Learn the best ways to give your pet cbd. Either by gums, ears, or in their food. Read this post to learn the tactics and benefits of giving your dog cbd. Whether you’re new to CBD oil for cats or would like to learn more, this guide will help you better understand how, when, and why to use CBD for your cat.
How to Administer CBD to Ears, Gums, and Food
It’s time we address the elephant in the room: while we love the effect that CBD has on our pets, sometimes getting it into their mouths and onto their gums is akin to wrestling an alligator. We are asked all the time if you can just put the CBD oil directly on a treat, or if there is an easier way to administer CBD.
Before you can figure out the easiest way to get CBD into your pet’s system, there are a few things to understand.
Table of Contents
What is bioavailability?
Administering and dosing CBD is all a matter of bioavailability. In layman’s terms, bioavailability refers to the amount of time, and at what rate, something is absorbed into your bloodstream and how much is excreted without effect. This is important because bioavailability effects how much to give in one dose, and how quickly your pet can feel the effects.
Aren’t all ways of administering CBD the same?
Administering CBD to dogs and cats can happen in a few different ways, each with a different level of bioavailability. Some companies sell capsules, while some stick with tinctures and topicals, and while it may seem that it is all the same, the difference lies in how quickly the body can access the medicine (i.e. the bioavailability). Depending on how you apply your pet’s tincture, it’s possible that up to 80% of the medicine could go to waste!
Absorption rates of CBD vs. traditional prescriptions
Unlike many traditional oral medications, research has proven that CBD is effectively and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. A study conducted by the Department of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel concluded that: “CBD was observed to have a large volume of distribution [in dogs studied].”
In a study conducted by the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, dogs were found to have a substantial amount of receptors in their endocannabinoid system, specifically in the spine, which allows dogs to more effectively use CBD. That means that when administered into the gums, ear, or with food, it is absorbed in the system effectively. This is far better than many medications, which have to be broken down by several of the body’s systems in order to take effect.
So, what are the best ways to give your pet CBD?
1. ON THE GUMS
The best way to administer CBD is directly on to the gums. This method works best because the medicine is absorbed through the mucous membrane (transmucosal) in the mouth and the full spectrum hemp extract (CBD) then goes directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive tract altogether. This also minimizes the number of active compounds, or cannabinoids, that are lost or killed off in the digestive tract.
2. On the food or treats
Treats and other food products will take longer to show effect and are generally less effective. This is because they must go all the way through the digestive tract and filtration processes like the first pass of the liver. This results in less of the medicine reaching the parts of the body where your pet needs it most. There is definitely reason to believe that treats are an effective way to administer CBD, seeing as the stomach and GI system is full of cannabinoid receptors. Tinctures, however, can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream by a variety of methods with greater efficiency and speed.
3. Rub into the ears
If you are unable to get your pet to take a tincture orally, or on their food, try applying your tincture to the soft skin of your dog or cat’s inner ear! This is the least bioavailable option and will also take the longest to reach the bloodstream. We recommend you apply the oil to your finger and rub it into the area where the fur stops growing.
Don’t forget to micro-dose
By breaking up your dog or cat’s dose though the day or, ‘micro-dosing’ the CBD will stay at a higher concentration in your pet’s body for longer. In fact, the half-life of CBD taken orally by a dog is about 4-6 hours, according to a recent study. They demonstrated that an oral tincture reached peak concentration in the blood around two hours after administration. By around 6-8 hours, the medicine was nearly back to base levels.
This is especially helpful for dealing with anxiety, aches, pains, and seizures. You can read more about micro-dosing, and dosing in general in our post here.
Remember: whether you dose once a day or multiple times, make sure to fully wipe off your dropper before putting it back into the bottle. While we love puppy kisses, doggy drool can actually cause a full spectrum hemp extract (CBD) tincture to become less effective as the bacteria in the saliva can break down the formula.
Did you know that similar to humans, the largest organ in a dog’s body is their skin?
Not only is cannabis medicine effective to use internally for system wide, internal treatment; another effective way to give our pets CBD is by applying it topically to their skin! That’s right, dogs and cats have the same receptors on the surface and throughout their skin that interact with CBD and the other compounds found in the cannabis plant.
On our animal rescue, we see a lot of different animals, each with their own set of challenges and issues. One of the main things we end up treating for are diseases and infections that specifically effect the skin. On a daily basis, I am treating for bug bites, scratches, and dry paws; even tumors, cysts and other gag-worthy growths and gashes.
Research has shown that dogs have three distinct layers of skin. Each layer of skin is full of the same CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found in the internal organs and thought the central nervous system. This makes it possible for the skin to absorb the compounds and use them in higher concentrations in the exact place where they are hurting. All those awesome anti-inflammatory and regulatory benefits are something a lot of pets could benefit from in helping with issues effecting the skin.
It’s a great way for us to be able to target our pets ailments both systemically and right at the source of the problem. Take for instance, one of our most dramatic turnarounds. Daisey’s mast-cell tumor was treated internally with our Heal tincture and externally with the Remedy salve. By targeting her cancer in more than one way, we were able to heal the main sites of the disease and support the immune system at the same time.
Some tips for administering a salve or other topical cream:
Try to get it as close to the surface of the skin as possible
- It’s important that when you’re applying a topical, it gets to the surface of the skin where it will be absorbed and put to work. Your pet’s hair follicles do have the ability to wick the CBD downward, but it’s good to get as close a possible to source of the problem. If you’re looking to get at a place with a lot of fur on it, part their fur and apply it to the base of the hair follicles and get as much on the actual skin as possible. Don’t worry about the salve getting in their coat. Think of it as a moisturizing hair mask, with amazing medicinal benefits!
Choose a topical that is non-toxic if ingested
- All of CBD Dog Health’s salves are made completely from natural ingredients that if ingested will only benefit your pet more. Our formulas and the essential oils we use are designed for the surface of the skin, but completely safe if your pet licks it off. Just make sure, you let it soak in for at least 10 minutes before they make a treat out of their skin remedy.
All the same things that you look for to make sure a tincture is good go for topicals!
CBD Oil for Cats: How to Use It for Your Cat’s Health and Well-Being
As cats get older, they’re more likely to experience mobility issues, appetite changes, separation anxiety, and weaker immune systems. As a cat owner, you might be wondering if CBD can help with these issues and benefit your cat’s health — especially if you’ve had a positive experience with CBD yourself.
Using CBD oil for cats depends on a variety of factors, including your pet’s weight, the concentration of CBD, and any health issues your feline friend might have. Before jumping into using CBD oil for your cat, you’ll need to consider potential side effects, how best to administer CBD oil, and appropriate dosage. While your cat may benefit from CBD, it’s always best to start with a lower dosage and consult a professional.
Whether you’re new to CBD oil for cats or have some experience and would like to learn more, this guide will help you better understand how, when, and why to use CBD for your cat.
Why Use CBD Oil for Cats?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound in hemp plants. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from hemp plants, including the flowers and leaves. Cannabinoids also occur naturally in the human body — as well as those of cats, dogs, and all mammals — because we all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS involves three components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
Even though the ECS is a relatively new discovery, scientists know it influences several functions. Your ECS plays a part in managing stress, sleep, inflammation, motor control, skin function, mood, and appetite.
Unlike CBD oil, hemp seed oil (often called “hemp oil”) is extracted only from hemp seeds and doesn’t contain any cannabinoids. (Read our guide on hemp seed oil vs. CBD oil to learn more.) There are several ways to enjoy CBD oil, such as tinctures, oil blends, edibles, capsules, and creams, all with different formulations, and profiles for each.
It’s essential to note that CBD and marijuana are not the same thing. Marijuana plants contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the psychoactive molecule that produces the sensation of being high. CBD is non-psychoactive and doesn’t give the same effect.
When looking for CBD oil for cats, make sure the product is clearly labeled with the list of ingredients so you know what you’re getting. It’s also worth noting that hemp seed oil has fewer restrictions than CBD oil. As such, you’ll see hemp seed oil readily available at your local grocery store or online retailers like Amazon.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats
Now that you’ve learned more about CBD oil, you might be asking yourself the question, “Will CBD help my cat?”
Whether your pet is dealing with chronic health issues or you simply want to implement a consistent wellness plan for your cat, CBD oil can help. Early research has shown CBD oils to have several potential benefits, from boosting the immune system to having anti-inflammatory properties.
Anecdotally, many people have found that CBD oil helps their cats manage stressful situations. For example, it can mitigate separation anxiety from schedule changes and new environments. CBD oil may also reduce stress from loud noises such as fireworks and thunderstorms. Take a glance at our article on CBD oil for dogs for more tips, including dosage guidelines.
Further research is needed before we can confirm the benefits of CBD oil for cats. Still, studies have shown promising results in animals treated with CBD oil to improve their quality of life, including better joint mobility and stress relief.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?
Remember, your feline friend has an endocannabinoid system just like you do, so they can also benefit from the effects of CBD oil. Research is ongoing, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting hemp CBD as safe to use for your cat.
Just like humans react differently to supplements, your cat may experience potential side effects, but it’s rare. If you notice your pet acting lethargic or sleeping a little more than usual, your best bet is to adjust their dosage and see if that makes a difference.
It’s wise to choose a product made specifically for your cat. That way, you’ll know you’re giving your pet something tailor-made for them. While it might be tempting to share your own CBD hemp oil with your kitty, ingredients beneficial for humans may not always be beneficial for pets.
As always, ask your veterinarian if you have any concerns about introducing CBD oils to your cat.
Picking Out the Best CBD Oil for Your Cat
When it’s time to pick out CBD products for your cat, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you shop. Cat owners should look for companies that pride themselves on transparency and openly share lab results from third-party testing. That way, you’ll have a clear and thorough understanding of the CBD oil’s quality and purity.
Lab reports can give you helpful information on the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of your blend, including the THC present. (Per the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp products must contain less than 0.3% THC). A breakdown of residual solvents and mycotoxins should also be available in the report. Pay attention to where the hemp plants are grown and processed.
You have a few options when it comes to CBD oil pet products. CBD treats are a great way to get started. Look for a brand made with non-GMO hemp oil that clearly states how many milligrams of CBD are in each treat.
Populum’s Zen Pets Hemp CBD Chews are a favorite among cats and dogs alike for good reason. High-quality ingredients such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon and antioxidant-rich apples combine with hemp extracts grown in Colorado into one delicious treat. You can also take a peek at the third-party lab results, assuring you’re getting the perfect product for your furry friend.
Another possibility is pet CBD tinctures. A full spectrum hemp oil blend uses all parts of the plant and will contain both cannabinoids and terpenes, and tend to be more effective than CBD isolates.
Full spectrum oils usually contain a pet-safe oil blend, like coconut oil. They’re a breeze to mix into your cat’s food or apply to their tongue with a dropper if they’re willing. You can also gently rub the CBD oil into the tips of your cat’s ears.
If you aren’t sure which option is best, try both. Populum’s Pet Lovers CBD Gift Set includes CBD treats and a full spectrum CBD oil, making it even easier to give your pet relief from mobility issues or stressful situations. Regardless of the method you choose, incorporating CBD oil into your cat’s well-balanced diet doesn’t have to be complicated.
How to Find the Right Dosage of CBD Oil
Getting started with the appropriate CBD dosage for your cat may require some adjustments here and there to find their ideal dose.
Deciding on the right dosage of CBD oil for your cat depends on a few factors. Your cat’s body weight and age affect how much CBD they should have. Start low and slow as you can always build up to a more potent dose over time.
Choosing a CBD oil or cat treats with the concentration clearly labeled can give you an idea of a starting point. Pay attention to how many milligrams of CBD is in each treat or dropper of CBD oil. Depending on how much your cat weighs, half or a quarter of a dropper might be the proper dose.
Keep in mind your cat could build up a tolerance over time, which means you might need to adjust their dosage in the future. It could be helpful writing down how much CBD oil you’re giving your cat in each dose. You’ll be able to track changes over time and remember what worked best for your pet.
How often you give CBD oil to your cat depends on the reason you’re using it in the first place. For instance, maybe you want to administer hemp CBD to your cat occasionally as a way to manage anxiety in new environments. In that case, it’s good to give your pet a dose ahead of time so it can take effect.
Alternatively, if you’re managing a health condition for your cat, make a schedule and stick to regular intervals to keep your pet as comfortable as possible. Think morning and evenings with their breakfast or dinner. (Using a CBD subscription service is an excellent way to maintain a consistent wellness routine.)
Use CBD Oil as Part of Your Cat’s Diet
While it might feel overwhelming when exploring pet CBD options, it’s worth taking the time to learn if they have a place in your cat’s wellness plan.
Always keep your eyes open for a quality CBD product with transparent, third-party lab reports. And give some consideration as to how you’d like to administer CBD oil to your cat. Treats may be better in some situations and a full spectrum oil in others.
If your four-legged friend needs support managing anxiety, mobility issues, or other inflammatory and chronic conditions, or you’d simply like to improve their overall well-being, give hemp CBD treats or oils a try.