CBD for Pets: Does it have a role in Veterinary Medicine?

Woman kissing dogAs we celebrate Valentine’s Day, I recognize that we all love our pets. They are family. We would do absolutely anything we can to help them live happy, healthy lives. But now, on a daily basis, clients are asking their veterinarians about the latest, greatest products that they hope will help their pet be healthy, happy, and pain-free.

CBD (Cannabidiol) is the most popular “miracle cure” on the market today, but what do you need to know about using CBD for pets?

What’s the legality about using CBD for pets?

As access to CBD products increases, the legal issues also increase. The information surrounding this topic is confusing. The legal responsibility is changing daily and its legality depends on where you are located. In some states, veterinarians are not even allowed to discuss CBD. In others, like Arizona, discussion is fine, but prescribing CBD is not. Please check your individual state laws, veterinary boards, and the DEA for your own research, information, and peace of mind.

Is CBD effective or even safe for pets?

Legal issues aside, the difficulty for veterinarians is the unproven safety and efficacy of these products. At this point there is only one CBD product approved by the FDA, but it is considered a controlled substance. There is no regulation at all on the many over-the-counter products. From my own perspective here in Arizona, I am allowed to discuss CBD. But I cannot and will not recommend CBD products until their safety and efficacy is determined. Why? Because there is no regulation. Some products can contain THC which is toxic, and all products are varied in their dosage and consistency. Although many studies have been done in humans, lab animals, and even companion animals, the clinical uses of these products are still not well defined.

Giving a dog CBDI will say that CBD products do have a reportedly good safety index, but THC can be very harmful. There is a wide dosage range listed for these products. Unfortunately many clients usually tell their vets after they’ve started using CBD, but clients should consult with a veterinarian PRIOR to giving CBD to their pets.  This allows for an open discussion. Is CBD is recommended for the pets condition? How may it affect other health issues? How may it react with other medications or supplements that the pet is taking? What brand and dosage is appropriate?

What do pet owners most commonly want to use CBD for?

Pain management and cancer are at the top of the list, whereas seizure control is still not researched enough. Note that ANY amount of THC in a CBD product could WORSEN seizures or cause issues in combination with other medications or liver disease. Behavioral issues, anxiety, etc. are also reasons that clients have used CBD products, but the responses for treatment of those conditions is shown to be to varying degrees.

I’m thinking about giving my pet a CBD product…what should I do first?


Once your vet has determined if the products are safe, or may be useful for your pet, look for the National Animal Supplement Council Seal of Quality Assurance (NASC) to start. As there is little to no regulation on these products, it is best to try to ensure – as much as possible – that the product you buy is safe for your pet.


If you have questions or concerns about the use of CBD for your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact Compassionate Animal Care online or by phone at 480.774.6995 before you start introducing any CBD product to your pet’s diet.

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