Everything You Need to Know About CBD for Dogs

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    There are many instances when a dog has fallen ill, is in pain or just not being themselves and you don’t necessarily want to opt for standard western medicine. Let’s face it, western medicine (i.e prescription medication) can have many side effects and it can be difficult to weigh the side effects against the ailment it’s supposed to help. Many dog owners turn to more holistic approaches to help their canine friends and a popular form of that is CBD for dogs.

    Dogs owners have been on a CBD frenzy since the United States approved CBD for human consumption in 2018. A law enacted in 2018 reclassified CBD as a Schedule 1 substance under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and It’s no longer a restricted drug. 

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    What is CBD?

    Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical molecule present in both humans and animals that is part of the endocannabinoid system. Non-psychoactive cannabinoid produced from cannabis or hemp. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) gives you a “high,” while CBD doesn’t. In order to not have THC, CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana. The majority of CBD products do not contain THC and if they do, they are purchased from a cannabis dispensary.

    How Does CBD Help Dogs?

    Some research and anecdotal data suggest that CBD may be useful in treating diseases such as anxiety, pain, and cancer. Pet owners are intrigued by the fact that these diseases may be treated naturally using CBD-based pet solutions. Other ailments that CBD can help include:

    • ​​Anxiety and stress
    • Arthritis & joint pain
    • Symptoms from cancer
    • Chronic inflammation
    • Moderate to severe pain
    • Digestion problems 
    • Nausea

    Some dog owners say that it can also be used to treat epileptic seizures, although further research is needed to establish this claim for sure. Consult your veterinarian before beginning any therapy for this or any other stated benefit to ensure that CBD is safe for your dog before beginning any treatment.

    Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

    Colorado State University conducted a small research study that showed that CBD was well tolerated by healthy dogs, with the exception of moderate diarrhea and slightly increased blood ALP (liver enzyme) concentrations. Scientists believe that further research is needed to establish whether CBD has any long-term impact on dogs’ livers, although they detected no acute danger to the livers of dogs.

    The advantages of CBD usage in dogs have also been reported by pet parents on internet forums, social media, and other platforms. As far as we know, there have not been any severe, adverse effects. Remember that just because a product is available for purchase does not mean it is regarded as safe or healthy for dogs.

    As of yet, the FDA has not authorized any CBD products for use in animals, either as a medicine or as an ingredient in the food. 

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    Are There Any Side Effects of CBD for Dogs?

    When it comes to dog CBD consumption, there are no scientific studies to back up the potential adverse effects based on how CBD affects people. Be cautious to follow the recommended dosage to avoid any unwanted side effects. 

    • Drowsiness: CBD has been used to alleviate anxiety in dogs by their owners. This is due to CBD’s sedative properties, which might make you feel sleepy if you take larger amounts.
    • Dry mouth: CBD has been found to reduce saliva production. The result would be increased thirst in dogs. 
    • Low Blood Pressure: CBD has been shown to temporarily lower blood pressure at high dosages. There may be a transient sense of light-headedness, even if the decrease is modest. 

    How Do I Know Which CBD Products to Buy?

    Not all CBD is made equal! There are multiple things to ask yourself prior to purchasing a CBD product for your dog. Since it isn’t FDA regulated, it’s up to the consumer to do their research. Here’s what to check for:

    1. Check if it’s organic since higher-quality CBD products use CBD that’s been derived from toxin-free hemp or cannabis plants.
    2. Most companies will run independent studies on their products to be able to provide a certificate of analysis (COA). Microbiology, pesticide, mycotoxin, residual solvent, heavy metals, and more may all be tested during the process.
    3. While most companies actually use safe methods to process their CBD, which includes carbon dioxide and cold press extraction, some companies opt for cheaper methods. These cheaper methods usually involve the use of different toxic solvents like propane, hexane and butane, in order to extract THC from the plant.
    4. Every product should be tested for its THC content. There are certain products that contain greater amounts of THC, which might be hazardous to your pet. Look for items with a THC content of less than 0.3%. 
    5. A full-spectrum CBD oil is recommended for pets. This is far superior to CBD isolate.. When used in conjunction with CBD oil, full-spectrum CBD oil contains trace quantities of additional useful cannabinoids that help to enhance the effects of CBD oil. When it comes to CBD oil for dogs, most doctors suggest full-spectrum oil rather than CBD isolate.

    Can a Veterinarian Prescribe CBD?

    Veterinarians in the U.S are not allowed to prescribe CBD products and are also not allowed to inform their customers about purchasing CBD. They are allowed to discuss the risks and benefits of CBD if you are creating your own treatment plan using CBD products. It’s suggested to speak to a vet who has experience and knowledge about CBD before giving it to your pet.

    corgi recieving cbd drops

    How Much CBD Can a Dog Have?

    Despite the fact that there are some topical therapies, CBD oil is generally delivered orally to dogs, and the right amount is critical to its effectiveness. It’s important to remember that the key to success with any medicine is the dosage.

    A dosage of 2 to 8 milligrams per kilogram of body weight twice day has been used in studies on CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures, with most publications erring on the lower side of that range.

    According to research, this dose has been proven to be safe and moderately helpful for the specific disorders researched (arthritis and seizures). We still need to perform more studies to determine what doses of CBD are needed to treat different diseases. Many CBD products contain very little, if any, CBD, which makes it difficult to appropriately dose dogs.

    Cannabidiol product Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved drug for epilepsy in dogs and a veterinarian could potentially prescribe it, but it would likely be prohibitively expensive. Due to the fact that this product has FDA approval, the CBD content will be correct, unlike many other CBD products on the market today.

    What’s the Best Form of CBD?

    CBD for dogs started out as simple oils but with the market expanding, there are many different types of CBD products available. Some of these include CBD treats, CBD-infused broth, and so much more. But which is the best and most effective? 

    CBD oils in bottles with droppers are the easiest way to give the proper dosage and it can be put on treats, food or straight into the dog’s mouth. The strength and terpene content of oils will vary. Broad-spectrum CBD oil may be your best choice because it includes the most natural plant components that can increase efficacy. Consider using Coconut Oil with CBD if your dog is picky about what they eat since some CBD oil products have a “grassy” flavor. Because it is so delectable, most dogs will eat it on its own or mixed into their food and treats. As an alternative, the drug can be administered directly to the dog’s ears, where it is absorbed transdermally. 

    CBD in other forms is still effective! Don’t fret over that. Brands like Dope Dog and Innovet have created effective CBD treats that are easy to give to your dog. Dosage may vary so be sure to check the packaging for the correct dosage.


    CBD can be a helpful, natural way to help pets overcome numerous ailments and illnesses such as anxiety, joint pain, and cancer symptoms. It is not FDA regulated yet so it’s up to the consumer to do research before purchasing a product as they are not all made equal. There also hasn’t been enough research done yet to be able to make fortified claims on the effectiveness of CBD nor can veterinarians prescribe it nor suggest it.

    The dosage of CBD varies per product and per dog, usually based on their size in pounds. If you aren’t sure of the dosage, the company may be able to help figure it out. CBD also comes in varied forms such as oils and treats. It may take some experimenting to figure out which is best for your dog and lifestyle, although CBD oils are usually easier for dosage. While a vet cannot suggest it, it is suggested that you ask them if it would be safe for your dog. Always consult your veterinarian before starting a treatment, holistic or not. You can discover CBD products in our product directory and find which one is best for you!

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