There is no one-size-fits-all CBD dosage for dogs. Generally speaking, your dog’s weight and specific ailment will determine the proper dosage of CBD. But CBD products come in different forms, each with varying CBD concentrations depending on the manufacturer. You will also have to consider your dog’s overall condition. So determining the correct dosage can get tricky without your vet’s supervision.
Unfortunately, while CBD oil is generally accepted as an alternative option for many dog ailments, as such, a CBD product’s quality and content are mostly controlled and determined by the manufacturer; and its recommended uses are not based on conclusive clinical studies. Read on to ease your confusion and to learn how to properly administer CBD to your furry pal.
What is CBD oil used for?
In terms of clinical studies and scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of CBD oil for dogs, the scientific community still has a long way to go. But there is considerable anecdotal evidence that provides solid backing for the positive health effects claims of using CBD oil to ease a variety of ailments in dogs and other animals, including:
- Providing relief from anxiety and stress; promoting calm and relaxation
- Easing moderate to severe pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and other diseases
- Relieving nausea, an upset stomach, and other digestive issues
- Providing a soothing effect, particularly in epileptic dogs who don’t respond to anticonvulsive drugs
- Target certain symptoms such as nausea associated with cancer and cancer treatment
Keep in mind that while CBD holds a prominent place in the world of holistic wellness, there may be dishonest manufacturers and/or sellers that merely want to take advantage of the popularity of CBD products for pets. If their marketing strategy includes health claims that have yet to be proven conclusively by science, this may indicate that the product is of questionable quality and authenticity.
What are the factors that determine proper CBD dosage for dogs?
When determining the correct CBD dosage for your best bud, take note of the following:
- The CBD content of the product, whether it’s an oil, a capsule, or a treat
- Fido’s age and weight
- The specific ailment that needs to be addressed
Ideally, you should have your vet’s guidance on how best to support your dog by using CBD. There are other factors that should be considered when calculating the accurate dosage and which only your vet will be qualified to assess. These include:
- Fido’s activity level, which determines how quickly he will break down and absorb CBD.
- Your dog’s overall health, and any underlying conditions, which can affect how well he metabolizes CBD.
- Other medications your furkid is taking, which may react with the CBD.
It’s important that you use high-quality CBD oil derived from hemp so you can be sure that it contains only trace amounts or zero THC, the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana and which is toxic to animals. CBD oil is the best option because you can more easily determine the purity of the product – it should only contain CBD and the carrier oil – and calculate the correct dosage; using an oil also means your dog will get a more potent dose.
If you will be opting for CBD treats, finding out the exact CBD content can get trickier, and these products also contain other ingredients and undergo cooking – which degrades the CBD. This means that Fido will actually be getting a lot less than the stated amount on the product information and you may not get the results you expect.
General guidelines for CBD dosage for dogs
The easiest way to determine the correct CBD dosage for your pet pal is to check the product’s recommendations printed on the label. The recommended dosage will vary from one product to another depending on the manufacturer and the CBD concentration used. Of course, you have to make sure that the manufacturer is a reputable one so you can have a better guarantee that they know how to calculate the optimal dosages. Being able to provide detailed instructions on how to use their product is a good indicator that the company prioritizes quality and safety.
If you’re just starting Fido with CBD, start with the minimum dosage recommended. Closely monitor your dog; good-quality CBD usually takes effect within 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion if you mix it with his food and depending on your dog’s size, or within 5 to 20 minutes if you are able to place CBD oil drops directly under his tongue.
You will have to consistently give him the same dose for about a week or so to see if it’s working. If you don’t see the results you’re looking for, you can gradually increase the dosage. Again, administer the new dosage consistently for one or two weeks, and adjust as needed.
If your pet becomes lethargic and uncoordinated, then you may have given him too much. No need to worry, however, as this effect will subside on its own. Reduce his next dosage by at least half to be on the safe side and keep monitoring him. Keep in mind that going slowly and steadily is important; do not attempt to give him a high dose to get quick results.
When factoring in his weight, the general recommendation for a regular dose is 0.2 mg of CBD oil per pound of body weight. This means that if Fido weighs 50 pounds, then you should give him 10 mg of CBD.
The product’s actual CBD concentration per ml will determine how much of the oil you should actually give. The product should indicate this on the information label. But the common formula strengths are as follows:
- 75 mg formula contains 2.5 mg CBD per ml
- 150 mg formula contains 5 mg CBD per ml
- 300 mg formula contains 10 mg CBD per ml
- 600 mg formula contains 20 mg CBD per ml
If Fido is 50 pounds and needs 10 mg of CBD, your options are:
- 4 ml of the 75 mg formula
- 2 ml of the 150 mg formula
- 1 ml of the 300 mg formula
- 0.5 ml of the 600 mg formula
The regular dose of 0.2 mg per pound of body weight is ideal if you want to give your dog CBD for his overall wellness; to support immune function[ for general maintenance in his old age; to help relieve minor aches, stress and anxiety, allergies, skin conditions, nausea, digestive issues, and pain and inflammation; or to help stimulate his appetite.
Your pet pal may need a strong dose, or approximately 0.5 mg per pound of body weight, to assist with more severe conditions, such as: severe anxiety; extreme nausea; vomiting; chronic pain; severe arthritis and joint pain and inflammation; seizures; and cancer-related symptoms.
For anxiety, you can administer the proper dosage 30 minutes prior to the instigating event, such as a car ride, being left at home, or fireworks. To provide relief from pain and inflammation, the recommended dosage frequency is every 8 hours or as needed. For other purposes, twice a day is the general recommendation.
Compared to CBD oil, tinctures are less potent due lower concentrations of CBD but the CBD is more bioavailable - or more readily absorbed by the body - because alcohol is included in the formulation as the carrier, about 60-70% distilled alcohol. The alcohol content also prolongs the shelf life of CBD tinctures.
CBD tinctures are also best taken sublingually (under the tongue), and they are usually available in different flavors, such as peanut butter and fish.
While CBD tinctures have a faster absorption rate, the CBD is less potent. This means you may have to give Fido more drops than when using oil, but you can expect faster results. Remember to always carefully follow dosage recommendations for every product. Don’t assume that you can apply the dosage recommendation of one tincture product to a tincture product from a different manufacturer. Always check the product label/insert.
CBD Dog Treats
For CBD dog treats, the manufacturer should provide serving size suggestions also based on Fido’s weight. Again, keep in mind that the stated CBD content per serving may not be accurate because CBD degrades when exposed to high temperatures during cooking. Unless the company specifically states that they tested for the CBD content after the CBD treats are baked, you can safely assume that your pet will be getting less than the amount per serving printed on the label.
Simply follow the product’s serving instructions, observe your dog, and adjust the serving size as needed. As much as possible, consult your vet with regards to determining the correct CBD dosage for your dog.
CBD Dosage for Dogs - Final Thoughts
Determining the correct CBD dosage to give to your best bud can be tricky. If you take the time to compare products, you’ll find that different manufacturers provide different dosage recommendations or serving suggestions. This is because each company uses different CBD concentrations in their products.
Keep in mind that the kind of CBD you give Fido – whether it’s an oil, capsule, or a treat – will also determine how much you should give him.
In general, the proper dosage will depend on your dog’s weight and the specific condition you want to help assuage. For general wellness and minor problems – such as aches and pains, anxiety, and nausea – low to regular doses are recommended; for more severe conditions, such as chronic pain, extreme anxiety, seizures, and cancer symptoms, a strong dosage may be necessary.
There are no standard guidelines on the proper dosage of CBD when used in dogs and other animals. It is always best to seek the advice of your vet. You should also make sure that you get a high-quality CBD product from a trustworthy company so you can have a better guarantee that they know what they’re talking about regarding dosage recommendations and that your dog will be getting optimal results. Be wary of CBD products that are sold cheap; when it comes to CBD, good quality does come at a considerable price. Don’t compromise your pet’s wellness and safety with a poor-quality product.