Cannabidiol is a great thing, but can too much harm your pet? Before introducing this wellness product into your pet's life, find out how much your furbaby needs. From teeny pocket pups to gigantic Great Danes, there is a no one-size-fits-all approach.

We discuss CBD, its benefits, and the correct CBD oil dose for dogs. Are you wondering whether CBD is safe for your pet? Or wondering how much CBD oil to give a dog? Keep reading pet owners; we answer your questions.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, or tincture, is the oil extracted from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant species. The Cannabis Sativa L. plant includes two plants that we're familiar with – marijuana and hemp. Both of these plant types produce CBD. 

When CBD is produced for consumers, it is usually from the hemp plant. This plant preference is due to the low presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound responsible for psychoactive effects, and the trippy feeling associated with "weed" or marijuana. Hemp-derived CBD tinctures for pets or humans are widely available and legal in most States. 

Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

When CBD is derived via CO2 extraction from the hemp plant, the result includes phytochemicals and terpenes. This rich, full-spectrum oil interacts with your dog's body's biochemical system to promote homeostasis for biological functions. 

The benefits of CBD products are vast. Honest Paws products target the primary needs that customers are seeking for their dog: wellness, calm, relief, and mobility.

Helps Maintain Optimal Health

CBD supports a healthy immune response, which can mean that your pet has more potent immune cells to fight off viruses and diseases. It also supports normal cardiovascular and neurological functions.

Dogs with free radical damage in their bodies who use CBD may have additional support for their cellular health and antioxidant function. By investing in CBD oils, you're helping your dog's physical and mental well-being.

Promotes Relaxation

Whether your pet has separation anxiety or hates car trips, using CBD can help reduce the effects of environmental stress. It promotes a calming effect for those sensitive pups who experience anxiety, or dogs with a high activity level.

One study found that dogs in a shelter showed reduced aggressive behavior when given a CBD dose every 24 hours. 

Supports Healthy Joints and Flexibility

A regular dose of CBD supports stiff and sore joints. The endocannabinoid receptor system plays a role in pain modulation and inflammation reduction. By regularly using CBD oil, these systems have positive effects on bone and joint health. 

A study on dogs with Osteoarthritis concluded that pets receiving 2 mg per kg of CBD oil twice a day displayed an increase in activity level and comfort. 

Can Help with Occasional Discomfort

Pets can experience discomfort or pain for many reasons, and no one likes to see their pet suffer. Is your pet struggling with seasonal allergies or sensitive skin?

CBD may help maintain regular skin moisture content, easing irritations and sore spots. It can also help maintain a normal inflammatory response in the body, internally on organs, or external flair-ups. 

Can I Give CBD Oil to My Dog? 

CBD oil derived from the hemp plant is safe for your pet. The hemp plant only contains 0.3% or less THC. With this trivial amount, CBD is completely safe for dogs and cats. When buying CBD products for your companion animal, make sure it is hemp-derived, organic, full-spectrum, and lab tested. 

CBD, also called hemp oil, has no psychotropic effects. Due to the low toxicity and high tolerability, it's become increasingly popular for humans and their animals. 

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

Following the manufacturer's dosage guide is the best way to get the most out of the tincture. Also, giving your pet too much may make them feel nauseous and lethargic. Since pets cannot vocalize their discomfort, it's best to know the correct dosage for dogs' CBD oil. 

As a rule of thumb, you should always introduce CBD (and any other supplement for that matter) in a gradual manner in order to allow your dog ample time to adjust to the new addition to his healthcare regimen. 

Of course, if you're purchasing CBD oil, you might be wondering how many milligrams of CBD are in each milliliter of oil so that you can calculate an appropriate dosage amount.

Here is a breakdown of the amount of CBD in each of our oils here at Honest Paws:

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

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

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

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

In the beginning, you’ll want to start at the lower end of that range. Over the period of a week or two, you can slowly work your way up to a dosage that meets your dog's needs. 

Some pet parents may opt for a stronger dose as well – e.g. double or more the recommended amount – based on their dog’s unique situation.

Consider Their Weight 

Your pet's body weight is a determining factor for how many drops of CBD oil your pet needs. Honest Paws would recommend starting your doggo on half their required dosage and slowly increasing it to build up a tolerance to their new product in their life.

A general guideline is to fall within the range of 1-5mg of CBD per 10lbs of body weight.

A 70-lb dog, therefore, could receive anywhere from 7-35mg of CBD a day.  

Life Stage

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. 

Honest Paws offers a CBD dosage calculator and dosage chart for dogs and they may mention the amounts of drops that your pet needs.

What About Other CBD Products?

CBD dog treats and chews are a little more direct with their dosages. Honest Paws treats and chews contain 5mg of CBD per treat. Depending on your pet's body weight, you can give them one, two, or three bites per day. Dosage guidelines accompany good quality products to make it clear for pet owners who want to give CBD dog treats to their furbaby. 

How do I Give CBD to My Dog?

Every pet is different. You may have an active breed that's overly trusting and will gobble anything you offer.

Or you'll have a fussy pooch that gives you a skew look and sniffs around suspiciously when you present anything other than their usual menu. Lucky for you, there are different CBD products to give your dog. 

If you want the quickest result, then CBD oil's sublingual administration is the fastest delivery method. This involves putting a few drops of the oil dosage under your pet's tongue.

The glands in your dog's mouth allow for the CBD oil to diffuse directly into the bloodstream. It is best to administer CBD oil in this way. However, you can also drip CBD oil over your pet's meal. 

If you don't think your pet is compliant, you can buy a CBD peanut butter or some CBD bites or chews. No pet can resist a yummy titbit.

With these types of products, you can expect to see results within 30-60 minutes. CBD infused coconut oil is excellent for adding to your dog's bowl, or you can use it as a topical balm for sensitive and dry skin.

Dosage Frequency

As far as dosing frequency, the effects of CBD can last from 2-8 hours, depending on your pet's size, age, and condition. Generally, the following is recommended:

  • Every 8 hours (or as needed) for discomfort or extreme situations such as keeping your pet calm during a long drive or trauma recovery.

  • Thirty minutes before an event (such as hospitalization, a trip to the vet, fireworks, etc.) to help with stress.

  • 1-2 per day for all other uses.

For chronic discomfort, pet parents can administer more regular doses on a schedule. However, if you're administering CBD for therapeutic benefits (calmness) and general well being, then you can use CBD as needed. 

As a pet parent, you know your pet best and can read their body language. Use your discretion for the frequency of doses. More regular use shows consistent results. 

Most Common CBD Oil Side Effects

When introducing a new wellness product into your pet's life, be on the lookout for any adverse side effects. Hemp-derived CBD oil is natural, and there are very few adverse reactions in pets. Every pet responds differently, though, so look out for the following reactions. Adjust your pet's CBD oil dosage if necessary. 

Dry Mouth

CBD can lead to reduced saliva production. If your furbaby 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 vet if you're concerned about your pet. 

Slight Lethargy

Most pet parents report extreme relaxation or slight lethargy when their pets begin taking CBD for dogs. This might be the reaction you're hoping for if you're trying to relax your pet before a stressful situation 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 nauseous. Be sure to give your dog the right amount of CBD for their 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 make sure you're 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.

Choosing the Proper Strength of CBD Oil for Your Dog

CBD tinctures come in various strengths, 125mg, 250mg, 500mg, 750mg, 1000 mg, and sometimes higher. Once you've calculated how much CBD oil your dog needs per day, you can decide which product strength is best to buy. 

Perfecting Your Dog's CBD Oil Dosage

Finding the perfect balance of CBD for your dog may take a little while. If you don't see results, increase the dosage slightly and stick to it for a few days.

There will be some trial and error, but by following the dosing guidelines above and reading your pet's reaction, you'll 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, containing all the goodness that hemp has to offer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CBD oil?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the Cannabis Sativa L. species of plant. The Cannabis plant includes two main plants that we're familiar with – marijuana and hemp. Both of these plant types produce CBD. When extracted, the oil of the cannabis plant can be made into products. 

Is CBD safe for dogs?

CBD oil that is derived from the hemp plant is completely safe for your pet. The hemp plant only contains 0.3% or less THC. With this trivial amount, CBD is completely safe for dogs and cats. 

How much CBD oil should I give my dog?

The general rule of thumb for dosage is 0.25mg of CBD per pound of dog. However, your pet's age and ailment will determine the dosage that will suit them best. Every pet responds differently, so start slowly and gradually increase the CBD dosage.