What Are The Benefits Of CBD Oil And Treats For Dogs?

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Perhaps you’ve heard about CBD oil, an all-natural treatment that’s trending big-time for humans — and now for pets as well. Can your dog benefit from CBD oil or treats? Here’s everything you need to know about CBD for dogs.

Article Overview

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the flowers and buds of cannabis (marijuana or hemp plants). CBD, however, doesn’t produce the “high” associated with marijuana because it doesn’t contain the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

For further clarification, hemp and marijuana both come from the cannabis plant but contain different levels of THC. Marijuana can contain as much as 30% THC while the hemp plant has a max of only 0.3% THC. So, while marijuana-derived CBD oil is still illegal in most states, the hemp-derived oil is legal in all 50 U.S. states.

CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil: What’s The Difference?

Many people think CBD oil and hemp oil are essentially the same, but they’re not.


CBD is an active cannabinoid compound that comes from the leaves, flowers and sometimes stems from mature cannabis plants. It’s this compound that provides the medical and therapeutic benefits you get from CBD oil.

Hemp Oil

In contrast, hemp oils are made from cannabis seeds, which contain little to no CBD (or THC, for that matter). While hemp seeds don’t share the same therapeutic characteristics as CBD, hemp oils have their own unique nutritional benefits. Many pet owners use hemp oil as a nutritional supplement because it’s vitamin and mineral-rich.

Is CBD Safe For Dogs?

Human use of CBD oil is growing in popularity, but can you give CBD oil to dogs? Is it safe for our canine friends and other pets? Many vets have started recommending CBD oil for dogs, even as veterinary scientific research into this new treatment is in its infancy.

One small study from Colorado State University found that healthy dogs overall tolerated CBD well, with reports of some mild diarrhea and slightly elevated serum ALP (liver enzyme) levels. Researchers say that more extensive studies are necessary to determine any long-term effects of CBD on dogs’ livers but found no immediate threat of liver toxicity.

Many studies in humans show that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects and can help with anxiety, aggression, pain, seizures, muscle spasms and neurological disorders.

There’s also a ton of anecdotal evidence from pet parents on online forums, social media and other channels about the benefits they’ve seen in their dogs from CBD use. It’s also important to note that we haven’t seen any reports of major side effects or negative health concerns from pet parents (or veterinarians, for that matter) using CBD oils or treats.

Expert’s Take On If CBD Is Safe For Dogs

Dr. Erin Chu, a veterinary geneticist at Embark Veterinary, studied veterinary medicine and weighs in on her thoughts on CBD’s side effects and safety.

“CBD is not for every pet. Side effects potentially due to CBD treatment have been reported (McGrath et al, 2018). Further, CBD might be just one part of a comprehensive care plan that you build with your veterinarian! Talk with your veterinarian about all the possible options to manage your pet’s ailment, be it chronic pain, behavioral issues, or other. And give your vet some time to do their research! CBD is as new to pet health as it is to humans, and we as a profession are still learning (albeit very quickly!).”

How Can CBD Oil Help My Dog?

Like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system that allows them to benefit from CBD oil. This system allows the active ingredients in hemp to help relieve many symptoms. Learn more about the canine endocannabinoid system.

CBD drops for dogs or CBD dog treats can ease several conditions your pup may suffer from either occasionally or chronically, including:

CBD Oil For Dogs Infographic

CBD Oil For Dogs Infographic

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Are Experts Studying CBD For Pets?

Several research studies are currently underway to study the efficacy of CBD to treat different conditions in dogs. Watch this Denver news coverage to learn more about one study being conducted at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

How Do I Find High-Quality CBD Oil?

Since CBD oil for pets isn’t yet regulated, there are some vital factors to consider when searching for the most effective and safe products.1

  1. Is it organic? High-quality CBD oils are made from organically-grown hemp that are free of toxins.
  2. How is it processed? Safe methods include carbon dioxide and cold press extraction. Some companies, however, use cheap methods and potentially toxic solvents, like propane, hexane and butane, to extract THC from the plant.
  3. Is it independently tested? Look for companies that independently test their products and provide a certificate of analysis (COA). Testing can include microbiology, pesticide, mycotoxin, residual solvent, heavy metals and more.
  4. What’s the THC level? Check every product for its THC potency. Some products contain higher levels of THC, which could be harmful to your pet. Look for products with less than 0.3% THC. All of the products we recommend are derived from hemp and, thus, should always fall below this level.

Best CBD Oil & Treats For Dogs

There are a lot of CBD products on the market for pets, so we weeded through them all to find the highest quality CBD products for your pup. Be sure to read our reviews of the best CBD oil for dogs and the best CBD treats, which include extensive pros and cons, ingredients, pricing and more. If you have questions about how much CBD to give, check out our dosage guide.

What health issues do you hope CBD will treat in your pup?

Sources: [1] Dogs Naturally

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets).

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Rebecca Gardner
May 29, 2020 3:21 pm

Thanks for describing the difference between safe and potentially toxic methods for processing CBD. I’ve been wanting to find a compounding pharmacy to create a custom CBD dosage to help with my older dog’s arthritis. I’ll have to ask them about how their CBD is souced now that I learned this info from your article!

Mark M. Miller
March 21, 2020 8:22 am

We are huge proponents of the health benefits that CBD and marijuana offer, and we’re going to do whatever we can to keep giving you the chance to access these items.

Jenna Hunter
December 3, 2019 6:23 pm

My cousin has an older Border Collie that is starting to have movement problems and has a really hard time getting around. She doesn’t know the best way to help her but is looking at trying a CBD tincture to help get rid of her pain. I’ll be sure to tell her that she can give it to her dog by way of drops or treats and can help ease severe pain, joint pain, arthritis, and inflammation.

Eli Richardson
October 31, 2019 9:30 am

My sister’s dog had a parasite, and she has been sick lately. It says here that hemp treats could help a dog’s chronic inflammation. I better advise her about this so she can ger pet some hemp supplements.

October 30, 2019 9:12 pm

My dog has seizures. She usually has 1 every month. Now she is getting them like every 7-15 days… I want to try CBD oil… Where to buy the best quality CBD for her?

Kimberly Alt
October 31, 2019 9:06 am
Reply to  Liza

I’m so sorry your dog is experiencing seizures. Our #1 pick for best CBD oil is King Kanine. We’d recommend you begin your search there.

September 22, 2019 6:52 am

Will cbd help my yorkie with cushions disease

Kimberly Alt
September 23, 2019 12:41 pm
Reply to  Annamarie

There is still a lot of unknowns on what CBD can and can’t help with. CBD can help with anxiety, stress, pain, inflammation, arthritis, seizures, digestion issues, nausea, cancer symptoms and more. If your dog is experiencing any of those things, CBD may be able to help your Yorkie.

Millie Kelly
August 26, 2019 2:00 pm

What about chf? Can cbd help with that?

Kimberly Alt
August 27, 2019 9:28 am
Reply to  Millie Kelly

There’s still a lot that we don’t know about CBD oil and how it can affect a person or animal’s health. CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that can reduce the risk of heart disease. There have been some studies that show CBD can lower blood pressure and heart rate. CBD can also help a stroke victim recover. However, these cases aren’t always for humans or dogs. More research needs to be done to give a definitive answer.

We suggest speaking with your vet or trying out this online vet service to see if it can help your dog.

Brendan Shelton
August 21, 2019 10:49 am

My dog seems to be extremely stressed and anxious after everyone leaves the house and he is home alone. We are trying to find ways to keep him calm while we are gone because we can’t always have someone at home. I like that CBD is a possible way to relieve some of that stress and anxiety.

Linda Haimann Feldman
August 20, 2019 10:48 am

How long after starting CBD oil will I see a change in my dog?

Kimberly Alt
August 21, 2019 10:47 am

It depends what you’re giving the CBD oil for. If it’s for anxiety, you may see changes as quickly as 5 to 30 minutes. If using it for pain, arthritis or inflammation issues, it may take a couple weeks to see consistent results.

Linda Haimann Feldman
August 21, 2019 4:21 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

This is for anxiety. Zoe is freaked out by noises from storms or odd outside noises.

Dave Harris
December 8, 2019 10:49 am

Many dogs suffer from this. And for many there is no real cure. CBD can help, maybe cure. But you won’t know until you try it.

Kimberly Alt
August 22, 2019 9:39 am

You would probably see it take affect about 5-30 minutes after administered. However, it can vary depending on the brand and the dosage amount.