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At Home with Plant People

CBD Oil for Pets - Advice from a Veterinarian

CBD Oil for Pets - Advice from a Veterinarian

CBD oil has become popular among many pet owners, but remember to always consult your trusted veterinarian before giving CBD to your furry companion. 

Have you heard of CBD oil for dogs? Cannabidiol (CBD) has become increasingly popular among people - and their pets - due to its many benefits. CBD has been found to be a great remedy for treating nausea, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and much more. But did you know that those benefits aren’t just for humans? Products like CBD dog treats or CBD oil for cats can be very beneficial for your furry friend as well!

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or “CBD” for short, is a natural cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. A cannabinoid is a chemical that can be used to help balance the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a natural system found in the body that helps to regulate emotions, appetite, sleep, pain and more. Although CBD is mostly used by humans, the cannabinoid can also be used to help pets.

Can CBD Cause My Pet to Feel “High?”

As mentioned before, CBD is a natural compound that is typically found with the highest concentration in hemp plants. Hemp is part of the cannabis plant family and is a cousin to the marijuana plant. Although CBD is a natural derivative of cannabis, hemp oil for dogs won’t cause your pet to experience any psychoactive effects. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, so it is unable to cause a “high” sensation. 

The cannabinoid THC, which is also found in cannabis, is responsible for those effects. In most cases, CBD oil for dogs contains only trace amounts of the compound. As long as you use a CBD product that has less than 0.3%  of THC included, it is perfectly safe to be used by dogs and cats. Products with a higher concentration of THC should not be administered to pets.

Keep in mind that in order to be sold legally in the United States, CBD products must have less than 0.3% THC. However, some companies are not honest with their labeling, so it is always important to research reputable companies.

Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets

Currently, there is not much definitive data about using CBD treats for dogs to help manage health issues. However, many dog owners have reported that giving CBD to their pet has helped with treating pain, managing anxiety and even controlling seizures. 


CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be very beneficial for pets suffering from arthritis or other forms of chronic pain. A 2015 study done on mice with arthritis found that mice that were given CBD displayed less inflammation and pain after just a few days. 

There are many studies demonstrating that CBD may be a natural form of pain relief. CBD may help your pet experience less pain and feel more comfortable overall. Even better, it does not have many known side effects. This can make it a nice alternative to many traditional prescription pain medications in some situations. 


Many pets also suffer from anxiety in some form, whether it’s separation anxiety or anxiety related to loud noises like thunder or fireworks. If your dog or cat has anxiety, you’ll be happy to discover that CBD oil for cats and dogs may help with that as well. 

Studies conducted on both humans and animals have shown evidence that cannabidiol contains anti-anxiety properties. A 2015 meta-analysis of historical CBD research concluded that CBD oil may be a viable treatment option for a host of anxiety symptoms. 

Few studies to date have focused specifically on domestic pets, but pet owners anecdotally report that CBD is effective in calming anxious cats and dogs. 

It may be worthwhile testing the effects of giving CBD treats before an anxiety-triggering event, such as a thunderstorm or car journey, to help ease your pet’s discomfort. Many pet owners have also reported observing increased sleep quality in their pets after giving them a CBD treat. 


CBD is also known for its anti-nausea properties as well. If you have a sick pet that doesn’t have much of an appetite or vomits on occasion, you may want to consult your veterinarian about whether CBD could be a good option to help alleviate his symptoms. 

However, keep in mind that a pet with frequent vomiting or a pet that goes days without eating may be suffering from a serious condition, and he requires veterinary attention immediately. 


In 2018, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKCCHF) announced it was launching a large study to research the effects of CBD on dogs with seizures. Many believe that CBD can be a great treatment option for dogs suffering from seizures, particularly dogs with epilepsy. The study aims to provide important information about how CBD oil for dogs can help to manage seizures. It will likely be the first study to obtain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.

Advice About CBD from a Veterinarian

AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein has some advice about using CBD for your pets. In this informal interview, the AKC asked Dr. Klein a few questions about CBD oil for pets. 

When asked by the AKC about CBD usage in pets, Dr. Klein said:

“There have only been a few studies published on CBD for animals, which limits true scientific data.  Most of the available information is anecdotal. Studies on CBD oil for dogs, like the one being funded by AKC Canine Health Foundation, will hopefully provide the scientific data that’s needed to gain legal approval. These studies will also help determine appropriate medical use and dosage, which isn’t currently available.”

When asked about whether veterinarians can legally recommend CBD oil to their clients, Dr. Klein said the following: 

“According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, ‘under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals.’ Laws are changing rapidly, so this may change in some areas of the country. Your veterinarian is likely able to provide recommendations for other products or medications to treat your pet’s problem. Dog owners looking for more information on CBD oil should do extensive research. Be sure that your information comes from multiple, reputable sources. Look to publications that are peer reviewed.”

The AKC also asked about the potential risks of using CBD oil for dogs or cats. Dr. Klein had the following response: 

“Currently, most of what veterinarians know about CBD oil and dogs is anecdotal, and there is limited scientific evidence about the effects of its use. That said, anytime you give your pet something new, there is always the potential for side effects.

Some of the reported risks of CBD oil include:

  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Increased sedation
  • Reduced saliva production
  • Decreased liver enzyme activities used to metabolize prescription drugs

Always check with your veterinarian before you start your dog on a new supplement, especially if your pet is already on prescription medications.”

How Much CBD to Give Your Pet

The question, “how much CBD oil should I give my dog?” is a good one to consider before giving your pet any amount of CBD. It’s important to note, as mentioned by Dr. Klein in the section above, that there is not much information available about the appropriate dosage of CBD for pets. However, you can usually get a good idea of dosage by reading the instructions on the CBD dog treats or oil packaging. 

Most reputable companies will include information about how much of their product you should administer according to the body weight of your pet. As pet parents, keep in mind that different products contain different concentrations of CBD, so it is always important to do your research before giving any to your dog or cat.  

Things to Consider Before Using CBD Dog Treats or CBD Oil for Cats

While many pet owners swear by using CBD to help their dog or cat with their anxiety, pain, and more, it is crucial that you do your own research before trying it out. It is also highly recommended that you speak to your pet’s veterinarian before you administer CBD for the first time. This is especially necessary because CBD can interact negatively with certain prescription medications, so you must ensure that CBD is a good choice for your pet’s individual health needs. 

It’s also very important that when you purchase CBD for your pet, you only buy hemp oil for dogs or cats that is high-quality and pet safe. Because there is still not much regulation on CBD products, some dishonest companies sell CBD products with high amounts of THC or they include other harmful ingredients.

In conclusion, CBD may be a great natural supplement for you to give your pet. While there are many benefits of CBD oil for dogs and cats, pet parents should still be aware of the potential side effects and discuss their concerns with their veterinarians. However, you must ensure that you do your research beforehand, speak to your veterinarian, and only purchase the highest-quality products for your furry best friend. 


Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy

 Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.

 Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.




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