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Best CBD oil for dogs

Sort fact from fiction when choosing the right product for your pooch.

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Couple walking dog on beach

Although formal research studies are limited, CBD oil has earned a reputation for providing a variety of benefits to humans and animals, with a growing body of anecdotal evidence. However, the CBD industry is still largely unregulated. So be sure to consult your vet or other animal healthcare professional before giving a CBD pet product to your furry friend.

To give you a leg up on your search, we’ve scoured the web for the best CBD pet products currently available — basing our picks on a strict set of criteria.

Compare some of the best CBD products for dogs

td>$20

NameAverage priceTypeSizeConcentration (mg)Other infoPurchase
Cannanine
Canine Oil
$40–$90Oil30 mL250–1000Organic, lab-tested, non-GMO, money-back guarantee
King KalmKing CBD Oil$40–$90Oil30 mL75–300Organic, lab-tested, also contains krill and hemp oils
NuLeaf NaturalsNuLeaf Naturals Oil$39–$180Oil5–30 mL240–1450Organic, lab-tested, non-GMO, no additives
RE: Botanicals$30Tincture30 mL300Organic, lab-tested, organic, non-GMO, cruelty-free
Lazarus Naturals Sensitive PetLazarus Naturals Sensitive Pet< Oil$12–$38Tincture15–60 mL225–900Lab-tested, non-GMO, vegan, full organic certification in 2022
Charlotte’s Web Calming ChewsKing CBD OilTreats30 chews5Also contains valerian root, passion flower extract and other ingredients
Data obtained March 2020. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide. Pricing and dosage recommendations vary by brand and the size of your pet.

Types of CBD products for dogs

Ingredients

When searching for CBD for dogs, you’ll come across two main active ingredients: CBD oil and hemp oil. Although some companies use these terms interchangeably, they are not the same.

  • CBD oil is derived from the all parts of the hemp plant — including the leaves, stems and flowers. CBD is a phytocannabinoid that many believe have a variety of health benefits for both animals and humans.
  • Hemp oil, also called hempseed oil, is derived from only the seeds of the hemp plant. It contains very little – if any – CBD. Hemp oil is not believed to have the same purported benefits as CBD oil.

Vehicle

The most common vehicles, or methods used to deliver the CBD oil for pet products are oils, tinctures and treats. The best one for your pet will depend on their specific needs and preferences.

TypeDefinitionProsCons
OilCBD oil is extracted from the flowers, stems and leaves of the hemp plant. Drops are taken orally, usually beneath the tongue, and are absorbed through mucous membranes.
  • Most concentrated
  • Nearly immediate benefits
  • Most expensive
TinctureTinctures are liquids that combine plant extracts with other ingredients such as vegetable glycerine, essential oils or alcohol. They can be mixed into food or taken directly, and tend to taste better than pure oil.
  • Tastes less bitter
  • Easier to mix into food discreetly
  • Less potent than oil
TreatsChews or treats that contain CBD are convenient to give to your pet and usually contain other ingredients meant to promote relaxation.
  • Easy to give to your pet
  • Usually contains other beneficial ingredients
  • Least potent
  • Extra calories

How to compare CBD products for pets

Look at these key features when comparing and choosing a CBD product for your pet:

  • Price. CBD products can range anywhere from around $20 to $200 or more, depending on the type, concentration and purity. In general, the higher the price, the more concentrated the product. But just because a product is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s high-quality. Be sure to consider these other factors as well.
  • Ingredients. If you are looking to reap the claimed benefits of CBD for your pet, make sure the product you’re buying contains CBD oil and not hemp oil. While hemp oil may have other benefits, it does not contain CBD.
  • Concentration. Compare the number of milligrams of CBD per serving to determine the concentration. Keep in mind that concentration also depends on the size of your dog and the suggested dosage per pound of body weight.
  • Lab testing. Ideally, the product will have been tested by a third-party laboratory for purity and lack of heavy metals and additives. Many brands include the product’s certificate of analysis and lab results directly on their websites.
  • Product type. Use the table above to help you decide what type of CBD product might be right for your pet. If you know Fido’s a picky eater, for example, pure oil might not be the way to go.

How can CBD oil help my pet?

CBD may offer a variety of purported benefits for your dog — though more formal research is needed to determine the validity of these claims. Scientists do know, however, that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid systems of both humans and animals.

“CBD for dogs and other pets is currently undergoing a lot of veterinary research,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates, an advisor for Pet Life Today. “The few papers that have been published show that it is quite safe and provide evidence that it can be effective in the management of canine epilepsy and osteoarthritis. Studies in people show CBD can be useful for treating pain, inflammation, anxiety and nausea. It is reasonable to assume that many types of animals will experience similar effects, and reports from owners and veterinarians support this, at least in dogs and cats.”

Just a few of the conditions that CBD may help to relieve include:

  • Stress and anxiety. CBD products only contain trace amounts of THC at most, so they are not psychoactive. However, they may still possess the ability to relax and calm a stressed or anxious dog.
  • Arthritis and other joint pain. By helping reduce inflammation, CBD oil may offer relief from joint pain.
  • Chronic inflammation. Many diseases and ailments stem from chronic inflammation throughout the body. It’s believed that CBD may possess anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce symptoms.
  • Seizures. A small clinical trial involving 16 dogs found promising evidence that CBD oil may help reduce the frequency of seizures in dogs.
  • Digestive problems. CBD oil may help calm stomach and intestinal inflammation, thereby reducing symptoms of common digestive issues.
  • Pain. Some evidence suggests that CBD may help reduce neuropathic pain caused by cancer or other diseases.

Because there are currently no formal dosing guidelines for CBD for dogs, it’s recommended that you start with smaller doses when first introducing anything new to your pet.

Is CBD safe for pets?

CBD oil appears to be safe and well-tolerated for animals and humans with few side effects, according to a 2017 report by the World Health Organization (WHO). That said, there is little research on the short- and long-term effects of CBD, so no one knows for sure just yet.

CBD is known to be metabolized by the liver. So if your pet has existing liver problems or is already on medications that are also extensively metabolized by the liver, talk with your veterinarian before giving CBD.

It’s also vital that the CBD products you’re using contain pure CBD and do not contain heavy metals, pesticides or other additives. Check to make sure that the CBD products you’re buying are certified organic and have not been farmed with the use of pesticides.

Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinary health expert with Rover.com, says CBD has the same effect on animals as it does on people. As far as side effects, he notes it could potentially make an animal sleepy and, in rare cases, may cause gastrointestinal upset.

“CBD based products are highly effective for a wide range of conditions affecting dogs and cats and an equally wide margin of safety,” Dr. Richter says.

But Coates notes that while studies indicate that high-quality CBD is safe for pets, the industry is largely unregulated. It’s also difficult to determine whether a CBD product is free from potentially dangerous contaminants, she says.
“A veterinarian who has experience in treating pets with CBD is your best source of information regarding its usefulness in a particular pet and condition. The doctor can determine whether CBD is a good option and, if so, recommend an appropriate dose and help you find a reputable manufacturer,” Coates says.

Case study: Roslyn's experience

Roslyn McKenna profile photo
Roslyn McKenna
Insurance Publisher

My dog, Doc, is a 10-year-old terrier mix. He has hip dysplasia and luxating patella, which means he has hip joints and kneecaps that can pop in and out of place. He’s currently taking twice-daily Cosequin, an over-the-counter joint supplement.

Since Doc’s been slowing down a little with age and he’s at risk of arthritis and joint issues, I asked my vet about next steps for pain management options. According to the vet, anti-inflammatory medication is the best pick for chronic joint issues at this point, and we can move up to stronger pain meds in the future if he needs it. The downside of these medications is they can harm the liver or kidney over time.

CBD oil is another one of our options. You don’t need a prescription to try it, but our vet suggested it might be safest to start with a CBD oil product designed specifically for dogs and to avoid anything containing THC, since THC is toxic to pets. The vet also suggested starting with a small dose and testing the results for a short period to see how it goes.

Unfortunately, CBD oil products for pets and people are mostly unregulated and insufficiently tested at this point, which means ingredients and results can be inconsistent and the downsides haven’t been fully vetted. We may try CBD oil in the future if the industry becomes more regulated.

Can cats, horses and other pets use CBD oil?

Yes. Many of the same products that are marketed for canine use can also be used for cats, rabbits, birds, horses and other animals. All animals and invertebrates are known to have an endocannabinoid system that CBD oil targets.

However, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian or other animal healthcare professional before giving your pet something new.

Bottom line

Many people swear by the benefits of CBD oil — from calming anxiety to reducing the frequency of seizures. Still, there is little formal research to back up these claims. You’ll have to decide if the anecdotal evidence is enough to give these types of products a try.

Ready to buy? Compare top CBD products for dogs.

How did we choose these products?

To create our list of the best CBD products for dogs, we specifically chose products that meet the following requirements:

  • CBD oil is the main ingredient – not hemp oil, coconut oil or other ingredients.
  • Third-party lab testing with a certificate of analysis
  • Organically grown without pesticides
  • No chemical additives

We then considered the potency — factoring in the size of the bottle, milligrams of CBD per serving and the overall price.

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