The ultimate guide to cbd and your dog?

Estimated reading time 12 Mins


Did you know that our furry best friends, possesses the same naturally occurring endocannabinoid system that humans do? 

This means that our beloved pets can experience the same incredible benefits from taking CBD – as we do.

It’s no real surprise to learn that CBD for dogs was one of the most popular market trends in 2020. The increased awareness of the benefits of CBD for dogs also means that the supply of CBD products for dogs has skyrocketed.

As with any pet wellness trend, there is a lot of information circulating online about CBD oil for dogs. We know it can be difficult to piece together the information you find here and there. So we put on our science mantle and took a walk on the internet to put together the ultimate guide to CBD for dogs – just for you!


  • What is CBD and how does it work in dogs?
  • Is CBD the same for dogs and humans?
  • What does the science say about CBD for dogs?
  • What are the benefits of CBD oil for dogs?
  • Does CBD help dogs with epilepsy?
  • Does CBD oil calm your dog?
  • Can CBD help with joint and mobility problems in my dog?
  • CBD oil for dogs – to relieve nausea
  • Can CBD oil for dogs be used with other medications?
  • Possible side effects of CBD in dogs
  • Risks of using CBD oil for dogs
  • How much CBD should I give my dog?
  • What type of CBD product is best for dogs?


What is CBD and how does it work in dogs?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical compound that reacts positively with your (and your dog’s) endocannabinoid system. We won’t go into all the scientific stuff in this guide, but if you’re interested in exactly how it all works, check out our dedicated article here!

Cannabidiol is derived from either hemp (the stuff made from ropes and fabrics that is also used to make dog toys) or cannabis (the recreational stuff that is only for humans).

While CBD products used to only be found on the internet, they are now a regular product in stores. It offers many incredible health benefits for pets (and humans). CBD comes in forms ranging from pills and oils to special chews and treats.

Is CBD the same for dogs and humans?

When it comes to cannabis, our dogs have a slightly different endocannabinoid system than we humans do. Dogs have a higher concentration of CB1 receptors in the cerebellum than any other species. THC is a partial agonist of these receptors. This means that dogs have an increased sensitivity to THC. 

Therefore, all CBD products intended for dogs contain very low levels of THC, or in some cases, no THC at all. 

In the UK and Europe, this is never really an issue, as it is only legal to sell CBD oils containing less than 0.2% THC anyway. However, when you cross over to the US where THC products are legal in some states. Therefore, you should make sure that all CBD products for dogs or pets have the same low THC content.

Another difference to consider when looking for CBD products for your little pup is that they are (usually) much smaller than us two-legged, furless creatures. This usually means that the CBD strength and dosage is lower – so keep that in mind and follow the recommended dosage recommendations!

What does the science say about CBD for dogs?

Currently, formal studies on the effects of CBD on dogs are still in their infancy, but those that have been done show promising results. – We’ll discuss some of these below! 

What scientists know for sure is that cannabinoids interact with endocannabinoid receptors, which are located in the central and peripheral nervous systems. This helps to maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal, healthy state. This allows the body to heal itself in various ways.

Anyway, a quick look around the World Wide Web will provide you with heaps of anecdotal evidence from amazed dog owners. So many of them are amazed at the difference they see in their pets after starting them on a course of CBD for a number of issues.

What are the benefits of CBD oil for dogs?

The benefits for dogs are remarkably similar to the benefits for us humans. The benefits may be:

  • Reduction in anxiety,
  • reduction in blood pressure,
  • reduction in inflammation and joint pain,
  • Helping with nausea and vomiting,
  • promoting homeostasis.
  • Fewer epileptic seizures. 

In dogs, the results of a healthier, more relaxed pup are much more noticeable in their daily behavior than in humans. It is now common to see reports from owners noticing that their dogs are less aggressive, calmer, and bark less frequently.

Many of these behaviors can come from a dog that is anxious or in pain, but can’t find any other way to communicate that to their human! 

Fortunately for us and our dogs, CBD’s true potential as a remedy is finally being recognized and its popularity is growing! So is the reported spectrum of life-changing effects it has for both us humans and our pets! Our hope is that the self-reports will pile up. The scientific community is taking an interest and beginning to study and confirm the effects we can see with our own eyes!

Does CBD help dogs with epilepsy?

Idiopathic epilepsy is unfortunately the most common neurological disorder in dogs. It is estimated to affect approximately 6% of all dogs worldwide, and there is currently no known cause. Both for us as dog owners and for our fur babies themselves, epilepsy can be extremely distressing.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, common therapeutic methods used to treat idiopathic epilepsy in dogs have been shown to have no effect on 20-30% of affected dogs – terrible, we know!

HOWEVER – you can breathe a little easier because there seems to be hope on the horizon. A study in June 2019 concluded that CBD reduced the frequency of epileptic seizures in 9/10 dogs! Amazingly, CBD is known to have the exact same effect in humans!

Does CBD oil calm your dog?

Dogs can become anxious for a variety of reasons. Some of these are separation anxiety, phobias related to storms, fireworks, car rides, cats and other animals, food anxiety, etc.

Since science has not yet given our dogs the ability to talk to us (hurry up already, science), it is often difficult to determine the exact cause of the fear. So if you can’t figure out what the trigger is, how can you do anything to eliminate it?

Fortunately, CBD oil in its full-spectrum form is known to have a calming effect on dogs. 

This is likely due to the fact that once ingested, CBD binds to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, causing a release of serotonin. And as we all know, serotonin is our body’s feel-good, mood-stabilising neurotransmitter. 

So if you’re having trouble figuring out what’s causing your dog’s anxiety, you can try giving him CBD oil to see if it helps him feel better and more relaxed all around!

Can CBD help with joint and mobility problems in my dog?

CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is responsible for several painful conditions in dogs, but most notable are joint and mobility problems.

Joint and mobility problems tend to occur as our dogs begin to grey and think about retiring from their professional fetch or rabbit hunting careers. All those years of joyful retrieving and walking eventually take their toll, and you may notice your dog starting to look a little creaky or having trouble getting to bed and standing up. 

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil can help relieve aching joints as well as allergic, autoimmune and certain digestive issues. 

Recent clinical studies have shown that the use of hemp extract (CBD oil) shows great promise in improving the mobility of your dog with arthritis. Although more research is needed, the anti-inflammatory and pain-regulating properties of CBD extract seem to provide relief for many dogs.

However, they say prevention is better than cure! CBD helps the immune system regulate cellular degeneration. This means if you introduce CBD into your dog’s life before arthritis, inflammation, and joint pain set in, you could help prevent these things altogether!

CBD oil for dogs – to relieve nausea

Older dogs and those struggling with chronic illnesses sometimes suffer from nausea or loss of appetite. Full spectrum CBD oil has a calming effect on the GI tract and helps to relieve nausea and stimulate appetite

Can CBD oil for dogs be used with other medications?

Maybe the most important benefit of full spectrum CBD oil for dogs is its potential to lessen or even eliminate the need for pharmaceutical medications.

Medications used to help the above conditions can have some very scary side effects. Anti-inflammatory pet medications are especially hard on the liver and kidneys. They also cause digestive problems and behavioural changes in some dogs.

While CBD products can provide some of the same amazing positive benefits as pharmaceutical medications, it is always recommended to speak with your veterinarian before discontinuing an existing medication. Sometimes it is possible for CBD to be used entirely as a medication substitute. In other cases, it can be used alongside them to maximise the overall health and happiness of your best friend.

Possible side effects of CBD in dogs

While there is no scientific data on the side effects of CBD use in dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimise potential side effects, make sure you are following the correct dosage.

While there is no scientific data on the side effects of using CBD in dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimise potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.

  • Dry mouth: research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. In dogs, this would show up as increased thirst and more
  • frequent drinking (not a bad thing).
  • Lowered blood pressure: It is known that high doses of CBD can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even if the drop is small, it can cause a brief feeling of drowsiness – but this is very rare.
  • Drowsiness: dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. CBD’s sedative effects can also cause mild drowsiness, especially at higher doses.
  • Hyperactivity: some owners report that their dogs become significantly more hyperactive after taking CBD. This is more common in older dogs and seems to simply be the result of them feeling so much better about themselves. For example, relief from joint pain is shown by increased activity.

Risks of using CBD oil for dogs

Although there are no known safety issues or risks associated with giving CBD to your dog, there is very little scientific research to back it up. Any drug or supplement carries the risk of a reaction, both to humans and animals, even if it is tiny. 

It is always advisable when giving your dog something new to start with small amounts and then monitor the effects closely. If you are still unsure, you can also talk to your vet first.

How much CBD should I give my dog?

To answer this question, we must listen to veterinary professionals and use our best judgement.

Safety and consistency are extremely important to us at The Real CBD, which is why all of our CBD oil tinctures come with pipettes.

Most dog owners looking to treat issues such as anxiety, inflammation, arthritis, or mild seizures should start with a low dose to test tolerance and gradually increase the dosage.

We recommend starting with a low dose (twice daily) for the first week and then gradually increasing to achieve the desired effect. Keep in mind that not all animals respond the same way to CBD oil – some may need a very low dosage, while others may need a bit more. The key is to stay consistent.

For those pups that have a more extreme case, you may want to start with the medium or high dose, but it can’t hurt to reduce the dose until you find a “sweet spot” that works for your dog.

What type of CBD product is best for dogs?

There are a wide range of pet CBD products out there today. The most common is still CBD oil, but there are now chews and treats as well. If you choose CBD oil, you can simply pipette it directly into your dog’s food or treat. 

However, as we know all too well, some dogs are incredibly picky eaters – which is crazy considering what we see them eating off the floor. But some are, and they’ll turn their noses up at your gourmet food if they even sense any tampering in the form of medication, CBD oil, or otherwise.

Don’t worry if they do, because we’ve got you covered! We just launched a new line of salmon-coloured CBD treats for pets (both cats and dogs). These tasty little treats are a fantastic way to get your picky eater to take their CBD without much fuss!

your dogs best options

We all know by now that everyone is different and needs different solutions and dosages, but here you have a guided option to help your dog  have a healthier and happier time and gain a quality of life they deserve.


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