CBD Oil for Dogs—What to Know and Where to Buy

By Melena Gurganus
Honest Paws, Unsplash

As the popularity of hemp continues to grow, many pet owners have started to use CBD oil for dogs. This cannabis plant extract works as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments that dogs suffer from, including joint pain, separation anxiety, and other issues that can impede your dog’s everyday life.

Because of this, more people are turning to natural pet products for their dogs, like CBD hemp oil. There are a ton of hemp-derived CBD products designed for pets, but most importantly, pet owners want to know where they can find the best CBD for their dog.

The problem is that the CBD market is a crowded place, and it can be difficult to tell which CBD pet products will truly help your furry friend. So to combat this issue, we’ve found the best brands and tested their CBD tinctures to ensure that these truly are the highest quality hemp oils for your dog.

5 Best CBD Oils for Dogs

We know that every dog is different, and certain products may work better for some pets than they do for others. Here you can find the top five CBD oils for dogs and the perks of each, so you can pick one that’s best suited for your furry friend.

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Best for Easy Dosing: NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD Oil

NuLeaf is well known for their high quality CBD oils, and their CBD tinctures for dogs are no different. Their products are made from CBD that’s been CO2 extracted from organic hemp plants that are grown in Colorado, and they are one of the very few brands that has been organically certified by the USDA.

Strength: 50 mg of CBD per mL

Save 20% on NuLeaf with the code REMEDY20

Best Flavor: Charlotte’s Web CBD for Dogs

Charlotte’s Web hemp oil has been a popular brand in the industry for many years, and for good reason. Their hemp is grown in the USA, and their full-spectrum CBD pet oils feature a pump for easy application, as well as unflavored and chicken-flavored options, so your dog is sure to love the taste of this tincture.

Strength: 17 mg of CBD per mL

Save 15% on Charlotte’s Web with the code RR2020 (exclusions apply).

Best Testing: ABSC Pure Organic CBD Oil

ABSC (Applied Basic Science Corp.) is a unique company with a variety of CBD hemp oils to choose from depending on the size of your dog. Plus, their pure CBD oils are the only pet products to be tested in clinical studies with research to back up the safety and efficacy of these tinctures.

Strength: 20, 40, or 80 mg of CBD per mL

Save 15% with the code REMEDY15

Best Variety: Honest Paws CBD for Dogs

Honest Paws makes full spectrum CBD oils that are organic, free from corn and soy, and come in different strengths for every size of dog. They also offer oils for specific health benefits, including mobility, pain, and overall wellness.

Strength: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1000 mg per bottle

Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis that is extracted from hemp plants to create hemp CBD oils which contain little to no THC. These pet products are a good choice for many dog owners that want to give their pet a natural wellness supplement. All of the CBD oil products listed above are made with full-spectrum hemp extract, which means they have the highest therapeutic potential. CBD isolate products that only contain cannabidiol and no other plant compounds may not be as effective as full spectrum CBD oils since they cannot benefit from the “entourage effect.” This essential means that whole plant extracts include a wider range of terpenes and cannabinoids that can aid in the efficacy of CBD when being used for therapeutic benefit.

But how exactly does CBD oil affect dogs?

Dogs have an endocannabinoid system much like humans do, but they have more CB1 receptors in their central nervous system. This makes canines more sensitive to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element in cannabis. However, CBD primarily acts upon CB2 receptors and is not associated with the negative reactions commonly attributed to THC. Additionally, CBD oils contain less than 0.3% THC by law, which is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects. In short, CBD oil is very different from marijuana and it won’t make your dog high.

With much debate in the canine community about the effects of CBD, traditional veterinary medicine practices haven’t completely accepted CBD oil as a valid treatment option. But despite the lack of support from veterinarians, several pet owners have found that CBD works well for their dog. Many people have noticed improvements across a variety of different issues and acknowledge the potential health benefits of CBD for dogs, including:

Note: The FDA has not evaluated CBD oils for pets, so even though they may help your dog in some way, these products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Other Factors to Consider When Buying CBD for Dogs

When it comes to selecting the right CBD oil for your pup, it’s important to look at the other ingredients in each product, like the type of carrier oil used to aid in the delivery of CBD. The majority of products opt for MCT oil (coconut oil), which is safe to use on pets and has additional wellness advantages like improving cognitive functioning and digestive processes. Olive or hemp seed oil are other carrier oil options that are also safe for use on both dogs and cats. Coconut and hemp seed oil in particular are also a great source of essential fatty acids, which can help maintain healthy skin, a shiny coat, and keep their immune system strong.

In addition to looking at the type of oil you are giving your dog, it’s equally as important to check for third-party lab test results on any CBD product that you are thinking about purchasing. These lab reports will test for the cannabinoid concentration, and ensure that a product is safe by making sure there are no heavy metals, pesticides, or any other unwanted chemicals that you don’t want your dog to ingest.

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

An exact dosage of CBD for dogs has not been established, so it is best to start small and work up from there. A general guideline is to start with 0.2mg of CBD per pound. For example, a 20 pound dog should start with 4mg of CBD.

Pay attention to the details on your CBD oil bottle, and take note of the amount of CBD that is in one dropper of oil. If the bottle says there is 8mg of CBD per mL and you are trying to dose out 4mg, you will want to give half a dropper full.

When it comes to dose, you should also consider your dog’s size, age, and pre-existing health conditions. For instance, dogs that are on the smaller side won’t need as much CBD as large dogs in order to experience the same range of possible benefits or effects. In the same train of thought, a stronger dose of CBD oil may be needed for a dog who suffers from seizures as opposed to a dog who’s given CBD for mild pain relief. However, you should also take into account any prescription medications that your dog is currently taking and how CBD may interact with these drugs. In this instance, it’s always best to talk with a veterinarian.

If you are giving your dog CBD for the first time, there’s no way to know what their perfect dose is until you go through a bit of trial and error. In order to do this, it’s best to start at a very low dose and incrementally increase the CBD potency with each administration until you find your pet’s “sweet spot.”

How to Give Your Dog CBD Oil

There are a few different ways to administer CBD oil to your dog. You could easily place a few drops below their tongue, or mix the CBD oil in with their food, treats, or even a spoonful of peanut butter for an extra tasty treat.

CBD Treats for Dogs

If you’ve tried to give your dog CBD oil and he or she didn’t like the taste or texture, there are alternative options available like CBD dog treats, which incorporate all the benefits of CBD into a treat that your furry friend is sure to love.

Is CBD oil safe for dogs?

In the emerging CBD space, it helps to look to medical professionals, review sites and other experts to help you decide if CBD is the right fit for your dog.

The American Kennel Club says “while there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.”

There is also some compelling research now being done on CBD’s effects on canines. For instance, a study conducted by Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine showed that treatment with CBD oil resulted in decreased pain for dogs with osteoarthritis.

Final Thoughts on CBD for Dogs

CBD is not toxic to dogs, and CBD oil is safe for animals as long as you are administering the proper dosage for your pet. Side effects are a rare occurrence among pet owners who give their dogs CBD, but anything is possible. Deciding whether or not your dog might benefit from CBD oil is a choice that’s ultimately up to you and what’s best for your dog’s health.

If you do decide to give your dog any CBD product, the best thing you can do is give him the right amount. By doing so, you’ll be able to see any noticeable changes or improvements in your dog’s symptoms.

It’s important to note that more clinical studies are necessary to evaluate the therapeutic value of CBD oil for dogs. The anecdotal evidence provided by pet owners is not a substitute for medical advice or treatments, and you should feel comfortable consulting with your veterinarian before electing to introduce any new wellness supplement into your dog’s diet.

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