Is CBD Harmful for Dogs?

Is CBD Harmful for Dogs?

Your dog can’t "overdose" on CBD, but a high dose can cause side effects. Learn how CBD affects your dog and what you should watch out for.

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King Harvest

Pure organic CBD won’t harm a dog, even if given in a high dose. However, if CBD contains artificial flavors, it may have serious negative effects for canines.

Current research indicates there is no possibility of overdosing on cannabidiol (CBD) in the traditional sense. However, a high dose may lead to unwanted side effects like reduced appetite, fatigue, drowsiness, diarrhea, and dry mouth. This is true for both humans and our four-legged companions.

Typically, an overdose of any common drug is followed by physical and psychological consequences like nausea, unconsciousness, elevated heart rate, and, in the most severe cases, death.

But this is not the case when it comes to CBD. It cannot lead to death in canines, and it would be extremely difficult for your dog to consume enough CBD that it would cause an issue.

Let’s look at how CBD affects your dog, what you should watch out for, and some of the best CBD options for your dog. The same rules apply to CBD that apply to any substance you may give your pet.

1. Talk to Your Veterinarian First

There are a lot of products on the market that promise different benefits, but confirm with a trusted veterinarian that the product you choose is right for your dog. Also, it’s possible for CBD to interact with certain medications, so make sure your dog has the green light from a vet before giving them CBD.

2. Be Careful with the Dosage

It might be difficult to determine the proper CBD oil dose for your dog, especially for pet owners who are new to the world of CBD. Here’s a dosage calculator that’s recommended by the American Kennel Club. It will give you an idea of the appropriate amount of CBD for your pup, but double-check with your vet.

CBD dosage can usually be affected by the following factors:

Method of Consumption

How much CBD to give your dog will be determined by several factors, including the type of CBD you choose and the company that makes it.

Usually, CBD products for dogs are available in four different forms:

  • CBD
  • Treats
  • Capsules
  • Topical rubs


CBD oil is a great options for your pet. These oils are by far the most effective CBD therapy option for dogs since they provide the maximum bioavailability of the ingredient. This means less CBD is required to generate the desired effects.

However, some dogs are not fond of the unique flavor of CBD oil. If your pup doesn’t like the taste, CBD dog treats may be a good alternative.

Not only will the dog treat mask the flavor of the oil, but you will also know exactly how much CBD your dog is consuming.

If you put drops in their food, they may not eat all of it, or they may eat some now and the rest later when it’s almost time for their next dose. However, if your dog does this, it isn’t a serious issue.

Most treats will include a predetermined CBD dosage on the packet. You’ll be able to measure exactly how much CBD you’re providing your dog in this manner.

However, there is one disadvantage to CBD dog treats. Compared to CBD oil, they work slowly.

When given in the form of treats, CBD must travel through your dog’s digestive tract before it can be absorbed into their circulation. This means the benefits will be felt more slowly than they would be with oils, and your pup may absorb less CBD in total.

The same is true with CBD capsules for dogs. Additionally, capsules aren’t as fun for the pups as the oils or treats, and they can be limiting due to their fixed dose. You can’t break a capsule in half for a smaller dog. However, one benefit of capsules is traditionally they are more consistent in the intensity of the effects they will generate.

CBD topical rubs are used to soothe inflammation or treat your dog’s pain and sensitivities. It’s more difficult to administer an exact dose, and the CBD is not being taken internally but absorbed through the skin.

Your dog’s size and age

It should be no surprise that the best CBD dose for dogs varies based on their age and size. But how do you decide the proper dosage?

The basic rule is that adult dogs require more CBD to experience its benefits than smaller puppies. It is recommended not to give CBD to puppies that are not yet weaned or less than eight weeks old.

Furthermore, the general dose of CBD in canines is 2-3 mg per for every 10 pounds your dog weighs. Regardless of that general dose, some dog food manufacturers provide their own CBD dosage recommendations that are dependent on the weight of the dog in question. This makes dosing more simple right from the start.

The condition of your dog’s health

Finally, keep in mind that the condition of your dog’s health might have an impact on the amount of CBD you should give them.

If they have health conditions, the more serious the ailment, the greater the likelihood that they may require a higher dose to reduce the discomfort or pain, or achieve any other desired results.

Providing your dog with CBD oil in small doses is generally sufficient, but for conditions like stress or joint pain, you will need to gradually raise the dosage and monitor its effects until you reach a satisfactory level of efficacy.

3. Never Compromise on CBD Quality

It can be tempting to choose quantity over quality when selecting a CBD product for your dog. However, it’s important to your dog’s health that you buy only the best products, as the market is flooded with low-quality options.

Only use CBD products that have been lab-tested and contain low amounts of THC. King Harvest products are tested for potency and terpene levels by SC Labs and Cannalysis Labs, both of which are accredited in the U.S.

4. Avoid Artificial Flavors And Check With A Specialist Before Administering THC

Artificial flavoring agents can be lethal to canines, and it’s important to seek guidance from a medical cannabis specialist before giving your dog any product that contains THC.

Synthetic Flavors

Due to the surging popularity of CBD among humans, companies have been adding synthetic flavoring to their CBD products to improve the taste. Xylitol (artificial sweetener) is mostly used to enhance synthetic flavors. Unfortunately, all these synthetic chemicals can be toxic to our animal pals.

Ingesting xylitol induces a quick and enormous insulin release in canines, which presents as extreme weakness, stumbling, and vomiting. If you see these symptoms, call your vet immediately.

Within 15 minutes of the onset of these symptoms, your dog might be unconscious. And depending on the quantity of xylitol taken, a dog could potentially suffer from liver and kidney failure.

Given the potential dangers of xylitol, avoid companies that sell synthetically flavored CBD products, even if they provide a non-xylitol version for pets. It is simply too easy for a product to be mislabeled.


Make sure to speak with a qualified medical cannabis specialist before administering THC. This is because dogs have a higher number of endocannabinoid receptors in their brain than we do.

While many canines seldom react negatively to a small amount of THC, some dogs are quite sensitive to it. As with any product you give your dog, it’s essential that you read the label of any product before giving it to them, buy only lab-tested products, and check with your veterinarian.

If your dog does have a negative reaction to THC, these signs usually will appear 20 to 40 minutes after intake of the substance, and they can include:

  • Glassy eyes
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Heart rate fluctuations
  • Unconsciousness
  • Stumbling
  • Poor coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Coma
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Anxiety and excitation (in few dogs)


How Long CBD Will Last in Your Dog’s System

CBD will typically remain in your dog’s system for two to four days. However, the amount of time might vary depending on multiple factors.

Diet, body weight, and frequency of CBD ingested can all have an effect on how long CBD remains in your dog’s system. It is possible for dogs that consume CBD on a regular basis to retain CBD in their body for up to one week.

Although CBD may remain in your dog’s system for several days, its effects will be over much sooner. Depending on the product, CBD generally will have an active effect on your dog for up to 8-10 hours.

What Is the Best Way to Give Your Dog CBD Oil?

Place CBD oil straight into your pup’s mouth using a dropper. If they’ll hold still long enough for you to administer it beneath their tongue, that would be even better.

Some dogs may like licking CBD oil off their paws and gradually become accustomed to the habit of taking it. But, that’s not the case with all dogs. A large number of dogs are wary of consuming CBD oil, and some may even dislike the taste.

If the direct technique does not work, you can try mixing CBD oil into your dog’s food.

What Happens if Your Dog Takes Too Much CBD?

The World Health Organization has recognized cannabidiol as a safe, non-toxic chemical that provides a wide range of health benefits.

As long as you avoid administering excessive amounts of CBD to your pet, they should not have any negative side effects. If you accidentally give your dog too much CBD, here are some things that might happen:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure


However, in most cases there’s no need to be concerned. And your dog can take CBD on a regular basis without the danger of developing a tolerance or suffering significant adverse effects, which is particularly advantageous when compared to other pharmaceutical options.

Best CBD Product for Dogs

Finding the best CBD product for your dog might be challenging. Today’s pet care industry is oversaturated with CBD enterprises, each of which provides a varied selection of CBD products to pick from, including treats, oils, chews, and topical creams and lotions.

However, here’s the best CBD product for your dog:

Restore Tincture


This tincture is a remarkable CBD product that you should consider trying on your dog. It is a cannabidiol-rich solution of coconut oil infused with CBD, and it can be used to treat multiple ailments.

These include arthritis, stress, pain, and a range of other illnesses and conditions your pet may be experiencing without the side effects that can happen with products that are high in THC.

An essential aspect of this 100% organic, non-GMO product is that it has a CBD-dominant ratio of 18:1. That means it has 18 parts CBD to one part THC, which is ideal for pets. Restore can help ease canine aggressiveness and help your dog relax.

Other things Restore may be able to do for your dog include:

  • Prolong their lifespan
  • Help them sleep peacefully
  • Alleviate hyperactivity
  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce anxiety


CBD is one of the best organic alternatives for treating canine arthritis, inflammation, stress, anxiety, and other conditions. Today, CBD is widely recommended by vets because generally it isn’t associated with severe side effects, unlike many popular pharmaceuticals.

Scientific research is continually discovering new medical uses for CBD.  Due to the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), it offers a broad range of health benefits both for dogs and humans.

In addition to acutely reducing symptoms of a range of physical and mental health conditions, CBD also shows promise as part of a holistic treatment regimen for cancer. Research shows it may shrink cancer cells, and CBD is effective at reducing chemotherapy side effects by alleviating nausea and increasing appetite.

While you should always check with your vet before giving your dog any substance, CBD can be very effective in helping your dog feel safe, relaxed, and free from fear. It can also help fight and alleviate symptoms of numerous ailments, including serious diseases.

About the Author

Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and a Master of Science in Veterinary Medicine degree, Animal Breeding and Genetics, from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. He is a well-known veterinarian, pet consultant, writer, editor, animal geneticist, and expert on pet health. He regularly contributes to a variety of pet and veterinary industry publications.