Learn why pet owners are giving their animal companions special CBD products.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Benefits of CBD for Pets
Pet owners are a growing segment discovering the benefits of CBD for pets in the United States. People are using high-quality CBD products to treat animal anxiety, alleviate pain, and more.
Often, these are people who understand the benefits of using CBD first-hand. It’s only natural that they want to share their positive experience with their animal companions.
But we should be cautious about what we give our pets. Human beings love chocolate – but it’s toxic for cats and dogs. Pet owners should be careful to only give their pets products that are safe for their unique digestive systems.
How CBD Works for Animals
CBD works by binding to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. In humans, this can generate pain-relieving and stress-reducing effects. It also has been shown to reduce the severity of epileptic seizures and lower inflammation throughout the body.
Animals also have endocannabinoid systems. Mammals like dogs and cats have systems very similar to ours, but those are also present in birds, fish, and some invertebrates. Only insects and protozoa seem to lack these near-universal systems.
This means that CBD definitely works on pets. It also means it’s probably safer for dogs and cats than for non-mammals. Several small studies have shown significant positive benefits to giving CBD to pets:
- A Cornell University study found that dogs with osteoarthritis experienced less pain and increased physical activity when given CBD oil twice a day.
- Another study found that CBD reduced seizure frequency and severity for dogs with epilepsy.
- A survey of US veterinarians found that 87% of vets said CBD is helpful for treating dogs with anxiety. More than half also mentioned calming dogs’ phobias of storms and fireworks.
What to Look for in CBD for Pets
The biggest risk when buying CBD products for pets is guaranteeing product purity. Not all CBD products contain 100% pure CBD. Contaminants, heavy metals, and pathogens are just as dangerous for pets as they are for humans.
In fact, there is reason to believe that contaminants may have a more severe effect on animals than on humans, simply due to differences in body weight. Any supplement will have a more pronounced effect on a 15-pound dog than a 150-pound human. Owners of small breeds should take extra caution to purchase chemically pure CBD products that have been tested by certified labs.
CBD product form also matters for pets. Most CBD-based topical treatments are designed for human skin, which is remarkably different from the skin of other mammals. Dogs and cats have different gland structures in the skin, which explains why they cannot sweat, but it also means they cannot absorb topical CBD through the skin the way humans do.
The best CBD products for pets come in treat form. These are specially formulated gummies instilled with a flavor that pets love. Tinctures can also be effective, allowing pet owners to add a few drops of pure CBD oil directly to pet food.