CBD for dogs. Does it really work?

Humans have been using CBD for a host of benefits, from treating skin conditions like acne to helping people suffering with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. 

CBD has also been marketed to pet owners to treat anxiety, relieve pain and even help with chronic conditions like arthritis.

But the million dollar question is does CBD work for dogs?

After all, just because it’s available doesn’t automatically mean that they provide any benefits. To add to the argument, the FDA is yet to approve CBD for pets.

So with this in mind, here is all you need to know about CBD for dogs.

The Vet Opinion

VIN News Service conducted a survey which reported that over half of all vets have been asked if their pets should be taking CBD.

But vets aren’t always keen to bring this up with their clients. This is because, depending on the state, vets can risk losing their license to practice.

In some states where medicinal cannabis has been made legal, the laws in place only cover the use in people – they don’t extend to their pets.

As such, there isn’t that much research into CBD for dogs. If you are thinking about introducing CBD into their diet, you must consult a vet beforehand. Just know that some vets may not legally be able to give you their professional opinion.

CBD In Dogs

The FDA has approved the use of CBD to treat some rare and serious forms of epilepsy. As noted by CBD Kyro, it is good for the heart and can reduce inflammation.

There is also research that shows it can be effective in treating IBD and chronic pain. But, as mentioned above, there aren’t many studies showing its effectiveness in dogs.

A 2018 study looked at the safety of CBD in dogs, along with its anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties. A sample of dogs were given doses of CBD based on their body weight. The results showed that 80 percent of the dogs that used CBD felt less pain and improved their mobility. 

Another study in 2019 focused on dogs suffering with epilepsy. The results showed that those with CBD along with their usual medication had fewer seizures compared to those that had the placebo with their normal medication.

It should be noted that this is just a small sample of studies and more research is required before concluding anything concrete. That said, the results so far are very promising. 

CBD for Dog

How To Give Your Dog CBD

As noted by Daily CBD Mag, there are several ways you can give your dog CBD, but there is little research into the effectiveness of every available method. There was a study in 2018 that showed that oral applications were more effective on dogs with epilepsy compared to capsules and creams. 

Another study showed that dogs suffering with osteoarthritis were more receptive to 2mg of CBD per kg of their respective weights.

Most CBD brands will suggest a standard dosage for their products. But remember, Remember, CBD is not a regulated product so it’s important to note that, just like humans, the optimum dosage will vary for every dog. There are all sorts of factors that come into play like age, how much exercise they get, etc.

This is why you should start off with a small dose and monitor how they react. If you find that there isn’t much of an effect, only then can you increase it. It’s better to have too little than too much.

Choosing CBD For Dogs

As noted above, the FDA has not yet approved the use of CBD for anything except treating rare forms of epilepsy. As such, there are many different CBD options on the market.

The means that certain forms of CBD are more effective for your dog than others.

When choosing CBD for dogs, always try and look out for the seller’s “certificate of analysis”. This is evidence that the CBD has been tested by a third-party before being put up for sale. They provide vital information like if the product contains as much CBD as advertised and other ingredients in the solution.

Another thing to consider is if the CBD contains any THC. Products that contain more than 0.3 percent THC are not legal. Plus, there is even less research on how THC affects dogs than CBD.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has THC down as a toxic substance for dogs. It has negative effects even as lower levels, but THC doses of 3 grams per kg are lethal in dogs.

Always make sure you do plenty of research into the brand you’re buying from before you buy CBD for dogs that contain THC. Consult a vet about the potential side effects and the potential for toxic effects in your pet. 

How Does CBD Work For Dogs?

Look out for any sign, both positive and negative, after you’ve given your dog CBD.

For example, if you bring them along to see a firework display and you notice they’re happy as Larry when they’d usually be hiding away underneath a table, you can easily confirm the CBD is having a positive effect.

If they’ve been struggling with walking but they are able to get around as normal after taking CBD every day for a few days, chances are it’s working.

On the other hand, if your dog is showing symptoms like excessive panting, lethargy and vomiting, they may have had too much CBD and are showing suffering from its toxic effects.

If this is the case, go straight to the vet. They can help your dog recover no matter if they can’t or won’t discuss the topic of CBD with you.


While CBD is not yet approved by the FDA, the anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD for dogs can be beneficial to their health and wellbeing. Just make sure you talk to the vet and start with a small dose to monitor its effects.

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