Can You Give Dogs CBD Oil?

CBD oil for dogs? Yes, I’m not joking! The non-intoxicating substance so popular among humans could benefit your furry pal, as many dog owners are finding, to their delight.

But you cannot take the approach you do when giving CBD oil to yourself, as we will explore in this guide. We’re going to discuss what CBD products you can give to dogs, how to go about it, and why CBD could improve your pet’s health.

Let’s start with an introduction to CBD, focussing on the science behind giving the compound to dogs.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabis molecule and one of the plant’s primary components. CBD is essentially the opposite of THC, although both compounds are cannabinoids. For starters, CBD cannot make you high.

Hemp-derived CBD is federally legal in the United States, but marijuana-derived CBD is still a Schedule 1 drug. Plant-wise, hemp, and marijuana are both forms of Cannabis Sativa. However, federal law defines cannabis with less than 0.3% THC as hemp.

That legal distinction, rubber-stamped by the 2018 Farm Bill, explains the rapid rise of CBD products in recent years. CBD may also have health properties, and humans might not be the only beneficiaries!

Dogs, CBD, and the endocannabinoid system

CBD shows therapeutic potential in humans and dogs thanks to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Incredibly, many life forms have a system that jives perfectly with cannabinoids such as CBD, which has likely been there for thousands of years.

Unsurprisingly, we have less research on the ECS in dogs. But we know they have one and that it functions similarly. And since canines have endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors, CBD could have health benefits for them.

Can You Give Dogs CBD Oil for Humans?

If you are wondering whether you can save a few bucks by giving your dog some of your CBD tincture oil, stop. This is an absolute no-no and doing so could jeopardize your dog’s health – and I’m not just saying that to entice you into another purchase.

CBD oil manufactured for humans often contains ingredients unsafe for dogs and vice versa. After all, we have different systems and unique requirements, and we should remain conscious of this.

Even giant dogs are smaller than the average human, and their systems are more sensitive than ours. Trace amounts of THC, which are present in full-spectrum CBD products, can be dangerous for dogs.

Furthermore, CBD oil for humans may contain carrier oils, flavorings, or other extracts unsuitable for dogs. Therefore, brands make tinctures and edibles with pet-specific CBD formulas

How to Give Your Dog CBD Oil

The size of your dog impacts how much CBD oil you should give them. A Saint Bernard may need more than the recommended amount, whereas a Chihuahua will likely require less.

Whatever breed of dog you have, start with a careful approach to dosing. As with humans, it’s better to consume too little than too much. You can increase the dosage as necessary over time.

There are a couple of ways to dose your dog with CBD oil. Some methods are easier than others, depending on your pet’s preferences!

Administer directly

Convincing your dog to take their medicine or supplements can be challenging. If you are lucky, your canine will stay still long enough for you to drip the CBD oil into their mouth, but don’t bet on it.

Let’s assume you are fortunate and have a compliant canine! Measure out a CBD oil dose using the dropper on the tincture oil cap. Most brands state how much CBD a full dropper holds, with each dropper dripping between 15 to 20 drops.

In food or drink

If direct administration is a non-starter, try getting sneaky by adding CBD oil to their food. Choose a product with flavors your pet either enjoys or will blend in with their regular food. The less they know about the oil, the better!

Even then, I suggest being discreet. If your dog sees you add something to their food while making it, that can spell disaster! They might sniff it before mooching away until you put down a fresh bowl or remove the offending ingredient!

Mix the CBD oil into your dog’s food or water bowl without them noticing, place it down as usual, then cross your fingers and hope for the best!

3 Reasons for Giving CBD Oil to Dogs

Firstly, please note that over-the-counter CBD oil for pets is not approved for medical usage and is no substitute for any medication your dog may be on.

But that doesn’t make CBD oil unique. We give many unapproved products to dogs for health reasons – fish oil is a good example. Ultimately, pure, pet-formulated CBD oil is safe and well-tolerated.

Why may CBD oil benefit your dog? Here are three reasons, with nods to existing scientific evidence.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Seizures

As in humans, canine studies indicate that CBD has anti-epileptic properties that could help dogs suffering from seizures. And numerous anecdotes from experimenting dog owners suggest the same thing.

Up to 5% of dogs have epilepsy, with underlying health conditions, head injuries, topical flea products, and electrolyte issues all potential causes. Epilepsy causes sudden and scrambled bursts of electrical activity in the brain, triggering seizures.

But CBD may reduce seizure severity and frequency in dogs. In 2019, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a paper from Colorado State University scientists demonstrating CBD’s anti-convulsive effects.

The placebo-controlled study involved 16 dogs, with nine given CBD treatment and the other seven a placebo. Eight of the nine treated with CBD experienced fewer seizures, with the highest CBD dosages seemingly providing the most benefit.

However, the study’s authors emphasized caution, with more research required to determine CBD’s therapeutic value. There remains uncertainty over whether a higher dose is genuinely more effective at reducing seizures – but the signs are good!

CBD Oil for Dogs with Anxiety

Research shows that almost 70% of dogs display anxious behaviors. Noisy fireworks, being introduced to new pets, and separation from an owner can all trigger anxiety. But several anecdotes point toward CBD having a beneficial effect.

CBD appears to alleviate anxiety in humans and could theoretically do the same for dogs. Indeed, GABA, which CBD can boost, is an essential neurotransmitter in dogs’ central nervous systems.

Frustratingly, there is limited research on CBD’s usefulness for canine anxiety. However, a study featured in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in 2020 suggested that giving CBD-infused treats to dogs did not elicit an anti-anxiety effect.

Researchers used a firework simulation (i.e., noise-induced fear) to provoke anxiety and assess the anxiolytic potential of CBD and trazodone. They treated the dogs with trazodone and 25mg CBD in isolation, and trialed them on a combination, too.

Neither drug proved effective, although trazodone appeared slightly more helpful. Intriguingly, a paper published in 2021 argued that CBD may reduce aggressive and stress-related behavior in dogs.

The jury is out, and the debate is a long way from settled, despite the best study we currently have suggesting CBD is ineffective for dog anxiety. I dare say that many dog owners – including happy CBD Genesis customers – would disagree!

CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis

Crippling arthritis can plague a dog’s quality of life, bringing misery to both canine and owner. Whether degenerative (osteoarthritis) or caused by joint inflammation (rheumatoid), arthritis can severely impact a dog’s movement and energy levels.

Could CBD help? Possibly, with preliminary research showing a therapeutic effect. Studies show that CBD may ease arthritis symptoms in humans, and a 2018 paper found that CBD could improve the quality of life of osteoarthritic dogs.

The study’s authors concluded that a 2mg/kg CBD treatment – administered twice daily – made dogs with osteoarthritis more comfortable and increased their activity levels. Moreover, the CBD reduced pain and did not cause noticeable side effects.

Can You Give Dogs CBD Gummies?

No, you should not give CBD gummies to dogs for the same reasons you should avoid giving them regular CBD oil. However, some brands, CBD Genesis included, sell flavored CBD dog treats.

If you cannot get your four-legged pal to take CBD oil directly or with their food, tasty treats could be the way to go. If it looks like a reward rather than some type of medicine, you are more likely to get results – that’s what I have found with my dog, Jerry! 

Finding High-Quality CBD Oil for Dogs (Buyer’s Guide)

Can dogs have CBD oil? Sure! But don’t give your furry friend any old stuff. Choose safe, high-quality CBD products and look out for the following when you shop.

Third-party tested

Only buy pet CBD oil that comes with a third-party lab report. It’s a non-negotiable requirement when purchasing any CBD product, but especially for dogs considering the risks associated with THC.

The lab analysis must detail the amount of CBD in the pet tincture, confirm that there is no THC, and provide a purity analysis. The latter should check for residual solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and bacteria.

The best brands publish updated reports every few months to reassure shoppers their CBD oil is up to standard. Finally, you should be in no doubt that the certificate is for the product question. The top companies go the extra mile to give their customers clarity.

Organic if possible

Ideally, purchase CBD oil for pets made from non-GMO, organic hemp. This will ensure your dog isn’t exposed to herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or other harmful chemicals. You may have to pay more for such a high-quality product.

THC-free products

Look for CBD oil made specifically for pets and with CBD-isolate or broad-spectrum hemp extract. Do not trust brands making pet products with full-spectrum hemp.

These products may look legit with neat and snazzy packaging, and they could even be accompanied by a valid third-party certificate of analysis (COA). 

But that would merely verify that the product meets quality standards – lab reports don’t say anything about whether a product is safe for pets. 

Some brands selling full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs may not even understand the risks. However, while not sinister, the lack of product research is reason enough to avoid such a company.


A more expensive CBD product does not necessarily mean better quality, but it’s often a good indicator. Rather than gauging the value of a CBD tincture by its total cost, calculate the price per milligram so you can compare it against other oils.

Pricier CBD oil for dogs often contains higher-quality ingredients, such as organic, non-GMO hemp. But always check for a full ingredient list, as some unscrupulous companies may try ripping you off with cheap CBD dressed up as the real deal.

Buy Third-Party Tested CBD Products for Dogs at CBD Genesis!

Are you ready to find out if hemp-derived CBD could improve your dog’s well-being? Then give one of our excellent pet-specific CBD products a try! Here are two of my favorites. 

CBD Genesis – Flavored Dog Treats

Can’t get your dog to take CBD oil? You may have more luck with our delicious Flavored Dog Treats. At 25mg CBD per serving, these are ideal for medium and large dogs, but if you have a smaller canine, you might want to split them in half.

We use CBD-rich hemp extract with zero THC in our treats, as reflected in the lab report. And with 20 treats to a container (500mg CBD per purchase), we give you superb bang for your buck. Choose from two flavors made with tasty formulas dogs love!

Flavors: Bacon, Cheddar

Active CBD Oil – Flavored Pet Tincture

After enjoying success in the human CBD market, Active CBD Oil is now dabbling with products for dogs, as we see with this impressive Flavored Pet Tincture. These guys use THC-free, broad-spectrum CBD extract loaded with minor cannabinoids.

Active CBD Oil makes a low-strength bacon-flavored tincture and a more potent chicken-flavored product that is perfect for bigger pets. As with all products from this reputable CBD brand, their Flavored Pet Tinctures come with third-party approval.Flavors: Bacon (120mg – 4mg/ml), Chicken (300mg – 10mg/ml) 

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