Cannabidiol, or CBD, is widely used as a natural alternative to painkillers, anxiolytics, and antidepressants. Its high safety profile makes it suitable for people with inflammatory diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, and chronic pain — just to name a few. What you may not know is that CBD can be just as beneficial for pets as it is for humans.
Consumers spent more than $27.7 million on pet CBD products in 2019, reports Grand View Research. CBD oil, chews, treats, and other supplements are widely available in pet specialty stores and online. These products are relatively new, so more research is needed to confirm their benefits.
If you’re looking for the best CBD oil for dogs, choose a product that contains no pesticides, solvents, and other chemicals. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends using organic CBD oil — or one containing natural ingredients. Some brands are chock-full of additives and other fillers that may harm your pet.
But how does CBD benefit your dog? Most importantly, is it safe? That’s what we’re going to discuss today.
First up, we are going to look at the best CBD oil brands. Also, click here to jump down the page to see potential benefits of CBD, as well as what to look for when buying CBD oil for dogs.
Best CBD Oil Brands for Dogs and Other Pets
1. Charlotte’s Web Original Formula CBD Oil
Charlotte’s Web is one of the oldest and most trusted CBD brands on the market. The company specializes in high-CBD, low-THC products, from hemp extract and oils to edibles. All of its products are certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority and carry a certificate of analysis.
Its Original Formula CBD Oil provides 50 milligrams of cannabidiol per milliliter and comes in two distinct flavors—mint chocolate and olive oil. It’s suitable for both animal and human use, as it contains no additives, solvents, or dyes. Plus, it’s GMO-free.
The company uses alcohol extraction to produce small batches of this full-spectrum CBD oil. Each serving is rich in terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial compounds. The only ingredients are pure hemp extract, natural flavors, and carrier oils, such as coconut oil.
If you decide to try it out, enter the code CBDTOP10 at checkout to save 10%. After you receive your order, you can scan the QR code on the label to access third-party test results. The COA number is listed at the bottom of the box.
Interested to find out more? See our full review of Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil before placing your order.
2. Green Roads Pet CBD Oil
Green Roads has been offering pharmacist-formulated CBD oils, gummies, and creams since 2011. Its products are free of solvents, pesticides, and other harsh chemicals. The hemp is sourced from Colorado and processed in Florida.
Its pet product line includes CBD oil in three different strengths for small, medium, and large dogs. Its mildest formula is suitable for cats, too.
The Green Roads pet CBD oils are broad-spectrum, meaning they contain all the beneficial cannabinoids in the hemp plant but little or no THC. Full-spectrum CBD, by comparison, is up to 0.3 THC.
What makes these products stand out is the quality of the ingredients used. Let’s see their key characteristics:
- Three different strengths, from 2 to 20 milligrams of CBD per milliliter
- Less than 0.01% THC
- Natural flavors
- No added sugar
- No artificial dyes
- Third-party certified
- Made from American-farmed hemp
The pet CBD oils developed by Green Roads have just three ingredients: hemp seed oil, coconut-derived MCT oil, and hemp extract. Prices range from $19.99 to $59.99, depending on the product’s strength.
Remember to enter the promo code CBDTOP10 at checkout to save an extra 10% on your order!
3. Medterra CBD Drops for Pets
Founded in 2017, Medterra is a trusted supplier of full-spectrum CBD oil, gummies, and topicals. All of its products are U.S. Hemp Authority certified and undergo rigorous testing in third-party labs. This ensures they’re free of contaminants, pesticide residues, solvents, and heavy metals.
Medterra’s pet CBD products are available in two forms: drops and chews. The CBD drops come in two flavors—beef and chicken—and three different strengths: 150, 300, and 750 milligrams of cannabidiol per milliliter. You can also opt for unflavored CBD oil.
Here’s what we like about Medterra’s CBD Drops for Pets:
- 6% CBD
- Third-party tested
- No pesticides, added sugars, or artificial dyes
- Just two ingredients: CBD and organic MCT oil derived from coconuts
- Made in the USA
Medterra also provides a CBD dosage calculator for pet owners. You can find it right on the product’s page.
If you decide to go ahead and place your order, enter CBDTOP10 at checkout for a 15% discount.
4. NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD Pet Oil
NuLeaf Naturals has been around since 2014, offering full-spectrum cannabinoid extracts derived from organic hemp. Its product line includes Delta 8-THC, CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene), and other cannabinoids—not just CBD. All of its formulas are third-party tested and contain no solvents or contaminants.
The Full-Spectrum CBD Pet Oil from NuLeaf Naturals is suitable for dogs, cats, horses, and other animals. The strongest version, which provides 1,800 milligrams of CBD per milliliter, works best for larger pets.
Let’s take a quick look at its features:
- Full-spectrum formula rich in terpenes and cannabinoids
- Made with organic hemp
- Produced through CO2 extraction, which helps preserve its nutritional value
- No GMOs, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, or solvents
- Available in three strengths, from 300 to 1,800 milligrams
- Has only two ingredients: organic virgin hemp seed oil and full-spectrum hemp extract
- cGMP certified
- Produced in ISO-certified facilities
Prices vary from $29.99 to $149, depending on the strength selected. The company offers discounts on repeat orders and product bundles, but you can save an extra 10% by entering the promo code CBDTOP10 at checkout.
5. CBDistillery CBD Oil for Dogs and Cats
Established in 2016, CBDistillery is one of the fastest-growing brands on the market. As of today, it has over two million customers and 26,000 verified reviews. Its line of products includes hemp-derived CBD oils, softgels, gummies, topicals, and powders.
The pet products at CBDistillery are U.S. Hemp Authority certified and made from non-GMO industrial hemp. Consumers can order full-spectrum CBD oil in two different strengths: 5 milligrams and 20 milligrams.
Just NuLeaf Naturals, CBDistillery uses CO2 to extract oil from the hemp plant. This method ensures the purity of its products while eliminating the need for harsh solvents.
Here’s what you should about CBDistillery’s CBD oil:
- Full-spectrum formula
- Made with cold-pressed hemp oil
- No GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, or solvents
- Low in THC
- Third-party tested
- Produced in ISO-certified facilities
- Available in four strengths: 150, 600, 1000, and 2500 milligrams
- It has just two ingredients: hemp seed oil and hemp extract
- 60-day money-back guarantee
CBDistillery’s pet product line also includes stronger formulas offering up to 2,500 milligrams of CBD per milliliter. However, these dosages may be too high for small and medium-sized pets. Again, it’s better to start with a low dose and see how your dog reacts.
If you sign up for a subscription, you’ll receive a discount and free shipping. Enter the promo code CBDTOP10 on the checkout page to save 20% on your order.
Note that CBDistillery is one of the few brands offering a money-back guarantee. Read our full review to find out more about its CBD products and how they compare to other brands.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
First things first, make sure you understand how CBD works.
Like humans, animals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates immune function, digestion, metabolism, appetite, and sleep. The ECS has three main components, explains Today’s Veterinary Practice:
- Endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2)
- Endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids
- Degradation enzymes, such as amide hydrolase
Since the ECS was discovered in the ’70s, researchers are still learning about it. Current evidence suggests that certain phytocannabinoids, such as CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors.
CBD doesn’t directly affect the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it has other modulatory effects on the endocannabinoid system, notes Today’s Veterinary Practice. This compound is generally safe for pets and may help in the treatment of anxiety, seizures, osteoarthritis, and other diseases or health conditions affecting dogs.
It’s interesting to note that dogs have a larger number of CB1 receptors in the brain compared to humans. These are located in the epidermis, lymph nodes, cerebellum, and other tissues, says a recent review published in the journal Animals.
Phytocannabinoids have beneficial effects on the ECS system, reports the above review. These compounds appear to be particularly effective against inflammation. The terpenes and terpenoids in the cannabis plant have anti-inflammatory activity, too.
This brings us to the next point…
The Potential Benefits of CBD for Dogs
Cannabidiol exhibits analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-cancer properties. Moreover, it reduces oxidative stress and protects the nervous system, according to the Animals review.
Both CBD and THC have antioxidant effects. In animal studies, CBD reduced high blood pressure and blood sugar levels. As the researchers note, this compound may benefit pets with diabetes or heart disease.
Cannabidiol also has the ability to reduce neuroinflammation in animals with dementia, suggests the above review. Other potential benefits include:
- May suppress abnormal heart rhythms
- Improves lung function and reduces lung inflammation
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Reduces seizure frequency in dogs with epilepsy
- May help in the treatment of anxiety, pain, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disorders
- Alleviates nausea and vomiting
Dr. Matthew Everett Miller told PetMD that CBD may also help with arthritis pain and inflammation. This disease affects one in four dogs, causing joint pain and swelling, decreased range of motion, stiffness, and lethargy.
In one study, dogs treated with 2 milligrams of CBD per kilogram of body weight twice daily experienced less pain due to osteoarthritis than the placebo group. Another study found that CBD may reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in dogs by 33 to 50%.
Does CBD Reduce Anxiety in Dogs?
Many pet owners use CBD oil when their dogs are stressed or anxious. According to Dr. Miller, CBD may indirectly reduce anxiety in pets by decreasing pain and inflammation. While it’s not as potent as Prozac and other drugs, it can make all the difference.
Note that cannabidiol isn’t psychoactive, meaning that it won’t get your dog high. When used in appropriate doses, it promotes mental calmness and may relieve stress.
In clinical trials, CBD decreased anxiety in over 75% of animals. Veterinarians agree that it may also benefit pets with chronic or acute pain.
Based on these findings, we can expect to hear more about the effects of CBD oil on animals over the next few years.
How Much CBD Oil Should You Give Your Dog?
Currently, there are no set recommendations on CBD oil dosage for dogs.
In animal studies, doses of up to 1 milligrams of CBD per pound (2.5mg / kilogram) of body weight administered twice daily were proven to be safe and effective, reports Today’s Veterinary Practice.
The authors of the review published in the journal Animals say that even higher doses, such as 9 milligrams per pound (20mg / kilogram) of body weight per day, are likely safe.
The right dosage depends on your pet’s size and overall health, as well as the condition that is being treated. You also need to consider the potency of CBD oil. This supplement comes in different strengths, such as 225 milligrams of CBD, 450 milligrams of CBD, 900 milligrams of CBD, and so on.
Most manufacturers list the recommended dosage on the label. Always start with a dose on the low end of the range to see how your pet reacts. To stay safe, use no more than 2 milligrams of CBD per day for every 10 pounds of weight—and adjust as needed.
Every pet will respond differently, so it’s hard to tell how much CBD oil you should give your dog. Keep a log of the dose administered daily, along with any changes or side effects affecting your pet.
Currently, veterinarians may not prescribe, recommend, or administer CBD products.
However, you should still let your vet know that you intend to use CBD oil. He may tell you more about the potential risks and benefits so you can make an informed decision.
How to Administer CBD Oil to Your Dog
Using CBD oil is pretty straightforward. You can pour a few drops onto your dog’s gums or under his tongue or add them to his food and treats. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place.
The effects of CBD kick in within 30 to 45 minutes and last for up to eight hours.
Generally, cannabidiol oil works faster than CBD edibles. If you mix the oil with food, the active compound will take longer to enter your pet’s bloodstream.
Choose the Best CBD Oil for Dogs
Pet CBD products are not regulated by the FDA or health organizations. Therefore, it’s up to you to research the market and decide which formula is best for your dog.
Reader’s Digest warns that some products contain more or less CBD than advertised. Plus, manufacturers may add pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and other harsh chemicals to their products. That’s why it’s important to carefully read the label and choose a trusted brand.
As mentioned earlier, organic CBD oil is the best choice. If you find it too expensive, then choose a high-quality natural formula with no added sugars or chemicals.
Here are some tips to help you out:
- Real CBD oil usually comes in a brown glass bottle to prevent UV light from degrading its active compounds.
- Look for CBD brands that offer a certificate of analysis (COA) and have their products tested by a third-party lab.
- Always purchase from trusted retails, not from gas stations and neighborhood stores.
- Steer clear of any brands that make unrealistic claims.
- Make sure the label states clearly the amount of CBD and THC in each serving.
- Pet CBD oil shouldn’t contain more than 0.03% THC.
- Cheap CBD products are most likely fake. Real CBD oil is on the pricier side, even when on sale.
- Check the label for butane, hexane, and other solvents that may harm your pet.
Ideally, choose a brand that offers full-spectrum CBD oil. This product also contains terpenes, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds extracted from hemp. CBD isolate only contains cannabidiol.
Note that it’s perfectly fine to use regular CBD oil for your dog. Most CBD oils intended for humans have the same composition as those marketed to pets. Just make sure you adjust the dosage.
Make the Right Choice for Your Pet
CBD oil is by no means a miracle cure, but it can make a world of difference when it comes to your pet’s health. Plus, it’s generally safe and can be used for long periods. Just make sure you pick a trusted brand and stick to the recommended daily dosage.
In rare cases, this supplement may cause dry mouth, slight drowsiness, and lowered blood pressure, reports AKG.
However, most side effects are usually due to accidental ingestion or overdose. Low-quality CBD products often contain pesticides and other chemicals that may cause toxicity. Likewise, high-THC formulas may not be safe.
Don’t take unnecessary risks. Use the best CBD oil you can afford and choose quality over quantity. For more information, check out the product reviews on our site or visit our learning center!