CBD for Dogs

Written by Stefan K.

CBD for Dogs

Just as CBD can help people, it can also help dogs. Natural CBD binds with receptors around the dog’s body, stimulating its nervous system. Thus, in dogs, CBD can express the full range of its effects just as it does in humans. This means that states of stress, inflammation and problems involving the musculoskeletal system can be improved. 

The WHO classifies the consumption of CBD as entirely harmless, not only for humans, but also for dogs. CBD is therefore considered to be a dietary supplement appropriate for dogs. Side-effects are not an issue when it comes to CBD. Nevertheless, in order to obtain the best possible outcomes when using this natural active substance, it is always advisable to consult a vet beforehand. Here, you can read what CBD can do for dogs, and how our four-legged friends can benefit from this natural active ingredient. 

How CBD affects dogs 

Dogs can suffer from a variety of different illnesses, both physical and psychological. Scientific studies have shown that giving CBD to dogs can help to relieve various symptoms, promoting canine health. But how does CBD affect your faithful companion? 

In dogs, CBD is able to express its full range of effects. Like humans, dogs also have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is provided with CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are active throughout the body (in the brain, nervous system, organs, glands, digestive tract, skin and tissues). The body’s endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating the body and keeping it in a state of balance. It helps to regulate stressful situations and pain, for example. CBD docks to these receptors and can regulate and support the processes they are involved with. By providing CBD you can therefore help your dog to improve its body’s own systems.


  • There are certain breeds of dogs that have an MDR1 gene defect. These are NOT allowed to receive CBD.
  • In case of this defect it lacks a certain protein, which is an important part of the blood-brain barrier. It ensures that certain substances cannot penetrate the brain. Since CBD crosses the blood-brain barrier, it can lead to severe poisoning etc.
  • A blood test can determine whether this defect is present.

Here are the breeds that may have this defect:,muscle%20control%20or%20even%20death.

CBD can have a beneficial effect on many different symptoms. Dogs can suffer from both physical and psychological problems. For dogs, CBD can help to alleviate these problems, or even to eliminate them altogether. However, before giving your dog CBD, make sure you talk to a vet. 

For a whole range of physical problems which affect dogs, CBD can help to alleviate symptoms and improve the situation. Dogs often suffer from pain, but are unable to tell us about it. Often, our four-legged friends only show signs of pain when it has started to become almost unbearable. On the basis of breathing patterns, appetite, or a change in movement or behaviour, it is possible to become aware that a dog is experiencing pain

Looking into the eyes of your dog, or observing its posture, can often reveal whether the animal is in pain. If your dog becomes withdrawn, no longer wants to play, or has very little energy, a physical ailment can often be the cause. For dogs, CBD can help to shield them from pain. Of course, CBD should not be regarded as a panacea. Nevertheless, this natural substance can help against the following problems: 

Dogs can also suffer from psychological problems. After all, chemical imbalances can also occur in the brains of animals. For dogs, CBD can help against various psychological disorders, helping to get them under control and, ideally, to overcome them. States of stress and depression often play a considerable role and change the way dogs behave. Fireworks and other loud noises can cause dogs to become intimidated or to display other conspicuous behaviour. Depression is not unusual amongst dogs. 

Giving dogs CBD can help to regulate and reduce these moments of stress. CBD can interact with, and thus activate, both the adenosine and the serotonin receptors in the brains of dogs. This has a regulatory effect on the mood of the animal. 

The same applies to restlessness. If, for example, your dog cannot stay calm whilst you are driving, every journey can become a real trial – for you and your dog alike. CBD targets the appropriate receptors in the dog and controls its restlessness.  

To sum up: CBD makes dogs more relaxed, whilst simultaneously making them more active and agile. The activity of the dog improves and it becomes able to move faster and be more agile again. At the same time, the dog will be able to make more effective use of rests again, and will stay calm in certain situations. Generally speaking, you can assume that CBD will help your pet to stay healthy. The dog’s immune system gets a real boost from this natural substance. 

Use and dosage of CBD for dogs 

The body of a dog absorbs CBD in the same way that the human body does. Nevertheless, when it comes to dogs and CBD, it can be somewhat trickier to persuade our four-legged friends to take this active substance. With a little help early on, you will quickly work out how your dog prefers to take CBD. Read on to find out how to proceed:

Giving CBD to dogs 

Whilst humans can absorb CBD through inhalation or through the skin, dogs are dependent on oral ingestion. Dogs do not like having cream on their skin, and nor are they particularly keen on inhaling vapour. So, for dogs, CBD oil is usually the best choice.

If you decide to use CBD oil, it is most effective to drip it straight into your dog’s mouth, and onto the oral mucosa. The oil is available in dropper bottles. The CBD quickly enters the bloodstream via the dog’s mucous membrane and can quickly exert its effects. However, as the oil often has a bitter taste, dogs are usually not very willing to take it, so CBD can also be mixed into the dog’s food. Special CBD dog treats can save you from having to do this step yourself.

The right dose of CBD for dogs 

Once you have found the right product, all you have to think about is the CBD dosage. Generally, the dog first has to get used to being given CBD. The optimum CBD content of the oil depends on the body weight of the dog. Most products in this category have this information on their packaging. Similarly to humans, for dogs, CBD oil should be dosed with some caution to start off with, and then gradually increased if required.

Larger dogs, weighing up to 30kg, can of course be given a bit more than a 5kg dog would be given. However, the perfect dosage also depends on the individual and, of course, on the indications involved. It is best to discuss the specific dose of CBD oil for your dog with a vet.

A specific case where giving CBD to dogs for a short periods can be helpful is Bonfire Night, a time of year which is extremely unpopular with dogs. The loud bangs and crackles usually cause dogs to experience fear and anxiety. The calming effect of the naturally-derived CBD can help your pet to stay relaxed during the night. Administer one drop of CBD oil to your dog a few days before Bonfire night. Your dog will be significantly less afraid of the fireworks than it usually is.


Does giving dogs CBD have side-effects? 

When properly dosed, CBD has no side effects. The WHO classifies CBD as harmless. For dogs, CBD is therefore regarded as a food supplement and is entirely safe to administer. However, care must be taken to ensure that the right dosage is given. In the worst case, the dog may react with nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting or tiredness. However, as soon as the dose is reduced again, the side effects disappear. Many vets recommend not giving CBD to bitches whilst they are pregnant. 

CBD for dogs – Experiences and the current state of research

Increasing numbers of university-based studies investigating the effects of CBD on dogs show that this active substancehas a positive impact. This is why vets are increasingly turning to this natural active substance to relieve dogs of pain and illness. 

Furthermore, increasing numbers of reports are coming in from dog owners themselves regarding their positive experiences using CBD with their dogs. CBD has been particularly highly recommended for use in the case of dogs who are at a difficult age. According to dog owners, CBD can be useful while dogs are going through puberty, as the natural active substance can reduce attention problems and help against impatience. CBD thus helps to make dogs less impatient, less restless and less sensitive to their environments. Dog owners have also noticed that their pets become more relaxed when given CBD. 


  • Just like humans, dogs also have an endocannabinoid system. Giving CBD to dogs can therefore be a very successful therapeutic approach.

Further studies

The consumption of products containing cannabinoids can under certain circumstances result in interactions with various medications. If you already take medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should first be discussed with your doctor.

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About the author

Stefan K.

Stefan K.

Stefan is not only a valuable part of the CannaTrust magazine but also convinces with his sound knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids. As an author in Austria he gathered valuable experiences when writing for 'Stadtblatt Salzburg'. He got in contact with cannabis through several positive media reports. Nowadays he writes about everything around the most popular cannabinoid these days: CBD.