CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the many phytochemicals produced in cannabis plants (both hemp and marijuana). It works by interacting with a system called the endocannabinoid system.
Dogs, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system. CBD has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans — offering relief from conditions such as anxiety, pain, depression, inflammation, and more.
In this article, we’ll cover the following points regarding the use of CBD for dogs:
- Top three CBD products to use with your dog
- How CBD works for dogs and its benefits
- How to use CBD products safely with dogs
Let’s dive straight in with our top three picks for 2020.
Best CBD Products For Dogs in 2020
- Royal CBD – Award Winning, Best CBD Oil For Dogs Overall
- Gold Bee – Runner Up, Quality Product at a Good Price
- Blessed CBD – Potent CBD, But Only Ships to the UK
1. Royal CBD Pet Oils — Editor’s Pick
Royal CBD has three pet oils — a low-potency (125 mg) for small dogs, a medium-potency (250 mg) for mid-sized dogs, and a high potency (500 mg) for large dogs.
All Royal CBD pet oils come with a bacon flavor to make it easier to convince your pet to take their daily dose. Some dogs don’t like the natural hemp flavor and may turn their noses up at you.
These oils are made from the same high-grade hemp extract the company is known for. Royal CBD uses organically-grown hemp to make all its CBD products. This ensures every batch of extract is contaminant-free.
Cannabis is a bioaccumulator — which means it absorbs and accumulates elements from the air and soil. If the plant is grown in soil contaminated with heavy metals, it will accumulate these elements in its leaves. Heavy metals are toxic and can worsen joint pain, inflammation, or anxiety in your dog.
To prove these pet oils are completely contaminant-free, Royal CBD publishes the lab results sent to them by a third-party analysis lab. These tests weren’t conducted by the company themselves. Instead, the tests are done by an unaffiliated outside lab. This keeps the results unbiased and accurate.
These pet oils are very popular in the United States. They’ve earned the top recommendation on dozens of different authority sources and high-profile media outlets. A few examples include SA Current, Orlando Weekly, We Be High, CFAH, Cleveland Scene, Riverfront Times, VentureBeat, Metro Times, SF Weekly, SF Examiner, LA Weekly, and Observer.
Overall, these oils are a great option to consider for your dog. They use premium hemp extract, but cost below-average compared to other pet oils.
- Made from organically-grown hemp plants
- Available in three distinct potencies to match the size of your dog
- Comes in a dog-friendly flavor to improve compliance with your pet
- Not available in local pet shops or dispensaries (online brand only)
2. Gold Bee CBD Oils — Runner-Up
Gold Bee is another example of a premier CBD brand in the United States that offers its CBD oils at below-market rates.
This company doesn’t have a pet-specific CBD oil lineup, but its regular line of CBD products is perfectly safe to use with dogs.
For small dogs (under 30 lbs), go for the 300 mg CBD oil. For larger dogs (over 30 lbs), go for the 600 mg CBD oil. For very large dogs (over 60 lbs), the 1200 mg CBD oil is the best option for the money.
The Gold Bee team came from humble roots as an organic apiary and superfood farm. They only started producing CBD oils at the end of 2019 after the founder developed an innovative method of extraction. The technique uses a slow-drip extraction process to maintain a constant temperature of the hemp flower. It’s slow, tedious, and produces smaller bathes than conventional extraction — but the results are well worth the effort.
These CBD oils have an ideal terpene ratio — maintaining up to 95% of the original terpene content of the source material.
These terpenes are important because they carry a lot of weight in the therapeutic profile of the extract. Terpenes like myrcene help reduce pain and inflammation with your pet. Other terpenes, such as humulene or lavandin, offer additional anti-anxiety effects to reduce symptoms of separation anxiety or stress in your animal.
Just like Royal CBD, Gold Bee sources organically-grown hemp to make all its extracts and sends samples from every batch to third-party labs for testing. They also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with how the oil is working for your dog within 30 days, you can send it back for a full refund.
- Exceptional terpene profile makes these oils stronger than average
- Excellent cost to potency ratio
- Multiple potency options available to optimize for the size of your dog
- High demand for these oils means they sometimes go out of stock
3. Blessed CBD Oils — UK’s Best CBD Oil
Blessed CBD is the only brand on our list that isn’t based out of the United States. We’ve included them on our list because neither Royal CBD nor Gold Bee will ship their CBD oils internationally. For our UK-based readers, brands like Blessed CBD, or alternatively Crush CBD, are going to be your best bet.
Blessed CBD doesn’t have any pet-specific products — but this doesn’t mean the company’s regular oils aren’t well-suited for use with dogs.
There’s very little difference between a CBD oil made for humans compared to CBD oils made for dogs. Some companies will add dog-friendly flavors to pet oils. Many will offer lower potencies that aren’t available in the regular CBD oil lineup. However, other than these slight tweaks, there’s no fundamental difference in the formula.
CBD works the same for dogs as it does for humans, so any CBD oil that doesn’t contain harmful additives or has a THC content higher than 0.3% (0.2% in the UK) are safe to use with dogs.
Blessed CBD oils are made from full-spectrum hemp extract derived from organically-grown plants from Colorado, USA. They come in three different potencies, but we recommend sticking to the 500 mg CBD oil for dogs of all sizes.
These oils are potent — the 500 mg bottle delivers roughly 1.5 milligrams of CBD per drop.
For small dogs, the dose of this oil is between 2 and 5 drops. For mid-sized dogs, you may need to use doses up to 10 drops, and for large dogs, the dose is between 15 and 20 drops.
- Made from organic hemp
- Contains the full-spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes
- Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only available in the UK
- No dog-specific flavor options available
How Does CBD Work For Dogs?
CBD works by interacting with a series of receptors spread throughout the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system works as a neuroregulatory network — moderating everything from nerve transmission and hormone production to immune function and inflammation.
All animals on Earth that have a nervous system also have an endocannabinoid system — including dogs.
This means that the benefits of CBD oils for dogs are the same as the benefits for humans. They’re used to boost immune function, ease anxiety, regulate pain transmission, and reduce inflammation.
The Benefits of CBD For Dogs Includes:
- Reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress
- Alleviates separation anxiety while away at work or school
- Helps calm skittish animals while having guests over
- Relaxes animals scared of uncontrollable loud noises (such as construction or lightning)
- Alleviates chronic joint or hip pain in aging animals
- Reduces pain in dogs post-surgery
- Helps prevent obsessive behavior like excessive licking or chewing
- Supports side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy in dogs with cancer
- Alleviates gum inflammation in dogs with dental disease
How to Use CBD Safely With Dogs
CBD is safe to use with dogs, but there are a few things to watch out for.
How to Find a Safe Dose of CBD For Dogs
The main consideration is the dose. You don’t want to just guess the dose when using CBD with your dog for the first time because if you give them too much, it could result in side effects. Always start with a smaller dose at first, and increase each day gradually until you start to see symptoms diminish.
Here are some simple starting doses for dogs based on their size:
- Less than 10 lbs — 2 to 5 mg CBD
- 10 to 25 lbs — 3 to 10 mg CBD
- 25 to 50 lbs — 8 to 15 mg CBD
- 50 to 75 lbs — 10 to 20 mg CBD
- Over 75 lbs — 15 or more mg CBD
Side Effects to Watch-Out For
Using too much CBD oil with your dog could result in side-effects. While these side-effects are usually very mild in nature, they can be uncomfortable for your animal and should be avoided as much as possible.
The most common side effects are fatigue, dizziness, and lethargy. You may notice your dog is sleeping a lot more than normal and may feel unmotivated to get up or play. If you notice behavior like this, reduce the next dose until you find a level that doesn’t produce these side effects.
The Dangers of Using CBD Oil With Dogs
There are some cases where it may be unsafe to use CBD products with your dog.
The main dangers to be aware of are interactions with other medications or drugs, certain medical conditions that could worsen from CBD or allergies.
If your animal is taking any prescription medications or has been diagnosed with a medical condition — it’s important to check with your vet before giving them CBD for any reason.
As for allergies, the best way to make sure your dog has no allergies to CBD or other elements in the oil is to place a drop on their skin first to see if there are any reactions. If you don’t notice any redness or swelling after an hour, it’s unlikely your dog has an allergy to the oil.
Consider Using Cannabis Terpenes
Many pet owners are also using cannabis terpene concentrates with their dogs to get stronger results. Terpenes are an important component of a quality CBD oil, offering numerous benefits towards alleviating pain, anxiety, and more.
This step is especially important if you’re using a CBD isolate with your dog because these oils don’t contain any of the active terpenes that make hemp more powerful.
You can use these extracts by adding just a couple of drops to the CBD oil you’re using for your dog and giving it a good shake.
You can find terpene concentrates for sale from brands such as Finest Labs.
Final Thoughts: Best CBD Products to Consider For Dogs in 2020
CBD oils are becoming a staple in the pet supplement space. A high-quality CBD oil offers all the same benefits for dogs as it does for humans. Pet owners are using them to alleviate chronic pain, anxiety, or inflammation. They’re helpful for specific situations like fear of loud noises, obsessive-compulsive behavior, or separation anxiety.
It’s important to source your CBD pet oils from reputable manufacturers only. There are many low-quality CBD brands selling impotent CBD oils at a high markup simply for having a “pet-friendly” label on the bottle.
In truth, there’s nothing inherently special about a pet-specific CBD oil. Like the Royal CBD pet oil, some oils come with a dog-friendly bacon flavor that makes using the oil more enjoyable for your dog. However, this is only optional — any unflavored CBD oil mixed in with your dogs’ food will work just as well.
As a quick recommendation, we suggest you check out the CBD oils made by Royal CBD or Gold Bee to get a high-quality CBD oil suitable for dogs at the lowest price.