Pet lovers know: A lot goes into making sure our furry friends have what they need to live a long, happy, healthy life. Dogs and cats need nutritious food, regular exercise and restful sleep at the end of every day. (Or if you’re a cat, restful sleep allll dayyyy errryyyday.)
But did you also know that animals experience stress and anxiety in much the same way humans do? Their stress comes from different sources than ours—for them, it’s less about work or relationships and more about loud noises and trips to the groomers. But it manifests very similarly, in symptoms ranging from mild crankiness and digestive issues to high blood pressure and loss of interest in everyday things.
Humans have long used Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, for relief from occasional anxiety. And now many have begun administering daily CBD to their pets. (That’s why you may have noticed an explosion of pet-CBD products popping up in the marketplace.) In this article, we’ll explore the reasons some researchers believe animals might benefit from a daily dose of CBD, as well as some rules of thumb for pet owners interested in trying CBD for pets.
Fact 1: Like you, your pet’s body needs cannabinoids.
Just like every human, each cat and dog was born with a complex endocannabinoid receptor system (ECS), that works to manage important brain processes like sleep/wake cycles, immune response and reactions to pain and stress. Cannabinoids like CBD specifically target the ECS, thereby optimizing the way we deal with everyday stressors. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and most often delivered in capsule or tincture form, similar to how one might take iron, zinc or another natural supplement.
But although cannabinoids are found in some natural plants and foods, most humans and animals don’t consume nearly enough in their daily diet. With the ECS system left unsatisfied, we are less capable of functioning at our highest potential. Existing research suggests that taking a daily CBD supplement (or, in this case, administering a daily dose to your pets) can help ECS receptors function more optimally for better anxiety management.
Fact 2: No, your pet won’t get high (or overdose) on CBD.
It’s a common concern, so let us put your pet-loving mind at ease: Unlike its intoxicating sister-cannabinoid, THC, CBD contains no psychoactive properties and will not under any circumstances get your animal “stoned.” Hemp-extracted, legal CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, an amount that’s incapable of intoxicating you or your pet.
Additionally, many researchers agree that CBD is safe for humans and animals, even in large quantities. But a word of caution: The same components of CBD that promote deep sleep and relaxation can show up in your pet as drowsiness/lethargy, low energy, dry mouth and low blood pressure. That’s why, despite CBD’s known benefits for pets, it’s always wise to talk with your veterinarian before introducing any new medication or supplement to your pets.
Fact 3: It matters what type of CBD you give your pet.
CBD products come in a wide range of formats, including gummies, capsules, tinctures, tropical creams and more. For pets, CBD is most often administered via tinctures (often flavored to make them more appealing) or in the form of edible/chewable treats. These products make it easy to ensure your pet gets a healthy daily dose of CBD that owners can monitor and use in conjunction with other medications.
No matter which CBD brand you choose, be sure to look closely at each product’s Certificates of Analysis, or COA, which you can find on the company’s website. (Rule of thumb: If a company does not make their COAs publicly available, you might want to think twice about purchasing from them.) The COA helps buyers by clearly stating what you’re getting in each product, in terms of both cannabinoid content and presence of pesticides and heavy metals.
Got more questions about CBD for dogs and cats? Drop us a line! The experts at The Happy Camper are here to help you make an informed choice for your furry friends.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.