With thousands of CBD oil products available, some companies are expanding their focus to include our furry friends. In this article, we explore the best CBD products for dogs, how they work, and how to ensure that your dog is getting the most out of each dose.
CBD can be useful for a dog’s overall health, disease prevention, nausea, anxiety, and issues with inflammation. Studies are just starting to be done on using CBD for dogs, but there’s a lot of good evidence from trials on humans that can be applied to dogs as well.
That’s why many people are asking the question that we’ll be answering today: What is the proper CBD dosage for dogs?
It’s not as simple as you might think, because a number of factors impact how much CBD oil your dog should take–size, age, overall health of the dog, as well as the type of CBD product being used. But worry not, we’ll walk you through all of this information and more.
And if you want quick info, consider jumping to the table we’ve created to show you the correct dose of CBD based on your dog’s size!
Table of Contents
- When to Consider Using CBD for Dogs
- Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
- The Dangers of THC for Dogs
- Making Your Own CBD Oil for Your Dog
- The Correct CBD Dosage for Dogs
- Proper Dosage with CBD Oil Droppers
- FAQ and CBD Library
When to Consider Using CBD for Dogs
While there is still a need for more testing, people seem to be getting good results when they give their dogs CBD to help with a variety of health problems, such as anxiety, seizures, pain, inflammation, bowel disease, and even appetite issues. It can also be used to promote heart health and protect the nervous system.
We were able to find recent studies with promising results relating to CBD for dogs being used to reduce seizure frequency and reduce pain in dogs with osteoarthritis. Some of the more well-studied benefits of CBD for humans can be extrapolated to benefit dogs.
We recommend CBD for two types of dog owners. Those who believe in the healing power of CBD and want their dog to benefit. And those with dogs who have health problems that might be improved by CBD products. Common points of consideration are treating dogs with issues like anxiety, depression, pain, or inflammation.
But before giving CBD to your furry friend, be sure to consult your veterinarian to ensure that it is safe. Old age and pre-existing health conditions might create some unforeseen complications or side effects that you’ll need to be aware of.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
Much like CBD products for humans, scientists largely agree that CBD is safe for dogs and cats. But as is also the case for CBD in humans, there are some potential side effects to be aware of in giving CBD to your dog.
Most notably, giving a significant dose of CBD to your dog has been shown to raise a blood work marker of liver function. This marker is known as alkaline phosphatase (ALP). While we don’t know the extent to which ALP impacts dog’s health, it does mean that we should exercise some caution when giving our dogs CBD.
Specifically, if your dog has liver problems or a disease related to the liver, we would strongly recommend holding off on CBD until you’ve consulted your veterinarian.
The only other notable side effect is the anecdotal report of dogs becoming sleepy or lethargic on larger doses of CBD. And this would match up with what we know about large doses of CBD acting as a sedative in humans.
This does suggest though, that we should exercise caution when giving dogs CBD who might have health issues relating to the heart.
CBD for Dogs and Drug Interactions
Because we don’t have enough data, we don’t really know if there are any major drug interactions to be wary of when giving your dog CBD. However, it is believed that there are some interactions out there.
From what we know about how CBD is metabolized by dogs–the most major concerns would with drugs that effect the dog’s heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory system, or liver.
So if your dog takes any strong medications, definitely speak with your veterinarian about any potential interactions.
The Dangers of THC for Dogs
Unlike CBD for dogs, THC presents a significant threat to your animal. If your dog ingests THC, there is a risk of what’s known as THC toxicity. THC toxicity in dogs has been on the rise since the legalization of marijuana in many states, which is terribly unfortunate because this can be fatal.
According to PetMD, here are the major clinical signs of THC toxicity in dogs:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Urine retention
- Sensitivity to loud noises
- Low heart rate
- Dribbling urine
- Dilation of the pupils
- Low or high body temperature
A dog that’s ingested a large amount of THC may even experience seizures or tremors and in the worst cases may even enter a comatose state.
But what does this mean in the context of CBD for dogs? Well, it means that dog owners will need to be extra careful when evaluating full spectrum CBD products. Full spectrum CBD oils contain a variety of cannabinoids and often contain trace amounts of THC.
The problem is that sometimes full spectrum CBD oils contain more THC than they should. This is why some CBD lovers end up randomly failing a drug test–because they were taking a full spectrum CBD oil that had more THC than advertised.
But while this only creates a hassle for a person, it can create a life threatening situation in dogs. So each owner will want to weigh the pros and cons of giving their dog full spectrum CBD. If you decide to go with full spectrum CBD oil, then be sure that the company you’re buying from uses independent third party lab tests to verify the exact amount of cannabinoids in each batch of CBD oil.
How to Give CBD Oil to Dogs
As a human, taking CBD products is relatively simple. We take a few sublingual drops of oil and let them sit in our mouths, so that they can be absorbed with maximum efficiency. But CBD oil dosage for dogs is a bit more complicated.
This is because CBD oil dosage for dogs depends on multiple factors that will be different for each individual dog. CBD that’s formulated for dogs is often flavored (bacon flavoring is a popular choice). This means that your dog might be eager to lick up and swallow the CBD oil too quickly–before it has time to effectively absorb into your animal’s bloodstream.
Why does this matter? Well, it comes down what’s referred to as the bioavailability of the CBD oil.
What is Bioavailability?
Bioavailability refers to the rate at which a substance is effectively absorbed into the bloodstream. A recent study showed that the bioavailability of CBD oil ingested orally by dogs was shockingly low–just 13% to 19%.
So this means that if you were to give your dog a dose of CBD equivalent to 10 mg, the dog would only benefit from roughly 1-2mg of that CBD. So how do we increase the bioavailability of CBD for man’s best friend?
There’s a couple of methods to consider.
- Apply the CBD oil to the flesh side of the dog’s ear. There’s a high number of blood vessels near the surface of the skin, which allows the CBD to absorb more effectively.
- Use a non-flavored CBD oil that might encourage the dog to keep the drops in its mouth longer, before swallowing.
- Apply the CBD oil drops to a bone or chew toy that the dog will or chew on without swallowing.
Basically, the goal here is to try and keep the CBD oil in the dogs mouth for an extended period of time without the dog swallowing it. Of course, CBD dog treats completely circumnavigate this issue–but the dog will only absorb a small portion of the CBD in each dog treat.
Factors in How Much CBD a Dog Should Take
How much CBD a dog should take will depend on a number of factors, so let’s review those. First and foremost, how much CBD a dog should take will depend on the size of your dog and the amount of CBD in the oil. Additionally, you’ll want to pay attention to your dogs metabolism–dose your dog eat quickly and display tons of energy? Or is your dog low-energy and less food-motivated?
A dose of CBD will carry a stronger effect in dogs with a fast metabolism, but may need more frequent doses. A dog with a slow metabolism might need fewer doses as a result. Similarly, your dog’s energy level will play a role in how CBD effects him/her.
CBD oil with a high concentration of CBD will likely be best for large sized dogs, or dogs that have a proven enjoyment of CBD. But even in large dogs, it’s a good idea to only increase doses of CBD after a dog has demonstrated no side effects after taking it. Smaller dogs might experience a drop in energy if they take a larger dose of CBD–which might be the desired result, but requires more careful monitoring.
In other words, careful experimentation is key to ensuring that your dog gets the most out of CBD. Start with a smaller dose, and work up to a larger dose as needed. It’s also important to always consider veterinary advice, too.
Making Your Own CBD Oil for Your Dog
Making your own CBD oil is a great option whether you’re taking it yourself or giving it your dog. CBD oil–for all its amazing benefits–is actually a really simple product. To make your own CBD, all you need to do is combine CBD isolate powder with a carrier oil such as organic coconut oil (MCT oil).
This is a great option for dog owners who want to enjoy CBD oil themselves, too. Because it allows you to make large quantities of CBD (with different potencies) cost effectively. This makes it one of the best options for a household comprised of many CBD users, and for those looking to enjoy highly concentrated CBD on a budget.
Did you know that you could theoretically make a lifetime supply of CBD for under $1,500 (it wouldn’t last that long, but still)? Considering that many popular CBD oil brands with high concentrations of CBD can run you upwards of $200 for a single 30ml bottle, this is pretty awesome.
Let’s look at the cost breakdown for making your own CBD for you and/or your dog. Compare these prices to the average cost of CBD per milligram in CBD oil ( $.08 to $.10 per milligram of CBD). Note: we’ve based the cost of MCT off of 100% organic bottles (costing about $20 for 480 milliliter bottle)
|Cost of MCT Oil||Cost of CBD Isolate||Amount of Isolate||30ml Bottles of 2,500 mg||Cost per Milligram||Total Cost|
|$5||$10||1g||about .5 bottles||$.01||$15|
|$500||$850||1 Kilogram||400 bottels||$.00085||$1,350|
As you’ll notice, buying CBD isolate in bulk will create a drastically lower cost of CBD per milligram. Though the bottleneck becomes the shelf-life of the CBD isolate itself and any oil you make with it.
But the big takeaway here is that even if you buy CBD isolate powder in small portions (a gram or a few), you’ll be paying much less–anywhere from 8 to 20 times less than if you had just purchased a bottle of CBD.
Additionally, as we will discuss in the next sections, it can be a pain to measure out the correct dosage of CBD for dogs. So making your own batch allows you to formulate the ideal potency, based on the daily recommended dose of CBD for your dog.
But whether you buy your CBD oil, or make your own, the question remains what is the best CBD dosage for dogs? Let’s dive in to answering that question.
The Correct CBD Dosage for Dogs
The most common dosing schedule for dogs is to give them two medium size doses daily, rather than one large dose–which is how many people prefer to take their CBD. Determining how much CBD to give your dogs largely comes down to the size of your dog.
So in this table, we’ll provide the correct CBD dosage for dogs of all sizes based on a regimen of two daily doses.
Note that if your dog sits at an in-between body weight, then you should be okay either rounding down or rounding–but we would recommend rounding down just to be safe. In general, we’re adding roughly .8mg to 1mg of CBD per 5 pounds of dog.
Correct CBD Dosage for Small Sized Dogs
|Size of Dog (in Pounds)||Correct CBD Dosage (in milligrams)|
|5 lbs||.875 mg of CBD|
|7 lbs||1.20 mg of CBD|
|10 lbs||1.75 mg of CBD|
|15 lbs||2.6 mg of CBD|
|20 lbs||3.5 mg of CBD|
|25 lbs||4.4 mg of CBD|
|30 lbs||5.25 mg of CBD|
Correct CBD Dosage for Medium Sized Dogs
|Size of Dog (in Pounds)||Correct CBD Dosage (in milligrams)|
|35 lbs||6.1 mg of CBD|
|40 lbs||7 mg of CBD|
|45 lbs||7.9 mg of CBD|
|50 lbs||8.75 mg of CBD|
|55 lbs||9.6 mg of CBD|
|60 lbs||10.5 mg of CBD|
Correct CBD Dosage for Large Dogs
|Size of Dog (in Pounds)||Correct CBD Dosage (in milligrams)|
|65 lbs||11.4 mg of CBD|
|70 lbs||12.3 mg of CBD|
|75 lbs||13.1 mg of CBD|
|80 lbs||14 mg of CBD|
|85 lbs||14.9 mg of CBD|
|90 lbs||15.75 mg of CBD|
|95 lbs||16.6 mg of CBD|
|100 lbs||17.5 mg of CBD|
CBD Dosage for Extra Large Dogs
For extra large dogs you’ll want to consider two daily doses of anywhere from about 19mg (for 110 lb dogs) to 26mg (for 150lb dogs). But once you start dealing with these larger dogs and the big CBD doses that come with them, it becomes increasingly important to start with smaller doses and monitor your dog’s reaction as you increase the dose.
With an extra large dog breed you’ll start burning through your CBD stores quickly.
For reference, a 30 ml bottle of CBD with a 1,000 mg concentration would only last about 19 days–and that’s if you measured out your doses perfectly without ever administering more than the correct amount (52 mg of CBD per day).
Proper Dosage with CBD Oil Droppers
Achieving the correct dose of CBD for dogs will depend on effectively measuring the CBD in the bottle’s dropper. After all, a table of CBD doses won’t help you if you don’t know how to measure the proper dose.
So let’s take a look at proper dosage using droppers.
|Amount of Oil in Dropper||30 ML of 2,500mg||30 ML of 1,000mg||30 ML of 500mg|
|Full Dropper ( 1 ML )||83.3 mg||33.3 mg||16.7 mg|
|3/4 Dropper ( .75 ML )||62.5 mg||25 mg||12.5 mg|
|1/2 Dropper ( .5 ML )||41.7 mg||16.7 mg||8.35 mg|
|1/4 Dropper ( .25 ML )||20.8 mg||8.3 mg||4.2 mg|
As you can probably tell, measuring out the proper dosage of CBD for dogs can be a hassle. Depending on your dog’s size and recommended dose, you might be better served buying a specific potency of CBD that makes it easier to dose out.
For instance, if your dog needs a dose of about 11 mg of CBD (for a 60 pound dog), you’ll find it much easier to purchase a 30 ML bottle with 500 mg of CBD. And as mentioned before, this is a very good argument for making your own CBD oil–as if the financial incentives weren’t alluring enough already.
FAQ and CBD Library
So, you know how much CBD to give your dog, but where do you get it? Consider checking out our ranking of the best CBD oils for dogs. And if you have lingering questions about CBD, then consider our other content on the subject:
- The 10 Best CBD Brands in the World
- The 10 Best CBD Gummies: Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and Isolate
- How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
- What Is Full-Spectrum CBD?
- What Does CBD Feel Like?
- How to Make CBD Oil
- How Much CBD Should I Take?
But if you’d like to continue learning about the best CBD dosage for dogs, then continue on to our FAQ section where we anticipate frequently asked questions.
What’s the Difference between CBD Dog Treats and Dog CBD Oil?
CBD oils are made up of a carrier oil and CBD extracts. CBD dog treats however, are made up of a variety of ingredients–some of which may offer additional health benefits.
As discussed above, the major difference here is one of bioavailability. CBD oils will be more effective at delivering the dose of CBD to the dog’s bloodstream. While not technically as efficient, CBD dog treats are easier to use, as only the pickiest of eaters would turn their nose up at a dog treat.
Some dog CBD oils will be flavored with natural flavorings such as bacon, which can also alleviate this problem. Ultimately, the choice between dog CBD oils and CBD dog treats comes down to preference and value–just remember that your dog will only absorb about 1/10th of the CBD in dog treats.
When Should I Give CBD to my Dog?
The best time to give CBD to your dog will depend on the results that you’re going for. If your dog suffers from chronic pain for instance, you’ll want to keep the doses consistent. For consistent doses of CBD, we’d recommend following the table of the best CBD dosage for dogs above that outlines how to administer two daily doses.
On the other hand, some dog owners will use CBD to treat acute symptoms in their dogs such as anxiety, depression, or problematic behavior resulting from stress.
For example, dog owners looking to provide anxiety relief to their dogs will want to give them a larger dose once they start exhibiting symptoms. Dog CBD starts working pretty quickly (10 – 20 minutes) and thus should be administered as needed to treat these issues.
For owners looking to help their dogs get to sleep, give your dog some CBD just before bed time–and it should reach full potency around the time they’re starting to settle down to sleep.
Where Should I Buy Dog CBD?
More and more CBD companies are moving into the pet CBD space. As such, consumers have more options than ever, and can exercise extra discretion when shopping. In other words, as dog lovers we love to spoil our furry friends with the best products we can find.
Shopping for dog CBD will afford you many options to do exactly that.
We recommend focusing on products that have been extensively reviewed by customers. Be sure to look out for reviews that mention problems–like dog’s hesitating to eat it, side effects in dogs, or any other issues.
Dog owners tend to be over protective, so you can be sure that if there’s a problem with a dog CBD product, the reviews will quickly tell you!