How CBD Changes Pets' Lives

My 11-year-old schnauzer, Odie, is a little old man at heart. He keeps all of my other dogs in line. In short, he is a spitfire.

But three years ago, Odie began to experience joint pain and severe storm anxiety. The leader of my family’s pack would suddenly be found shaking, compulsively licking, and unable to move. As he has aged, his back legs have begun to kick at random, causing him to stay up at night and be completely exhausted – which only intensifies his anxiety.

It was hard to see Odie suffer.

Odie, the 11-year-old schnauzer

Odie, the 11-year-old schnauzer

I started using CBD for myself in 2015 after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. This miracle plant made it possible for me to stop taking medications that had dangerous side effects and changed my whole life. I threw myself into learning everything I could about cannabis, even earning a certificate in the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis from the University of Vermont. It was there that I learned that CBD could help Odie in the same way that it helped me.

The industry of CBD for pets is booming. But, since CBD for pets is an up-and-coming industry, it is important that pet owners understand realistically what CBD can do and how to use it for the best results.

How does CBD work differently in pets than in people?

CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help carry messages between cells. There are two types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system – CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are located in the brain, spinal cord, lungs, muscles, GI tract, and vascular system, while CB2 receptors function in the peripheral nervous system, as well as the bones, skin, and spleen. Many cannabinoids work with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, meaning that a single compound can have several positive benefits.

CBD works so well in dogs, because dogs have more receptors in their endocannabinoid system than even people. This means that the positive effects of CBD are felt even stronger in dogs.

Most CBD pet products are made from cannabidiol derived from the hemp plant, which has less than .3 percent THC. This means that your pet will not get high.

What does CBD treat in pets?

CBD hemp oil can treat a variety of illnesses in pets and is effective as preventative care. In fact, hemp seed oil contains the perfect ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and has better overall nutrition than fish oil. This makes CBD a fantastic preventative aid to maintain good heart health.

The list of ailments CBD can treat is extensive, and includes (but is not limited to):

  • Anxiety, including separation anxiety and noise anxiety

  • Stress

  • Behavior issues

  • Allergies
    -Joint pain and inflammation
    -IBS and other digestive issues
    -Tumors and cancer

For pets who suffer from compulsive licking or biting due to anxiety, joint damage, seizures, tumors, cancer, or allergies, CBD can not only treat the symptoms, but can treat the whole animal. Some prescription medications will only mask symptoms of an illness without treating the underlying problem and are costly, often requiring multiple trips to the veterinarian for refills. Pet parents looking for a safer, more cost-effective option are turning to CBD.

How do you safely use CBD for pets, and what are some common terms I should know?

Most CBD companies use tinctures (oils) or treats to administer CBD. You can mix it into your pet’s food or you can put it in their mouth to swallow. CBD can also be absorbed through the gums and can be administered by lifting the dog’s lip and inserting it right into the gums.

I give Odie a dose of CBD in the morning, and depending on his pain level, I may give him another dose in the afternoon.

CBD products range in the total number of milligrams of CBD per ounce, and they range in the spectrum of cannabinoids. Most pet-related CBD products on the market start anywhere from 50 to 150 mg and go all the way up to 1100 mg of CBD per ounce.

When shopping for CBD oil, make sure to pay attention to the label. If the label says 1700 mg, but does not say the total number of milligrams of CBD, that does not mean there are 1700 mg of CBD. CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same. They both have extremely  healthful, important qualities, but CBD is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, while hemp oil is extracted from the seeds.

 Your veterinarian may not be able to talk about CBD unless asked specifically about it, but you should discuss with them any supplements, including CBD, that you are giving your dog.

Are there any side effects?

One of the appealing benefits of CBD oil for pet parents is that CBD is safe and non-toxic, and CBD is a medicine on which it is impossible to overdose. Some pets get drowsy and go take a long nap.  There are no negative, long-term side effects. If you give your dog too much, what is not absorbed will be excreted through the waste.  

Because of CBD, Odie is able to rest comfortably, run, play, and act like his normal self without the constant kicking, licking, anxiety, and pain. I have seen the miracles of CBD firsthand, and recommend it as a safe, natural way to treat pain in your pets.


Angela Ardolino has been caring for animals since she was 8 years old and has operated a farm rescue, Fire Flake Farm, for over 10 years.  She also is the owner of Beautify the Beast a natural pet salon and spa, and the founder of CBD Dog Health. Angela is an expert in medical cannabis, holding a degree in the therapeutic uses of cannabis from the University of Vermont, and has dedicated her life to providing all-natural relief for pets of all kinds.  She has three dogs, and 4-10 at anytime that she is fostering or boarding. Visit and  to learn more.