CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s just one of over 100 related compounds made by the hemp plant.
CBD is a popular health supplement for dogs in the form of a CBD-infused oil.
Pet owners use CBD oils to support dogs with chronic pain, inflammation, separation anxiety, and more.
Not all CBD pet oils work, and many products deliver low value for the money. Learning how to spot the best CBD oils for dogs can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Here, we’ll cover how to shop for CBD pet oils, how to find the right potency for your dog, and how much to use for each dose.
We’ll also provide a list of the top three CBD oils for dogs currently on the market.
Best CBD Oils For Dogs: 2020
- Royal CBD – Award Winning, Best CBD Oil Overall
- Gold Bee – Runner Up, Quality Product at a Good Price
- Blessed CBD – Potent CBD, But Only Ships to the UK
1. Royal CBD Oil — Editor’s Pick
Royal CBD is a popular choice for pet owners looking for premium CBD products to help their dogs manage chronic stress or anxiety.
These oils are made from the same high-quality hemp extract the company is known for in its regular CBD oils line — but with pet-friendly potencies and flavors.
You can buy these oils in the following potencies:
- 125 mg per ounce for small dogs
- 250 mg per ounce for medium-sized dogs
- 500 mg for large dogs
All Royal CBD pet oils come in a dog-friendly bacon flavor. The company recommends mixing this oil with your dog’s food.
This brand provides all third-party test results publicly to prove the CBD concentration and full-spectrum status match what’s claimed on the bottle. Other tests are also done to prove the purity and safety of these oils.
Royal CBD is one of the most popular brands in the industry. They’ve been recommended as the number one CBD oil for dogs suffering from anxiety, chronic pain, and more by digital publishers such as SF Weekly, We Be High, CFAH, SF Examiner, and Weed News.
- Offered in specific pet-friendly potencies & flavor
- Provides the full-spectrum of hemp-derived cannabinoids
- Third-party tested for full transparency
- Only sold through the brand’s online shop (not sold in-store)
2. Gold Bee CBD Oil — Runner-Up
Gold Bee doesn’t carry a pet-specific product. However, they don’t actually need to be for these oils to work with dogs.
There’s no fundamental difference between a CBD oil made for humans and a CBD oil made for dogs.
The most important thing is that you get the right potency for your dog to avoid giving them too much or too little CBD at a time. This is the main advantage a dedicated pet oil has over regular CBD products.
When it comes to giving CBD to dogs, go for the 300 mg CBD oil for small and medium dogs, and the 600 mg bottle for large dogs.
These oils come in two different flavor options — unflavored and honey. Most dogs will prefer the unflavored version of the oil, especially if you mix it in with their food.
For very picky dogs, it’s better to go with the Royal CBD bacon-flavored pet oil.
- Gold Bee oils are exceptionally high quality, yet charge the industry average for its oils
- Made from organically-grown hemp from the state of California
- The 300 and 600 mg unflavored CBD oils are well suited for both dogs & humans
- No pet-specific flavor options
- High-demand means these products often sell out
3. Blessed CBD Oil — UK’s Best CBD Oil
Blessed CBD is based out of the UK. We’ve included them on our list as an option for people living in the United Kingdom or neighboring countries.
These oils are some of the best in the business in the UK. Blessed CBD was one of the first companies to start independently testing all its products, and sources only organic hemp to make all its products.
These oils are more potent than the top-rated brands on this list, so it’s important to pay attention to the dose when using this product.
We recommend going with the 500 mg bottle of oil for all sizes of dogs.
These oils use a smaller bottle size — so the 500 mg Blessed CBD oil is roughly three times stronger than 500 mg in a Royal CBD or Gold Bee oil (both use 30 mL dropper bottles instead).
This high-potency CBD oil delivers 1.5 mg of CBD per drop. So the dosage for small dogs could be as low as 2 or 3 drops at a time.
- High-potency extract means only small doses are needed
- Excellent CBD brand available to UK-based customers
- All hemp oils are made from organically grown European hemp
- High-potency makes this oil slightly harder to use with small dogs
- Only available within the UK
CBD For Anxiety in Dogs: How it Works
CBD works through a series of receptors and hormones known collectively as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is tasked with regulating balance around the body through a concept called homeostasis. The ECS is found in all mammals on earth — including dogs.
The ECS is intimately involved with everything from hormone balance, neurological activity, sleep cycle, and stress levels.
CBD regulates the stress response (and in turn, anxiety) by promoting the activity of a neuron inhibitory molecule known as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). This neurotransmitter acts like the brake pedal for the brain. When your dog is feeling stressed out or anxious, GABA activity is low. CBD helps by stepping in to increase GABA activity and relax the mind, putting a stop to anxious or obsessive moods.
Here are just a few of the benefits CBD oils have toward anxiety in dogs:
- Relieves separation anxiety when you leave for work or university
- Helps prevent stress levels in dogs scared of noises out of your control — such as thunder or construction
- Helps to reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive behavior in dogs
- Promotes relaxation in dogs suffering from PTSD caused by past traumatic experiences
- Alleviates stress and anxiety when other dogs are visiting the house or live nearby
What’s the Dose of CBD Oil For Dogs?
There’s no specific dose of CBD oil for dogs — every dog is a little different and may require a different dose of CBD.
However, you can follow some general guidelines to get started and find the most effective dose for your dog.
Begin by using the recommendations below to find the recommended starting dose for your dog (based on weight):
- Small Dogs (less than 15 lbs) — 2 mg CBD
- Medium-Small Dogs (15 – 30 lbs) — 5 mg CBD
- Medium-Large Dogs (30 – 60 lbs) — 10 mg CBD
- Large Dogs (over 60 lbs) — 20 mg CBD
Start with the lowest dose and wait to see how your dog responds. If you notice no improvement, increase the dose each day at a rate of 2 mg until you notice improvement. This is now the ideal dosage for your dog.
Is CBD Oil Safe For Dogs?
CBD is a very safe health supplement. The most common side effects of CBD oil are fatigue and sedation — which are also two of the main reasons to use the supplement. These symptoms are minor and will usually clear up within about 8 hours after using the supplement.
If you notice more severe side effects, stop using the supplement immediately, and contact your vet.
Despite the high level of safety, there are a few scenarios where it may be unsafe to use CBD oil with your dog:
- If your dog is using other prescription medications (especially heart or blood pressure medications)
- If your dog has underlying medical disorders (speak with your vet first)
- If the CBD oil you’re using contains compounds like caffeine that are toxic to dogs
- If you’re using cheap CBD oils that contain heavy metal contaminants (this is why you should always seek out reputable sources only)
How to Shop for CBD Pet Products
Shopping for CBD oil for your dog isn’t difficult, but it does require some consideration to make sure you get the right stuff.
Here are three tips for buying CBD oil for pets effectively:
1. Opt For a Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
You can get three main types of CBD oils — full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum products are considered the most versatile for managing anxiety and offer the strongest impact per dose.
What does full-spectrum CBD oil mean?
CBD is just one of many active ingredients in the hemp plant. All of these compounds work together to produce the overall benefit through a concept called the entourage effect. Full-spectrum products leverage the entourage effect by including all the hemp-derived compounds above and beyond just CBD.
2. Make Sure Third-Party Testing is Available
Third-party testing is just as important for pet products as it is for humans. This testing is done by independent labs with no affiliation with the manufacturer. It’s done to prove the contents of the oil are what the company claims, and to check for the presence of contamination in the oil.
Contaminants like heavy metals can cause nerve cell damage and trigger inflammation — both of which lead to an increase in anxiety levels.
If a company doesn’t offer third-party lab tests publicly, it’s wise to keep looking until you find a company that does.
3. Match the Potency of the Oil With the Size of Your Dog
The final step to consider when buying CBD products for dogs is to find the appropriate potency of the oil for the size of your animal.
For example, you wouldn’t want to use an ultra-high potency 2500 mg CBD oil with a tiny chihuahua. With small dogs like this, it won’t be easy to give them the right dose. Just one drop of a high-potency oil could be too much CBD for such a small animal.
On the other side of the spectrum, using a low-potency 125 mg CBD oil with a large dog would require you to give your dog nearly a quarter of the bottle for a single dose.
Here are some general guidelines to follow when choosing what CBD oil to buy for your dog:
- Small Dogs (less than 15 lbs) — 125 – 300 mg CBD Oil
- Medium-Small Dogs (15 – 30 lbs) — 300 mg CBD Oil
- Medium-Large Dogs (30 – 60 lbs) — 300 – 600 mg CBD Oil
- Large Dogs (over 60 lbs) — 600 – 1000 mg CBD Oil
4. Look For Reviews & Brand Mentions
The best CBD companies will always have a lot of positive reviews backing them up. The internet is driven by reviews and expert recommendations — so if you can’t find any mentions of the brand, or most of the reviews are negative, you should consider looking for another source of CBD products.
Do a quick Google search for the brand name and see what comes up. Depending on where you live, the results will pull up any mention of the brand on the most reputable sites in your area. There are plenty of publications that offer expert-backed CBD reviews in the states of California, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and more.
You can also check forums like Reddit, or find dedicated CBD review sites to see what other people are saying about the brand.
Key Takeaways: What’s the Best CBD Oil For Dogs With Anxiety?
CBD oil is an excellent health supplement for anxiety in humans and dogs alike. The powerful relaxing benefits of the supplement make it ideal for supporting neurological balance in your pet.
Common motivations for using CBD in dogs include promoting relaxation, alleviating anxiety, and reducing obsessive behaviors.
When shopping for CBD pet oils, look for products that contain full-spectrum hemp extracts, come with complete third-party testing, and offer a potency appropriate to the size of your animal.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, check out the pet oil lineup offered by Royal CBD. These products come in a range of different potencies to help match your pet’s size and come with a dog-friendly bacon flavor by default.