Best CBD Oil for Dogs

Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for Best CBD oil for dogs

CBD oil has become a popular treatment for people who deal with chronic pain and other health concerns. But its effectiveness isn’t only good for your sore joints. CBD oil for dogs can also help your favorite furry friend when it’s experiencing pain or other health issues.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is derived from the cannabis plant. It is one of the more than 100 chemical compounds found in the plant. However, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that provides the “high” feeling associated with marijuana, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. Like in people, CBD oil has an anti-inflammatory effect in dogs, making it ideal for treating pain and arthritis. It can also help soothe anxiety and seizures and can even help with some skin conditions.

But you want to be sure to choose the right CBD oil for dogs, so you know it’s safe and effective for your pup. Our buying guide offers up all the facts you need to find the best CBD oil for dogs. If you’re still unsure, check out our specific recommendations to take all the guesswork out of shopping.

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Hemp plants can draw in toxins from the soil, so it’s important to choose an organically grown CBD oil for your dog.

Key considerations

Hemp source

When you’re choosing a CBD oil for your dog, it’s essential to consider the source of the hemp. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, but you want to be sure the variety used is high quality. Look for an oil that contains hemp grown according to FDA guidelines. It’s also best to seek out organic hemp, so you can be sure no pesticides have been used to grow the plants.

Extraction method

The most basic way to extract CBD oil from the hemp plant is to crush the seeds and leaves and then remove any plant material. However, while it’s the easiest way to create CBD oil, it isn’t the most efficient.

Hydrocarbon: Some CBD oil manufacturers use hydrocarbon extraction, which runs a solvent through the plant to remove the oil. The solvent is then boiled off, so only the pure oil is left behind. Ethanol is a commonly used hydrocarbon for the extraction process, which is incredibly efficient. However, some trace amounts of the solvent can sometimes be left behind.

Carbon dioxide: Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is another method for getting the oil out of the hemp plant. Compressed liquid CO2 removes the CBD molecules from the hemp, and the CO2 then evaporates to leave the oil behind. CO2 extraction is generally the priciest method, but it yields a CBD oil of higher quality.

CBD type

CBD oil for dogs can include one of three different forms of extract: isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum CBD.

Isolate: CBD oil isolate contains nothing but CBD. All of the other cannabinoids are removed to leave 99% pure CBD oil. For dogs, this CBD formula is usually the best option because you only want your dog to receive the CBD’s therapeutic effects.

Full-spectrum: This CBD oil includes other cannabinoids. It may contain some THC and terpene, which can help boost the effects of the CBD.

Broad-spectrum: This CBD oil also contains other cannabinoids but not THC.

Certification

It’s crucial to know that the hemp used for CBD oil for dogs is grown properly and extracted safely, but you shouldn’t just take the manufacturer's word for it. Look for a brand that submits its oil to third-party labs for testing to determine the quality and safety. The oil you choose should have a certificate of analysis (COA) that details how much CBD is present, as well as how much THC. The best oil for your dog will have a high amount of CBD and no THC at all.

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Caution
It’s best not to share your own CBD oil with your dog. While the oil itself is perfectly safe for your pet, the dosing will be off if you don’t use oil specifically for dogs.
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Features

CBD form

CBD oil for dogs comes in a few different forms, including tinctures, treats, topicals, and capsules.

Tinctures: These are the most common type, consisting of pure CBD oil in a bottle with a medicine dropper. You can drop the oil right into your dog’s mouth or mix it with food. The oil can be absorbed more quickly into your pet’s system in tincture form, so you’ll see the effects sooner.

Treats: You can also find dog treats infused with CBD oil. These are usually the easiest to get your pet to take because they have a flavor that dogs love. However, the effects from the treats typically aren’t as strong as they are with pure CBD oil.

Topicals: These treatments infused with CBD oil are the best option if you want to treat a skin condition, and you can also apply them to joints if your pet has arthritis.

Capsules: Capsules filled with CBD oil are another option, but you’ll have to get your dog to take them as you would any medication. That usually involves hiding the capsule in food, peanut butter, or a treat.

Dosage

CBD oil for dogs is available in a variety of potencies. In most cases, the options range from 75 to 600 milligrams (mg).

The best dosage for your dog depends on its weight because larger dogs typically require more potent CBD. Some manufacturers label their dosage options as best for small, medium, or large dogs.

You should also consider whether you’re using the CBD oil for therapeutic or medicinal purposes. If you’re treating therapeutic issues in your dogs like anxiety or joint inflammation, a lower dose is usually sufficient. If your dog has a serious condition like epilepsy or cancer, you’ll typically need a higher dose.

Some side effects are possible when a dog takes CBD oil. Dry mouth, low blood pressure, and drowsiness are common.

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CBD oil for dogs prices

CBD oil for dogs varies in price based on the potency, hemp source, extraction method, extract type, and other features. Most products cost between $25 and $145.

Inexpensive: The most affordable CBD oil for dogs typically offers 150 milligrams or less of CBD. The hemp plants used may not be organically grown, and the CBD is usually broad-spectrum or isolate. You’ll pay between $25 and $40 for these products.

Mid-range: This CBD oil for dogs usually offers between 150 and 500 milligrams of CBD. The hemp plants used are typically organically grown, and the CBD is broad-spectrum or isolate. You’ll pay between $40 and $85 for these products.

Expensive: The most expensive CBD oil generally offers 500 milligrams or more of CBD. The hemp plants used are organically grown, and the CBD is broad-spectrum or isolate. You’ll pay between $85 and $145 for these products.

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Did You Know?
If your dog won’t take CBD oil directly or doesn’t like it mixed into food, CBD oil-infused treats are an ideal alternative.
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Tips

  • Start with a low dose. It’s best to start with a low dose of CBD oil and watch to see how your dog reacts. You can increase the dosage once you’re sure that your pet doesn’t experience any adverse side effects.
  • Talk to your vet first. Mixing CBD oil with prescription medications can be dangerous. If your dog is taking medication, speak to your vet before giving your pet the oil.
  • Mix the oil into dry dog food. CBD oil typically blends better with dry dog food than it does with wet food. The oil doesn’t mix into the wet food as readily, so your dog may notice a difference. Give the oil a few minutes to soak into the dry food before giving it to your dog.
  • Mix the oil with peanut butter. CBD oil mixes extremely well with peanut butter, which is oily. If your dog likes peanut butter, that can be an easy way to give it the oil.
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Administering CBD oil directly in your dog’s mouth is usually the best way to give it to your pet. It’s absorbed more quickly by your dog’s body, so the effects are felt sooner.

FAQ

Q. Is CBD oil safe for dogs?

A. In general, CBD oil is safe for dogs, just as it is for people. However, there’s still ongoing research on its effects on dogs. It’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before giving the oil to your dog. Your vet can determine whether it’s a good option for your pet’s health issues and determine the proper dosage. Small breeds sometimes experience side effects, so it’s especially important to get the dosage right.

Q. What health issues can CBD oil treat in my dog?

A. CBD oil is especially helpful for dogs with anxiety or arthritis. Because it has anti-inflammatory properties, it can also help with pain associated with an injury. It’s believed to help relieve all types of chronic pain, so if your dog struggles with pain issues, CBD oil may help.

Q. How often should I give CBD oil to my dog?

A. In most cases, it’s best to start with a low dose once a day. However, it depends on the condition you’re treating. If your dog is experiencing pain, you might want to gradually increase the dose to once every eight hours.

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