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How to Use CBD with Your Dog

Camping with Dog

Does CBD really benefits dogs?

There’s a lot of research (about 23,000 published papers!) looking at CBD’s effect on laboratory animals and humans, with encouraging results for pain, especially arthritic pain, itchiness, anxiety, and cancer, all of which have at least one canine study as well.


Several studies have looked at CBD’s effectiveness against arthritic pain, all with positive results. A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study 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. Lead investigator Joe Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, said that some dogs were initially so decrepit that their owners considered euthanasia, but that after just days on CBD they were trotting around and even climbing stairs. A Baylor University study found similar improvement, adding that CBD worked better when delivered in a liposomal formulation.


Two recent double-blind, placebo-controlled dog studies report CBD significantly reduces itchiness. An Australian study conducted by the company CannPal found their CBD product reduced itchiness, inflammation, and skin lesions by 51 percent after eight weeks of treatment. An American study conducted by the company ElleVet found their product, which combines CBD with another cannabinoid, CBDA, significantly reduced owners’ reports of itchiness.


Cannabinoids are reported to induce cancer-cell death and prevent metastasis. In a Cornell University study of CBD, dogs, and cancer, researchers found CBD along with a standard chemotherapy drug reduced cancer-cell proliferation in vitro more than the chemotherapy drug alone. Anecdotal reports from veterinarians have claimed CBD shrunk cancer cells or put dogs into remission.


Anxiety, and especially noise reactivity, is a major reason dog owners seek help using CBD. But despite anecdotal reports of its effectiveness, no controlled study so far has shown it to be particularly effective. A study from the University of Western Australia may show promise for aggressive behavior. Shelter dogs with aggressive tendencies exhibited less aggression toward humans when tested after 15 days of CBD administration. In a study from the University of Kentucky, physiological measurements of anxiety in response to noise were not significantly different for CBD versus placebo, and were worse compared to trazodone (a drug commonly prescribed for anxiety). Note, however, that in this study the CBD was administered four to six hours before testing, which may have been too long a waiting period.


Lots of anecdotal reports hail CBD’s success combatting seizures in dogs, but the single controlled study delivered moderate results. In this Colorado State University study, dogs given CBD for 12 weeks had 33 percent fewer seizures than those given a placebo, but it didn’t work for every dog. These researchers are now working on a larger trial using higher CBD doses. Note that THC has been reported to cause seizures, so it should never be included in any CBD product for seizure control. In addition, CBD’s effect on cytochrome P450 could interfere with prescribed anti-seizure drugs, so never use it without your veterinarian’s consent.


There’s also evidence from laboratory animals that CBD is effective in promoting bone healing, fighting infection, treating inflammatory bowel disease, slowing degenerative myelopathy, quelling nausea, and relieving pain, but these have yet to be specifically examined in dogs.

What’s the Proper Dose for My Dog?

This is one of the most common questions! Start with 2mg of CBD for every 10 lbs of dog weight. If you’ve never given your dog CBD before, this is a good place to start. You can put drops of oil on their food or favorite treat.

Be Consistent

Some dogs take CBD oil as part of their daily regimen, others only use it as an occasional supplement to deal with situational issues (like fireworks, trips to the vet, and being left alone). Whichever way you plan to use CBD with your dog, be consistent until you understand what works best for them.

We recommend giving your dog CBD 2x a day, 4-8 hours between servings, for at least 3 days to get a good baseline.

Don’t be afraid to adjust

There is no one-size-fits-all CBD solution – factors such as your dog’s size, metabolism, and condition will all impact how CBD works for them. Finding a CBD oil dosage for anxiety may be different than finding one for joint mobility. Adjust by ½ serving as needed and go from there! (And don’t worry, CBD oil is safe and natural. Your dog will not overdose on CBD!)

dosage guidelines for dogs

Which CBD product should I give my dog?

Selecting a CBD product depends on many factors, including your pet’s diet, tastes, and how often you plan to use it.

Start by figuring out how much CBD you want to give your pet and how often, then look for products that offer an appropriate amount of CBD. Most products will tell you how much CBD is in a serving as well as the total package.

For example, a 50lb dog that you plan to give CBD to twice per day would start with 10mg of CBD per dose for a total of 20mg CBD each day.

In this example, a bottle of 100mg CBD oil would cover 5 days of CBD – which is not very efficient for a dog of this size. Instead, a bottle of our 600mg CBD oil gives you a 30 day supply.

How Long Does it Take CBD to Take Effect?

CBD takes 30-45 minutes to start working. As a rule, oils tend to kick in a little faster than biscuits or treat just because there are fewer ingredients for furry bellies to break down first. But there’s no difference in effectiveness between the two.

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last?

Each dose lasts from 4-8 hours. That’s a big spread, we know, but the duration can vary a lot depending on your pet’s size, activity level, breed, and the severity of their symptoms. But as a good rule of thumb: older pups tend to take longer than younger ones to digest food.

Can I give CBD to my cat?

Yes! Cat and Canine CBD receptors are very similar. Start with 3mg of CBD per 10 lbs of weight for cats. Although they can be pickier eaters, all of the tips in this article also apply to cats. For more information on cats and CBD, click here.

In Conclusion
Every pet is different. They come in all shapes and sizes. That’s what we love about them! But it does mean that when it comes to CBD, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. It might take some experimenting to find the right amount. That’s okay—CBD is safe and natural, so no worries if your pet gets a little more or less than needed while you figure things out.

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