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CBD Oil for Dogs: 6 Benefits and Dosage Recommendations

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CBD for dogs - Dr. Axe

By now you’ve probably heard about the many health benefits of CBD oil for humans, but did you know that the cannabinoid can have positive effects for dogs, too? CBD oil for dogs can help with a variety of scenarios.

And guess what? Recent research suggests that dogs have a higher number of cannabinoid receptors in their brains than humans. This generally means that the effects of CBD can be even more broadly felt when the compound is used by your dog. But it also indicates that dogs may be more sensitive to CBD and other cannabis compounds, so using the right dose is important.


What Is CBD Oil? Can I Give CBD Oil to My Dog?

CBD is a cannabinoid that’s found in the Cannabis sativa species. Unlike THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD does not produce any mind-altering effects. CBD, and other cannabinoids, work by modulating the behavior of receptors in the brain and throughout the body.

As more research is conducted on CBD oil, it becomes clear that this powerful compound comes with a range of health benefits.

CBD Oil vs. Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil for Dogs

With all of the terms being used to describe CBD and other cannabis compounds, it becomes difficult to understand the role of each type of oil that’s out there. Here’s a quick breakdown of three oils that have gained a lot of attention lately:

CBD oil: CBD is a compound that’s extracted from the cannabis plant. It can be found in hemp and marijuana, which are both members of the cannabis species. The CBD oil that’s often being sold across the U.S. is derived from hemp, which means that it contains less than 0.3 percent THC and it won’t make you feel “high.”

Cannabis oil: Cannabis oil comes from the marijuana plant and it offers a number of cannabinoids, including both CBD and THC. The amount of THC present in cannabis oil varies, depending on the plant variety. Some researchers believe that cannabis oil can offer benefits. It does, however, have psychoactive or intoxicating effects, which can be more intense when THC levels are higher.

Hemp oil: Hemp oil (also called hemp seed oil) is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. It can be found in your local grocery or health food store, and it does not contain THC. Hemp oil serves as an excellent source of polyunsaturated fatty acids and other important nutrients, and it’s commonly added to recipes or applied topically to skin. Sometimes, hemp seed oil is used as a carrier oil in CBD products.


Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

Studies on CBD for dogs, specifically, is minimal at this time, but some human studies show promising effects. There are also many anecdotal reports of CBD benefitting dogs and other pets, but more research needs to be conducted.


CBD Oil for Dogs Dosage Chart

Just like determining the best CBD dosage for humans, CBD dosing for dogs depends on a number of factors. Because CBD works by interacting with the body’s natural receptors, everyone, and every pet, reacts differently to it. Some are more sensitive than others and need smaller doses for the same effect.

For that reason, starting with a minimum dose and working your way up until you achieve your wanted effects is recommended. Of course, you should always consult with your pet’s veterinarian prior to CBD use.

That being said, you need to know why you are wanting to give your dog CBD? There are a range of reasons why someone would consider giving their dog CBD, but you’ll need to compare your dog’s needs overall before and after using CBD to determine an appropriate dosage.

And finally, your dog’s weight matters, at least to some extent. Two 50-pound dogs may react differently to the same dose of CBD, but your dog’s weight will give you a good idea of about how much CBD he will need to feel the effects.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work for dogs? Like humans, it takes dogs about 3–7 days to feel the noticeable effects of CBD. So if you don’t feel like it’s working right away — stick with it for at least a week before giving up. If you started at a minimum dose and don’t notice any changes within this time, try increasing the dose about every three days until your dog’s symptoms begin to subside. (Again, you’ll want to check with your pet’s veterinarian.)

So what’s the right CBD dosage for your dog? Most pet care companies recommend 0.5 to 5 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight.

Here’s a rundown of the recommended starting dose for your dog according to his or her weight:

  • 5 pounds: 0.25 milligrams
  • 10 pounds: 0.5 milligrams
  • 20 pounds: 1 milligram
  • 40 pounds: 2 milligrams
  • 60 pounds: 3 milligrams
  • 80 pounds: 4 milligrams
  • 100 pounds: 5 milligrams
  • 120 pounds: 6 milligrams

Begin with these starting doses and increase the dosage by 0.5 milligrams after 3 days if symptoms haven’t improved. You may have to increase the dosage a few times before you find the “sweet spot” for your dog, so give it some time and patience if you don’t notice positive results right away.

And an interesting tidbit — consuming more CBD than your body needs may be less effective than consuming just the right amount. So it’s worth taking the time to find the right dosage for your pooch.


CBD Oil for Dogs: Side Effects to Watch Out For

While more research needs to be conducted, initial research shows that hemp-derived CBD oil side effects are minimal and the cannabinoid is generally safe and non-toxic, even when taken for long periods of time. It also appears to be true that developing a tolerance for CBD does not seem to occur, so you shouldn’t have to increase your dog’s dosage over time once you find the amount that works best for him or her.

If your dog is already taking medications, talk to your vet about possible interactions before starting him or her on CBD. CBD may alter the liver’s ability to break down medications, so you’ll want to get the “okay” before adding it to your dog’s health regime.

And make sure that you’re giving your dog a high quality, hemp-derived CBD product. Only hemp CBD contains little to no THC, the psychoactive “intoxicating” compound found in cannabis.


Final Thoughts About CBD and Your Dog

  • CBD extracted from the hemp plant is a popular form of CBD. Typically, CBD products that come from hemp contain 0.3 percent THC or less.
  • What’s the best CBD oil for dogs? First, make sure to go organic to ensure that you aren’t giving your dog pesticides or other toxic chemicals. Also, opt for a high quality CBD product that has a certificate of analysis, or COA. This means that a lab analysis was done and certifies the amount of CBD present. Using a tincture is the easiest way to give CBD to your dog. You can add the oil right to your dog’s food.
  • How long does it take CBD to work for dogs? Generally speaking, after adding CBD oil to your dog’s food or treats, it will take about 30 minutes for him to feel the effects. And if you are just beginning to use CBD for your dog, you will likely notice the benefits within 3–7 days. If you haven’t desired effects with the initial dosage, slowly increase the dosage by 0.5 milligrams every 3 days until desired effects, with the input of your pet’s veterinarian, of course.

Read Next: Essential Oils for Pets: The Best and Worst Oils to Help Your Furry Friends

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