CBD for Dogs: What Is It and What Does It Do?

There have been some bizarre and sometimes controversial wellness trends over the past years; coffee colonics, sweat lodges, goat yoga and vampire facials have all come onto the wellness scene and are usually received with a mix of laughter and fascination. A law that made hemp oil extract legal has led an explosion of CBD products. THC CBD oil for dogs is now something pet owners can take advantage of. Now, wellness trends are rightly or wrongly permeating into the lives our pets. While a pet may not always be the most willing participant in all of it’s owners schemes (like that sweater you have that your dog will just not settle into), giving your dog CBD may be a lot less crazy then it sounds. Listen to what  veterinarian Patty Khuly says about the use of CBD for pets:

CBD’s safety profile has been studied in dogs at Colorado State University (conclusion: safe) and research into its efficacy in seizure disorders is currently underway there. A mountain of anecdotal reports also identifies osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, allergic skin disease, appetite stimulation, and nausea relief (among others) as other potential areas of study. High-level evidence on efficacy is scant, to be sure, but CBD oil is considered safe and effective by a growing number of veterinary practitioners who aren’t your typical devotees of alternative medicine. I fall squarely into that camp. Count me among the converted.

Pets face health problems just like their owners. If you’re conscientious about your own health and wellness and you own a pet, then odds are you’re proactive in giving your cutie the best life possible. CBD is all the rage right now in health and wellness circles. What role does it have in the lives of the furry creatures that promote our health and wellness as much as anyone or anything else? People are putting CBD in everything from gummies, brownies, ointments and creams. Is your dog aging and slowing down? Or is your dog a rambunctious puppy who is bouncing off the walls? Either way, CBD can be safely administered to a dog and depending on the product can provide anxiety and pain relief to a troubled pup or aging dog. Many people who suffer from anxiety or chronic conditions have already used or, at least, heard of the benefits of CBD. Until 2018, CBD was federally illegal due to sharing the marijuana plant with its psychoactive cousin, THC. As many people experiment with and enjoy the effects of CBD, some who are also dog owners have begun to impart the benefits on man’s best friend as well.  Here's more about what pet CBD is, and what you can do as a dog owner to help your pet feel better. Side effects for dogs are limited. 

How Can CBD oil Help Dogs?

Pets have similar health challenges to human beings over the arc of their life. Early in life they may struggle with adjustment or behavioral issues which take away snuggle time from their owner(s), while later in life the degradation of time can cause chronic conditions like arthritis which can severely diminish your dog’s quality of life. The primary benefits of CBD cause anti-inflammatory effects by modulating the endocannabinoid system. 

CBD can treat or alleviate symptoms of health issues such as the following:

  • Pain;
  • Appetite loss;
  • Inflammation;
  • Arthritis, etc. 

Many owners have seen great improvements in their furry friend's health after using CBD. CBD has been found to be particularly helpful in dealing with chronic pain in older pets. Many have found that CBD can ease the later years of a dog’s life; particularly with respect to easing arthritic pain that can cut short the years of so many pups.

study developed by Cornell University found significant benefits can be achieved from treating arthritic pain in canines with CBD. Their team of scientists discovered that dogs with osteoarthritis could seriously benefit from the cannabidiol compound. Another study found that CBD reduces physiological symptoms of anxiety in mammals. Anecdotally, pet owners have reported scared pets respond well to CBD. It can calm your pets anxiety, help them sleep, help them travel or adjust to new locations and support the overall health and mood of your critter.

Obviously, the priority in ongoing research is focused on human trials and identifying the best medical applications with respect to human ailments. However, the recent legalization and streamlining of medical research procedures on the applications of CBD oil  have led a developed enough market to find trusted vendors. While there is a lack of regulatory certainty in the United States, other countries like Australia have mandated manufacturing quality certifications to give consumer confidence in the quality of products sold. While Americans play the waiting game for an effective and clear regulatory regime that is necessary to provide the full-fledged confidence of consumers there are some helpful tips you can follow to make sure you are only purchasing products from the top echelon of CBD vendors. For example, always check the labels and make sure there is detailed information about what adulterants and what level of CBD oil is in the product. Many newer products will include a way to look up lab testing data. If they do not provide a clear and concise way of stating their products quality and contents look for another product. You can always use a variety of online tools and searching to further vet the vendor using external sources and customer reviews. Taking these few steps can ensure your pet gets the quality and level of safety they deserve. The FDA does not regulate the purity of CBD contents. So, to ensure you get the highest-quality dog CBD oil make sure you can verify your products contents. 

Pros and Cons of Using CBD for Dogs

CBD comes with plenty of health benefits and advantages and has only a few possible downsides and potential side effects for your dogs. One of the most important things to remember about CBD’s use in animals is that there are no official veterinary prescriped amounts to give a dog. Generally, as common sense would indicate, start with minimal or recommended amounts and escalate that amount until your animal is displaying desired effect or reduction in pain. Here are some pros and cons you may want to consider as a pet owner before using CBD products.  


  • May lower the anxiety level of your dog;
  • Studies show that CBD can alleviate symptoms and pain in dogs with chronic conditions ranging from arthritis to cancer
  • Possibly prevents inflammation, anxiety, and convulsions;
  • It reduces the physiological symptoms of anxiety in mammals;
  • It is considered a natural remedy for chronic conditions. 


  • Possible side effects;
  • It can make dogs lethargic, especially when you use a higher dose.

Possible Side Effects of Using CBD oil for Dogs

Although CBD does not have serious negative side-effects, it's always important to keep a close eye on your pet whenever giving them something new. At the first sign of any negative reaction, you should take your dog to the vet. The following symptoms were reported by individuals who consumed CBD but you can always pay attention if you pet manifests any of them:

  • Dry mouth – while your dog isn't able to tell you that it has dry mouth, you should check that from time to time while also increasing its water intake;
  • Drowsiness – make sure your dog's sleeping patterns don't change during CBD administration;
  • Tremors – humans to took higher doses of CBD manifested tremors which should definitely be a concern if you see that side effect in your dog;
  • Lightheadedness – notice whether or not your pet seems dizzy or disoriented; 
  • Low blood pressure – regular vet checkups could be very helpful when you're giving CBD to your dog. The specialist could easily verify if your pet's blood pressure is too low. 

Things to Consider If You're Giving CBD Products to Your Dog

Here are some of the most important things you should think about before giving your dog CBD. Dogs are very sensitive to the cannabis plant’s other primary compound, THC. So, it is very important to ensure that when selecting a product for your favorite friend that you take basic precautions in selecting your product.

  1. Keep Your CBD oil Treats Somewhere Safe: Make sure to keep the CBD treats far from reach, somewhere your dog cannot find it. In case your dog finds your CBD stash, it will tend to eat more than the usual amount. This is an important issue when you purchase CBD treats like dog biscuits or soft chews. Ideally, you should keep the products inside a locked drawer. 
  1. Keep CBD Away from Other Treats: Even though the full spectrum of CBD treats are pretty safe when offered in small doses, you must still be careful with the amount you give to your dog. The safest method is storing these products separated from the other dog treats you have in the house. Also, tell your children or your spouse how much and when they should give CBD to your pet. 
  1. Choose Organic CBD Products: If possible, you should always purchase CBD oil or other related CBD products that are organic. One way to make sure of it is by searching the USDA certification on the label or on the company's website. Certified organic hemp or CBD is a lot safer and the best CBD oil due to the high-quality CBD that is being used. If possible, it is also recommended that your dog CBD products are vegan and made of non-GMO hemp. 
  1. Nano-sized Emulsions Are the Best Option: CBD oils that present the smallest particles available on the market are great in terms of quick absorption. They are considered high-quality products. Here's how CBD microemulsions compare to the other alternatives:
  • Regular emulsion – the particles are large and difficult to absorb by the body (cheap and low-quality products);
  • Liposomal emulsion – the particles are smaller and the absorption is a decent one. Its price is a tad higher compared to standard oils;
  • Nano-sized CBD oil – the best option that comes with an excellent level of absorption and has the smallest particles. Still, only a few companies market this type of CBD emulsion. 
  1. Choose CBD Treats that Are Free of THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does not effect dogs or cats the same way it effects humans. It may confuse or frighten your animal, or even cause it harm. Dogs can have quite serious consequences if they overdose on THC. For this reason, it is very important to not give your dog products who you cannot trust the content of (just like you wouldn’t take it yourself) or products that are not meant for dogs. The best types of CBD dog treats and pet products are the ones that are extracted from hemp. It is also advised that you only choose USDA Certified Organic treats to prevent your dog from being exposed to any exogenous adulterants, carcinogens or toxins,  We strongly recommend you to buy an option that has no detectable THC and which can verify that claim either by lab test or batch number. Look for that specific detail on the item's analysis certificate. One thing you should know is that CBD sourced from a hemp plant contains essentially no THC.


Who knew that your dog could benefit from the latest wellness trend? It may not be a spa day with your dog, but giving your dog a little CBD can go a long way to showing him a lot of love. Help your dog ease his arthritis or help your puppy sleep through the night. Make sure to properly vet and assess your CBD vendor. Ensure you’re getting your dog a certified organic product that is hemp-derived so it has no THC. To discuss more regarding this whether CBD oil products are a good option for your dog, we suggest you make an appointment with your pet's veterinarian. The administration of the CBD may be the most difficult part. Using tinctures for pets may be challenging and inconsistent. If you apply the product to your dogs food, it may reject it because of the taste or texture of the CBD. Thankfully, many new vendors in the veterinary CBD sub-space are offering CBD Dog treats specifically tailored to meet your doggies stamp of approval. This will allow your pet to efficiently ingest the CBD without the difficulty of sloppy and cumbersome administration to your pet.

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