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Is CBD Oil Safe for Pets?

Is CBD Oil Safe for Pets?

CBD for dogs and CBD for cats have become more popular with pet parents in recent years. Some use CBD oil for dogs to keep their pup calm and centered, and CBD oil for cats can also be part of a balanced feline wellness routine. As you hear more and more about its remarkable, diverse applications, you might find yourself asking, is CBD oil safe for pets? 

Research is an important part of introducing anything new into your pet’s life. To answer whether CBD is safe for pets, you need to know exactly what it is, how it works, and what to look for in a CBD pet product. 

What Is CBD for Pets?

Any good pet owner will want to fully understand a wellness resource before introducing it to their beloved animal. In order to understand if CBD products for dogs and cats are safe for your pet, you’ll need to know exactly how CBD is different from THC and the laws around CBD for pets.

Understanding the Difference Between CBD and THC

One of the reasons many pet parents ask, “Is CBD oil safe for pets?” is that they are concerned that their dog or cat will experience psychoactive effects from using these products. This concern comes from a common misconception that CBD is the same as marijuana. Let’s debunk this myth right now: CBD will not get you – or your pet – high!

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many compounds extracted from the cannabis plant. Another one of those compounds is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which causes the psychoactive effects known as “getting stoned” from smoking marijuana. This effect will not be experienced by your pet when you use CBD products for dogs and cats that are certified THC-free.*

The Law Regarding CBD and Pets

When it comes to legality, there was a major event in 2018 that caused hemp-derived CBD to become more readily available to people in the US. The 2018 Farm Bill drew a clear line between marijuana cannabis and industrial hemp, which by definition cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC. This amount is far too small of a concentration to cause any psychoactive experience. Federally legal CBD oil is derived from industrial hemp, so it will not be intoxicating for your pet! 

The Farm Bill regulated industrial hemp cultivation, creating a safer environment for making these products, so consumers know exactly what they’re getting when purchasing CBD for pets. This is part of what has made it such a popular choice for pet wellness: Fido and Fuzzy can benefit from the wholesome properties of this compound without any intoxicating effects.

How Is CBD Oil for Pets Made?

Many pet parents are reassured to learn how CBD oil for dogs and cats is made. Demystifying this process demonstrates that CBD products for pets have been designed safely, and therefore are appropriate for your pets to consume. To understand how CBD pet products are made, we’ll examine:


  • The CBD extraction process
  • The different types of CBD 
  • How different CBD products for dogs and cats are made


How CBD Is Extracted from Hemp

CBD is extracted from the industrial hemp plant through a few different processes, depending on the manufacturer. CBD oil is usually derived from the hemp plant through ethanol extraction or CO2 extraction. In the ethanol extraction process, high-grade grain alcohol is used as a solvent to separate the cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds from other substances in the plant. In the CO2 process, the hemp plant is subjected to cold, highly pressurized CO2 that strips the plant of CBD and other cannabinoids. 

There are benefits to both processes, but the CO2 extraction process generally has more room for error. Ethanol extraction is usually the way to create the best CBD oil for pets.

Of course, ethanol and CO2 are removed from the final extract before use in products. Reputable CBD companies also provide lab results to confirm that no residual solvents remain.

Isolate, Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum, and Superior Broad Spectrum CBD

A CBD isolate is nothing but pure CBD, while broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD include other compounds from the hemp plant. The key distinction between them is that a full spectrum product contains a small, but non-intoxicating amount of THC, while a broad spectrum product generally does not.

Whatever the formula, the CBD then is added to a carrier oil, like MCT oil or hemp seed oil. This oil can then be used in its raw form or added to several other products, like specialized CBD for cats and dogs. 

Superior Broad Spectrum CBD was designed by Paw CBD’s parent company, cbdMD, to ensure that all of our products are delivering the most powerful parts of the hemp plant without any of the THC content – making it the ideal choice for pets. The Superior Broad Spectrum formula also allows us to have greater control and consistency in the make-up of our products, so our customers can trust the quality of everything they buy from us. 

How Various CBD Products for Pets Are Made

Once the CBD has been extracted from the hemp plant, it is applied to an array of different CBD products for cats and dogs. Our CBD oil tinctures for pets are a popular choice because of their simplicity – the extracted CBD is added to MCT oil, which acts as a carrier oil, and sometimes a third ingredient is added for flavor, such as in our peanut butter CBD oil for dogs or our salmon-flavored CBD tincture for cats. These oils are great for owners who want to apply CBD to their pet’s food or bake them into homemade treats

Other products, like our CBD soft chews and hard treats, have the CBD baked directly into the product. Paw CBD products have carefully measured amounts of CBD in every product, with strengths calibrated to animals of all sizes, so owners have complete control over their pet’s daily amount of CBD


Someone giving their dog a dropper full of CBD oil.


How Does CBD Affect Pets?

To answer the question, “Is CBD oil safe for pets?” we have to understand how it works within our bodies. So let’s talk anatomy! CBD is processed by the endocannabinoid system, which is made up of cannabinoid receptors. Here’s what you need to know about how your pet’s body processes CBD. 

The Endocannabinoid System in Humans and Animals

From snacks to quality time and (for some of us) a bed, we share a lot with our pets. And as mammals, we also share some common bodily systems with our cats and dogs, including the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system is affected when you give CBD for pets to your furry friend, and it’s the same system that responds in humans when they take it.

Oh, and it’s not just mammals who share this incredible physiologic network – the ECS is present in all vertebrates. So birds, reptiles, fish, and amphibians have this same remarkable system, which means even your pet frog, lizard, or parakeet might reap the benefits of CBD for pets.

Cannabinoid Receptors and Your Pet

There are two major parts of the ECS: the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor. These receptors are like little messengers in the mammalian body. These receptors are present in a range of bodily systems, including our central and peripheral nervous systems, skin, bones, cardiovascular system, gut, and more. 

CBD is a phytocannabinoid that triggers these receptors and generates a reaction in your animal’s ECS, so many of the benefits of CBD for pets are seen in the bodily systems where ECS receptors exist.

Finding Specially Formulated CBD Oil for Pets

Once you feel that this wellness resource can benefit your dog or cat, you might be wondering, what should I look for when giving CBD to my pets? To really know if CBD oil is safe for pets, you need to ensure that you’re purchasing a high-quality, reputable product. Here are some questions to ask while you’re shopping:


  • Where did it come from?
  • Has it been tested? 
  • What are the ingredients?
  • Is it veterinarian-approved?
  • Is the packaging detailed? 


Where Did This CBD Oil Come From? 

A trustworthy maker of CBD oil for pets will be transparent about their entire product, from seed to shelf. Great CBD oil is extracted from an industrial hemp plant, and the best industrial hemp plants are grown in the USA. 

Has This CBD Pet Product Been Tested? 

The best products will have proof of independent, third-party lab testing. This testing generates a Certificate of Analysis (COA), proving that the product contains less than 0.3 percent THC as legally required. Not only is this certification important for your pet’s health, but it’s also important for legality!  

What Are the Ingredients Other Than CBD oil? 

Some additional ingredients – like melatonin for sleep and relaxation, or glucosamine HCL to support joint mobility – can benefit your pet. You want to ensure that CBD oil for pets is clean and free of unnecessary additives or fillers that might disrupt your pet’s digestion. When choosing a CBD oil for your pet, reading and understanding the ingredient list is key.

What Does a Veterinarian Have to Say About This Product? 

You want to consult your veterinarian before administering CBD for cats or CBD for dogs, and it’s a good sign if the product you’re considering is veterinarian-formulated. Your veterinarian is an invaluable resource when it comes to making decisions about your pet’s wellness, so don’t hesitate to consult them about a CBD pet product that you are considering.

Does the Packaging Give Clear Information and Instructions? 

Any reliable product will provide plenty of information and direction on how to give your pet CBD, as well as how much to use. Different animals will need different amounts depending on their weights, so it should come in various strengths and offer recommended daily amounts. Good companies will provide clear instructions on how to safely administer CBD oil for pets. 

Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

Like all mammals, dogs process CBD with their ECS, so dogs can experience some of the same wellness benefits humans experience with these products. While formal studies are still ongoing, many pet owners would answer the question “Is CBD safe for dogs?” with a resounding yes. 

Dog owners use CBD for a variety of reasons. Some just include it as a part of their pet’s daily health routine, while others have reported that it can help Sparky manage common stressors such as noise aversion or separation issues. Whatever your motivation, CBD for dogs can be a wholesome addition to your pet’s active, healthy lifestyle.

Can I Give My Kitten or Puppy CBD Oil for Pets? 

While fully grown animals can benefit from CBD for cats and CBD for dogs, you shouldn’t give these products to kittens and puppies under a year old. Both physically and behaviorally, puppies and kittens are still developing. Their bodies are still growing and changing, and their minds are adjusting to new surroundings constantly. 

It’s important not to introduce too many new things into a puppy or kitten’s wellness routine early on while you let them adjust. Furthermore, some of the situations that inspire pet parents to use CBD, such as to address noise aversion or separation issues, can dissipate as a puppy or kitty gets older. 

What to Watch Out for with CBD for Dogs

While there is limited research regarding positive or negative reactions observed when dogs use CBD, there are some things to watch out for after introducing it to your canine companion. 

Many of these issues result from giving your pet a daily amount that is too large. How much CBD you give to your pet depends on their weight, so it’s important to be very careful with quantities when introducing it and always carefully monitor their reactions. Some negative effects to watch out for are thirst or dry mouth, drowsiness, and low blood pressure.

You might notice your pooch heading to the water bowl a little more often after giving him CBD for dogs, as it can reduce saliva. If you find your dog is very thirsty or seems to be experiencing dry mouth after you’ve established a CBD routine, their daily recommended amount might be too large and should be reduced or stopped. You should also consult your veterinarian.

Drowsiness can be the desired effect for some dog parents who want their pet to take it easy and get some rest, but in excess, it can be concerning. Drowsiness, fatigue, or disengagement might mean your dog or cat is getting more daily CBD than they need. While CBD can help your pet feel safe and comfortable enough to relax, you don’t want them to lose their personality, and you always want them to have enough energy to play with you! 

CBD can sometimes reduce blood pressure and cause brief dizziness for your pet. That’s why it’s important to follow serving suggestions carefully and watch your pet closely when you introduce CBD into their wellness routine. Again, if you see any concerning trends, consult your veterinarian immediately.

CBD Oil Products for Dogs

CBD oil products for dogs can be administered in various ways, from peanut butter to soft chews. Here are some of the best products for dogs:


  • Tinctures
  • Soft chews and treats
  • Topicals like balm and shampoo
  • Peanut butter
  • Special formulas to help with joint health or relaxation


CBD Oil Tinctures for Dogs

Tinctures are super easy to use and give you specific control over the serving size. CBD oil tinctures for dogs are perfect if you have a couple of different-sized dogs (or maybe a whole household!) who need different amounts of CBD.

CBD Soft Chews and Treats for Dogs

CBD soft chews are a great choice for smaller dogs or senior dogs with sensitive teeth. If your pooch likes a little crunch and has great dental health, CBD oil treats for dogs with pre-measured amounts of CBD make it easy to be consistent with serving size. Your dog might not be able to understand the wholesome benefits of CBD for their body, but they can definitely understand a treat! 

CBD Topicals for Comfort

Rubbing a balm infused with CBD onto paws, noses, and other hot spots can be a wonderful bonding massage for your pampered pooch! You can also incorporate a massage for your animal to keep their muscles and mobility in tip-top shape.

Another excellent method for applying CBD to your pet is with a CBD dog shampoo. The relaxing properties of pet CBD, along with a nice warm bath and a soapy lather, create the ultimate spa experience for your pooch.

CBD Peanut Butter

If you have a dog, chances are he or she loves peanut butter. CBD-infused peanut butter turns this nourishing part of their daily routine into an extra-special treat! Not all products are created equal when it comes to what peanut butter is safe for dogs, but our CBD-infused peanut butter is just three simple ingredients: hemp extract, MCT oil, and dry roasted peanuts. No unnecessary salt or sugars to interrupt your pet’s healthy day.  

Special Pet CBD Formulas

If you have specific goals for your pet’s health, look for supporting ingredients in the products you purchase. Our CBD Hip+Joint Chews for Dogs, for example, use glucosamine hydrochloride to support joint mobility, and CBD Calming Oil for Dogs contains melatonin and valerian root to encourage relaxation. 


Someone giving their cat CBD oil in a dropper.


Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?

The safety of CBD for cats depends on a lot of factors, and cats can be especially sensitive to things like additives and fillers (which good CBD oil for cats won’t have). If you’ve chosen a wholesome, THC-free* product for cats, your kitty may enjoy a variety of benefits – such as supported mobility (race up those stairs, Shadow!), calm, and even healthy skin. 

Concerns with CBD for Cats

Again, no formal studies have been done on potential reactions in the use of CBD for cats. You should monitor your cat for the same possible concerns found with dogs, as well as some others.

Like with CBD for dogs, cats sometimes experience drowsiness if they are given too much CBD. Excessive thirst is another negative effect shared by both dogs and cats who are given excessive amounts of CBD. Cats have a sensitive digestive system, so sometimes they experience an upset tummy after taking CBD for cats. 

Choosing the right serving size for your cat is of the utmost importance when introducing CBD for pets. It’s also important to choose the right kind of product (treats, soft chews, or tinctures) for your pet’s unique body! If you notice any of the issues above, be sure to consult your cat’s vet immediately.

CBD Oil Products for Cats

Now that you know how to tell if CBD oil is safe for cats, you need to make another important decision. How will you get your sometimes-finicky feline friend to take it? Good news: there are lots of ways! Great cat CBD products come in tinctures, treats, and specialty formulas perfect even for picky kitties.

CBD Tinctures for Cats

Tinctures offer ease and simplicity – just use the dropper to slip some into your feline’s favorite food or snack. This method is popular with many pet parents because they can control the serving size. 

CBD Treats for Cats

Many kitties struggle with teeth sensitivity, so soft chews make a perfect way to give your pet exactly the amount of CBD that he or she needs. The fun chicken-catnip flavor means that Snowball will come running when she hears you open the treat canister!

Specialty Formula CBD for Cats

Some pet parents want to be efficient with their cat’s diet and utilize CBD for its wellness benefits along with other ingredients to support health goals. If you’re looking to support your cat’s overall kidney health as they age, our CBD Kidney Support Chews for Cats can help with special ingredients like licorice root powder, astragalus root powder, and nettle leaf extract.

Ask Your Veterinarian: Is CBD Safe for Pets?

“Is CBD oil safe for pets?” is important to ask before adding it to your pet’s daily routine. If you have any questions about CBD and your pets, talk to your veterinarian, who can give you plenty of advice and guidance specific to your animal’s health. 

We all want our furry friends to be happy, healthy, and – above all – safe. Finding CBD oil that is appropriate for your pet can be a wonderful addition to a healthy pet lifestyle, including lots of exercise, play, and healthy food.


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