veterinarian is a key player in reducing the risks to your pet. Your veterinarian will work with you to start your pet off at smaller doses to monitor any side effects.
What CBD Products Are Available to My Pets?
With the legalization of medical marijuana in some states and the perceived health benefits people are experiencing with CBD oils, a vast market for CBD pet products has emerged.
But not all products are equal. So always consult your veterinarian regarding the proper CBD products and dosing for your pet(s).
Consider these tips when choosing a CBD oil for your pet:
- Purchase an organic product free of pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
- Consult your veterinarian for their recommended CBD oil product.
- Do not purchase based on price alone. Generally speaking, less expensive CBD oils for pets tend to be lower quality and may contain potentially harmful additives.
- Ensure the manufacturer of the CBD oil product has an analysis with exact amounts of each ingredient in the product.
- There should be no THC in the product.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Cats and Dogs
As CBD oils are becoming increasingly popular with people, we see an increase in use for pets as well.
I am always open and encouraged about the prospect of treating our pets from a more natural and holistic approach, and CBD oils are no exception. I’m encouraged by the potential for holistic healing of various ailments!
However, CBD oil usage in treating conditions in cats and dogs is not yet fully researched and confirmed. With so few confirmed studies* of the effects, side effects, and dosing of CBD oils for pets, we must proceed with caution.
*NOTE: There is no definitive scientific data on using CBD oil for cats and dogs to treat the above-mentioned conditions. Always consult your veterinarian when starting ANY supplements or medications, including CBD oils.