Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
August 15, 2020

In recent years, the integration of CBD into various products, including pet food, has gained significant attention among pet owners and enthusiasts alike. This emerging trend, fueled by a growing interest in holistic approaches to pet wellness, brings with it the promise of potential benefits. From CBD oil to CBD-infused dog treats, the market for CBD pet products is expanding rapidly. This article aims to shed light on the considerations and benefits associated with adding CBD to pet food, ensuring a safe and informed approach to enhancing our furry friends’ lives.

This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!

Understanding CBD and its Benefits for Pets

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp plants. Unlike its counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not induce a “high.” Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) present in both humans and animals, including dogs. Extracted from hemp plants through various methods, CBD is commonly formulated into oils, tinctures, and treats for easy administration to pets.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in Pets

The ECS plays a vital role in maintaining a state of balance and homeostasis within the body. When CBD is introduced into a pet’s system, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors, aiding the ECS in its efforts to regulate bodily functions. This interaction can have a positive impact on various aspects of pet health, including pain management, stress reduction, and overall wellness.

Potential Benefits of CBD for Pets

CBD’s potential benefits for pets are multifaceted. For pets suffering from arthritis or injuries, CBD may provide relief from pain and inflammation. Likewise, pets with separation anxiety or phobias may experience a reduction in stress and anxiety levels when administered CBD. Additionally, pets dealing with digestive issues could benefit from CBD’s anti-nausea effects. These potential advantages make CBD a compelling option for enhancing the quality of life for our furry companions.

Factors to Consider Before Adding CBD to Pet Food

Veterinary Consultation

Before introducing CBD into a pet’s diet, seeking professional guidance is paramount. Collaborating with a veterinarian allows pet owners to make informed decisions tailored to their pet’s specific needs. A veterinarian can provide insights into potential interactions with existing medications and pre-existing health conditions, ensuring the safety and efficacy of CBD usage.

Pet’s Health and Medical History

Understanding a pet’s health history is essential when incorporating CBD into their diet. This knowledge helps identify any potential contraindications or sensitivities that might affect CBD absorption or interaction. For pets with chronic illnesses, such as epilepsy or heart conditions, CBD dosage and usage should be customized under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Choosing the Right CBD Product

The CBD market offers a variety of products, each with its unique characteristics. These include full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate products. Full-spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids, while broad-spectrum contains multiple cannabinoids minus THC, and CBD isolate is pure CBD. The “entourage effect,” where multiple cannabinoids work synergistically, can enhance the overall impact of CBD on pet wellness.

Checking THC Levels

While CBD products are designed to be non-psychoactive, they may contain trace amounts of THC. To adhere to legal considerations and prevent unwanted psychoactive effects, pet owners should opt for THC-free or low-THC CBD products. Familiarizing oneself with local regulations is crucial to ensure compliance with the law.

Determining Appropriate Dosage of CBD for Pets

CBD for Pets ( Snack , Weed, Drops )

Importance of Accurate Dosage

Accurate dosage is pivotal in maximizing CBD’s benefits while minimizing potential side effects. Over-dosing could lead to lethargy, while under-dosing may yield insufficient results. Striking the right balance is crucial for the pet’s well-being.

Calculating CBD Dosage

General guidelines for determining CBD dosage based on a pet’s weight can provide a starting point. For instance, a smaller dog might require a lower dosage than a larger one. Consulting the product’s label and using online dosage calculators can aid in achieving precision.

Starting Low and Going Slow

Commencing with a low CBD dosage and gradually increasing it allows for observing the pet’s response. Monitoring changes in behavior, mobility, and overall mood helps identify the optimal dosage for the pet’s specific needs.

Dosage Adjustment

A pet’s response to CBD may change over time due to factors such as weight fluctuations or evolving health conditions. Staying attuned to the pet’s well-being enables pet owners to adjust the dosage as necessary under veterinary guidance.

Types of CBD-infused Pet Food

CBD Oil and Tinctures

Mixing CBD oil or tinctures with pet food is a popular method of administration. The dropper allows precise control over dosage, ensuring consistency and ease of use. This approach is particularly suitable for pets with dietary restrictions.

CBD-Infused Treats and Chews

CBD-infused treats offer convenience and portability. They serve as a delectable reward during training sessions, promoting positive reinforcement and bonding between the pet and owner. These pre-dosed treats come in various flavors, including favorites like peanut butter.

Wet vs. Dry CBD-Infused Pet Food

Pet owners can choose between incorporating CBD into wet or dry pet food. Both options have their merits; wet food may offer more even distribution of CBD, while dry food may be more convenient for pet parents on the go.

Homemade CBD Pet Food

For the DIY enthusiasts, creating homemade CBD-infused pet food is an option. However, it’s crucial to maintain accurate dosing and consult a veterinarian to ensure the right CBD concentrationfor the pet’s size and needs.

Incorporating CBD into Your Pet’s Diet

Gradual Introduction of CBD

Transitioning a pet’s diet to include CBD-infused food is best done gradually. Sudden changes could lead to digestive upset, so pet owners should aim to make the transition over a week or so.

Proper Mixing Techniques

To prevent pets from picking out the CBD and leaving the rest of the food, thorough mixing is essential. Ensuring an even distribution of CBD throughout the meal guarantees the pet receives the intended dosage.

Utilizing Treats for CBD Supplementation

Strategically using CBD treats can be effective in addressing specific situations. For instance, giving a CBD treat before a stressful event can help manage anxiety. However, treats should not replace regular CBD-infused meals.

Rotating Between CBD-Infused and Regular Food

To prevent pets from developing tolerance to CBD, consider rotating between CBD-infused and regular food. This approach maintains the effectiveness of CBD while offering dietary variety.

Monitoring and Evaluating the Effects

  • As pets cannot verbally communicate, observing changes in behavior is crucial. Noting improvements in anxiety levels, mobility, and overall mood can help gauge CBD’s impact.
  • Maintaining a CBD journal that records dosage, frequency, and the pet’s response is invaluable. This documentation assists in finding the optimal CBD dosage and allows for effective communication with veterinarians.
  • While CBD is generally well-tolerated, some pets may experience mild side effects like drowsiness or minor digestive issues. If these side effects persist or worsen, consulting a veterinarian is recommended.
  • Incorporating CBD into a pet’s diet is not a standalone solution. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor the pet’s overall health and make any necessary adjustments to the CBD regimen.

Potential Risks and Precautions

Interactions with Medications

Pet owners should be aware of potential interactions between CBD and other medications their pets are taking. Consulting a veterinarian before combining CBD with existing treatments is crucial to prevent adverse effects.

Allergies and Sensitivities

While rare, allergic reactions to CBD products can occur in pets. If any signs of allergies or sensitivities, such as itching or vomiting, appear, pet owners should discontinue CBD usage and seek veterinary advice.

High THC Content

CBD products with high levels of THC can be dangerous for pets. Ensuring compliance with legal regulations and choosing products with safe THC levels is essential for the pet’s well-being.

Legal Considerations

Understanding the legal status of CBD for pets in one’s region is paramount. Researching local laws and regulations provides clarity on what products are legally accessible and safe for pets.


Integrating CBD into pet food presents a promising approach to enhancing pet wellness. Through careful consideration, accurate dosing, and collaboration with veterinarians, pet owners can provide their furry friends with potential benefits such as pain relief, stress reduction, and improved overall quality of life. While CBD holds great potential, responsible usage is paramount. Consulting veterinarians, maintaining accurate dosage records, and staying informed about legal considerations ensure that CBD is introduced to pets in a safe and effective manner. As our understanding of CBD’s effects on pets continues to grow, pet owners have the opportunity to explore holistic alternatives to traditional veterinary medicine. By prioritizing their pets’ health and well-being and leveraging the benefits of CBD products, pet owners can embark on a journey toward improving their pets’ lives and fostering stronger bonds with their beloved companions.


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