CBD for Pets… Still a Thing?

Written by Denise Recalde

A fad or here to stay? What’s the verdict on cannabidiol (CBD) for pets? When anxiety and stress symptoms are common in your beloved pet, and no conventional treatment seems to work, CBD can provide a good amount of relief, many pet owners say. Likewise for a variety of animal maladies, like arthritis pain and seizures [1] [2], some studies have indicated.


Popular and Growing

Available in a myriad of forms, including capsules, oils, tinctures, treats, mixing powders, shampoos and topical lotions, the natural remedies are immensely popular. Indeed, the pet CBD category expanded by 946 percent in 2019 and is projected to grow to a $1.1 billion market by the end of 2026, noted a report compiled by The Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research company. [3]

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which loosened federal legal limits on CBD products, proved to be a boon for pet CBD products as well. Celebrities have jumped on the provider bandwagon with names like Martha Stewart, Boxer Mike Tyson and Cesar Millan — star of the TV reality show “The Dog Whisperer” — launching pet CBD brands as business projects.

According to a WoofWhiskers survey reported by PetFoodIndustry.com, in 2019, 86% of dog owners surveyed stated they saw positive health benefits from using CBD oil products, though some did report negative side effects, such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and other side effects. Among the reasons cited for giving CBD oil to pets was anxiety and stress — said 46% of those surveyed — followed by pain at 25%, then seizures at 7%, digestive at 4% and other issues at 18%. Over half of respondents, 57%, admitted using CBD oil for themselves. [4]

Critics, however, note that more peer-reviewed research on CBD for dogs needs to be undertaken before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can approve their use for the furry animals, meaning veterinarians aren’t allowed to recommend the hemp product, as yet.



1) If you’re going to treat your pet’s ailment with CBD, make sure the product is designed for animals — CBD made for humans may have certain ingredients that are unfit for dogs and other animals. THC in the product, in particular, is known to make animals sick.

2) Find out whether the CBD company can provide testing results that prove the CBD animal product has the ingredients and potency claimed on the bottle or box label — some products misrepresent what is actually in them.

3) Recommendations on dosages, vary. Linked to an animal’s weight and age, it’s best to start low and slow, while monitoring how your pet is reacting to the hemp derivative.



1 – Kogan, Lori & Hellyer, Peter & Downing, Robin. The Use of Cannabidiol-Rich Hemp Oil Extract to Treat Canine Osteoarthritis-Related Pain: A Pilot Study. AHVMA Journal. 2020. 58(4): 35-45.



2 – Stephanie McGrath et al. Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2019 Jun 1; 254 (11): 1301-1308.



3 – Lee, V. (2019 May). How Big is the Pet CBD Market?

Retrieved from The Brightfield Group:



4 – Wall, T. (2019, December 26). Dog owners may spend US$42 on CBD oil for pets per month.

Retrieved from PetFoodIndustry.com:



About the author

Denise Recalde