Does CBD oil help pets like dogs and cats? Top 3 Benefits

It’s well known that the phytonutrients and cannabinoids like cannabidiol in hemp oil for pets can be very helpful for dogs and cats. These unique compounds that exist in the hemp plant provide a range of beneficial effects and aid with health issues in these animals. CBD or cannabidiol is very anti-inflammatory and analgesic, helping pets deal with stress, anxiety and inflammation in the body and joints. However most veterinary practices in Australia do not allow its use amongst patients. The reason for this is regulation. CBD is not allowed to be sold or used in Australia across NSW, Victoria and other states without specific medical certification. It was only recently legalized for humans for therapeutic use. There is no current access route for pets that is legal in veterinary medicine however laws may change as the evidence for its medical benefits with little to no side effects becomes clearer. Hemp oil without cannabinoids like CBD however is fully legal and can still be used to assist your pet with their dietary health, to improve their fur and coat sheen and for skin health.

How does CBD oil benefit dogs?

Many of the health promoting properties of full spectrum CBD oil for humans like reduced anxiety, improved mood, lowered stress and better sleep also apply to canines (that is, dogs) and cats. This is because they also have an endocannabinoid system. It’s this system which is responsible for the beneficial effects that cannabinoids like CBD can offer. When activated the endocannabinoid system releases potent anti-inflammatory compounds that fight inflammation and disease in the body. They improve your pet’s ability to manage pain particularly from issues like arthritis. Activating endocannabinoids is key to the powerful health benefits of hemp. As your dog or cat has an ECS, the cannabinoid compound’s interactions with canines and felines are fairly like that of humans. Strong endocannabinoids like anandamide which assist with inflammation and reduce stress are released when CBD is taken. 

The therapeutic benefits of full spectrum CBD oil have been well known and widely used since ancient times – even the Mongols in Eurasia knew of hemp’s therapeutic effects and would regularly steam in hemp vapor to heal and soothe the body, but the modern research into cannabidiol and hemp’s ability to deliver relief are still preliminary and the evidence for each benefit differs it purports differs in its robustness – particularly for pets. The key similarity and reason we see the same human benefits amongst dogs and cats is the very similar metabolic pathways that CBD and hemp interact with via the endocannabinoid system. As we outlined above, both types of mammals have CB1 and CB2 receptors that allow them to derive much of the same anti-inflammatory and anxiety-reducing relief that humans receive. It’s these receptors which are also located across the brains, body and organs of our pets that help them use cannabinoids like CBG, CBN and CBD. So, what are the benefits of CBD oil for pets? Let’s look.

Key Benefits of CBD oil for Pets

1. Reduce effects of epilepsy

It’s clear from a number of successful clinical trials amongst large sample groups that reductions in both the length and frequency of seizures is one of the biggest and most well understood benefits of full spectrum CBD oil for human health. It’s been tested on children and adults and even developed further into highly concentrated drugs that can be used as anti-seizure epilepsy medication. What’s not clear here is whether this is the same for dogs or cats who suffer from similar epilepsy or seizure conditions – but it may be the case. Dogs and cats can similarly be affected by neurological conditions that result in seizures. 

Problematically, this can be caused by a huge number of factors or mental issues in cats and dogs so full spectrum CBD oil may not always assist or reduce the effects. There are some studies that have shown when combined with other treatments or medications it may assist in reducing frequency in dogs but there has been limited deep, large population studies on this to provide multiple robust evidence points. While much more is yet to know here it’s clear from preliminary results that CBD has huge potential for those with pets suffering from seizures.

2. Improved mood & reduced anxiety

It is worth referring here to the mood and mindset improving properties of full spectrum CBD oil that many people claim has helped them with mental stress or issues in being able to turn off and relax. While not a measurable scientific, research backed effect, the anecdotes of this being true for pets as well has also been commonly espoused online via many forums as well as through alternative medicine communities. Both cats and dogs – like people – are prone to mood issues and this has many links to their personality and genetic predisposition. Some dogs can become aggressive when spooked and similarly many cats get fearful or can become moody and sad. CBD helps to even the mood of our pets by calming them down. Endocannabinoids have anti anxiolytic effects meaning they can reduce symptoms of anxiety and assist with many underlying fears. Just like with people, it helps pets to relax and improve day to day mood. You might also see improved energy levels and enthusiasm with your pet. It can assist older cats and dogs in regaining confidence, getting back to their normal selves and running, playing plus exploring again.

3. Reduced inflammation & arthritis

Cannabidiol is a potent anti-inflammatory that can assist in reducing the impacts of inflammation in the body whether it’s the joints, muscles or other organs. Many athletes such as Nate Diaz in the UFC use CBD for pain relief and inflammation reduction because of this property. Similarly for pets like cats and dogs much of the current research is showing wellbeing and pain reduction improvements as a part of the inflammation reducing benefits of full spectrum CBD oil due to its potent blend of cannaflavins, cannabinoids and antioxidants. Cannabinoids like CBG and CBN aid in supporting joint health and mitigating the effects of aging which erodes our connective and joint tissue. Over time this causes friction in the joints and arthritis which can be chronic and lead to reduced mobility, mood and health. It can have severe effects on our pets, their life quality and mind state. CBD is analgesic which means it assists with pain symptoms. Because of this in addition to its anti-anxiolytic properties it can help manage both the issues directly caused by arthritis in the joints, as well as the corresponding pain that arthritis often causes to our pets. It’s well known for assisting with both nerve and joint pain. Many use it to mitigate daily pain symptoms and get a better quality of life, all the while reducing inflammatory markers.

Which CBD oil type to use for my pet?

The biggest difference between cats and dogs when it comes to using full spectrum CBD products is that cats typically can’t handle products that contain a lot of fibre or need to be chewed and will usually reject it or spit. Unlike dogs, cats are carnivores and can be very picky eaters. They’re well known for not taking medicine easily. This is a key challenge in dosing your cat with hemp oil as they are unlikely to enjoy it. You may need to look at purchasing a product specifically designed to be flavourful and enjoyable for cats such as cat food containing CBD. Treats for your dog may similarly be more easily ingested. CBD oil for dogs is a good option though and many dogs still enjoy the rich, fatty and calming taste of hemp oil and will willingly consume it when provided. 

There are many different options to ensure you get the right match for your pet and ensure they have the best experience and results possible. The typical methods of providing the full spectrum hemp extract are via either supplementary means through an edible product such as capsules, CBD oil or hemp edibles. Many of these products also contain a broad spectrum (known as ‘full spectrum’) of other terpenes and cannaflavins that provide a rich, nutritious profile of vitamins and helpful compounds that can help your pet (without risking their health or getting them high). Hemp oil also contains omega 3, healthy fats, lignans and gamma linoleic acid making it a great nutritional compound outside of being anti-inflammatory.

Typically, these products are not actually specifically created for pets though and may be rebranded human designed products or spare product batches which shops have designated as pet quality. It’s important to be careful here around where you source as you want to be very accurate and diligent around dosages and protocol for supplementing, to avoid creating any health risk or issues for your pet. Never give your pet a product which contains THC as this is toxic to dogs and cats. Always seek an organic, pure and quality assured CBD oil that is backed by strong lab results and is clean from THC. Also seek a full spectrum over isolated oil products – these contain much broader amounts of vital phytonutrients and vitamins which will support your pet’s overall well-being.

Conclusion 

It’s clear what the research is saying – CBD oil is very beneficial for our dogs and cats. Just like us, our pets can benefit from cannabinoids in hemp products because they do have endocannabinoid systems which can leverage these powerful therapeutic compounds. We’ve covered how CBD can help your dog or cat and what the mechanics of this are through the CB1 and CB2 receptors present in all mammals. We also looked at some of the top benefits hemp extract oil can provide including inflammation reduction, assisting with arthritis and joint problems as well as providing improved nutritional quality. Not only this – but we also had a quick glance at how cannabidiol’s anti anxiolytic properties mean it can help improve your pet’s mood, remove stress and lead to a more balanced mental state. It may even assist your pet with fears, anxiety and depression problems. Our final note was on what to look for when buying CBD oil for your pet – always seek quality assured, organic and THC-free full spectrum oils. If you have any doubts, consult your veterinarian in the first instance.

Updated: June 20, 2022 — 2:06 pm