Easy Ways to Give CBD to Your Dog

  • Updated January 12, 2024

  • Published September 29, 2023

  • No Comments
Michael Levin, author at CBD.market

Written by
Michael Levin

Dr Erica Irish, Veterinarian

Medically reviewed by
Erica Irish

Easy Ways to Give CBD to Your Dog

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been identified in dogs in the skin, peripheral and central nervous systems, gastrointestinal tract, and joints. The presence of the ECS prompted researchers to study the potential of CBD to promote canine health and address some health issues like skin disorders, fatigue and others. More people every year give their dogs CBD. Brightfield Group research found that 77% of CBD products were purchased for dogs. It is easy to learn how to give CBD oil to dogs, but the best product type depends on whether you are addressing general wellness or a specific health issue.

Joy Organics, CBD Dog Chews Treats, Beef Flavored, Broad Spectrum THC-Free, 30ct, 60mg CBD


CBD oil and pet treats can support dog wellness and focus on issues like aggressive behavior. There are many ways to administer cannabinoids. You can give a dog tasty treats to munch or add oil to food. CBD oil can also be given sublingually, applied to the dog’s inner cheek, or rubbed on the dog’s skin to address skin disorders or dryness. Many CBD oils and treats are available today that are flavorful and made with one of the three spectrums: full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate CBD.

Why Give Your Dog CBD?

There is limited research on the benefits of giving CBD to dogs. However, the research that has been done has found it may deliver essential benefits. The following are just a few of the studies.

1. Joint Support

A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study concerning dogs on CBD found that CBD helped reduce discomfort in dogs with joint issues. The results of giving dogs CBD for a month were remarkable. Some dogs were being considered for euthanasia, but after taking CBD, they could walk around and climb stairs.

2. Nervousness and Tension

A study of dogs that experience separation and travel strain experienced less tension from one dose of 4 mg of CBD administered 2 hours before exposure to stressful events. Reducing nervousness can improve general behavior even when you are home.

3. Skin Itching

Canine skin issues cause itchiness. A study recruiting dogs diagnosed with it found that dogs given a 10% broad-spectrum hemp (CBD) oil with other drugs every 12 hours for eight weeks experienced less itching after two weeks. The researchers recommended starting with a low CBD dose and increasing it by 0.25 mg as needed.

4. Aggressive Behavior

The University of Western Australia researched whether CBD could improve a dog’s aggressive behavior towards humans. The dogs were given 5% CBD in olive oil for 45 days. The dogs showed some reduction in aggressive behaviors.

CBD pet products are designed for general pet wellness and to address specific issues. For example, you will find CBD products for calming, general wellness, joint health, relieving, and more. Products are made with full spectrum, broad spectrum or CBD isolate. Choose broad spectrum and isolate CBD oils or treats produced for dogs and cats, since they do not contain any THC.

Ways to Give Your Dog CBD

You can learn how to administer CBD oil to dogs, but what is the best way to give a dog CBD? Of course, if your dog has lichened skin from an allergy or dry skin, you may use CBD oil as a topical. Following are some other common ways you can give your dog CBD.


You can place CBD oil drops in your dog’s mouth if your dog allows it. Giving CBD oil sublingually or on the tongue will enable oil to work faster since it does not have to go through the digestive system to reach the bloodstream.


You can rub CBD oil on the dog’s gums or inner cheek. This gives the same advantage as giving the CBD sublingually.

Mix in food

If your dog objects to you handling their mouth, you can mix oil in food. The food can be dry or wet. You can buy CBD oil with a natural flavor or salmon, bacon and chicken.

Give CBD treats

Like many CBD oil products, treats for dogs contain CBD and other ingredients, like botanical, fruits and vegetables and minerals.

Why Give Your Dog CBD?

Rub CBD Oil on the Skin

Can you rub CBD oil on a dog’s skin? Rubbing CBD oil directly can soothe dry skin or relieve itching.

Since animals can be picky eaters, you can break up the treats and feed your dog small bits or add the treat bits to food so they are not easily detected. Some people have tried putting a flavorful CBD oil for dogs on a chew toy.

How Much CBD Should You Give to Your Dog?

Each CBD product will have a recommended CBD serving size. For example, CBD oil instructions may say to give your dog 0.5 ml of oil. Various pet CBD oil products are available in different sizes to accommodate small, medium and large dogs.

Remember to consult your veterinarian first if the puppy is younger than three months old. The CBD oil dosage can be based on the dog’s weight. A typical recommendation based on weight is:

  • 0-15 pounds – .25 treat or dropper
  • 16-25 pounds – .5 treat or dropper
  • 25-50 pounds – 1 treat or dropper
  • 51-75 pounds – 1.5 treats or dropper
  • 76+ pounds – 2 treats or droppers

A dropper holds 1 ml of CBD oil. Directions may suggest starting with two drops and increasing the amount slowly to assess how CBD affects the dog. If the dog is over 20+ pounds, the drops can be added to food twice a day. CBD oil and treats are sold in different potencies, ranging from 10 to 32 mg per treat. If necessary, you can break up treats to slowly start CBD administration.

As you can see, the recommended amount of CBD to give your dog is not a hard rule. However, the basic guideline is 1-5 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds. If providing the dog CBD for the first time, you can cut the first recommended dosage in half, i.e., a dog weighing 30 pounds would get half a dropper or half a treat.

Dog’s Tolerance to CBD

There are a few research projects that investigated the tolerance that dogs have for CBD.

A review of several studies found lower bioavailability in dogs taking CBD in food than CBD oil, presumed to be due to the first-pass effect. This is true for humans, too. Giving dogs CBD oil who have not recently been fed promotes better bioavailability. It was also suggested that CBD should be administered every 12 hours due to the excretion of CBD. The Cornelle University study suggests giving a dog 2 mg of CBD twice daily to manage discomfort.

Another study by a partnership of universities found that CBD is safe for healthy dogs, and administering CBD orally every 12 hours was not detrimental. The study gave the dogs a dose of 2 mg of mixed CBD and CBDA twice a day for 84 days. Some dogs were given large chews that contained an equal mix of CBD and CBDA.

The third study found that THC-free CBD capsules containing 4 mg given twice daily to dogs were well tolerated. In this study, all the dogs were healthy.

A good start is 2 mg (.002 ml) of CBD for every 10 pounds of dog weight administered twice daily. Also, note that you can give your dog CBD daily or as needed.


Dog owners who have tried everything else to help their pets with joint issues or want to promote pet wellness are discovering that CBD can offer benefits. Start with a low dose and slowly increase it by a quarter or half a serving at a time, depending on the effects your dog experiences. You can give the dog CBD twice daily with 8-12 hours between servings. Multiple research projects have concluded that CBD is safe for dogs in moderate doses. If you have any concerns about CBD for pets, consult your veterinarian.


  1. https://blog.brightfieldgroup.com/cbd-for-pets
  2. https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/riney-canine-health-center/canine-health-information/cbd-what-you-need-know-about-its-uses-and-efficacy
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9992179/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8473042/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090023322001289?via%3Dihub
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8922375/
  7. https://api.research-repository.uwa.edu.au/ws/portalfiles/portal/120833128/Cannabis_sativa_L_may_reduce_aggressive_behaviour_.pdf
  8. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165/full
  9. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/10/832
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9533147/


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