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Home > Dogs > CBD for Dogs: Pros, Cons, Uses & Safety

CBD for Dogs: Pros, Cons, Uses & Safety

man giving cbd oil to his dog

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give CBD for Dogs a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pain Relief: 4/5
Availability: 4.5/5
Ease of Use: 4.5/5
Price: 4/5

CBD for dogs has been the subject of lots of controversy over the years. While pet owners feel this product is a miracle, the US government has not moved to regulate it when it comes to giving it to animals. This lack of regulations leaves it difficult for your dog’s veterinarian to assist you in deciding whether it is good for your dog which leaves many pet parents worrying. Luckily, there are several studies out there that are showing strong results for the benefits of CBD in dogs with seizures, arthritis, and even anxiety.

CBD is not THC or marijuana. This is where lots of confusion comes into play. Most CBD for dogs is made from the hemp plant. This plant doesn’t contain as much THC, which is harmful to dogs but does have the cannabidiol compound which is what CBD is. It is products derived from hemp plants, with less THC, that is legal and available for use in dogs to help relieve their pain and unease. Let’s learn a bit more below so you can better understand CBD and why we think it is a good alternative to help your dog when they are suffering.

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Please Note

The FDA has not yet approved the use of CBD or any other hemp-containing products in animals to treat any ailment. If you plan to administer CBD to your pet, you should consult with your veterinarian before doing so.

  • The few studies done on CBD and pets show positive results when it comes to pain management and anxiety
  • CBD oil may help manage seizures
  • Has been used to treat skin issues in dogs
  • Available in several forms
  • The potential for under and overdosing is high due to lowered regulations on CBD products
  • CBD for dogs is not FDA approved
giving CBD oil to dog
Image Credit: 24K-Production, Shutterstock


When discussing CBD oil for dogs, there aren’t a lot of specifications we can go into. What we can discuss, however, are the different types of CBD oil and the forms these oils can come in. This will help you better navigate CBD oil and understand what you could be potentially giving your dog.

  • CBD Isolate – This is considered pure, isolated CBD. Products made with this type of CBD oil are known for having increased benefits due to the leftover cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp plant.
  • Full Spectrum CBD – This is exactly what the name suggests. This type of CBD oil uses all compounds in the hemp plant, including traces of THC.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD – This type of CBD is considered the go-between for CBD isolate and Full Spectrum CBD. This version includes many of the hemp plant’s useful compounds but removes the THC molecules inside.

Types of CBD for Dog Products

Companies have taken the time to provide pet owners with several means of distributing CBD oil to their dogs. Here’s a quick list of a few of the products available with CBD oil you can find online or at your local pet shop to help your pet.

  • CBD Tincture – These droppers are popular due to their ease of use. By adding a few drops into your dog’s food or their mouth. Using this method also allows you to better control the dosage your dog is receiving.
  • CBD Treats – Yes, CBD companies even offer their products in tasty treats your dogs can enjoy throughout the day. This is ideal for pet owners who have picky dogs and need to deliver dosages that are flavored by something their pup enjoys.
  • CBD Chews – As with CBD treats, CBD chews are given to your dog to chew. The difference is the texture. Chews are designed to be softer and easier to chew. These are ideal for small dogs who struggle with hard treats or for dogs with dental issues.
  • CBD Balms – Balms were designed to not only give dogs a dose of CBD but also give them a bit of pampering in the process. Balms can be rubbed on their paws, noses, elbows, and even hot spots. They are normally mixed with moisturizers and can be quite soothing to your pet.
  • CBD Capsules – If your pet doesn’t have issues taking pills, or doesn’t mind when you hide them in a treat, CBD capsules are available. You will know the exact dosage your pet is getting each time you administer one of these pills.
cbd oil
Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay

The Uses of CBD for Dogs

While there aren’t tons of scientific data to back the claims of pet owners who use CBD for their dogs, there are anecdotal instances. You’ll even find that several of the studies that have been done are promising. Here we’ll take a deeper look at the signs and issues most feel CBD oil can help treat so you can better understand why it is a potential addition to your pet’s health routine.


It is common for dogs to show signs of stress. Whether they are fearful of loud noises like fireworks or suffer from separation anxiety, seeing them upset is hard on a pet parent. Just imagine what your pup is going through. CBD has shown that it can help dogs lower the stress they go through during these times as it helps promote calmness.

dog taking CBD oil
Image Credit: Vane Nunes, Shutterstock

Pain Management

Arthritis and inflammation are major sources of discomfort for dogs. CBD is showing signs of helping dogs with this painful issue. A study conducted at Cornell University showed signs of a significant decrease in pain suffered by osteoarthritic dogs. They even noted an increase in activities after CBD was administered.

Seizure Control

Unfortunately, some dogs may have seizures or seizure disorders. Many experts feel that CBD can be a great way of helping control these seizures and allowing your dog to continue with daily activities. While studies are still being done, a small one conducted by Colorado State University showed promising signs of seizure reduction when administering CBD to dogs with these illnesses.

dog taking CBD oil
Image Credit: Aleksey Boyko, Shutterstock

Skin Issues

Dogs have issues with itchy skin, hot spots, and allergies. Many pet owners feel that CBD is a beneficial way to treat these ailments. While studies are still being conducted, CBD has shown early signs of helping repair the skin barrier and offer relief.

Stomach Issues

Another area where pet owners feel CBD is useful to their dogs is stomach problems. Many feel that CBD helps rid their pet of nausea and even increases appetite when they aren’t eating well.

woman giving CBD oil to her dog
Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay


Again, while studies are still underway, there is potential that CBD can help reduce the size of tumors in a dog suffering from cancer. It is also beneficial in helping settle their stomachs and help their appetite when pets are going through chemotherapy treatments.

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Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind

Like with anything we give our fur babies, there are safety precautions you should keep in mind if you’re administered CBD. Currently, studies conducted haven’t shown any long-term adverse effects but keep in mind that studies are still underway as CBD is still considered a new, and somewhat controversial treatment for pets.

Understand the Differences

It is important to understand that CBD is not THC or marijuana. THC is known to be toxic for your pets. CBD is made from hemp and goes through a process to have the THC removed. This is why giving your pets CBD that is made for humans is a bad idea. It could potentially contain harmful amounts of THC and be harmful to your pets. If you choose to administer CBD to your dog, please understand that not all CBD is the same. Only use those specifically made for dogs and follow dosage instructions carefully.

There Is No FDA Approval

While there may be tons of CBD products out there for dogs, none are FDA-approved. This means there are no regulations and other ingredients may be hiding inside the bottle. This is where sourcing comes into play. If you choose a particular CBD product for your pet, research it thoroughly. Look for a Certificate of Analysis that shows an outside, 3rd party tested the product. You can also look for those that use domestically grown hemp as the US has strict guidelines when it comes to harvesting this product. You may also find products that mention that it was formulated by a veterinarian. This could mean that the company reached out to ask a veterinarian to approve what they’ve added to the CBD before selling it.

husky taking hemp cbd oil
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Your Vet May Not Be Able to Help

Unfortunately, CBD is not a subject some veterinarians can talk about. With so many federal and state guidelines in place when it comes to this product, it isn’t easy to call up your vet and get approval for use. They cannot write a prescription or promote the products due to CBDs categorization by the DEA.

That said, they can definitely help you with advice on potential uses, latest research, and dose recommendations. In addition, your vet can also diagnose your dog for a condition or ailment that may be better managed with CBD; therefore, it’s very important to consult with your veterinarian before choosing to give your dog CBD oil for several reasons:

  • They can diagnose whether your dog has a condition that is studied as part of CBD’s use implications.
  • They can give you advice on what might work best for your dog (with regards to products or dosage).
  • They can warn you of the potential interactions CBD products may have with your dogs existing medication or supplements (if any).
  • They can assess your dog’s health (in particular that of their liver) to ensure that your dog is a suitable candidate for CBD.
  • They can continually monitor your dog’s health if you do choose to administer CBD to your dog.


FAQ: CBD For Dogs

Is CBD considered safe for dogs?

So far, studies on doses of CBD do show some side effects once a safe threshold is surpassed, however, controlled doses tend to show minimal to no side effects for the entire duration of some studies. However, it is important to note that not all dogs will react the same to CBD and studies are still being conducted that could show different results.

Can my dog be given too much CBD?

Yes, they can. If you choose to provide your pet with CBD, make sure to read all labels and packaging for the exact dosage and follow them closely.

dog taking cbd oil
Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay

I use CBD. Can I give my dog some of mine?

No. CBD made for humans is not the same as that made for dogs. You could potentially give your dog something that could be considered toxic for them. Stick with CBD formulated for pets to ensure their safety.

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As you can see, there are a great number of benefits, both studied and observed, that make CBD a viable option for dogs who are suffering from pain, seizures, and even anxiety. If your pet is going through any of these issues, you should take CBD into mind as an option. Of course, you can speak to your veterinarian about it to see if they can lead you down the right path or share their thoughts on it. Just keep in mind that there are safety precautions you should follow with the most important being to know the product you are choosing before you give it to your pet.

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Featured Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay

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