CBD For Pets: 2021 Guide, Benefits, and More!

Paul James
Authored: Mar 12, 2020
Updated: Jan 18, 2021
CBD For Pets: 2021 Guide, Benefits, and More!

It’s only natural for you to want the best for your pet’s health and wellbeing. This is why cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining so much popularity amongst pet owners.


Beyond their overall physical and mental health, pets also face the problem of unexpected illnesses - most of which come with aging. Though various prescription medications are readily available, many of these can lead to serious side effects.


CBD has the power to heal without the cost of any significant side effects. Pet owners who may have found themselves taking the cannabinoid are now seeing it’s magic work on their furry friends.


What Are CBD Pet Products?

CBD has an almost identical effect on animals as it does in humans as we both have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). When we intake CBD, it has an indirect effect on our ECS and, in turn, we experience therapeutic benefits.


With that said, CBD pet products are very similar to human CBD products. There are usually only two major differences:


  1. Strength - Since pets generally have less body weight than humans, the strength of CBD they require is also less.

  2. Taste - Some pets might not be so prone to taking CBD oil or other edibles. For this reason, high-quality CBD companies have developed products that taste delicious to pets. Though these can vary, some common ones are bacon for dogs and tuna for cats.


pet cbd treats


Granted, you can technically give a human CBD product to your pet. However, we don’t recommend this there’s more risk in overdosing your pet with CBD. Though this doesn’t hold any fatal consequences, too much CBD can make your pet ill.



CBD For Dogs

As mentioned, our pets hold an ECS which is why CBD has an effect on them. However, each animal’s ECS holds slight differences.


Take dogs for example. Within their cerebellum, they have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1). This means dogs are more sensitive to cannabinoids that directly affect CB1 receptors, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).


CBD doesn’t directly interact with CB1 receptors which means it’s safe for dogs to consume. However, some CBD products should be avoided as they may contain high levels of THC. 


Even though THC may have medical benefits on animals, it’s generally better to avoid products containing a high concentration. It should be noted, only certain states (where marijuana is recreationally legal) will have CBD products that are high in THC.


The majority of CBD products will contain 0.3% or less THC within them. Products with this percentage are labeled as full-spectrum which means they make use of all the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. If you want to be extra safe about making sure your pup doesn’t consume any THC, your best bet is to purchase a broad-spectrum CBD product (THC is removed) or a CBD isolate (purely CBD and no other cannabinoid).


We recommend full-spectrum to achieve the best results. If you're looking for a safe CBD brand that offers full-spectrum pet CBD products you'll want to consider Honest Paws.



CBD For Cats

Cats are similar to dogs in the sense that they have a higher sensitivity to THC. Currently, there is less information about CBD’s effects on cats in comparison to dogs. However, some cat owners have reported that it can help provide some relief for chronic kidney disease (CKD). If your cat has struggled with nausea, inflammation, or a lack of appetite, CBD also holds the potential to help.

cbd for cats


Potential Medical Benefits

Currently, the Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve CBD for medical purposes in both humans and animals (with the exception of Epidiolex). With that said, there are no claims that CBD can provide you or your pet with any medical benefits.


However, research confirms that there’s a lot of potential health benefits when pets take CBD. In a survey developed by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), around 600 pet owners offered a response to how their pets were relieved from CBD’s effects. These included:


  • Alleviation from skin conditions
  • Worry alleviation
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Decreased muscle spasms
  • Decreased seizures
  • Help with digestive tract issues
  • Minor inhibition from cancerous cell growth
  • Nervous system support
  • Joint relief
  • Prevention from nausea and vomiting
  • Sleep assistance


Some studies have also been reported looking into specific diseases within pets. For example, one conducted by Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine had found that CBD helped alleviate pain in dogs struggle with osteoarthritis. In turn, this helped give them better mobility.


How to Choose the Right CBD Product

With a quick Google search, you’re going to find there are a lot of CBD products out there geared towards pet care. These include, but aren’t limited to, CBD oils (tinctures), CBD sprays, CBD dog and cat treats, and CBD topicals.


As a pet owner, it’s in your best interest to purchase only the highest quality products for your pet. With that said, a bit of research on each company can go a long way in assuring you find this quality.


One way to know how reliable a company is is by seeing if they hold a certificate of analysis on their pet products. These are third-party laboratory test results that look into a number of aspects of the CBD, including its potency, its purity, its cannabinoid/terpene/flavonoids count, and whether or not it contains any contaminants, such as pesticides or heavy metals.


If your pet is currently on medication, we highly recommend you consult a veterinarian before dosing them with CBD. Though it’s rare, CBD does have the potential to negatively interact with certain medications. However, in most scenarios, the medication will inhibit the CBD, not giving your pets the full effect. Not to mention, some ingredients in CBD products (especially, those designed for humans) may not be healthy for your pets.


What to Look For When Shopping CBD For Pets

When purchasing a pet CBD product, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for the following:


  • Absorption

    When CBD is extracted, it’s placed into an oil in order to be easily absorbed. The best oil for this is olive oil as it’s generally healthier and contains no saturated fats. However, another common oil for CBD to be mixed with is coconut oil. Since this oil is saturated fat, it may cause diarrhea and/or high cholesterol levels in pets.


  • Certificate of Analysis

    As we mentioned above, a company that is transparent about their certificate of analysis is giving you the opportunity to check out exactly what your pet is about to consume. If you need some guidance on how to read these lab reports, we invite you to check out our article, “How to Read CBD Lab Results.”


  • Extraction from Hemp

    It’s important to make sure the CBD you’re purchasing is extracted from hemp and NOT marijuana. Though these plants are similar in appearance, their genetic makeup is extremely different. Marijuana plants have high amounts of THC while hemp plants have high amounts of CBD. Hemp is also legal on a federal level as long as each plant contains less than 0.3% THC. This ensures the products you’re purchasing will not get your pet high. However, in states where marijuana is legal, you may find CBD products extracted from this type of cannabis.


  • Origin of the Hemp

    One unique aspect of the hemp plant is it’s extremely absorbent. This means it will accumulate all the elements from the soil it is grown in. This means, if the soil is contaminated, then the product will also hold that contamination. It’s important to assure the product you’re purchasing only uses organically grown hemp that contains no metal toxicities.

    It’s noteworthy to mention that some human products are dangerous for pets to consume. This is usually because these products contain additional ingredients that are safe in humans, but toxic in animals. Take xylitol as an example. It’s a sugar-free sweetener used in many human foods, but can be extremely dangerous for dogs to consume.


It’s important to also mention that there is a big difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. Hemp seed oil does have some therapeutic benefits, such as providing your pet with a healthier coat and skin. However, there is no evidence to suggest that it offers any pain relief. Nor does it have anti-inflammatory properties.



Our CBD Pet Product Recommendations

A lot of companies have taken it under their belt to offer CBD pet products alongside their human products. For the sake of our recommendations, we’re going to take a deeper look at companies that keep their focus on pets. Not only are these companies reputable in terms of their product quality but their main efforts are to provide your furry friends with better well-being.


Honest Paws (Our #1 Recommendation)



The core mission of Honest Paws is to put pet health first and they carry this out with their 100% full-spectrum CBD oil. You can purchase their Purity Hemp Oil in three different strengths; 125mg (for animals up to 25lbs), 250mg (for animals between 25 and 50lbs), and 500mg (for animals 50lbs or more). People who’ve used Honest Paws products claim their tinctures have helped pets improve uneasiness, epilepsy, seizures, joint and muscle problems, and fighting pain and inflammation.



LolaHemp is a unique pet CBD company that has devised a number of products specifically for your pet. They offer special doses for smaller animals and uniquely crafted doses for larger ones. All their products are organic and assured to be pesticide and herbicide-free.



Heelr puts a focus on helping animals struggling with anxiety and physical issues, such as hip and joint pain. Their products are of some of the highest quality you can find and made completely from organic ingredients. They also make a strong effort to educate people on CBD and how it affects your pet.


King Kanine

King Kanine provides customers with all-natural and non-synthetic products - all of which are tested independently by a third-party lab. King Kanine sets their focus on pets through CBD oils, CBD edibles (such as their King Kalm Crunch), and CBD topicals (such as their Calming Balm).



HolistaPet focuses on developing CBD oil for dogs and cats that includes 0% THC. Their products have helped pets fight inflammation, seizures, and other psychotic issues. We highly recommend their CBD pet treats as these are crafted to boost your pet’s immune system, improving on their overall health.


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