CBD is a fairly new craze, even for humans. And now we are beginning to hear a buzz about using CBD for our beloved pets! But is it really safe giving CBD to your cats and dogs? Does it really have any benefits to their health and wellbeing in the same way that it does for humans? In this article, we will discuss the potential benefits of CBD for pets, and also the risks.
CBD for Dogs and Cats – What Does it Do?
Pain & Arthritis
It’s fairly common for older cats and dogs to develop Arthritis which can cause them a great deal of pain and discomfort. There’s a good amount of research that indicates CBD can be effective at treating the symptoms of Arthritis in humans, but what about in pets?
Well, it’s thought CBD may help to fight inflammation in pets in the same way it does for us. This is what helps to soothe pain in the joints caused by Arthritis and similar conditions. Some pet owners and vets claim that their pets seem less responsive to usual pain after using CBD.
Anxiety & Depression
Another common in cats and dogs is anxiety. Just think about firework night! As well as noise phobia, some dogs will also experience separation anxiety (although this is pretty much non-existent in cats… those fiercely independent beasts). Similarly to humans, it’s thought CBD may help to reduce anxiety in our pets. Again, some owners and vets claim their pets seem calmer and less reactive to anxiety-inducing stimuli after taking CBD.
However, it’s unclear whether these pain-relieving and anxiety-relieving effects are true, or whether this reduced reaction is down to something else. For example, the CBD may cause the animal to feel drowsier which would reduce their reaction. Either way, it seems CBD may be able to treat these symptoms to some degree.
It’s also been suggested that CBD could help with depression in cats and dogs. Yes… that is a real thing. Pets go through similar hormonal imbalances in the brain which is what causes problems like depression and anxiety. The endocannabinoid system in the body is responsible for helping to regulate hormones in the brain, and CBD may be able to balance this system. Therefore, using CBD may help to balance mental wellbeing in both humans and pets.
Other Potential Benefits
The NHS currently uses CBD to treat humans suffering from seizures and epilepsy, and it’s thought this might apply to pets too.
Secondly, CBD may be able to improve skin and fur/coat health in cats and dogs. It could help to fight dry skin and make the fur stronger, softer, and shinier.
CBD may also have other benefits to pets, such as anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, heart health benefits, and even anti-cancer effects. However, there is not enough research or evidence of previous use to discuss this yet.
The Problem With CBD for Pets
Although it seems promising that CBD may benefit our pets, there is actually no scientific research into CBD for cats and dogs. The research that has been done on humans and rodents indicates that CBD would be safe and effective for our pets, but unfortunately, there is simply no conclusive evidence.
This means that we don’t know the potential side effects that CBD could have for our cats and dogs. Some companies will recommend certain dosages of CBD for pets, but again, there is no formal way that we can know the correct dose.
Many holistic vets say that it is safe to give CBD to pets, but that the main problem is dosing. This is especially apparent with cats – they are so small that we need to be extra careful not to overdose them!
If you do want to give CBD to your cat or dog, we would recommend that you choose a product with absolutely no THC! THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that could be damaging to your pets, even in small doses. Make sure the company has lab testing reports to prove that there is no THC in the product.
You will also want to choose a product that uses organically grown CBD with no use of GMOs, herbicides, or pesticides. Choose a CBD oil with no added ingredients. You don’t want to give your pets any edibles, like CBD gummies, as these may contain ingredients that aren’t suitable, such as artificial sweeteners.
Speak to your pet’s vet before buying any CBD to get advice and recommendations personal to your pet.