Can MY Pet Take MY CBD [is it safe]

Those of us who have pets know they are part of the family and we want the best care possible for them. Humans aren’t the only ones who are enjoying the benefits of CBD products. Pets can have the same enjoyment with oils, treats, and even topicals for skincare.  But have you asked yourself  “Can My Pet Take My CBD?”

Before we answer that question, let’s take a look at some other factors.

Deaths from Prescribed Medication

Most of us have heard of the opioid crisis and the number of deaths resulting each year. This is very real. According to the CDC, since 1999 nearly 841,000 people have died from drug overdoses while 70% in 2019 involved opioids.

According to ASPCA® [Animal Poison Control Center (APCC)], more than 45,000 animal cases were reported in 2019 involving medications that were for humans.

So not only are opioids killing humans by the thousands, but they are also responsible for many deaths of our pets.

Pets Should not be given these Drugs

There are some very deadly and toxic human drugs on the market that should not be randomly given to your pets. Some have very serious side effects and can result in damaged organs, even death.




  • Ibuprofen such as Advil and Motrin

Can cause ulcers in the stomach or kidney failure. The sweet coating makes it look like a tasty treat.

  • Tramadol

Often prescribed for pain management, side effects in pets include drowsiness, agitation, unsteadiness, vomiting, and even seizures.

  • Xanax

Often prescribed as a sleep aid and for anxiety. Pets can become disoriented, agitated, or sleepy. Large amounts can cause blood pressure to drop.

  • Adderall

This drug is commonly prescribed for children with ADHD. It contains 4 types of amphetamines and in pets can cause an increased heart rate and body temperature, shakes, and seizures.

  • Ambien

Used as a sleeping aid in people; if ingested by a pet, they could become agitated, unsteady, and sleepy.

  • Clonazepam

Used to treat convulsions, anxiety and sleep aid. In pets, there is a risk of low blood pressure, weakness, shakiness, and sleepiness.

  • Tylenol

Most people have Tylenol in their homes. Cats are very susceptible and can be left with damage to their livers and blood cells. Although not as common, dogs can also be affected.

  • Aspirin

Aspirin is another over-the-counter medication commonly found in homes. Pets ingesting aspirins can become weak, develop stomach ulcers, liver failure, vomiting, and bloody stools.

  • Aleve

Another very dangerous drug; ingesting small amounts can cause ulcers in the stomach and the kidneys to fail.

  • Duloxetine

This anti-depressant, also used for anxiety, can cause pets to be upset, have shakes and seizures.

  • Venlafaxine

This drug is given to treat depression. If ingested by cats, they can become upset, have shakes, and seizures.

  • Asthma Medication (Albuterol)

Inhalers contain this medication; if ingested by pets an increase in heart rate, agitation, and weakness can occur.

Leaving any of these pills unsecured can be dangerous to your pets if ingested by them; they should not be left out in the open within easy reach.

With regards to our pets, veterinarians can prescribe certain opioids for pain management. However, to avoid abuse of these drugs by owners, the FDA suggests that veterinarians must follow the guidelines in their area, suggest alternatives, educate owners on the safety and storage, and recognize the signs of opioid abuse.

If your pet has been prescribed FDA-approved NSAIDs  (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), extreme caution should be exercised in dosing and frequency.

Approved drugs for animals include Carprofen, Deramaxx, Doxidyl, Previcox, Galliprant, Meloxicam, Onsior.


CBD is considered a safe alternative to prescribed drugs.

CBD and the Endocannibinoid System

Did you know that animals also have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), the same as humans?  The ECS is made up of receptors found throughout the body and is involved in maintaining our health and well-being.

Because of this, it is suggested that CBD affects animals in the same way as it affects humans. The ECS plays an important role and is responsible for our equilibrium (balance), appetite, digestive system, moods, memory functions, and muscle movements.

When the ECS functions the way it should, in humans and animals, then everything is in balance.


Is CBD Safe for Pets

Many pet care specialists, including some veterinarians, believe that CBD is safe and beneficial to pets although most feel more study is needed.

One study, Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs, found that there was a significant decrease in pain during treatment with no side effects.

The study involved two different doses of CBD oil. Dogs either received two treatments of CBD or placebo oil every 12 hours over a 4 week period with 2 weeks without any treatment.


CBD, Dogs


The full study can be read here. Other studies are referenced at the end of this article.

At present, the FDA has not approved CBD for animals. While there have been some studies, many more are needed, specifically with pain management, osteoarthritis, anxiety, and epilepsy.

The APCC is very interested in CBD and will continue to monitor studies and research.

Benefits of CBD for Pets

People who give CBD to their pets do so for a number of health concerns such as:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Pain management
  • Inflammation
  • Joint pain or arthritis
  • Digestive issues
  • Pain management associated with cancer
  • Daily well-being

Recommended Dosage for Cats and Dogs 

While there are no hard and fast rules on how much CBD to give our pets, there are some guidelines you can follow. Consideration should be given to the size of the pet and what you are using the CBD for. You can start with 1 – 2 mg CBD for every 10 pounds of weight for dogs and cats.

You can expect to see results in ½ to 1 hour.

We also suggest you check out the recommended dosage of the product you are purchasing. Most reputable companies will include dosage guidelines and we encourage you to follow those. If still in doubt, ask your vet. In fact, it is a good idea to check with your vet anyway.


CBD, cats

Final Thoughts

So, can you give your CBD to your pets? The short answer is yes. However, why share yours? There are several reputable companies on the market that specifically formulate CBD products for your beloved pet such as Joy Organics, Receptra Naturals, CBD Oil Canada, and Green Roads.

Human products can be a bit stronger than pet CBD products so it is always good to follow the recommended dosage or even discuss CBD  for your pet with your vet first.

Just as you would make an informed decision before buying CBD products for yourself, you should do the same for your pets. Find a company that does 3rd party testing, is upfront about what is in their products, where it is sourced from and has staff willing to answer any questions you have. You and your pets deserve these answers.

Further References:

The use of cannabinoids in animals and therapeutic implications for veterinary medicine: A review

Preliminary Investigation of the Safety of Escalating Cannabinoid Doses in Healthy Dogs

US Veterinarians’ Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions

The Science Behind Cannabis

Promising Results in Study Assessing CBD For Dogs With Epilepsy

Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy

FDA Disclosure

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