What’s the Recommended CBD Dosage for Dogs [Chart]
The optimal CBD dosage for dogs depends on multiple factors, so it’s unique for each pup. That’s why we’ll go into detail and show you how to determine the best amount of CBD for your pet.
In their search for wellness, people put their trust in holistic natural medications. That’s where CBD comes in. It’s a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. While its effects on the body haven’t been studied well yet, we’re seeing promising results showing its efficacy in decreasing pain, anxiety, and stress both for us and our furry best friends.
To better understand what all of this means, let’s cover the basics:
What Is CBD?
Discovered in 1940, cannabidiol, or simply CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It accounts for up to 40% of the cannabis extract.
Even though scientific studies remain inconclusive, CBD gains more and more popularity for its positive effect on stress, anxiety, and pain.
The compound interacts with the mammalian endocannabinoid system (ECG), which manages metabolism, sleep, hormonal regulation, and stress.
When CBD interacts with the ECG receptors, it activates several molecular pathways that may reduce pain, situational anxiety, and depression.
So, can you give dogs CBD oil for the same reasons people take it? The short answer is yes.
Did you know that this compound has the potential to reduce seizures in epileptic dogs? And that’s just one of the many interesting facts about CBD for animals.
CBD dog studies are still in their infancy, so you won’t find any official dosage guidelines yet. But depending on your dog’s weight and the severity of its condition, we’ll show you how to calculate the optimal dosage.
Factors in Determining the CBD Dosage
Each CBD pet product company has its own guidelines. On top of that, dogs have different needs, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. That said, two main factors determine the best dosage for CBD for dogs.
The Weight of Your Dog
That’s the main criteria when deciding on the proper CBD dosage — the bigger the dog, the higher the amount.
But weight doesn’t always correspond to your pup’s CBD needs. Some dogs need as little as 0.2mg per pound of body weight. Others, like those with severe conditions, might require a much higher amount.
That’s why it’s essential to start slow and increase the dose only when needed.
The Severity of the Condition
To find out the ideal CBD dosage for dogs, you have to consider your reason for the medication.
If your dog’s healthy, and you’re giving it CBD simply for overall wellness, the amount will be in the lower range. But when your pup suffers from arthritis, a higher CBD dose will alleviate its pain better.
The correct CBD oil dosage for dogs also depends on the energy your pet has.
Depending on how fast your dog can metabolize, the compound will stay in its system for about six to eight hours. Generally, the more active the dog, the faster its metabolism will be. So, more energetic breeds will process the CBD quicker than the less active ones.
As senior dogs have a slower metabolism, they won’t need CBD supplementation often.
Underlying Health Conditions
That’s another factor to consider when determining the correct dosage of CBD for dogs.
For instance, liver or kidney issues might interfere with the CBD metabolism in your dog. The compound can also hinder some medications that are processed in the liver.
So, if your puppy has any underlying health issues, you should talk with your vet before giving it CBD.
How Much CBD Should You Give Your Dog?
Most CBD companies recommend a CBD dosage for dogs in mg per pound. A good beginner’s dose is 0.2mg of CBD per pound of body weight.
That said, some studies on dogs with osteoarthritis suggest a higher dosage of 1mg per pound twice a day. This makes 2mg of CBD per pound a day, which is ten times more than the beginner’s dose.
The condition you’re trying to fight matters most.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog After the Beginner’s Dose?
You should proceed entirely based on your dog’s needs.
A low dose of 0.2mg per pound is ideal for overall health. But when your pup’s experiencing moderate pain, anxiety, or stress, you can opt for a medium dosage of 0.3 or 0.4mg CBD per pound. Finally, if your pet suffers severe pain episodes, slowly increase the dose to the high end, which is up to 0.5mg per pound daily or as often as needed.
Depending on your dog’s reaction to CBD, you can always increase or decrease the amount. But make sure to keep an eye on your pet for a few hours after administration to decide whether they need more or less.
How to Calculate the Optimal CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs?
Always start low. Some dogs can’t tolerate high CBD doses and could have an adverse reaction, like nausea or diarrhea. Still, it happens rarely.
So, how can you determine the correct dosage for your dog? It’s pretty straightforward.
Firstly, you should know your dog’s weight. It’s best if you measure it in a place with higher accuracy, like the vet’s office.
Then, if it weighs 20lbs, you’ll need to multiply your pet’s weight by 0.2 mg, which is generally considered a good starting point. The result would be 4mg of CBD per day. The CBD dosage for pain is higher than that, so read on to find out more.
But how do you know the amount of oil that will contain 4mg?
Most CBD oils come in 30ml bottles. Each brand offers different CBD amounts, but the most frequent ones are 250mg, 500mg, and 1000mg.
So, in a 30ml bottle of 250mg CBD, there’s about 8 mg of CBD per ml. And if your dog only needs 4mg a day, you have to give them only 0.5ml of the oil.
CBD Dosage for Dogs by Weight
When shopping for CBD products online, know that most companies will have a CBD dosage chart on their website. It’s best to follow the specific guidelines. But in case you can’t find the chart, here’s one we created for general use.
Fig 1. CBD oil for dogs dosage chart.
What to Look for in a CBD Dog Product?
With an increased CBD demand and the booming alternative medicine market, fake products are everywhere.
That’s why you should consider the following when looking for the ideal CBD supplement for your furry friend.
Is the Provider Reliable?
Check the reviews on Trustpilot or ask your vet if they’ve heard of the company.
Another detail to look for is information about the provider’s manufacturing process. Companies with high ethical standards will make it readily available on their websites.
Was the Product Tested For Quality and Purity by Third-Party Labs?
Good quality CBD products usually undergo lab testing for harmful bacteria, pesticides, or molds. If asked, the providers should supply you with a certificate proving the quality of their CBD products.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?
A trustworthy provider should be able to guide you through the product-specific details.
If they can’t or don’t answer, better not waste your money and time on these products. There are plenty of other options.
What Oil Base for CBD Products Do They Use?
Base oils make CBD easier to digest.
That’s how you can spot poor quality products right away. Take a look at the label. If you see alcohol as the base for CBD, don’t buy it.
Some suitable CBD bases are hemp, coconut, and olive oils.
Types of CBD Products for Dogs
Now that you know how to calculate the optimal CBD oil dosage for dogs, you’re ready to dive into the different CBD dog product options.
The most common ones are oils, tinctures, edibles (treats or chews), pills, and topical creams.
You can check their pros and cons, as well as our best recommendations below.
These are arguably the most common CBD dog products. You can easily estimate the CBD biscuits dosage for dogs by following the oils guidelines.
The difference here is that some treats can be difficult to break and measure precisely. That’s why they’re recommended for bigger dogs, requiring higher CBD doses.
But soft CBD chews are also becoming a thing. They’re perfect for puppies, as they can be divided and measured with no trouble.
Our top recommendation for an incredible treat with CBD for dogs is the Hemp dog treats by HempMy PET. They have a large dog formula with pumpkin, which is infused with 5mg of high-quality CBD. If you have a puppy, you can try the 2mg CBD pumpkin harvest biscuits for small dogs.
Plus, HempMy PET makes its CBD treats in small batches, using only the finest ingredients.
If you also have a cat, there are various CBD cat treats for anxiety relief and joint pain, too.
CBD Oils and Tinctures
CBD dosage for dogs is easy to estimate in oils and tinctures. The bottles come with pipettes, making the dosing highly accurate and eliminating the risk of giving your pet too much or too little.
One of the best CBD oils for your dog is the organic hemp seed oil from HempMy PET. It’s a full-spectrum CBD oil that also contains other healthy cannabinoids — CBC and CBG.
These have the CBD and base oil inside a collagen capsule and, due to the higher CBD concentration, they’re an excellent option for bigger doggos.
It’s a bit more challenging to estimate the correct dosage of CBD for dogs using CBD capsules. Picky eaters might also frown upon taking them.
But if you want to try these out, our best recommendation goes to Holistapet and their CBD capsules for dogs. Plus, you can open their capsule and add it to the food for easier ingestion. Additionally, they’re made from 100% natural ingredients and come in five different strengths.
We recommend topical CBD products for skin ailments and injuries.
For instance, if your puppy loves running around, its paws are probably chapped. In that case, you might want to try the LalaHemp topical. It’s a fantastic full-spectrum CBD product helping you heal your puppy’s inflamed skin. Massage the problem area with it for a few days, and you’ll soon forget about the chapped and itchy skin.
How to Give CBD Oil to Dogs
You can administer the oil in the following ways:
- Pour it directly into your pet’s mouth. Be careful not to touch the pipette to the mouth, or you risk contaminating the rest of the oil in the bottle.
- Pour it over your puppy’s food.
- Put a few droplets on your finger and massage them over the dog’s gums. This will stimulate the production of saliva, which will then speed digestion.
CBD Dosage for Dogs With Health Conditions
The CBD dosage depends a lot on the condition you’re treating, so milder health issues would require less.
Let’s check the appropriate amount for the most common health issues.
CBD Dosage for Dogs With Pyoderma
- Hair loss
- Itchy skin
- Yellow papules
- Skin bleeding
The CBD won’t cure the disease, but it can decrease the pyoderma inflammation and itching.
There’s no correct CBD dosage for this skin condition, so it’s best to start slow and increase until you see desirable results.
CBD Dosage for Diabetic Dogs
Diabetes can be awful news for you and your puppy, but recent studies suggest that CBD might help.
In 2006, scientists from the Hadassah University Hospital treated diabetic mice with 2.2 mg of CBD per pound of weight per day. What they showed was that the CBD amount reduced the production of proinflammatory molecules associated with diabetes.
That said, bear in mind that the results of a study with mice aren’t necessarily the same for dogs. Before starting treatment with such a high dose of CBD, go to your vet first.
CBD Oil Dosage For Seizures in Dogs
A recent study on the CBD effects on epileptic seizures in dogs found that 1.1 mg of CBD per pound significantly reduced the seizures.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog for Anxiety?
Situational anxiety frequently occurs with dogs. Besides, it can make going to the vet, traveling, or moving to a new home a pretty unpleasant experience for both you and your pooch.
Administrating 0.2 mg per pound 30 minutes before a stressful event can significantly decrease the struggle.
How Much CBD Oil for a Dog With Arthritis?
1 mg of CBD per pound twice a day seems effective in dogs with osteoarthritis.
But you should still talk to your vet first.
How Much CBD Oil for Dogs With Joint Pain?
Depending on the pain intensity, you should give your dog 0.2–0.5 mg of CBD per pound.
Monitor the response and slowly increase the dose if needed.
CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs With Cancer
Research is scarce, but there are some promising results about the effects of CBD on cancerous growth.
That said, you won’t find a recommended CBD dosage for dogs with cancer yet.
- Lowered blood pressure
As gross as it sounds, you should know it can happen if your dog rejects the CBD. It’s mostly due to the bitter oil taste. On the bright side, you might find a bacon-flavored option for your furry baby.
In this case, you should lower the CBD oil dosage for dogs and observe whether it gets better with time. If it doesn’t, give your pet a break from CBD for a while.
CBD can be an excellent holistic addition to your precious pup’s diet. Many owners report great results, even with the lower CBD concentrations and doses.
The cannabis compound can help your doggie with anxiety, stress, pain, and even osteoarthritis. Science is still young in this area, so there’s no official CBD dosage for dogs chart available.
Generally, a dose of 0.2 mg CBD per pound is a good starter amount. Experts recommend higher doses of up to 0.5 mg for more severe conditions, such as intense pain.
You’ll find all types of CBD products for dogs on the market — from CBD oils to treats, pills, and topicals. Just remember to start slow and adjust if needed.
Miglena loves spending time with friends and talking about science over a glass of wine. Born and raised in a small town, she’s always been surrounded by animals. Cats, dogs, chickens, cows, and goats have all been her companions from an early age. Her passion for the animal kingdom became even stronger after she went to study microbiology in Scotland. Miglena’s love for writing, combined with her curiosity, makes her a valuable member of the pawsome advice team.
CBD Dosage for Dogs: How Much Should I Give My Dog?
Still not sure how to figure out how much CBD you should give your dog?
As a team of CBD aficionados and pet lovers obsessed with their puppies, we’ll be more than happy to help you find the right dose of cannabidiol (CBD) for your furry friend.
And if you’re here for the first time wondering why on earth we would even consider giving CBD to a dog, here’s a quick reminder:
Dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system, too – just like humans.
That being said, CBD, a powerful compound found in the cannabis plant, shows great potential as an alternative form of treatment for dogs, cats, and other pets that are struggling with a range of health conditions.
Finding the right dose of CBD can be tricky, as there are plenty of factors that can determine the effects it will have on your dog or cat.
We’ll cover all you need to know about dosing CBD for pets and walk you through the best dosage guidelines for different forms of CBD consumption.
Things to Consider Before Giving CBD to Your Dog
Figuring out the right CBD oil dosage for your dog can be a hard nut to crack, especially for pet owners who are just getting started with CBD for pets.
We’ll use dogs as an example because that’s where we have the most experience; however, the same guidelines apply to cats and other (mammalian) pets.
There are three essential factors to take into consideration prior to buying CBD for your pet:
1. Consumption Method
One of the factors that determine how much CBD you will give your dog is the type of product you use, along with the brand you’re using.
CBD products for dogs come in 4 main forms:
- CBD and Hemp oil
- Topical rubs
- Treats (edibles)
CBD and hemp oils are by far the best option for dogs as they offer the highest bioavailability. This means that less CBD is needed to produce the effects you want.
However, not every dog will like the distinct taste of CBD oil, so if that’s the case, CBD dog treats would do the trick.
Not only will they taste better – imagine flavors like Chicken & Bacon or Roasted Duck – but they also come with a fixed CBD dose.
This way, you know exactly how much CBD you’re giving your dog.
However, there’s one downside to using CBD dog treats:
They’re much slower.
The cannabinoids in the treats need to pass through your dog’s digestive system to make it into the bloodstream. This means the effects will have a slower onset time than oils and your dog may receive less CBD overall.
The same applies to CBD capsules for dogs, but capsules just aren’t as enjoyable for the dogs as the treats.
The benefits of capsules, however, are that they have a higher fixed dose, and are more reliable in the level of effects they’ll produce.
2. Your Pet’s Size
It’s no surprise that the CBD dosage for vary depending on your dog’s size. But how do I determine what dose is correct?
The general rule is that larger dogs need more CBD to experience the effects than smaller puppies. Some brands provide their own dosage charts based on the weight of your dog. This makes dosing easier from the start.
Keep reading to learn specific dosage guidelines depending on the size of your dog.
3. The Severity of Your Dog’s Condition
Finally, keep in mind that your dog’s condition can also affect how much CBD should you give him/her.
The more severe the condition, the higher the dose they’ll likely need to alleviate the discomfort.
If you want to supplement your dog with CBD oil, low doses will usually suffice, but for anxiety or joint pain, you’ll need to increase the dosage and observe the effects until you hit the sweet spot.
General CBD Dosage Guidelines For Dogs
For general supplementation or mild conditions, the exact amount of drops in a CBD oil to meet the estimated dosage will vary between products.
In general, 2-4 drops taken two to four times a day are recommended.
You can also adjust the dosage, based on the size of your pet and his/her condition we’ve just talked about.
A CBD capsule, in turn, will contain between 5-20 mg of CBD each. The dose of encapsulated CBD is around 1 tablet taken once or twice per day.
As for pet treats, they will vary in concentrations of CBD.
Always check if your CBD company provides dosing instructions at the back of the package. If it does, it’s best to follow the instructions.
Actually, regardless of the product you use, we always recommend following the dosage instructions that came with it and based on this, adjust the dose as needed.
We recommend starting at the low end of the dose, and increasing gradually once you know how your dog will respond.
How to Figure Out How Much CBD You Should Give to Your Dog By Size
To make it easy for you, we’ll break down exactly how to choose the right dose for your dog based on their size (measured in weight).
Some people prefer to use a very small dose, no matter what size their dog is and working up from there.
A rough starting dose to do this is 1 mg.
This allows you to gradually work your way up the optimal dose without wasting too much CBD oil in the process.
Even large dogs are about ⅓ the size of average humans, so considering that in humans, the jumping-off point is around 1-3 mg, the above figure makes sense.
To begin with, let’s discuss how much CBD you should give to your dog, based on relative weight.
1. Small (2-15 lbs)
Extra small dogs will need the least amount of CBD, which may sound relieving at first.
But there’s a catch.
Tiny dogs have a super-fast metabolism!
You will need to increase the frequency of CBD administration to 3-4 doses per day, instead of 1 or 2 with larger dogs.
If your dog is suffering from pain, the starting CBD dose of 1 mg may be enough for the beginning.
For behavioral conditions like dogs with anxiety, we recommend measuring out ½ mg worth of oil and adding a couple of drops if you don’t see any improvement for the next 3-5 days of use.
As for a routine, it’s best to start by administering CBD twice daily.
Each time you want to increase the dosage, you can do it in 2 mg increments until your dog finds some relief.
Nevertheless, try not to exceed 15 mg CBD doses in extra small dogs.
Remember that these are all relative figures, and should not be taken as medical advice or as a veterinary recommendation.
2. Medium-Small (15 – 30 lbs)
Having done in-depth research on different CBD dosages for medium dogs, we’ve noticed that many people achieve success with a 2 mg dose, and increasing by 3 mg until they get some results
This data refers to dogs suffering from pain and arthritis.
For psychological conditions and poor appetite, try using half the dose above (1 mg of CBD).
For most medium sized dogs this should do the trick.
Dog owners who want to help their friends with anxiety are recommended to increase doses by no more than 2 mg, keeping mind that they shouldn’t exceed 2 doses per day.
The maximum dose of CBD for a dog of this size is about 20 mg per day.
Like we said before, larger dogs require more CBD to experience the desired effects.
What’s an appropriate initial dose of CBD for dogs with general pain?
It’s generally believed that a 1-3 mg dose of CBD is a good starting point, depending on the level of the pain.
If you’re not seeing the results you want to try increasing by 3 mg.
For behavioral conditions (lack of focus), psychological disorders (panic, anxiety), and poor appetite, the recommended initial dose is 1 mg twice a day.
Make sure to keep a watchful eye on your dog’s behavior to notice if the effects of CBD are kicking in.
If not, increase the dose by no more than 2 mg.
The maximum dose for CBD for a dog of this size is about 30 mg per day.
4. Large (60 – 150 lbs)
Owners of large dogs should follow the same general recommendations as for medium-large dogs.
With very large dogs, you can expect to have a much higher dose, however, it’s best to work your way up slowly by 3 mg per dose until you find signs of relief.
Getting The Dose Right With Different CBD Products
So now that you know the mg of CBD you should use on your dog or cat, you may be wondering how this applies to different CBD products.
After all, not all CBD products contain the same concentration of CBD.
Calculating the right dose of Cannabidiol may look like a cutscene from the “Beautiful Mind” movie, so we’ll help you out a bit.
Below, we share specific details about CBD dosing for dogs using common strengths and volumes.
1. CBD or Hemp Oil
CBD oil for dogs typically comes in 150, 300, and 600 mg bottles. Here are the basic dosage tips for this kind of CBD.
Here’s a quick reference to how the different CBD concentrations work out in drops.
What dose of CBD oil do I use for my dog?
If you are wondering when and how to use CBD oil for your dog, you’re not alone! Luckily we have some controlled research to help guide us in our decision for dosing hemp and CBD products for dogs. (1, 2)
Based on the latest research about CBD use in dogs, we know that 1-2 milligrams per kilogram CBD is a good starting point for most dogs. Now, use the dog’s weight to determine how that might look:
Example: 45 pound border collie with joint pain. Divide 45lb by 2.2 and you get 20.45kg. 20-40milligrams of CBD would be appropriate.
To avoid conversion, you can use 0.45-0.9 milligrams per pound CBD. Multiply by the dogs weight (in this case, 45lb) and you will also get 20-40 milligrams of CBD per dose.
Importantly, you must know how many milligrams per milliliter (or bottle) is in your pet’s CBD product. Reputable companies should have mg/ml or total bottle mg count and volume right on the label. At VetCS, we make easy dosing instructions available on every bottle. Week 1 dose is 2mg/kg and Week 2+ dose is 1mg/kg.
Going back to the border collie, if you bought a 1200mg bottle of CBD oil and it’s total volume is 30ml, then that formula is 40mg/ml. We wanted 20-40mg CBD per dose, so you would give 0.5-1ml twice daily to help the joint pain. We often recommend the higher dosing amount (1ml in this case) for moderate to severe pain.
How often should you dose CBD? Research has shown that the half-life range in dogs given CBD oil is 3-4.2 hours. (3,4) That means dosing twice daily is best for your pup. However, when using CBD to relieve anxiety (car trips, thunderstorms, etc), simply dosing 30 minutes before an anticipated stressful event is all you need to give. For other conditions such as mobility issues, seizures, and decreased appetite, twice daily dosing is recommended to best help your dog.
Remember that dosing is dependent on condition as well. Dogs with anxiety typically respond to much lower doses of CBD (0.25-0.5mg/kg) than dogs continuing to have seizures despite numerous pharmaceuticals. In these instances, talking to your veterinarian is best with pets that are already on medications. Alternatively, our team at VetCS can help you determine dosing, just contact us by phone, email, or chat!