CBD is non-toxic and non-psychoactive, i.e., it won’t make your dog high or cause any serious damage to his or her health. Nonetheless, you should never let your canine companion munch away at CBD treats.
Like in the case of humans, it’s still difficult to get an exact dosage for dogs. However, a dosage can still be set. This is by the tried and tested formula that is likely to work on your pet plus a bit of trial and error.
Nevertheless, the rule of thumb for CBD dosage for anyone is to always start low, and go slow. This is done to find the sweet spot for your pet so that it’s both effective and safe.
Considerations for dosing your pet dog with CBD
- The type of product determines the effectiveness, hence the dosage. CBD tinctures of lower dosage are as good as CBD treats or capsules of a higher dosage. The reason for that is treats and capsules, when ingested, goes into the digestive system where a lot of it is wasted in the process of metabolism by the liver enzymes – something that is not an issue with tinctures that are administered under the tongue and get easily absorbed into the bloodstream through the sublingual glands.
- The size of your dog and the ailment or the condition matter. Larger the dog, more the dosage required. Smaller dogs don’t need as much, no matter what the ailment is. However, pain, inflammation, and seizures require a higher dosage than anxiety or depression, nausea or allergies.
- Follow instructions on the label. Reputed brands always carry proper instructions of dosage, ways of use, and serving size. This helps a pet owner get an estimate of how much CBD each dose will contain and how many drops to administer.
- Buy a product with a CBD strength that suits your doggo’s size, weight, and condition to measure the right dosage easily. For instance, if your dog’s weight is 25 pounds, the daily dose should be ideally around 6.25mg. So, you can buy either 150mg CBD oil that provides a dose of 5mg of CBD/ml or a 300mg formula that gives 10mg of CBD per ml.
- Buy CBD pet care products from only the best and reputable brands. High-quality products are pure, potent and safe. They have no side effects, are non-toxic, and will not have any psychoactive effects.
- Follow a general rule of thumb for starting your pet’s CBD dosage. For every 10 pounds of your pet’s weight, administer 0.25mg of CBD oil (tincture). The dosage will increase in the case of edibles. However, this varies according to the ailment and its severity, as well as the type of product.
Factors that directly influence CBD dosing for dogs
Like we had discussed earlier, three major factors influence the dosing of CBD for dogs:
- The Potency of the CBD Product (oil, treat or capsule – while oils administer a greater percentage of the dosage, the treats and capsules are exposed to liver enzymes during metabolism that leads to wastage of CBD strength. However, it is easier to dose your pet with CBD through treats than it is with tinctures.)
- The dog’s size and weight (more the weight, higher should be the dosage)
- Ailment (some ailments like pain, inflammation, seizures, symptoms of cancer and side effects of its treatment require much higher dosage compared to anxiety, nausea or allergies)
So to get a grasp over how to dose your pet dog, you need to understand what is ailing him or her, measure his weight and then decide on the potency to buy.
The CBD strength should be one that is measurable as per the number of drops or treats. That is to say, if your dog is, say 25 pounds and you bought a 2mg treat variant, it may not suit the requirement. A 5mg CBD treat may be a better option to give the right dose.
Besides, it’s best to choose the lower strength variants for smaller dogs and higher ones for larger dogs, as it is easier to measure the dosage.
In the case of CBD oil, the package comes with a dropper. If the dropper is calibrated, then it is very easy to measure the right dose. However, droppers generally come in 1ml capacities. So, depending on the dosage, you can calculate how much CBD 1ml of the oil will carry.
With treats and capsules, it’s much simpler, as the product label usually mentions how much CBD is contained in one treat. Alternatively, the label mentions the number of treats/capsules and the CBD strength of the entire pack/bottle of edibles. All you need to do is divide the total CBD strength by the number of units, and you get how much CBD each treat/capsules contains.
What’s the Right CBD Dosage for your Dog?
There is really no right or wrong dosage for your canine buddy. You need to calculate an approximate dosage for your dog depending on his body weight, type of product he is comfortable with, and type and severity of the condition ailing him. Then you need to start giving him the dosage and gradually increase until you see a positive and stable response.
Let’s say, you gave your German Shepherd around 15mg of CBD for his joint pain. Closely monitor the effects of the medicine and how long his body takes to respond to it. Does he try to get up and start to walk with a wobble or does he simply lie around, whimpering constantly? If you notice a response similar to the first, then the dose may be working, if you see the latter response then you might have to increase the dose slightly.
However, never increase the dose sharply. This can either cause some minor (usually rare) side effects or simply wastage of costly CBD products. It’s best to go slow.
How to Calculate the Right CBD Dosage for your Dog?
Keeping the factors we’ve mentioned earlier in mind, you need to calculate the approximate dose for your dog.
If you’re going with treats, because, let’s say, your dog doesn’t quite do tinctures (as per your previous experience with other medications), you have to buy a product that will be easy to administer the right dose.
For instance, if you are treating your Labrador retriever for separation anxiety, then the dosage is going to be a moderate one – around 5mg – 30 mg. If your dog is just a pup (up to 1 year of age), then it’s best to start with 5mg.
So buy a pack of treats that contain either 1mg or 5mg per treat. That way it is easy to dose him correctly.
Give him five treats of 1mg strength or one treat of 5mg strength an hour before you leave him to his own devices. You’ll return home to a happy, yet calm pup, who is simply overjoyed to see you, but wouldn’t have torn down the house or pooped or peed all over the place.
Choosing per Weight – A General Idea
The basic rule of thumb for dosing is administering 1 – 5 mg CBD for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight. So, a Labrador Retriever, weighing around 50lbs, will need approximately a minimum of 5 mg. For a medium-sized dose, like for inflammation, the dose required for him may start with 12 mg. However, in case of serious injuries or chronic pain, he would need at least 25 mg of CBD.
Choosing as per Type & Severity of Ailment – A General Idea
The same Labrador Retriever (weighing 50kg) will need varying amounts of CBD according to the type and severity of the condition.
- Anxiety: 5mg – 30mg
- Nausea: 5mg – 30mg
- Allergies: 5mg – 30mg
- Inflammation: 10mg – 35 mg
- Seizures: 15mg – 40mg
- Pain: 15mg – 40mg
- Cancer symptoms
& treatment side effects: 15mg – 40mg
These levels also vary depending on the type of breed and size of particular dog.
Choosing per Potency – A General Idea
Most CBD oil bottles are of 30ml capacity and come with droppers for ease of use. Generally, a single good squeeze of the dropper bubble gives you 1ml (60% of the actual size of the dropper) of the liquid. This means you get to administer 1ml of CBD oil with each squeeze of the dropper. So, if you could measure the dosage as per 1ml of the CBD oil, you’ll get an exact dose.
To deliver, say 10mg of CBD to the same Labrador Retriever (weighing 50lbs) for inflammation (i.e. starting with 5mg, until you get the right dose), you should choose the right potency of CBD drops, so that it does not take too long to administer the dose (especially if your furry baby is fidgety).
1. If you buy a 250mg CBD tincture, the per-ml CBD amount will be (250/30) 8.3mg, a little less than 10mg, but still a doable dose. If the CBD dropper is calibrated (like 1ml, 0.75ml, 0.50ml, 0.25ml) then you can adjust the dose with a second helping.
0.75ml = 6.25mg of CBD,
0.50ml = 4.2mg, and
0.25ml = 2.1mg
So 1ml + 0.25ml should, more or less, do the trick.
Now, let’s try with a CBD oil of 500mg strength.
500/30 = 16.67mg per ml
¼ (i.e. 0.25ml) x 16.67mg = 4.17mg
½ (0.50ml) x 16.67 = 8.34mg
¾ (0.75) x 16.67 = 12.5mg
You can choose to dose your pet with an amount somewhere between half and three-fourth the dropper capacity.
2. How would a bottle of 750mg CBD oil work?
750/30ml = 25mg
¼ (0.25ml) x 25 = 6.25mg
½ (0.5ml) x 25 = 12.5mg
¾ (0.75ml) x 25 = 18.75mg
You can safely dose your pet with half the dropper capacity.
3. Let’s try a bottle of 1000mg CBD oil.
1000/30 = 33.33mg/ml
½ x 33.33 = 16.67mg
¼ x 33.33 = 8.33mg
¾ x 33.33 = 25 (approx.)
In this case, one quarter of a dropper seems to be the safest bet!
These options are understandably more difficult to dose.
However, if you bought a 150mg CBD (30ml) bottle, it would be easier to dose him. 1ml oil will contain 5mg CBD. So, 1 dropper of CBD oil (more like 60% of its actual capacity) will safely deliver the required dosage for anxiety, allergies or nausea, 2 droppers for inflammation and 3 for pain and seizures.
You have to follow a similar method of measuring and selecting CBD treats and capsules for your canine companion.
With treats, it’s much simpler as they come in 2mg, 5mg, 10mg per treat packs. So one single 5mg treat is good enough to start with for anxiety, 2 treats for inflammation and 3 for pain.
In the case of capsules, each bottle usually contains 30 soft gel caps.
So, a bottle of 150mg CBD will contain 5mg CBD per capsule, a 300mg bottle will have 10mg of CBD/cap, and a 600mg bottle will deliver 20mg of CBD per capsule. According to the desired effect, you can buy the right strength, so that giving your pet one capsule does the job. You can mix the contents of the capsule with your pet’s food or place the entire capsule in a treat.
Can your dog overdose on CBD?
You don’t need to worry about overdosing your dog with CBD. CBD is non-intoxicating and non-toxic. So, it’s easy to find your dog’s CBD sweet spot. However, we still recommend you start on the lower end and work your way up gradually. A little over the optimum dose is fine. But too much is useless.
Also, make sure you read the product’s instructions on the label. They will help you measure and set the dosage.
Finally…Some Safety Concerns
Dogs are man’s best friend, and he is also a family member. So make sure you dose them right, just like you would for yourself. In fact, you have to be extra cautious as they cannot express the way we do.
- Look for the subtle signs of change or deterioration.
- Observe caution while administering CBD oil.
- Don’t go overboard with the doses. Start low, go slow is our advice to everyone using CBD products.
- CBD oil takes around 20 – 30 minutes to take effect, while edibles take an hour or so. So, administer the dose as per need.
- Be patient with the dosing and with your pet. CBD is no magic potion, it takes time to take effect, time for your pet to adjust to its effects and time to show substantial changes when the condition is more severe.
- If you notice any side effects, like loss of appetite, vomiting, unbalanced movements, or lethargy, there may be something wrong with the CBD formula. It is always advised to purchase your CBD product from a reliable and trusted brand, one that has the reputation of selling quality products and doing honest business. You can never be too safe with the health of your loved ones.
No matter what, it is always advisable to consult the veterinarian before choosing the CBD product and dosage. And take things slowly. There’s nothing more important than your health and that of your loved ones, including your pet dog!