Using CBD for Pets? A Quick Guide

Could Cannabidiol Keep Fido Cool? This Overview of Using CBD for pets looks at what we know so far! The CBD pet industry is a billion-dollar market. No, we didn't mistakenly type "billion" instead of "million!" 
Recent business analysts believe CBD pet treats could rake in more than one billion dollars. Some optimistic reports suggest CBD pet products could grow to $4.8 billion before 2030. Even more surprising, that's a relatively small slice of the $100 billion US pet care industry! 
There's no question pet owners have already given in to the "hemp hype," but is there any science to support using CBD for pets? After all, we still don't have all the answers about using CBD on humans. How could we possibly know if CBD benefits dogs and cats? 

What Do We Know About Feeding CBD To Pets? 

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First off, we must note that there's not enough reliable data on using CBD for pets. While a few tests suggest CBD may have therapeutic uses, please don't take any of these tests as "evidence" CBD works for cats or dogs. 
Most of the studies on CBD for pets have focused on dogs with arthritis-related conditions. Indeed, the most widely discussed study in the pet care industry is a Cornell University trial that analyzed dogs with osteoarthritis. A few of these pups got a daily dose of CBD, while others got a placebo. 
According to these initial findings, the CBD had a more significant effect on mobility and mood versus placebos. Of course, it's pretty tricky to ask dogs how they feel, but vets say the dogs in the CBD group had a happier disposition thanks to their lower pain levels.
Scientists from Baylor University showed similar results in their study on CBD for dogs with osteoarthritis. According to head authors, the dogs who took CBD over a month-long period appeared to have less pain than when the study began.
So, it's likely CBD oil could help with arthritis-related pain in dogs. But what about the second most common reason people buy CBD treats: anxiety. 
Unfortunately, the evidence that CBD works for "pet stress" is primarily anecdotal at this point. Interestingly, one study out of the University of Kentucky found no evidence CBD reduced a dog's sensitivity to stressful stimuli. 
In this UK trial, researchers observed whether dogs who took a placebo or CBD oil had a greater reaction to loud noises. The results: No big difference. The standard medication trazodone was the only thing that seemed to reduce a dog's fear response. 
However, some organizations like the American Kennel Club claim UK researchers waited too long to test CBD's effects. Also, preliminary data from Australia strongly suggests CBD can reduce aggressivity with dogs. Countless pet owners continue to claim CBD works like a charm for their dog's anxiety condition. 
Perhaps CBD helps reduce stress over the long-term rather than before acute stressors (e.g., fireworks or thunder). Unfortunately, we're just guessing at this point. We can only speculate on CBD's effectiveness until more scientific studies get published. 

Is People-Approved Hemp Extract Also "Pooch-Approved?" 

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There's a significant debate over whether it's safe to feed dogs or cats the same CBD oil humans enjoy. While it's probably "OK" to give high-quality human-grade CBD to pets, it's not recommended. 
Although we don't know how pets' endocannabinoid systems differ from humans, most vets believe there are significant differences in how they absorb CBD. Most cat and dog breeds do better with a lower dose of CBD than what's found in high-potency human products. Pet-approved CBD products should consider these dosing requirements.
Also, many ingredients in lab-tested CBD edibles or oils may be fine for humans, but they could negatively affect dogs. For instance, did you know avocado is mildly toxic to dogs and cats? Some human-grade CBD oils use avocado oil as a carrier oil, which you shouldn’t have to worry about with a high-quality pet CBD product. 

How Much CBD Do You Give Pets Per Day? 

The current "standard" for dosing CBD is to start with 2 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of your pet's body weight. As long as you don't notice side effects with this tiny dose, you could increase by 2 mg per day till you see positive results.
Unless you have permission from your vet, you should avoid giving your pet over 20 mg of CBD per day. It's also best to break up your CBD dose into "microdosing" sessions during the day. The higher amount of CBD you feed your dog or cat, the greater chance they will experience side effects.
Speaking of side effects, be on the lookout for the following warning signs:
  • Nausea
  • Digestive problems 
  • Itchiness 
  • Tiredness
If your cat or dog is healthy, it's uncommon to notice severe side effects with CBD treats. However, please get in touch with a vet immediately if you feel your pet is experiencing a significant adverse reaction. 

Can You Feed CBD To Pets Already On Medications? 

If your pet is already taking a lot of prescriptions, it's not a good idea to add CBD to their diet. Just because CBD is non-psychoactive doesn't mean it's inactive. Researchers at universities like Harvard now know CBD can alter drug absorption levels.
We don't know how CBD affects every pet medication, so it's best to avoid using CBD altogether till we have greater clarity. However, if you're dead-set on trying CBD oil for your pet, you must speak with your vet. 
Now that CBD is more common in the pet care industry, vets are learning how to use this cannabinoid. Please carefully listen to your vet's dosing and timing advice and never exceed the recommended limits. 

Test Your Pet's CBD Treats With A tCheck Scanner! 

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Pet owners must ensure the CBD they feed their four-legged friends is well below the amount humans would take. While many professional pet CBD brands have a high reputation for safety, how can one ensure safe potency if they are making CBD treats at home
Thankfully, tCheck scanners can accurately read the CBD/THC content used to make homemade pet CBD products. To find out how our tCheck scanner kit could keep your pet safe, please check out our latest tCheck scanners.

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