While the CBD's efficacy for dogs is indisputable, there is one thing pet owners are wondering – How much CBD should I give my dog? Obviously, there is no one-dose-fits-all approach since dogs vary in weight and size. 

Keep reading to find out the simplest and easiest way of calculating the right amount of CBD for your dog.

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

Once you have found a high-quality CBD oil, it is time to calculate the CBD dosage for your dog's individual needs. 

A good rule of thumb when giving CBD to dogs is to fall within the range of 1-5 mg of CBD per 10lbs of body weight

CBD Dosage for Dogs

Some pet owners may opt for a stronger dose – like double or more the recommended amount – based on their dog’s unique situation. 

However, Honest Paws would recommend starting your dog on half their required dosage and slowly increasing it to build up a tolerance to the new CBD supplement in their life. 

How Long Does it Take CBD Oil to Start Working in Dogs?

How long CBD takes to start working depends on the form of CBD (CBD oil, CBD capsules, CBD dog treats), but the general timeframe CBD takes to start working in dogs is between 30 and 60 minutes.  

Cannabinoids (CBDs) work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a regulatory mechanism responsible for balancing various body functions (inflammation, immunity, pain, appetite, sleep, metabolism, energy, mood, memory) and achieving homeostasis. 

Once consumed, the CBD must find its way from the belly to the endocannabinoid receptors and bind with them to exert its beneficial effects. Therefore, the onset of the CBD effects depends on how quickly the dog digests the product. 

CBD oils tend to kick in faster (even less than 30 minutes). This is because they contain fewer ingredients and need to spend lesser time in the belly. In fact, they can be administered under your pet's tongue, thus skipping digestion and achieving fast results. 

On the other hand, CBD dog treats require more extensive digestion, thus taking more time to kick in – 60 minutes or more. 

Although the timing of the onset is different for each CBD product, there is no difference in efficacy. In other words, regardless of whether you are using an oil tincture or dog treat, once the effects kick in, they will be equally potent and lasting. 

How Long Does CBD Oil Last in Dogs?

A single dog CBD oil dose will last between 2 and 8 hours. Unfortunately, there is no way of predicting how long the CBD effects last simply because they are affected by many factors like your dog's breed, age, and activity level. 

For example, older dogs are less efficient at digesting, meaning they will need more time to metabolize the CBD product. In other words, the CBD will probably need more time to kick in, but once it starts working, it will stay in the body for longer. 

The good news is, you can learn how long the dose you are using lasts in your dog. All you need to do is just observe your dog and read its reactions. After few administrations, you will pinpoint the precise moment the CBD stops working. 

Can Dogs Take too Much CBD Oil?

CBD for Dogs Dosage

Yes, dogs can take too much CBD oil. However, even if consumed in excess amounts, dogs cannot overdose on CBD oil.

Hemp-derived CBD oil will not kill your pet. Worst-case scenario, your dog will sleep off the CBD effects. Just ensure you use a THC-free product since THC is a psychoactive and toxic compound for dogs. 

As a natural herbal remedy from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), THC-free CBD oil is perfectly safe and well-tolerated in dogs. 

Since every dog responds differently, taking too much CBD oil can cause mild side effects. Before we describe these side effects, we should note that they are short-lasting and transient. 

Dry Mouth

CBD can lead to reduced saliva production. If your dog seems thirstier than usual, then it may be due to their new CBD product. Make sure your pet always has access to clean water. 

Chronic excessive thirst can be a symptom of disease or illness, so be on the lookout for other symptoms or contact your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet. 

Drowsiness 

Most pet parents report extreme relaxation or slight lethargy when their pets begin taking CBD for dogs. This might be the reaction you are hoping for if trying to relax your pet before a stressful situation (car ride, fireworks, vet visit) or if they need help sleeping. However, if your pet seems excessively tired or uncoordinated, adjust their CBD oil dosage. 

Lowered Blood Pressure

A strong dose or high dosage of CBD oil may cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. This may lead to your pup feeling dizzy or develop nausea. Be sure to give your dog the right amount of CBD for its body weight. 

Diarrhea

Pets with sensitive stomachs may react with a short bout of diarrhea following their first CBD dosage. Double-check the dosage guidelines to ensure you are not giving your pet more than their body can handle. It may also help to give your pet CBD with their food rather than on an empty stomach. 

How to Calculate the Right CBD Dosage for Dogs

Honest Paws - Oil - Directions for use

To calculate the right amount of CBD for your dog, you need to start with two important factors – your dog's weight and the CBD product's potency. 

First, multiply your dog's weight with the CBD dose per pound. Then to calculate the amount of CBD product, consider how many milligrams of CBD are in each milliliter of oil. 

Since making calculations can be hard, here is a breakdown of the amount of CBD in each CBD tincture here at Honest Paws:

  • Our CBD Oil for small dogs (under 25 lbs) contains 125 mg of CBD. Each full dropper from this bottle (1 mL) will contain 4 mg of CBD.

  • Our CBD oil for medium dogs (25-50 lbs) contains 250 mg of CBD. Each full dropper from this bottle (1 mL) will contain 8mg of CBD.

  • Our CBD oil for large dogs (over 50 lbs) contains 500 mg of CBD. Each full dropper from this bottle (1 mL) will contain 16mg of CBD.

  • Our CBD oil for extra strength needs contains 1000 mg of CBD. Each full dropper from this bottle (1 mL) will contain 33 mg of CBD.  

CBD dog treats and chews are a little more direct with their dosages. Honest Paws treats and chews contain 5 mg CBD per treat. Depending on your pet's body weight, you can give them one, two, or three bites per day 

In the beginning, we recommend starting at the lower end of the range. Over a period of a week or two, you can slowly work your way up to higher doses that will meet your dog's needs. 

What to Consider When Calculating Your Dog's CBD Dose

To find the right amount of CBD for your dog, follow the dosage recommendations provided by the CBD manufacturer while considering the following important factors. 

The Size of Your Dog

Your pet's body weight is a determining factor for how many drops of CBD oil your pet needs. Obviously, large dogs will need much higher CBD doses than small dogs. 

Age is another factor that plays a role in the amount of CBD that your pet needs. Older dogs are known to be more sensitive to the effects of CBD and will need less than a boisterous pup.  

The Severity of Your Dog’s Condition

CBD use for chronic and severe issues requires more frequent CBD administration following a strict schedule – for example, every 6 or 8 hours. If using CBD to promote general wellbeing, the administration can be done once per day. Finally, to relieve anxiety, you can give your dog CBD on an as-needed basis or before stressful events. 

The CBD Consumption Method

As already mentioned, CBD tinctures have the fastest onset, while CBD capsules and CBD dog treats need more time to kick in. This is something you should consider when calculating the CBD dosage for your pet and the CBD administration schedule. 

The Potency of CBD Oil You Purchase

Different products come with different potencies (amounts of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids). For example, CBD tinctures come in various strengths, 125mg, 250mg, 500mg, 750mg, 1000 mg, and sometimes higher. On the other hand, CBD dog treats come with fixed potencies (ex. 5 mg CBD per treat).  

Once you have calculated how much CBD oil your dog needs per day, you can decide which product strength is best to buy.  

Your Dog’s Activity Level

Your dog's activity level is closely linked with its digestion and metabolic rates, thus affecting the necessary CBD dose. Generally speaking, active and working dog breeds tend to process food and supplement much faster than dogs with sedentary lifestyles. 

Calculating CBD Oil Dosages For Your Dog's Medicinal Use

how much cbd should I give my dog

CBD use for medicinal purposes is associated with stronger doses – closer to the maximum level or sometimes even bigger than the dosing recommendations provided on the CBD's product package. 

Conditions and situations requiring medicinal use of CBD include chronic pain, impaired mobility, seizures, cancer, arthritis, allergies, and severe anxiety or situational stress.  

How To Determine CBD Oil Dosage For Your Dog's General Well-Being

If using CBD oil for daily health, wellness, old age, or minor stress issues, stick to doses at the lower end of the "1 to 5 mg per pound" range. You can even use CBD on an as-needed basis. However, keep in mind that consistent CBD use shows more positive results. 

CBD Oil for Dogs Dosing Examples

As already explained, the general rule of thumb is that dogs can receive between 1 and 5 mg of CBD per 10lbs of body weight. 

Following these CBD dosage guidelines, a 20-pound Beagle can take between 2 and 10 mg while an 80-pound Rottweiler can easily use anywhere from 8 to 40 mg of CBD per day. 

To make things simpler, take a look at our CBD dosing chart or go to our CBD Oil For Dogs Dose Calculator

Our Final Thoughts: CBD Dosage for Dogs

perfecting your cbd oil dosage

Finding the perfect balance of CBD for your dog may take a little while. If you do not see results, increase the dosage slightly and stick to it for a few days. On the other hand, if there are side effects, simply lower the dosage. 

There will be some trial and error, but by following the dosing guidelines above and reading your pet's reaction, you will soon figure out how regularly and how much you need to dose your pet. 

Remember to buy CBD oil from a reputable brand that can back their product with a Certificate of Analysis, proving that the CBD product is organic and full-spectrum.