CBD Side Effects in Pets: What They Are and How to Avoid Them

CBD Side Effects in Pets: What They Are and How to Avoid Them

How much is too much CBD for pets? Read our guide to better understand the CBD side effects your pet might experience if given too much and how to give them the right amount.

If you’re just starting out with CBD oil for dogs or cats, one of the first things you will learn is that size matters when it comes to this wellness resource for pets – which means that it is possible to give your pet too much CBD. A pet that is given an amount that is too large can experience CBD side effects that range from minor to more severe.

If you’re a pet owner wondering how much CBD is too much for your dog or cat, or you want to better understand the side effects of CBD oil for pets, read on.

What Is Too Much CBD for My Pet?

To ensure you establish an appropriate CBD routine for your pet, it’s important to know how much is too much CBD. Here are some tips for identifying what amount of CBD is too large for your pet:

  • Always start with the smallest amount
  • Don’t increase your pet’s CBD (strength or amount) once you notice the benefits
  • Be careful when you combine different CBD products
  • Remember that every pet is different

The Smallest Amount Recommended for Your Pet’s Body Weight Is Your Starting Point

CBD products for dogs and cats will provide guidelines on how many milligrams of CBD your pet should be taking according to their weight. One of the best ways to avoid CBD side effects is by starting your routine with the smallest amount recommended for your pet.

It’s fairly easy to increase your pet’s daily amount of CBD if you think it’s needed later on, but you can’t remove CBD from your pet’s body once it’s in there. Start small to ensure your pet has a positive experience with this wellness resource.

If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It – Enjoy the Benefits of CBD When You Notice Them

It might take some time to notice the benefits of CBD, but once they appear you can rest assured that you have found the appropriate number of milligrams for your pet’s daily needs. If you don’t need to increase the amount of CBD your pet is taking each day, don’t do it!

A woman holding a dropper full of cbd oil in front of her dog outside

After you start using CBD for pets daily, you might notice your dog is a little less stressed out when you leave the house, or your cat’s sleep schedule or moods are more regulated. Be on the lookout for other positive ways this wellness resource benefits your animal, and don’t worry about your pet building up CBD tolerance, which won’t happen if you give them the right amount. Don’t mess with a good thing once you’ve discovered the proper formula for your pet’s needs!

Be Careful When You Combine Products Like Treats and CBD Oil in a Single Day

One of the really special things about CBD for pets is that you can deliver your pet’s milligrams in a few different products throughout the course of the day. Their daily amount of CBD can be split up into a morning treat, a drizzle of oil over dinner, and an evening CBD soft chew with chamomile for a good night’s rest. You can create these fun, flavor-packed daily lineups for your pet as long as you keep their daily total milligrams of CBD the same.

For example, if you have a large cat (over 15 pounds) who needs 10 mg daily, you can drizzle 5 mg of catnip-flavored CBD oil over their morning bowl of kibble and then give them a 5 mg soft chew for cats later in the day. As long as you monitor their daily total intake carefully, you don’t need to worry about CBD side effects.

Focus on Your Unique Animal – Don’t Go By Someone Else’s Experience

Just because your friend’s large dog has a certain daily amount of CBD that works for their needs does not mean your dog will have the same needs – even if they are the same size.

Every pet is different, so it’s important to take the time to create a routine that works specifically for your animal rather than going on anecdotal evidence from other pet parents. Base your decisions about your pet’s daily amount of CBD on their behavior and responses to the substance, not on what you assume or hope they will feel with this new wellness routine.

What to Know About the Potential Side Effects of CBD for Pets

If you give your pet a large amount of CBD that overwhelms their system, here are some potential side effects you might see:

  • Dry mouth
  • Lethargy or drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure or dizziness
  • Stomach issues like vomiting and diarrhea

Dry Mouth Is a Common CBD Side Effect

If your pet is given too much CBD, they might experience dry mouth. This is because CBD can decrease your animal’s saliva production. Dry mouth is a negative side effect because it can create dental issues for your dog or cat. They need their saliva to flush bacteria from their mouth so they don’t get bad breath and tooth decay.

You might notice your pet’s dry mouth because their breath starts to smell bad, or because they start to drink more water. If you see this side effect, it may mean you need to reassess your pet’s CBD routine because you might be giving them too much.

Too Much CBD Can Cause Drowsiness in Pets

Drowsiness is another common side effect of CBD when it’s given in amounts that are inappropriate for your animal. One of the benefits of CBD is that your pet can maintain their calm and reduce stress responses, but if that relaxation goes too far your pet might lose some of their spunk and energy.

Pets who have had too much CBD might sleep for extended periods or struggle to stay awake during normal waking hours. Understanding your pet’s normal sleep habits will help you identify this side effect if it appears.

A Serious Overdose of Hemp CBD Can Make Your Pet Dizzy

Low blood pressure can be a side effect of CBD for pets that can cause light-headedness and dizziness. Dizziness on its own can be dangerous because your pet might fall and injure themselves. Even if your pet’s drop in blood pressure doesn’t cause dizziness, this condition is not healthy for your pet and should be avoided.

Some Pets Experience Stomach Problems from CBD

Your pet might experience some gastrointestinal side effects from an overdose of hemp-derived CBD. New substances of any kind might irritate your pet’s gut, so be on the lookout for vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, or any other signs your pet’s digestive process is off.

If you notice these signs after starting a new CBD regimen with your pet, it might be the CBD, but it could also be another ingredient in the product you’ve chosen. Do a little research and consider trying another product with a different ingredient list.

How to Avoid CBD Side Effects in Your Pet

CBD side effects are almost always a result of giving your pet an improper amount. Follow these tips to make sure your pet has a positive experience:

  • Use the right type of CBD for your pet
  • Start with the smallest recommended amount
  • Give it some time if CBD is new to your animal
  • Only use CBD products that are hemp-derived and THC-free

Understand the Different Kinds of CBD

The more you know about CBD, the easier it will be to keep your pet safe and use this wellness resource effectively. It’s important to understand that there are different types of CBD – not all hemp-derived CBD products are the same.

CBD isolate, for example, is just cannabidiol (CBD) with nothing else. Full-spectrum CBD, on the other hand, has all of the other terpenes and cannabinoids that are present in the plant, including trace levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). At Paw CBD, we use a unique Superior Broad Spectrum formula that includes CBD as well as some other wellness-supporting parts of the hemp plant, and we remove the THC to make our products certified THC-free.*

Knowing the different types of CBD products for dogs and cats will help you choose the best one for your pet and ensure they don’t get any THC, which causes much more serious side effects than CBD.

Start with the Smallest Daily Amount for Your Pet

So, how much CBD oil should I give my dog or cat? Always start with the smallest daily recommended amount for your pet. If your pet is on the cusp of a weight range, go with a lighter strength product.

Even if you’re convinced your cat or dog is crazy and will need a larger daily amount, start small. You need to see how your pet reacts to CBD before you increase their amount above what is recommended.

A dog laying down on carpet on its back next to a container of paw cbd bacon hip plus joint chews 150 mg

Give the CBD Time to Work in Your Pet’s Body

When you give CBD to your dog or cat, it is processed by their endocannabinoid system. This system, in turn, will generate the benefits your pet will experience throughout their body. CBD builds up over time with consistent daily use, so it’s important to give your pet’s body time to adjust to this new substance and allow those benefits to appear. Stick with the same amount of CBD each day for a minimum of 30 days before making changes.

Ensure Your CBD Products Are THC-free*

A dog will not overdose on hemp-derived CBD oil, but they may be at risk of overdosing on a CBD oil that was derived from a different cannabis plant with a higher THC concentration. CBD products that you give to your cat or dog should be hemp-derived and THC-free.*

A solid CBD product for pets will also provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that proves their ingredient list is honest and accurate. Providing your pet with high-quality CBD oil is one of the best ways to avoid side effects.

CBD for Pets Is a Beneficial Wellness Resource When Used Correctly

CBD side effects can almost always be avoided by following instructions and ensuring that your pet is getting the right daily amount. That said, you also need to ensure you’re using a high-quality CBD for pets and consult your veterinarian to make sure this wellness resource doesn’t interfere with any of your pet’s current medications or treatments. If your pet experiences any negative CBD side effects, cease use immediately and contact your pet’s doctor.