PARENTING TIPS

Is CBD Safe For Pets? What A Vet Says You Should Know Before Trying It

My cat Olive is a nervous wreck whenever I have guests over at our apartment (I say “our,” but I’m the one who pays the rent even if she does rule the roost). She becomes a totally different cat — panicky, aggressive, and, quite frankly, embarrassing. Not wanting to become one of those cat ladies who can’t see anyone because of my cat’s “affliction,” I was at my wit’s end until my friend suggested I give her some CBD to help calm her down. I already knew that CBD is a popular option for many humans when it comes to quelling anxiety or acting as a pain reliever for certain ailments, but I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate for pets. While dog and cat-specific CBD products are on the rise, you can never be too careful when it comes to medicating your animal.

Below, veterinarian Dr. Michelle Dulake, DVM, the co-founder and CEO of Fera Pet Organics, discusses the benefits of CBD, the best methods for pets to take CBD, and whether there’s a better alternative than CBD for your jumpy animal.

What is CBD?

According to Dulake, cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant and is known to have health benefits that may help with pain, anxiety, and seizures. The marijuana plant has two main active ingredients: 1) delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While THC is responsible for the “high” people experience with marijuana, CBD does not cause that same “high.”

What are some potential benefits of using CBD for your pet?

“CBD has been shown to help reduce the frequency of seizures in conjunction with western antiseizure medications in pets that have epilepsy,” Dulake tells Scary Mommy. “CBD also eases anxiety and promotes relaxation and calmness due to releasing serotonin — the hormone that makes us feel happy and relaxed. CBD may also play a role in relieving pain and inflammation, specifically pain for osteoarthritis.”

What are some possible adverse side effects of giving pets CBD?

According to Dulake, the main side effect veterinarians see after a pet has ingested CBD long-term is liver damage.

“It is important to inform your veterinarian that you are giving your pet CBD, along with the dose and length of time,” she says. “I recommend liver blood panels every three months while giving CBD supplements. Other side effects include fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite.”

Other reported side effects include vomiting, restlessness, heart rate changes, pale gums, and rapid breathing.

When looking for CBD products for your pets, what should you look for?

While there are a number of different types of CBD products, including oils in tinctures, oral treats, and topical products, to name a few, Dulake points out that, currently, “there are no FDA-approved products for use in animals and not many studies showing safety and efficacy in pets.”

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved CBD, it likewise hasn’t issued a dosing chart — meaning it’s unknown what dosage would be toxic for animals. So, it’s paramount that you consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any product containing CBD. If your vet gives you the green light to try it, Dulake says it is crucial to start on a low dose and slowly increase it to watch for any adverse reactions.

Many CBD companies promote unsupported medical claims, so she also stresses that it’s vital to be particular about the quality of a product and recommends asking for a Certificate of Analysis, “which verifies that the ingredients on the label are verified to be in the product. If the company is not able to provide a COA, it may be a good idea to not purchase from them.” You can also check if the product has the National Animal Supplement Counsel (or NASC) Seal of Quality Assurance.

As for what you’ll definitely want to avoid: products made for human consumption (they often contain ingredients that are toxic to pets) and products that include THC.

What are alternatives to CBD for your pet?

According to The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there’s simply not enough scientific evidence to suggest CBD products can help or are safe for pets. So, if you’re still feeling unsure about it, that’s totally valid.

If that’s you, Dulake recommends alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal supplements, physical therapy, and dietary changes. She also highly recommends trying herbal supplements with known calming effects, such as ashwagandha, valerian root, and passionflower.

Originally Posted Here

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button