CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know
As with any pet wellness trend, when it comes to CBD oil for dogs, there’s a lot of information floating around online. Of course, you want to do what’s best for your pup, which leads to the question: What do I need to know about CBD oil?
The AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, explains what CBD oil is, what it does, and its safety concerns and side effects.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Dr. Klein says it is essential to note that in most cases, CBD oil does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. In fact, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana.
How Does CBD Affect Dogs?
Currently, there has been no formal study on how CBD affects dogs. What scientists do know is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.
What Dog Health Problems Can CBD Oil Treat?
While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.
According to Dr. Klein, CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study, through the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, that will evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. The CHF hopes that this will be the first study to gain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.
Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.
- Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.
- Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness.
- Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.
Risks of Using CBD Oil for Dogs
The safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not yet been researched. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD and has not issued a dosing chart. Therefore, we do not know what size dosage would be toxic. Any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction. It is always advisable, when giving your dog something new, to start out with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. And always check with your veterinarian first.
CBD Products on the Market
If you and your veterinarian decide that you should try CBD as a treatment for your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil. Not all oils are the same; you’ll want high-quality CBD oil to have a better chance of it working.
- Look for organic. If the CBD oil is not organic, it at least should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
- Don’t only shop based on price. Higher quality and purity are usually associated with a higher cost. A cheaper option could contain toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. Make sure your CBD oil is free of additives.
- Get the analysis. The manufacturer should provide a certificate that certifies the amount of CBD that is in the product. Many CBD products contain only small amounts of CBD. You’ll also want to make sure there is little or no THC in the product.
- Buy CBD as a liquid. You can buy dog treats containing CBD, but the best form to administer is an oil or tincture. This way, you can adjust your dog’s dose drop by drop.
The CBD Wellness Trend
Why are we hearing so much about CBD oil now? Dr. Klein points to the legalization of marijuana in many places, which has triggered interest in potential health benefits of marijuana-related products. “We are likely to see continued interest in CBD and an increase in research about its uses and efficacy in the coming years,” he says.
Best CBD Oil for Dogs: Top 5 Brands
In the past few years, CBD has become popular due to its health and wellness properties. The benefits of CBD may promote calmness, relaxation, joint mobility, skin health, sleep patterns, and more.
This natural substance may not only be enjoyed by humans but may also be useful for pets. Dogs, in particular, may experience a number of issues that can be helped by using CBD.
In this article, we’re going to examine CBD in-depth and review the top 5 brands of CBD oil for dogs being sold on the web.
Top CBD Oil for Dogs:
- HolistaPet – High Quality & Best Value
- Pet Hemp Company – Organic CBD Oil for Dogs
- Nuleaf Naturals – For Bigger Dogs (40lbs+)
- CBDistillery – Best for Small to Medium Breeds (<25lbs)
- Joy Organics – CBD Treats for Dogs That Don’t Like Oils
How We Came Up with This List of CBD Oil for Dogs
In coming up with this list of CBD oil for dogs, some of the main factors we examined were:
- Dosage sizes
- The type of extracts used
- Lab testing
- How natural the product is
- Shipping and return policy
These criteria let us compile a list of safe, high-quality products made by companies of good reputation.
Best CBD Oil for Dogs
#1. HolistaPet – High Quality & Best Value
Holistapet is a USA-based company that focuses on improving the holistic health of the pet. The formulae they use for their products are prepared by wellness experts with years of experience and are infused with carefully selected nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
They are also assisted by a veterinary advisory board and their products are regularly lab tested. This means a healthy, cruelty-free, and organic CBD product for your dog.
Their website event contains a quiz to help you better select the best CBD product for your dog. Also, for every dollar you spend there you get a point. These collected points can be used to obtain discounts on your future purchases.
Their selection of CBD oil has the following features:
Formulation (Hemp Source)
The CBD oil is manufactured in the USA and contains 100% natural ingredients. This includes organic superfoods and rich CBD and it has no GMOs, gluten, dairy, additives, or preservatives. The product is formulated specifically for pets, meaning that all the nutrients within the oils are balanced with animal health in mind.
Holistapet offers a wide range of dose sizes, consisting of 150mg, 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg, and 3000mg.
The CBD oil is derived from full-spectrum CBD, meaning it is rich in nutrients and complex cannabinoids, which provides a more concentrated release. However, it contains 0% THC, so it has no psychoactive elements and cannot produce any kind of “high”.
The company tests all its products to ensure the correct number of cannabinoids are present, that the products are safe, that no pesticides or residual solvents have been introduced. All results are made available on their website.
Shipping and Return Policy
Only ships to the USA. Free shipping time is 1-5 days delivery (usually delivers within 3 days) from when the order was processed. Priority Mail Shipping Time is 2-3 days delivery from when the order was processed. They also provide a 30-day full money-back guarantee for items that are new, unused, and unopened.
#2. Pet Hemp Company – Good for Dogs With Joint Pain
Pet Hemp Company’s touching story of inspiration began when their family dog, Woody, developed a tumor. After numerous medications were ineffective, they began administering CBD to Woody, which got him back on his feet and allowed him to enjoy the rest of his days.
After their beloved dog passed away, they decided to continue their work and create CBD products for other dog owners. The company is still growing and shows a lot of promise!
The company’s CBD oil may be noted for the following:
Formulation (Hemp Source)
The hemp that the oil is extracted from is grown and processed right in the US and is infused with organically grown superfood nutrients and the product contains no GMOs, gluten, dairy, additives, or preservatives.
The oil is specifically formulated with dogs in mind, ensuring that it provides optimum canine health treatment. Pet Hemp Company emphasizes that they produce their CBD oil from completely natural ingredients.
Pet Hemp Company has a good selection of dose sizes, including 150mg, 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg, 3000mg.
Their oil contains full spectrum CBD and other cannabinoids. This allows a more potent CBD release. In addition, the extract is highly purified and contains 0% traces of THC, meaning that the oil is completely non-psychoactive, so it can be safely administered without any risks of mental alteration
Every single batch of their CBD is lab tested by a third party for potency and to detect harmful chemicals.
Shipping and Return Policy
Only ships to the USA, with free standard shipping on all products taking 3-6 business days. Priority shipping is also available for a small additional cost and takes 2-3 days. All standard products come with a 30-day, money-back guarantee for new and unopened products based on the delivery date as provided by the shipper.
#3. Nuleaf Naturals – For Bigger Dogs (40lbs+)
Nuleaf Naturals has been operating since 2014 and claims to be among America’s top pioneering hemp companies. Boasting high-grade products grown and produced in the USA, the company aims for top standards with its no-nonsense premium products.
Nuleaf offers a full-spectrum CBD oil for pets that has the following description:
Formulation (Hemp Source)
The hemp is grown in Colorado, USA, meaning they get a lot of sun and enough water too. It doesn’t contain any GMOs. Furthermore, no herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers were used.
Nuleaf’s products have been formulated with pets in mind. Their products are 100% organic and contain no additives or preservatives, making them very safe since there are no potential toxins.
Nuleaf provides a fair variety of dosages, including 240mg, 725mg, and 1450mg.
Nuleaf’s products contain full-spectrum whole plant extract. This allows your pet to make use of what is called the “entourage effect”.
By giving your dog a full spectrum CBD that contains a wide range of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural chemicals, your pet gets more from the product than by having something that only contains a single cannabinoid compound.
This is the entourage effect in action. Full spectrum extract does mean that the product contains traces of THC, which produces the “high” effect, however, this will always be at levels of 0.3% or less, meaning that any mental effect the oil might give is minimal at best and mostly unnoticeable.
The company makes its lab results public on its website.
Shipping and Return Policy
Fast and free shipping for all orders within the USA. Most orders are delivered within 2 – 3 business days. Also includes an express 1-to-2-day shipping option. This company also delivers internationally to over 40 countries, which is great for those of you outside the US!
However, make sure you check the laws about CBD products in your own country prior to making an order. You may return new, unused, and unopened products within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.
#4. CBDistillery – Best for Small to Medium Breeds (<25lbs)
CBDistillery was founded in Colorado, USA on the principle of producing high-quality, fairly priced, US-grown, hemp-derived CBD products. CBDistillery focuses a lot on educating people on CBD and its benefits to people and animals.
It has experienced a lot of social media growth and its momentum is continuing. Another main focus of theirs is transparency and, in fact, the test results for any product can be viewed by scanning the QR code on any product.
CBDistillery offers CBD tinctures for pets, which, in particular, have the following advantages:
Formulation (Hemp Source)
The product is designed specifically for pets so that it provides a holistically safer and more beneficial experience and results for your dog. Ingredients include nutrient-rich hemp seed oil, which helps with dog digestion, as well as CO2 Hemp Extract (Aerial Parts). This latter produces an extract that is abundant in non-psychoactive cannabinoids and is therefore rich in pure CBD.
150mg and 600mg.
CBDistillery produces full-spectrum CBD oil. This means that the oil contains a spectrum of terpenes, phytocannabinoids, and other natural chemicals that make the product’s effects more accelerated. This generally works faster than broad-spectrum CBD, but it does contain traces of THC (0.3% or less), which, while generally almost unnoticeable, might be something to take into consideration.
These are conveniently available via a QR code on the side of any container purchased that can be scanned for a full report.
Shipping and Return Policy
Free shipping is available for any purchase worth over $75. All products carry a 60-day customer satisfaction guarantee for new, unused, and unopened products.
CBDistillery provides great customer service that is available on most social media platforms. Their focus on technology integration allows quick response times and troubleshooting with your purchased products, to ensure you and your dog have the best experience using the company’s CBD oil.
#5. Joy Organics – CBD Treats for Dogs That Don’t Like Oils
Joy Organics is a family-founded company that comprises long-standing experience in the health industry. The now 68-member company believes in excellence and innovation and is a board member of the US Hemp Roundtable.
Their strengths also include high-quality products and stellar customer service. Joy Organics also runs frequent philanthropic projects to assist non-profit organizations. Purchasing from them helps charities too, as Joy Organics donates part of all its revenue to a different good cause every month.
The CBD oil tinctures & dog treats they sell include these characteristics:
Formulation (Hemp Source)
The hemp used to produce the CBD-rich oil is grown and processed in the USA. The manufacturing is performed at a high level, ensuring premium grade CBD oil is produced that absorbs faster than many competing products. This is pure with no binders, fillers, excipients, dyes, or unknown substances. In addition, all traces of THC are removed.
The dosage sizes provided by this company are somewhat limited, only including 225mg and 450mg. The treats are available in a 60mg package, containing 2mg per treat.
Joy Organics obtains their hemp from farmers that use organic state of the art processes, ensuring higher quality and safe products. This is dried, milled, extracted, separated, and refined with the highest industry standards. This results in a broad-spectrum hemp extract that is highly rich in top tier CBD that contains other powerful terpenes and cannabinoids naturally found in the hemp plant.
The refining process removes all traces of THC from the harvested compound and, when complete, will result in no-psychoactive properties being present in the CBD oil, ensuring safe consumption.
The company has every batch rigorously tested by a third-party lab for potency and THC and pesticide levels. The results are made public on their website.
Shipping and Return Policy
All Joy Organics’ products have free shipping and handling to any location within the USA. Products that are new, unused, and unopened may be returned with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Furthermore, full customer support is provided to buyers, ensuring that your order will arrive swiftly and securely and that you can use the product safely with readily available help.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs?
While cannabis became a household name the better part of a century ago, scientists have only discovered the benefits CBD can provide in relatively recent years. Usage of the plant for its healing properties goes back to antiquity, and researchers are still discovering what CBD can do for us and our pets.
What Can CBD Oil Be Used to Treat?
Currently, there are some well-known uses for CBD for dogs. Here are some of the most popular therapeutic uses of CBD oil:
Numerous studies suggest that CBD may help reduce soreness and relieve minor discomforts. Dogs have a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in functions such as appetite, pain, sleep, and immune system response.
CBD affects endocannabinoid receptor activity, decreasing signaling, and interacting with neurotransmitters. Adding CBD to your dog’s diet may promote joint mobility and healthy activity.
Scientists claim that a dog is as smart as a two-year-old, so caring for their mental welfare is very important. Dogs can suffer from symptoms of anxiety and even depression, with some even being chronic sufferers.
Treatment such as benzodiazepines can have negative side effects and be addictive. CBD oil has been shown to improve the production of “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. This may be enough to calm and relax without the burden of severe side effects.
3. Skin Health
Ingesting CBD or applying it topically allows the beneficial cannabinoids to interact with cannabinoid receptors on the dog’s skin. CBD contains a healthy balance of omega 3s and 6 fatty acids, both of which promote skin, coat, and nail health. CBD oil is also a natural moisturizer and it provides antioxidants as well.
4. Appetite and Nausea
If your dog struggles with maintaining a healthy appetite CBD may provide some comfort. According to the National Cancer Institute CBD may increase the appetite. There are heavy concentrations of CB2 receptors in the gut. When CBD interacts with this part of the ECS it may provide relaxation to the stomach and ease vomiting and nausea sensations.
5. Heart Health
CBD may help promote a healthy cardio-circulatory system. The ECS helps regulate blood pressure. A balance in blood pressure may help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and metabolic syndrome.
There are many other instances where CBD may be useful. CBD provides precious cannabinoids to the ECS, which promotes balance through homeostasis. CBD promotes calmness and relaxation to promote healthy sleeping habits. It may help calm an aggressive, hyper, or fearful dog to the point of contentment.
As you can see, CBD oil can be used for many issues. There are some advantages to choosing it as your dog’s form of remedy, which we’ll go through in the next section.
Why CBD Oil in Particular?
There are a lot of medications and remedies out there for dogs, so it’s best to keep yourself informed of all possible options.
CBD oil has a lot of advantages to benefit your pet’s life, including:
- Natural – CBD oil is made from and produced using all-natural ingredients and processes without any unnatural chemicals or substances.
- No significant side effects – Taking CBD oil has not been associated with any major side effects, allergens, or toxic effects for dogs.
- Oil – CBD oil is a superior form because it is purer and more natural. It also works faster (10-30 minutes) and more efficiently and is easier to administer. It is also generally the most cost-effective CBD product.
- Low environmental impact – Hemp does not require a lot of water to grow and the extraction process is energy efficient.
For the best results, you must get the right CBD oil for your dog. It means looking for the brands with the right characteristics, as discussed further on.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs? Will CBD Affect Your Dog Mentally?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940 and is derived from the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. The plant contains 2 major components: THC and CBD.
Most people associate marijuana with the sensation of getting “high”. However, this is caused by THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the major psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis. While one might worry about the effects of ordinary marijuana, which does contain THC, CBD can be isolated from the plant and is itself not psychoactive.
Many advocates believe CBD may be a viable option in comparison to some pharmaceutical medicines. CBD may be helpful for those looking for relief without mind-altering side effects.
Among humans, there have been occasional cases of side effects documented. A minority of persons taking CBD have noted feeling alterations. These people tend to also feel effects from medicines such as Tylenol or Advil and therefore may be predisposed to an unusual sensitivity to CBD.
When it comes to dogs, no research has indicated any psychoactive effects arising from the usage of CBD. That being said, studies are still underway, so it’s important to pay attention to credible sources.
If you plan to administer CBD to your canine, make sure to supervise and monitor your dog the first time you use it. Also, it’s important to buy third-party tested CBD for quality assurance, since CBD production is not fully regulated everywhere.
Are There Any Other Effects on Dogs in Particular?
While no unusual mental effects have been recorded in dogs, there are a few minor physical side effects to look out for when using CBD oil with your pet.
These are as follows:
Lower Blood Pressure: Higher CBD doses have been reported to cause a small drop in blood pressure for a short period, which can cause temporary light-headedness. This is a fairly rare occurrence and tends not to last long, especially after your dog acclimates to taking CBD.
Sleepiness: Some owners of dogs use CBD to treat their animal anxiety issues. CBD has a calming effect which, when administered in higher doses, may also give the dog a slight feeling of sleepiness. This tends to decrease as the dog becomes accustomed to their CBD dosage.
Thirst and Dry Mouth: CBD has been shown to sometimes decrease saliva production. Your dog might, therefore, be thirstier, so it is good to make sure they have a full bowl of water if they are taking larger doses.
Correct CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs
When it comes to how much CBD oil you should use on your dog, there are some things you should consider. Each company’s dosing guides may vary because of the concentration of CBD in their product.
Furthermore, the correct dosage can vary according to what condition you are trying to treat in your dog, your dog’s weight, any other underlying health issue, and other factors.
Generally speaking, it is best to start small and then work up to the manufacturer’s dosing guidelines for the specific product. Companies that produce high-quality CBD, such as those listed above, normally provide detailed instructions on the dosage of their products.
Calculating CBD Oil Dosages for Your Dog
In order to calculate the amount of CBD oil required to treat your pet for medicinal purposes (e.g. arthritic pain, easing seizures), you need to follow these steps:
- First, determine approximately how many milligrams (mg) of CBD your dog needs based on their weight. This is generally calculated at 0.2-0.25mg of CBD per pound (lb.).
- Next, calculate how much oil you have to provide based on how many milligrams of CBD there are per milliliter (ml) of oil. This will vary depending on the strength of the CBD oil you’re using and should be written on the manufacturer’s instructions.
It is important to bear in mind the purposes for which you are giving your dog CBD. If you want to give your dog CBD for general wellness purposes, you may not need as high a dosage as indicated above. If, on the other hand, your dog requires a stronger dose, you can give 0.5mg per pound of body weight.
Remember to always consult a qualified licensed veterinarian before giving your dog any kind of new medication or remedy, including CBD oil. This includes checking the dosage with the professional.
How to Give CBD Oil to Your Dog
There are a few ways you can give your dog CBD. We recommend trying the following for an effective and stress-free experience:
Placing the CBD Oil Directly in The Mouth – Place the dropper directly in your dog’s mouth and slowly squeeze. Give a treat afterward to be sure your dog has swallowed everything.
Mixing the Oil Directly with Your Dog’s Food or Treats – This works better with dry food or treats, which will absorb the oil, while wet food may not properly blend with the oil. Leave a few minutes before letting your dog eat, so the CBD oil is properly absorbed. Strong tasting snacks such as peanut butter work great too.
Diluting the CBD Oil with Water – Since quality CBD oil doesn’t have much of a taste or smell, your dog may not notice if you add it to their water. This might not work well if your pet does not drink water frequently, however.
What to Look for in a Quality CBD Oil for Dogs?
When buying CBD, you should look for high-quality oil, which has a better chance of working.
Here’s how to tell a good brand:
Natural – Look for something organic or that doesn’t contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
Don’t Just Go For The Least Expensive – Better purities and qualities of CBD oil cost more, for a reason. Cheaper alternatives might contain harmful chemicals such as heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, or dangerous additives. Pure CBD is non-toxic to dogs.
Lab Tested – Any manufacturer worth their salt will provide certificates to ratify the amount of CBD in the product and that there is little to no THC present.
Liquid Form – While you can buy CBD in a number of forms, including dog treats and other edibles, the best type comes as an oil or tincture. This lets you precisely measure and administer your dog’s dose.
It is only recently that scientists and wellness experts have begun to truly discover the excellent properties that CBD contains.
CBD oil can be used for a large number of issues affecting a canine companion of any breed, health, sex, and age and is not prone to causing any major side effects. It is widely available and is comparatively inexpensive. It’s also completely natural and non-toxic to humans and dogs.
Good quality CBD oil is extremely effective if used correctly. That’s why we recommend HolistaPet as our top choice when it comes to helping your pup. Dogs may already hold the title for man’s best friend, but CBD oil comes as a close second to a dog’s best friend