Image of dog with CBD

How to choose the best CBD for your dog

CBD has become a popular supplement for dogs experiencing anxiety or suffering from inflammation caused by many things, including arthritis.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the hemp plant that is very beneficial to humans and dogs. When CBD enters the body, it activates the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a biological system made up of neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters bind to receptors involved in various processes, including pain sensation, mood, and memory.

How is CBD different from marijuana?

Hemp comes from the same Cannabis family as marijuana, but they are two different plants. Marijuana has high amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Ranging from 5-35% and low amounts of CBD. That is the opposite of hemp, which has very low THC (less than 0.3%) and high amounts of CBD. CBD does not have any intoxicating effects like those caused by THC.

How to select CBD for your dog

Not all CBD is created equal.  Here are a few helpful tips in finding a product that is right for your dog.

  • To be effective, it’s best to choose full-spectrum cannabidiol, not an isolate. Full-spectrum CBD has the “entourage effect”, meaning it interacts synergistically increasing the efficiency of the oil and its health benefits.
  • Be sure the manufacturer you choose uses third-party lab testing for quality and potency.
  • Choose a manufacturer that uses a supplier who farms organically.
  • Read the Certificate of Analysis (CoA). Look and see if the batch you are purchasing is free of pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, microbial content. Also, make sure your product was tested for potency to ensure consistency.

Top CBD oils for dogs

There are many manufacturers out there, but a few of the companies we like are HempMyPet, Pet.Releaf and Healthy Hemp.

What does CBD help treat in dogs?

CBD can help your dog with a number of things including:

  • car anxiety
  • noise phobias
  • fear of fireworks
  • motion sickness
  • separation anxiety
  • relieving tension.
  • relieving pain associated with osteoarthritis
  • reducing epileptic seizures
  • anti-cancer properties

Why is my veterinarian hesitant to recommend CBD?

Many veterinary professionals are reluctant to recommend CBD oil because they feel there has not been enough research to prove its efficacy. There have been a few clinical trials, but not enough for many veterinarians to feel comfortable.

What are some of the CBD studies in dogs that have been done?

The Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University (CSU) has been conducting clinical trials on CBD’s efficacy for epilepsy and osteoarthritis in dogs.

Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at CSU, found that 89 percent of dogs who experienced seizures had a reduction in their frequency thanks to CBD oil.

The AHVMA published a CSU clinical trial that proved CBD to be effective in treating osteoarthritis in dogs. 32 dogs were part of the trial, and 30 showed improvement while taking CBD. 23 of the 32 dogs were taking Gabapentin for their pain, and 10 of those 23 were able to discontinue the NSAID while taking CBD. 11 of the 23 were able to lower their Gabapentin dosage. The specific product the dogs were given was 1000mg CBD from HempMyPet, who sponsored the trial.

My personal experience with CBD for my dog

My dog has experienced car anxiety for several years. I tried every product on the market, from essential oils to the ThunderShirt, ThunderCap, and pheromone sprays, all with poor results. I started administering CBD oil to see if it would help. It was about the only thing we had left to try.  I gave the recommended dosage amount about 30 minutes before getting in the car, and amazingly, she seemed calmer while driving. 

After having good results with CBD for anxiety, I tried it for pain associated with a small surgical procedure, and it seemed to work great.

I’ve kept my dog on CBD oil as a supplement since learning of its potential anti-cancer properties. I give a half dose twice a day with her meals and have been doing so for over 4 years.

When we travel by plane, I take CBD cookies for dogs with me and break off an amount appropriate for my dog when we arrive at the gate. She always travels great and is calm and relaxed in her airplane carrier.

I didn’t think my dog was in pain

Interestingly, I didn’t think my dog was not exhibiting any signs of pain before I started her on CBD, but taking it regularly showed me that I had been missing something. She started running more on our walks and jumping like a puppy.

Initially, I was concerned about CBD oil because I didn’t want my dog to feel lethargic or too relaxed, or seemingly depressed. I’m pleased to say none of those things have ever taken place.

We took a break to see if CBD was really working…

Recently, I experimented with taking my dog off CBD for about 2 months. I then restarted with the dosage of .5mg/kg and was again totally amazed at how her mobility improved. I started to think she was doing great without CBD, but upon restarting, I couldn’t believe how much she was leaping and running on our daily walks. Quite honestly, it’s hard for me to keep up with her!! The product I’m giving is HempMyPet 250mg.

How to give CBD to your dog

CBD is fat-soluble, which means it is best absorbed and utilized by the body if given alongside a small amount of fat. Try adding your dog’s dosage of CBD to a 1/4-1/2 tsp of coconut oil or ghee. Or give directly in the mouth or on a small cookie 10-15 minutes before a meal.

While clinical trials are limited and the study incomplete, my personal experience has been very positive. Low and slow is always a good way to go if you are trying something new. That is, start with a low dose and a slow progression. Always give the least amount needed to get a result, so you have somewhere to go should you later need more.

Disclosure: I receive a small commission if you purchase HempMyPet following a link from my website. That said, it truly is the product that we currently use, recommend, and have seen the greatest results with. Use code BarkingPrincess20 for 20% off any item.


Is CBD safe for my dog?

CBD, a natural compound found in the hemp plant, is safe for dogs when the THC levels are at .03% or below.

Has the use of CBD been studied in dogs?

The Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University (CSU) has been conducting ongoing trials of the use of CBD to help dogs with epilepsy and osteoarthritis. The AHVMA published a CSU study of how CBD helps dogs with osteoarthritis.

How do I give CBD to my dog?

CBD is fat-soluble, so it is best absorbed with a little fat. You can administer the tincture directly into your dog’s mouth or add to a small amount of food or coconut oil.

What is the best time of day to give my dog CBD?

Administer CBD two times daily 15 – 30 minutes before a meal.


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