How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?
This just in! CBD isn’t just good for us, it’s good for our dogs too! But how much CBD oil should you give your dog?
If you’re just now hearing about CBD (cannabidiol), then here’s the rundown: it can alleviate many minor aches and pains, help you sleep better, elevate your mood, and pretty much bring balance back to your life. But did you know that it’s also good for your dog too?
This is phenomenal news for dog breeds prone to anxiety, for older dogs with joint pain, and it’s especially good news for dog owners who don’t want to see their furry friends in pain. But how much CBD Oil does your dog need?
Just like with people, it varies. Different size dogs will require different doses. Plus, some dogs might not need a lot of CBD for them to start feeling better. We’ve put together a few key points to consider to help you figure it out.
CBD Safe for Dogs?
The first question on most dog owners' minds is whether or not CBD is safe for their dogs.
Thankfully, the answer is YES. Dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) just like we do. So CBD can offer a wide variety of potential benefits for dogs just like it does for humans!
Dog Time put it best when they said, “...CBD oil is safe for most dogs in the right doses and with the right products. However, you must consult your veterinarian before you give your dog any CBD. Your vet can advise you about your dog and give you more information about administering it safely.”
The biggest risk of giving your dog CBD is THC toxicity; that's when a CBD product has too much THC in it and your dog experiences psychoactive effects. So it's important to do your research and find CBD products with little to no THC in them for your dog.
Just like with humans, most dogs will be fine with CBD. However, even with pure CBD, some dogs may have minor side-effects. While we firmly believe in the potential benefits that CBD can offer your canine companions, we would never recommend trying it without talking to your veterinarian. Even for us humans, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before trying CBD.
Once your veterinarian gives you the green light, there are still a few items you should take into consideration.
Finding the Right CBD Product for Your Dog
Oddly enough, these are the same tips that we would give for a human trying to find CBD for the first time. At first, you’ll need to do a little bit of detective work. Then once you find a product you trust, you’ll need to tinker with dosages to find what works best. Don’t panic if there’s a little bit of trial-and-error! That’s all part of the process. Once you figure out the correct dosage, you’ll be able to experiment with different types of products.
Until then, however, here are a few tips from the American Kennel Club to get you started.
Only Buy Organic CBD for Your Dog
Since the ECS is a naturally occurring communication system in your body, it only makes sense to use natural CBD. If you can’t find organic, then at least make sure the product is free of solvents, fungicides, and pesticides.
Don’t Buy Cheap CBD Products
You don’t have to spend a fortune, but when it comes to CBD you get what you pay for. The less expensive the product, the more likely it is to have heavy metals, pesticides, or herbicides. Do your best to find pure products that are good quality (that goes for CBD for your dog and YOU).
Only Buy from Companies that Publicise Their CBD Analysis
Not all products will have this information on the packaging, but you should be able to easily find it on their website. This information lets you know exactly how much CBD is in the product and what trace amounts of THC there are in the product. Hint: you want little to no THC in products for your dog.
Start with Liquid CBD
Whether it’s an oil or a tincture, starting with a liquid is the easiest way to adjust dosage. CBD treats may seem like the easiest way to start, but with an oil, it’s easier to tinker with what dosages work best. Once you figure out the right dosage, then you’ll know what treats to buy!
How Much CBD Oil Should You Give Your Dog?
Once you’ve consulted with your veterinarian and found a high-quality product that you trust, it’s time to figure out exactly how much CBD to give them.
CBD isn’t something that will take effect immediately. Sometimes it can take a week or two for HUMANS to notice a difference. And since your dog won’t be able to tell you they feel better or worse, you’ll have to be very patient and pay special attention to their behavior.
Canine Journal says, “The dosage can also differ depending on the condition you’re trying to treat. For example, higher doses are typically recommended for more serious health conditions and lower doses for occasional anxiety or general well-being. And of course, you have your dog’s weight and underlying health issues to take into consideration.”
To help you determine the precise dosage, you’ll want to consider these items:
The Weight of Your Dog Can Determine CBD Dosage
For midsize or large dogs, we’d recommend 1-5 mg CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. For particularly small dogs you should consider 0.2mg of CBD per pound.
So if your dog is teacup-sized, you might start with just .5-1 mg. If, however, you have a Tibetan Mastiff that weighs somewhere between 100-160 lbs, you may want to start with 10-20 mg (possibly more).
More Active Dogs Will Metabolize CBD Faster
If you have a high-energy animal with a fast metabolism, they may feel the effects faster and it may not stay in their system as long. Elderly dogs, or particularly sedentary dogs, may not feel the effects as quickly and it might stay in their systems longer. This will help you figure out how often you need to give them CBD (especially if you’re trying to treat any type of pain).
Liver or Kidney Problems Will Affect Dosing
These types of conditions can affect the way your dog reacts and metabolizes CBD. It’s also important to note that CBD can interact with other liver medications. If your dog is taking any medications for a liver issue, consult your veterinarian first.
How to give them CBD
So you’ve done your research. You know which products are safe for your dog. You’ve consulted with your veterinarian, and you’ve determined what dose you're going to start with...so how do you actually give your dog CBD?
Once you know what dose to give them you can switch to treats if you want. But until then…
- Try mixing it into a treat they already love! The flavor and familiarity may mean they don’t even notice the CBD.
- Add CBD to your dog's food. If your dog is food motivated and tends to eat quickly, this is another option where they may not notice a difference. If they do notice a difference, mix the CBD into their first meal of the day when they’re VERY hungry and might not care as much.
- Put it directly into their mouths. Some dogs are just too picky, so this method will ensure they get it into their system. Apply it directly into their mouths with a dropper or spoon. You may feel bad about being so forceful, but remember that you’re doing this to help them.
- Finally, once you know what dosage works best for them, switch to treats! It may still be some trial-and-error of which types of treats they like the most, but once you find something they love it won’t be hard to get CBD into them.
Why We Give Our Dogs CBD
Just like with humans, we give our dogs CBD because we want to improve their quality of life. Some prescription medications come with undesirable side-effects, and CBD can be a great way to treat problems without harsh medicines.
Similar to humans, there are a lot of issues that CBD can help your dogs with. PetMD says, “[CBD] oil can be used to treat seizures, nausea, stress, anxiety, arthritis, back pain, symptoms of cancer, and gastrointestinal issues, among other health conditions in dogs.”
We give our dogs CBD because we love them. We want them to live long, healthy lives so they can be part of our families for as long as possible. Consider adding CBD to your dog's regimen with our carefully selected Pet-Friendly CBD products. Let us know about your experiences in the comments below and don’t forget to give us a shoutout on Instagram for a chance to be featured on our stories or in a future blog!
Hannah Walker is a mostly-retired University English instructor who spends her time freelance copywriting. When not doing that, she’s writing articles related to CBD, skincare, and/or media. With an MA in English-Creative Writing she’s probably working on a creative piece at this very moment. See more about Hannah’s work on her website or on Instagram.