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Is Pet CBD oil a Good Option for My Dog or Cat?

At Cuyamaca Animal Hospital, we are seeing more and more clients asking about CBD oil for their dog or cat. As integrative veterinarians ourselves, we’re happy to see people explore alternative options for their pets. In fact, many clients have opted for CBD oil to treat just about everything from arthritis to anxiety.

But up until recently, information about CBD oil traveled more by word of mouth than by credible sources. Our team is passionate about educating the Santee community about pet care; it’s the very reason we’re committed to the latest advances in veterinary research and medicine. 

Today we will address the recent rise of CBD oil, what the research is really saying, and give you the information you need to know to decide if CBD oil is right for your pet. Don’t forget to come into the hospital so we can go over your pet’s specific needs, too!

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CBD Oil for Pets: What Is It?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a component of hemp and cannabis (marijuana). The first and foremost thing to understand is that the hemp plant is entirely different than the cannabis plant, which contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Most of the time, CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and not marijuana, and especially in the case of pet CBD, the user will not experience any psychoactive effects. 

What is CBD Oil Used to Treat?

Many pet parents use CBD oil to treat a variety of conditions in pets. The primary reason people administer CBD oil to their pets is to treat acute pain, but we hear from many clients who use it to help alleviate anxiety in their pets, control seizures, alleviate symptoms of arthritis, and more.

The Current Research on CBD Oil

Until just recently, we had no studies with animals to know if CBD oil was an efficient medicine, much less what the dosage should be for dogs. Fortunately, a double-blind placebo study on CBD was finally completed. It’s important to note when studies are conducted with double-blind placebos: that means that none of the participants (the researchers, veterinarians, and clients) know if they are administering or receiving a placebo or CBD. 

First, the researchers used a specific veterinary CBD product and confirmed that its contents were in fact CBD. They then confirmed that it contained the correct amount of CBD, which is a notorious problem with nutraceuticals. They then administered the product to a group of dogs with arthritis, while another group of arthritic dogs received a placebo. 

The dogs receiving the CBD showed significant improvements in their signs of arthritis (like the severity of their limping or their difficulty in getting up). Additionally, no side effects from the CBD were shown.

Sounds Too Good To Be True…What Are The Downsides?

According to the same study, the appropriate dose for CBD would be 2mg/kg (1mg/lb) twice daily, which can be cost-prohibitive, especially in large dogs with arthritis. Both veterinary and human CBD products are priced similarly. The recommended dose for a 25lb dog would cost anywhere from $50 to $80 a month, and the recommended dose for a 100lb dog would cost between $200-300 a month. 

Veterinarians are hopeful that a lower dose will prove equally as successful. If not, a reduction in cost would be the most beneficial in treating more dogs. We also hope more studies will be conducted around other conditions in dogs, especially seizure disorders and anxiety. 

Is CBD Oil Right for My Pet?

This is probably the question we’re asked the most! Trust us, we understand how heartbreaking it is to watch the animals we love suffer in any way—it’s even more frustrating when traditional medicines don’t seem to hold the answer. We understand when pet parents wish to explore alternative options like CBD oil. 

However, we can’t guarantee that CBD oil is right for everyone. Every animal is unique in their needs—that’s why our veterinarians at Cuyamaca Animal Hospital work to foster relationships with our clients and their pets, so that we can develop the whole picture and figure out what’s right for your pet family. 

We’re also passionate about affordable and accessible healthcare for pets. It’s our mission to bring the greater Santee community high-quality services at a fraction of the cost of specialty veterinary hospitals. Schedule an appointment with us so that we can help you find viable and efficient treatment options for your pet at 619-448-0707.

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