Choosing the Right CBD for Your Cat or Dog

CBD has been receiving a lot of press in the veterinary world, and for good reason. With studies emerging on CBD use for dogs with seizures and arthritis, CBD for pets is at an all-time high. 

The problem is, the CBD industry is a hot mess. It’s highly unregulated and not all products are created equally. Industry jargon keeps pet parents confused, and pricing is all over the place. Without knowing what to look for, pet parents are left to make uneducated decisions on the product they choose for their cat or dog. 

It’s my mission to shine some light on the subject, and help inform pet parents on how to confidently navigate through the CBD marketplace! Here are my top three tips for finding the right CBD product for your pet. 

  1. Read the packaging carefully.
    So often, CBD companies leave really important information off of the packaging. 

    This causes the biggest issues with dosing. Knowing how many milligrams of CBD in a bottle is not enough. You must know how many milligrams of CBD are in each drop, or in each milliliter (for example: 0.50mg of CBD/drop, 1mg/treat, or 15mg of CBD/ml). The more concentrated the drop or milliliter is, the less your dog or cat will need to reach proper dosing. This is especially nice for cats, and more economical for large dogs or multi-pet households. The more concentrated the product, the more expensive it is. However, it will also last longer. Not having this information often leads to misdosing (usually underdosing). If the company you are researching doesn’t state this information, give them a call and ask for specifics. If they won’t give you these specifics, move on!

    Pro tip: Check the ingredient label too. I recommend pet specific products because they don’t contain “natural flavoring” or essential oils that our pets may be adverse to. 

    Once you’ve found a product that will be forthcoming, dosing your pet becomes possible! You can learn more about calculating a CBD dose for your cat here. You can learn about calculating a CBD dose for your dog here. 
  1. Certificate of analysis.
    Every reputable CBD company should have a certificate of analysis (COA) for their product. Ideally, this should be done for every batch of CBD that is produced. This analysis measures how much CBD, THC, and other terpenes are in the product. It also tests for things like heavy metals and other contaminants. A product labeled as “CBD” or “hemp” must have less than 0.30% THC. This is not enough to get your pet “high”.

    A product may be interchangeably labeled as “hemp” or “CBD”. CBD is a derivative of the hemp plant. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant, with the other type being marijuana. Hemp plants are very low in THC. This can get confusing! If you want to dive deeper into learning more about cannabis, start by reading Dr. Angie’s Cannabis 101 for Cats and Cannabis 101 for Dogs

    For an example of a certificate of analysis, check out the HempRx COA here. 
  1. Know where your product came from. 
    Make sure the CBD product you are using for your pet is organic and pesticide free. Just as you would choose the cleanest food for your cat or dog, the same is true for herbs. 

    Finding out where and how the CBD is grown, and what extraction method is used when extracting CBD, are all very good questions to ask. 

When it comes down to it, deciding to start your pet on CBD may actually be a less difficult decision than knowing what CBD to start! For cats and small dogs, I love HempRx. For medium/large size dogs and multi-pet households, HempRx Forte is the way to go. Dr. Angie’s dosing chart for both can be found here. This takes loads of work off your shoulders! 

Still have questions that I didn’t answer? I’d love to talk to you! Just leave a comment below, or let’s chat during a scheduled phone consultation

With love, 
Claire

5 thoughts on “Choosing the Right CBD for Your Cat or Dog”

  1. Hi…I have a 13 year old Male house cat…he is currently taking medication for hyper thyroid…his joint issues and mobility are getting worse with age…what do you recommend…we are currently trying the hemp RX oil, he doesn’t like it at all, mix it in his wet food and he walks away…..any ideas?

    1. Dr. Angie Krause, DVM

      Hi Ann,

      Shoot!

      Have you tried the HempRx Chewz yet? Sometimes those goes over better for extra picky kitties, since they are flavored.

      Otherwise, we often see success when placing the drops of oil onto a freeze dried treat or in something very high value (like meat babyfood, for example!).

      Will you keep us posted?

      Warmly,
      Claire

  2. I’ve found your information regarding CBD to be extremely helpful for my cats and dogs (the couple who need it)….thank you so much! I also have a horse that I’m confident would benefit from CBD. What resources do you recommend for information on use in horses (I.e. how many mg of CBD/drop is best, recommended dosing, etc.?). Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Margaret,

      I am so glad that you have found this information helpful. Yay!

      Right now, we do not have much research on CBD for horses- but surely it’s on the way. I do know that there are CBD products available for horses, and I believe that the suggested starting doses are the same as for small animals (0.25mg-0.50mg/CBD twice daily).

      If I find out more information, I will keep you posted!

      Warmly,
      Claire

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