CBD for Pets: What You Should Know

With any new pet health trend, there’s a lot of information floating around online. The same is true for CBD for pets. We want to help you figure out what’s best for your furry family members, and hopefully help clear up any questions you may have and dispel any exaggerated claims made about CBD for pets. 

In this post we’ll be looking at:

  • What is CBD?

  • How does CBD Work? 

  • How does CBD for Pets Work?

  • What are CBD side effects?

  • What to look for when looking for CBD products

What is CBD? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 known cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, present in cannabis plants. Cannabidiol is one of the more well-known cannabinoids, second only to THC. 

Chemically speaking, the two aren’t all that different. The real big difference between CBD and THC are in their respective effects. While THC is known for its intoxicating effects, hemp-derived CBD is non-psychoactive. That means smoking or consuming cannabidiol by itself won’t get you high. This lack of intoxication has even led the World Health Organization to state, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential….” 

Learn more: What is Cannabidiol?

How Does CBD Work? 

Cannabidiol interacts with human bodies in a number of ways— the main being its effect on our endocannabinoid system— a biological system native to all creatures. 

Essentially, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors that helps us regulate: 

  • Sleep 

  • Mood

  • Stress

  • General appetite and metabolism

  • Memory and learning

  • Inflammation

Some believe that consuming external cannabinoids like CBD can actually help a user’s entire endocannabinoid system run more efficiently.

Sure, but what about CBD for pets? 

There aren’t many scientific studies on hemp-derived CBD’s veterinarian uses. What research there is suggests CBD acts much the same in cats, dogs, rodents, and other animals as it does to humans. 

Pets have similar endocannabinoid systems to humans. It’s believed that CBD interacts with their systems in the same way with pets as it does with humans. 

How does CBD for Pets Work? 

There are few scientific CBD studies for pets and given the relatively short time that CBD has been around, it makes sense. Expect more studies to come out in the next few years about efficacy and risks associated with CBD for pets. 

That said, many pet owners who do use CBD say that it helps with: 

  • Separation anxiety 

  • Sleep

  • Appetite

  • Nausea 

  • Joint pain in older pets

  • Seizures 


The first data for veterinary-specific use of CBD to treat seizures in dogs were released in 2019. Researchers found a statistically significant 89% reduction in seizure frequency in dogs receiving small amounts of CBD compared to the 43% reduction in the control group. The results warrant additional studies into CBD dosage and seizure frequency.

Additional research into CBD for pets is being pursued by the American Kennel Club, specifically to evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs

Ramsey - The Sunset Lake CBD Official Pet Blend Tester

Ramsey – The Sunset Lake CBD Official Pet Blend Tester

CBD for Pets: What are the Side Effects? 

Because there is little research into animal CBD use, veterinarians can extrapolate potential animal side effects based on how CBD affects humans. 

  • Dry mouth: CBD can slow the production of saliva. CBD for pets could manifest itself as an increased thirst. 

  • Low blood pressure: Large doses of CBD can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. This can lead to brief feelings of lightheadedness. 

  • Drowsiness: While many owners have been known to use CBD for pets to manage anxiety, there is a possibility of overdoing it. Too much CBD can make your pet drowsy. 

The best way to avoid any unwanted side effects is to consult your vet. Based on the weight and condition of your pet, they may have some insight and can recommend a dosage schedule. If not, look for dosing instructions on your CBD product and start on the lower end of that spectrum. 

What to look for in your CBD for Pets products

  • A certificate of analysis (CoA) – Any and all vendors should be upfront with providing you a third-party certificate of analysis. A certificate of analysis should tell you about the potency of that specific product and tell you what other cannabinoids may be present. 

How do you read a CoA?

  • Would you take it? What’s in the product? Insist on seeing the ingredient list and look for any eyebrow raising additives. If you wouldn’t take it, is it acceptable CBD for your pet?

  • Where was the CBD grown? Don’t shop based on price alone. A lot of CBD, and this includes CBD for pets, is grown in sub-optimal conditions and may contain higher concentrations of heavy metals. Does the company make vague quality assurances, or do they say their products are pesticide-free and openly provide adequate CoAs?

Interested in giving CBD a try for your furry friend? Click the button to shop our Pet CBD Oil!