We are seeing an influx of pet owners starting to introduce cannabidiol (CBD) into their pets’ daily routines. And there is a good reason why, as an abundance of studies point to the fact that this hemp-derived, all-natural, and nontoxic compound can likely offer the same potential benefits to our furry friends that it does to us.
But, with that being said, it’s important to remember that not all CBD is created equally, and that not all CBD products are going to give your pet the results you’re hoping for – worse, there are some products on the market that can be downright dangerous for your pet to consume. Overall, there are a number of key things to look for when shopping for your beloved companion, and we’re going to give you the complete guide to buying the best, safest, and most effective CBD products for your cat or dog.
Why Give Your Pet CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the dominant chemical compound in the hemp plant – the cousin to marijuana, which is not inherently intoxicating. CBD itself is nonintoxicating and nontoxic to all mammals, which is why our pets tolerate it so well.
But, what is it that makes this compound so uniquely helpful to all of us? CBD is a cannabinoid, and cannabinoids are compounds that work directly with the endocannabinoid system. Discovered in the 1990s, the endocannabinoid system is found in every mammal, and it has the job of keeping the body in homeostasis. Besides producing cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors, located in every system of the body. When we take CBD, the cannabinoid attaches to these receptors and regulates processes all throughout the system, ranging from balancing our mood and cognitive function to regulating our inflammatory response.
A number of studies have been done since cannabidiol was first isolated in the 1960s. And, maybe to your surprise, there have been several studies done on the benefits that cannabidiol can offer to our pets. Let’s take a look at the most well-known effects of cannabidiol that can play a role in your pet’s daily life.
- Anti-Inflammatory: In a study done by Cornell University, osteoarthritic dogs were given a daily serving of CBD, to determine whether or not the cannabinoid’s anti-inflammatory effects could help them with their symptoms. The results show that dogs given CBD experienced less discomfort and more mobility than dogs who were not.
- Analgesic: Besides its ability to address discomfort by lowering inflammation levels, CBD is also known for its analgesic effects, which means that it regulates the nervous system’s pain response to raise the pain threshold. This, in turn, allows the body to tolerate pain more easily.
- Anxiolytic: Anxiety is a common issue seen in both dogs and cats, and can lead to emotional distress, aggression, and a lack of interaction between them and their owner out of fear. And, one of the most common uses for CBD is reducing stress and anxiety, not just in humans, but in our furry companions as well. Recently, in fact, a study found that administering CBD to dogs made them less reactive to loud noises, which are known to trigger their fear response. This can also be useful when it comes to hyperactive pets, as CBD seems to offer a generally mellowing effect on the nervous system.
- Anti-Seizure Properties: Many studies have been done to show a strong link between CBD and epilepsy. CBD acts as a neuroprotective, which means that it can strengthen healthy neurological function. This is why CBD seems to reduce the frequency of seizures, and their severity as well.
Where Can You Buy CBD for Pets?
Of course, the first part of shopping for a pet CBD product is knowing where to actually look for one. Let’s talk about some of the most likely places to find CBD formulas for cats and dogs.
- Pet Stores: We’ve noticed more and more pet stores carrying CBD products, including big-box stores and independent small businesses. While we’re happy that CBD is becoming more accessible to pet owners, one thing that you need to consider is that CBD products can vary dramatically when it comes to quality, effectiveness, and even safety. A store that does not specialize in hemp may not know how to be sure that they’re carrying only the best products available. Because there is so much low-quality CBD out there, you may end up with a poor product because the store owner did not know how to look for the best formulas available on the market.
- Holistic Veterinarian Offices: You may encounter CBD being sold by holistic veterinarians, and if your vet does recommend a specific product, then you should follow their advice. Hopefully, your veterinarian has done the research to be sure that what they’re carrying is a high-quality, safe, and effective formula.
- Online Hemp Distributors: There are many online hemp distribution companies, which carry products from a number of brands, all in one place. Overall, because these types of retailers specialize exclusively in hemp, they are far more likely to have strict screening methods for all products that they carry.
- A Brand’s Website: We believe that the best option is always to buy a CBD pet product directly from a company’s website. By buying directly from the company, there’s no worry about counterfeit products, and this also gives you the best ability to really read through all of the information to know exactly what you’re getting, all while exploring reviews and third-party lab reports.
What Kinds of CBD Products Can You Get for Pets?
Before we get into the things you need to know before buying CBD for a pet, let’s quickly go over the main types of products that are available on the market. All 3 of these products can serve as fantastic ways to get your pet on a proper cannabidiol regimen for maximum positive results.
CBD treats are tasty treats that appeal to your pet’s senses, and are infused with hemp extract that’s naturally high in cannabidiol. They allow your pet to ingest CBD, and ingesting the cannabinoid offers the longest-lasting effects, but keep in mind that the effects also take the longest to kick in – generally 1-2 hours before the effects peak.
CBD oils are bottled oils with dropper caps, that combine hemp extract with a pet-friendly carrier oil, and sometimes flavoring. This multi-purpose formula can be added to their food bowl, administered sublingually, or even applied topically to the skin if necessary.
- CBD Topicals: CBD topicals are products that are meant to address localized issues concerning the skin, muscles, and joints. They may be useful if your pet’s skin is inflamed or irritated, and thus, may also help if your pet has localized discomfort in the deep tissue of the body.
Why Should You Only Go with a CBD Product Crafted for Pets?
Another thing that we want to mention is that ultimately, we encourage you to buy CBD products that are made for pets. In other words, while there are lots of CBD products marketed toward humans, pet-specific products are always ideal.
- They come with dosing directions that relate to pets rather than humans, as pets’ bodies are different from ours, and therefore require different amounts of cannabidiol to get the desired results.
- A CBD pet product will be free of ingredients that can be harmful to them, like essential oils or flavoring found in human CBD products.
- CBD pet products are often formulated to be as appealing to your pet as possible, usually through the use of flavoring ingredients that pets find irresistible.
What to Pay Attention to When Shopping for CBD for Your Furry Friend
Now, you have a good understanding of what CBD can do for your pet, as well as where to find CBD products, and what types of products to look for. That being said, we want to get more specific by breaking down all of the key things to pay attention to when shopping for that perfect formula. The reality is that the hemp market for pets is largely unregulated, which makes it easy for very low-quality or even fake products to emerge.
So, by making a mental checklist of the key points below, you won’t have to worry about ending up with a disappointing product, or worse, one that has the potential to harm your beloved pet companion.
#1: Third-Party Lab Reports
Never, ever buy a CBD product for your pet or yourself without looking at the third-party lab reports beforehand. This refers to a document that companies should make available on their website, which comes directly from a state-licensed hemp-testing laboratory. This document tells you the findings of the lab that tested the CBD product for safety, purity, potency, legal compliance, and the composition of compounds in the product. Basically, without the third-party lab report, you have no true way of knowing whether you’re buying a high-quality or even effective product.
#2: Positive Reviews
We also strongly encourage you to look through reviews of a product, as well as the brand making the product, before making a purchase. This way, you’ll know right away whether or not a product is worth buying. If you see a lot of negative reviews about, say, a product’s effectiveness, you won’t end up wasting time and money on it.
#3: A Reputable Brand
Company reputation matters, which is why you should look for a company that generally has a good reputation online. Check out places like YouTube and Reddit, where fellow pet owners are likely to recommend specific brands that produce CBD products for pets.
#4: Pet-Friendly Ingredients
Never buy a CBD pet product before reading through the entire list of ingredients. Unfortunately, there’s always the risk of buying a product from a sketchy company that contains ingredients that can ultimately be harmful to a pet’s health, even if they’re not considered toxic. You can find information online about ingredients that your pet should avoid, as well as ingredients that are known to be toxic to cats and dogs.
#5: Ingredients Your Pet Tolerates
Even if none of the ingredients in a CBD product are known to be harmful to pets’ health, many of us have a furry friend who can’t tolerate certain ingredients, such as, say, gluten, or soy. So, when reading the ingredients of a product, make sure to keep an eye out for these kinds of additives as well.
#6: Ingredients That Appeal to Your Pet
It will likely be a lot easier to get your pet on a CBD routine if they genuinely look forward to taking that product each day. While mixing drops of unflavored CBD oil into their food is one great way to get them to take their daily serving, the reality is that a flavored CBD product can be something that gets them excited. So, look through what’s available, and consider choosing a product that comes in a flavor you know your pet loves, like salmon, bacon, or chicken.
#7: A Meaningful Amount of CBD
Pets come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s no across-the-board dosing guideline for all furry friends. In other words, 20 milligrams of CBD may be perfect for a very large dog breed, but far too much for a cat that weighs less than 10 pounds. Still, you want to find a formula that contains enough CBD to produce the ideal results. Look up CBD dosing guidelines for your pet based on their species and body weight, and make sure to choose a product that contains at least that amount of CBD per serving.
#8: Full or Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract
Ultimately, we recommend choosing a CBD product that is made with a broad or a full spectrum hemp extract. Full-spectrum hemp extract is a type of extract that retains the full chemical composition of the hemp flower. While CBD is the most abundant compound in there by far, there are hundreds of other beneficial compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and nutrients, all of which can work together synergistically to produce the best results possible. Broad-spectrum hemp extract is different in that the trace amount of THC has been removed. Keep in mind that the trace amount of THC in full-spectrum hemp is still too low to cause any kind of intoxication in pets.
#9: A Product That’s Fresh
One of the most overlooked indicators of a quality product is how fresh it is. Hemp extract contains natural compounds that will degrade over time, and lose their potency. A CBD product that was made well over a year ago is simply less likely to deliver effective results than one that was made in the last month. If a product does have an expiration date, please use that as a guide as to whether or not the formula is worth buying.
This is also where it comes in handy to buy directly from the manufacturer’s website, as they are likely to have a fast product turnover rate that ensures no product ever sits on shelves for a long time.
#10: Dosing Directions
CBD pet products should come with clear, easy-to-follow dosing directions somewhere on or in the packaging. This tells you exactly how much CBD to give to your pet according to the manufacturer. It’s very helpful, and also can ensure that you’re giving your cat or dog the proper amount that they need to get the results you’re hoping for, without giving them so much in one sitting that they may end up getting drowsy.
#11: A Delivery Method and Formula That Will Appeal to Them
Pets can be picky creatures – most of us know that all too well – so you’ll want to really go out of your way to make sure that you’re giving them a product that will appeal to them as much as possible. We already talked about choosing an appealing flavor, but you also want to consider their preferences when it comes to things like texture and consistency, if you’re buying either treats or topicals, as well as smell. Also, if your pet struggles with, say, drops of CBD oil poured directly under their tongue, consider adding the product to their food to prevent them from not taking their serving.
#12: Customer Service Information
A CBD company that does not provide customer service information should be avoided. That’s never a good sign, as it indicates that there’s a reason why they don’t want to be contacted. Not only that, but you need to get in touch with the company if you have questions about their product, or if you need help choosing the best formula according to your pet’s needs.
#13: Organic Hemp
It’s always ideal to go with a CBD product derived from hemp that was grown organically rather than conventionally. Organic hemp is going to be free of pesticides and other unwanted environmental toxins, and be more likely to retain the potency of its desirable chemical compounds and nutrients. Hemp is a plant that absorbs surrounding materials very efficiently, meaning that it’s more likely to contain heavy metals and other impurities than most plants. This means that it’s all the more important that you go with an organically derived product.
#14: Seed-to-Sale Transparency
Yes, seed-to-sale transparency matters. This means that the company, through their website, offers as comprehensive information as possible regarding how the product was made, from the way the hemp was grown, all the way to how the product is packaged. The more information a company provides, the better, because each step of the process of making a CBD pet formula can play a major role in its quality, safety, and effectiveness.
Your Dog Deserves Some Chill Paws in Their Life!
We’ve gone into a lot of detail about how to find the perfect CBD product for your precious cat or dog. Now that you know all of the critical key factors to be paying attention to, we’d like to make things even easier. Chill Paws is simply dedicated to supplying the highest-quality CBD pet products possible, checking all of the boxes above – just look at the reviews, which say it all.
Our CBD oils, treats, topicals, and other products are all made with lab-tested, organic hemp, pet-friendly, natural ingredients, and effective servings of cannabidiol to ensure a successful routine. Our customer service team is always ready to answer any questions about our formulas, and even help guide you toward a daily routine that will deliver the results you’re looking for. We’re proud to carry some of the most effective CBD pet products on the market, period, and our reputation shows just how many happy customers we have.
So, if you want to know that you’re giving your pet the best CBD on the market, stick to the products at Chill Paws, which have helped cats and dogs feel and behave their very best all over the country. We offer a generous selection of formulas so that you’ll have no trouble finding a product that will appeal to your pet, and address their daily needs with holistic, all-natural CBD.
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