To many of us, our pets are our children. And you want to make sure that your pet is healthy and safe from any hidden dangers that could potentially harm them.
One supplement that has been a hot topic for people seeking natural pet remedies is CBD. And because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow CBD products to be labeled for both human and animal use, many people are left wondering whether or not it is safe to give their furry friend this hemp-derived compound.
We will answer this question and more throughout this blog, hitting on topics such as:
- What is the difference between human and pet CBD oil?
- What benefits can animals have from taking CBD?
- Are there any side effects that pets can experience after ingesting CBD?
- What methods are there for giving your pet CBD?
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a compound found primarily in hemp plants. Unlike THC, which is primarily found in marijuana plants, CBD is nonpsychoactive, meaning it will not give its user a high effect. It is known to possess several health benefits for people due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to help reduce anxiety.
CBD has undergone rapid growth in the market since the legalization of hemp through the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. Today, you can find CBD products in nearly every store across the U.S., including gas stations, pharmacies, beauty stores, and many others. However, there are a few exceptions.
One place you will not find CBD products available for purchase is at your local veterinarian’s office. As current rules and regulations stand right now, any vet that recommends CBD or THC products for someone’s pet runs the risk of losing their license.
Early this year, however, legislation was proposed to the House of Representatives that, if passed, would allow vets to recommend such products for your pets.
What Is the Difference Between Human and Pet CBD Oil?
There is virtually no difference between human and pet CBD products, and the two are practically interchangeable, meaning it is generally considered safe for pets to take human CBD oil, and vice versa.
In fact, the biggest difference between the two can found on the label. The FDA requires stringent labeling on any product intended for human consumption, including all foods, supplements, and medicines.
CBD oil manufactured specifically for animals may also have certain flavoring added to them in order to make them more appealing to our pets. For example, CBD oils that are intended for dogs will most likely have a flavoring added that is meant to mimic bacon. While this is not unsafe, it may not be the most desirable taste for a human.
It is crucial, whether your buying CBD oil for your pet or yourself, to make sure that you are purchasing from a reputable company. The quality of the CBD that you and your pet are ingesting plays the largest role in its potential benefits and side effects.
How Can Pets Benefit From Taking CBD?
All of CBD’s potential health benefits for humans are mirrored in their ability to help pets. While more research is being conducted daily, there have been other studies that have suggested that CBD can help animals with several things, such as:
- Symptoms of cancer
- Joint pain
- Appetite stimulation
Again, more studies will need to be done in order to know the full list of potential benefits that CBD provides for pets, but many individuals have found success in treating the above conditions in their animals.
The most common pets that people are known to treat with CBD are dogs, cats, and horses. In fact, a research team in Texas began a study early this year that is testing the full effects and benefits that CBD has on horses. Their results are expected sometime next year.
What Are the Potential Side Effects that Pets Can Experience From Taking CBD?
While CBD is generally considered safe for pets, there have been some minor side effects that were present in animals that were a part of a study.
Stephanie McGrath, a veterinary neurologist at Colorado State University based in Fort Collins, helped work on a study that examined the possible unfavorable side effects that occurred when giving CBD to 30 different beagles.
“Overall, the product was well tolerated clinically,” McGrath stated. “However, clinically significant adverse effects, particularly diarrhea and elevations in serum ALP levels, are noteworthy and warrant further discussion and research.”
Alkaline phosphatase, also known as ALP, is a protein found in body tissues that plays a large role in bone development and liver function.
Although CBD is generally safe for pets, an extremely high dosage may cause side effects, especially in smaller dogs and cats. Be sure to read the label and try to administer the correct dosage to your pet in order to avoid any and all potential side effects.
How Do You Administer CBD to Your Pet?
There are many approaches for getting your pet to ingest CBD oil, and as long as your method does not harm them, there is really no wrong way to go about it. Here are a few of the simplest ways to administer CBD to your pet.
Through a Dropper
If your pet is not picky, then they can often ingest CBD the same way that humans do: through a dropper.
This may be the simplest method because it only requires you to draw CBD into the dropper, insert the dropper into your pet’s mouth, and then squeeze. Just be sure that you get the dropper close to the back of their mouth, but not far enough that it will cause them to choke or gag.
It can also be helpful to reward your pet after giving them CBD, that way they do not have a negative association every time you grab the bottle.
Mix It With Their Food
This method works best when your pet is consuming wet food but can work with dry food if given enough time to soak in. It also may be best to begin with small doses until your pet gets used to the taste.
Otherwise, it is as simple as mixing the CBD oil into their food and letting them eat it. Again, be sure to keep an eye on the dosage size that you are giving them.
Soak It Into a Treat
This may be the most effective method for getting your pet to take CBD. It is rare that you will ever see a pet turn down a treat, creating an easy solution for people with picky-eating pets.
Make sure that the treat you decide to use is porous, meaning it contains tiny holes and spaces that allow air and liquids to pass through it. Otherwise, the CBD oil will run off of the treat before your pet has a chance to consume it. If your treat is porous, it will only take a couple of minutes for the CBD to soak in.
So, is it safe to give your pets CBD oil that is intended for humans?
The answer is yes.
Again, more studies need to be done in order for us to fully understand the complete list of potential benefits and side effects that CBD has for not only pets but for humans as well. Just be sure that you are always doing research on the company that you are looking to buy from to ensure that their quality meets you and your pet’s standards.
Also never forget to calculate the proper dosage that your pet will need in order for the CBD to be effective. Although the chances of overdosing on CBD are slim to none, it is always better to be safe than sorry and avoid any and all possible unwanted side effects.