CBD for Dog’s Life

CBD for Dog’s Life

CBD for pets is a fast-growing market. Find out how the market for dogs is keeping up.

What Is CBD Oil?

The continued growth of CBD consumption for humans makes impressive viewing. Customers have clearly discovered products they like and feel comfortable with, mainly because the products come from a natural source.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound extracted from cannabis and hemp. However, CBD or cannabidiol does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that causes a ‘high’ in the user. Nowadays, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana.

When did canine CBD first start to gain popularity?

The past decade has seen phenomenal growth in the pet CBD market, so much so that in 2020 the global market for pet CBD products exceeded $125 million. This demonstrates the popularity of the products, where pet owners themselves are already existing users of CBD products.

When interest in pet CBD products first started, rumors circulated that it would just be a passing craze, however, the year-on-year growth we have seen since suggests pet CBD is here to stay.

What does CBD do for Dogs?

Throughout the 1960s there was continued animal research into the effects of cannabinoids, however, the introduction of the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970s curtailed all further scientific study, as it was thought unlikely that cannabis would have any medical applications.

Consequently, there has been very little formal scientific study of the effects of CBD or hemp for dogs and other domestic animals.

So, although there is very little scientific evidence of the effects of CBD on dogs, it has been demonstrated that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in dogs, in much the same way as it interacts in humans.

The endocannabinoid system was first discovered by a Czech analytical chemist, Lumír Hanuš, in the early 1990s, when he isolated the first endocannabinoid from brain tissue. He also established that endocannabinoid receptors are located around the body in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Since his pioneering work, there have been extensive studies of the endocannabinoid system and in particular its function, where it regulates aspects of the metabolism to maintain good homeostasis.

So, while there is no firm scientific basis for the effects of CBD on dogs, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from vets and dog owners as to its efficacy. The reported CBD benefits for dogs are varied and include anti-inflammatory properties to help with joint pain, pain relief, anxiety reduction, anti-nausea benefits, and appetite stimulation.

Do Vets recommend CBD Oil for Dogs?

Dog owners are naturally very fond of their pets and consequently they are keen to do the right thing when it comes to treatment. This sense of responsibility is clearly demonstrated by statistics that show the number of consumers discussing CBD pet brands with their vet more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.

The same study established that 70% of pet CBD customers discussed pet CBD with their vets but that only 5% actually bought pet CBD from their vet. This reluctance makes more sense when you realize that vets are bound by the governance of the FDA and the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Their combined legislation says that vets cannot bring up the topic of pet CBD, they can only pass on the anecdotal knowledge of what CBD has done for other pets.

So, some vets may be reluctant to wholeheartedly recommend CBD for dogs, but most would agree that it won’t harm your dog, so long as you buy a quality, certified product.
For example, by buying an organic product you know it’s going to be free of pesticides and other residues which may harm your pet.

What’s the best CBD dosage for dogs?

With the limited research data available on CBD for dogs, there hasn’t been an opportunity for studies to establish the optimum dosage. However, scientists working for manufacturers’ brands and professional vets have developed procedures that safely administer small doses at the beginning, which can be gradually increased.

Before starting a course of CBD oil or CBD treats for dogs it’s always best to check with your vet beforehand, especially if you are already giving your dog a course of treatment, as there may be some interaction. Most scientists recommend a starting dose of 0.2 mg of CBD oil per pound of the dog’s weight.

It’s important to watch out for unwanted side effects when you first start treating your dog and as you increase the dose. If and when you want to raise the dose only use a small increase of 0.1 mg each time and again keep an eye out for side effects.

If you find the current dose is working well and alleviating the symptoms, you were initially concerned about, don’t feel the need to keep increasing the dose under the impression it will become more and more effective. In fact, the symptoms won’t be alleviated any better, but your dog may become more prone to unwanted side effects.

The weights of different dog breeds vary considerably and consequently the appropriate dosage for each breed will vary as well. The following examples show the doses for small, medium, and large dogs:

DoseMax Dose
Pug (10lbs)1 mg7 mg
Collies (60lbs)12 mg42 mg
Newfoundland (110lbs)22 mg77 mg

How much CBD for Dogs with Anxiety?

It is quite common for dogs to experience anxiety and the causes are manifold, as are the symptoms. Often it is a learned response, for example, many dogs are terrified of fireworks, where one loud explosion is enough to sensitize the dog to future similar events.

The first experience is a natural fearful reaction to something unknown, where they may react by panting, shaking, and trying to hide.

Other events that cause anxiety are situational, such as a visit to the vet or traveling in a car. While some anxieties are caused by being left alone, known as separation anxiety. Dogs are naturally pack animals, so when they are left alone, away from the pack or family they can feel abandoned, vulnerable, and anxious.

So, what can CBD help with? When treating a dog for anxiety it’s best to keep to the stated dosage suggestion. Choose the best CBD for dog anxiety and start your dog on the lowest dose. After a few minutes observe if there are any reductions in anxiety and or any unwanted side effects. If the anxiety symptoms don’t reduce, gradually increase the dose by small increments until you reach the maximum dose.

It can be useful to keep a diary, so you can note down the change in anxiety symptoms, as well as any side effects. If your pet is particularly anxious it might be worth talking to a pet behavioral specialist, so you can use other techniques in conjunction with the pet CBD.

What can CBD help with in Dogs?

While the scientific evidence of the effectiveness of CBD products in dogs is very limited there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. These include neuropathic pain, where nerves are injured or damaged, anti-inflammatory properties, reduced anxiety, antinausea, and appetite stimulation.

As cannabis products become more and more mainstream in the US, new research is being commissioned to scientifically establish the effects of CBD on humans and pets.
Current studies are looking at the alleviation of seizures in epileptic dogs that have become resistant to conventional treatment.

Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs

The side effects of CBD in humans have been well studied, and because humans and dogs share similar endocannabinoid systems the side effects on humans can generally be transferred to dogs.

The main side effects include:

  • Dry mouth. CBD dog treats reduce the production of saliva causing a dry mouth. Dogs would most likely experience this as an increased sense of thirst.
  • Lower blood pressure. Higher doses of CBD can cause blood vessels to dilate, lowering blood pressure. This can cause light-headedness or fainting.
  • Drowsiness. Dog CBD tends to have a calming effect, which is useful in treating the symptoms of anxiety. However, in higher doses, this can extend to drowsiness.

All these side effects must be taken in context when seen in the light of research, which was conducted to see the side effects of CBD in high doses. It concluded that a dose of more than 30 mg per kg was required to initiate side effects.

How long does CBD last for Dogs?

There have been very few studies on the metabolism of CBD and hemp oil for dogs, but it has been established dogs generally have a faster metabolism than humans and so will tend to metabolize CBD faster.

The length of time a drug lasts in the body is usually measured by the half-life. This is the time taken from ingestion for half of the drug to be metabolized. One study suggested the half-life of CBD for pets is 4-9 hours, but this was where the CBD was given intravenously.

When introduced to the bloodstream directly the half-life is going to be shorter than when the drug is taken via the digestive system. Most CBD half-life research has been conducted on humans and the consensus there is that CBD is metabolized in the human body in just over 24 hours.

The ability of mammals to metabolize CBD is down to a combination of age and how frequently they have taken CBD previously.


  • It’s best to check with your vet prior to starting any CBD course with your dog
  • Carry out thorough research to find the correct dose for your breed of dog
  • Use CBD tincture or oil for dogs as it’s easier to measure the correct dose
  • Use an organic product. It will have been manufactured to a higher specification
  • Start with the lowest dose. See if symptoms reduce and if any side effects occur
  • Stay with your pet after the first dose to check everything is okay

Take away’s in article

As with human CBD products, there has been an enormous growth of interest in CBD oil for dogs, over recent decades. However, there is still only limited scientific research, which has studied CBD products for dogs.

The metabolism of humans and dogs is similar in many ways, although dogs do have a faster metabolism. Both share a similar endocannabinoid system and so, with caution, some of the knowledge gained from the human endocannabinoid system can be transferred to the canine endocannabinoid system.

When initiating any treatment program, it’s always best to check with your vet that it’s an appropriate course of action for your pet. Your vet will also be a good source of information about the products available, even if you decide to purchase the products on the open market.

When first treating your dog it’s best to stay with them to observe any changes, either good or bad.