CBD for dogs has exploded in popularity in the last few months. Have you heard that CBD is known to be an effective treatment for dogs with anxiety? Maybe you’ve read that CBD is a great way to alleviate pain in dogs with arthritis?
Although there’s still quite a bit of controversy surrounding CBD oil or treats for dogs, there’s also a fair amount of research suggesting cannabidiol can be very therapeutic for adult canines of all kinds.
Curious whether CBD might be the right treatment for your dog? Read on to find out!
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Try using our CBD calculator to figure out how much CBD to give your dog.
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.
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Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
Yes! While there isn’t a ton of peer-reviewed research on the safety and efficacy of CBD oil for dogs or CBD treats for dogs, it appears the compound is safe for animals. But it’s important to keep in mind that proper dosing is key, as with most supplements. Thus far, there are no FDA-approved CBD products for dogs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean giving your pooch CBD is a bad idea.
In fact, a 2020 study looked at the effects of various CBD doses on adult beagles. Researchers gave escalating doses of CBD oil to both male and female dogs and found they responded very well! They concluded the beagles tolerated CBD doses as high as 62 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, and nearly 95% of dogs in the study experienced only mild adverse effects.
Unfortunately though, in most states, veterinarians still cannot prescribe CBD for your pooch. Even advising the use of it can carry serious penalties, including license suspension. So don’t expect your vet to recommend CBD drops for your dog — if you want to give them a try, your decision is completely up to you.
CBD Benefits for Dogs
Although your vet may not be able to recommend that you give your doggo CBD, that doesn’t mean it won’t help your pooch. According to the research, CBD has demonstrated beneficial effects on pathological and behavioral conditions that frequently affect dogs. For example:
- A 2018 study found that CBD was highly effective for reducing pain and mobility impairments in adult dogs with joint problems.
- A 2019 study found that CBD significantly reduced seizure frequency in epileptic dogs.
- A 2020 study concluded that CBD for dogs with arthritis enhanced pain relief and improved quality of life.
- A 2021 study found that CBD reduced sheltered dogs’ aggressive behavior toward humans.
Aside from its demonstrated benefits for pain, mobility issues, seizures, and aggressive behavior, CBD can help your dog with other issues, too. Anecdotal evidence from scores of dog owners suggests CBD can:
- Help reduce your dog’s anxiety
- Improve your dog’s depression symptoms
- Help your dog go to sleep
- Improve your pooch’s glaucoma symptoms
- Reduce your dog’s pain and inflammation
- Help improve skin conditions your dog may suffer from
- Increase your dog’s appetite
What Type of CBD Should You Give Your Dog?
If you want to get CBD drops for dogs, it’s best to choose a product specifically formulated for pets. Since CBD production is largely unregulated, products manufactured for human consumption may contain ingredients (like the sweetener xylitol) that are toxic to your pup.
To stay on the safe side, make sure you do your research on any pet CBD companies you’re considering purchasing from. First and foremost, look for a third-party certificate of analysis that verifies the product has been lab-tested for potency. It’s also a good idea to check out the company’s reviews to see whether other customers found their CBD products were legit.
What’s the Best Way to Give Your Dog CBD?
Want to dose your pooch with some CBD? The best way to give your dog cannabidiol is by administering the compound orally. CBD drops for dogs are widely considered the number one way to give your pooch cannabidiol since drops allow you to tightly control the dosage you give your furry friend. You can try adding the drops to your dog’s food or, if your pooch is pretty tolerant, you can try administering drops straight into their mouth.
Giving your pooch CBD dog treats for anxiety is also a great way to get your furry friend to calm down, whether you’re dealing with firework-induced hysteria or separation-related sadness.
The best CBD for dog anxiety is likely in the form of a treat since anxious dogs aren’t often super cooperative when it comes to oral medication administration.
How Much CBD Should You Give Your Dog?
The amount of CBD you should give your dog depends on their weight, age, and the type of condition you’re trying to treat. Thus far, scientific studies have only looked at CBD’s effects on adult dogs, so it’s a good idea to avoid giving your puppy cannabidiol.
Generally, you’ll want to give your dog a small dose of CBD to start, just to determine how your pooch tolerates the compound. If your furry friend doesn’t show any adverse effects, you can increase their dosage gradually until you achieve the desired outcome.
Most CBD companies that formulate products for pets recommend starting your dog at a low dose of about 0.25 milligrams per pound of body weight. If necessary, they recommend bumping it up to around 0.5 milligrams per pound over time.
According to researchers, however, CBD for dogs with arthritis is effective at about 0.9 to one milligram per pound of body weight. Other studies have also demonstrated positive effects at a dosage of two milligrams per pound.
CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?
CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant. They have the same molecular structure — 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms — but those atoms are arranged slightly differently within each compound. It’s that small difference that accounts for the major difference in the effects each compound produces.
Unlike THC, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound, which means it won’t get you or your dog stoned. Both compounds are useful in a medicinal capacity, and there’s some overlap between what each can treat. CBD is particularly effective for addressing pain, seizures, digestive disorders, anxiety, insomnia, and multiple sclerosis. THC helps alleviate nerve pain, nausea, glaucoma, tremors, lack of appetite, and insomnia.
When taken together, CBD can reduce the intensity of THC’s effects since CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, thereby preventing THC from activating those receptors. Think of it this way: CBD is essentially THC’s designated driver.
Is CBD Legal?
CBD is federally legal as long as it does not contain more than 0.3% THC by weight. The 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act (aka the Farm Bill) made hemp production legal at the federal level. The bill also removed Cannabis sativa L. and all of its derivates, including CBD, from the list of federally controlled substances.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that each state controls which substances it deems legal. CBD is still listed as an illegal controlled substance in some states, even though the compound is legal at the federal level. If you’re thinking about letting your pooch partake, check your state’s laws first to make sure you’re in the clear.
Also, keep in mind that CBD products containing THC concentrations of greater than 0.3% by weight are still considered Schedule I controlled substances at the federal level.
The Final Word on CBD for Dogs
Although research is still ongoing, CBD oil for dogs and CBD treats for dogs are wildly popular, and according to hordes of pooch owners, remarkably effective for treating a wide variety of conditions. Science has also confirmed CBD’s efficacy in treating pain, mobility impairments, seizures, and aggression in dogs. Thus far, researchers have found that canines tolerate even high doses of the compound very well.
If you’re curious how CBD might affect your pooch, it certainly won’t hurt to give it a try!
Let us know — have you dosed your furry friend with CBD? How did it go? Feel free to share your experience 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.