The Best CBD Oil for Dogs

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Quick Summary

One of the most difficult parts of owning a dog is seeing your furry friend in pain or distress. Dogs can suffer many of the same ailments as humans, including anxiety, arthritis, cancer, and epilepsy, as well as sleep problems. If you’ve ever seen your dog suffering and felt helpless, you may want to consider looking into CBD oil to help your pet.

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a substance extracted from hemp and known for its therapeutic properties. It’s also non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t contain any THC. It’s long been used to help with everything from calming anxiety to easing pain to lessening the intensity and frequency of seizures. CBD oil can also improve sleep quality and duration for those who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disorders. While humans have used CBD oil for centuries, it’s recently gained popularity for use with pets.

In this guide, we’ll run through our top favorite CBD oils for dogs and provide a buying guide that provides information about CBD, which dogs might benefit from, safety, and how to use it. You may find that CBD oil is just what your dog needs to feel like his or her old self again.

The Best CBD Oils for Dogs of 2018

Editor’s Pick – Honest Paws

Runner-Up Pick – NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD Oil

Best Value – cbdMD Pet CBD Oil

Best Organic Oil – CBDistillery Pet Tincture

How We Decided

 

88 CBD oils considered –– 109 hours of research –– 4 sleep experts consulted

Best CBD Oils for Dogs

Honest Paws – Editor's Pick

Highlights
  • 100% full spectrum CBD oil
  • All-natural and GMO-free
  • 3 purity levels based on weight
  • $0.16 to $0.32 per mg

Our Editor’s Pick is the CBD Oil for Dogs from Honest Paws. This tincture comes in three different strengths – or ‘purity levels’ – that correspond to canine weight groups. The 125mg strength is ideal for dogs that weigh 25 pounds or less; the 250mg strength is best suited for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds; and the 500mg strength has a high concentration that makes it ideal for dogs heavier than 50 pounds. Regardless of the purity level, Honest Paws recommends one 1 mL of cbd oil per day.

The CBD Oil for Dogs is derived from natural, GMO-free hemp grown in Colorado. All third-party testing results are available to view on the Honest Paws website. Prices range from $0.16 to $0.32 per mg, making the oil middle-of-the-road in terms of price-point. Most customers receive their shipment within two to six business days of placing their order.

NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD Oil – Runner-Up Pick

Highlights
  • 100% organic
  • Made from non-GMO plants
  • Suitable for dogs and cats
  • $0.12 to $0.14 per mg

Our Runner-Up Pick, the Pet CBD Oil from NuLeaf Naturals, is a great option for not only dogs but also cats and other four-legged pets. The oil does not contain any additives or preservatives, and the oil it is derived from organically-grown hemp plants with no herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. The oil is extracted using C02, a method that preserves the full spectrum of cannabinoids and does not involve any heat or solvents.

NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD Oil is highly affordable compared to other full-spectrum CBD options for dogs. Three concentrations are available – 240mg, 725mg, and 1450mg – all of which are available for less than $0.15 per mg. All orders in the U.S. qualify for free, expedited shipping, and most customers receive their oil in three business days or less.

cbdMD Pet CBD Oil – Best Value

Highlights
  • CBD oil and dog treats available
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan
  • Flavored with peanut butter extract and coconut oil
  • $0.05 to $0.10 per mg (oil)

High price-points do not necessarily indicate high quality when it comes to pet CBD oil. Our Best Value pick, the cbdMD Pet CBD Oil, is a prime example. This broad-spectrum oil is available in four concentrations – 300mg, 750mg, 1500mg, and 3000mg – all of which are priced at $0.10 per mg or less. The oil is also rich in flavor, which comes from peanut butter extract and a dash of coconut oil. It is GMO-free, gluten-free, and vegan, as well.

cbdMD also offers CBD dog treats. The peanut butter-flavored treats – made from all-natural ingredients like eggs, honey, and steel-cut oats – are available in packs of 30 in 150mg, 300mg, and 750mg concentrations. Like the CBD oils, the treats are reasonably priced between $0.08 and $0.13 per mg, depending on the concentration. For additional pet owners, cbdMD offers CBD oil products for cats and horses.

CBDistillery Pet Tincture – Best Organic

Highlights
  • Made from non-GMO, organic hemp
  • Cold-press extraction
  • Third-party lab test results on website
  • $0.13 per mg

CBD oil from CBDistillery is perfect for the pet owner who wants to know exactly what’s in his or her dog. CBDistillery is a Colorado-based company dedicated to providing high-quality CBD oil at an affordable price. All CBD oil comes from non-GMO, organic hemp that’s grown outdoors without the use of chemical pesticides. Oil is extracted using the cold-press method, which doesn’t involve any harmful solvents.

CBDistillery also offers transparency by providing photos of third-party lab test results on its website so you can feel good knowing you’re giving your dog pure CBD oil. The company only offers one product, a 150 mg tincture, but its high quality more than makes up for the small selection.

CBD Oil for Dogs Buying Guide

Most people aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of CBD oil for humans, let alone for dogs. This guide outlines the most important points to understand when looking to purchase CBD oil for your dog, including what CBD oil actually is and how it can help your pooch.

We’ll also review considerations to make when choosing a CBD oil, like the types of products available, proper dosage, how to administer CBD oil and the safety of CBD oil. You’ll be armed with the information you need to decide if CBD oil is right for your dog and how to choose the best product.

What Is CBD Oil?

There are some misconceptions about CBD oil, so we want to clarify exactly what it is. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally-occurring phytocannabinoid, or chemical compound, found in the cannabis plant.

While most of us think of marijuana when we think of cannabis, CBD oil is actually derived from hemp. Hemp is another variety of cannabis that contains a much lower concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element of cannabis. CBD oil itself contains no THC, so while it can have a calming effect, it can’t get you (or your dog) high. Plus, THC can be toxic to dogs, so you generally want to avoid giving your dog anything that contains it.

CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid (ECS) system, which is found in all mammals and helps regulate functions like sleep, memory and immunity. CBD has a calming, therapeutic effect for many. Research shows that cannabis has been used medicinally for at least a couple thousand years to treat ailments including chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety/depression, seizures, and sleep-related issues. In recent years, a wide range of pet-friendly CBD products have also become available.

CBD oil is an easy-to-use form of CBD that can be taken in a variety of different ways, which are outlined below. For more in-depth information about CBD oil, check out our comprehensive guide to CBD oil.

How can CBD Oil Help Your Dog?

CBD oil can be used to treat a multitude of ailments that your dog may experience. The most common are outlined in the table below:

Ailment Symptoms Traditional Treatment CBD Oil Treatment
Epilepsy Recurring seizures that may include collapsing, muscle twitching, stiffening, jerking, foaming at the mouth, tongue chewing or loss of consciousness Corticosteroid medications, antiepileptic and anticonvulsant medications; sometimes surgery to remove tumors that may be causing seizures CBD oil has anticonvulsant properties. It helps prevent the erratic firing of nerve impulses, which contribute to seizures, and can reduce the frequency, severity and length of seizures.
Cancer A variety of cancers affect dogs and symptoms include lump or bump, wound that won’t heal, swelling in the bone or abnormal bleeding Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy CBD can help prevent tumors and has also been shown to kill cancer cells or slow their growth or spread. It can also help with the uptake of chemotherapy agents.
Anxiety Panting, aggression, pacing, whimpering, hiding, loss of appetite, trembling, accidents despite being house-trained, difficulty falling and/or staying asleep
Over-the-counter medication, prescription medication, homeopathic remedies, environment changes, aromatherapy CBD helps moderate excitatory impulses, leading to a calmer, more relaxed state. It has also been shown to boost levels of serotonin, similar to anti-anxiety medications, which can improve mood as well as sleep quality and duration.
Pain Pain is associated with a number of ailments and symptoms include changes in behavior, difficulty moving or climbing stairs, yelping in response to touch Nutraceuticals, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), opioids, steroids and holistic treatments Studies have shown CBD to enhance signaling of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that can dampen pain signals. CBD also reduces inflammation, which can relieve associated pain.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, blood in stool, gas, abdominal pain Immunosuppressive medications, antibiotics, fluid therapy, dietary management Inflammatory Bowel Disease is caused by abnormal immune response leading to inflammation of the intestines. CBD is has anti-inflammatory properties by interacting with receptors in immune cells.
Chronic Inflammation Redness, swelling around joints, stiffness, pain Exercise, good nutrition, steroids, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) Inflammation is a normal response to infection and foreign organisms, but can occur unnecessarily as part of several diseases. CBD interacts with receptors in immune cells to reduce inflammation.
Autoimmune Diseases Can take the form of a variety of diseases, including arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms can include muscle weakness, weight loss, fever, kidney failure, abdominal pain, anemia, swollen lymph nodes. Depends on the specific disease, but can include steroids, antibiotics, diet changes and more holistic treatments CBD can help alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with most autoimmune diseases.

Be sure to have your dog diagnosed by a veterinarian before beginning any treatment. You can choose to use CBD oil in tandem with or as a replacement for more traditional remedies. Some traditional medications are associated with negative impacts on the kidneys and liver, so many pet owners decide CBD oil is a safer option. Just be sure to understand the implications of whatever treatment course you decide.

What You Need to Know when You’re Buying CBD Oil for Dogs

What products are available?

CBD oil can be found in a variety of forms, so you can choose the one that works best for you and your pet.

  • Dog Treats: Many pet owners find that treats containing CBD oil offer the easiest method for giving their dogs CBD. After all, what dog doesn’t love treats? CBD treats come in a variety of sizes, flavors and dosage levels, allowing you to pick the one your dog loves most. They also take the guesswork out of dosage because packages are labeled with the weight for which they’re intended.
  • Topicals: Topical creams work great for dogs who suffer from skin conditions, like rashes or allergies, or muscle aches, including arthritis. You can apply them directly to your dog’s skin, and they can provide quick relief for acute pain.
  • Capsules: CBD oil also comes in capsule form and can be given to your dog like you would any other medication. Hide it in your dog’s food or treat of choice.
  • Tinctures: Tinctures are simply CBD oil in a dropper bottle and considered the purest form of CBD oil. You can administer the oil directly under your pooch’s tongue. Tinctures allow for exact dosage, and because the oil is absorbed directly and immediately into the bloodstream, they work faster than treats or topicals.

What dosage does your dog need?

Determining the appropriate CBD dosage for your dog can be confusing, but there are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  • Dog’s Size: Your dog’s particular dosage requirements will depend on his or her size, and weight. Most high-quality CBD oil products will provide a chart with dosage suggestions by weight. As a general rule, larger dogs require more CBD, but be sure to check the dosage suggestion for the specific product you’re using. Some products even come in different concentrations for small, medium and large dogs.
  • CBD Product: Dosages can vary greatly depending on the type of product you’re using. For example, a single capsule may contain the same amount of CBD as 10 drops of tincture or two treats. Products tend to list CBD concentration in milligrams and determine dosage by multiplying a standard factor by your dog’s weight (e.g. 0.25 mg X 40 pounds = 10 mg dosage). Most products will simplify dosage instructions by listing appropriate dosage by weight or weight ranges so you don’t have to do any math. Some brands sell the same product in different concentrations, so be sure to always check dosage recommendations.
  • Therapeutic vs. Medicinal: Appropriate CBD oil dosage can also depend on the ailment you’re treating. The dosage tends to be lower for therapeutic usage—that includes issues like anxiety, inflammation or injury pain—than for medicinal usage—which can include more serious illnesses like cancer or epilepsy. Many products will list different dosage recommendations for therapeutic and medicinal applications.

How to administer CBD oil to your dog

You may know that CBD oil can be beneficial to your dog, but getting him or her to take it is a different matter. You’ll want to administer it correctly to increase its effectiveness, and application depends on the type of product you’re using:

  • Treats: Treats may be the easiest product to administer. Simply give your dog the recommended dosage in place of his normal treat.
  • Topicals: Most topicals come in cream form. Rub the recommended amount onto your dog’s skin. You may need to navigate through some fur, but the more cream you get directly onto your dog’s skin, the more effective the treatment will be.
  • Capsules: Like other types of medications for pets, you can either hide the capsule in a treat or open it and mix the contents into your dog’s food.
  • Tincture: With a dropper bottle, oil can be administered directly under your dog’s tongue, and dosage is usually measured in drops. Administering oil directly like this allows it to take effect almost immediately. Some dogs are cooperative and don’t mind this kind of application while others don’t like the feeling or the taste. If your dog protests, try offering a treat afterward or consider using a different type of product.

Is CBD oil safe for dogs?

As with anything you give your dog, it’s normal (and smart!) to ask if CBD oil is safe for dogs. While there’s some debate in the veterinary community as to its efficacy, CBD oil is generally considered low-risk for dogs. Some dogs do experience side effects, the most common of which is drowsiness. While proper dosage is important, lethal overdose isn’t a risk with CBD oil. If your dog does ingest too much, he or she might experience dry mouth, diarrhea or dizziness.

While CBD oil is considered relatively safe, it’s still important to talk to your vet and do your research. Not all CBD oil is created equal, so look into how the product is made to ensure it doesn’t contain additional harmful substances. Keep CBD products, especially treats, locked away and remember that CBD oil is different from other cannabis products that contain THC, which is harmful to dogs.

What Else Should You Consider?

In addition to the points above, there are a couple of other considerations to make when deciding if CBD oil is right for your dog.

  • Mixing Medications: If your dog is taking any medications, you should discuss your decision with your vet to add CBD oil to your pet’s diet. Some medications may interact negatively with CBD oil. High doses of CBD can also slow the liver’s metabolism of certain drugs, which could impact the efficacy of other medications your dog is taking.
  • Organic Options: Organic CBD oil simply refers to whether or not the hemp used in the product was grown organically without the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides. If you’re concerned about exposing your pet to potentially harmful substances, you might consider choosing an organic oil. Look for oils that can certify their hemp was grown organically. Harmful substances can also enter the oil through the extraction process. Processes like superficial CO2 or cold-press extraction are considered the safest as they don’t involve the use of harmful solvents. Also look for oils that have their products tested by third-party labs to ensure they don’t contain harmful materials.

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