Cannabis and Pet Care

Just like cannabis use for pain relief in humans is on the rise, so is the use for pets too. 

Even though veterinarians are legally prohibited from recommending cannabis, a federally illegal substance for pet care, word of mouth has spread so much between pet owners that cannabis business are cropping up entirely dedicated to serving our four-legged friends. Similar to humans, pet owners are giving their pets cannabis-based products to treat pain relief, anxiety, noise sensitivity, skin problems and itching.

In the cannabis-friendly state of California there are many cannabis brands dedicated to pets. In states with stricter cannabis laws, cannabis pet medication can be hard to come by. The good news is that even in states with prohibition, hemp-based products are still available.

Dr. Gary Richter, is a veterinarian with 20 years of experience. He is the medical director and owner of Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland. For three years Richter has been a vocal supporter of cannabis for pets.

It’s important to note that unlike humans, THC is often dangerous for animals and pet-owners should stick to CBD treats for their animals, Richter said.

“There is an impression that cannabis is 100 percent safe,” he said. “This is not true, especially in pets. … An overdose of cannabis can lead to loss of balance, loss of appetite and sometimes collapse. In rare cases, an overdose of cannabis can be fatal.”

For many pets and their owners, cannabis has been a miracle treatment for them, helping their pets in ways traditional medicine has never been able to.

The best way for pets to ingest cannabis is to eat it or have liquid put directly on their tongue.

If you are curious about cannabis for your pets, don’t talk to your vet, they can’t talk to you about it. Talk to other pet owners to see what their experience has been.


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