There are plenty of supplements available to help support your health and wellness like calcium, DHA and EPA, or magnesium. As you benefit from your favorite collagen supplement, turmeric powders, or ginger extract, you may be wondering whether your pets could benefit from supplements as well. The answer is a resounding yes!
Cannabidiol (CBD) is often regarded as a powerful holistic supplement for nearly every wellness concern. While the benefits of CBD are often overexaggerated by internet folklore, CBD still has the potential to be highly useful for both human and pet wellness.
For those of you new to CBD: this compound comes from the cannabis plant, but it won't get you (or your pet) high. Whether your pet is suffering a lack of mobility in their hip, knee, cartilage, or muscles, CBD can help support long-term joint function and mobility.
CBD isn’t a replacement for veterinary care, but it can become a part of a comprehensive wellness plan for your pet. Older pets may benefit from the use of CBD products in conjunction with other practices to improve their mobility and support their health.
When To See a Veterinarian
If you’re concerned that your pet may be experiencing mobility issues of any kind, make an urgent appointment with your veterinarian. Your pet may have sustained a serious injury or may be experiencing the onset of a condition like rheumatoid arthritis or knee osteoarthritis.
These conditions will require professional therapies beyond CBD or other natural remedies. Conditions like osteoarthritis of the knee often require prescription medication, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), so it's important to see your vet as soon as possible.
If you’ve already seen the vet about the issue, you’ve likely been given care instructions or a treatment plan.
Before you give your pet CBD to support joint health or mobility, raise the question with your vet to assure that CBD is a safe choice, especially alongside other treatments.
CBD can affect the way that some medications are absorbed, and if your pet is on any medications, you need to be sure that there won’t be any drug interaction that can impact absorption.
Does CBD Work for Joint Health and Mobility?
CBD can be used as a supplement to promote overall joint mobility and health. These benefits have the potential to be helpful for older dogs and cats who may not be as adventurous or playful as they were in their younger years.
In addition to joint mobility, CBD can also help to support brain health and digestive health in pets. CBD’s calming effects are also particularly helpful for pets who occasionally negatively react to environmental stressors. Pets that don’t like loud noises, car rides, or houseguests may feel particularly overwhelmed in those situations, and CBD can help to soothe the emotional tension they feel, minimizing their reaction to stimuli that feels foreign to their routine.
Studies suggest that CBD is beneficial for many animals, and pet owners report that their animals appear happier and healthier with regular use of CBD in conjunction with healthy habits and a balanced diet.
It’s important to remember that CBD by itself is not the sole solution, but part of a holistic approach to your pet’s wellness.
Giving Your Pet the Appropriate Dose
In order for your pet to experience the wealth of potential benefits from CBD, it needs to be administered in the appropriate dose. The starting dosage for CBD depends on the weight of the animal. Over time, pet owners may choose to slowly increase the dosage of CBD if it’s tolerated well by their pet.
For dogs, the recommended starting dosage is about 0.2 mg of CBD per pound of body weight. The total milligrams of CBD per bottle should be listed on the label. Weigh your dog and administer CBD according to the dosage listed on the bottle.
You can administer pet-specific CBD tinctures, topical creams, or capsules. It may be easier to get your pet to embrace one method of consumption over others, though tinctures are usually the most versatile because they can be added to foods or baked into delicious pet treats and chews.
Cats have fewer cannabinoid receptors than dogs, meaning that cats will generally need a higher dosage to experience the same benefits. Start with 2mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight for your cat and observe your cat’s behavior. If the CBD is well-tolerated, slowly increase to 4 mg per 10 pounds of body weight over the course of about a week.
Time and observation will help you establish an adequate dosage of CBD for your pet. If you use CBD regularly and you aren’t noticing any side effects or benefits, slowly increasing the amount to 0.4 mg per body weight over the next week may inspire more noticeable benefits.
Timing the Doses Correctly
The effects of CBD last between 8 and 12 hours. In order for your pet to experience a continuous stream of benefits, you’ll need to give your pet CBD at least twice a day.
Start with every 12 hours and monitor your pet to see how well the CBD is tolerated. If your pet doesn’t experience any side effects, you can begin to give your pet CBD every 8 hours.
How Long Does It Take CBD To Kick In?
Different forms of CBD work in different ways. CBD tinctures and CBD treats are metabolized by your pets’ regular digestive systems and will begin to work within an hour or so. Smaller animals may begin to experience benefits much sooner because of their fast metabolism. Very large dogs may be at the longer end of the timeframe.
For some concerns, CBD may never appear to “kick in”. While calming benefits can be readily noticeable within a short window, you’re unlikely to notice support for joint mobility within the few short hours after administering CBD to your pet. These benefits are gradual and usually slowly develop over time with regular use of CBD. This is normal, and pet owners should be mindful of the fact that CBD is not an overnight solution.
Consistent Use Produces the Best Results
All of that said, some benefits of CBD may be noticeable very soon after your pet ingests CBD. Calming symptoms and mood support may become evident rather quickly. It’s important to note that these behavioral changes don’t indicate that your pet is high. CBD won’t get your pet high — it physically can’t. It’s fundamentally different from THC, the cannabinoid that produces intoxicating effects.
Overall wellness benefits are most noticeable with consistent use. CBD needs to become a regular part of your pet’s wellness routine. You clean litter boxes, fill food dishes, play, and take your pets for walks every day. Incorporate CBD into your pet’s daily life, and be consistent.
It may take up to a month to notice supported joint mobility. Switching to nutritionally complete food that provides healthy omega fats, helping your pet to lose weight if they are overweight, and using treatments like therapeutic pet massage will all work in unison with CBD to enhance your pet’s wellness.
Use Tinctures in Conjunction with Topicals
VETCBD Hemp’s topical CBD balm can be massaged into the skin to promote joint mobility and healthy skin. The act of massage is valuable in and of itself — therapeutic massage can be highly beneficial to pets who experience a lack of mobility or stiffness, as it helps to promote circulation and stimulate the body’s ability to recover.
CBD lotion does not interact with the body the same way tinctures do. You can safely use topicals in conjunction with tinctures without the risk of inadvertently supplying your pet with too much CBD. Topicals work locally from the surface, while tinctures provide support from the inside. The two can work together to provide optimal relief.
Using CBD for Your Pet
CBD boasts a wealth of potential benefits for your pets. In addition to supporting joint mobility, CBD can also help to promote gastrointestinal health, healthy brain function, and soothe tension. Stressed pets enjoy the calming benefits of CBD.
If you decide to integrate CBD into your pet’s wellness plan after consulting with a veterinarian, it’s important to choose the right CBD.
VETCBD Hemp’s CBD is made from American-grown hemp and is triple lab-tested for safety and quality. We’re a team of veterinarians, and we take pet wellness very seriously, from joint support to brain health to holistic wellness.