Using Hemp CBD Oil To Treat Our Dogs

With more than a half a dozen states having now fully legalized cannabis (both hemp and marijuana) and with 19 more medically legalized states, the momentum for full cannabis legalization is accelerating in the United States. Among the many benefits that cannabis legalization would bring, one that is not mentioned as often is the prospect of using cannabis to treat our pets. Many dog owners and veterinarians have already come out vouching for the healing properties of CBD oil, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis.

The use cases and benefits of CBD oil for humans have started to become widely known through various peer-reviewed studies. Among others, CBD oil has been recommended to help with conditions such as anxiety, addiction, depression, chronic pain, arthritis, seizures, and more!

use hemp cbd oil for dogs
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As we get to know more about the effects of CBD for mankind, we find ourselves naturally asking: Could CBD help our canine companions? Scientifically, dogs (and most mammals) have a similar anatomy to humans. Studies in the last decade have shown that the endocannabinoid system can be found in most mammals. Considering that CBD works directly with this nervous system, we can confidently conclude that CBD will have some sort of influence on our dogs. But how?


Early research and anecdotal testimonials show that CBD has helped pets in many different ways. Here’s a preliminary list of various conditions that CBD has been found to help treat (and/or cure):

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Deteriorating Quality of Life
  • Digestive Issues
  • Fatty Tumors
  • Glaucoma
  • Homeostasis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Inflammation
  • Joint & Mobility Issues
  • Phobias (Fireworks, Thunderstorm)
  • Seizures
  • Skin Problems

In more general terms, feedback from pet owners show that CBD can be used to soothe your dogs. Some particular examples are during situations such as separation anxiety, thunderstorm fears, social anxiety, and long-distance traveling.

One of the biggest use cases that veterinarians are coming to find are with joint pains that dogs tend to suffer as they get older. Hemp CBD has been found “useful in treating acute ailments like sprains and strains, torn ligaments, bone breaks, and even during post-operative care to reduce swelling, pain, and stiffness.”

More than anything, the most promising aspect of using CBD is the fact that it could help your dog get off synthetic drugs, which typically has many short and long-term side effects. Even if it can’t fully replace the conventional drugs, hemp oil could possibly help you lower the doses that the dog has to take.


Research on how cannabinoids (including CBD) affect the human body has shown that they mainly interact with our endocannabinoid system, a nervous system that exists throughout our body.

This endocannabinoid system, also called ECS, has now been found to exist in all vertebrates, including mammals. Animals such as dogs were specifically found to share almost 70% biological homology with humans. Thus, it can be cautiously concluded that CBD interacts in a similar way in canines as it does in humans. Similar to how CBD interacts with receptors in our ECS, cannabinoids bind to receptors within the dog’s body. One study in particular found that the CBD “binds to these receptors for a longer duration [in dogs], and evokes long-lasting therapeutic response without causing toxic effects.”


Want to learn more about CBD? Download a PDF version of ‘The Complete CBD Guide’



hemp cbd oil can help treat many dog conditions
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The most widely known method of administering CBD oil to your pets is through tinctures. Using the tincture, you can put a few drops of CBD into dog’s mouth directly. However, since that could get messy quite quickly, you could just drop the oil into the dog’s food or treats.

Since hemp CBD is now legally sold in all 50 states, you can find many brands selling CBD products meant for pets online. It’s important to note that Hemp CBD is different from Cannabis CBD. Hemp CBD contains no THC and is therefore completely non-psychoactive. Cannabis CBD typically has a mix of CBD and THC, which makes it psychoactive. Cannabis CBD can only be found in licensed dispensaries in states that have legalized marijuana. (Giving your dog THC could potentially have negative side effects, including marijuana poisoning.)

When it comes to dosage, figuring out the right amount to give your dog can be the hardest thing. Dosing recommendations are hard to come by for humans as well. The general advice is that it will take trial and error before you find the appropriate dose that works for you (or your dog). Start at a small dosage and gradually increase depending on the effects (or reactions) you see from your pet.

One thing to remember is that once you give your dog a dose, it may take a couple hours before you notice any effects from your dog. If you believe your dog is not feeling any effects after a few hours, increase the dosage slightly later in the day or wait until the next day to try a slightly higher dose.


“Miles has been going to the beach, he’s been running, he’s being himself.”


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Although CBD oil has yet to be approved by many veterinarians or the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), many dog owners have taken the initiative to try this alternative method for their dogs. Here’s a few snippets of what they have to say:

  • “My dog has cancer and is almost 14. The only option was chemo but we decided that we don’t want him to go through that. Instead we are giving him CBD oil drops. He’s hopping away everyday and I’m glad we gave him ‘extra’ life”
  • “My dog has had severe storm anxiety all his life. We have difficulty keeping his weight up because he vomits so much when he is anxious. The oil helps him sleep and helps him to be able to eat without vomiting.”

One article reports, “Though initially hesitant about giving her pet an unapproved drug, Denise figured where’s the harm? Miles has terminal cancer and would die soon. ‘I wasn’t that worried. I was actually pretty excited, because it has been used with human cancer patients for pain and nausea,’ Denise said. Since then, in the last couple of weeks, ‘Miles has been going to the beach, he’s been running, he’s being himself.'”

A survey conducted by American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) show that 61.8% to 95% of the surveyed pet owners have endorsed the health benefits of CBD infused products, rating it from ‘moderate to excellent’.


There is still a predominant view among veterinarians that marijuana [cannabis] is only a toxic plant


Even with all the positive spotlight that CBD is getting to treat our pets, many vets and experts are still cautious of endorsing and using this plant and its extracts. From the reports and surveys conducted, their resistance seems to stem from two main factors:

1. Legitimate negative side effects caused by owners who use THC infused extracts (marijuana)
2. Lack of awareness in non-psychoactive cannabinoids

The first point is a legitimate concern for vets. Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in states such as Colorado, some veterinarians have indeed seen an increase in cases where dogs suffer from marijuana poisoning. If pets consume a large amount of psychoactive cannabis (THC), this can cause a dog to suffer seizures, go into a coma, or die. What makes it worse is that there is no specific antidote for THC poisoning. This requires the dogs to take multiple other drugs, which further complicates the situation.

using hemp cbd oil on dogs
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The bigger issue here though is the social stigma that still exists around cannabis. There is still a “predominant view among veterinarians that marijuana [cannabis] is only a toxic plant”. Many vets are not even aware that different strains of cannabis exist, especially those that are non-psychoactive like CBD.

On the other hand, one could also wonder if there’s a different, external factor that might be contributing to the resistance in the veterinarian profession. The market for pet medication is a multi-billion dollar industry. The Federal Trade Commission reports that retail sales of pet medication was $7.6 billion in 2013 and is expected to hit $10.2 billion by 2018.

When there’s so much money on the line, one has to wonder if there’s something other than pure lack of awareness that’s pushing the resistance to cannabis.

Using CBD to treat our dogs
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Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp is America's leading hemp advocate.

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Latest Comments

  • Avatar Lynda says:

    I have a 12 yr.old shiapoo,diagnosed with Cushings disease 5 weeks ago,is on vetoryl and started her on hemp oil for canines,she is not panting,less water consumption,good appetite. Following dosage directions on the bottle,ordered it after reading article in our local paper by a vet that writes a column. He suggested it figured why not, think I am going to get oil for my arthritis.

  • Avatar Amy S. says:

    My 11 year old Shih Tzu starting having seizures 6 months ago. We have done several tests and have not been able to determine the cause (other than an MRI). I started him on CBD two days ago, I sure hopes it helps him. I am trying a CBD product sold at my local pet store called Waayb. Anyone familiar with this product? Thank you

  • Avatar Kwilliams says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I have many dogs I rescued all different ages and different issues. My friend uses this stuff on her dogs, pigs, rabbits, cats even horse.. she claims it is the greatest pain reliever and mood picker upper and has stopped cancer in her dog for now (after just 5 months. I don’t know how much she gives her dog) OF COURSE VETS ARENT DIGGING THIS STUFF. IT WIPES THEM OUT OF THE NOT AT ALL HUMANE CANCER TREATMENTS that humans can’t even hardly tolerate, and is a total waste of our time and money and doesn’t really do much for our pets. My friend said the price may seem high but not really because you can toss out everything else and use this one product on all your pets ( I don’t know if this is at all true, I’m just sharing her experience with you) finding out the correct dosage though is the key. Oh you might think this is funny. I know I laughed when she text this to me. She said her hubby who she was 4 months into the 6 month divorce process has been using the hemp products for 6 weeks now and she said that last three times she’s seen him she’s found herself attracted to him. He is nicer, not impatient, even looks better. He she said is thoughtful. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I said don’t fall for it hook line and sinker just watch and time will tell if it’s genuine. Maybe the entire planet should be using these products.

    That’s my 2 cents. I’m getting some myself. Thanks for the info here. .

    • Avatar Noelle Deleo says:

      My dog was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma and I want to start him on the oil.
      Could you ask you friend what dosage she gives her dog? My boy is 90lbs. I would be
      greatly appreciated. thank you

      • Avatar leony baker says:

        Hi Noelle

        Hope you found out the dosage sooner… How is your dog doing so far?

        The cbd hemp oil tincture I use for my dogs list the dosage on the bottle wrap
        as well as on the box. For 60lbs + requires 1ml dropper
        I started my smaller dogs a few drops then increased slowly

  • Avatar Lesa H Brault says:

    Hi Marggie, I have been giving my 9.5 year old basset who has lymphoma CBD oil for 2 weeks now and I cannot believe the difference in her. So happy to see her up and walking and eating again. I ordered from Hempworx if you would like more info, please let me know. Tks

  • Avatar Shannon says:

    My 16 year old little girl (dog), who is usually very active, has a terrible case of kennel cough. She is on Doxycyline for this. Her cough is horrendous and no one in this house is sleeping. I purchased CBD oil for her today hoping that it will work. Does anyone have any experience with CBD’s for KC?

  • Avatar GgGilbert says:

    I have a Rat Terrier 21lbs. and has starting glaucoma, what dosage can I administer to him.

  • Avatar Marggie says:

    I have a smaller dog, lasa apso/yorkie, who has glaucoma in one eye and also limps as she has had bad little legs since a puppy. She is 12 yrs. Old…..I’m hoping that cbd can help her. I just don’t know much about where to get the right oil and right amount.

    • Avatar norma says:

      The maker of the CBD OIL, said to me try less then monitor, you can do less, but doing more you can not do less. try less then watch add slowly so you can see what helps, I am going to ordering for Molly She 5 years old, she is a Lhasa Apso, 12 or 13 pounds, try 3 drops that what I am going to do.

    • you should be able to get the oil legally at any of your local smoke shops… or health food/whole food markets. You will need to ask in my experience… as they keep it locked up. It isnt cheap, but MAN IS IT EFFECTIVE!

  • Avatar Dav avid D says:

    I recently purchased CBD (PurCBD) for my dog with cancer from Innovet pet products and am truly impressed with how well the supplement has helped my dog. He’s not only eating again but he’s more active and doesn’t sleep all day.

    I know it won’t change the inevitable but it’s great seeing him happy again. CBD is an amazing supplement! I can only imagine the amount of great work it can do for humans once fully researched

    • Avatar Mary Crum says:

      My dog is 14. I have the dosage for him but how many times per day may it be given?

    • Avatar Bear says:

      That’s amazing.

      May I ask how long since starting your dog on cbd oil it was before you noticed improvements please?
      My boy has been diagnosed and is starting to go off his food- we were given diagnosis on Monday and today I’m awaiting the 500mg oil.

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