A small dog waits while someone holds a dropper of CBD oil towards them

Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?

If you’ve had an excellent experience using CBD oil for your own wellness needs, then chances are you've been wanting your favorite four-legged friend to give it a try. The fact is that there’s a ton of information out there about using CBD oil for dogs and it can feel overwhelming and confusing to sift through. 

CBD products come in many different forms from oil, to creams, salves, softgels, gummies, and more. There are even CBD oils and pet treats that are specially formulated for dogs and cats. So, you may be questioning whether or not your dog can safely enjoy the same good stuff that the hemp plant has to offer as you. 

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of over 100 naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. And unlike its counterpart, THC, it does not cause anyone to feel “high” when taking it. Today, along with THC, CBD is one of the most researched cannabinoids. 

CBD, like the other cannabinoids in the hemp and marijuana plant, works with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help bring it back into a state of homeostasis, or balance. 

Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

A woman gives a CBD treat to a golden retriever

A lot of dog owners regularly give CBD oil to their dogs without any issues whatsoever. CBD products have been proven to be safe for dogs as long as they are made from hemp and not marijuana. High levels of THC, like those in marijuana products, are not safe for your pup. 

Industrial hemp must contain 0.3% THC by federal law, so because that amount is so low, there’s no way that you or your dog can get “high” from using hemp-based full-spectrum CBD products. Conversely, high levels of THC can be extremely toxic for animals and should be avoided at all costs. 

If you still have concerns about giving your dog CBD, then you can always reach out to your dog’s veterinarian for guidance and advice. He or she may also be able to answer any questions you have as well. 

How Does CBD Work on Dogs?

a brown and white dog looks at the camera while in a field of flowers. The question, "Can CBD Help My Pup?" is written on the image

Just like humans, dogs also have an endocannabinoid system that works to bring their body back into a state of balance. While there currently are no FDA studies on how CBD affects dogs, scientists believe that the cannabinoids in the hemp plant interact with your dog’s endocannabinoid receptors that are found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. 

When you give your dog CBD, the cannabinoids and terpenes interact with the endocannabinoid receptors which in turn interact with bodily systems like the digestive, immune, and nervous systems, and the brain. The cannabinoids found within CBD are very much like the ones found in your pup’s very own endocannabinoid system.

What Types of CBD Products are Available for Dogs?

There are a few different types of CBD products that are available for dogs. Currently, dog owners can choose from CBD oil, treats, and chews for their four-legged friends

CBD oils can be given directly to your dog or mixed in with food. CBD treats, chews, or capsules can also be given directly or with food. 

If you’re having trouble deciding on the type of product that will work best for your dog, then you can always call your pup’s veterinarian to discuss the different options with him or her. 

    CBD Oil for Dogs or CBD Treats: Which is Better?

    Someone feeds a CBD treat to a small white dog

    The answer to this question mainly comes down to preference and how your dog reacts to the product. For example, if your dog gives you a hard time about taking CBD oil, then you may be better off giving your pup a treat instead. 

    Additionally, treats can be easy and convenient because they are pre-dosed and quick to give. With oil, it takes time, patience, and consistency to find the correct dose for your dog. So when it comes to figuring out which product is better, it may truly boil down to preference. 

    CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs

    Since CBD dog treats and chews are pre-dosed, you can simply use the instructions on the packaging to help guide you in the best CBD dosage for your dog. However, dosing for CBD oil is a little more involved.

    CBD doses are expressed in milligrams, or mg. If you’re having a hard time dropping the oil directly into your dog’s mouth, then you can always add it on top of the food. Typically, you can give your dog 0.05 to 0.25mg of oil per pound of body weight twice a day. 

    Just like with humans, it’s also best to start low and go slow with CBD oil for dogs. If you find that this initial dose is helpful, then feel free to stay right there. However, if you find that this dose isn’t working after about a week, then slowly increase to 0.125mg of oil per pound twice a day. 

    Continue to slowly increase until you’ve found that “sweet spot” for your pup. If it helps, you can always keep a journal to record what you’re noticing while your dog is on an initial or new dose of oil. This will help you decide whether or not you need to increase the oil dose over time. Remember that your dog’s veterinarian may also be able to help you find the best dose of CBD oil for your dog as well. 

    Can Veterinarians Prescribe CBD for Dogs?

    Like humans, dogs can also be placed on medications. In fact, veterinarians prescribe all different types of medications for dogs that include steroids, allergy medications, liver or kidney medications, NSAIDs, heart medications, and anxiety medications, to name a few. 

    If you’re thinking about adding CBD into the mix, then you might want to consult with your dog’s veterinarian first. They are not able to prescribe CBD for your pet under current federal restrictions, but they may be able to guide you as to whether CBD is safe for your pet. It’s always best to make sure that the CBD won’t negatively interfere with your dog’s medication. In fact, sometimes CBD can affect the way your dog metabolizes a medication. Therefore, you're better off being safe than sorry. 

    Are There Side Effects of CBD for Dogs?

    After a survey conducted by The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, they found that there weren’t any major side effects reported by dog owners who gave CBD to their dogs. 

    Some of the most noticeable side effects included:

    • Sedation
    • Increase in appetite
    • Less energy
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Dry mouth or increased water intake
    • Diarrhea

    Out of all the side effects listed above, the most common one dog owners saw was increased sleepiness in their pups. If you have questions or concerns about potential side effects, you can always reach out to your dog’s veterinarian for help. 

    A large dog lifts their head up to receive a few drops of CBD oil from a dropper

    How to Select the Most Effective CBD Product for Your Dog

    When it comes to choosing the best CBD product for your dog, you’ll want to take some time to research different products and brands. 

    Some of the things you can do to ensure that you’re getting a top quality product from a trusted brand for your favorite pup are: 

    • Look for a full-spectrum or broad spectrum product: When you buy these types of CBD varieties, you’re giving your dog all of the good stuff that the hemp plant has to offer in the form of cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients. When cannabinoids are paired together with terpenes, they create a phenomenon known as the entourage effect where they boost up each other’s positive properties while lowering their negative ones.
    • Make sure the brand has a COA, or Certificate of Analysis for its products: The COA details the amount and type of cannabinoids that are in the product. The COA is also a lab report that will tell you the potency and purity of the product. You should steer clear of any brand that doesn’t use a third-party lab to routinely test its products.
    • Check to see if your dog’s CBD is extracted using the CO2 extraction process: This method is currently the industry standard, and is the cleanest way to obtain pure and potent CBD extracts. Other types of extraction methods may leave harmful solvents in the final product.
    • Know where the brand sources its hemp: Hemp that’s grown overseas is held to very different standards than hemp that’s grown within the United States. Additionally, organic hemp is grown according to strict government standards.
    • Stay away from brands that make wild claims: Brands that claim their products can cure any and all diseases should be avoided. While CBD can be a great way to help with different issues, it’s not a miracle cure. Respected and trusted brands are very straightforward about what their products can and cannot do. 

    In Closing: CBD Oil for Dogs

    Today, more dog owners are eager to have their pups try CBD. If you're wondering where to buy CBD for dogs, many trusted brands have risen to the occasion by creating pure and potent products that dog owners and their dogs will love. But before you buy the first product that you come across online, you should spend a little time researching brands and products. A little time and effort is key in finding a reliable brand with top-quality products.

    CBD for dogs can come in oil, treats, chews, creams, and more. The type of product that you pick mainly boils down to preference. Treats are a fast and convenient way to get a daily dose of CBD into your dog, while more time and patience is required with oils. Both are great options, but at the end of the day, you should go with whichever one works best for your lifestyle.

    Finally, your dog’s veterinarian is an excellent resource to consult if you have any questions or concerns regarding CBD. He or she may also be able to tell you if it’s safe to give your dog CBD while your pup is taking certain types of medications. 

    If you do decide to give your dog CBD after consulting with the veterinarian, begin with a small dose while closely monitoring your four-legged friend for any negative reactions.