CBD Oil for Pets: Can You Give CBD to Cats and Dogs?

A woman giving CBD to her dog using a dropper
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CBD or Cannabidiol has become a popular option for pain management in patients suffering from joint pain, arthritis and chronic pain. Of course, these conditions aren’t limited to humans. Like you, your cat or dog can also suffer from arthritis and joint pain as they grow older. Should you consider giving CBD to your pet then? Let’s take a look at the benefits of CBD oil for pets and whether it can cause any complications.

What is CBD?

Short for Cannabidiol, CBD is among the numerous compounds found with the cannabis plant. Its popularity is only rivaled by Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound most commonly associated with the psychoactive effect that cannabis can have.

Unlike THC, Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. You can use it for medicinal purposes. In the right doses, CBD can help with pain management, inflammation, anxiety, mood regulation, stress management, improving your sleep cycle, and more.

The mechanism by which CBD does this is not clear. Our body naturally produces cannabinoids (Known as endocannabinoids). These compounds help with a number of vital functions such as inducing the immune system, improving communication between cells, managing your appetite, boosting cognitive abilities, etc.

As per researchers, ingesting CBD enables the body to produce more endocannabinoids, thereby creating the positive effects CBD is known for.

Why Should You Consider Using CBD Oil for Pets?

As mentioned earlier, pets tend to suffer from a variety of ailments that CBD can help with. These include:


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that results from the loss of cartilage between an animal’s joints. It can also result from the thickening and scarring of connective tissue surrounding the joint. This usually happens during the recovery process if your pet has suffered an injury. Bony growths or spurs may lead to arthritis too.

Studies estimate that nearly 25% of dogs suffer from this condition. It can cause your pet to suffer from excruciating pain and lameness. Cats tend to suffer from osteoarthritis too. According to one study, 90% of cats that were over 12 years old showed signs of arthritis.


Cats and dogs also tend to suffer from depression. Typical signs of depression in cats include changes in body language, displaying aggression or fear, becoming increasingly clingy, or losing interest in activities that otherwise engaged them. Other signs are changes in appetite, excessive sleep and changes in vocalization. For instance, if your cat frequent emits unhappy noises such as a low-pitched and forlorn yowl, then it may be experiencing depression.

Dogs are prone to depression, as well. For instance, a dog can develop depression if their owner has had a new baby. Typical signs of depression include becoming withdrawn and inactive, losing their appetite, and not participating in activities they used to enjoy.

These signs may also indicate another underlying illness, so you must get a physical checkup done for your cat or dog before you consider other options.


If your pet has developed a brain tumor or liver or kidney disease, then they can suffer from seizures. A cat or dog with a brain tumor may also show other signs of illness, such as walking in a circle or stumbling. In the case of a liver or kidney disease, this can lead to a buildup of toxins in their blood which can lead to a seizure. Other causes of seizure are suffering from a head injury or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). This can be due to an untreated infection.

Using CBD for Treatment: What Does the Evidence Suggest?

There are very few studies examining the use of CBD oil for pets. Research suggests that many veterinarians recommend the use of CBD oil for pain management, depression, and seizures. Veterinarians that practice in states permitting the use of medicinal marijuana are likely to advise their clients on the use of CBD. CBD is most useful as an analgesic for treating chronic and acute pain. It can also relieve depression and anxiety in pets and reduce the frequency or severity of seizures.

One study also reported that administering 2mg/kg of CBD helped reduce pain levels in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. If your dog suffers from intractable idiopathic epilepsy, then providing them with 2.5 mg/kg of CBD can reduce the frequency of seizures.

While there are no reported harmful side-effects, the use of CBD may sedate your pet for a while.

How Can You Give CBD Oil to Your Cat or Dog?

Most vets recommend the use of CBD oil tinctures for pets. These come with a plastic dropper that is easy to use. You can have your pet ingest it directly. Consult your vet before you decide to use CBD for your pet. They can also provide you with details such as the right dosage, frequency and duration.

Depending on the results and what your vet recommends, you can keep using CBD until your pet recovers. If you notice any side-effects, inform your vet immediately.

Did you find this article on CBD oil for pets interesting? Keep following us for more interesting articles on the use of CBD and how it can help your cat or dog.

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