You’ve probably seen or read about how CBD can help humans in various ways, everything from giving pain relief to easing muscle aches to reducing stiffness and joint pains, through to helping us cope with anxiety and stress. 

But have you ever thought about whether CBD could help cats and dogs that also suffer from these issues? In this article, we’re going to take a look at the effects that CBD might have on helping cats and dogs and then you can make up your own mind whether CBD is suitable (or not) for your furry friend.

Table of Contents

How does CBD work?

What are the benefits of CBD for cats and dogs?

How much CBD should you give your cat or dog?

How long does it take for CBD to start working?

How long do the effects of CBD last?

When do you know if it’s time to give your cat or dog more CBD?

Is CBD safe, and does it work for cats and dogs?

How does CBD work?

Before we consider if CBD can help cats and dogs, let’s take a look at how CBD works. All animals (humans included) have an endocannabinoid system, which plays a significant role in keeping us healthy. Our bodies produce endocannabinoids which are substances much like the cannabinoids found in cannabis. These travel through the bloodstream, attaching themselves to cells to deliver messages and instructions that tell the body what’s going on and how to react. 

Because almost every bodily process is affected by these endocannabinoids, CBD works by taking their place when they aren’t delivering the instructions we need or when the system is under more stress than usual and helps bring everything back to a state of balance and calm. 

What are the benefits of CBD for cats and dogs?

Where CBD really shines is helping to reduce inflammation and decrease chronic pain in mammals. In studies published by Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine that appeared in Frontiers of Veterinary Science, researchers found that by blocking certain receptors, CBD can help manage stiffness and soreness because they target a receptor called the ‘vanilloid receptor’, which controls the metabolism and prevents it from turning on. 

CBD is also an excellent neuroprotector (the mechanism that protects the nervous system from injury and damage), making it ideal for treating various neurological disorders like seizures and epilepsy.

Other studies and in-depth reports have shown CBD can help cats and dogs with:

  • Anxiety 
  • Pain management
  • Inflammation
  • Seizures/ Epilepsy
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Urinary tract
  • Overall wellness

How much CBD should you give your cat or dog?

Typically for both cats and dogs, you should start with around 1-2 milligrams for every 4 kilograms in weight. When you’re using CBD oils for cats or dogs, you need to remember that they come in different concentrations. Meaning the amount listed on the label is for the total amount of CBD in the bottle and not a per-dose amount. For example, one 30ml bottle of 600mg CBD hemp oil contains a total of 600 milligrams of CBD, with each 0.25ml dose delivering 5mg of CBD or enough for a 20 kg puppy or a large family cat. 

How long does it take for CBD to start working?

Typically CBD takes between 30-45 minutes to start working. You’ll find oils tend to kick in a little faster than biscuits or treats because there are fewer ingredients to break down. But there’s no difference in effectiveness between them.

How long do the effects of CBD last?

On average, CBD ingested through either oil or food lasts anywhere between 4 and 8 hours. While this sounds like a big range, a lot will depend on the cat or dog’s size, activity levels, breed and the severity of their individual symptoms. But as a rule of thumb, older animals tend to take a bit longer than younger ones to digest their food.  

When do you know if it’s time to give your cat or dog more CBD?

In the majority of cases, your pet will tell you it’s time for more CBD. You’ll notice their symptoms are returning and you can come to the rescue with a few drops of oil or a tasty biscuit. Either way, they’ll be grateful when you do.

Is CBD safe, and does it work for cats and dogs?

While we can’t be 100% sure because there just aren’t any long-term studies available as of now to confirm our suspicions, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence around that supports the benefits of CBD use in dogs and cats. This includes stories about unpettable cats turning all warm and friendly to reports of arthritic older dogs getting a pep back into their step.

We know that CBD appears to be as safe for cats as it is for dogs. We also know that CBD is absorbed and eliminated differently in cats than in dogs, which may mean modifying the dose to suit.

When it comes to answering the question do CBD oils work for cats and dogs, remember that every dog and cat is unique; they all come in different shapes and sizes – and that’s what we love about them. Having said that, it does mean that when it comes to CBD, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. 

So it might take a little experimenting to find the right amount to give your furry friend, but that’s okay. CBD is safe and all-natural, so you’ll have no worries if your pet gets a little more or less than they need while you’re figuring out what’s best for them.