Education Feb 27, 2020

How much CBD oil should I give my dog? Canine CBD dosages and benefits

by Taylor Hogan

Though it has many potential benefits for dogs, giving your dog CBD oil can be confusing. How much CBD oil your dog needs depends on your dog's weight, how many milligrams of CBD are in the CBD product, and why your dog needs CBD in the first place.

The most accurate advice we can give is to start small with the CBD dosage and work your way up using the product's dosing guidelines. With this in mind, let's take a closer look at giving your dog CBD as we discuss CBD oil, potential side effects, and proper dosage recommendations.

What is CBD oil?

Before we jump into the relationship between CBD oil and dogs, let's examine CBD in greater detail. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in the hemp plant.

Because most CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, very few products will contain trace amounts of THC, and these products won't get you or your pet high. Used in tinctures, edibles, and oils, CBD became widely available across the country after the Farm Bill passed in 2018 that allowed the nationwide sale of CBD products so long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.

Much like us humans, your dog also has what’s called an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that allows cannabinoids like CBD to interact with its body. This system contains receptors that accept cannabinoids to influence a range of functions of the body, from emotional reactivity to sleep and more. While the body makes its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids, we can supply it with cannabinoids from outside the body to aid internal functions.

Is CBD oil safe for your dog?

While the benefits of CBD are extensive for people, high-quality CBD oil can also be very beneficial for your furry friend, potentially helping him or her to stay calm or alleviate joint or mobility issues that come with age.

It's generally safe to give your dog CBD, but mild side effects may occur. For instance, your dog may be lethargic or clumsy until he metabolizes the CBD. Your dog may also experience diarrhea, but this is more often a result of a high dose of CBD rather than a common CBD effect. To prevent running into any unexpected issues, remember to start small and reduce the amount of CBD oil you give him or her.

Though minimal side effects may occur, no reports have shown any long-term negative effects associated with giving your dog CBD oil if you follow normal dosage guidelines. Consider talking with your vet to ensure you give your dog a healthy serving of CBD oil.

Understanding CBD dosage guidelines

Puppy next Zen Pets Hemp CBD Chews

Giving your dog the right dosage of CBD oil is important, but CBD product packaging can be tricky to interpret. Most CBD products list the total amount of CBD in the entire package in milligrams (mg), but the dosage of CBD your dog receives per serving may be less. For instance, a bottle of 30 CBD capsules may advertise 1000 milligrams on the packaging, so this simply means each capsule contains 33 milligrams of CBD per serving.

To determine how much CBD your dog is getting, it’s best to refer to the packaging and instructions. Most products will list how much CBD is in a full dropper, so you should know how many milliliters your dropper contains. From there, you can break down the amount of CBD within that dropper.

For instance, if a dropper filled with 1ml of full spectrum CBD oil contains 8mg of CBD, half the dropper (0.5ml) will contain 4mg of CBD. A quarter of the dropper (0.25ml) will contain 2mg of CBD. Breaking down the dropper’s measurements allow for easier dosage as you determine how much CBD your dog needs to find the desired effects.

What's the proper dosage of CBD oil for your dog?

The recommended dosage of CBD oil for your dog will depend almost entirely upon his or her body weight. As an example, you can use the dosing chart below to find out how many milligrams of Zen Pets CBD to give your dog.

Cbd oil dosage chart for dogs

Keep in mind these are lower doses used primarily as a starting point. Large dogs that weigh more than 100 pounds may need higher doses to benefit from the effects of CBD oil.

A CBD product such as Populum's Zen Pets Hemp Calming Oil will come in 100mg and 250mg options that contain 3.3 mg and 8 mg of CBD oil per dropper, respectively. However, you can increase or decrease the CBD dose based on your pet’s needs.

The quality of your CBD oil matters

It's important to pay attention to the quality of your CBD oil because CBD from different sources may result in different potencies. For instance, 1mg of CBD oil from one company may not work as well as 1mg of CBD oil from another company. Below you'll find some common variables that will affect the quality of your CBD.

  • If the CBD oil is CBD isolate or full spectrum CBD
  • The dog treat ingredients or oil base used to carry the CBD
  • The chemical makeup of the hemp extract used to make the CBD oil

CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD are different products that are important to understand. CBD isolate is pure CBD taken from the hemp plant that contains no other cannabinoids, including THC. Full spectrum CBD, on the other hand, is hemp CBD that comes straight from the hemp plant and therefore contains trace amounts of THC below 0.3%. This amount of THC is harmless, no matter if you're working with small dogs or large dogs.

We recommend using full spectrum CBD because the various cannabinoids will work together through what is known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect helps maximize the therapeutic effects of CBD by ensuring your pet can absorb CBD to the greatest possible degree.

How can CBD oil help your dog?

how much CBD oil should I give my dog: man holding bowl of dog food and CBD oil.jpg

A regular dose of CBD oil can benefit your dog for various reasons.

If your dog suffers from chronic pain or joint pain, talk with your vet to determine if CBD oil can provide relief. Breeds that suffer from hip dysplasia such as the German Shepherd may benefit from a regular dose of CBD oil.

If your dog suffers from anxiety due to loud noises such as thunderstorms, you might give them CBD oil just before the noise occurs. For example, if fireworks on the Fourth of July make your dog anxious, you can give them CBD a few minutes before the fireworks begin to ensure they are prepared. In this case, you may also give them a higher dosage than is recommended on the CBD product packaging.

For general wellness, simply give your dog a lower dose of CBD over time. CBD will build up in the body and works best through this method.

Your dog and CBD oil

Using CBD oil for dogs is a relatively new trend supported in part by anecdotal evidence. While little research has been conducted on how CBD affects dogs, evidence does suggest cannabidiol's interaction with the endocannabinoid system can help maintain balance in the body and keep things stable.

Start by finding the right dosage of CBD oil based on your dog's body weight, and take things slowly from there. Speak with your vet if you have any questions, and use third-party-tested CBD oil to provide your dog with the high-quality CBD he or she deserves.

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