Beginner’s Guide to CBD Oil for Dogs, Cats & Other Pets

Can I use CBD oil for my dog, cat or other pet?

The evidence that CBD oil can be a powerful treatment for human health problems has led a lot of pet owners to ask about using it for their pets. Although there is still a lot of research to be done on this subject, researchers in the U.S. and Canada have recently added a lot to the growing body of knowledge. We do know that CBD oil can work as well for pets as it does for their humans, and that some veterinarians are now recommending its use.

All mammals, fish, and mollusks have endocannabinoid systems in their bodies. Endocannabinoids systems regulate body functions such as  movement, mood, metabolism, appetite, pain, immune functions, digestion, sleep, immune functions, inflammation and reproduction. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for homeostasis— the balance, or perfect functioning, of the body’s parts. For both humans and pets, the cannabinoids in CBD bond with receptors to increase the body’s own ability to defend against health problems.

Is CBD oil a good supplement for my pet?

CBD oil can be a regular supplement for pets as part of a wellness program. As a treatment, it’s been known to help with many conditions, including seizures, digestive problems, anxiety and other nervous behaviors, arthritis, glaucoma, skin issues, mobility or joint problems, and cancer. It can also help ease the pain and discomfort our pets experience at the end of life.

It’s always a good idea to buy organic products, because non-organic ones can contain heavy metals and pesticides, among other toxins. It’s worth paying for the highest quality CBD oil products, particularly ones that include lab reports that help ensure their quality. FDA testing revealed that many products on the market contain very little or no CBD oil at all, and won’t do a bit of good. So so start treatment with the best products you can find. It’s also important to consult your veterinarian before you begin.

Readers have asked many questions about using CBD oil to treat their pets’ health problems, and here are answers to some of those. Keep in mind that the quality of the product you’re using and the correct dosage really count in making it effective.

Can I give human version CBD oil to my pet?

Yes, generally you can use human CBD oil for dogs, cats and other pets. There is typically no difference between CBD oil for humans and the kind marketed for pets. It is recommended, however, that you avoid “human” versions products that contain substances which may be harmful to pets such as artificial flavorings or essential oils.

Can pets have CBD oil with THC?

There’s very little THC in commercially available CBD oil products. This is because the CBD hemp oil is required by U.S. law to contain no more than 0.3% THC. This small amount of THC isn’t enough to be “toxic,’ which means it won’t get your pet high and loopy. Too much THC can be harmful for pets, but the amount found in a measured dosage of CBD hemp oil products won’t cause harm.

Do I need to separate doses of CBD oil and prescription medications?

Generally no. In fact, when CBD oil is administered with prescription drugs, it can have what’s called a “synergistic” effect, meaning they work together. Because CBD ramps up the body’s own defenses, it actually boosts the healing properties of other medications. Very few combinations of CBD oil and prescriptions are contraindicated, but it’s always a good idea to check with your vet.

How do I get my pet to take their CBD?

This depends on the kind of pet you have. If you have a dog, you may be able to administer it with drops under the tongue, or insert it inside a chunk of meat. Cats are rarely that cooperative and will ignore food with medicine in it—thanks to their remarkable sense of smell— or hide under the bed when you pull out the dropper. So if you have a cat, the best option is probably edibles, made specifically with flavors they love, to trick your pet into thinking it’s just a tasty treat.

Topical CBD can be very effective for joint pain, skin rashes, and other conditions. You can just rub it into your pet’s skin, where it soothes and relieves discomfort. Also, in the process of grooming, your dog or cat will end up ingesting some of it, so it can work from the inside out as well.

If you are using CBD for maintaining your pet’s good health, you can put a drop of it in the water bowl, or just make sure to have a daily treat on hand.

Where can I buy CBD Oil for dogs, cats and other pets?

There is no “best” CBD oil product or brand that works for all animals or for particular conditions. As with humans, each animal has a unique endocannabinoid system, body chemistry and severity of condition. You’ll likely have to try a couple of different products and experiment with dosage to find what works best for your pet.

There are many reputable companies who sell CBD oil products that have been formulated for pets. Click here to see our recommended list of CBD brands for pets.

How many drops of CBD oil should I give my pet?

The number of drops to give a pet will depend on a few things. If your pet is suffering, a greater amount may be needed, but you’d need less if it were just for maintaining optimal health. Another thing to consider is weight.

Start with the lowest recommended amount and watch your pet for a week. Keep adding drops until you see a definite improvement.

More specific information about dosage for pets, including starting dose recommendations, is available here: CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs, Cats and Other Pets


Always buy high quality products made from organic ingredients to be sure they contain no toxins, and look for the ones that have laboratory certification of the contents. Consult your vet before you begin giving your pet CBD treatment, to be sure that it’s okay with other medications your pet might be taking, even though It’s very rare for this to be a problem. You can give your pet the same CBD oil you use yourself, and the THC content is so minimal that it won’t have an effect. The amount of CBD you give your pet depends on the animal’s size and severity of the problem. How you administer it depends on the kind of pet you have and how easy it is to give them medicines. Edible treats are generally easier to administer.

Join Our CBD Oil for Pets Group on Facebook

Interested in interacting with and learning from the experiences of other pet owners who are using CBD oil for dogs, cats and any other pets? Click here to join the CBD Oil for Pets group on Facebook.

Brian Peterson

Brian Peterson has been a CBD consumer advocate and educator since 2015. He is the founder and managing editor of the website. He's also the lead administrator of the CBD Oil Users Group, the largest CBD group on Facebook. His passion is educating consumers so that they can make their own decisions when purchasing and using CBD products.

1 Comment
  1. I’m grateful for all the information fellow members share. Finding the right CBD is
    difficult. I feel much more confident in my usage now.
    Thank you all for your help.

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