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As a dog-owner, the most heart-breaking thing is seeing your best, furry friend in pain or distress. You’re likely willing to do anything it takes to help them, and at any cost – which unfortunately often ends up being astronomical. With so many people jumping on the CBD bandwagon, it’s no surprise that they are also willing to try CBD for pets. Although research is still developing to prove the benefits of CBD oil for your dog, anecdotal evidence shows that CBD can have outstanding results in managing pain, anxiety and improving your dog’s general well-being. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but we bet you can teach them to love CBD!

What is CBD anyway?

CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in high concentrations in the cannabis (hemp) plant. CBD oil is sourced from the stems, stalks, leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Research shows that CBD oil interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) – an intercellular communication system in our bodies that helps maintains overall balance – and has been shown to improve pain, anxiety, sleep quality and immune function.  Not only is the ECS present in our bodies, but it is also found in dogs and all other mammals.  

CBD oil will not get your dog high.

CBD is often confused with THC which is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in high concentrations in the Marijuana plant, and very low concentrations in the Hemp plant. CBD, on the other hand, is found is high concentrations in Hemp and lower concentrations in marijuana – and it\’s completely non-psychoactive so it won’t make you or dog feel stoned.  

Purchasing a CBD oil that is hemp-derived, from a trusted CBD shop, will ensure that it only contains a maximum concentration of 0.3% THC and is completely safe for your dog’s consumption.

What are the potential benefits of CBD oil for your dog?

Dogs are sensitive creatures, just like us. They get anxious in cars, when there’s a loud storm brewing, or when they’re around people they’re not comfortable with (stranger danger!).  Anecdotal evidence shows that CBD has relaxing effects on dogs and can do wonders for easing stress and nervousness. In a 2019 study published by the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found that “studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Moreover, CBD was shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder.”

A recent study examined whether CBD could have a positive effect on pain management for osteoarthritic dogs and their findings showed “a significant decrease in pain and increase in activity” after taking CBD oil. This is huge news! Although so much research is still needed to prove the benefits of CBD oil for your dog, we’re that much closer to easing their pain with the power of cannabinoids.

What are the potential risks?

Studies are still evaluating how effective CBD oil really is for your dog, and whether there are any adverse effects associated with giving it to your animals.  However, if you know anyone who has tried it, they probably have nothing but good things to say. That being said, it is always recommended to speak with your vet prior to giving your dog CBD, especially if it has any preexisting health conditions and is already taking medication. Potential side effects like fatigue and dry mouth can be avoided by simply adjusting the serving size that you give to your dog.

How much CBD oil do I give my dog?

After speaking with a vet and deciding that CBD oil is right for your pet, you’re probably wondering how much CBD oil to give to your dog. The two factors that come into play when determining serving size are your dog’s weight, and the desired intensity based off your pet’s symptoms. A Shih Tzu for example will obviously need a much smaller serving of CBD oil than a Great Dane. A Golden Retriever with severe arthritis will likely need a larger serving size than a Golden Retriever with a mild form of hip dysplasia.

In general, it is highly recommended to start with administering a small amount and gradually increase it as needed. You should notice a change in your pet’s overall mood and demeaner if the CBD is working. If generally anxious, they’ll likely become calmer, but not lethargic. If they’re in pain, they’ll probably have an easier time moving around. This is a good sign that you gave them the right amount.

We’ve created a CBD Dosage Calculator that can help you get started.

What kind of CBD do I give my dog?

Many dog owners opt for purchasing CBD dog treats, which are a great and delicious way of integrating CBD oil into your dog’s daily routine. However, treats tend to only contain a small amount of CBD per bite (around 5-10mg) and if your dog’s symptoms are a little more extreme, you’ll probably end up needing to increase the amount of CBD you give them. Giving your dog CBD oil allows you to increase the amount of CBD your dog takes without having to increase the number of treats (calories) he consumes. Most oils don’t sacrifice flavor for concentration. You can often find CBD oils that are chicken flavored, beef flavored and even bacon or peanut butter flavored. CBD oils can be given straight by using the dropper, mixed into homemade treats, or simply added to their food.

Ready to try CBD oil for your dog? Go fetch!