CBD Oil for Dogs

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Lily Velez
Article written by Lily Velez.
Medically reviewed by JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM.
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In this Article

CBD oil for dogs can support and promote long-term health in your canine. CBD oil is a holistic option for pet owners. As scientific research supporting pet CBD use rises, so does the number of pet owners adding CBD supplements to their dog’s daily routine.  

However, so do the number of questions – how does CBD work? Is it safe, or are there any side effects? How can I add CBD to my dog's routine? And what do I need to consider when choosing the right CBD product for my dog? 

Keep reading if you want to find out the answers and learn everything you need to know about supplementing your dog with CBD oil. 

What is CBD Oil for Dogs?

How Does CBD Oil Affect Dogs

CBD or cannabidiol is a naturally occurring compound found in the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the cannabis plant. 

The cannabis plant (specifically the Cannabis Sativa L. species) comes in two varieties: marijuana and hemp. Both plants are rich in cannabinoids but have a different cannabinoid profiles. 

Marijuana is rich in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and low in cannabidiol (CBD), while hemp is rich in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Why is this important? Well, CBD is known for its medicinal properties, while THC is the compound responsible for the “high” feeling in people. Plus, THC is extremely toxic to pets. 

Therefore, CBD oil products formulated for dogs are derived from hemp, which is loaded with cannabidiol and contains less than 0.3% THC (an amount that is too low to cause issues). 

How does CBD Affect Dogs?

Pet CBD affects dogs by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. CBD binds with the endocannabinoid receptors and promotes overall balance and optimal function.

What Is The Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a regulatory system of the body that plays a crucial role in managing vital physiological processes (hormones, immune responses, pain and inflammation responses, sleep patterns, appetite, emotional balance), thus promoting homeostasis. 

The ECS consists of endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), and enzymes. The endocannabinoids bind with the receptors to manage the above-mentioned functions, and enzymes break them down. 

Best CBD Oils For Dogs

Honest Paws offers condition-specific CBD products, allowing you to choose a hemp oil blend that’s unique to your dog’s situation. We use 100% pure full spectrum CBD hemp oil and all ingredients used in our CBD products are organic and of premium quality. 

CBD Oil for Calming– The Calm collection offers a wide range of CBD products, including CBD oil, CBD calm bitessoft chews, and CBD peanut butter. The Calm CBD oil features chamomile oil for extra calming effects and is available in four different strengths. The CBD treats have dog-friendly tastes like poultry and peanut butter. And the CBD-infused peanut butter is straightforward to use and available in a large jar and single pouches

CBD Oil for Mobility – The Mobility collection includes CBD oils and soft chews. The Mobility CBD oil is enriched with turmeric –  a spice known for its medicinal properties (anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving). The soft chews are poultry-flavored with added joint-friendly ingredients like chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and Boswellia serrata. 

CBD Oil for Relief – The Relief collection includes three strengths of CBD oil, soft bites, and two CBD topicals – Relief Pet Balm and Relief Paw Balm. The Relief CBD oil features added ginger, and the soft bites are turmeric-flavored.  

CBD Oil for General Wellness – The Wellness collection includes CBD oils, soft bites, and some non-CBD pet care products. The Wellness CBD oil is available in four different potencies, and the soft bites contain barley, oats, peanut butter, and coconut shavings. 

  • calm
  • mobility
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Our Top Rated Products

  • Calming CBD Oil for Dogs

    Calming CBD Oil for Dogs

    Promotes relaxation in your pet. This premium product contains organic, full-spectrum hemp oil with naturally occurring CBD and chamomile.

    $33.96-$79.95Review Score Star5/5
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    $33.96-$79.95Review Score Star5/5
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  • Mobility CBD Oil for Dogs

    Mobility CBD Oil for Dogs

    Supports healthy bones and joints in your pet. This world-class oil contains organic, full-spectrum hemp oil with naturally occurring CBD and turmeric oil.

    $33.96-$79.95Review Score Star5/5
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    $33.96-$79.95Review Score Star5/5
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  • Well CBD Oil for Dogs

    Well CBD Oil for Dogs

    Wonderful for boosting overall wellness in your pet. If you want to support your pet’s immune system and cognitive function, this is the oil for you.

    $33.96-$99.95Review Score Star4.5/5
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    $33.96-$99.95Review Score Star4.5/5
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How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

cbd dosage calculator

The right amount of CBD oil for your dog depends on several factors, including your dog’s age, weight, overall health, the reasons for using CBD, and the potency of the CBD product.

Although there are dosage variations, the general rule of thumb is that you can give your dog between 1 and 5 milligrams of CBD oil per 10 pounds of body weight. You can use our CBD oil for dogs dose calculator as a starting point. 

Usually, it will take some experimentation until you find the perfect CBD dosage for your dog. It is recommended to start with a smaller dose and then adjust it accordingly. 

For example, if your dog shows side effects (which are rare), you can decrease the dose even more. On the other hand, if it seems like the initial dose is not working (keep in mind it takes 15-40 minutes for the effects to start working), you can safely increase it within the recommended dosage guidelines. 

Here is a list of ways to give CBD oil to dogs:

  • Sublingual application of CBD oil – CBD oil can be administered sublingually (under the tongue) by drawing the oil into the dropper and squirting it directly into the dog’s mouth, near the back. This is the best method for quick results. However, some dogs dislike having their mouths handled.

  • CBD oil during mealtime – alternatively, you can squirt the oil from the dropper into the food bowl and mix it with the regular food. Start with a smaller dose so your dog will not be able to sense the meal’s change in flavor, smell, and texture. 

  • CBD oil dropped on a dog treat – you can drop the oil onto a porous dog treat and then give it to your dog. Your dog will love treat time and will not mind the CBD oil addition. 

  • CBD infused edibles – there are commercially available CBD edibles for pets like chews, bites, and peanut butter. These have a set CBD dosage amount and are very practical, especially when you are on the go. 

  • Homemade CBD infused treats – it is possible to bake your dog homemade treats infused with CBD oil. You just need to remember that high temperatures can deactivate the CBD ingredients, and calculating the exact amount of CBD per treat can be tricky.   

  • Topical CBD oil products – usually come in the form of balms or creams. They are efficient and practical – just make sure your pup does not lick them off (they are not harmful but need to be absorbed into the skin to achieve health effects).

What Dog Health Problems can CBD Oil Help?

Do Vets Recommend CBD Oil for Dogs

Since the endocannabinoid receptors are vastly distributed within the body and their various functions, pet CBD has a remarkable ability to support the body in many different ways. 

Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs

The World Health Organization report on cannabidiol states that "CBD is generally well-tolerated, with a good safety profile." A veterinary study confirms the same and says that “CBD-rich, hemp-based nutraceuticals appear to be relatively safe in healthy dogs.” 

However, as with any other supplement, high amounts, especially in overly sensitive dogs, can cause certain side effects. The good news is that these side effects of CBD oil in dogs are rare, usually self-limiting, and can be eliminated through a simple dose modification. 

Here is a short list of the possible side effects:

  • Dry Mouth – a decrease in the production of saliva is a typical response to CBD. Your dog will be thirstier than usual so make sure you provide fresh, clean water daily. 

  • Low Blood Pressure – a high dose of CBD may cause a sudden blood pressure drop, leaving your pup slightly nauseous, lightheaded, and lethargic. Your dog will likely sleep off these effects in a few hours.

  • Diarrhea – dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and the carrier oil (for example, coconut oil) in your CBD tincture can cause an adverse reaction in your pup. A way to curve this reaction is by starting with a small dose and working your way up to a normal CBD dose. 

For pet owners, the main concern about using CBD oil for dogs is the risk of overdosing. Luckily, CBD has extensive safety margins. In layman’s terms – it is impossible for a dog to overdose on CBD oil. Worst-case scenario, your dog will take a long nap and sleep off the CBD’s effects. 

However, CBD oil can cause an increase in liver enzymes and slight complete blood count changes. This means it can be risky to use CBD oil in dogs with liver issues and dogs regularly receiving certain prescription medications. Bottom line, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before supplementing your dog with CBD oil.  

What to Look for in CBD Oil for Dogs

how long does it take cbd oil to work for dogs

We encourage pet owners to do their research, ask questions and make sure they buy high-quality CBD oil that has been tested and certified. 

Sadly, some companies cut corners to get their product out as quickly as possible. This puts owners in danger of buying substandard CBD products that will be useless (or worse –harmful) to their pets.

Here are some of the key considerations to help you navigate through the CBD industry's poor regulations and dubious label claims:  

  • Full-spectrum CBD oil. Basically, there are three forms – full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum hemp is more potent because it contains various cannabinoids and additional compounds (flavonoids, terpenes, omega fatty acids) that act synergistically.   

  • Hemp-derived CBD oil. CBD oil formulated for pets must be extracted from the hemp plant. This is because the other member of the cannabis family, the marijuana, contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is extremely toxic to pets. Hemp CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC and is therefore labeled THC-free.

  • Hemp oil vs. hemp seed oil. Both options are extracted from the hemp plant but from different parts and have different chemical profiles. Hemp oil is extracted from the whole hemp plant (leaves, flowers, and stalks) and the hemp seed oil from the seeds. Hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids. 

  • CO2 extraction. There are different extraction methods but using supercritical carbon dioxide ensures a pure CBD oil product. The CO2 extraction eliminates the questionable chemicals while retaining all health-boosting cannabinoids.

  • Organic hemp. The best pet CBD product is made from organically grown hemp. Commercially grown plants are heavily treated with pesticides and can draw toxins from the soil. Organic farming practices eliminate these issues. Ideally, even the carrier (usually coconut oil) should be organic. 

  • No GMO, allergen, and filler ingredients. GMO ingredients, dairy, corn, soy, and gluten, are potentially troublesome. Therefore, a high-quality pet CBD oil must be free from these ingredients.  

  • Certificate of Analysis. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a document provided by a third-party lab that confirms the accuracy of the product's label and its chemical makeup. The COA will prove the amount of cannabinoids in the oil and the exclusion (or low percentage) of THC and confirm the oil is free from pesticides, heavy metals, microbes, and other contaminants. 

  • Reputable brand. Choose a CBD oil from a trustworthy brand that has a right-standing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a good rating on Better Business Bureau, and excellent customer reviews. Also, pay attention to the brand's policy - for example, a brand confident in its products will offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Our Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Dogs

pet owner with her happy dog

Wondering whether you can give your dog CBD oil? Luckily, the answer is yes! The health-boosting properties of CBD oil are an excellent addition to the standard pet care regimen. Just make sure you buy high-quality CBD oil from a trusted company. 

Here at Honest Paws, we are dedicated to crafting the best CBD products for our dogs and cats to support their physical health and mental wellbeing.  

You can browse our complete Honest Paws CBD for Pets collection and read for yourself what our happy customers have to say about us!

CBD Oil for Dogs Frequently Asked Questions

Do vets recommend CBD oil for dogs?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis, or its products for animals.” However, that does not mean you are not allowed to bring up CBD oil with your vet. Your veterinarian may not be able to proscribe it themselves, but they will be able to point you in the right direction and let you know if CBD oil will interfere with any medications your dog is on. 

What does CBD oil do for dogs?

CBD oil boosts the endocannabinoid system, thus indirectly managing the functions regulated by the ECS. That includes appetite, metabolism, sleep, pain, inflammation, immunity, memory, mood, etc. 

What strength of CBD oil is best for dogs?

CBD oil products are usually available in various strengths or potencies. Which potency is best depends on the dog's size, the specific condition for using the CBD, and the method of administration. Honest Paws offers a variety of potency levels including 125mg, 250mg, 500mg, and extra strength 1000mg.

What is the best CBD Oil for Dogs?

The best CBD oil for dogs is of human-grade quality and is easy to use. They should also feature a dog-friendly flavor like chicken, beef, peanut butter. Our Honest Paw CBD products are human grade, organic, 100% natural, and completely vegan. Additionally, they’re non-GMO, soy free, dairy free, corn free, and gluten free as well! 

What strength CBD oil should I use for my dog?

For easy dosing and administration, it is best to use a CBD oil strength that best suits your dog's size. For example, 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 4mg 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.  

What is the safest CBD oil for dogs?

The safest CBD oil for dogs is formulated exclusively for pets (THC-free) but with human-grade ingredients and manufacturing practices. The CBD oil should be made by a reputable brand that can offer a Certificate of Analysis for the product. 

What happens if I give my dog too much CBD oil?

One of the best things about CBD oil is that it cannot overdose dogs. If you gave your dog too much CBD, it will probably show side effects (dry mouth, diarrhea, lowered blood pressure), or take a long nap and sleep off the effects. 

Can I give my dog CBD oil to calm him down?

Yes, CBD oil promotes calmness and relaxation. Ideally, for best results, you should give the CBD before your dog starts feeling agitated. If the stress triggers are not identified, we recommend regular CBD oil use. 

What percentage of CBD oil is best for dogs?

Same as with CBD strength, the best percentage of CBD oil for your dog depends on its body weight, CBD dosage requirements, and medical issues entailing the use of CBD. 

Is CBD oil bad for dogs?

No, CBD oil is not bad for dogs. However, you need to consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on CBD oil because CBD can interact with certain prescription medications.

How long does it take for CBD oil to start working in dogs?

The effects of CBD oil kick in fastest when applied under the tongue – between 15 and 40 minutes. Adding CBD oil during mealtime or using CBD edibles is equally efficient, but it may take up to an hour before the CBD oil starts working. 

Should I give my dog CBD oil every day?

Yes, continuous use is associated with better effects. Find your dog's ideal CBD dose and then use it daily for maximum physical health and emotional wellbeing. 

How does CBD oil make a dog feel?

CBD oil will make a dog feel calmer and more relaxed. When using the right CBD dose, your dog will be able to carry all normal activities while enjoying the health benefits of CBD. 

Can a dog overdose on CBD oil?

No, dogs cannot overdose on CBD oil. If you accidentally gave your dog too much CBD oil, they will sleep off the effects and wake up good as new. 

Can humans take CBD oil for dogs?

Yes, premium-quality pet CBD oils are perfectly safe for humans. However, pets must never take human CBD oils because they often contain THC and xylitol. Both ingredients have the toxic potential for pets. 

Sources

Frontiers | Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs | Veterinary Science (frontiersin.org)

Effect_of_Oral_Cannabidiol_in_Addition_to_Conventional_Treatments_Effect_on_Seizure_Frequency_in_Dogs_with_Epilepsy.pdf (civtedu.org)

Toxicology of Marijuana, Synthetic Cannabinoids, and Cannabidiol in Dogs and Cats - PubMed (nih.gov)

Open-label use of highly purified CBD (Epidiolex®) in patients with CDKL5 deficiency disorder and Aicardi, Dup15q, and Doose syndromes - PubMed (nih.gov)

Cannabidiol improves frequency and severity of seizures and reduces adverse events in an open-label add-on prospective study - ScienceDirect

Synthetic version of CBD treats seizures in rats -- ScienceDaily

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Neuroprotective effect of (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol in N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced retinal neurotoxicity: involvement of peroxynitrite - PubMed (nih.gov)

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