Dog sitting next to cbd dropper

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

Posted by Nicole Wanner, D.V.M. on

Dog sitting next to cbd dropper

If you've researched the potential benefits of CBD oil for dogs, you've also wondered about the dosage. Why are dig CBD dosage instructions so hard to find?

In the US, inconsistent dose information for CBD in dogs comes from a lack of data. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD to treat any disease in dogs, so no official dose guidelines are available (1).

However, CBD products for dogs are undoubtedly popular. As a responsible pet owner, you understand the importance of knowing how much CBD your furry friend is getting. 

In this guide, we'll demystify the world of CBD dosing for dogs and share valuable details to help you decide on an appropriate dosage.

How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog? 

The ideal CBD dosage for dogs varies depending on a number of factors such as your dog's body weight and the specific product you're using.

Crucially, the best way to identify a safe CBD dose for your dog is to consult your veterinarian. CBD may not be appropriate for your dog if they take certain medications, or they may require a lower dose.

CBD oil generally contains more CBD than treats or chews. Use whichever product your dog likes best, and follow the manufacturer's dosing instructions closely.

Additionally, check the calorie count on CBD chews and treats! Ideally, less than 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake should come from treats (2). Of course, this amount will depend on the weight of your dog. Other factors matter too, like their spay or neuter status. You can calculate your dog's daily caloric needs here.

dosages of cbd for dogs always vary

CBD Oil Dosing Tips for Dogs

To make CBD a safe addition to your dog's wellness regimen, consider these dosing tips:

1. Consult Your Veterinarian

Discuss CBD oil with your vet, especially if your dog has existing health issues or takes medications. CBD can affect medication absorption and affect liver function (3), so it is not equally safe for every dog.

2. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines

Each CBD oil product contains a different concentration per dropper-full. For this reason, follow the manufacturer's CBD dosage chart based on your dog's weight.

3. CBD for Pets, Not People

When shopping for CBD oil for your dog, it's critical to limit your search to products made exclusively for pets. Here's why:

First, some human CBD oil contains ingredients that are dangerous for dogs. The most common one is xylitol, an artificial sweetener. Xylitol is safe for people, but it makes dogs sick and can be fatal when consumed in large amounts (4).

On a lighter note, human products will also contain more CBD per drop. These concentrations are too high for most dogs, making it difficult to achieve an appropriate dose. Large-breed dog owners can search for maximum-strength pet CBD as a cost-effective solution, rather than giving them higher doses of standard oil.

4. Start with a Low Dose

After clearing CBD with your vet, start with a low dose. Monitor your dog for side effects such as sedation, vomiting, or diarrhea. If needed, increase the dosage gradually under your veterinarian's guidance.

5. Monitor Your Dog

We're still learning how CBD affects dogs. As a result, some dogs may be more sensitive than others. 

Keep an eye on your dog for any changes in behavior, appetite, or energy levels after starting CBD oil. If you observe anything concerning, pause the CBD oil and reach out to your vet. 

Choosing a High-Quality CBD Oil 

When selecting a CBD oil for your dog, quality is key. Look for a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer to make sure your dog receives an accurate dose. 

factors for selecting high-quality CBD

When purchasing CBD oil for your dog, ensure the following:

  1. Third-party lab testing to verify potency and purity
  2. Clearly listed ingredients
  3. Reasonable, evidence-based CBD information on the product website

Dog CBD products with these traits are more likely to be high-quality. You can also check the Food and Drug Administration's website for warning letters sent to CBD brands (5). These products were tested and did not contain the amount of CBD listed on the label.

Understanding CBD Dosage for Dogs 

Inconsistent guidelines for CBD in dogs can make choosing a dose difficult. However, it's still possible to move forward in a safe and effective way. 

We recommend that you consult your veterinarian before getting started, adhere to the product's dosing instructions, and start with a low dose. 

From there, you'll also want to select a high-quality CBD brand and a product type. Monitor your dog closely for side effects. Stay in touch with your vet throughout the process, and reach out with any concerns. That way, you can make CBD a safe and appropriate part of your dog's wellness plan.

References

  1. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/statement-fda-commissioner-scott-gottlieb-md-signing-agriculture-improvement-act-and-agencys
  2. https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk491/files/inline-files/treats-guidelines-for-dogs-2020.pdf
  3. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165/full?_ga=2.240870016.204596874.1641217632-31046772.1640096551
  4. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dangers-of-xylitol/
  5. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/warning-letters-and-test-results-cannabidiol-related-products

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AUTHOR

Dr. Nicole Wanner graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018. Currently, she is an academic research veterinarian studying CBD and DNA. Her research has been published in trusted international research journals. Dr. Wanner is passionate about pet wellness and has professional interests in genetics, behavior, and healthy aging. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and reading sci-fi novels. She shares her home with her husband Evan and their two mischievous rescue cats, Sylvie and Nemo.


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