CBD Oil for DogsEverything a dog owner must know

If you’re like us, you see your dog as a valued member of your family.

You fell in love with your pup’s unique personality and funny quirks. Maintaining their general wellness is essential for them to continue spreading joy and positive energy throughout your home.

There are many different ways to support your dog’s wellness. Fortunately, some of the best ways are natural!

CBD oil is currently one of the most talked about ways to support dogs. Perhaps the greatest thing about CBD oil is it can support many different aspects of wellness as opposed to a prescription designed to target just one.

Whether it be the CBD oil serving for dogs, its benefits or where to buy it from, people want to know everything on this topic before they buy it for their dogs.

First, let’s define what exactly CBD oil is, as well as what CBD oil is not.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural constituent of industrial hemp plants, also known as Cannabis sativa plants. CBD oil is extracted from the resin of the cannabis buds and flowers and is usually diluted with another oil like MCT (MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides and is derived from coconut oil).

CBD oil acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which works to maintain homeostasis and helps the body adapt to outside stressors.

There are two main versions of the Cannabis sativa plant: marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains higher levels of the psychoactive compound THC, while hemp must legally contain less than 0.3% THC. CBD can be derived from both plants, but CBD derived from hemp is extremely unlikely to get you high.

Upon learning of CBD oil’s many benefits, it’s certainly tempting to dive in head first. However, seeing as how this concept is still relatively new to wellness, you need to read up on credible research and verified information before pumping your dog full of CBD oil.

Before moving on to topics like “how does CBD oil work for dogs” or “key things to look out for before buying CBD oil for dogs,” it’s really important to understand what exactly the difference is between CBD oil for humans and CBD oil for dogs; it’s probably bigger than you think!


Difference Between CBD Oil for Humans and Dogs

For the most part, CBD oil will have similar effects on canines as it has on humans. However, if you are asking yourself “Can I give my dog human CBD oil?” the short answer is not quite. The reason is that humans have significantly more cannabinoid receptors than dogs.

This is because humans are bigger and the human brain is larger relative to body size. With this in mind, the serving a 200-pound human takes will overwhelm the endocannabinoid system of a 20-pound dog. For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration requires the products to be labeled appropriately for humans and animals.

In terms of the oil itself, there is virtually no difference in the way it is manufactured for humans and dogs. However, CBD products are formulated a little differently for dogs based on their size; there are special oils meant for small dogs, medium-sized dogs and bigger dogs. Moreover, some companies might add flavoring to make the oil more appealing to dogs.

Apart from serving size and flavoring, the granular differences of CBD oil’s effect on humans and dogs is still quite vague, due to lack of extensive scientific research. Therefore, some vets fear that discussing and recommending CBD oil could potentially result in losing their license.

Now, while many consider CBD oil to be completely safe for dogs (with the proper serving size), there are certainly contrasting views and risk factors involved.

So, before giving CBD oil to dogs, there are many factors you need to consider.


How and Why CBD Works for Dogs

CBD oil works in more or less the same way for all mammals. Like humans, dogs also have an endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a biological system comprised of endocannabinoids (endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors) and cannabinoid receptor proteins, which are expressed throughout the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.

image of dog

So how does CBD oil work?

All mammals are able to use the endocannabinoids they naturally produce and the cannabinoids found in plants to find the perfect balance. CBD helps to support the body through indirect interactions with the endocannabinoid system.

The body has two receptors for cannabinoids called the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Cannabinoid CB1 & CB2 Receptor Locations in Dogs
How It Functions

has two kinds of receptors:

CB1 & CB2

CB1 receptors are mostly in the brain and central nervous system.

CB2 receptors are mostly in peripheral organs, especially immune cells.

CB2Spleen | Bones | Skin
Glial cells (parts of brain)

Vascular system
Gastrointestinal tract
Reproductive organs

CB1+CB2Immune system | Liver | Bone marrow
Pancreas | Brainstem

Cannabinoid Receptor Locations in A Dog's Brain

Cerebral CortexPlays role in memory, thinking, awareness and consciousness

HypothalamusGoverns metabolic processes such as appetite

AmygdalaPlays a role in emotions

HippocampusIs key to memory storage and recall

Basal GangliaGoverns motor skills and learning

CerebellumGoverns coordination and muscle control

Brain StemControls many basic functions including vomiting reflux, blood pressure and heart rate also plays a role in pain sensation, muscle tone and movement

CB1 receptors are present everywhere in the body, but most are in the brain. These receptors in the brain handle functions like coordination, movement, emotions, mood, appetite, memories and more. CB2 receptors are commonly found in the immune system and impact symptoms like inflammation and pain.

Now, when you are using CBD oil for your dog, there are two primary factors to consider:

The dog’s weight
The reason you are using the product


To reiterate, you shouldn’t give your dog the same serving size of CBD oil you give yourself. However, since CBD is a non-toxic compound, there won’t likely be any serious side effects if the animal consumes too much. In extra-large servings, CBD may leave your dog sleepy or lethargic. As of this writing, there are no documented cases of CBD overdose.

So, now that we’ve covered how CBD oil may support the ECS of mammals, let’s learn about the importance of a well-balanced ECS.


The Benefits of a Well-Balanced ECS

The benefits that a well-balanced ECS has on your beloved dog is nothing short of amazing. From an overview perspective, a healthy ECS helps to support a wide range of functionalities throughout the body.

Now, the effects of a balanced ECS might be slightly different from dog to dog, but there are a handful of benefits that stand above the crowd.

Let’s discuss.

AA Well-Balanced ECS and Anxiety

Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes.

If you have ever rescued a dog, or know a rescue dog, it’s very common for them to have a lot of anxiety. Many of these dogs came from abusive situations or spent their formative years living a primitive life. The process of adapting to a loving home and grasping the concept that most humans are harmless can be tough for many dogs.

Now, rescue dogs certainly aren’t the only ones affected by anxiety. It’s very common that certain dogs will get scared during a thunderstorm, when someone knocks at the door or when you are not around. Just like in humans, anxiety can be brought on by all kinds of different factors. Moreover, finding the right anti-anxiety meds for dogs can be a tough task.

There are two primary types of anxiety in dogs: Behavioral and Situational.

Situational anxiety happens when a dog is experiencing something they are not fully accustomed to. Some examples include traveling, thunderstorms, fireworks or when you have company over.

Behavioral anxiety is typically deep-seated and requires professional training to remedy. One of the most common examples of this would be separation anxiety.

Some of the common dog anxiety symptoms are:

Urinating and/or defecating inside
compulsive behavior

A healthy, well-balanced ECS helps to regulate anxiety. As its goal is to promote homeostasis in the body, when working correctly it may produce anti-anxiety effects to soothe dogs before experiencing an episode. As the ECS interacts with the central nervous system, the receptors excrete serotonin, which is a natural calming hormone. Additionally, these receptors will better communicate with each other to help the whole body calm down!

BA Well-Balanced ECS and Skin Allergies

No one likes being itchy all the time. Dogs dealing with skin allergies must cope with this on a daily basis. Also known as atopies, these allergic reactions are very common in dogs — some breeds are impacted more than others. Frequent itching is the telltale sign that your dog is suffering with skin allergies. In addition to scratching themselves, common behaviors include excessive licking, chewing and biting at parts of their body. If left alone, this can cause damage to the dog’s skin and coat.

The most common areas affected by skin allergies are:

dog body

Allergens Which Cause Reaction in Dogs

Similar to humans, skin allergies in dogs are the result of an overactive immune system. In some dogs, the body even fights non-harmful substances in the environment.

The exact causes of skin allergies in dogs can be quite extensive. In fact, there is an estimated 150-200 different skin conditions that may be traced back to allergies. The most common allergens that trigger reactions in dogs include:


It’s also very common that dogs have allergic reactions to certain ingredients in food.

There are many medications you can give your dog to alleviate allergies, such as Prednisone or antihistamines. While these can certainly work, there are a number of side effects that typically come with them, including excessive urination or drowsiness.

So why exactly is it important to have a well-balanced ECS when it comes to the skin?

Studies have found that a balanced ECS triggers a number of reactions within skin cells, which pushes the immune system to function more effectively and fight off infections or irritations that lead to scratching. Moreover, the ECS receptors have been found in keratinocytes, a prominent cell type in the skin. The findings of this study show that endocannabinoids are present in certain parts of the skin and can be very helpful for alleviating symptoms of skin allergies.

Ultimately, a balanced ECS may help to stimulate the growth of new skin cells to fight allergic reactions.

CA Well-Balanced ECS and Suppressed Appetite

Just like grass is green and snow is white, dogs love to eat. The common truth of owning a dog is that food is usually the quickest way to their heart. When your dog is not finishing (or even touching) the food in their bowl, this can be an indicator of a wide range of issues. For the most part, few reasons are cause for serious alarm.

Some of the most common causes that result in your dog’s suppressed appetite include:

Could be the result of a new environment, routine, person, etc.
Too much diversity
Switching to a new food every time the bag runs out can cause your dog to avoid eating. After all, dogs are creatures of routine.
New medication
Too many scraps
If those cute puppy eyes around the dinner table make you cave too easily, chances are, your dog is either a) getting their fill from human food, or b) becoming picky.

In some cases, a suppressed appetite can be a sign of a more serious issue. Some red flags you need to look for are:

Pain when chewing
Drastic weight loss
Lack of movement

Just like humans, dogs’ digestive systems contain cannabinoid receptors. Therefore, a healthy ECS can help with many problems related to a suppressed appetite.

For starters, as one of the most common causes for a dog’s suppressed appetite is stress, a balanced ECS can be very beneficial as a calming agent. Secondly, it works to relieve nausea in dogs. A balanced ECS has been shown to regulate both nausea and vomiting in a wide range of animals.

The ECS also works to regulate appetite hormones. The two primary hormones that control appetite are called leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, or feelings of hunger, whereas leptin is responsible for simulating satiety, or the feeling of being full. As the ECS interacts with receptors of the hypothalamus part of the brain, the production of both leptin and ghrelin are regulated, which in turn brings your dog’s feelings of hunger and satiety to their normal levels.

DA Well-Balanced ECS and Arthritis

Arthritis can make life miserable for your dog. It can turn even the simplest tasks into excruciating pain, and as an owner, it’s always tough to know exactly what to do in these situations.

Arthritis is a condition that impacts the joints and causes inflammation of the joint tissue. While the exact cause can be hard to pinpoint, some commonalities include infection, joint trauma, defects in the joint or in some cases, immune system disorders.

If arthritis in your dog is left alone, it can have an extensive ripple effect.

The Cycle of Arthritis in Dogs

  • A dog has arthritis and is dealing with joint pain.
  • This joint pain leads to reduced movement.
  • Because they are moving less, this dog is gaining weight and joints are stiffening.
  • Weight gain and not working the joints has made it even harder and more painful for this dog to move.
  • Your dog is now in the cycle of not moving due to pain, which leads to even less movement and more pain.
  • Break the cycle and get your dog moving every day!

There are all kinds of symptoms you need to be on the lookout for when identifying arthritis in your dog:


Limping | Favoring | Lameness


Reluctance to rise from a resting position
Decreased alertness


Pain when jumping | Difficulty using stairs
Limping | Favoring | Lameness | Licking


Reluctance to rise from a resting position
Decreased alertness


Pain when jumping | Difficulty using stairs
Limping | Favoring | Lameness | Licking


Decreased alertness
Reduced appetite

So how do you know what to give a dog for pain?

While there are lots of pain meds for dogs out there to help them cope with arthritis, many can have dangerous side effects, similar to pain meds in humans. With this in mind, finding natural means of supporting the ECS can be a very effective in helping dogs with arthritis.

Inflammation is one of the most common problems seen with arthritis and soothing it is one of the most prominent benefits of a balanced ECS. It can do a lot to reduce inflammation and loosen up joints, which in turn helps your dog become more active in dealing with this condition.

As most dogs with arthritis are prone to weight gain, working on balancing their ECS early on can do a lot to help your dog proactively manage the symptoms and stay mobile for longer!


Ways to Give CBD Oil to Dogs

Understanding the benefits of a balanced ECS is one thing; knowing how to actually get your dog to ingest CBD oil is a completely different beast.

If you, like many owners, have a dog that hates taking anything by mouth, trying to squeeze drops of CBD oil into your furry friend’s mouth can be as cumbersome as pulling teeth. Unless your dog is a superstar at taking meds, you might want to explore some alternative approaches.

The age-old trick of giving your dog a supplement in a piece of meat will certainly work with CBD. However, the effects won’t be felt as quickly as they would if given directly by mouth. Moreover, there are all kinds of CBD dog treats out there that come in a variety of flavors and serving sizes.

Keep in mind that there are different ways to give your dog CBD to support their wellness. Not all CBD needs to be given by mouth; for supporting your dog’s skin health, you can use CBD salves or creams that can be applied directly to the area you want. CBD topicals are reliable, convenient and easy to put on your dog!

When it comes to the process of giving your dog CBD, it’s VERY important to realize that not all products are the same. In fact, there have been numerous cases of companies with bogus CBD products. Since the concept is relatively new, there are a lot of kinks that need to be worked out. Which brings us to the next point…


Key Things to Watch Out for When Purchasing CBD Oil for Your Pet

Hopefully by now, you are sold on giving your dog CBD oil to improve their health. Now, the biggest risk factor to keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil is it might not be 100% safe or authentic, especially if you buy it online. The CBD oil you get from some vendors may be produced overseas and/or extracted with less-than-ideal processes. Here are some things you should consider when shopping:

Make Sure It Checks Out as CBD

For starters, you need to be on your guard in making sure the products you buy for your dog actually contain CBD. It’s very easy to label a product as “hemp-based” or “hemp-infused.” However, truly having the appropriate levels of CBD is something else.

When shopping around, be sure to look at the FDA’s list of warning letters. These expose companies that advertise phony products as “CBD-containing.” Additionally, look for lab reports displayed on the company’s website. This means the product has been subjected to laboratory testing and shows appropriate amounts of CBD.

Understand the Types of Emulsion:

Quality of CBD oil can vary quite a bit. When making your selection, you need to be aware of the ways CBD oil emulsifies.

  • Standard Emulsion: Bigger particles = subpar absorption. Standard emulsion CBD oil is low quality and typically very cheap.
  • Liposomal Emulsion: Small particles = good absorption. This is the common choice for most consumers.
  • Nano-sized Emulsion: Tiny particles = optimal absorption. Nano-sized emulsion is the way to go, however, few CBD companies are able to produce their oil this way.
Be Wary of THC Levels

CBD oil for humans that is derived from hemp will contain low levels of THC (typically under 0.3%). When choosing CBD products for dogs, it’s recommended to purchase CBD products with zero detectable amounts of THC.

THC affects pets differently than humans. Even though a CBD product may only have trace amounts of THC (which won’t have much of an effect on humans), it could potentially have a negative impact on your dog — especially if they are smaller.

Be Sure It Comes from High-Quality Hemp

Everyone has their own opinions on how plants should be farmed. However, when it comes to buying anything hemp-related, it should ALWAYS include hemp grown with high standards. Hemp has a unique ability to absorb toxins from the soil, something that other plants cannot perfectly emulate. If you are looking at a product and it is not made with the best practices, DO NOT BUY IT!

Look for Broad Spectrum CBD, Not CBD Isolate

Broad spectrum CBD comes with a number of cannabinoids and terpenes that naturally occur in hemp. CBD isolate, on the other hand, doesn’t contain these. Many experts believe that dogs and humans benefit from the natural array of phytochemicals found in hemp, a concept referred to as the “Entourage Effect.”

“I recommend using the whole plant. This is much more potent and effective than purified extract that has been processed and only contains CBD. Be sure to source extracts for your dog from plants that are consciously and organically grown, and preferably with their feet in the ground, and raw, unfiltered sunlight on their leaves,” –  says Dr. Edward Bassingthwaighte.

Hemp Seed Oil Isn’t the Same as Hemp Oil

You may be tempted to buy the hemp seed oil you see sitting on the grocery store shelves, but know that it’s not the same as hemp oil. Hemp seed oil, derived from hemp seeds, may contain some benefits but does not contain any CBD. Make sure your product contains CBD, which you can verify with lab reports.

Joy Organics premium hemp tincture
Joy Organics premium hemp tincture


Once you have found a reputable CBD product for your dog, the tricky part can be nailing down the exact serving size. As what should come as no surprise, the proper serving will vary.


CBD Oil Servings for Dogs

At first, the simple question “How much CBD oil should I give my dog?” does not have an easy answer. However, once you calculate out the proper CBD oil serving size for your furry friend, you shouldn’t have any issues moving forward.

We’ve already covered why using the proper serving of CBD for your dog is important, but now we are going to get a bit more specific on the technical aspects.

Now, in terms of calculating the ideal serving, there are three things you need to know:

dropper icon
The size of the
bottle in ml
dropper icon
The total mg of CBD
in the bottle
dog icon
The weight
of your dog

Let’s say you buy a 30ml tincture bottle with 500mg of CBD.

Joy Organics ingredients

It’s suggested to give your dog 2-4 drops twice a day per 10 lbs. of body weight.

For a 20-lb. dog = 4-8 drops per day total (2-4 per session).
For a 40-lb. dog = 8-16 drops per day total (4-8 per session).
For a 60-lb. dog = 12-24 drops per day total (6-12 per session).

Moreover, the actual drops you portion out for your dog will be different based on the mg of CBD per bottle. Here is a good CBD serving size chart to help you out here:

Measured in mg per drop** This table represents how many mg of CBD per drop are approximately included in the product. Please check this table before purchasing.

Lastly, if you elect to give your dog CBD treats or CBD oil capsules, there should be a serving size listed on the bottle or packaging.

Joy Organics pet product ingredients

So, by this point, you hopefully have a good idea of how CBD can support your dog’s wellness as well as the proper amount to give them. The last piece of the puzzle is familiarizing yourself with the public reception of CBD. After all, it comes from the plant with that iconic five-fingered leaf, which has spent decades as the poster child for the War on Drugs.


The Future of CBD Oil for Dogs

CBD oil for dogs

The future of CBD oil’s availability is pretty open-ended. Currently, CBD oil (for both humans and dogs) is sold in many stores across the United States.

However, due to the long-standing legal status of anything derived from the cannabis plant, it’s tough to predict what the future will hold for this wellness-supporting extract.

The biggest thing with CBD oil right now is it’s still very new to the consumer market. There simply aren’t enough studies or data out there to provide clear answers yet. The good news is that the reception of CBD so far has generally been positive. In turn, the momentum has been picking up quite a bit in recent years.

While it’s tough to say what exactly the future has in store, things are looking pretty good right now for honest and reliable sources of CBD oil.

Even with all the ground we’ve covered, there are still a lot of questions that tend to come up in terms of using CBD oil on dogs. To sum up a handful of the common questions, below is a list of FAQs and answers.


FAQs on CBD Oil for Dogs

How is CBD oil extracted?

CBD oil is extracted through a number of methods. At Joy Organics, we use a propriety hemp extraction and purification process that preserves many of the plant’s beneficial phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids while also extracting THC.

Can you give CBD oil to dogs without a negative effect?

Absolutely. The most important things you can do to avoid negative effects is making sure the CBD oil is high-quality, given to your dog in the proper serving  size and does not contain THC.

Will my pooch get high off CBD?

Ideally, no. If you give your dog CBD from hemp (with THC extracted) in the proper serving, they should not get high. However, if you accidentally give them too much, they might seem lethargic or sleepy.

What is the difference between CBD oil for humans and dogs?

The main difference is the serving size. Generally speaking, humans will require a much higher serving size to experience the effects of CBD oil. In terms of the manufacturing process, there is virtually no difference.

Exactly how long does it take for CBD to take effect?

It depends on how you give it. If you squirt tincture drops in your pet’s mouth, the effects should kick in quickly. If you use a treat or capsule, it will take longer.

The CBD oil is working, but my dog is sliding back into the old habits. What should I do?

This is normal. CBD oil works very fast and dogs are creatures of habit, so they may continue old behaviors after they no longer need to. Keep using the CBD and give it time. After a while, your dog will learn that the old habits are unnecessary.

Can my dog overdose on CBD?

As of now, there are no documented cases of CBD overdose. In terms of giving your pet CBD oil, keep the recommended serving size in mind and use your best judgement. You know your pooch better than anyone else.

Wrapping up

Anyone who has a dog knows how great it feels when your furry friend is happy. Supporting that quality of life is simple: give lots of love and affection, incorporate exercise, supply fun toys and throw in some yummy CBD treats.

If you have been looking into the benefits that CBD might have for your dog, feel free to reach out to us today and we can help answer any questions you have!