CBD For Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

by Chelsea Rivera last updated -

With the rise in popularity and increased conversation surrounding CBD for dogs, there are few things that pet owners must look out for. There are pros and cons associated with the new demand for medicinal holistic alternatives.

CBD For Dogs

The usage of marijuana for dogs or pets has research data both in support and conflict. As per research published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science, there is inconclusive evidence supporting the use of mariuajana in dogs, however, they believe that it can be tried upon and tested, thereby indicating the need for further research. [1]

CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical found in cannabis, and unlike THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, it is non psychoactive. In other words, this means that CBD does not induce a high. You can read our article on the 11 Benefits & Uses Of CBD Oil to better understand CBD.

There is research that supports the use of CBD for anxiety, stress, pain, and cancer. In this regard, CBD products are available for pets too – as a natural way to treat these conditions. However, it is important to understand that just the mere presence of a product in the market does not make it suitable for consumption or use. As of now, there are no CBD products for pets or dogs that have been approved by the FDA.
With that in mind, this article will explore the various views expressed through different research papers on the efficacy or risks of cbd for dogs. Let’s take a look at it in detail below.

A white and brown dog running in the garden

A dog is indeed a man’s best friend Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Various Arguments

As per a research published in the Frontiers in Veterinary Science, CBD has positive effects in terms of pain reduction for dogs, without any side effects, as was observed. It also showed an increase in their activity. This study revealed that 2 mg/kg of CBD consumption twice everyday can help in increasing comfort among dogs with osteoarthritis. [2]

Another study published in 2018 by scientists from Cornell and Colorado State Universities stated that the most favorable use of CBD products for dogs was as a treatment option for pain, anxiety, and seizures. The most commonly used of these CBD products were CBD oil and extracts for their analgesic effects on acute and chronic pain. During this study, they also noticed that the most common side effect was sedation. The researchers agreed that the use of CBD for dogs requires more evidence and data, however, they also agreed that marijuana has beneficial effects on humans, thereby lending support to CBD products for dogs (after further research). [3]

According to another research published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal, there is very little information on the use of marijuana for pets. Most of the papers available on this are on the toxic effects of marijuana on dogs – including accidental ingestion or experimental administration. Researchers of this study found a direct correlation between the increased number of cases of marijuana toxicity in dogs as the number of legal medical marijuana licenses increased. It is also stated in this study that dogs have a higher number of cannabinoid receptors in their brains compared to humans – and therefore they may be more susceptible to toxicity as compared to humans. [4]

What to Look For?

Having discussed the potential good and bad effects on marijuana in dogs, let’s move on and take a look at the things you need to consider before picking cbd for your dog.

All Natural

First, you’ll want to make sure that the CBD for dogs is all natural. If it’s not, the herb was likely treated with pesticides, fungicides or solvents. When you think about, these chemicals completely negate the purpose of CBD. The objective for pet owners of choosing CBD is that it is a natural alternative to the chemicals and adverse reactions of conventional drugs. Additionally, the CBD for dogs should be free of soy and non-GMO.


You’ll also want to make sure that the CBD for dogs has been lab-tested. Any reputable company should easily be able to provide a Certificate of Analysis. A Certificate of Analysis is a professional document that proves the CBD has been lab-tested and shows the consumer exactly how much CBD is in the product. There are some companies that are selling oils and treats with very small traces of CBD. However, they are branding these products as being CBD oil and CBD treats. Are they lying? Not necessarily. But are these products ultimately going to help your pup? It’s not likely. With a Certificate of Analysis, pet owners can ensure they are purchasing a great product.

Derived From the Hemp Plant

Next, confirm that the CBD for dogs is derived from the hemp plant. This won’t be an issue for most countries, but there are CBD products derived from the marijuana plant. Of course, these products are only available where marijuana has been legalized. However, marijuana products can be incredibly harmful to Fido. CBD derived from hemp has no more than 0.3% THC and is completely safe for your pup.

You Get What You Pay For

When it comes to CBD, you truly get what you pay for. You will likely see products online that are marked at a much lower price point than others. A good rule of thumb is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. With that said, even top of the line CBD products shouldn’t break the bank. In fact, it should cost around $2 a day for your dog to reap the benefits of CBD oil. Companies like Honest Paws offer such products for dogs.

Ways to Give CBD to Your Dogs

There are different ways that pet parents can integrate CBD products into their dog’s life.


A bottle of cannabis oil with medicinal cannabis

CBD oil helps relieve stress. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A common way for dog owners to introduce CBD products is through CBD oil. The oil comes in tincture form with a dropper that allows pet parents to have total control over just how much CBD their dog is receiving. CBD oil is safe enough to administer it directly into the dog’s mouth or it can be mixed into their food or placed on top of their favorite treat.

CBD Treats

Pet parents may also opt for CBD treats. The treats are great because they can either be used for overall wellness or you can purchase treats that are specifically formulated for your dog’s individual needs.

A Final Thought

At the end of the day, you want what’s best for your dog and choosing all natural alternatives is a great first step. Keeping that in mind, make sure you’re doing all you can to buy the best natural alternative possible in order to ensure Fido is reaping all the benefits that CBD can offer.

Word of Caution

While you are using any CBD or hemp derived products, it is important to check your state’s laws and guidelines for the same. Hemp-derived CBD products are illegal in the US on a federal level, but still legal in many states. If you are travelling, then make sure you comply with that city/state’s laws regarding the consumption and use of CBD. Remember that most CBD products are not FDA-approved and therefore may be sold illegally or with wrong labeling. Be wary of the side effects of CBD before consuming – it can cause nausea, dizziness, and dry mouth among others. Also keep in mind that it can have serious drug interactions when taken along blood thinning medicines. Check with your doctor if you have a serious or chronic condition.

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About the Author

Chelsea Rivera is a pet wellness blogger based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the head of content at Honest Paws, a company that offers dog owners a wide variety of CBD oil and CBD pet treats! In addition to working for Honest Paws, Chelsea spends her days getting bossed around by her 5 lb. Maltipoo, Baby Rose, and trying to catch up on emails. Follow Honest Paws on Facebook or Instagram @honestpawscbd.

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