Are you looking for natural ways to relieve your dog’s anxiety? What about his allergies, epilepsy, or cancer? Are you tired of seeing your poor pooch experience side effects from the meds your vet described? CBD oil may be a great solution to try for your dog’s ailments. In this post, you will find out the best CBD oil for dogs.
What exactly is CBD oil?
To understand what CBD oil is, you must first learn where it comes from. Hemp is a key player in the CBD oil game. It comes from the cannabis plant, or Cannabis Sativa L. The cannabis plant is made up of 80 different compounds called cannabinoids, which bind to specialized receptors in the brain. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of them, but we’ll get to THC in a moment.
There are two main species of the cannabis plant: hemp and marijuana. As Dr. Bill Rawls puts it, hemp is marijuana’s close cousin. So does that mean they aren’t the same?
Their THC levels are different. According to Ministry of Hemp, marijuana is high in THC (5%-35%), the main ingredient in marijuana. In contrast, hemp has low levels of THC (< 0.3%).THC is the chemical compound that gives marijuana its intoxicating properties.
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a chemical component of hemp. CBD oil is made when a liquid is extracted from the hemp plant. There are many ways to extract CBD oil. We will discuss methods of extraction in the coming sections.
CBD oil is thought to improve mood, ease chronic pain and inflammation, treat gastrointestinal problems, help relieve anxiety symptoms, reduce the incidence of seizures, support heart health, reduce the risk of cancer, and much more.
As researchers conduct more and more studies that show CBD oil provides numerous health benefits for dogs, many pet parents and veterinarians alike are jumping on the CBD oil bandwagon.
Can you give CBD oil to dogs?
Yes, giving your dog CBD oil is completely safe. In fact, your dog is more likely to experience ill effects from common household products like coffee, chocolate, or raisins than he will with CBD oil.
Because hemp, from which CBD oil is derived, contains no more than 0.3% THC, overdose is extremely unlikely.
Can my dog get “high” off CBD oil?
Nope. Studies have shown that dogs do not experience psychoactive effects from CDB oil. If a dog does get “high” from consuming CBD oil, then it means the product contains high levels of THC, or there are additional ingredients that cause psychoactive effects.
Can I give my dog human CBD oil?
Great question. There are two answers. Yes, you can give human CBD oil to your dog. It is generally safe to do so because:
“Your dog (along with most other mammals) actually has the same system to process cannabinoids that you have.” – Blake Armstrong
However, giving your dog human CBD oil is pretty involved. You have to calculate the proper dose based off weight and make sure you’re not giving him too much because human CBD oil is stronger than CBD oil for dogs. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use CBD oil that is specifically formulated for pets as they are much easier to use and dose.
What are the benefits of CBD oil for dogs?
CBD oil provides many health benefits for dogs. They include, but aren’t limited to helping dogs battle:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Pain and Inflammation
- Heart Conditions
How does CBD oil alleviate symptoms?
Something about the chemical makeup of CBD oil helps the body heal from certain illnesses and manage symptoms. Some of the ways in which CBD oil can help include:
Scientists believe that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. These receptors are tiny proteins that attach to cells and receive chemical signals from different stimuli (i.e. pain). These receptors respond by creating anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management.
In other words, not only is CBD oil thought to boost painkilling power, but also helps decrease the perception of pain. This means that dogs who suffer from chronic pain caused by illnesses like arthritis can benefit from using CBD oil.
CBD oil also helps with pain management because it is thought to promote better sleeping habits and increased calmness
So how does CBD oil reduce anxiety? It has to do with the hormone and neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is often referred to as the “happy chemical”. It plays an important role in regulating mood, which either raises or reduces levels of anxiety and depression.
“This is why drug companies developed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft. SSRIs work by blocking reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases the availability of serotonin in the synaptic space. This helps brain cells transmit more serotonin signals, which can reduce anxiety and boost mood in certain cases.” – Jeremy Kossen
It is believed that CBD works similar to SSRIs in that it may boost signaling through serotonin receptors.
The hippocampus is a major part of the brain that affects depression and anxiety. Brain scans of people suffering from depression and anxiety show a smaller hippocampus than those who aren’t suffering from these disorders. CBD may help the hippocampus regenerate neurons, which can help relieve anxiety.
Reducing Seizures and Epilepsy
Just last year, the FDA approved the first marijuana-based epilepsy drug. If that’s not enough proof that CBD helps with seizures, there are numerous studies that show the effects of CBD’s anticonvulsant properties.
There have been studies done on the effects of CBD on dogs with seizures. They found that CBD is very effective in managing seizures in dogs.
Like THC, CBD interacts with receptors called endocannabinoids.
“Endocannabinoids are found throughout the body. The highest concentration is in the brain, spinal column and nervous system. It’s in these organs and systems, therefore, that CBD has the greatest potential for impact.” – Dog Naturally Magazine
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been found to be altered by seizures and epilepsy. The effects seizures have on the ECS can be reduced by taking CBD. The exact way CBD helps with reducing seizures and affects the ECS is unknown.
To reduce nausea, CBD oil works like it does with reducing pain and managing seizures. The key is to target receptors in certain parts of the brain and in the GI tract that produce and bind with serotonin. The release of too much serotonin can cause nausea and vomiting. CBD has been shown to help with blocking the release of serotonin, which helps alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms.
Relieving Allergy Symptoms
The ECS has two receptors: CB1 and CB2. These receptors affect brain function as well as the immune system. They also affect the skin. In fact, research has found that the activation of CB1 and CB2 causes reactions in different skin cells.
But what does this have to do with CBD?
Recall what I said earlier about CBD oil reacting with endocannabinoids. So CBD can help promote healthy skin cell growth as well as regeneration, which in turn, helps with healing and promoting healthy skin.
Treating Chronic Inflammation and Auto-Immune Disease
CBD oil can help dogs with inflammatory diseases like Addison’s disease. Research has shown that CBD suppresses macrophages and microglial cells, which play a role in inflammation and immunity. This helps to restore a balance to a chaotic system.
Supporting Heart Health
CBD has been shown to reduce hypertension or low blood pressure. It indirectly helps support heart health by managing psychiatric disorders that are related to poor heart health and high blood pressure.
Because CBD oil helps the body maintain balanced levels of serotonin, it can increase relaxation and pleasure.
The CB1 receptors in endocannabinoids have also shown to help dogs with heart disease by causing antiarrhythmic effects, which help suppress abnormal rhythms of the heart.
Various studies show that CBD oil has great promise when it comes to treating cancer by inhibiting malignant tumor growth, slowing down the generation of cancer cells, helping with the management of pain, and treating symptoms caused by chemotherapy (i.e. nausea, vomiting, fatigue, etc.). CBD also helps your dog’s immune system kill cancer cells. It isn’t a cure, but it can be a great boost to your pooch’s overall health.
Promoting Overall Wellness
Giving your dog CBD oil comes with great health benefits. He doesn’t have to be sick or battling an illness or disease to take CBD oil. CBD can be used as preventative medicine against diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and bone disease.
Possible Side Effects of CBD Oil
For the most part, there aren’t any adverse side effects for dogs taking CBD oil. The risk of your dog having dangerous side effects to CBD oil are extremely low.
If your dog does experience side effects, he might have:
How to Choose the Right CBD Oil for Your Dog
There are a few things to consider when buying CBD oil for your dog. These factors include:
You should ask yourself some key questions. How much do you have to spend on a CBD oil supplement for your dog? Are you willing to invest in an expensive product? Or are you looking for something that will give you a “bang for your buck”? It’s important to note that you’ll likely get what you pay for. Higher-quality products typically cost more than lower-quality products.
Also, consider the quantity of the product, whether it’s in a bottle or bag. Is the amount or volume worth the price?
While most CBD oil products won’t contain high concentrations of THC, it’s still wise to double check. High levels of THC can cause adverse effects and even overdose. So be careful.
Your Dog’s Health Needs
Is your dog hyperactive? Does he suffer from anxiety? If this is the case for your dog, a good calming supplement is your best option.
Is he suffering from pain or arthritis? You might consider a supplement advertising pain relief or one that promotes hip and joint health.
What about serious illnesses like cancer or epilepsy? Your canine companion will need something a bit stronger. Or maybe you just want a product that will boost your dog’s overall health. Any of the products I talk about later will do. Just keep the dosage low and minimal.
Are the ingredients certified USDA organic? What about all-natural? Just because a product is organic doesn’t mean it’s all natural and vice versa. You should also look for products with the labels non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, pesticides and solvent-free.
When choosing the right CBD oil supplement for your dog, it makes sense to look at the ways in which it was extracted.
This is because some extraction methods don’t focus on maintaining purity and potency. Some might use higher heat than others, which can destroy essential nutrients.
Here are the common CBD oil extraction methods:
This method of extraction is divided into different categories including supercritical, subcritical and mid-critical. We’ll only talk about the supercritical process because it is the one that’s most commonly used due to its safety and pure end product.
The CO2 extraction method involves the use of carbon dioxide under high pressure to pull CBD from the cannabis plant.
This process is safe and effective, but it can be expensive and quite difficult, so don’t be surprised if some products using this method are more expensive than others.
This method isn’t used in any of the products I review, but I thought it would be nice to include it because you can do it right from home.
You just heat the cannabis to about 248 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour to activate its chemicals. Then, add the plant to the olive oil and heat to 212 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 2 hours. As a result, you’ll have cannabis-infused olive oil.
This method is safe and inexpensive. However, it is highly perishable and therefore, must be stored in a cool, dark place. Also, you can’t make a lot of it at one time. So larger companies don’t use this method.
Technically, this method isn’t used for CDB oil; it’s used for Hemp seed oil. Hemp oil contains only small amounts of cannabinoids as it comes from the seeds of the cannabis plant. The oil is extracted by pressing or grinding the seeds at a temperature lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether the product is tested by a third-party laboratory or the manufacturer’s chosen lab is a very important factor to consider when looking for a good-quality CBD supplement for your dog.
This will help rule out any biased, subjective results. So make sure you pay attention to laboratory testing. You don’t want a bad-quality CBD oil supplement that was deemed worthy by a biased lab.
Ease of Administration
Is the supplement chewable? Can it be dissolved or mixed with food? Maybe you have a picky pup who won’t take oil. You might want to try getting a CBD supplement you can easily dissolve and hide in food.
If you’re in a rush and pressed for time, a chewable CBD oil supplement may benefit you. With a liquid, you have to get the syringe, give it to your dog without making a mess, and then wash it.
If it doesn’t smell appetizing, chances are, your dog won’t take it. It’s important to note that dogs rely more on their sense of smell than their taste buds.
So how the product smells will play a role in whether or not they take it. This is especially true because they have no way of knowing what you are giving them will help make them feel better or healthier.
It’s impossible to determine the smell or taste of a CBD oil supplement before buying—unless you’re in the store and take a sneak peek by opening the package.
I suggest that you read reviews on your merchant’s site and look for ones that possibly talk about how their dogs responded to the smell or taste of the product. This should help point you in the right direction. If not, look for CDB supplements that are flavored with foods like peanut butter or chicken.
Types of CBD Oil Supplements for Dogs
There are many types of CBD oil supplements for dogs. Some forms are used for specific purposes. For example, oral types are used for internal medicinal benefits, while topical forms are applied externally for skin irritation or allergies.
- Chews & Treats
Best CBD Oil Drops
King Canine’s King Kalm CBD
King Kanine sells a variety of CBD products for dogs including soothing balms, sprays, and treats. Their CBD oil contains krill oil, which is known as a superfood and contains essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and DHA.
The manufacturers claim “the fatty acids in krill oil are known to be an efficient catalyst for delivering CBD to the body. Increased omega-3 consumption has been linked to upregulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as increased levels of endocannabinoid synthesis enzymes.”
Here are some additional features of King Kalm CBD:
- Lab-tested by a third-party
- 24+ years of pharmaceutical experience
- Can reduce anxiety in cats, dogs & other pets (separation anxiety, thunderstorms, car travel, etc)
- Great antioxidant for general overall wellness
- Can cause an increase in energy
- Assists in decreasing chronic pain due to inflammation or arthritis
- May reduce the number of seizures
Ingredients: Naturally Occurring Broad Spectrum Cannabidiol (CBD), Antarctic Krill Oil
Suggested dose: See dosing chart on product page, which is based on your dog’s weight as well as health needs (standard, therapeutic, or medicinal).
Suggested use: Administer 1-2 times a day.
Note: The manufacturer recommends consulting with your vet prior to use. Also, due to recent studies and customer reviews, splitting the recommended dose into two servings has proven most effective.
This product contains full spectrum cannabidiol and is derived from the hemp plant. It’s easy to use, as you just put a few drops onto food or treats.
Here are some additional features of NutraPet Drops:
- Delivers 8.33 mg hemp-derived, full spectrum CBD per serving
- CBD from hemp grown on a USDA -Certified Organic farm
- Enhanced with natural flavor
- Easy-to-use dropper; simply add directly to food or treat
Quantity: 1 oz
Suggested use: Drop oil on food or treat.
Suggested dose: Consult with your vet for recommended dose.
Healthy Pets Hemp Oil for Dogs
According to the manufacturer, Healthy Pets Hemp Oil is the only USDA Certified Organic Pet Hemp Oil on the market. This product doesn’t contain CBD, but does contain its derivative, hemp, which still offers great physical and mental health benefits.
Here are some additional features of Healthy Pets Hemp Oil:
- Reduces inflammation and pain
- Anxiety and stress relief
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- USDA CERTIFIED organic
- All-natural, non-toxic
Quantity:1 fl oz
Strength: 300 mg
Ingredients: Cold-pressed Hemp Seed Oil
Suggested use: Add to food or treats up to 3 times per day for best results.
0 to 25 lbs: use ¼ dropper (0.25 mL)
26 to 55 lbs: use 1/2 dropper (0.50 mL)
56 to 75 lbs: use 3/4 dropper (0.75 mL)
75+ lbs use: 1 dropper (1.00 mL)
Best CBD Oil Capsules
HolistaPet CBD Pet Capsules
These capsules are made with 100% plant-based ingredients. Hemp seeds are combined with cannabidiol to create a powerful, nutritious pill.
Here are some additional features of HolistaPet CBD Capsules:
- Full spectrum CBD+ other Cannabinoids
- Hide capsule in a treat or open to mix with food
- Formulated for Dogs, Cats, Rabbits & Horses
- 0% THC = Non Psychoactive = NO “High”
- CBD + Hemp Seed Powder
- Vegan Capsules (no animal gelatin)
- 100% Natural Ingredients
- Organic Superfoods packed in a small pill
- Non GMO, No Gluten, No Dairy
- No Additives or Preservatives
Quantity: 30 capsules
Ingredients: Hemp Seed Powder and Cannabidiol (CBD).
Suggested use: Give 1 capsule daily.
Suggested dose: See dosing chart on manufacturer’s website.
Innovet PurCBD+ Capsules
This product contains Distilled CBD, which focuses on the most important phytocannabinoids (CBD, CBC, and CBG) in high amounts. The CBD is derived from organic Hemp extract from Oregon and Colorado. The manufacturers take pride in the fact that they don’t “cut corners” with dogs just because they aren’t people.
Here are some additional features of the PurCBD+ Capsules:
- 100% organic hemp-based distilled phytocannabinoid rich (PCR) oil
- 100% natural–no additives, preservatives, or pesticides
- Formulated for medium and large dogs–40 lbs and up
- Great for dogs who don’t like the flavor of oil, even when given with food
- Guaranteed 0.03% THC or less equals a 100% non-psychoactive and legal product
Quantity: 50 capsules
Ingredients: Organic Gold PCR Extract, Tapioca maltodextrin, Erythritol Vegan Capsule
Suggested dose: Based on weight and health needs (minimum or average single dose for aging and wellness; strong single dose for mobility, skin & coat, appetite, nausea; maximum daily dose for pain & inflammation, cancer, anxiety, epilepsy, seizures).
Best CBD Oil Chews & Treats
Hemp Chewz Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs
These chews are great for dogs with arthritis who suffer from chronic pain in areas like the hips and joints. This supplement is also good for hip dysplasia. It is made with 100% natural ingredients and is free of common allergens like wheat, soy, gluten, and dairy.
Each chew contains Thiamine and Chamomile.
Here are some additional features of Hemp Chewz:
- Veterinarian recommended
- Eases joint discomfort for all sizes and breeds
- Blended with real chicken liver and natural chicken flavor
- Boosts skin and coat health
- Reduces inflammation
Quantity: 120 soft chews
Ingredients: Organic Hemp Powder (225 mg), Organic Hemp Seed Oil (100 mg), Organic Turmeric (400 mg), Glucosamine (500 mg), MSM (275 mg), Chondroitin Sulfate (200 mg), Green Lipped Mussel (150 mg), Vitamin C (80 IUs), Vitamin E (25 IUs)
Small Dogs (less than 30 lbs.): 2 soft chews/day.
Medium Dogs (31 to 60 lbs.): 3 soft chews/day.
Large Dogs (more than 60 lbs.): 4 soft chews per day
Honest Paws Roasted Peanut Butter Flavor CBD Dog Treats
These peanut butter-flavored chews are safe, effective, and all-natural, made with real ingredients you can identify. You don’t have to look them up on the internet to find out what they are. Everyone knows of eggs, peanut butter, and flour. The only ingredient that might be unfamiliar to some is CBD, and that’s mostly because of the common misconception that CBD is marijuana.
Here are some additional features of Honest Paws CBD Dog Treats:
- Made with 100% Pure Full Spectrum CBD Oil
- THC- free
- All-natural ingredients
- Helps calm anxious dogs
Quantity: Approx. 20 treats per bag
Ingredients: 100% Pure CBD Oil, MCT Oil, Organic Turmeric, Organic Barley Flour, Organic Eggs, Malted Barley and Organic Peanut Butter
Under 10lbs: 1 treat daily (5 mg)
10-25lbs: 2 treats daily (10 mg)
26-50lbs: 3 treats daily (15 mg)
Over 50lbs: 4 treats daily (20 mg)
POINTPET Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs
This hip and joint supplement helps dogs with arthritis manage pain. It also helps to increase mobility that is otherwise inhibited due to discomfort and pain. This product has been independently tested in a lab as well as clinically tested and recommended by leading veterinarians.
Here are some additional features of POINTPET Hip and Joint Supplement:
- Helps with arthritis and anxiety
- Organic USA ingredients
- GMO-free, gluten-free, made with zero artificial preservatives.
- Joint flexibility and lubrication for easier movement
- Improves condition of the skin and fur, may reduce shedding
- Keeps your young dogs or performance dogs in top condition
- Rebuilds and restores joint cartilage, to cushion joints and in reduce pain
- Decreases inflammation and swelling
- Strengthens the immune system
- Supports healthy organ function
Quantity: 90 soft chews
Ingredients: Glucosamine HSL, Organic Hemp Powder, MSM, Chondroitin Sulfate, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Absorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin E, Yucca Schidigera, Flax Seed Meal, Sunflower Lecithin, Palm Fruit Oil, Oat Flour, Rice Bran, Rice Flour, Natural Duck Flavoring, Natural Chicken Flavoring, Coconut Glycerin, Sorbic Acid (natural preservative, Powdered Cellulose (coating only).
10 lbs and less: 1 chew
11 lbs to 25 lbs: 2 chews
26 lbs to 75 lbs: 3 chews
76 lbs and over: 4 chews
Best CBD Oil Topical Treatments
King Kanine CBD Paw Balm
This paw balm contains nutrient-rich ingredients that help promote healthy skin. Broad Spectrum Cannabidiol Oil has been proven to act as a great antioxidant and reduce skin inflammation. All-Natural Beeswax helps to moisturize your dog’s skin in wet, rainy, and snowy conditions.
Coconut oil aids in moisturizing dry and chapped paws, noses, and elbows. Manuka honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help fight skin infections and soothe discomfort caused by inflammation. Honey also helps with healing by stimulating the production of special cells that repair tissue damaged by infection.
Here are some additional features of King Kanine CBD Paw Balm:
- For use on paws irritated by Ice & Snow, Rugged Terrain as well as Hot & Dry surfaces
- Third-party lab tested for purity and potency
- Pesticide and solvent free
Quantity: 1.75 oz
Ingredients: PhytoCannabinoid Rich CBD Oil, Natural Beeswax, Coconut Oil and Manuka Honey
Suggested use: Apply as needed.
King Kalm Soothe for Pets
This spray contains Tea Tree Oil and Colloidal Silver, which help fight and reduce the chance of infection. It also contains Chamomile and Aloe Vera, which help soothe your dog’s affected area.
Here are some additional features of King Kalm Soothe:
- Perfect for dogs with skin irritations, dermal fungus, cuts, scrapes or itchy dry skin.
- Helps reduce pain, itching, and inflammation associated with hot spots or acute moist dermatitis
- Includes very powerful active ingredients which can reduce inflammation at the dermal level as well as reduce the urge to lick or scratch.
Ingredients: Broad Spectrum Oil, Chamomile, Colloidal Silver, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil (Natural Mosquito Repellent), Hemp Seed Oil.
Suggested use: Spray directly on the affected area. Apply as needed.
Best CBD Oil Oral Spray
MediPets CBD Pet Spray
This spray can help your dog feel at home in any situation, from thunderstorms or loud firecrackers to a trip to the vet. You just spray it into your pooch’s mouth and that’s it. This is a relatively easy administration compared with other products we discussed.
Here are some additional features of MediPets CBD Pet Spray:
- 100% natural
- Helps with stress and anxiety
- Ideal to use before long car journeys or other potentially stressful situations
Strength: 100 mg
Ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, and CBD.
Suggested use: Spray in pet’s mouth or food.
As you’ve read throughout this post, CBD oil has an immense number of health benefits not only for pets, but for humans as well. I believe the skepticism of using CBD-based products stems from the popular, yet untrue, belief that CBD is marijuana, and therefore is illegal and gets you “high”. This can’t be further from the truth as various studies have shown that cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive substance, which means it does not cause hallucinogenic effects, alter consciousness, or cause a chemical dependency.
Our pets are near and dear to us and we don’t want to see them suffering. Prescription medications may not be working as promised or they might be causing some pretty unpleasant side effects. If you’re going through this with your canine companion, it might be a good time to start considering more natural alternatives like CBD oil.
Hopefully, in this article, I was able to supply you with enough information to make an informed decision about choosing the right CBD oil product to purchase for your four-legged friend.
Have you tried CBD oil for your dog? What about for yourself? Share your experiences below!