How much cbd oil to use for dog anxiety

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

CBD dosage for pets may seem difficult at first glance, but once you understand the basic measurements and do simple math, you’ll be able to easily gauge the optimal dosage for your furry friend.

Dogs and other pets have an endocannabinoid system — just like humans.

Therefore, it can produce similar effects in our four-legged friends, boosting their health in a natural and safe way.

For many people, cannabis and pets don’t go well together in one sentence due to the stigma associated with THC.

Of course, THC can have an intoxicating effect on your dog, leading to a few unwanted side effects, but in this article, we focus solely on CBD.

CBD, as you may already know, is non-intoxicating; it can even counter the psychoactive high from THC.

Hemp-derived CBD oils contain up to 0.3% THC, which isn’t enough to get your pet “stoned.”

Without further ado, let’s take a look at different CBD dosages for dogs so you can easily figure out how much CBD you should give your pup.

Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

CBD can help your dog in many aspects, from minor discomforts to more serious health concerns. As mentioned, dogs have endocannabinoid systems that regulate major biological processes within their bodies. The ability to maintain self-regulation is known as homeostasis.

A healthy endocannabinoid system ensures proper communication between every other network in your dog’s body.

Here are some of the most common problems CBD oil can help your dog with:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Joint stiffness and impaired mobility
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Digestive issues
  • Nausea

In addition, studies have linked CBD to the earlier death of cancer cells and slower tumor development in certain types of cancer.

Please note that the above information is based on preclinical research and is not intended to provide medical advice. If you need professional guidance for giving your dog CBD oil, consult a veterinarian who has the knowledge about the benefits of CBD for pets. A qualified veterinarian will also help you figure out how much CBD oil you should give your dog.

How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog? 5 Things to Consider

For pet owners who are just getting started with using CBD oil, figuring out the right CBD dosage for their dogs can be difficult.

There are five major factors that influence the amount of CBD you should give your dog:

  1. Consumption method
  2. The potency of CBD in your product
  3. Your dog’s size (weight)
  4. The severity of symptoms
  5. Your dog’s activity level

Let’s elaborate on each of these factors.

1. Consumption Method

CBD comes in many different forms; however, for dogs and other pets, these options are limited when compared to humans.

There are 3 main forms in which you can find CBD for dogs:

  • CBD oil
  • Topical creams

CBD oil is by far the best product for dogs because it combines high bioavailability with a long duration of effects.

However, not every dog will like the distinct earthy taste of full-spectrum CBD oil. If you have a fussy dog, you may consider adding CBD pet treats into its diet. CBD edibles usually taste better than oil and offer a fixed CBD dose in each serving, which definitely wins over CBD oil in terms of convenience.

However, the effects of CBD edibles may need more time to take hold, usually within 30–90 minutes after ingestion. And since the CBD must be metabolized in your dog’s digestive system, it will receive less CBD overall.

Topical creams infused with CBD work best for localized problems when your dog suffers from different types of physical discomfort. This type of product is the easiest to dose because you apply it as needed. Topicals are also relatively fast-acting because the CBD doesn’t absorb into the bloodstream; instead, they bind to cannabinoid receptors in the deeper layers of your dog’s skin.

2. The Size of Your Pet

As with any health supplement, the dosage is most often calculated by weight.

Generally speaking, smaller puppies will need less CBD to experience the same effects as larger dogs. Some CBD products have their dosage recommendation listed on the bottles, which makes dosing easier from the start.

The larger your dog, the more CBD oil you’ll need to give them. Sometimes, you’ll need to choose a higher potency option to make your dog’s supplementation affordable in the long run.

This brings us to the next point.

3. The Potency of CBD in Your Product

Potency refers to the number of milligrams contained in each milliliter of the oil. A single CBD serving size for dogs is usually ½ – 1 mL, so if a bottle contains 30 mL of CBD oil, you have about 30–60 servings per bottle.

If you have a small dog, you can choose from the lowest potency options. But with larger dogs, low-potency oils may prove cost-prohibitive over time.

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If your dog needs to consume more than 1 mL of CBD oil daily, we recommend that you switch to a more potent oil.

4. The Severity of Your Dog’s Condition

CBD offers many great benefits for your dog’s health, but it’s not a miracle drug. Although Royal CBD products can improve your dog’s daily life, they are not intended to prevent, diagnose, or treat any medical condition.

With that said, the amount of CBD oil you should give your dog will depend on the severity of symptoms they experience. If the symptoms include mild anxiety or temporary joint pain, your dog may need smaller doses to manage them. In case of a more severe condition, pet owners often choose high-potency oils to find the effective dosage. This is especially true for large dogs.

5. The Dog’s Activity Level

This factor is also important to take into account because your dog’s activity level determines the pace at which CBD will be metabolized in their system. When it comes to drug metabolism, we once again recommend that you speak to your dog’s veterinarian to avoid potential interactions between CBD and any medication that your dog may be on at the time.

General CBD Dosage Recommendations for Dogs

While we won’t tell you exactly how much CBD oil you should give your dog, there are a few tips we can share with you to make your dog’s CBD routine more accurate.

Based on the dog’s weight, you can start out with 2–5 mg of CBD per day and continue with the dosage for about a week. Monitor the effects, and if you don’t see any difference in the symptoms, you can increase the dose by 2–5 mg for another week. Repeat until you find a dose that works for your dog.

A reputable company should provide its dosage recommendations at the back of the bottle. You can use them as a decent point of reference for your trial and error.

Always start at the low end of the dose, increasing gradually once you know how your dog responds to CBD oil.

Size Matters: Figuring Out How Much CBD Oil You Should Give Your Dog by Weight

In this section, we’ll cover different CBD dosage recommendations for dogs based on their size — measured in weight.

Dogs are smaller than humans, so they generally need less CBD to achieve the desired effects. Even large dogs are about ⅓ the size of an average human, so the initial dose around 1–3 mg CBD makes sense.

Let’s take a look at how much CBD your dog will need by relative weight.

1. CBD Dosage for Extra Small Dogs (2–15 lbs)

For extra small dogs, it’s best to use the least amount of CBD.

However, tiny dogs have an exceptionally fast metabolism, meaning their body will break down CBD faster and make it less available for the body.

Increasing the frequency of CBD administration to 3–4 doses per day should do the trick.

If your dog has never taken CBD before, the initial CBD dose of 1 mg may be enough for a start.

For behavioral problems like anxiety, we suggest that you measure out ½ mg worth of oil and add a few drops later if you don’t see improvements for the next, say, 5 days of use.

It’s best to start by giving your dog CBD oil twice daily. Each time you want to up the dosage, you can use 2-mg increments until your dog finds some relief.

Extra small dogs shouldn’t take more than 15 mg CBD daily.

Keep in mind that these are just general figures and shouldn’t be taken as a veterinary recommendation or medical advice.

2. CBD Dosage for Small Dogs (15 – 30 lbs)

After surveying our customers on different CBD dosages for medium dogs, we’ve noticed that many pet owners achieve success with a starting dose of 2 mg, and increasing it by 3 mg until they feel the difference.

For most medium-sized dogs, a dose of 5 mg CBD daily should do the trick. The maximum dose of CBD for a dog that weighs less than 30 lbs is about 20 mg per day.

3. CBD Dosage for Medium Dogs (30 – 60 lbs)

As mentioned, larger dogs may need more CBD to experience the desired effects.

How much CBD oil should you give a medium dog at first?

It’s generally believed that a dose of 3 mg CBD is a good starting point, depending on the severity of your dog’s symptoms.

For behavioral conditions like anxiety, ADHD, or poor appetite, we recommend giving your dog 3 mg of CBD twice a day.

Make sure to monitor your dog’s behavior to notice if the effects of CBD are taking hold.

If you don’t see any difference, increase the dose by another 3 mg, trying not to go beyond 30 mg per day.

4. CBD Dosage for Large Dogs (60–150 lbs)

For the owners of large dogs, we recommend following the same general guidelines as for medium dogs. However, if you have a very large dog, you can expect to have a much higher dose. Every dog may react differently to CBD, so again, we suggest that you start at the lowest dosage and slowly work your way up by 3-5 mg per dose until your dog experiences signs of relief.

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CBD for Dogs Dosing Chart

Wondering how much CBD oil you should give your dog? Here’s a quick overview of the dosage recommendations based on different weight groups:

Dog’s weight Mild effects Medium effects Strong effects
10 lbs 1 mg 3 mg 5 mg
20 lbs 2 mg 6 mg 10 mg
30 lbs 3 mg 8 mg 15 mg
40 lbs 4 mg 10 mg 20 mg
50 lbs 5 mg 12 mg 25 mg
60 lbs 6 mg 14 mg 30 mg
70 lbs 7 mg 16 mg 35 mg
80 lbs 8 mg 18 mg 40 mg
90 lbs 9 mg 20 mg 45 mg
100 lbs 10 mg 24 mg 50 mg

At Royal CBD, we cover the entire potency spectrum of CBD oils, with two low-strength options for dogs of different sizes. In the next section, we explain how much CBD oil you should give your dog using our products.

Get the Right Dose for Your Dog With Royal CBD Oil

For dogs, we usually recommend our 250 mg and 500 mg bottles. Owners of extra large dogs should find the 1000 mg bottle the most affordable in the long run. Here are the basic dosage guidelines for this type of CBD:

Does CBD Work for Dogs?

Topper, a 7-year-old Ibizan Hound, could hardly walk after being diagnosed with severe arthritic changes due to Valley fever. “The pain became so debilitating he had to be carried outside to eat, drink, or use the bathroom,” recalls owner Christy Moore. “He was on pain medication but it wasn’t working. A friend recommended pet CBD. Within three days he could walk on all four legs and I was crying tears of joy. It was the miracle we needed.”

Lady Amelthia, a Greyhound, was so petrified of thunderstorms she would destroy a crate to escape. “Holding her only made her claw to get away. A ThunderShirt reduced her from 100 to 90 on the anxiety scale,” recalls owner Jenn Boswell, director of the Alabama Greyhound Adoption Center. “Veterinary-prescribed trazodone took it down to a 50. Tried three drops of CBD oil and it went down to a 5.”

Success stories abound of dogs overcoming anxiety, slowing seizures, and even beating cancer due to cannabidiol (CBD), one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. But how can one substance help so many unrelated problems? Or can it?

Cannabinoids are substances including CBD and THC that mimic the endocannabinoid chemicals naturally produced in all vertebrates. Receptors for endocannabinoids are found throughout the body. The body’s endocannabinoids act as master regulators that signal other systems when to speed up or slow down, working to stabilize the body and return it to homeostasis. Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant affect these same receptors, each in slightly different ways. For example, THC causes a high, while CBD does not.

Is It Harmful?

Unlike THC, which can cause toxicity and even death in dogs when given at prescribed human dosages, the worst CBD has been documented to do is cause diarrhea and changes in some liver enzyme values after several weeks. The main concern with CBD is that it inhibits a chemical in the body called cytochrome P450 that is responsible for metabolizing most drugs. If a drug’s efficacy depends on its metabolized product, CBD could render it less effective. If a drug’s safety depends on it being cleared from the body within a certain time frame, CBD could cause it to build up to toxic levels. Never give your dog CBD without your veterinarian’s knowledge if your dog is taking other drugs.

Does It Work?

Research with dogs is still scarce, but there’s a huge body of research (about 23,000 published papers!) looking at CBD’s effect on laboratory animals and humans, with encouraging results for pain, especially arthritic pain, itchiness, anxiety, and cancer, all of which have at least one canine study as well. The results in dogs? It depends.

Arthritis: Several studies have looked at CBD’s effectiveness against arthritic pain, all with positive results. A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found dogs given CBD at a rate of 4.4 mg per pound twice daily for a month showed significant improvement in pain relief and quality of life. Lead investigator Joe Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, said that some dogs were initially so decrepit that their owners considered euthanasia, but that after just days on CBD they were trotting around and even climbing stairs. A Baylor University study found similar improvement, adding that CBD worked better when delivered in a liposomal formulation.

Itchiness: Two recent double-blind, placebo-controlled dog studies report CBD significantly reduces itchiness. An Australian study conducted by the company CannPal found their CBD product reduced itchiness, inflammation, and skin lesions by 51 percent after eight weeks of treatment. An American study conducted by the company ElleVet found their product, which combines CBD with another cannabinoid, CBDA, significantly reduced owners’ reports of itchiness.

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Cancer: Cannabinoids are reported to induce cancer-cell death and prevent metastasis. In a Cornell University study of CBD, dogs, and cancer, researchers found CBD along with a standard chemotherapy drug reduced cancer-cell proliferation in vitro more than the chemotherapy drug alone. Anecdotal reports from veterinarians have claimed CBD shrunk cancer cells or put dogs into remission.

Behavior: Anxiety, and especially noise reactivity, is a major reason dog owners seek help using CBD. But despite anecdotal reports of its effectiveness, no controlled study so far has shown it to be particularly effective. A study from the University of Western Australia may show promise for aggressive behavior. Shelter dogs with aggressive tendencies exhibited less aggression toward humans when tested after 15 days of CBD administration. In a study from the University of Kentucky, physiological measurements of anxiety in response to noise were not significantly different for CBD versus placebo, and were worse compared to trazodone (a drug commonly prescribed for anxiety). Note, however, that in this study the CBD was administered four to six hours before testing, which may have been too long a waiting period.

Seizures: Lots of anecdotal reports hail CBD’s success combatting seizures in dogs, but the single controlled study delivered moderate results. In this Colorado State University study, dogs given CBD for 12 weeks had 33 percent fewer seizures than those given a placebo, but it didn’t work for every dog. These researchers are now working on a larger trial using higher CBD doses. Note that THC has been reported to cause seizures, so it should never be included in any CBD product for seizure control. In addition, CBD’s effect on cytochrome P450 could interfere with prescribed anti-seizure drugs, so never use it without your veterinarian’s consent.

Other: There’s also evidence from laboratory animals that CBD is effective in promoting bone healing, fighting infection, treating inflammatory bowel disease, slowing degenerative myelopathy, quelling nausea, and relieving pain, but these have yet to be specifically examined in dogs.

How to Choose CBD For Dogs?

With hundreds of CBD products on the market, and little regulation of them, it’s not easy to know which is best. Look for a product with the National Animal Supplement Counsel (NASC) Seal of Quality Assurance, and one that has a third-party certificate of analysis that includes potency, lists all ingredients, and discloses the possible presence of heavy metals, mycotoxins, or pesticides. Avoid edible products formulated for human consumption, which often contain ingredients such as xylitol that are toxic to pets.

Choose broad-spectrum products, which include other cannabinoids and substances known as terpenes that are also in the cannabis plant. CBD seems to work best when it’s in conjunction with these rather than isolated. But avoid full-spectrum products that include THC.

Aim for about 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kilogram of your dog’s weight, given twice daily by mouth. Work up gradually, but beware that more is not always better with CBD, as sometimes the response is biphasic, meaning that it doesn’t work if you give too little or too much.

Is It Legal?

Many veterinarians are reluctant to suggest CBD, whether because they believe CBD is not yet sufficiently proven helpful or because they fear professional or legal repercussions. CBD products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for dogs, but neither are common supplements such as glucosamine or fish oil; nor the majority of human-approved prescription drugs routinely prescribed in veterinary practice.

While it is legal to sell hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3 percent THC, until recently the American Veterinary Medical Association did not approve of veterinarians suggesting any cannabis products, including CBD, for patients. Even now, the law is unclear enough that many veterinarians fear repercussions if something went wrong due to their suggestion of CBD.

While some veterinarians are hesitant to suggest CBD, almost all are eager to discuss it once you bring it up. Of course, some veterinarians are more versed in its pros and cons than others. The main concern is its possible interaction with prescribed drugs.

Overall, the evidence is compelling that CBD can help at least some conditions. The endocannabinoid system is the largest system in the body, and the least explored. Every year brings new discoveries—and new claims. It’s the beginning of a brave new world of health, but as with any new path, expect some wrong turns, dead ends, and false hopes. CBD is not a miracle drug, but it may be the miracle your dog needs.

This article originally appeared in the award-winning AKC Family Dog magazine. Subscribe today!