Using Topical CBD Products For Cats And Dogs: How They Work And What You Need To Know

There’s no denying it: giving CBD to your pets has a lot of benefits. It can relieve their nausea, help them to relax, and even alleviate chronic pain and arthritis. But there’s also no denying that giving CBD to your pets is not a piece of cake! If your dog won’t swallow a CBD capsule and if your cat won’t go anywhere near anything that smells like hemp, topical products are your best option. Not only are they easier to administer, they also have some benefits over edible products.

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of using CBD topical products on your pets, how they work, and how you can use them to improve your companions’ wellbeing on a daily basis. 

What are topical CBD products for pets?

Simply put, a topical CBD product is any product that contains CBD and is meant to be applied to the skin. It’s a relatively broad term that encompasses a wide range of products like:

  • CBD lip balm
  • CBD body lotion
  • CBD foot cream
  • CBD shampoo and conditioner

Products that are meant especially for pets include CBD ointments and gels, shampoo and conditioner. You may be able to find a CBD balm for dogs or a CBD gel for cats. They are made with pets in mind, so their PH levels are appropriate and they don’t contain any ingredients that could irritate your pet. Depending on the product, they may contain larger or lesser amounts of CBD. Shampoos tend to contain less, but a gel that’s meant for pain will typically contain more.

CBD products that contain trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) are now legal on a federal level in the United States. However, they are not FDA-approved, and may still be illegal in certain states. Check your local laws before making a purchase. 

How do topical CBD products work?

Why would you add CBD to shampoo or cream? Simply because it’s a great way to get CBD into your pet’s system. It’s a common misconception that CBD has to be eaten in order to have a whole-body effect. Actually, CBD taken through the skin is just as effective as CBD taken through the mouth.

For CBD to have a positive effect on your pets, it needs to reach their endocannabinoid system. Luckily, this system has receptors located literally all over their bodies. There are a lot of receptors along the digestive tract, which is why eating CBD can give them a lot of relief. But they also have receptors located under their skin in almost every part of their body.

When you massage a CBD topical product onto your pet’s skin, it penetrates the first layer of skin and it can bind with the endocannabinoid receptors that are found underneath. This sends signals to the endocannabinoid system and immediately relieves pain, nausea, inflammation, itching and more.

Not only are CBD topical products effective, but they are also fast-acting. When you give a CBD treat to your pet, you have to wait until it goes through their digestive system before they feel its benefits. Because their skin has less of a filtration system, they can expect to feel the benefits of CBD much faster. For cats and dogs who suffer from pain or injury, it’s one of the very best solutions out there!

What are the benefits of using topical CBD products on your pets?

One thing that’s really interesting about giving CBD to pets is that their endocannabinoid system is very similar to ours. As a result, pets can experience relief from the same things that CBD helps us with. This includes relief from:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Muscle cramps

If your cat or dog suffers from any of these, CBD could support them and make them feel better. 


Wich topical products can I use on my pets?

When choosing a topical product to use on your pet, make sure that it’s meant for them. The expensive oils and scents that are so pleasant to use on ourselves are not always suitable for our furry companions. Try to find a CBD brand that caters to animals. In some instances, you may be able to find specialized CBD products in pet shops. 

How can I use topical CBD products on my pets? 

Now comes the hard part: applying a CBD product on your pet. The good news is that it’s a lot easier than forcing them to eat it if they don’t want to. Still, you’ll have to be patient and make sure that they are relaxed.

If you’re using a topical product like a cream or gel, get the product ready and sit with your cat or dog. Take a few minutes to get them calm and relaxed, and then apply the product gently. If they suffer from irritation or pain in a particular area of their body, focus on this area. If you’re administering the product for something like anxiety, you can apply it anywhere you want. Push their fur back and make sure that the product really reaches the skin.

The good thing is that CBD is safe to eat as well. This means you don’t have to worry if your pets lick the product off.

If you’re using a CBD shampoo, things are much easier. Simply give your cat or dog a bath as you normally would, using the CBD-infused product. You may want to give it a little more time to act than you are used to before washing it off, to make sure that their skin absorbs as much CBD as possible. 


Using topical CBD products on your pets can be the perfect way to get the bountiful cannabis molecule into their system. It may take a bit of time getting used to giving it to them , but be patient. Just like us, pets have a lot to benefit from taking CBD on a regular basis.

Canine Hemp Infused Balm

1.Charlotte’s Web Hemp Infused Balm for Dogs with CBD

This CBD balm is made with completely natural pet-friendly ingredients and THC-free CBD extract


Charlotte’s Web is one of the most popular CBD brands in the world. They specialize in making high-quality products that are highly-specialized to relieve certain conditions. They also have a pet-specific line which only uses pet-friendly ingredients. This hemp-infused balm is gentle enough to apply on your pet’s skin and it contains generous amounts of CBD.

A 1.5 oz tin contains 450mg of hemp extract, which delivers not only a good dose of CBD, but also other cannabinoids. Rest assured however, this balm remains 100% THC-free. It’s made with gentle, natural ingredients and has even received certification from the National Animal Supplement Council. This means it follows strict quality standards and only uses ingredients that are proven to be pet-friendly. 

It’s a very simple product to use: just massage it into your dog’s skin as needed. You may want to use it on irritated patches of skin, on painful spots, or even simply as a way to relieve your dog’s anxiety. 


  • Broad-spectrum CBD extract
  • Guaranteed THC-free
  • National Animal Supplement Council certified
  • Gentle, natural ingredients
  • Dark glass container


  • Not unscented
CBD Oil For Pets

2. CBDfx Pet CBD Oil for medium breeds

This CBD oil can be applied directly to your pet’s skin pure, or mixed with other moisturizing ingredients.


Although the market for CBD pet products is rapidly growing, it can still be hard to find specialized topical products for your cat or dog. The good news is that most CBD oil tinctures that are pet-friendly can also be applied directly to their skin! 

This particular CBD oil tincture by CBDfx is made with the most simple ingredients: just high-quality hemp extract and coconut oil. Coconut oil is gentle, anti-inflammatory, and perfectly safe to use as a moisturizer on dogs. The hemp extract in this product is also very high-quality. It’s made with organic, GMO-free, and U.S-grown hemp. It has been extracted following CO2 extraction methods, which guarantee the best effectiveness and purity. 

You can get this product in three different versions: for small, medium, or large breeds. If you want to use large amounts of the product to relieve your cat or dog’s skin condition, we recommend mixing the tincture together with some more coconut oil. But if your animal needs some more intense relief (from sharp pain, arthritis, anxiety…), don’t hesitate to use the product pure. 


  • Broad-spectrum CBD extract
  • Perfect potency for small breeds of dogs
  • Contains anti-oxidant curcumin
  • Bacon-flavored


  • More expensive than non-pet-specific CBD oil
  • Only one flavor available
Endoca Raw Hemp Oil

3. Endoca Raw CBD and CBDa hemp oil 1,500 mg

This CBD oil tincture by Endoca is minimally processed and contains large amounts of CBDa


Although it goes by the name of “hemp oil”, rest assured that this raw Endoca tincture contains high amounts of CBD—and some other useful cannabinoids! It’s particularly rich in CBDa, a lesser-known cannabis molecule with a lot of interesting properties. CBDa is naturally occurring in the cannabis plant, but most CBD oil tinctures don’t contain it because it’s easily destroyed by heat.

This Endoca tincture is a little different from most. It’s a “raw” tincture, meaning that it has been unheated and very minimally processed in the manufacturing process. As a result, it contains higher amounts of CBDa, as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes which are also susceptible to heat damage.

CBDa is a particularly useful molecule for soothing anxiety and for alleviating nausea and vomiting. For this reason, we mainly recommend this tincture to people with mental health issues or digestive issues. However, because it is so strong in CBD (5mg per drop!), we also recommend it to people with pain disorders and inflammatory conditions. 



  • Broad-spectrum CBD extract
  • High in CBDa
  • Minimally processed product
  • Very high potency


  • Slightly above-average price per milligram of CBD
  • No flavoedr options available
Elixinol Everyday Daily Balance Winter Mint

4. Elixinol Daily Balance Tincture Winter Mint 133 to 4,000 mg

This CBD tincture is peppermint-flavored and comes in a lot of different strengths


One interesting difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is that hemp oil is very rarely flavored. On the other hand, many companies use essential oils to naturally flavor CBD oil. This makes the product a lot more palatable, partially concealing the strong, herbal taste of CBD oil. 

This particular product is flavored with organic peppermint essential oil for a much fresher taste and mouthfeel. Apart from that, it’s an excellent CBD oil tincture made with broad-spectrum CBD extract, MCT oil, and the terpene beta-caryophyllene. 

Like all Elixinol products, it’s made with very high-quality hemp extract. In this product, the hemp extract is organic, GMO-free, and third-party tested. The oil also comes in a few different potencies, ranging from 133 to 4,000mg of CBD per bottle. So no matter what your needs are, you’re sure to find a beautifully peppermint-flavored CBD oil tincture to suit you just right. 


  • Full-spectrum CBD extract
  • Refreshing peppermint taste
  • Added terpenes
  • Four strength options available


  • Elixinol are known for longer than average shipping times
CBD Fx Wellness Tincture

5. CBDfx Wellness 2:1 Tincture CBD + CBG

This CBG-rich oil gives you the best out of both CBD and CBG


One of our favorite CBD oil products is this CBDfx tincture which contains high amounts of both CBD and CBG. CBG is a cannabinoid that is naturally found in the hemp plant. However, most CBD oil only contains very small amounts of it because most strains of hemp are relatively low in CBG. This is a great shame because CBG has been found to have great pain-relieving, anxiety-fighting, and anti-inflammatory properties.

With its 2 to 1 ratio of CBD to CBG, this product is particularly well-suited for people with mental health symptoms like anxiety, stress, insomnia, or mood swings. Taken together, CBG and CBD are very effective in relaxing both the mind and body. So whether your whole body feels tense or you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s a product that can support you in your everyday. 

It comes in different potencies, ranging from 500 to 4,000mg of CBD per bottle (and half that amount of CBG). It’s also made with organic, GMO-free, and third-party tested hemp extract. Overall, it’s a high-quality product which we highly recommend to anyone who wants to try out CBD oil for mental health. 


  • Broad-spectrum CBD extract
  • Rich in pain-relieving CBG
  • Contains curcumin and coenzyme Q10
  • Great value for money


  • Sweetened with stevia extract

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