July 28, 2021 5 min read

If you know anything about the potential benefits of CBD oil for dogs, you’ve probably already grabbed a bottle for your four-legged friends. Even if you’re just now taking the first step in your pet’s CBD journey, you’re probably wondering—how much CBD oil should I give my dog? Is it dosed by weight? And how often should I give CBD to my dog anyways?

All great questions! Here’s what you should know about calculating a CBD dose for your dog (and why you may want to give your dog CBD in the first place):

Table of Contents
Why Give CBD Oil to Dogs?
How to Calculate CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs
CBD Dosage for Dogs by Weight
How Long Does CBD Take to Work?
How Long Will CBD Last for Dogs?
Can I Use CBD for Elderly Dogs?
Can I Use CBD for a Puppy?
What’s the Best CBD Oil for Dogs?

Key Takeaways

  • CBD can be beneficial for any dog, but the amount your dog needs depends on its size and other unique factors.
  • The starting dose ranges from 1-2 mg per 10 pounds of body weight.
  • You can increase your dog’s dose slowly over time to find the most effective dose.

Why Give CBD Oil to Dogs?

Just like all mammals, dogs have an Endocannabinoid System, the neuromodulatory system that controls things like mood, pain signaling, sleep cycles, hormone production, and more. This means two things:

First, that dogs can benefit from CBD in many of the same ways that humans can.

But also that the amount of CBD you need to use relies on each dog’s unique endocannabinoid balance. That means there is no straightforward answer to “how much CBD oil do I give my dog?” but you can still find an effective dose.

As we mentioned, the Endocannabinoid System is a “neuromodulatory” system, which means it’s constantly working to regulate itself and many of its key functions. When the Endocannabinoid System is off-balance, CBD can act indirectly on neuroreceptors to help sway the system back into balance, which can help put an end to many uncomfortable symptoms that dogs may experience.

Some reasons that pet owners may choose to use CBD for dogs includes:

  • Relieving pain
  • Reducing anxiety and stress
  • Managing seizures
  • Improving appetite and weight gain
  • Relieving nausea and vomiting

How to Calculate CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs

We mentioned above that the amount of CBD a dog needs depends on its unique endocannabinoid balance, but what does that really mean for your dog?

Well, it means that your dogs dosing experience will be unique to him or her, and that you may need to take some time to experiment (in a safe and controlled manner) with different dosages.

Here’s how:

CBD oil for dogs dosage chart

CBD Dosage for Dogs by Weight

The general recommendation is to start with 1-2 mg of CBD per every 10 pounds of body weight. This means that a 20 pound dog may do well starting with 2-4 milligrams of CBD, and a 100 pound dog may start somewhere in the 10-20 milligram range.

Here’s a chart that may help you figure out how much CBD to give your dog:

Keep in Mind That These Are Dosage Suggestions

We recommend starting on the lower end of the dosing range provided, especially for small dogs. Then, use a “low and slow” process to increase the dose until your dog experiences relief from the symptoms you’re trying to manage.

To do this, you need to establish a routine, like giving your dog a CBD dose everyday at the same time. Then, start at the low recommended dose above and just increase by a few milligrams every few days and take notice of the results. Eventually, you’ll find a dosing sweet spot that works for your pet.

Note: You may find that it works better to give your dog two doses daily. To do this, try taking the maximum dose listed above for your dog’s weight and split it half. Give the two doses 6-8 hours apart.

How Long Does CBD Take to Work for Dogs?

When you give an oral CBD product to a dog, like a CBD oil, some of it may be absorbed sublingually and the rest may need to be digested. When using an edible-style dose, like CBD infused dog treats, it needs to be digested.

For sublingual doses, the effects may take 30 minutes to 1 hour to fully kick in. Edibles may take between 1 and 2 hours to take effect.

Keep in mind that CBD is more effective when taken at regular intervals, and you may find that your dog's CBD dose starts working more quickly or is more effective after you settle into a routine. For more information about why this happens, read “Should You Take CBD on a Daily Basis?

A calm and happy dog after his CBD dose

How Long Will CBD Last for Dogs?

The effects of CBD will last anywhere from 4-8 hours depending on your dog’s weight, metabolism, the dosing methods, and the size of the dose given. Different CBD product types have different onset times and different effect durations.

Can I Use CBD for Elderly Dogs?

Yes! In fact, CBD may help with many of the ailments that dogs experience in old age. When using high-quality CBD products derived from hemp, the risk of side effects is low. Still, you should always talk to your veterinarian before introducing a CBD routine, especially if your dog suffers from severe illness.

Can I Use CBD for a Puppy?

Yes, but CBD is not recommended for puppies under 12 weeks old, unless recommended by a veterinarian.

A natural CBD oil tincture, a perfect option for dogs.

What’s the Best CBD Oil for Dogs?

Many CBD brands would have you believe that you need a CBD product specifically formulated for pets, and those products often have an inflated price tag. That’s not really true—CBD oil formulated for dogs uses the same hemp extract as those formulated for humans, and because they are made for pets, they may even be held to lower manufacturing standards.

Any high-quality CBD oil will work for your dog, as long as it is pure and made without added ingredients. You can just drop the oil directly into your pup’s mouth, or you can mix it into their favorite foods to make it more enticing. A natural CBD oil will easily mix into your dog’s wet or dry food, or you can drop it onto treats or mix it into peanut butter—whatever makes it easiest for your dog to get down.

To ensure that the oil you buy is high-quality, look for CBD oil made from U.S. grown hemp that’s third-party batch tested and made with natural ingredients.


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