You’ve probably heard about the myriad of benefits CBD can offer you, like relief from inflammation, pain, and more, but did you know there are similar benefits to using CBD for dogs? Pet owners are more frequently turning to natural remedies to support their dogs in living their best life, and CBD tops the charts as one of the most useful plant-powered therapeutics available for pups. Here, we’ll dive into the science behind CBD for dogs and give our recommendations for the best CBD products for dogs with anxiety, arthritis, and more. First, let’s dive into the basics:
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a hemp-derived compound that’s been found to have a wide range of therapeutic effects in both humans and animals. It lacks the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis, which makes it a more acceptable treatment for dogs. It shouldn’t be confused with cannabis or marijuana, which contains large amounts of psychoactive THC and should not be given to dogs.
- LolaHemp – Best Overall CBD For Dogs
- Verma Farms – Best CBD For Dog Anxiety
- cbdMD – Best CBD For Dogs With Arthritis
- Joy Organics – Best CBD For Small Breeds
- CBDfx – Best CBD For Large Breeds
- Charlotte’s Web – Best CBD Dog Treats
How We Review Brands
In light of the inconsistencies in hemp industry regulations, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to hold brands accountable for their products’ quality, purity, and efficacy. We independently test products using a strict vetting process designed to identify the best hemp-derived products on the market. We only recommend CBD that is safe and of the highest quality by first ensuring that the CBD companies we recommend meet these requirements:
- Companies must use an organic starting material.
- They must implement safe and effective extraction methods.
- Carrier oils must also be safe and effective.
- Companies must third-party lab-test their products for potency and safety.
Based on our personal experiences and the criteria above, we’ve compiled a list of the best CBD products for dogs. We’ll discuss what makes them stand out, why we support the product, and which pets may benefit the most from it.
- Broad-Spectrum: A CBD formula that consists primarily of CBD and contains a “broad spectrum” of natural hemp cannabinoids. This CBD formula has all detectable traces of THC removed through a unique refinement process.
- Full-Spectrum: Contains a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes from the original hemp material, including up to 0.3% THC.
- CBD Isolate: A type of CBD formula that is carefully refined to remove all minor cannabinoids besides CBD.
Things to Consider Before Buying CBD for Dogs
Is it THC-Free?
Although CBD may be an excellent therapeutic option for pets, THC should not be given to animals. Dogs are much more sensitive to THC than humans, and a mild to moderate dose of THC can cause psychoactive effects that last for days.
Of course, most CBD products are made from federally legal hemp material, which means they contain less than 0.3% THC, which is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects.
Is Broad-Spectrum, CBD Isolate, or Full-Spectrum Best for Dogs?
There are many opinions on the best type of CBD formula for dogs. The truth is, different formulas may work better for various ailments, and we don’t currently have enough evidence to say one formula is superior to another.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum formulas are usually regarded as “more effective” because they offer the synergistic benefits of the entourage effect. However, CBD isolate still contains CBD and could be a cost-effective option for giving larger doses to your pet.
What’s the Best CBD Dosage For Dogs?
The current recommendation is to give your dog up to 5 mg of CBD per 2.2 lbs of body weight. By this recommendation, the maximum daily dose for a dog that weighs:
- 10 lbs: approximately 22 mg
- 35 lbs: approximately 79 mg
- 50 lbs: approximately 113 mg
Keep in mind that this is a maximum dose estimate, so you may want to start with lower doses and slowly increase the dose over a few days or weeks. You should also divide the dose into several doses each day, usually one dose every 8-12 hours.
What are the Risks of CBD for Dogs?
The risk of side effects is minimal when following a proper dosage protocol, but side effects of CBD for dogs may include:
- Dry mouth
- Lowered blood pressure
- Decreased appetite
If you notice these side effects for a prolonged period, or if you notice severe side effects after starting CBD, contact your veterinarian.
The 5 Best CBD Products You Can Give Your Dog
1. The Overall Best CBD for Dogs
LolaHemp Regular Strength Large Hemp Oil (with CBD)
LolaHemp is a CBD brand that’s wholly dedicated to pet health. They offer a collection of pet products made with organically sourced, whole-plant hemp extract, which means they offer the boosted benefits of a full-spectrum oil.
This 600mg Regular Strength Hemp Oil is a perfect example of its superior quality. The large bottle is designed to offer a 1-month supply for large pets (50 lbs or more) but offers an excellent value for pets that need smaller doses. Plus, a portion of every LolaHemp purchase goes toward supporting a local animal shelter.
- Large bottle, good value
- Unflavored, which may make it less appealing to picky pets
Brand: LolaHemp | Product Type: CBD Oil | CBD Type: Full-Spectrum | Price: $69.99 | Potency: 600mg CBD per Bottle| Size: 60 mL. | COA: On-Site
2. Best CBD for Dog Anxiety
Verma Farms Salmon 300mg CBD Dog Oil
Verma Farms is focused on providing premium quality hemp products, not just for humans but for pets too. Every product starts with organic, pesticide-free, non-GMO hemp. The brand’s manufacturing process is designed to preserve the integrity of hemp’s natural cannabinoid selection. Then, CBD is paired with minimalistic, natural ingredients to create a well-rounded product that pets will love.
Verma Farms Salmon 300mg CBD Dog Oil wins our support as the best CBD for dog anxiety not only because it contains 300mg of CBD but also other balancing ingredients, like probiotics, vitamin D3, and Vitamin E. The chef-inspired flavor comes from wild salmon oil, so it’s a delight even for picky pups.
- Organic hemp
-Lower potency may not be convenient for larger pets
Brand: Verma Farms | Product Type: CBD Oil | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $50.00 | Potency: 300mg CBD per Bottle| Size: 30 mL. | COA: On-Site
3. Best CBD for Dogs with Arthritis
cbdMD Pet CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs
cbdMD is one of the most well-known brands in the industry, and we’re happy to report that the same quality goes into their pet products as the products they make for humans. Their CBD pet line is veterinarian formulated and made only from USA-grown hemp.
The cbdMD Pet CBD Oil Tincture is available in five different potency options, so it’s a fantastic option for pets of all sizes. The peanut butter flavor is an added bonus (we’re sure your pup will agree!)
- Multiple potency options
- Not organic
Brand: cbdMD | Product Type: CBD Oil | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $69.99 | Potency: 750mg CBD per Bottle| Size: 30 mL. | COA: On-Site
4. Best CBD for Small Breeds
Joy Organics Premium CBD Oil For Dogs
Like all of Joy Organics products, this Premium CBD Tincture for Dogs is made from simple, high-quality ingredients, including organic olive oil and organic broad-spectrum hemp extract. The broad-spectrum formula offers the benefits of cannabinoid synergy with none of the risks of THC. The 450mg bottle provides a 15mg dose that works for smaller pups.
- USDA Certified Organic
- Unflavored, which could make it difficult to give to picky pets
Brand: Joy Organics | Product Type: CBD Oil | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $44.95-69.94 | Potency: 450-900mg CBD per Bottle| Size: 30 mL. | COA: On-Site
5. Best CBD for Large Breeds
CBDfx Bacon Flavored Pet Tincture
CBDfx is known for offering a bountiful selection of CBD formulas, flavors, and product styles made according to superior quality standards. This product is no different, and the bacon flavor is sure to entice any pup.
According to a veterinarian’s review, the CBDfx Bacon Flavored Pet Tincture has 1,000mg of CBD and is “great for large dogs, over 60lb,” per a veterinarian’s review. Plus, this broad-spectrum CBD tincture is made with human-grade ingredients, so you don’t have to question the quality of anything you’re feeding to your pet.
- Pre-measured for convenience
-Low dosage may not be convenient for large pets
Brand: CBDfx| Product Type: CBD Oil | CBD Type: Broad-Spectrum | Price: $79.99 | Potency: 1000mg CBD per Bottle| Size: 30 mL. | COA: On-Site
6. Bonus: Best CBD Dog Treats
Charlotte’s Web Calming Chews For Dogs
If you see a tincture dose getting a little messy or think your pup will decline a drop of oil on its food, a CBD dog treat may be the way to go. Luckily, these Calming CBD Chews for Dogs come from an industry-leading brand. Like all products from Charlotte’s Web, these chews are made from non-GMO, USA-grown hemp.
In addition to 2.5mg of CBD per piece, these Calming CBD Chews for Dogs contain a unique botanical blend that includes valerian root, passionflower extract, and chamomile. These chicken flavored treats are designed to calm your pup’s nerves without the strong sedative effects of many prescription solutions.
- Pre-measured for convenience
-Low dosage may not be convenient for large pets
Brand: Charlotte’s Web | Product Type: CBD Dog Treats | CBD Type: Full-Spectrum | Price: $19.99 – 34.99 | Potency: 2.5mg CBD per Chew| Size: 30-60 count | COA: On-Site
The Health Benefits of CBD For Dogs
If you’re interested in supporting your pups’ health with plant-powered medicines, but wondering “What does CBD do for dogs?” we’ll explain.
CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System, a regulatory system that’s found in all mammals. That means that many of the amazing effects of CBD for humans may translate to canines. Research regarding the use of cannabidiol for animals is still limited, but here’s what we know for now:
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common inflammatory conditions in dogs, and up to 60% of dogs will experience some degree of arthritis in their lifetime. Clinical research has found that CBD may be a solution because of its impact on inflammatory pathways. One study concluded that a dose of “2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA.”
These same anti-inflammatory benefits lead experts to believe that CBD could be useful for managing pain, as seen in one experimental human study. This may be especially true in the case of pain caused by inflammatory conditions, though no research currently exists to verify this benefit. Common inflammatory conditions that cause pain in dogs include dermatitis, conjunctivitis, colitis, and pancreatitis.
CBD as a treatment for epilepsy is well studied in humans, but less evidence exists for dogs. One study does suggest that CBD could reduce the frequency of seizures in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy alongside their regular medications.
Many anecdotal reports claim that CBD can help manage anxiety in dogs, but there is currently no evidence to support this claim. CBD has been highlighted as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders in various human studies, however.
Various studies have confirmed the benefits of using CBD for managing the side effects of cancer treatments, and research has even found CBD to have anti-cancer effects in in vitro studies.
Studies concerning the use of CBD for managing cancer in dogs are much more limited. One study found CBD to be effective at slowing cell proliferation in canine tumors. The anti-nausea effects that benefit cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have also been documented in animals, though the research focused on rats and not dogs.
Can Vets Prescribe CBD for Dogs?
CBD products for dogs, cats, and other pets are not currently FDA approved. Therefore, veterinarians are not allowed to recommend or prescribe CBD at this time. However, you can still ask your vet about the risks and benefits of hemp extract for dogs. Because CBD is still a relatively new therapeutic option for dogs, you may need to find a vet who has experience with the cannabinoid.
Where Can You Buy CBD for Dogs In-Store & Online
Because the 2018 Farm Bill effectively legalized hemp-derived CBD products (when made according to specific guidelines), many CBD companies can ship their products anywhere in the United States. You may also find CBD for dogs in local stores, but you should be skeptical of any products that don’t come with third-party lab results.
It’s often better to buy CBD online, where you have the opportunity to compare products and dig deeper into the brand’s quality standards. We’ve reviewed many different brands and products to make the choice easier for you. Check out our CBD Pet Product Reviews to see some of the best products the industry has to offer.