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Why Your Vet May Be Silent on CBD

 vet talking to dog owner

Any time you incorporate something new into your dog’s life, whether that’s food, a supplement, or CBD, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet. Keeping your vet up to date about  the products you use for your dog can help your vet to provide comprehensive care. Your vet may also be able to provide information about potential interactions or reasons to use certain products over others. But when you’re discussing CBD with your vet, that conversation becomes more complicated. These tips can help you to successfully navigate that conversation.

What Your Vet Can and Can’t Say About CBD

Before talking to your vet about CBD, it’s important to understand that he or she may not be legally allowed to recommend CBD, and this will undoubtedly shape the discussion. 

While the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill loosened the restrictions on hemp-derived CBD, removing it from Schedule I drug classification, some veterinarians are still be reluctant to discuss, recommend or prescribe CBD, as the laws surrounding cannabis for pets are less than straightforward.

The Cannabis in Veterinary Medicine Resource Guide published by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in August 2020 notes that a veterinarian who administers, dispenses, prescribes or recommends any cannabis-derived product that isn’t approved for animals by the FDA could be at an increased legal risk if your pet were to suffer an adverse event.

While the laws in some states may permit veterinary recommendation of CBD, it’s possible that your vet may not be able to legally recommend its use in your pet.

 s.Your vet would typically rely on scientific studies for guidance when it comes to CBD safety, dosage and overall recommendations; however, there’s also limited scientific data on the use of CBD in pets. Hopefully, additional studies will be performed in the coming years that will provide vets with increased background information and confidence in prescribing and recommending CBD.

How to Talk to Your Vet About CBD

It’s important to share your plans to give your dog CBD with your vet, and the best way to do this is to open up that conversation and see what your vet is and isn’t comfortable discussing with you.

A research article published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science found that, of the 2,130 veterinary survey participants, 45.5% felt comfortable discussing CBD use with their clients. Recent graduates tended to be less comfortable talking about CBD use in pets with clients. Vets who live in states where recreational marijuana is legalized were more likely to talk about CBD use in dogs than vets in other states. These vets were also more likely to recommend the use of CBD.

When beginning this discussion during an appointment, be prepared to explain why you want to give your dog CBD. Your vet may be able to provide you with additional information and recommendations.

What to Ask Your Vet About CBD

If your vet is willing to openly discuss CBD, then be prepared with any questions you might have. Consider questions about dosages, how to find a quality product and what administration methods your vet would recommend for your pet.

It’s also important to talk about any potential side effects. If your dog is on medication, ask your vet whether he or she would recommend CBD and talk about any potential risk factors or negative side effects.

Finding More Information on CBD For Dogs

While it’s always best to get information about your dog’s health and care from your vet, when it comes to CBD, you may need to seek out additional information on your own. Try to focus your research on peer-reviewed scientific studies that provide information based on research and experimentation.

These articles and studies can help you to get started:

To CBD or Not to CBD?

Due to the gray area surrounding current regulations pertaining to CBD for veterinary use, your vet may be hamstrung from even discussing the topic. However, there are plenty of resources available to help you make the decision as to whether CBD could be beneficial for your pet.

About the Author

Paige Cerulli Image

Paige Cerulli

Paige works as a freelance copywriter and content writer. She often covers health, wellness and chronic-pain topics. A lifelong animal lover and equestrian, Paige particularly enjoys writing about pets and horses. You can find her at

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