Disclaimer: This article was originally posted by getcbdpet.com
Why You Should Consider Giving CBD To Your Dog or Cat
You may have heard friends talking about how much CBD has helped their pet, or perhaps a veterinarian has suggested CBD usage for a particular ailment your pet has developed. If you are considering buying CBD for your pet, it is helpful to know what it can and cannot do, what the benefits and risks are, and how it affects your pet and their health first.
Dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system just like humans. While the system of receptors is not as diverse and widespread in your pet, the same receptors affecting mood, sleep, and joint function and pain relief are present. This means that your pet can benefit from CBD, just like humans do. CBD can help your pet with a broad variety of ailments. Just like in humans, it might not work for every pet, but the therapeutic effects are often visible in a much shorter time frame. For the pets that respond favorably to CBD supplementation, the effects can be life-changing.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets
Cannabidiol remedies can be used in pets for many of the same ailments that humans use them for. Here are just some of the things that CBD can help with:
- Anxiety and mood
- Energy levels
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Anxiety and mood
- Hip dysplasia or arthritis
- Tumors or growths
- Improved quality of life
Is CBD Safe for Pets?
Yes, CBD is considered generally safe for both dogs and cats, with a low risk of any side effects, most of them minor. Even the American Kennel Club has recommended CBD usage, and is currently sponsoring the largest CBD study of its kind at Colorado State University. Countless veterinarians have recommended and even prescribed cannabidiol for a wide range of ailments that pets suffer from. Any risks from CBD usage for your pet are very small, while the benefits can be enormous.
The most common side effect reported is excessive sleepiness or lethargy. If your pet experiences a noticeable decline in activity levels, try using a smaller dose. Different ages, sizes and even breeds can react more sensitively to CBD oil. It is not recommended to give cannabidiol to puppies or kittens younger than three months of age.
Dogs have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors than cats. CBD is well-tolerated by all dog breeds, with the larger breeds (German Shepherd, Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Labradors) more responsive to higher or more frequent CBD doses than the smaller breeds (Terriers, Chihuahuas, Spaniels, etc). More active or “working” breeds may also need higher CBD dosages to see the best therapeutic effect. As with any medication or supplement, consult your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns about CBD interaction with any other medication your dog may be taking.
Cats can also benefit from CBD usage, especially those with age-related decline in movement or behavior. Despite their smaller size, cats often require a larger cannabidiol dose than dogs by body weight to see the most benefits, as they have less endocannabinoid receptors. Cats are typically less likely to take CBD on treats or administered directly by mouth, so you may need to add CBD drops to their water dish and monitor dosage by how much they drink. As with dogs, if your cat seems sleepy or lethargic after eating or drinking CBD oil, consider reducing the amount and monitoring their results. CBD has no known toxicity level to any breed of cat, and its safety is well-tested.
CBD Dosage for Pets
You will need to make sure that your pet has a dose that is safe and effective. You must carefully control the amount of THC in their dosage. You should avoid giving your pet so much CBD that their energy levels or mood are negatively affected. You only want to give enough to get the medicinal value, excess cannabidiol is unlikely to be beneficial. For most pets, you should start with just ½ dropper of total CBD oil per day, and possibly less for very small or sensitive breeds. For larger and active breeds, you may raise the dosage to several droppers per day, depending on how quickly they react and what your veterinarian recommends.
Are there Side Effects?
Some CBD side effects are possible for your pet, but they are not extreme. The most common side effect that you will see in your pet is sleepiness. If your pet seems to be too drowsy after their treatment, simply reduce their dose. If you have a pet with high anxiety levels, the sleepiness may help with calming your pet down. If your pet has a sensitive stomach, too much CBD at once can result in vomiting, especially if not taken with food. If your pet seems drowsy, tired, or unsteady, try reducing their CBD intake before discontinuing use. Consult your veterinarian if you think your pet is having a negative reaction, or their sleep seems to be affected.
How Much do I Give my Pet?
With cannabidiol, less is more. You will want to start with the lowest dose possible. If this does not work, you can always go higher, but you start lower. You will want to make sure that your pet is responding positively before increasing their CBD dosage. As we learn more about pet endocannabinoid system, dosing standards for pets will change, but a good rule of thumb is to start with ½ dropper of 100mg CBD oil per day, and adjust accordingly.
How to Administer
There are several ways that you can administer cannabidiol oil to your pet. Some pets will let you put the oil dropper in their mouth directly. Most animals (especially cats) you will need to instead add the drops to food or water. CBD oil drops can be added directly to daily pet food, or put directly on treats. Our CBD oil for pets is in a base of natural hemp oil and has a fairly neutral taste, so even picky pets will typically ingest CBD if given the proper delivery method.
For more information on how to purchase CBD for pets, see our resources page here.
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