Interest in CBD dosing for dogs has grown in the last few months. Do you have a pooch with anxiety or arthritis? Perhaps your adult pup suffers from nausea, mobility problems, or seizures? Dosing your dog with CBD (cannabidiol) may help improve their condition. But before you give your pooch cannabidiol, there are several things you should know to determine whether it’s right for your furry friend’s needs.
Read on for the low-down on CBD dosing for dogs, the conditions CBD can address, and the best way to give your dog this highly therapeutic compound.
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CBD Oil for Dogs Dose Calculator
Ready to dose your pooch with CBD? Then you can’t just do it willy-nilly style, or your furry friend could have problems. As with any medication or therapeutic agent, proper dosing is what determines CBD’s efficacy in treating a wide variety of health conditions your dog may experience. Try our dog dosage calculator below.
Please consult your doctor before taking CBD or a vet before giving CBD to your pets. CBD is not approved by the FDA as a dietary supplement. Our articles and calculator on CBD are for information purposes only. Learn more about the FDA's stance on CBD.
Is CBD Legal?
Yes and no. CBD is legal at the federal level in the United States. But since each state has its own Controlled Substances Act, the compound is still illegal in some states. In 2018, the federal government passed the Agricultural Improvement Act, also known as the Farm Bill. This bill removed hemp (Cannabis sativa L. and its derivatives, including CBD oil) from the Controlled Substances Act. However, the bill contained one huge caveat.
According to the Farm Bill, CBD products are only legal when extracted from hemp plants that contain 0.3% THC or less by weight. CBD oils or other products containing more than 0.3% THC are still regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and considered Schedule I controlled substances.
That said, medical marijuana patients and people living in U.S. states where cannabis is recreationally legal can access CBD products containing greater than 0.3% THC. But it’s important to note that even though such products are legal at the state level, they’re still controlled substances at the federal level.
What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?
CBD and THC are both phytocannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is short for Cannabidiol, while THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol. Although both compounds have identical molecular structures and both are psychoactive, their effects are wildly different. That’s because there’s a small difference in the arrangement of each compound’s atoms, and that tiny organizational dissimilarity makes all the difference.
CBD is non-intoxicating, which means that although it’s psychoactive, it doesn’t produce the sensation of being “high” like THC does. Basically, CBD won’t get your dog (or you) stoned after ingestion. Appreciable amounts of THC, on the other hand — more than the 0.3% contained in legal CBD — will absolutely produce the sensation of being high.
CBD oils, edibles, and topicals are highly popular and effective therapeutic agents for managing acute and chronic pain, anxiety, depression, inflammation, and seizures. Interestingly, Cannabidiol can even temper THC’s intoxicating effects. When CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors after ingestion, it prevents THC from activating those same receptors. Ultimately, when CBD and THC are ingested together, THC cannot produce as intense a psychoactive effect.
Although THC is widely associated with “getting high,” it, too, has profound medical benefits. Tetrahydrocannabinol can also help treat several of the same conditions that CBD addresses, but it’s particularly effective for alleviating nausea, insomnia, low appetite, glaucoma, and muscle spasms.
Is CBD Dosing Safe for Dogs?
Yes, CBD is widely considered safe for dogs and is typically well-tolerated by pooches of all kinds. But at the moment, there’s not much peer-reviewed research detailing its effectiveness or why/how it works for our furry, four-legged friends.
Currently, researchers are studying CBD’s effects on multiple human-like pathological conditions in canines, including:
- Osteoarthritis-related pain
- Pain-related mobility impairments
- Muscle spasticity
- Neuropathic pain
Thus far, results have been quite promising, especially for pooches with arthritis, pain, mobility problems, and seizure disorders. Unfortunately though, at this point, vets in most U.S. states still can’t prescribe CBD for your pooch. If you want to give your doggo Cannabidiol to address any of the above issues, you’ll have to dose it yourself.
It’s important to note that, unlike CBD, THC is not safe for your pup. If your pet ingests THC, it may experience symptoms of toxicity within five minutes to 12 hours after inhalation or consumption. Coordination issues, breathing problems, changes in blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, vomiting, tremors, agitation, and several other concerning problems may ensue.
So how much CBD can you safely give your pup?
Generally, you’ll want to give your dog between 0.25 and 0.5 milligrams of CBD per pound of their body weight twice per day. Err toward the lower end of the dosing spectrum as a starting point, and if your pooch tolerates a low dose well, you can bump up their dose if necessary.
Current research suggests about 0.9 milligrams of CBD per pound of bodyweight for conditions like arthritis, but it’s best to start low and gradually increase the dosage over time.
Not a fan of math? Don’t have a calculator handy to figure out how much CBD you should give your furry friend? Not to worry. Take a peek at the weight chart below to get an idea of the right twice-daily CBD dosage for your dog:
- 5 lbs — 1.25 mg to 4.5 mg
- 10 lbs — 2.5 mg to 9 mg
- 15 lbs — 3.75 mg to 13.5 mg
- 20 lbs — 5 mg to 18 mg
- 25 lbs — 6.25 mg to 22.5 mg
- 30 lbs — 7.5 mg to 27 mg
- 35 lbs — 8.75 mg to 31.5 mg
- 40 lbs — 10 mg to 36 mg
- 45 lbs — 11.25 mg to 40.5 mg
- 50 lbs — 12.5 mg to 45 mg
- 55 lbs — 13.75 mg to 49.5 mg
- 60 lbs — 15 mg to 54 mg
- 65 lbs — 16.25 mg to 58.5 mg
- 70 lbs — 17.5 mg to 63 mg
- 75 lbs — 18.75 mg to 67.5 mg
- 80 lbs — 20 mg to 72 mg
An individual approach is key
Keep in mind that the best CBD dose for dogs also depends on the condition you’re looking to address. More severe conditions like seizures may require higher doses of CBD to produce results.
What happens if you inadvertently give your dog more CBD than the recommended dose? That really depends on how much you give them.
In one study, researchers administered ten escalating doses of Cannabidiol oil to dogs and found that adult dogs can tolerate up to 62 milligrams of CBD per kilogram of body weight. That said, the study also found that dogs may experience mild adverse effects — lethargy, ataxia, or low body temperature — when given higher doses.
What’s the Best Way for Dogs to Take CBD?
To make sure you’re giving your pooch dog-friendly CBD, it’s best to choose products that are formulated specifically for pets. Animal-specific Cannabidiol products do not contain any ingredients that may be toxic to your dog (such as xylitol, which is used to sweeten many CBD products for humans).
What’s the best way to administer CBD to your dog? You can give your adult pooch a CBD oil or tincture using a dropper, but there are several dog-specific CBD treats and capsules on the market too. Since oils and tinctures allow you much more precise control over the amount of CBD you give your dog, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends this mode of administration.
If you think you might have trouble feeding oil or a tincture to a fussy or stubborn pooch, offering them a CBD-infused dog treat is your next best option.
CBD for Dogs: Have You Tried It?
Whether your pooch has anxiety or suffers from more serious conditions like seizures, pain, arthritis, or mobility complications, CBD can help.
[Read more: Vet CBD Dosing Chart & Calculator ]
Researchers are still studying the why and how behind Cannabidiol’s positive effects on a variety of canine health issues, but it’s safe to say that CBD is as therapeutic for dogs as it is for humans.
Do you give your pooch CBD? If so, how much? What benefits have you noticed? Share your story in the comments below!
CBD Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before taking CBD or a vet before giving CBD to your pets. Not all CBD products are approved by the FDA. Our articles and calculator on CBD are for information purposes only. Learn more about the FDA’s stance on CBD.