CBD oil for pets: How safe is it?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Fireworks may be fun for you and your family but for your pets, it’s no fun at all. It can even be dangerous to their health. That's why many people are turning to CBD oil to calm their pets down. But is it safe?

News 12 spoke to many pet store owners in the Augusta area and all of them say these CBD and hemp products are flying off the shelves. Local vets aren't as convinced of the new health trend.

Meowijuana and chill-out hemp balm are just a few products on the shelves at Garden City Pet.

"I had too many people asking me for it. At first, I resisted because of the lack of regulation," said Tiana O'Neill, the owner of Garden City Pet.

Tiana O'Neill has sold pet CBD for about a year and she sees people buying whatever they can find with no clue what's in it.

"I've gotten product on it that the ingredient list is like industrial hemp oil and warnings on the side with cancer warnings," said O’Neil.

The FDA hasn't approved CBD as an animal drug so there's no regulation yet.

"You aren't going to find many veterinarians really recommending these products. That's just because the safety studies have not been done," said Dr. Jason Norman, with Hammond Hills Animal Hospital.

Dr. Norman, along with other local vets, have heard mixed results.

"I've had some owners say they've had a little bit of improvement with certain situations. I've had other owners that have reported their dogs have not tolerated them well at all and had some pretty serious problems there," said Norman.

He wouldn't get into specifics but did say they weren't life-threatening problems. If you do buy it, The American Kennel Club says it should be organic, have zero THC and be free of additives.

It's what Garden City Pet sells.

For now, all the vets we spoke with say it may be best to hold off on giving CBD to your furry friends.

"Wait on the good approved studies, I do believe CBD may have a place in animal medicine we just don't know where that is right now," said Norman.

So if you don't want to use the CBD oil, vet says you can give them a chew toy, buy a thundershirt, and turn on loud music or the TV to calm down your pet. Exercise during the day can help too. If those don't work, ask your vet for an anti-anxiety drug as a last resort.