Decades of research and studies have concluded that cannabis can be used for medicinal purposes. This is one of the reasons that more and more veterinarians want to use CBD oil to treat ailments in cats and dogs. As a result, the use of CBD in pets is now widespread.

As for humans, there are various ways to use it for pets. For diseases such as epilepsy, arthritis and many others, there is the possibility of resorting to these products.

What is CBD?

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a component of the female hemp plant. It has no psychoactive effect, which means it has no intoxicating effect. Unlike THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol), another component of hemp that has an intoxicating effect.

CBD, or Cannabidiol, can be used to treat certain diseases and conditions in humans and animals. Many CBD products, such as CBD Oil, are available over the counter in stores. But what is it exactly? How does CBD work – and against what? What side effects can occur?

Here we clarify the most critical questions about CBD for animals.

What are the medical effects of CBD on pets?

CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body. Doctors speak of the endogenous cannabinoid system. All mammals have such a cannabinoid system, so in addition to animals such as dogs, cats or horses, also humans. There are two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2.

Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is found primarily in the brain and nerves, while Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2) is found primarily in specific immune system cells and bone cells. CBD can dock onto these receptors and thus develop its effect.

CBD products are not medicines, but they belong to food supplements. For this reason, manufacturers cannot make any active or healing promises. Thus, only some positive effects of CBD on the body and psyche can be described, which have been found in studies or observed by pet owners.

Possible effects of CBD on animals:

  • relaxing and antispasmodic effect
  • reduces anxiety and stress
  • acts against infections and inflammations
  • relieves pain
  • increases mobility
  • positive effect on the immune system
  • relieves nausea and vomiting
  • protects the nervous tissue
  • positive effect on digestion

Whether CBD can also help with diseases such as osteoarthritis and epilepsy in pets still needs to be investigated in more detail in studies.

In which Animal Species can CBD be used?

In principle, CBD works in all mammals because they all have a so-called endogenous cannabinoid system. CBD binds to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 and thus unfolds its effect.

Birds and fish also possess an endocannabinoid system, so CBD can also be administered to them. In addition, CBD products are available for dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and rats, among others.

How can you use CBD for pets?

CBD oils are usually administered orally, which means you put the drops directly into your pet’s mouth using a pipette. However, this could be a challenge with very lively dogs that don’t hold still. Therefore, mixing the oil into the pet’s food is much easier. Wait a few minutes for the oil to be absorbed. The recommended amount is one drop of CBD oil for every pound of the feed.

Additionally, you can apply CBD oil directly to the back of the gum line/cheek or the center of the tongue using a hand-feeding syringe, plastic dropper or silicone feeding tip.

Applying CBD oil as a tincture or ointment could be very helpful for problems such as minor wounds or rashes. If all these methods don’t work, try drizzling the drops into a water bowl. Remember that this is only a last resort, as oil drops easily splash out of a bowl.

Can you overdose CBD on your pet?

It would be best to be very careful when dosing and administering CBD to your cats and dogs. The side effects of an overdose can last anywhere from several hours to a few days, depending on the dose.

In these cases, it is not uncommon for your dog to lose appetite and find even simple things like standing very difficult.

Pay attention to behavior related to energy, appetite and other activities after taking CBD. If you suspect your dog has overdosed on CBD oil, or if signs of this appear, please discontinue treatment and seek veterinary advice.

How much CBD should you use on your pet?

As mentioned, overdosing on CBD oil could lead to side effects and psychoactive problems in your pets. Therefore, it is essential to choose the correct dosage for your pet.

Unfortunately, research and studies regarding the optimal dosage for pets still need to be more comprehensive to state it clearly. However, the rule of thumb currently recommended by many veterinarians is one drop of 5% CBD oil per 5 kg of body weight.

If you decide to give CBD oil to your dog, here is a general guideline recommended by veterinarians:

  • Administer one drop per 5 kg of body weight once daily for one week.
  • Then, increase the dosage to twice daily if needed.
  • Administer this dosage twice daily over the course of one week.
  • Then increase the dosage to three times daily if needed and maintain for one week.

Observe your pets’ behavior and choose the optimal dosage that maximizes health benefits without causing unwanted side effects.

What side effects can occur with the administration of CBD?

Side effects of CBD products, such as CBD oils, are rarely observed but are basically possible – as with any preparation. Possible CBD side effects include diarrhea, increased thirst and drinking, fatigue and drowsiness, dry mouth, blood pressure drop, dizziness, headache, and appetite changes.

If you observe any side effects in your pet, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

In what animals should you not use CBD?

If your animal is experiencing symptoms, you should consult your veterinarian. They can determine the cause of the symptoms and rule out serious conditions that need to be treated with medication or surgery. So don’t rush to self-treat your pet!

Also, when using CBD products, you must be aware of whether there are any interactions with medications or supplements your pet is taking. When in doubt, always ask your veterinarian! Caution is also advised for pregnant animals: CBD products should not be given here.

The Difference between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil

Hemp oil is a food obtained by pressing hemp seeds. Due to its valuable ingredients, small dosages of Hemp Oil can be mixed into BARF rations. If hemp oil is fed regularly, chronic skin inflammation and digestive disorders can improve.

CBD oil contains extracts from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant.

Since the transition between hemp oil and CBD oil is fluid, you should only use preparations after consulting your veterinarian.

If dogs and cats eat hemp leaves, overdoses can occur with some plants:

  • Blood pressure drops
  • the heart rate increases sharply.
  • Nausea and vomiting occur
  • Higher doses cause epileptic seizures
  • Eventually, cats fall into a coma

Usually, symptoms disappear after some time. So far, only two dogs in the U.S. have died from cannabis overdoses. Moreover, the Myth that cats are unable to metabolize THC has already been disapproved by studies.

Scientific Data on CBD Oil and Internet Marketing

As with any pet wellness trend, there is a lot of information on the Internet about CBD for animals. But, unfortunately, a lot of nonsense is told, especially concerning CBD oil, since a lot of money is earned here.

The research on the mode of action of CBD is still in its infancy – and thus also the research of their potential benefits for animals – but more and more studies are being conducted. However, to date, few studies have specifically examined the safety of CBD for certain pets.

Most animal studies on CBD have been conducted on mice and rats. However, at least initial conclusions can be drawn from the studies for other animals as well.

In general, it is safe to use, as it is in humans, though there are no universal dosing guidelines for animals yet. So, consult your veterinarian first if you want to administer CBD to your pet and have questions or concerns.

The most important aspect of CBD products is quality. Always check the ingredients of the product you want to administer and ensure the manufacturer is reputable. So, for the most part, CBD products are safe and low-risk for humans and animals.


Studies have shown that CBD for pets can help with pain, anxiety, and other health conditions. Whether you’re considering CBD for cats, dogs, or horses, choosing a high-quality product that is low in THC and offers a wide range of CBD benefits for your pet is essential.

Since all of our furry friends are unique, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your veterinarian and ask about CBD’s benefits before administering this hemp product for the first time.


Dr. Orika Mosquera

Hello, I am Dr. Orika Mosquera Lopez graduated from the free university of colombia sectional Barranquilla as a doctor and surgeon. I work as a General Practitioner with Experience in the Emergency Department, Hospitalization and External Consultation. I love pets, i have 2 cats, Bagheera and Nhala and one Yorkshire Terrier called Princess. I care a lot about the well-being of my animals


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