So your beloved pup can’t get up and you don’t know what to do! The verdict from your veterinarian is in and Bubbles the Dachshund is suffering from osteoarthritis. Your four-legged friend is in misery with achy joints and you’re concerned about the side effects from the opioid painkiller your doc wants to prescribe.

And who wouldn’t worry when the prescription’s disclaimer lists side effects that range from vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite to constipation, diarrhea, drowsiness, anxiety, dizziness, and tremors.

Enter CBD oil, a therapeutic compound found in cannabis and hemp, that seems to be all the rage. You’ve heard talk about the wonders of this product, but do you really want Bubbles to get high (he won’t, by the way)? Or is CBD for pet health problems different from the the weed your mom warned you about? How does CBD affect pets and is CBD safe for pets?

CBD For Pets

The short answer is “yes”! CBD for pets is derived from hemp, not marijuana, and CBD oil doesn’t contain the compound THC which gives pot its psychoactive properties. In other words, your car and dog won’t get buzzed or stoned. Breathe easy.

But can CBD help? Studies show there’s a good chance, with very mild side effects if any at all. A 2018 Cornell University study suggests that taking two mg/kg of CBD twice daily can support a healthy activity level in dogs with osteoarthritis.

In a recent study, the results were significant with over 80 percent of the dogs that took CBD oil showing “significant improvement in discomfort levels and quality of life” without discernible side-effects of CBD for pets, researchers said.

And there’s more good news: Although there’s much to learn, this non-synthetic, non-psychoactive extract has proven beneficial in helping retain healthy anxiety, stress, and insomnia levels in people, and is predicted to have a similar effect in pets.

DOSING IS SIMPLE

Bespoke Extracts recommends administering 2.5mg of CBD per 10 pounds of your pet’s weight if the animal is experiencing moderate discomfort or stressed behavior.

For example, if you’re using CBD oil with a concentration of 600 mg, a 60-pound dog would receive a .75ml dose using a graduated dropper. A 10-pound cat would receive five drops of the same administered through the dropper. The dosage would vary, however, based on the CBD oil’s concentration. Effects of CBD tend to last 4-6 hours, and you can increase the dosage if necessary.

Since the FDA does not have official guidelines, manufacturers suggest that pet owners proceed with caution and watch their pet’s reaction to the product carefully. Go slow.

BUYERS BEWARE

Shopping for CBD oil is as easy as telling Fido to fetch a stick but you still should take precautions. Numerous CBD oil manufacturers produce high-quality products for pets. But not all products are created equal. Always look for the manufacturer’s certificate that states how much CBD is in the product. It’s important to verify that there is little or no more than 0.3% THC in the product. Organic products should be free of pesticides, fungicides, and solvents.

Learning how to use CBD for pets can be fun! Make your choice and help make your pet’s life a little bit more pain-free!