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How to Give CBD Oil to Your Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written By Ellese Symons Mar 8th 2024
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You do your best to ensure your canine companion has a happy, healthy life. Over time, it's easy to pick up on subtle cues suggesting your dog is feeling stressed, anxious, or uncomfortable. If changes in behavior or mobility issues are causing concern, you've probably considered giving CBD oil to your pet. After all, CBD-infused pet products are sold just about everywhere. You may even be tempted to share your personal supply. Before you do, don't. 

Despite numerous manufacturers claiming their hemp-derived CBD oil is great for pets, most products intended for human consumption are made with carrier oils that can contribute to canine distress. Many pet-specific products are made with inferior ingredients. If you have questions or concerns about your dog's health, consult your veterinarian. Until then, consider exploring the basics of giving CBD oil to your dog with our step-by-step guide. 

CBD Oil Basics: Exploring the Possible Benefits for Dogs  

Let's start this conversation by confirming that high-quality hemp-derived CBD is just as safe (and effective) for your dog as it is (or could be) for you, which, according to a 2019 CBDistillery® survey of 1,900 customers, translates to positive results for relaxation, better sleep, discomfort after physical activity, mild or temporary anxiety, and more. 

In a survey of more than 2,000 veterinarians, most providers with CBD experience report similarly positive results.4 Unlike numerous other plant extracts, CBD oil is nontoxic for companion animals,6 and researchers investigating the cannabinoid's impact on multiple aspects of canine health and wellness report "no adverse effects".2 

The Science Behind CBD Oil: What It Is & How It Works   

CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant of more than 113 potentially beneficial cannabinoids in the oil extracted from hemp flower. Based on decades of research, experts believe CBD works by interacting with multiple molecular targets. The list includes the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS),1 a chemical messaging system common to all animal species.8 Since the regulatory system is responsible for nearly every aspect of mental, physical, and emotional well-being, researchers believe CBD supports ECS function in a way that promotes homeostasis.7 

Product Quality: Choosing the Right CBD Oil for Your Dog  

Although CBD is generally well tolerated and safe for most pets, purity, potency, and product quality can vary from one company to the next. Before committing to a purchase, look for a certificate of analysis (COA). You need that document to confirm you're giving your dog a product that's as potent as expected and screened for heavy metals, pesticides, solvent residue, mold, bacteria, and other potentially harmful contaminants.3 

Then, take a look at the ingredient list, most importantly, the carrier oil. Most CBD oil tinctures are made with fractionated coconut (MCT) oil. Although MCT oil is not harmful, its fatty acids are known to cause nausea, loose stools, and diarrhea for dogs (and cats). Instead, look for CBD oil pet tinctures made with full spectrum hemp extract and hemp-seed oil, a combination less likely to cause digestive upset. 

CBD Oil Administration: Finding Your Dog's Ideal Serving Size  

An amount of CBD that provides positive results for one dog could be quite different than the serving size that's best for another. Your dog could need less, maybe more, than the amount suggested on product labels. Ideally, you'll want to identify the smallest amount of CBD oil needed to deliver the best results. Giving your pet more CBD than they might need is not harmful, but starting low and going slow minimizes the risk of unpleasant side effects, which can include fatigue, dry mouth, or digestive distress. 

If your veterinarian supports your interest in giving CBD to your canine companion, consider starting with part of a serving, even just a few drops. If that partial serving doesn't have the effect you're hoping for, increase your pet's serving sizes gradually in small increments. Since it can take time for their systems to adapt and respond, consider documenting how much CBD you're administering until achieving the results you're hoping for. Your dog will let you know which of the following delivery methods they prefer. 

Direct Administration by Mouth  

Many dogs enjoy the flavor of hemp. If your pup allows you to place a dropper of oil into their mouth, direct administration could be one of the easiest ways to be sure your pet is getting their full CBD serving. If your dog resists, try moving their lower lip away from their teeth slightly and administering the oil into the "pouch" that forms near their cheek.5 

Mixing  a Serving with Food 

If your dog resists direct administration, try mixing a serving into a small amount of wet dog food or topping their kibble. If they're less than enthused about the addition, consider using your pet tincture to infuse their favorite treats by blending a serving with peanut butter or any other snack your canine adores. 

Top CBDistillery® Products for Dogs  

CBDistillery® CBD Oil pet tinctures are made with the same high-quality hemp extract you'll find in every product we offer. We use the cleanest extraction methods available, and every product is batch-tested to ensure purity, potency, and consistent quality. Of course, our pet-specific formulas are made with a blend of full spectrum hemp flower extract and hemp seed oil, a carrier oil that's much easier on canine (and feline) digestive systems. 

Like all CBDistillery® products, our CBD oil pet tinctures are backed by a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. You'll find a downloadable certificate of analysis (COA) on our product pages and a scannable QR code on every label, including the following top-rated CBDistillery® pet products.   

CBDistillery® wag distilled – 150mg CBD Pet Tincture  

Each 1 dropper (1ml) serving of our 150mg CBDistillery® wag distilled delivers 5mg of CBD. Based on a 20 drop per ml average, that breaks down to 0.25mg of CBD per drop. For dogs less than 25 pounds, we suggest administering half of a dropper (or less) at mealtime. 

CBDistillery® wag distilled – 600mg CBD Pet Tincture  

A 1ml dropper serving of our 600mg CBDistillery® wag distilled contains 20mg of CBD, which breaks down to 1mg per drop. Once you've identified the ideal amount of CBD for your dog, you can use those calculations to use our more potent tincture to reduce the cost of adding CBD to your dog's daily routine. For dogs over 75 pounds, we suggest two full droppers (or less to start). 

Why Dog Owners Nationwide Choose CBDistillery® CBD Oil Pet Tinctures  

Sharing the occasional treat with your four-legged companion is inevitable. Sharing your personal supply of CBD oil is not ideal. The expert botanists at CBDistillery® formulated wag distilled specifically for dogs and cats. They're made with 100% clean ingredients, nothing artificial. If you could both benefit from the advantages of living your lives distilled, consider trying our Man's Best Friend CBD Oil Pack, available in regular or extra strength. All CBDistillery® products are naturally farmed, rigorously tested, quality assured, and Leaping Bunny certified. 

CBD is generally well tolerated and safe for most pets. However, the cannabinoid can interact with several over-the-counter treatments and prescription medications. Consult your dog's veterinarian if you have questions or concerns. If you're intrigued by the cannabinoid's health and wellness potential but not quite sure where to start, consider scheduling a personal consultation

References 

  1. Fernandez-Ruiz J, Sagredo O, et al. (2012) Cannabidiol for Neurodegenerative Disorders: Important Clinical Applications for This Phytocannabinoid? 75(2) Br J Clin Pharmacol 323-33. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04341.x 

  1. Gamble L, Boesch J, et al. (2018) Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. 165(5) Front Vet Sci. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165 

  1. Hazekamp A. (2018) The Trouble with CBD Oil. 1, Med Cannabis Cannabinoid 64-72. https://doi.org/10.1159/000489287 

  1. Kogan L, Schoenfeld-Tacher, et al. (2019) US Veterinarians' Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions. Front Vet Sci. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6338022/ 

  1. Martin, N. (2022) How to Give Liquid Medicine. Rover.com 

  1. Miranda-Cortes A, Mota-Rojas D, et al. (2023) The Role of Cannabinoids in Pain Modulation in Companion Animals. 9 Front Vet Sci. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2022.1050884 

  1. Sallaberry C, Astern L. (2018) The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator. 34(6) JYI 48-55. https://www.jyi.org/2018-june/2018/6/1/the-endocannabinoid-system-our-universal-regulator 

  1. Silver R. (2019) The Endocannabinoid Systems of Animals. 9(9) Animals 686. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090686