The benefits of CBD oil stay pretty consistent across the spectrum of CBD-related products, but methods of applying it don’t. Do you want to know the best method to administer CBD oil to a dog? Dope Dog explains all the ways you can.
How do I give my dog CBD oil?
The benefits of CBD oil stay pretty consistent across the spectrum of CBD-related products, but methods of applying it don’t. In fact, there are several different delivery systems and dosage strategies when it comes to treating your dog. So, how exactly should your favorite pup get their CBD oil, and what are the results of each approach?
Applied to the gums
The fastest way to get cannabidiol binding to your four-legged friend’s endocannabinoid system is to apply the CBD directly to their gums. Lightly rubbing the oil into the sides of your dog’s mouth (or simply dropping it around/under the tongue, if they’re a little snap-happy!) will allow the CBD to absorb directly into the bloodstream.
This gives the CBD a chance to bypass the digestion process before being swallowed and ingested normally. Although there’s little in the way of scientific studies on this method of delivery for CBD specifically, the speediness of absorption through the mouth’s mucous membrane versus the digestive system has been shown in more general tests.
Sublingual (under-tongue) delivery can reduce the time for onset of therapeutic response, and considerably increase the bioavailability of the drug when compared to conventional orally administered tablets.
Read our best CBD oil for dogs in 2022 for a list of sublingually applicable tinctures.
Applying CBD oil sublingually might be the fastest route to absorption, but it may not be your dog’s favorite. Whether they’re ok with having their mouth handled on a regular basis tends to be an individual trait, which can be difficult to train or introduce, and older, small, or in-pain dogs may resist frequent fingers between their teeth.
Instead, CBD dog treats are an unintrusive (and much appreciated) way of bringing CBD into your dog’s life. Pre-infused treats are available from many retailers, but simply dropping CBD oil onto your dog’s favorite snack is a convenient method of delivering treatment. Plus, self-administering CBD oil to snacks allows you to accurately calibrate dosage.
While some humans and animals seem to feel a near-instant calming effect when ingesting CBD oil, the majority of users tend to need at least a week of steady CBD treatment for the endocannabinoids to build in their system, and to therefore begin reaping the benefits.
For this reason, delivery systems such as droppers or treats that are outside your dog’s normal routine may become frustrating to keep up over time. Here, pairing CBD dosage with mealtimes means there’s no need to introduce an additional element to your dog’s daily routine.
This one may be more popular among human users, but what works for us, often works for Man’s Best Friend too. Gently rubbing CBD oil directly onto the affected area (usually an aching joint, sore paw, or irritable patch of skin) can help pinpoint non-systematic issues and provide targeted healing.
Of course, whether or not this method is suitable for your pet depends on a couple of factors, including their activity level and their propensity to lick off anything applied to them—and, just how much fur we’re talking about here! If you are interested in a topical CBD product for your pet, it’s worth looking into CBD balms and creams, alongside oils.
When should I give my dog CBD oil?
Depending on the symptoms you’re hoping to combat using CBD oil, there are a few options for dosage-scheduling. Here are the most popular approaches:
For those hoping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and/or phobia, it can be helpful to schedule your dog’s dosage before panic and phobia triggers. If they don’t like the house emptying in the morning, for example, trying to make their doses twenty minutes-to-half an hour before you leave for work.
Likewise, if there’s a pattern to your pet’s symptom flare-ups, then it makes sense to shape a dosage schedule around those times. For dogs with stiff joints who still enjoy a good walk, applying CBD oil before picking up the leash is best.
It’s also perfectly possible to combine these time-specific treatments with a regular mealtime dose—if your dog is accustomed to higher daily levels of CBD.
Perhaps the easiest way to create consistency in your dog’s CBD treatment is to pair it with a pre-established routine—and what routine is more strictly adhered to in a dog’s life than their mealtimes!
Giving CBD during or after meals also has the advantage of associating the treatment with something your dog loves, as well as speeding up the digestion and absorption of cannabidiol.
How much CBD oil do I give my dog?
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, there isn’t an official dosage guide for CBD oil, and any specific instructions will either come from your vet or the CBD companies and vendors themselves. Veterinarians usually recommend starting small—giving your dog on a low dosage, checking their response, and moving from there. Generally speaking, 0.2mg of CBD oil per pound is the accepted safe starting point.
Read our CBD oil for dogs dosage guide for more detailed info on exactly how much CBD oil your pup should be receiving.
However you plan to introduce CBD oil to your dog, consistency is key. Be sure to try out any new treatment for at least a week (and preferably longer) before looking for signs of improvement.
The fastest method of CBD ingestion may not be best for your dog. While some pups will have no problem with the regular handling needed to apply CBD oil to their gums or skin, others might find this approach a little intrusive. For those guys, CBD treats or drops into their dinner are more likely to be accepted.
CBD dosage is a personal thing. Our CBD oil dosage guide is a great place to start, and is helpful for judging the right size dosage for your dog’s size. But ultimately, how much CBD your pet needs will be an individual matter, based on some trial and error on your part. Start small and consistent, and gradually raise the dosage (within reason) until symptoms begin to alleviate.
How to Administer CBD Oil to a Dog
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is an organic compound that exists naturally in the cannabis Sativa plant species. Its popularity has skyrocketed thanks to its beneficial properties. We know that it’s useful for human beings, but did you know you can also use it on dogs?
This is because dogs have the same endocannabinoid system that is commonly found in human beings. CBD usually interacts with the endocannabinoid system to produce several positive health effects.
The FDA’s Stance on CBD Oil
Currently, the FDA disapproves of CBD oil for dogs, but many people still give their dogs CBD oil because of some of the latest clinical study results. The FDA is currently open to studies on CBD oil and its safety and effectiveness, but its approval may be slow.
The FDA recognizes CBD oil’s potential, but they are still unclear on its safety. And they also don’t want you to use CBD to treat serious diseases when you should take your dog to the vet for proper veterinarian care.
You should always consult your vet before starting your dog on a CBD product.
Reasons Owners Give Their Dogs CBD Oil
CBD Oil does not cure any ailments, but it may be able to help manage pain and symptoms of:
A study found that CBD oil of 2.5 mg twice daily can reduce seizure frequency by 33%. While most dogs in the study had no adverse behavioral effects, two dogs were removed from the study because they developed ataxia.
Clinical studies on the cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs found that 2 mg of CBD oil twice a day can significantly decrease pain and increase activity for dogs with arthritis. Compared to NSAIDs, which cause adverse gastrointestinal effects, CBD oil had little to no side effects.
CBD oil becomes a viable, natural alternative to NSAIDs for dogs that suffer from osteoarthritis. The easiest method for dosing during the study was an oral tincture of CBD oil. This method allows for quick absorption.
Pain, Inflammation, and Soreness
Dogs can vary in their responses to pain, soreness, and inflammation caused by injury, age, or chronic illness. Sometimes dogs show more subtle signs of pain by moving reluctantly or withdrawing from social contact. CBD oil may reduce pain and inflammation, allowing your dog to increase activity and sociability.
Studies are finding that CBD can reduce chronic pain and inflammation when adequately dosed. To properly dose your dog, you should talk to your vet.
Some dog breeds are predisposed to develop anxiety, most dogs can suffer anxiety from environmental conditions, and many dogs suffer from separation anxiety. Common signs of anxiety are pacing, panting, licking, trembling, hiding, urinating, and barking.
To help their dogs cope with anxiety, many owners offer their dogs CBD oil because studies have found that CBD oil can have a calming effect on animals. These doses were at 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg, which showed a reduction in anxious behavior. Higher doses showed little effect.
Methods for Administering CBD Oil to a Dog
If you want to give your pet CBD, there are several methods that you can use to administer CBD oil to a dog:
Place the Product Directly in the Mouth
This is considered one of the easiest and best ways to give your dog CBD. Direct placement is ideal because your pet will get the exact amount of the recommended dose. It should be noted that most CBD oil products are dosed. This could be based on the number of drops that you need to give your dog, the severity of the dog’s condition, weight, or size.
Draw the oil and move carefully to your dog’s mouth to get a good aim. Be careful because you need to avoid making your dog gag, as this will make them more aggressive. Slowly squeeze in the recommended oil drops using the dropper. To ensure that they thoroughly swallowed everything, make sure that you give them a treat after the administration.
Studies show that administering CBD oil directly by mouth is the most effective way for your dog to absorb the oil for the best results. While treats and other methods can work, an oil tincture is best for absorption because a dog’s gastrointestinal tract can react differently depending on the dog’s breed.
Mix The CBD with Food
If there’s one thing all dogs have in common, it’s that they LOVE food, and could eat all day if we let them. These four-legged animals will quickly clear their bowls if you feed them their favorite meal. If you want to give your dog CBD, then you can add CBD oil to his or her’s favorite meal. This helps to ensure that they will consume all the CBD.
This method usually works because the taste of CBD is masked with the flavor of their food. Dry foods are highly effective in masking the texture as well as the taste of the CBD product. Most wet foods may not thoroughly blend with this organic chemical compound. As a result, your pet may quickly notice a change in the appearance and taste of their regular food. Therefore, make sure that the food will pass as your dog’s regular food.
When you are mixing this cannabis compound with food, start by using a smaller dose. As time goes by, you can gradually increase the dose. It’s important to note that when you are adding the oil to food, give it a few minutes so that it can thoroughly soak in. After that, you can go ahead and feed your dog.
Mix the CBD with Something Tasty
Even though mixing CBD with food may seem like the most effective way, sometimes it’s not easy. Foods contain various molecules, and sometimes this organic compound may fail to blend with the food molecules properly. However, you can easily mix it with delicious treats such as peanut butter. Since peanut butter contains oil, adding CBD oil can be easy. Just make sure that you mix the recommended dose with the appropriate amount of peanut butter.
Ensure that you use quality and delicious treats. Avoid products that are made with xylitol because this type of sweetener can cause serious side effects. While this method can work, it isn’t as effective as an oral tincture because the foods may decrease the oil’s potency.
Present CBD Oil As a Treat
Yes, you can easily give your pet CBD oil like a normal treat. Since treats are usually rewards for good behaviors, this is a great way to have your dog associate CBD with something positive. Plus, they help to enhance the bond between you and your dog. Most dog treats are generally in the form of cookies and biscuits.
Their dry nature makes them effective alternatives for absorbing cannabidiol oil. To give your dog CBD in the form of treats, you need to place the required drops on the treat. Leave it for a few minutes for absorption to take place. If that’s too much work, check out our CBD dog treats!
CBD formulated dog treats are another easy way to administer CBD oil to your dog. A recent study found that 2 mg CBD-infused soft chew given twice daily to dogs had a 96.7% acceptance rate.
The study showed that CBD had very few or mild side effects for relatively healthy dogs. Although, the same study found that cats did not fair as well, having way more side effects.
For dogs with some health issues, CBD oil-infused treats can cause mild signs of elevated liver enzymes and benign CBC fluctuations. If your dog has some health issues, talk to your vet first before giving your dog a CBD-infused treat.
Dilute the CBD Oil with Water
Administering CBD tinctures, which are typically used under the tongue, can be challenging for your dog. However, you can replace this method by diluting the CBD oil in water. Understand that quality CBD Oil is usually almost tasteless and odorless. You can add the oil into your pet’s water without them knowing. Just make sure that you put the appropriate dosage so that at the end of the day, your pet will get all the benefits of CBD.
Note: if your pet doesn’t drink water frequently, then this method may not be effective. By diluting the oil, you can’t ensure that your dog will get the proper dosage needed for effectiveness. And you’ll need to be mindful of replacing the water every time instead of adding water and more oil that could affect the dose.
But if you have a super thirsty dog, where you can ensure they will drink all the water in one sitting, then this method would work for them.
Use Homemade Treats
It’s possible to make your dog treats from home. As a pet owner, you understand what your dog loves and hates. You can add or replace the CBD oil in any recipe that you are using. This is especially effective when you are frying the treats.
Do not add CBD oil to baked treats. The baking process may lead to the evaporation of the CBD oil. As a result, your dog may not get the full benefits.
Find A Quality Cbd Product That Your Dog Will Definitely Love
As a pet owner, you know what flavors your dog loves the most. The best thing about CBD oil is that it’s versatile with its flavors. This makes it effortless to find a flavor that your pet will love. Apart from the natural flavor, you can find CBD in the form of chicken nuggets, salmon, coconut-infused or cheese-infused CBD oil, bacon flavor, mint, and others. These flavors usually help to mask the taste and texture of CBD.
Examine the Quality of the CBD Oil
You want to purchase CBD oil products for dogs that derive from the industrial hemp plant because they should have little to no THC and should be safe for your dog. You’ll want to ensure the CBD Oil comes from a legal, reputable supplier that has been tested for safety. You’ll also want to make sure it doesn’t contain pesticides, toxins, or fungicides.
Dope Dog is very committed to the quality and safety of its CBD oil. Dope Dog rigorously tests the CBD oil in their CBD products through a third-party laboratory to validate the correct potency and quality of their products.