CBD Effects on Other Pets: Hamsters, Fish, & More

by | Aug 23, 2022

You’ve probably heard about dogs and cats taking cannabidiol (CBD) oil for stress, but what about other pets? In case you’re new here, CBD is a naturally derived substance from the hemp plant that induces calm and relaxation. Its effects can range from balancing mood to pain relief.

Recently, more and more research is showing the success of CBD in traditional household pets such as dogs and cats, but what about pets outside of this box? I’m talking about hamsters, rabbits, turtles, fish, and ferrets. While the research is scarce, the future looks promising. Read on to learn why.

CBD and Animals

Cannabinoid receptors can be witnessed in mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and more. They may explain the calming effects capable in pets such as hamsters and fish. These receptors are a part of the endocannabinoid system , which plays a role in maintaining homeostasis in the body as well as gives humans the ability to feel the stimulatory effects of CBD, such as relaxation.

Since many of the pets we will discuss in this article are mammals, excluding fish and turtles, it is important to understand why CBD use could make a significant impact on our animal companions’ lives.

CBD & Other Pets: Hamsters

Given what we know about how CBD effects mammals such as cats and dogs, we can make the assumption that hamsters can benefit from CBD usage.

If a hamster is expressing signs of stress, CBD could be the answer. To show their agitation, hamsters may:

  • Lose fur
  • Exhibit aggressive behavior
  • Bite frequently
  • Dig in their cages

It should also be noted that hamsters do naturally produce cortisol, or the stress hormone, as almost every mammal produces and regulates cortisol in response to stressful or dangerous situations. While there is little research for hamsters in terms of effect, CBD generally produces the same effects between humans and dogs and therefore, it is likely that hamsters can use CBD to alleviate stress in the same manner as other mammals.

In order to introduce CBD to your hamster, make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Begin with a low dosage
  2. Introduce single/few droplets of CBD oil into your hamster’s food
  3. Gauge their reaction and respond accordingly

CBD & Other Pets: Rabbits

As with most of our mammalian friends, research relating to rabbits and CBD is hard to come by. It is confirmed that the majority of mammals do have an endocannabinoid system and therefore are receptive to CBD. It can be assumed, but not with 100% certainty, that rabbits follow the same parameters as hamsters and dogs in relieving pain and anxiety. Without any strong, credible research into the effects of CBD in rabbits, it is best to remain wary when dosing rabbits with CBD.

However, if you want to test CBD on your rabbit, it is advised to give a small dose through a syringe. Once you feel comfortable with the amount given and your rabbit responds well, it is up to your discretion on whether to continue. Independent parties giving their rabbits CBD post on forums online such as reddit, claiming it has been beneficial for their furry friend. If CBD is in your rabbit’s future, remain cautiously optimistic.

CBD & Other Pets: Turtles & Goldfish

Little research is present on the safety of CBD in turtles and fish. In the case of turtles, hardly any scientific evidence is even present on the web. However, we know that cannabinoid receptors have been identified in reptiles and fish, so it can be assumed that these animals can feel the effects of CBD such as relaxation and pain relief. Goldfish, in particular, have expressed cannabinoid receptors in a 2017 study that tested their receptiveness. To summarize, it is highly likely that both turtles and goldfish can benefit from CBD.

While dogs and cats can use CBD for mammalian conditions, what can CBD remedy for turtles?

Pet reptiles can suffer from multiple conditions, such as

  • Herpesvirus
  • Ear infections
  • Amebiases

These conditions come with a variety of painful symptoms, but CBD oil could be the answer to providing some relief to pets in pain.

Goldfish suffer from their own common illnesses, such as:

  • White spot disease
  • Lice
  • Tail rot

Again, CBD may be a remedy for these conditions if applied safely and accurately.

While administering CBD to goldfish is a widely under-researched topic, turtles can receive CBD through their food or through oil droplets. Dosage will vary by turtle species and weight, so it is always best to consult your vet before moving forward with any plans.

CBD & Other Pets: Ferrets

Ferrets are similar to hamsters and rabbits, in the sense that we know they are responsive to CBD as mammals. Administering CBD to ferrets at home is potentially risky because we don’t know enough information. According to Dr. Gregory Rich, a veterinarian published in Dook Dook Ferret Magazine, the validity of current studies does not give enough evidence into CBD in ferrets. More specifically, he stated:

“Right now, we do not have any valid studies on CBD oil dosage, side effects, or treatment strategies for ferrets. It is true that some ferret owners treat their pets with CBD oil, but this is dangerous because of our lack of knowledge. Each species and each ferret has its own drug sensitivities, disease states, and biological makeup, and so any dosage or treatment strategy with CBD oil would be a guess at best. And, unfortunately, if your ferret does develop a life-threatening side effect as a result of CBD oil, there is currently no antidote for the oil in pets. Vets would only be able to offer supportive care. Hopefully, we will have valid studies on the use of CBD oil in ferrets and other exotic species soon, but until then, it is safest not to give it to your ferret.”

Again, it is up to owner discretion on whether to give ferrets CBD.


The research on CBD in animals other than dogs and cats is currently inconclusive. While there are plenty of success stories in varying pets, this should not be mistaken for solidified medical advice.

Right now, the best course of action is to not use CBD in animals outside of dogs and cats because most current scientific research is centralized on larger mammalian companions. If you believe CBD will help an ailment your pet currently has, we urge you to seek professional advice before proceeding. CBD can have a negative effect on human health without taking precaution before usage and the same can be applied to mammals, reptiles, and fish.

Interested in trying out CBD for your pet? Shop Muddy Boot Botanical’s pet CBD products, as well as products for you to enjoy, to dive into the immersive world of CBD today!

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