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. 

Wicht 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.

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