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Jan 28, 2022

CBD For Pets: The Do’s & Don'ts

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After nearly two full years of our furry friends having us close at hand nearly every day, many pet owners are dealing with some serious separation anxiety now that we’re headed back into the office. Now, for many of us, our pets are practically our fur-covered babies, and the thought that they would be in any state of distress is nearly unbearable.

Whether your pet is dealing with the stress of a rapidly changing routine, chronic pain from old age or injury, allergies, or other run-of-the-mill ailments, CBD might be a good fit for them.

So, What Exactly Is CBD?

CBD is a cannabidiol, a compound predominantly found in Cannabis Sativa plants. CBD can be found in marijuana and industrial hemp which can contain upward of 10% THC in marijauna plants and less than 0.3% in hemp. In humans, CBD has shown promising results in alleviating pain and helping with stress and anxiety. So if it works for humans, shouldn’t it work for your furry little family members? That’s...complicated.

Veterinary World and CBD

Currently, veterinarians can only prescribe Epidiolex, the only FDA-approved drug that currently contains CBD. Epidiolex is mainly used to treat seizures associated with two types of epilepsy in animals. Since veterinarians are only allowed to prescribe Epidiolex to treat these types of extreme cases in animals, there are a plethora of CBD supplements on the market that are more suitable for calming or reducing pain in animals. 

If you are considering CBD, make sure to discuss with your veterinarian before starting treatment.

The DO’S 

DO Talk To Your Vet

You should always talk with a veterinary professional before introducing any new supplements or medications into your pet’s daily regimen. The consultation will help you find answers to any questions you may have regarding CBD use, tell you about available methods of intake, review your pets health and potential adverse reactions.

DO Check The THC Content

Remember that not all CBD is created equally, which is why you should only use CBD products that are specifically labeled for pet-use. The reason being that, while there is evidence that CBD from cannabis may not cause a ‘high’, it still contains small traces of THC, which can be toxic for dogs and lead to vomiting, diarrhoea or anxiety. Pet-specific CBD typically contains no THC and can be safely used for sleep, anxiety, pain, or any other pet’s ailments for the safety of your fluffy friend.

DO Ask To See Certifications

Ever been to a gas station and seen a lineup of CBD products at the counter? Remember, folks, just because they’re cheap doesn’t mean they’re worth any amount of money. While CBDlabels can include promising phrases like ‘organic’ or ‘THC-free’, there’s no sure-fire way to verify the claim without proof. That is where lab testing comes in. Any CBD product worth it’s snuff can easily provide a Certificate of Analysis. This COA will contain test results from third-party laboratories to ensure that the CBD product contains the claimed CBD concentrations and is free from a THC compound, heavy metals, bacteria, and pesticides.

DO Use The Right Dose

Listen, no matter if you’re taking doctor-prescribed medications or over-the-counter painkillers, taking the right amount is key to them working. Cannabis products are in the same boat, no matter if they’re for you or your pet. To establish the dose for your pet, you’ll need to take into account both their weight and the condition/symptoms you’re looking to alleviate. 

Of course, when in doubt, talk to your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to provide you all the details you need to accurately and safely administer the proper dosage.


DON’T Self-Prescribe

You will never know if CBD will interact with the medication your pet is currently taking or if it is suitable for his or her condition. The body’s tolerance for CBD also typically varies among pets. So, it is better to avoid self-prescribing and make a decision on the right product and dosage of CBD with a certified veterinarian. If you notice unusual behaviour after administering CBD to your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.

DON’T Trust ‘Cure-All’ Claims

Although CBD has many potential healing properties for your pet, some dishonest manufacturers and sellers exaggerate the claims to get people to purchase their products. If the CBD company claims that their CBD products treat, prevent, or cure every disease known to man, it is a major red flag. It is not only illegal to make such statements, but these outrageous claims are far from the truth and can be harmful to your pet.

DON’T Buy From Unknown Retailers

Since the CBD industry is still largely unregulated, this creates room for unscrupulous manufactures and sellers. Do the proper research and look for established CBD companies that concentrate on holistic pet health and are aimed to offer products of high quality. Do your research, trust us. 

DON’T Start With High Doses

Much like with any supplement, it is always best to start with a low dose and gradually adjust daily CBD dosage as advised by your vet. Starting slowly with the lowest dosage possible gives your pet’s body time to adjust to the new supplement and prevent any unpleasant symptoms or severe reactions. Be patient and give your pet only low doses until you determine the most appropriate dosage for maximum results.

If you and your vet agree that CBD would be right for your pet but you’re not sure where to start, come talk to our incredible Guides at any of our RAIR locations. We carry a variety of pet-specific CBD products and are happy to help match you with your perfect fit. 

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