CBD for Pets: All-Natural Benefits for Cats, Dogs, and Horses
CBD oil is the workhorse of the animal supplement world, used to address conditions as varied as separation anxiety to seizures. SeaPet’s CBD Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract is a pure and natural solution that’s designed especially for cats, dogs, and horses. Millions of owners across the United States are opting for natural treatments like CBD oil for horses, dogs, and cats. A recent study revealed that the majority of pet owners have chosen alternative treatments like animal massage, pet acupuncture, and nature-based supplements like CBD.
CBD oil for dogs, cats, and horses is one of the most popular supplements on the market today, and it’s trusted by owners worldwide. A recent study showed that nearly three-quarters of those who have given their pets CBD oil to address health concerns use CBD themselves. If you’re new to CBD, welcome! We’re here to answer all of your questions about CBD, whether you’re looking for CBD oil for cats, dogs, or horses.
What is CBD oil?
CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of the hundreds of beneficial cannabinoids that are present in hemp, a variety of cannabis. Cannabinoids interact with the central nervous system’s receptors, helping it to keep the body running smoothly. Out of the many cannabinoids present in hemp, CBD stands out for many reasons. CBD doesn’t contain any THC, the cannabinoid responsible for giving marijuana its psychoactive effects, so your pet can enjoy the benefits without the buzz. The majority of CBD is extracted from hemp, which is naturally free of THC. Once CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, it’s carefully measured and blended with coconut oil. This makes it easier for you to give your pet the proper dose every time.
Is my pet a good candidate for CBD?
CBD can be effective for animals of all sizes! Just like humans, animals’ endocannabinoid systems provide receptors for medicinal cannabinoids like CBD. The body’s innate ability to metabolize cannabinoids means that CBD can address a variety of conditions throughout the body. Some of the most common uses of CBD are to boost appetite, tamp down chronic anxiety or the stress caused by certain situations (like moving, fireworks, etc.), and as an anti-inflammatory. Of course, you should always discuss adding CBD to your pet’s diet with your veterinarian. They can provide additional guidance that’s specific to your pet and answer any questions you may have.
CBD for Cats
CBD oil for cats is a popular choice for owners interested in alleviating the symptoms of a variety of issues, from feline anxiety to a dull coat. An anxious cat often expresses his discomfort in destructive behavior, and many owners have found success using CBD for cats’ anxiety. CBD oil for cats can reduce the underlying anxiety that causes symptoms like inappropriate elimination and excessive scratching (of humans and furniture alike).
CBD for Dogs
CBD oil for dogs has many applications, from calming canine nerves agitated by fireworks or other loud sounds to controlling epileptic seizures and relieving the pain of arthritis. Because CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, it’s said to help arthritic dogs regain mobility and flexibility. Small-scale scientific studies have also found CBD to be effective in reducing the number and severity of epileptic seizures.
CBD for Horses
Though horses are much larger than cats and dogs, CBD oil is very effective for equine use as well. Like cats and dogs, CBD oil for horses is most frequently used to alleviate the side effects of anxiety. Because CBD is readily accepted by the central nervous system, you can easily spot-treat for situational stresses like trailering or a visit from the farrier.
Are there any side effects of CBD oil for pets?
The toxicity level of CBD oil is extremely low, so there’s almost no risk of accidental overdose. Side effects of CBD are rare, and those that do occur generally cause minor inconveniences. Since CBD is not psychoactive, your pet won’t get the munchies. The most common side effects of CBD are dry mouth and drowsiness, and these are most frequently observed when you are giving your companion animal a higher dose of CBD oil. Many times, all that’s needed to get your dog, cat, or horse back on track is to reduce your pet’s daily dose.
It’s always wise to start with the lowest recommended dose of CBD oil for your furry friend in order to minimize the possibility of side effects. You can increase the dose as needed if you’re not observing an improvement. However, if you notice behavior that’s out-of-the-ordinary for your pet, always consult your vet to make sure there isn’t an underlying cause.
How to find a trustworthy source of CBD
The most important things to consider when choosing a CBD oil for horses, dogs, or cats are the oil’s strength and purity. One way to make sure that a CBD oil is of high quality is to look for a product that’s been third-party tested. Independent testing provides pet owners with an accurate report on the product’s strength, which helps you to fine-tune your pet’s dose. Plus, CBD oil manufacturers who elect to have their products tested by an independent party are less likely to include low-quality ingredients or harmful byproducts like THC and heavy metals.
Where can I buy pure, natural CBD oil for pets?
There are a wide variety of sources out there, so it’s vital to purchase CBD from a company you can trust. SeaPet has decades of experience in providing pet owners with premium natural supplements, including our own CBD oil. Our Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract is subject to third-party testing, so you can feel confident that your pet is getting the best CBD oil on the market. Whether you’re seeking CBD oil for cats, CBD oil for dogs, or CBD oil for horses, we’ve got you covered. To get your paws on a safe, natural supplement used by millions of pet lovers just like you, buy the best CBD oil for pets here.
How safe and effective are CBD products for companion animals?
CBD products for pets are increasingly being marketed in a murky area where they are promoted to help animal health, but basic safety and efficacy data is limited, write Suzette Smiley-Jewell and Pamela Lein, with the University of California, Davis. The pair sound a note of caution over the lack of formal regulation of animal CBD products.
Horse, dog or cat owners in some countries have probably noticed the abundance of cannabinoid (CBD) products entering the market. Pet supply stores offer a variety of CBD-infused oils, edibles, topicals, and gels marketed to improve pain, anxiety, and/or immobility in dogs and cats. CBD products are offered to equine owners for the same reasons.
The market is being driven by both law changes that allow the production and recreational/medical use of cannabis, as well as findings that CBD can help with chronic pain, nausea, seizures and mood, sleep and eating disorders in humans.
Surveys have found that pet owners who use cannabis products themselves are likely to purchase CBD products for their pets. As a result, the global CBD pet market was valued at $US125 million in 2020 and is predicted to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 58.9% from 2021 to 2028.
However, controversy surrounds CBD animal products because there are no formally approved CBD veterinary medications, conflicting laws, and limited scientific studies regarding therapeutic efficacy and safety in animals.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical found in flowering cannabis plants, which have been used for thousands of years in rope, fabric, paper, food, and medicine, both human and veterinary. Cannabis sativa plants having less than 0.3% by dry weight of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the “high”-causing chemical in marijuana – are legally defined as hemp in the United States and the European Union.
CBD is abundant in hemp and it is not psychotropic like THC. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a signaling system in vertebrates and invertebrates that influences key biologic processes, such as inflammation, pain, sleep, mood, immunity, appetite, memory and brain development.
Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body and brain, although their distribution can vary by species. CBD not only interacts with cannabinoid receptors but also other receptors (i.e., serotonin) involved in anti-inflammation, pain reduction, depression and anxiety.
Does CBD benefit animals?
Providing pain relief, reducing inflammation, and alleviating anxiety were the top three reasons people cited for purchasing cannabis pet products in surveys of US and Canadian dog owners’ use and perceptions of cannabis products. CBD pet product websites and owner forums espouse anecdotal evidence for CBD health benefits; however, the number of actual scientific studies in companion animals is very limited, although steadily increasing since hemp has become legal to grow in the US and EU.
Currently, there are only six published studies on CBD and pain relief in companion animals. All six studies were done in dogs with osteoarthritis, a common problem with older age and high body weight. In five out of the six studies, pain decreased and mobility improved. Such consistent results are notable because the studies varied by CBD form (oil or edible), dose (0.3 to 4 mg/kg), dosing regimen (once or twice a day) and length of treatment (one to three months). Side effects were relatively minor (for example, sleepiness or incoordination), although with longer use, increased serum alkaline phosphatase, a marker of potential liver damage, was found. Similar feline and equine studies have not been done.
To date, there are no published clinical studies of CBD and inflammation in dogs and cats. However, because high-performing horses are at increased risk for injury and inflammation, a well-controlled study of CBD metabolism and inflammation was conducted in Thoroughbreds. The horses tolerated CBD well and changes were seen in inflammatory signaling pathways. Therefore, the authors suggest further studies are warranted.
CBD animal products are heavily promoted as “providing a sense of calm”, “easing anxiety” and “reducing stress.” While CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety in rats, mice and humans, no published scientific studies are confirming the same is true in companion animals. Of the two published dog studies, neither supports CBD as anxiolytic – a medication to prevent or treat anxiety symptoms. Dogs exposed to the sound of fireworks after receiving CBD for seven days did not have reduced anxiety, as indicated by their activity or cortisol levels, and shelter dogs receiving CBD had reduced aggression towards humans, but a similar response was observed in control dogs. To date, there are no clinical studies of CBD effects on anxiety in cats or horses.
There is also interest in using CBD to treat epilepsy in animals because CBD-based Epidiolex has been approved in Europe and North America to treat rare forms of human epilepsy. Reduced seizure frequency was found in two dog studies of the antiseizure efficacy of CBD, but the effect was inconsistent across all dogs.
Considerations: CBD animal products
Despite the high demand for CBD animal health products, they are neither regulated nor approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency or the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate/Food Standards Agency.
As such, veterinarians cannot offer advice to clients unless permissible by local laws.
For example, California state law allows veterinarians to discuss cannabis use with clients but other US states forbid it. This can be frustrating for veterinarians and clients because of dosing, efficacy and safety concerns. For example, while CBD seems to be well tolerated by animals, it is not without side effects, including sedation, dizziness, confusion, excessive salivation or licking.
There are species differences too, with dogs absorbing more and taking longer to eliminate CBD than cats, and overall bioavailability increasing with fatty food or oil. CBD interactions with other prescribed veterinary drugs are not fully understood. Lack of product regulation was apparent in a study of 29 over-the-counter dog CBD products, which found that only 10 had CBD concentrations within 90 to 110% of the label claim and two had unsafe levels of arsenic and lead. Other studies have found high levels of pesticides used in marijuana fields in CBD products.
Without formal regulation of animal CBD products, we are stuck in a murky area where CBD is promoted to help animal health, but basic safety and efficacy data is limited or even non-existent. Greater oversight, increased studies, and more freedom for client-veterinarian communication would help everyone, most importantly the companion animals we love.
Suzette Smiley-Jewell, PhD, is a scientific program manager with the University of California, Davis. Her PhD is in pharmacology and toxicology.
Pamela J. Lein, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, part of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. She is also a member of the MIND Institute. She has a special interest in neurotoxicology, behavioral physiology, cellular physiology, molecular physiology and neurophysiology.