Is CBD Oil Safe for Canines?

Is CBD Oil Safe for Canines?

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 03.05.2021

Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

When it comes to browsing the holistic health options for dogs, it’s important to do as much research and homework-navigating as possible before introducing that new and tasty goodness to your pup. After all, your pup’s health regime is just as important as yours!

Most likely, you’ve heard about the latest wellness product in the world of holistic veterinary medicine: CBD for pets. Whether you have or haven’t heard about it yet, we’ll be diving into all of your questions, concerns, and wonders about CBD for dogs in today’s article. So no need to worry, we’ll talk about the safety profile, potential adverse effects, and the beaming benefit potential of CBD for dogs. 

Let’s get to the good stuff!

Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Safe for Dogs?

First things first, CBD is safe for dogs. As long as CBD is derived from the hemp plant, your four-legged friend should be good to go! Let’s break it down. 

So, the cannabis plant can be thought of as a large and encompassing umbrella - with the marijuana and hemp plants falling nicely under this umbrella cover. CBD can be derived from both the marijuana and hemp plants, but here’s the kicker: CBD is safe for dogs if it has been taken from the hemp plant. 



CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant but can be taken from both of these varieties. THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, can be extremely toxic if ingested by animals. Only hemp-derived CBD is safe for canines because there is little to no THC present. 

So it’s extremely important that you shop for hemp-derived CBD for pets and that there is little to no THC in them. Your pup will thank you later!

What is CBD for Dogs?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is an all-natural substance derived from the cannabis plant. Endocannabinoids can produce effects on the body’s nervous system and immune system. The cannabis term is more so an umbrella term that includes several species of plants, both hemp and marijuana plants to be specific. 

Here’s where some misunderstandings may occur. Products derived from the hemp plant are legal in all 50 states. Unsurprisingly, hemp-based products may already be part of your everyday life. The hemp plant can be used in various ways, including fuel, clothing, fibers, etc. Industrial hemp can be used in beauty products as well as health supplements. You may even see hemp seed milk on the shelf at your local grocery store. 



The hemp plant has extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC), which is another well-known cannabinoid. THC is the active component of the cannabis plant and users can experience a “high”. Legally, THC levels in hemp cannot be higher than 0.3%. Given that hemp is low in THC, hemp for doggos will not produce mind-altering effects. So no worries there paw parents!

While the hemp plant and marijuana plant fall under the same umbrella (cannabis), they are so very different in many ways - genetic makeup, cultivation, usage, effects, etc. The key difference we want to make apparent to paw parents is THC levels. The THC levels in CBD that are derived from a marijuana plant can be as high as 20% (maybe even higher)! Yikes. Thus, marijuana plant-derived CBD is more than potentially very toxic for your puppers. 



CBD that is derived from marijuana plants is only legal in states where medical and recreational marijuana use is legal too. So, fortunately enough, many paw parents won’t have the potential for mistaking the two when browsing to purchase CBD. But, it is important to recognize that CBD products are not created equal….they may not even come from the same plant!

Back to your doggo - the CBD that your pup may benefit from comes from the hemp plant. 

How I Do Introduce CBD to My Dog?

First things first, as a general rule to remember: start low and go slow. When introducing CBD into your four-legged friend’s life, it’s crucial that you start slowly, allowing your dog enough time to get used to the new healthcare additive. 

A general guideline we encourage our readers to follow is giving your dog 1-5 milligrams of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. 

For instance, a 60-pound dog could receive anywhere from 5-30 mg of CBD per day. 

When first starting, you may want to start fido at the lower end of the dosage range. Over the period of a week or couple of weeks, you can slowly work your way up to larger dosages. 



The CBD product or oil you choose should offer dosage recommendations on the bottle or packaging, based on their size and weight. 

This being said, some paw parents want to give their dog a stronger dosage based on their dog’s specific health concern or aim. 

And of course, if you’re buying CBD oil for your dog, you’re probably wondering just how many milligrams are exactly in each milligram of oil present. 

What Dosage is in Each Petly CBD Oil?

Here’s a little breakdown of the amount of CBD in each of our oils here at Petly CBD:

Pet Hemp CBD Oil for Small Dogs (25 lbs or less): contains 125 mg of organically grown phytocannabinoid-rich hemp, with each full dropper containing 4.16 mg of CBD. 

Pet Hemp CBD Oil for Medium Dogs (25 lbs - 50 lbs): contains 250 mg of organically grown phytocannabinoid-rich hemp, with each full dropper containing 8.33 mg of CBD. 

Pet Hemp CBD Oil for Large Dogs (50 lbs + up): contains 500 mg of organically grown phytocannabinoid-rich hemp, with each full dropper containing 16.6 mg of CBD. 

As you first start to give your dog CBD on a consistent and regular basis, you’ll start to see if there are any improvements or changes in their behavior or health situation. You can adjust your dosage as needed. 

More and more paw parents are quickly seeing how CBD may be able to support their puppy’s health, happiness, and well-being. Not only does CBD have the potential to assist with joint and muscle discomfort, but it may be able to help with boosting their general immune and cardiovascular health

A 2018 study investigated the pharmacokinetics, safety, and clinical efficacy of CBD treatment in dogs with osteoarthritis. Dogs included in this study were either given CBD oil (2 mg/kg of body weight) or a placebo oil every 12 hours for 4 weeks. Clinically, the dog brief pain inventory showed a significant decrease in pain and increases in activity in the CBD oil group. 

This study showed support for CBD oil in improving comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.  

Although there is still much room to be had for research supporting CBD oil for dogs, there is anecdotal evidence supporting this natural option for canines. 


1. Supports Healthy Joints and Bones

 CBD hemp oil may play a role in supporting healthy joints, bones, and connective tissue in dogs (and us humans, too!). This hemp oil can also help doggos maintain normal inflammatory responses and may relieve joint stiffness associated with daily movement and exercise. 


2. Promotes Relaxation and Calmness

In dogs and humans, CBD oil may help promote relaxation. We know what it’s like to feel stressed out or anxious, some more than others. Well, what paw parents may not realize is that your precious four-legged fur baby might face stress and anxiety often, whether it’s phobias or travel-related stressors.

What are Common Side Effects of CBD for Dogs?

1. Diarrhea

If you’ve ever given your doggo a new food diet or supplement to try, you probably are already familiar with the potential side effects of diarrhea. In this instance, the gastrointestinal upset may not necessarily be caused by CBD, but rather the carrier oil that is being used in the product. 

This is why it’s so crucial that you introduce CBD to your pup slowly over time. This can help allow their body enough time to get used to this new oil. It may be a good idea to give fido some CBD oil around or at mealtimes, as giving it on an empty stomach may bring on GI upset.

2. Lowered Blood Pressure

If you give your pup a high dose of CBD, this may cause a temporary drop in their resting blood pressure. This drop may be super small, but may also cause feelings of lightheadedness in your dog. Make sure to stay well within the recommended dosage for your dog’s size and weight whenever giving them CBD. 

3. Slight Tiredness

CBD may help promote calmness and relaxation in your furry friends, so your pup may seem a little tired when they’re first introduced to CBD oil. This may be perfect if you’re using CBD to help your dog sleep or calm their nerves down. If your pup seems overly lethargic or drowsy, you can always adjust their dosage. It may just be a simple fix of reducing their dosage next time!


CBD Safety for Dogs: Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you just want what’s best for your four-legged companion. If there is anything and everything you could do in your power to ensure that they live a happy and healthy life, you’d go to the ends of the earth to make it happen. 

With little to no side effects and a general safety profile, CBD may be a therapeutic option for your canine’s health, happiness, and well-being. 

Give us a try!



Deabold, K. A., Schwark, W. S., Wolf, L., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2019). Single-dose pharmacokinetics and preliminary safety assessment with use of CBD-rich hemp nutraceutical in healthy dogs and cats. Animals, 9(10), 832.


Gamble, L. J., Boesch, J. M., Frye, C. W., et al. (2018). Pharmacokinetics, safety, and clinical efficacy of cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs. Front Vet Sci, 5, 165.


Vaughn, D., Kulpa, J., & Paulionis, L. (2020). Preliminary investigation of the safety of escalating cannabinoid doses in healthy dogs. Front Vet Sci, 77, 51.

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