Do you find that there is a constant tug-o-war between allopathic medication and alternative, holistic products? Pet owners are looking to nature's remedies as an alternative to prescribed or chemical medication, or as a supportive supplement.

These alternative options often don't offer definitive information, so there is a gray area for their benefits and safety. 

Cannabidiol has gained a lot of praise in recent years, and now pet-friendly CBD products are available too. But what do you really know about the product? You may know that CBD is derived from Cannabis.

But does this mean that using CBD can get your dog high? And is it safe for your four-legged friend? With so many CBD pet products on the market, how do you know which one to trust?

These are all typical questions from pet owners. We know you are passionate about giving your dog the very best, so the investigation into CBD brands is encouraged.

In this article, we answer your questions about CBD safety for your pup. We also discuss the health benefits that your dog may experience when adding pet CBD to its life.

What is CBD Oil? 

Cannabidiol CBD is a naturally occurring compound of the Cannabis Sativa L. species of plant. There are two varieties of this plant, marijuana, and hemp. CBD can be found in both of these plants, but the CBD oil widely available is derived from the hemp plant. 

Only CBD extracted from the hemp plant is safe for your furbaby. It can sometimes also be called Hemp oil. (Not hemp seed oil – that's different.) 

CBD oil can be broad-spectrum, isolate, or full-spectrum, of which all three are beneficial. The difference is due to the extraction method that manufacturers use. However, full-spectrum CBD oil contains the most cannabinoids and other cannabis plant compounds that provide potent results for dogs. 

Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?

So you may be wondering if CBD oil is safe for your pup. If hemp and marijuana are from the same plant strain, does that mean it will make your dog high? That's a firm NO!

In the past, hemp and marijuana have been giving the same negative label associated with "weed." But there is one crucial difference between these two plants – THC content. 

THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) is another chemical compound in cannabis plants. It is toxic to pets and has psychoactive effects on people. THC is found in high quantities in the marijuana strain of the Cannabis plant.

Marijuana laws, and the use of medical marijuana, are continually changing, and while marijuana is tolerated (and enjoyed) by people, it is very harmful to pets. For this reason, CBD oil is extracted from the hemp strain of the cannabis plant.

Hemp has high percentages of CBD but only 0.3% or less THC in it. This minuscule amount does not affect your doggo, and so hemp-derived CBD is not toxic to animals. It is a safe and widely tolerated oil. 

Is CBD Oil Ever Bad for Dogs?

Keep in mind that even good things can have adverse side effects when overindulged. If your doggo has gobbled down the entire jar of CBD peanut butter, then you can expect to see an unpleasant reaction

Dogs that receive a CBD oil dose that is too high for their weight or age may also respond negatively. That said, hemp-derived CBD oil is not toxic and will not harm your fur child; however, your dog may experience unpleasant side effects. 

Most Common CBD for Dogs Side Effects 

When introducing a new product into your pet's life, it's essential to look out for any adverse reactions. Here are the things that pet parents have reported when it comes to the side effects of cannabidiol. 

  • Low Blood Pressure. A decrease in blood pressure can leave your pup experiencing lightheadedness. Low blood pressure can result in nausea for your poor dog.

  • Lethargy. This result can be desirable if you are using CBD oils to calm your dog. However, if your doggo is sleepier than usual and struggles to resume normal daily functions, you may need to take a second look at that dosing chart. 

  • Increased Thirst. Dogs trying CBD products for the first time can end up with a dry mouth and increased thirst. Make sure you have fresh water available for your dog at all times. 

  • Diarrhea. Gastrointestinal upset is a normal reaction to new food, medications, or others entering your dog's system. You can expect a slight bout of diarrhea when adding CBD to your pet's wellness routine. However, if it doesn't ease, then cut back on their dosage or consider another brand with a different carrier oil.

The solution to these side effects can be as easy as lowering your pet's dosage.

What Does CBD Oil do for Dogs?

Cannabidiol assists mammal bodies by bringing balance to the endocannabinoid system. Our body's endocannabinoid system is responsible for physiological functions, both central and peripheral nervous systems, and peripheral organs. 

If you are wondering what your veterinarian might say on the topic, you may not get a firm yay or nay. There is an ambiguity around the benefits or side effects of CBD.

They may tell you that you can take your chances to try it, but they cannot outright recommend or prescribe it. Although there are anecdotal success stories from dog parents on the effects of CBD, experts have published few scientific reports for studies on canines. 

It's understandable then that most pet parents do their research (on trustworthy sites) and go with their gut. Keep an eye on Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Stephanie McGrath.

They are piloting various studies on CBD effects on canines, specifically those dogs with epilepsy and arthritis-related pain.

CBD Uses for Dogs

More and more dog parents see firsthand how CBD can help their precious pooch maintain physical and mental well-being.

  • It helps support joint flexibility and mobility

  • Supports normal cardiovascular, immune, and neurological function

  • Supports normal muscle recovery

  • It helps maintain a normal inflammatory response in the body

  • May help discomfort associated with regular daily exercise and activity

  • Supports bone and joint health by providing connective tissue support

  • It helps relieve occasional joint stiffness

  • Promotes the body's innate resistance to pathogens

  • Fights free radicals

  • It allows animals to maintain a regular and relaxed disposition during environmentally-induced stress

  • May reduce hyperactivity and promote relaxation

  • Helps keep the skin moisture content normal

  • May help with occasional or seasonal allergies

Giving CBD Oil to Dogs

As a general rule, introducing a CBD product (or any supplement for that matter) into your pet's life should be done gradually. Your dog needs to adjust to the effects of CBD. Please start with the minimal dosage and then increase or decrease it depending on your dog's reaction. 

CBD Dosage

CBD oil products come with dosage amounts for dogs. Your furry friend's body weight, age, and ailment will all play a role in how much and how often you give them some pet CBD oil. 

A good formula to use when deciding on a pet CBD oil dose is 0.25mg of CBD per pound of dog. 

Your anxiety-prone Schnauzer weighs in at 40 pounds and will need around 10mg of CBD oil per day. That's almost a full dropper (1ml) of CBD from a 250mg strength CBD tincture. It can also equate to two chews (5mg each) per day. 

If that was a mouthful, don't worry. A good manufacturer will list dosage information on their products. Once you know the happy medium for your pet's unique needs, then you can increase it as you see fit. 

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

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

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

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

  • 100mg bottle for extra strength – each full dropper from this bottle (1mL) will contain 33mg of CBD.  

How do I Give CBD to My Dog?

CBD products are created with pets in mind. You can buy a CBD tincture to administer at mealtime or sublingually, or you can opt for some temping bites for your dog. Here are some great options for your pup:

  • CBD Tincture: Full spectrum CBD oils are the most effective way to administer CBD to your dog. Sometimes, creators add ingredients (like chamomile) to help achieve the desired result. 

  • CBD Coconut Oil: Pet parents can give CBD coconut oil to their pet orally or apply it topically for dry, irritated skin.

  • CBD Peanut Butter: Add it to your dog's toy Kong, or use a lump of it to keep them distracted and calm during bath time. CBD peanut butter is a firm favorite. 

  • CBD Soft Chews or Bites: It doesn't get easier than this; your dog will happily take their daily dose with these delicious tidbits. 

How to Choose CBD Oil for Your Dog 

CBD is one of the most popular holistic supplements in the pet market. But how do you differentiate the quality products from the ones that have taken shortcuts? 

Here are a few things that you need to know to select a CBD brand that offers transparency about their product and the very best that hemp has to offer. 

  • Choose a brand that you are confident in – one that is in right-standing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has a good rating on Better Business Bureau

  • The CBD you buy should be organic, non-GMO, soy-free, 100% natural, full-spectrum (from CO2 extraction), and human-grade. It should come from hemp and not marijuana.

  • Finally, only buy CBD that has been lab-tested by a third party to ensure quality and safety. The company you choose should display a certificate of analysis (COA) upon request. A COA is a laboratory report of the product's chemical make-up. You can then check on the THC levels, which should be no more than 0.3%.

Your animal companion is a part of your family and should only receive the best quality for health and wellness. There should be no doubt that the brand you choose offers quality.

CBD Oil Safety, Our Final Thoughts

With CBD oil, the research is ongoing. What we do know is that CBD is perfectly safe to offer your pup – as long as it's from the hemp variety of the Cannabis plant.

Many dog owners have also seen firsthand how CBD oil for dogs can help support hip and joint health, ease occasional discomfort, promote calmness, support the immune system, and more! Here at Honest Paws, we have a heap of success stories from happy customers and their furbabies.

Provide your good pet quality of life with CBD oil products that you can trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can CBD be toxic to dogs?

CBD that is Hemp-derived has only 0.3% or less THC in it. This minuscule amount does not affect your pet, and so hemp-derived CBD is not toxic to animals; it is a safe and widely tolerated oil. 

What does CBD oil do for dogs?

Cannabidiol assists mammal bodies by bringing balance to the endocannabinoid system. Our body's endocannabinoid system is responsible for physiological functions, both central and peripheral nervous systems, and peripheral organs.

Do vets recommend CBD oil for dogs?

There is ambiguity around the benefits and side effects of CBD, which causes veterinarians to keep their lips sealed on the topic. They may tell you that you can take your chances to try it, but they cannot outright recommend or prescribe it.

Although there are anecdotal success stories from pet parents on the effects of CBD, experts have published few scientific reports.