CBD Oil for Pets Ultimate Guide 2022

2 cats, a poodle and a corgi

CBD has been gaining ground in recent years. This is hardly surprising considering the increased awareness of its potential benefits. But can our fluffy friends also make the most of CBD? A growing number of companies are offering CBD for animals, and more and more pet owners around the world want to try out CBD in its various forms. Currently, some veterinarians believe that CBD oil can treat mental and physical issues. Let’s elaborate on this.

1. CBD for pets at home

In general, the reason for using CBD oil for pets is pretty much the same as for humans – to take advantage of this oil’s benefits.

If you have a dog, you may already know that CBD can relieve several conditions that dogs can suffer from, including allergies, anxiety, cancer, joint problems, pain, seizures and epilepsy. To give your furry friend the best experience, it is recommended that you be extremely attentive and only choose top-quality CBD oils, which can be a challenge. Organic, toxin-free oils seem to be the safest. Furthermore, it is advisable to buy products that do not contain butane, hexane and propane (potentially toxic solvents). Moreover, we recommend you buy THC-free CBD oil since it typically contains THC. THC can be toxic to dogs, but CBD is potentially safe, and your pet won’t get high from it.

If you are a cat person, you are probably aware that ageing cats can experience some changes in their appetite and metabolism in line with their immune system. CBD for cats can be really beneficial in this regard. CBD oils for such pets have no flavour additives or sugar, come in lower potencies, but may contain some appealing flavourings, for example, sardine oil. If you choose full-spectrum oil, make sure it contains less than 0.2% THC.

Here is one more important point to note. Cats are carnivores, so plant-based fatty acids are not fit for consumption. Therefore, make sure that the CBD oil you buy for your cat contains low concentrations of coconut or other essential oils.

2. What scientific studies have been conducted on CBD oil in dogs?

Dog owners should be pleased since the use of CBD in dogs has been studied by numerous scientists around the world. In 2018, Frontiers in Veterinary Science published a study on the pharmacokinetics, safety and clinical efficacy of cannabidiol in osteoarthritic dogs. The study was conducted by researchers at Cornell University. Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the most common form of arthritis that dogs suffer from. Osteoarthritis causes progressive and permanent deterioration of a dog’s joints. The signs of this condition are pain, stiffness and lameness. A study revealed no observable side effects of CBD oil and showed a significant decrease in pain and increase in activity.

Another study was conducted at Colorado State University in 2019, dedicated to the potential impact of CBD on the frequency of epileptic seizures in dogs. Dr Stephanie McGrath described the findings as “promising and encouraging”. As part of the study, nine dogs were treated with CBD, while seven in a control group were given a placebo. All of the dogs studied continued receiving anticonvulsant drugs. Scientists found that the number of epileptic seizures decreased in 89% of the dogs that received CBD in the clinical trial.

3. CBD and the endocannabinoid system of animals

Humans and nearly all animals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of receptors and natural signalling molecules found throughout the body. This system monitors the body’s basic functions and helps in healing, maintaining balance and relaxation. The majority of endocannabinoid receptors are found in the brain. When animals are injured, sick, ageing or stressed, it can be really difficult for them to maintain adequate levels of endocannabinoids.

The ECS consists of cannabinoids, enzymes, receptors, etc., which are linked to different mechanisms. CBD interacts with enzymes and receptors in the endocannabinoid system and can have a positive impact on mood and the brain, as well as support the overall well-being of pets. While your pet has its own endocannabinoids, the ECS responds to the cannabinoids found in hemp oil, which can be applied topically or given via food or supplements.

4. Giving CBD to animals

CBD products can indeed be given to animals. In fact, it can be concluded that more and more people want to learn about CBD for pets benefits. At present, the use of CBD has been well studied in human medicine, but its potential effectiveness for animals is not yet widely known. Still, it is believed that CBD can help your pet in various ways.

At Marry Jane, you will find a range of CBD products for your pet. We only use natural ingredients and extraction methods when producing CBD solutions. Our CBD oils contain no flavour additives or essential oils. Furthermore, we adhere to leading international standards and certifications to provide the best products. For instance, cat owners can choose either full-spectrum CBD oil or THC-free water-soluble CBD tincture to enjoy the potential benefits of these products. Dog owners are advised to remember that CBD oil for their pets should not contain THC due to its toxicity.

5. What do you need to know about CBD for animals?

Another crucial aspect to discuss is the legal status of CBD products for pets in Europe and the rest of the world. As for Europe, CBD is legal in most countries, but it mainly pertains to humans. Speaking of pets, proper legislation is still in the works. For instance, the 

In January 2019, Frontiers in Veterinary Science published the results of an online survey covering more than 2,000 US veterinarians. The survey found that 61.5% of veterinarian respondents were comfortable talking to their colleagues about the use of CBD supplements. Veterinarians had also talked to clients about giving CBD to their pets for easing anxiety, pain, seizures and even storm and fireworks phobias. British Veterinary Medicines Directorate states that veterinary products containing cannabidiol are veterinary medicines and should be subject to appropriate regulation. For this reason, CBD products for animals require a marketing authorisation before they can be sold or supplied in the UK. Currently, no product containing CBD has been granted a UK veterinary marketing authorisation.

In general, the European Food Safety Authority considers CBD to be a novel food. Thanks to this definition, CBD products can enter European markets with a minimum of fuss. The European Union also allows the possession and consumption of CBD products, as there are no potential health risks. However, each EU member country has its own CBD regulations. We advise you to check the specific CBD legislation of a particular country once you decide to travel there.

In January 2019, Frontiers in Veterinary Science published the results of an online survey covering more than 2,000 US veterinarians. The survey found that 61.5% of veterinarian respondents were comfortable talking to their colleagues about the use of CBD supplements. Veterinarians had also talked to clients about giving CBD to their pets for easing anxiety, pain, seizures and even storm and fireworks phobias.

6. What needs to be considered?

To better understand the issues surrounding the consumption of CBD products, a few things need to be clarified. First, a CBD product can be classified as a medicine or food supplement, which determines the law associated with it. No matter which European country you will be visiting, make sure you purchase CBD products from licensed and official stores.

Furthermore, many European countries consider health insurance for pets almost mandatory. A health insurance policy was first developed in Sweden in 1890. Today, 80% of Swedish pet owners carry insurance for their pets, while only about 3% of pet owners in the US do so. Pet health insurance in Europe already includes CBD and medical cannabis, which is due to the rise of CBD medications and products for pets. Hopefully, we can expect new amendments and changes to the official EU law on CBD soon.

7. Possible benefits of using CBD for animals

CBD is believed to potentially treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. Here are some possible benefits of giving CBD to animals:

  • Can improve coat and skin

The skin is the largest organ, so it needs daily care. It’s important to always be mindful that your pet’s skin and coat may be exposed to the effects of insufficient nutrition, skin allergies or ticks. Some scientists have found that the administration of CBD may improve fur texture.

  • Potentially reduces the frequency of infections

As an example, many cats suffer from lifelong viral infections, such as upper respiratory tract infections that cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, including sneezing, chronic congestion and so on. CBD oil may help relieve these symptoms.

  • Possible pain relief, especially from chronic pain

Pets can suffer from body pain caused by numerous factors, such as ageing, fractures, surgery, etc. CBD oil can relieve pain and help treat a number of chronic diseases effectively. As mentioned earlier, the 2018 study by researchers at Cornell University showed that CBD can ease pain in osteoarthritic dogs. In addition, canine osteoarthritis can be marked by loss of mobility, making dogs unwilling to play, jump or run. Some further studies showed that using CBD in dogs may improve their mobility and quality of life in general.

  • May bring positive effects on overall digestion

CBD may also support normal gastrointestinal tract (GI) function. Gastrointestinal problems like nausea and vomiting caused by something pets have eaten can be treated with CBD as a way of stimulating appetite. CBD can help by relieving these conditions, so your pets can be restored to their usual disposition.

  • In animals suffering from autoimmune diseases, the conduction of stimuli may be disrupted

Another potential positive effect of CBD oil is that it may enhance the conduction of stimuli in cases of autoimmune diseases such as amyotrophic or multiple sclerosis.

  • Can support for a healthy immune system

CBD oil can also be used as an anti-inflammatory. In addition, it enhances the response of animals’ immune systems to various physiological conditions, for instance, it may help deal with food allergies.

8. Possible applications of CBD for animals

Here are a few possible animal conditions that CBD may help with:

  • Anxiety and stress

People can use CBD oils to deal with anxiety, stress, pain and depression. A number of studies have found CBD to be effective in helping people relax and cope with these conditions. Likewise, our pets can also feel anxious or stressed. Riding in a car, thunderstorms or separation anxiety can all be really harmful to your furry friend. Some studies show that CBD can help with this. For instance, there was a study designed to analyse stress in rats that were exposed to cats. The results showed that CBD could possibly treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, researchers still don’t know exactly how CBD relieves stress and anxiety, but it is believed to possibly regulate serotonin, commonly known as the “happiness hormone”.

  • Epileptic seizures

While experts have no specific idea how CBD helps manage seizures, it is believed to possibly prevent nerves in the brain from over-firing and reduce electrolytes thought to be important in epileptic seizures. The previously mentioned 2019 study at Colorado State University may prove this point.

  • General well-being

All the above potential benefits of CBD can improve the general well-being of animals. CBD oil can help combat symptoms of various diseases, both mental and physical. Moreover, CBD is not psychoactive or toxic like THC, so it can help make your pet healthier and happier, and won’t induce euphoria and an ecstatic state of mind.

9. Administering CBD to animals

If you are planning to give CBD oil to your pet, we recommend consulting your vet first. Speaking about cats, there are many ways to give CBD to them. First of all, you can mix CBD oil with your cat’s food or drink. CBD is absorbed more effectively when the stomach is full, so add it when your cat is eating or finishing a meal. Here’s another simple way: cats enjoy licking their paws, so you can place a drop of oil on your pet’s paw. You can also drip CBD oil into the mouth. In this case, CBD is absorbed directly inside the oral cavity, with the digestive system not involved. The potential effects can occur faster since CBD is directly entering the bloodstream, compared to CBD ingested with food.

As for dogs, you can give CBD oil directly from the dropper or administer CBD in the mouth. You are also free to mix CBD oil with pet food, but when considering CBD for dogs, wet food is the best choice.

10. Dosage recommendations for pets

  • Cats

Cat owners may be curious about the oil dosage that should be given to their kitty. It’s vital to emphasize that this question requires more in-depth research, and no definitive answer can be given regarding the amount of CBD for cats that should be provided. Nevertheless, it is recommended to focus on the age and weight of your cat and begin with smaller doses compared to those specified in the product description. Some veterinarians advise an initial dose between 0.1-0.5 milligrams of CBD oil for every kilogram of your cat’s weight. You can increase the dose up to five milligrams if your cat’s condition seems to be the same as before.

It’s also important to remember that it can take from 15 to 45 minutes to achieve the full effect in your pet’s body, which lasts approximately 4-6 hours. CBD’s effects may depend on activity level, breed or diseases. You can learn more about CBD for cats in one of our previous articles.

  • Dogs

Regarding the safe dosage and efficacy of CBD oil for dogs, we have to mention the same thing here: there are no adequate regulations on this issue yet. Still, some experts recommend a very low dosage, starting at 0.25 mg once a day, and then gradually increasing it according to the way your dog behaves. It is advisable to be attentive, monitor your dog’s responses to CBD and purchase CBD oil with the correct potency for your dog’s size. Please read our previous material for more information on CBD for dogs.

  • Other animals

Here are some tips on how you can choose the right CBD oil for your pet. When considering a CBD treatment, pay attention to things like your pet’s weight and overall health, the potency (concentration) of a particular CBD oil, etc. The typical CBD for pets dosage (oil) usually ranges from 0.1-0.5 mg/kg once or twice a day.

11. Contraindications when using CBD

Based on a number of studies conducted to date, CBD seems to be well tolerated, even when the dosage is much higher than commonly used. However, when using CBD products on pets, owners should have an idea of the potential risks and discuss giving CBD to their pets with a veterinarian.

Severe heart or liver disease, pregnancy and/or lactation, and use in immature animals may be considered relative contraindications. Furthermore, if your pet has an underlying progressive disease or is on certain medications, their ability to metabolise CBD may differ, and CBD could decrease or increase the potency of any long-term medications.

12. Why CBD for cats shouldn’t contain terpenes

CBD oils for cats should be free of terpenes. And here’s why: Terpenes are aromatic compounds, with many plants containing them. Tree resins owe their distinctive smell to terpenes. While humans can easily tolerate terpenes, a cat’s response is completely different. Researchers suppose that cats do not have the enzymes needed to metabolise terpenes. This is the reason why only terpene-free CBD oils are recommended.

13. Side effects of CBD oil for animals

Animals can potentially experience the same side effects from CBD oil as humans. The most common side effects that dog owners may notice are a dry mouth, excessive drinking, lack of energy, panicked reactions, sedation and an excessive appetite.

If your cat has been given too much CBD oil, it can also cause some unpleasant side effects, including chomping, licking, gagging, head shaking or pacing. But here’s some good news: It should only last a few hours. Once again, though, give your cat small doses of CBD and slowly increase the dosage over a few days.

Diarrhoea is another possible adverse effect of CBD. Currently, different studies have not revealed any adverse effects related to bloodwork or urine testing in the long term. However, this may be due to insufficient study durations or some other factors, and researchers need more time to analyse everything in detail.

14. Difference between CBD for humans and CBD for animals

By and large, there’s not much difference between the actual CBD oil used in products for humans and pets, but the compounds that supplement CBD oil are not the same.

In particular, grapeseed oil and xylitol can be found in CBD oil for humans, but may be harmful to dogs. CBD products for humans may also contain certain flavourings that can endanger animals. CBD products for cats don’t contain sugar, come in lower potencies and should contain less than 0.2% THC, while any THC concentration for dogs is not recommended at all.

15. Final thoughts

To sum up, the widespread use of CBD in animals no longer seems to be something that lies in the distant future. Proof of this is the growing number of veterinarians and scientists studying CBD nowadays. However, more CBD for pets research and studies need to be conducted. Be that as it may, the positive news is quite apparent. CBD oil for pets can help with a wide range of conditions, including epilepsy, anxiety, stress, pain relief, etc. And to date, only a few potential contraindications to its use and not too many possible side effects have been discovered. Hence, CBD oil may be able to help our furry friends feel okay and stay balanced, which sounds really promising.

16. Sources

  1. CBD clinical trial results on seizure frequency in dogs ‘encouraging’ (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190521101450.htm)
  1. US veterinarians’ knowledge, experience, and perception regarding the use of cannabidiol for canine medical conditions (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00338/full)
  1. Pharmacokinetics, safety, and clinical efficacy of cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065210)
  1. FAQ. The answers you need (https://www.cavcm.com/faq)
  1. CBD oil for dogs: Worth the hype? (https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/cbd-oil-for-dogs-worth-the-hype)
  1. Could CBD oil for pets save stress this Halloween? (https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cbd-oil-for-pets/94336)
  1. CBD for pets: Does it actually work? (https://www.healtheuropa.eu/cbd-for-pets-does-it-actually-work/96723)
  1. CBD for pets: Does it work and is it safe? (https://www.zmescience.com/science/cbd-for-pets-does-it-work-and-is-it-safe)
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