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Jittery Jack Russell? Achy Akita? Trepidacious Terrier? From separation anxiety to fear of thunderstorms, from aging to chronic pain, there’s a multitude of reasons why CBD oil can be a good choice for your dog in need of calm or pain relief.
With CBD rapidly becoming a $2B industry1, there’s certainly no shortage of products on the market for dogs and cats, as well as pet owners. But with so many CBD product options, how do you know what to shop for? Is CBD for dogs safe? Do hemp products actually work? How can you tell good CBD pet products from bad products?
Never fear, it’s far easier and safer to find quality pet CBD oil products than you might imagine. There are just a few vital bits of info you need to know in order to shop for CBD for your dog with confidence. Let’s start by taking a look at some recommended dog CBD oil products on the market today, and then examine what it is that makes these particular CBD oils so good.
CBDfx has been a CBD industry leader since their founding in 2014, and their foray into pet CBD products has been a welcome addition to their catalog for us dog lovers. All CBDfx dog and cat CBD products are made with organically grown, pesticide-free, and non-GMO hemp, and every product is backed by a lab report from an independent third-party lab. In addition, CBDfx pet products are made with human-grade ingredients.
Designed to deliver just the right amount of soothing, therapeutic CBD to your dog, this CBD oil product is easy to administer and delivers long-lasting effects. CBD Dog Tincture is naturally chicken flavored to appeal to even the pickiest pup palate, and this effective CBD oil is available in strengths for small, medium, large, and extra-large dog breeds.
We have yet to meet a dog to turn down bacon. This naturally flavored CBD Pet Tincture from CBDfx is made with the same high-quality processes and ingredients as the CBD Dog Tincture listed above, but it’s formulated with a bacon flavor so good you’ll kinda wish CBDfx made a bacon formula CBD oil for people. CBDfx CBD Pet Oil Tincture is also available in four strengths tailored to any dog, from purse pals to hefty bois. And the 250mg CBD strength is also a great oil product for cats.
Medterra is another trusted CBD brand, and they’ve designed this CBD oil (also chicken flavored) in three strengths for different-sized dog breeds. It’s important to note that the strengths of all of the CBD oil tinctures for dogs on this list vary slightly from brand to brand, and you’ll want to keep that in mind if you mix and match the products in this list.
This classic calming oil from Lazarus Naturals is made with 20mL of full-spectrum CBD oil (more on that later), and is available in three strengths to accommodate different dog breeds. This oil tincture is unflavored, which could provide you more options in how you give it to your dog. This CBD oil could be mixed into food or treats, or the oil can be dropped right into your dog’s mouth, depending on how patient both you and your dog are.
This CBD oil for dogs differs from the other CBD oils on our list in its method of CBD delivery. Koi Naturals Pet CBD Oil is actually a spray that you can spritz into your dog’s mouth. Each 60mL bottle of this CBD oil spray contains 500 mg of full spectrum CBD (that is, CBD oil containing CBD and all of the other hemp compounds, such as cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids). This organic CBD oil is a great option for finicky dogs.
There are two vital steps you should take before shopping for a CBD dog product:
Understand what CBD is and how it works for a dog’s body
Consult with your veterinarian
The best way to understand how CBD works for our dogs is to understand how it works for us, because the fundamentals are the same.
What Is CBD and How Does It Work for Dogs?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of over a hundred molecular compounds known as cannabinoids that naturally occur in the cannabis, or hemp, plant.
Cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with a system in the bodies of nearly all animals (including dogs, cats, goldfish, birds, snakes, and us) called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system exists because our bodies produce a number of compounds called (surprise) endocannabinoids. These are vital to biological functions like pain response, memory, mood, immune response, and more.
The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system closely integrated with the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as systems and organs that regulate those systems endocannabinoids serve — sleep, mood, immune response, digestion, and more. When a cannabinoid from hemp interacts with a receptor in the endocannabinoid system, it passes along its effects.
The hemp plant is loaded with beneficial cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, CBG, and CBN. Each of these imparts its own unique properties while also working together to achieve a synergistic effect known as the Entourage Effect.
In short, the Entourage Effect happens when multiple cannabinoids are present, modifying one another’s behavior while simultaneously contributing to a more robust overall effect.
Yes. In 2017, the World Health Organization2 declared that CBD is safe for animals. So, it’s perfectly safe to give CBD products to your adult dog (but not your puppy!)
Will CBD Get My Dog High?
No, CBD oil will not get your dog high. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound present in cannabis that causes a high. High amounts of THC can be found in the form of cannabis known commonly as marijuana. While CBD exists in marijuana, the CBD oil used in the various products we’re talking about comes from the low-THC form of cannabis called hemp. CBD will not get you or your dog high.
It’s also important to know that THC in large doses can be toxic to pets3, so you want to avoid products that have any more THC than what is found in full-spectrum CBD, which is less than 0.3%. We’ll talk about THC and CBD spectrum types in further detail below.
So How Can CBD Benefit My Dog?
The two most common reasons people look to CBD hemp oil as a natural supplement for their dog’s wellness are anxiety and pain.
Stress and anxiety can take a heavy toll on dogs … and their owners. From settling into a new forever home after the shelter, to separation anxiety, fireworks, and thunderstorms, there’s a multitude of stressors that can make it hard for your dog to cope, and that often come with destructive behavior issues. CBD is an incredibly popular go-to for people with anxious dogs. The American Kennel Club4 notes that “the calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness,” and that will certainly be true in products that also contain soothing supplements like chamomile and passion flower.
Pain and discomfort are a common issue as dogs age, and some breeds are prone to joint issues5 that can cause serious, chronic discomfort that only gets worse over time. While all research into the application of CBD for chronic pain is still ongoing, the American Kennel Club has cited a Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study6 that found “dogs given CBD at a rate of 4.4 mg per pound twice daily for a month showed significant improvement in pain relief and quality of life.”
What to Look for in CBD Products for Dogs
Here are a few important tips to keep in mind when shopping for CBD products for your dog, or even for yourself.
Pure Cannabis Means Pure CBD
Hemp really is something of a wonder plant. Hemp is useful for myriad applications such as fabric fiber, construction material, holistic medicine, and more. One of the hemp plant’s more fascinating properties is its ability to clean the soil in which it grows.
This soil-cleaning power as a phytoremediator is great for the environment, with hemp siphoning toxic chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals from the earth.
However, all those chemicals end up in the hemp plant itself. So, you should always purchase CBD oil for dogs, humans, cats — anybody — that is made with organically grown, pesticide-free, non-GMO hemp.
Understand CBD Spectrums
CBD products are available across a spectrum dictated by what cannabinoids are present in the final oil product. Products using full spectrum oil contain all the cannabinoids present in cannabis hemp, including the legally allowed 0.3% THC.
If you want to avoid THC completely (wise choice with our pet pals), but still provide your dog with the benefits of the synergistic Entourage Effect, broad spectrum is your CBD oil of choice. The THC is filtered out of broad spectrum CBD, though the oil that remains is still robust and potent.
Whether you’re shopping for CBD oil for dogs or yourself, always look for products accompanied by a lab report supplied by an independent, third-party lab.
These lab results will tell you exactly what compounds are present in your hemp product, and in what amounts. This is the best way to ensure your pup’s CBD oil is free of pesticides and does not contain toxic amounts of THC.
How Much CBD Should Dogs Take?
Figuring out how much CBD to give your dog can feel immensely overwhelming. After all, as well as you and your dog may communicate, your pet can’t speak to tell you what feels good and what doesn’t.
Also, the right dosage amount for your pet is dictated by the size and metabolism of your dog, as well as the concentration of CBD in the product you choose.
There’s a wide range of CBD oil dosage amounts for dogs recommended on the internet, and this adds to the confusion.
How do you know what’s best?
Consult with your veterinarian
Follow the instructions on your product
Start with a small dose
By far, the easiest way to ensure you’re giving your dog CBD in the correct dose is to choose a product specifically formulated for your dog’s size. Start small in your dosage, and always observe your dog after you’ve given them CBD and keep an eye out for potential side effects, like nausea, or any signs that your pet might not be enjoying the experience.
CBD for Dogs: The Final Word
Yes, CBD is safe for your beloved pet and no, it won’t get your dog high. Instead, CBD oil could provide a therapeutic, soothing, distinctly chill experience to make your dog’s life a little more enjoyable and comfortable.
As long as you consult with your vet and follow your dog’s lead by observing how your pet reacts to the CBD, you’re in for a good experience. Using the product list and shopping tips we provided today, you can get CBD oil for your dog with confidence and ease.
Matej Mikulic, Statista: Total U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) product sales from 2014 to 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/760498/total-us-cbd-sales/. 10 September, 2021
Janet Burns, Forbes: WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD, https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetwburns/2018/03/18/who-report-finds-no-public-health-risks-abuse-potential-for-cbd/?sh=71def69b2347. 18 March, 2018
Dr. Wendy Hauser, ASPCA: THC Toxicity in Pets, https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/resources/thc-toxicity-dogs-cats/.
AKC Staff, American Kennel Club: CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/. 24 February, 2021.
Hill’s Pets: Arthritis in Dogs: What You Need to Know, https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/healthcare/dog-arthritis-and-joint-pain. 8 October, 2021.
Caroline Coile, PhD, Family Dog Magazine: Does CBD Work for Dogs?, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/does-cbd-work-for-dogs/#:~:text=A%20Cornell%20University%20College%20of,relief%20and%20quality%20of%20life. 1 July, 2021.