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Since the dawn of time, humans have asked themselves one all-important question: how much CBD should I give my dog?

Okay, so maybe giving your dog CBD is a bit of a new concept. But here’s what we know: CBD is a natural, plant-based, holistic medicine with a substantial body of scientific evidence supporting its ability to fight pain and anxiety.

Just like humans, pets are usually treated for pain and anxiety with pharmaceuticals. These pharmaceuticals almost always have negative side-effects. They paper over certain symptoms, but exacerbate others; they’re not a way of improving overall health (example: painkillers strain the kidneys and liver, and often make pets lethargic).

If you try to avoid taking pharmaceuticals yourself, then you should explore natural solutions to your dog’s health problems as well (for the same reasons).

Enter CBD. 

It works just as well for dogs as humans; the main difficulty pet owners face in giving their dogs CBD is the dosage. You can’t exactly ask your dog if it’s working, and it’s not always easy to tell just by eyeballing it. Dosage needs to be calculated by bodyweight, but the recommended bodyweight-to-CBD ratio is different for dogs than humans.

That’s why we put together this guide. In this article we show you how to find the CBD dosage sweet spot for your dog, so you can properly use CBD to improve their health and happiness.

Can I Give My Dog CBD Oil?

Yes, CBD oil works just as well for dogs as it does for humans, and treats the same conditions as well. Unlike cannabis oil, CBD oil has no psychoactive effects.

How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?

The rule of thumb when giving dogs CBD is: for each ten pounds of bodyweight, give 1-5 mg of CBD. Choosing a dosage in this range mostly comes down to what you are treating and how severe the symptoms are. The more severe your dog’s condition (for instance, arthritis pain), the higher on that scale you should dose.

CBD Oil for Dogs Dosage Chart

WeightMinimum doseAverage doseMaximum dose
10 lbs1 mg3 mg5 mg
20 lbs2 mg6 mg10 mg
30 lbs3 mg9 mg15 mg
40 lbs4 mg12 mg20 mg
50 lbs5 mg15 mg25 mg

 

How Can I Tell If I Gave My Dog Too Much CBD?

Figuring out CBD oil dosage for dogs is tricky partly because the only way to determine the effect is by reading your dog’s behavior. The right amount of CBD often has a stimulating effect on dogs, but if your dog is more tired or less active than usual after a large dose, you may have given them too much. Don’t worry though! Dogs can’t “overdose” on CBD, and side effects like nausea and diarrhea are rare.

How To Give a Dog CBD Oil: Types of CBD for Dogs

So now that you know how much CBD to give your dog, how do you actually give your dog CBD? It depends on the type of CBD! See the main options in the following section.

1. CBD Treats and Biscuits

The easiest way to give a dog CBD oil and provide an accurate dosage is with CBD treats or biscuits. That way, you know how much CBD is in each treat, and can dose accordingly by just feeding your dog the treat.

2. CBD Tincture & Oil

Tinctures that come in a dropper are common, but they work best when the drops are held under the tongue for 30-60 seconds (and unless you’re the world’s greatest dog trainer you probably can’t get your dog to do that). Tinctures are also a bit more difficult to dose accurately since you have to measure by the drop.

If you’re going to administer CBD to your dog with a dropper, we recommend CBD oil instead (tincture is mixed with alcohol and designed to be consumed sublingually, while CBD oil is meant for ingestion).

Read the instructions on the bottle to measure how many drops you should give your dog.

Mixing CBD oil with your dog’s water is not recommended, since CBD doesn’t mix well with water (it may just end up stuck to the side of your dog’s bowl).

3. CBD Capsules

Capsules are another option: you can either administer the CBD capsules yourself orally or just empty the capsule into their food.

4 Ways Dogs Can Benefit From CBD Oil

Believe it or not, people and dogs tend to share the same maladies: joint pain, inflammation, anxiety stemming from existential doubt about one’s place in an indifferent universe (or just anxiety).

Any pet owner can tell when their dog or cat is anxious, agitated, or nervous. And most old pets suffer from arthritis and joint pain.

CBD works just as well for dogs as it does for people, and there’s good evidence to support a number of purported benefits. Let’s take a look.

1. Fights Pain

All those years of chasing after squirrels and playing catch add up, and most old dogs have small aches and pains that limit their mobility. The pharmaceutical painkillers prescribed to pets strain the kidneys and liver, and can make your dog tired and inactive. Furthermore, these painkillers simply diminish the symptoms of joint problems pain they do nothing to solve this problem.

Studies have shown that CBD, on the other hand, diminishes inflammation in the joints and reduces pain. It doesn’t just paper over the symptoms, it addresses and alleviates the root cause of the pain. That’s why CBD is the first-choice pain reliever for many pet owners (especially for older pets).

2. Reduces Anxiety

Dogs are often struck with anxiety just by you leaving the house, and anxiety can lead to all sorts of problematic behavior. Numerous studies have shown CBD can reduce anxiety in both human models and rat models, which indicates strong therapeutic potential for dogs a well.

3. Increases Appetite

Dogs lose their appetite for a number of reasons: pain, stress, anxiety, or nausea are chief among them. Good news: CBD is beneficial for all of these symptoms. However, the science is a bit mixed on CBD’s influence on appetite: some studies have found that it reduced appetite, while others found that it increased appetite.

So whether or not CBD can increase your dog’s appetite may depend on the reason your dog has lost their appetite. If they aren’t eating due to pain or anxiety, then CBD may help. If it’s some other cause (like they hate the food you’re giving them), then CBD won’t solve the problem.

4. Prevents Cancer

Research on CBD’s anti-cancer effects is growing, and it works both preventatively and as a treatment for dogs with cancer. CBD:

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps kill cancer cells
  • Has properties that fight and prevent tumors from forming

Conclusion

Anyone who’s lived with a sick or older pet knows the sickening feeling you get when you see your pet is in discomfort. Veterinary drugs like painkillers help manage symptoms, but often strain your dog’s health or well-being in other ways.

If you think your dog is experiencing pain or anxiety, then there’s little downside to trying CBD. Side-effects are very rare, and these days you can easily purchase infused treats that make dosing CBD effortless. Give it a shot and see if your dog responds!