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How Is CBD For Pets Used And How Does It Benefit?

CBD oil in a bowl of pet food.

Find out if CBD oil is safe for pets and if it really works:

More and more people are using CBD oil to treat anxiety, inflammation, insomnia and other health-related issues. But can CBD oil do the same for your pet? 

Scientific research about CBD is still in its infancy. And that’s just with humans. There hasn’t been much research done in the effects of CBD oil on pets. Even so, there have been enough anecdotal reports to cause a surge in pet products containing CBD.

Before you start giving your dog or cat CBD treats, or putting a couple drops of CBD oil in their food, there area few things you should know.

Is CBD for Pets Safe?

While there hasn’t been much research about CBD oil and pets, one study tried to find out if there were any adverse effects. The results weren’t totally conclusive, but CBD appeared to be safe for dogs. In some cases it was discovered to cause diarrhea. There is currently no research about long-term effects, particularly on the liver.

Stephanie McGrath, a veterinarian and assistant professor of neurology at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical ­Sciences, told Consumer Reports, “I feel really comfortable at this point, given all of our clinical trials and our initial research, that it’s a safe product.” She also said, “But the jury’s still out on whether I’m totally convinced about its effectiveness.”

What are the Benefits?

cbd tincture for pet weed edibles

Another study at Cornell found that 2 mg/kg of CBD oil twice daily could increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis. Anecdotal reports have claimed that CBD can help with seizures, pain, inflammation, anxiety and nausea in dogs. Similar treatments for cats have also been touted by holistic veterinarians.

Since there isn’t any conclusive evidence quite yet about the benefits of CBD oil for pets, it’s recommended speak to a veterinarian before treating your dog or cat. It’s still unknown how CBD might interact with other medications. And your vet can help you figure out the right dosage of CBD for your pets. However, in many states veterinarians can only talk with you about CBD if you bring up the subject first, according to Consumer Reports.

Make Sure to do Your Research

There are already lots of different kinds of CBD products for pets on the market. How do you know which one works best?

Just like with CBD products for humans, the market is unregulated. Not all products are formulated responsibly. They might contain contaminants that are harmful to your pet. Consumer Reports recommends that you look for a seal from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). Also, be sure and check the label for other ingredients.

An unregulated industry means that labels might not accurately reflect the actual dosage of CBD. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t yet approved CBD oil for pets, so there are no current standards for dosage. Recently, the FDA warned companies from marketing CBD products with claims that they will help ease pet anxiety. The FDA also warned against marketing CBD for pets with cancer.  

To date CBD appears to be relatively safe for pets. That doesn’t mean that CBD products made for humans are a good idea. Not only can the dosage be way too high for your pet, human CBD products also might contain some THC. And THC is definitely not good for your dog or cat. 

Some CBD products might also contain ingredients that are safe for humans but toxic to pets. Grapeseed oil and xylitol are commonly found in CBD for humans, but are both toxic to animals. That’s why it’s important to make sure the CBD oil or treats you’re buying are veterinary specific. 

What’s the Best Way to Give Your Pet CBD?

dropper of cbd oil for pets

Experts say that the best way to treat your pet with CBD is with a tincture or oil, where you can control the dosage. You’ll still want to read the label and make sure there is nothing harmful in the oil for your pet.

Once you’ve found a product you know and trust, start with a small amount. Just like with humans, it’s important to start low. And you’ll also want to carefully observe your dog or cat to see how it effects them. Because so little is known about CBD oil for pets, you should let your veterinarian know if you notice any changes in your dog or cat.

Basically, the current wisdom on CBD oil is to proceed with caution. Also, be sure to keep  CBD oil in a cupboard away from sunlight. Consumer Reports advised that if your CBD oil has changed colors, it’s time to throw it out. 

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