Even though it’s still controversial in some circles, a large and growing number of dog owners are discovering the benefits of CBD for their furry friends. If your dog is in pain or is chronically ill, CBD may be able to help.
In this guide we’ll go over the best brands of CBD for dogs as well as provide information about CBD. We’re aiming to provide an honest guide to the benefits (and potential drawbacks) of giving this popular supplement to your pet.
Recommended brands of CBD for dogs
#1. CBD FX
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- Different formulations for different dog sizes
- 100% natural and organic
- Includes terpenes, cannabinoids, amino acids, and fatty acids
CBD FX is unique in the sense that they offer different formulations of their tincture for different dog sizes. Whether your dog is a small, medium, or large breed; CBD FX has a tincture that is perfectly designed for their unique needs.
Some brands offer CBD isolate that lacks the additional components of the hemp plant. While isolate is great for some dogs; others might benefit from the included terpenes, amino acids, fatty acids, and cannabinoids. The manufacturing process that CBD FX uses ensures that these extra components remain in the final product.
#2. N8 Essentials
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- Offers CBD-infused treats and sprays
- Broad spectrum
N8 Essentials offers two different products for dogs: a pet spray and dog chews.
Each of their products is infused with Broad Spectrum Phytocannabinoid Hemp Oil, ensuring that your pet gets the benefits of terpenes and additional cannabinoids alongside the CBD.
N8 Essentials claims that their products can help your dog with anxiety, pain, inflammation, and stress. Their treats are available in two different sizes: 25 treats and 50 treats per bag.
#3. Half Day CBD
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- Bacon-flavored tincture
- Sourced from all-natural CBD grown in Kentucky
- Contains whole food phytonutrients such as phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and essential fatty acids while being regulatory compliant
Half Day is another reputable CBD company that offers products for pets. Their bacon-flavored tincture is sourced from non-GMO hemp plants grown in Kentucky.
This organic CBD tincture contains 500mg of CBD, with each dropper containing a dose of 17mg. The easiest way to use this tincture is to add it to dog’s food or water. You can also use the dropper to put the CBD directly into your animal’s mouth.
#4. Infinite CBD
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- CBD drops include coconut oil for healthier fur
- 5mg per drop
- Paw and nose salve protects from extreme weather conditions
Do you live in an extreme climate with hot summers or cold winters? If you do then you know how sensitive your dogs feet can get.
Inifinite CBD stands out from the competition by offering a “paw and nose salve” that is designed to protect your pet’s feet and nose from extreme climates. The salve, sold under the brand name “Launch Pad”, will help maintain moisture and protect the skin health of your dog.
Infinite also sells standard CBD drops with added coconut oil, which they claim can help maintain your pet’s fur health.
How we rate CBD products
In order to be certain that you have the best quality of CBD, we have come up with a set of buying criteria that we use when rating products:
- Tested by a 3rd Party Accredited Laboratory
- Quality of Ingredients
- Range of Concentration
View our full CBD rating process and methodology here.
Why do people give CBD to dogs?
CBD oils enjoy growing popularity among people (with products ranging from edibles to pillows) – but what about animals? Can you help your dog relieve some of the anxiety and pain by giving them CBD? Does CBD help animals sleep?
Research is still not crystal clear about all the benefits and possible negative effects of CBD on humans and animals. Even though it seems to be pretty harmless, please bear in mind that we lack knowledge of the long-term effects of CBD.
We know that CBD quickly became a hit, especially in states which legalized marijuana use. Many owners claim that CBD is a magic cure for everything, although science can’t back these claims yet and the FDA hasn’t issued recommended amounts of CBD.
What does CBD do for your dog?
CBD components bind to the dog’s endocannabinoid receptors which lie in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The endocannabinoid system helps keep balance inside the body and maintain your dog’s health.
These are the most commonly cited CBD benefits:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Appetite improvement
- Digestion improvement
- Fear, stress and anxiety reduction
- Possible anti-cancer benefits
- Chronic pain reduction (for example, joint pain, back pain, arthritis)
- Benefits for the heart health
- Epilepsy improvement
- Seizure control
- Nausea reduction
One study showed that osteoarthritic dogs enjoyed a lot of pain relief and more movement after taking CBD twice a day.
The American Kennel Club says that some CBD benefits are “anecdotal” because much of what we know about CBD and dogs comes from dog owners and their reports – not from actual scientific data.
You should consider CBD if your dog is in chronic pain (like arthritis) or has serious mood and fear or seizure problems. Some owners use it to help their dog with firework fears, but make sure you are not overusing it. Not every situation requires CBD use.
After each use, close the package tightly and leave it somewhere out of reach of dogs and children. If you’re using CBD oil, it should be kept in its original package. Store products in a dark and dry place.
Image source: Canine Journal
How much CBD should you give your dog?
Some studies used about 2mg per kilogram of body weight.
We don’t have the proper dosage of CBD for dogs or humans. The FDA warned about CBD use because it hasn’t been tested and approved yet.
It is common sense that your dog should receive more of a supplement if he or she is big and/or highly active and less if he or she is small and/or not very active. How much more or less of CBD is what we don’t know. Basically, you’ll need to do the research on your dog.
Some sources like the Canine Journal recommend a starting dose of 0.25 mg once a day. After administering this amount, watch your dog closely for any unusual signs or changes. Then you’ll know if you can increase the amount or not.
Choosing the right CBD product for your dog
The American Kennel Club recommends oil or tincture because this is the best way to choose the dosage for your dog. You can mix it with the food or apply directly into the mouth, below the tongue.
You can also buy CBD treats and dogs will be happy to eat them, but it’s difficult to know how much you gave them and the chances of your dog ‘stealing’ some when you’re not looking are the highest.
CBD creams can be good for skin conditions and pain whereas capsules can be given just like any other medication. You should mind the capsule dosage – it isn’t the same for small and large dogs.
Ask your veterinarian about CBD if your dog is already taking other medications. It is possible that CBD may interact with other meds.
Can you use CBD for humans on your dog?
You should probably not try this because CBD for human use contains a lot more THC which is ok for us but not for the dogs. Dog CBD has very little or no THC.
THC is another oil found in cannabis but unlike CBD, it alters consciousness and is toxic for dogs. Make sure to find the purest CBD for your dog. This means it should be free of THC (THC level should be below 0.3%) or other harmful chemicals.
There has been an increase of ‘high pet’ reports in states which legalized marijuana – more and more owners call for help because their pet accidentally ate their pot. We just want to remind you to keep being a good owner and make sure to store all your cannabis products in a safe place well out of reach of your pet. From 2019 on, it is legal for vets to talk about cannabis use for pets in California.
Is it legal to buy CBD products?
Since the Farm Bill in 2018, CBD is legal to produce, sell, and buy in the entire US. However, individual states have the right to approve or ban CBD products, so check your local law.
The bill allows the consumption of industrial hemp and hemp-derived products. They mustn’t contain more than 0.3 THC.
Where does CBD come from?
It is produced from industrial hemp, which is a type of cannabis with THC in trace amounts. CBD oil is extracted and thermally to become more compatible with humans and animals.
There’s CBD in the marijuana plant, but CBD oil from marijuana contains too much THC, which is why it’s not used widely and is illegal in states which prohibit marijuana products.
Is CBD safe for dogs?
CBD oil is generally seen as safe for dogs, especially if used in small amounts and over a short period of time. CBD is extracted from industrial hemp (cannabis strain grown especially for its products).
CBD has many reported effects like changing appetite and mood, reducing pain and inflammation, fighting cancer and seizures, and improving sleep – to name a few. As a responsible owner, you should be careful when choosing the best CBD for your four-legged friend.
CBD oil can either reduce or increase the effects of many medications. Always consult your vet before using CBD with drugs.
Will my dog get high from CBD?
CBD doesn’t get animals or humans “high”. CBD products that are federally legal are made from hemp which contains only trace amounts of THC. If they contained more THC, your dog would get high.
CBD only induces relaxation and pain-relief.
Side effects of CBD for dogs
We still have no exact scientific information about CBD toxicity and the right dosage for dogs, but some animals may suffer the same side effects as humans and they include:
- Drowsiness. This may be good if you want to help your dog sleep well, but if you are using CBD to treat pain or anxiety, it can be a problem.
- Dry mouth. CBD may make your dog more thirsty because it could decrease the production of saliva.
- Low blood pressure. The drop in blood pressure may be what’s causing drowsiness but it can also make your dog feel light-headed.
What if my dog takes too much CBD?
As there is no scientific data on what too much CBD does to dogs, we have to learn from our own example. According to ASPCApro, dog owners reported these side effects after CBD overdose:
- Lethargy. Dogs show no positive emotion or willingness to do anything.
- Lack of coordination. This means an inability to walk or perform other actions normally.
- Inability to control urination. Your dog is likely to pee on your carpet if he or she takes too much CBD.
- Abnormally high sensitivity of skin or other senses. The dog can become too sensitive to touch, light, or sounds.
- Not moving at all – recumbence. This happens to dogs who take even more CBD.
Some dogs may remain at home, but others will need intravenous (IV) fluids, medication or nursing. If your dog shows any of these signs, call your vet immediately and follow the instructions exactly as advised.
Long-term effects of CBD use for dogs
So far science found only a few side effects to moderate but continuous CBD use. Your dog may become less agile and less responsive to sounds after taking CBD for a long time.
One study conducted on mice has found these negative sides:
- After prolonged use of CBD locomotor activity in the open field is lowered. This means when animals were let out from the research center, those that consumed CBD were much slower than those which didn’t.
- CBD impairs prepulse inhibition (for example, if we hear a weak noise which is then followed by a loud noise – impulse, we won’t be startled because we heard the prepulse – which was the weak noise. If we are exposed to a loud noise suddenly, we will be startled. The first example is an example of prepulse inhibition. Impaired prepulse inhibition means that the low sound won’t make us alert and we will be startled by the upcoming noise anyway as if there was no ‘warning sound’)
Other things they found about CBD oil include these:
- CBD does not change memory or learning
- It alters certain anxiety behaviors
- It doesn’t cause body weight change
- It didn’t change the motor activity of the animals in the lab (but in the open the ‘CBD mice’ showed significantly worse results).
Bear in mind that this study was conducted on mice and CBD may not have the same effects on dogs.
Do vets recommend CBD to dog owners?
Your vet isn’t likely to recommend CBD for your pet, according to data presented in an anonymous online survey on veterinarians and their comfort level in discussing and recommending CBD. Almost 70% of vets said that they never recommend CBD whereas only 5% said they do so frequently.
It seems that one of the problems is the legality of marijuana – vets and clients are more likely to discuss CBD if they live in some place where marijuana is legal.
Another problem may be that CBD is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug. About 80% of surveyed vets said they think CBD should be reclassified under federal law.
You can buy hemp-derived CBD products without any prescriptions. Just make sure that CBD is legal where you live.
- Best CBD Oil For Dogs: An All-Natural Way To Ease Anxiety and Pain? https://www.caninejournal.com/cbd-oil-for-dogs/
- FDA warns company marketing unapproved cannabidiol products with unsubstantiated claims to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, opioid withdrawal, pain and pet anxiety https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-warns-company-marketing-unapproved-cannabidiol-products-unsubstantiated-claims-treat-cancer
- Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065210/
- CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/