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CBD Oil for Dogs-What You Need to Know

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Have you heard about CBD oil? It’s becoming more and more mainstream for people and pets too. 

dog paw with dropper and CBD oil

Because it’s popular, there’s a lot of inaccurate information floating out there about it.

Now first, I want to state that I use CBD oil myself. Actually I use a CBD salve on my bad knee and it really does help with the pain. 

I also give the oil to my son’s 15 year old Australian Shepherd  (who lives with me) for her anxiety issues with good results.

Although I do use CBD oil, I did try to make this article as unbiased as possible to give you the facts you need to know before giving it to your dog.

Interest in CBD products has risen in recent years. Many people (including me) claim they have benefited from the use of these products and are creating products catered toward helping their canine companions.

What exactly is CBD oil? Can dogs really reap benefits too? Let’s discuss:

What is CBD oil?

According to Forbes, CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, which is 1 of the 120 cannabinoid compounds that make up cannabis, also known as marijuana.

PetMD states that the cannabis plant grows flowers, which have glands that the essential oil is harvested from.

These glands are separated from the flowers to remove the oil that make CBD oil products, which is important, because the cannabis plant itself is toxic to dogs (discussed further below).

How is CBD oil different from Hemp oil?

According to Well and Good, CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant’s flowers, stalks, and leaves.

Hemp oil is made by cold pressing cannabis seeds. Hemp oil does not contain Cannabidiol, which is the ingredient found in CBD oil that potentially offers health benefits.

People may eat hemp oil similarly to olive oil. It is considered more of a healthy food than a natural remedy, as it has not been found to offer the same health benefits that CBD oil may offer.

Is CBD oil legal?

Although more and more states are legalizing it, be sure to search the laws of your state and your city before purchasing CBD oil, as it may not be legal depending on where you live.

According to The New York Times, states and cities are making different laws regarding CBD. 

woman kissing a chihuahua dog

Is CBD oil safe for dogs?

Unfortunately, the safety of CBD oil for dogs is still being researched, so it cannot be affirmatively stated that it is safe for dogs.

The Food and Drug Administration is still researching the safety of CBD oil and CBD products in humans and dogs.

As this is a fairly new trend, the long term affects of these products remain unknown.

While it can be exciting to possibly be on the forefront of medical progress, the unknown has the potential to be dangerous to your dog and must be considered.

Is marijuana safe for dogs?

Although dogs may use CBD products, they should not use cannabis itself.

VCA Animal Hospitals stated that marijuana is toxic to pets, but that each pet reacts differently to this substance, making the risks of ingestion very dangerous.

The ASPCA Poison Control states the following symptoms indicate marijuana toxicity:

  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Clumsiness
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Coma
  • Hyper excitement
  • Excessive salivation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Low blood pressure
  • Decreased body temperature
  • Seizures

Will your Chihuahua get high from CBD oil?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the ingredient in marijuana that contains the psychedelic properties that cause people to be “stoned“.

CBD oil products do not contain this ingredient, so your Chihuahua should not experience a high when using a CBD product.

The American Kennel Club notes that some dogs experience drowsiness when taking CBD oil, so you may notice your Chihuahua become a little sleepy.

If the sleepiness becomes drastic, seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

What benefits does CBD oil offer?

The AKC and the FDA both state that there is no confirmed scientific data of the potential benefits that CBD oil is advertised to offer.

Mark Verdino, chief of veterinary staff at North Shore Animal League America, stated to Huff Post, “Does it actually help with pain, or does it just make them not care? We don’t know, but they seem to be less reactive to low level pain stimuli, for example arthritis and things like that, when they take the product…”

The American Kennel Club’s veterinarian, Dr. Jerry Klein, states that CBD oil may offer the following benefits:

  • Ant-inflammatory abilities
  • Anti-anxiety abilities
  • Cardiac benefits
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Anti-nausea effects

Although there is no scientific evidence supporting the same (as it is still being researched), some dog owners claim that CBD oil helped control seizures.

These owners will have confirmation if the benefits they observed were a result of CBD oil in the future.

The American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation is conducting the first study of CBD oil in epileptic dogs with Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

What are the disadvantages of CBD oil?

There are significant disadvantages that dog owners must consider:

The lack of research.

Drugs must undergo an approval process with the FDA, however, CBD oil products are not subject to the same stringent approval process.

As such, the FDA has not performed research to confirm if CBD oil will truly treat specific medical issues, or if it will interact negatively with other drugs.

The FDA’s pet food process is even less stringent than the process for human foods, which means the buyer must especially beware of CBD oil products designed for dogs.

The long term effects are unknown.

The FDA warns consumers that CBD oil products are being marketed as solutions for health issues, despite the lack of research to uphold these claims.

As such, consumers should not readily accept CBD oil as an effective treatment. Consumers should also consider that a short term benefit could result in long term harm, such as damage to organs.

The potential for serious side effects.

Since CBD oil is still a new supplement; how it interacts with other medications and supplements remains unknown.

If your Chihuahua is on other medications or takes other supplements, this means that there is a potential for CBD oil to interact with these other substances, and for your Chihuahua’s experience to become a cautionary tale to other dog owners.

To keep your Chihuahua safe, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before administering CBD oil.

man petting a chihuahua

Is it possible for your Chihuahua to have an overdose CBD oil?

It is possible for a Chihuahua to experience an overdose of CBD oil.

The American Kennel Club‘s biggest concern with CBD oil products is that the FDA has not approved a recommend dose of these products.

As such, owners and veterinarians must work together to ensure that dogs are given the proper dose.

Considering that Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dog, owners must exercise additional cautions.

A dose of the wrong substance is especially dangerous for a small dog. Always start with a very small dose, increasing only upon the advice of your veterinarian.

Tips for Purchasing CBD oil products

When shopping for CBD oil products for your dog, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Only purchase CBD oil made specifically for dogs.
  • Only purchase natural or organic products to reduce the chance of harmful chemicals being included.
  • Only purchase products that list all the ingredients and a recommended dose.
  • Search for a liquid product, as liquid makes it easier to customize your Chihuahua’s dose. This is especially important for Chihuahuas under 10 pounds, as they usually require custom doses.
  • Always purchase the highest quality products; never select generic or bargain products, as the chance of harmful chemicals being included increases with these products.
  • If you would like to give it a try, this is the oil I give my son’s dog. We have also tried this CBD oil with good results.
  • This isn’t a tip for purchasing, but for using it: it may take up to a month of consistent use before you will see benefits from using this.

While CBD oil has the potential to offer health benefits, there are many unknowns about the actual effectiveness of this substance, and if it safe for dogs to use long term.

CBD oil absolutely cannot replace veterinary care and/or prescribed medications.

Dog owners should always consult with their veterinarian before administering this supplement.

Should you decide to administer CBD oil, be sure to carefully monitor your dogs to ensure they do not have a negative reaction to the substance.

I’d love to know if you have used CBD oil on your dogs and if it helped. Also what condition did you use it for and is your dog still using it?







Pin for Later:

man holding chihuahua

Patti Beamon

Sunday 19th of January 2020

It is little square cookies. Pet Relief. Not sold in large corporate pet stores, only mom-n- pop pet shops. Comes in hard or chewy cookies.

Sissie Simmons

Sunday 19th of January 2020

My 6 yr chi Rolo has a liver disease for which he takes daily meds for plus hip dysplasia. He is a resue from a puppy mill. So he has major health problem since we received him but we love him so much! He takes daily glucosamine for his hip, but sometimes it is still painful to him. Because of the liver disease we have to be extremely careful with anything meds we give him. My vet won't even vaccinate him anymore. Even on liver diet food which is very expensive he still bloats from time to time because he can't process the protein. I have tried cbd with him after conferring with vet. It does help him with pain and seemed to help with his bloating. I use hempworx bacon flavored and put two drops on his food per day.


Sunday 19th of January 2020

Poor little guy. I'm glad it's helping him Sissie.

Patti B

Saturday 18th of January 2020

I have two chis, and both take CBD biskets. My oldest, and larger chi has been taking CBD for almost two years with his vet's approval. Buddy has a ruptured disk in his lower back for 6 years now. He is 9 in April. He is completely paralyzed in his hind quarters, and was a scooty dog. Dragging his back legs behind him. I taught him how to walk with a sling, then a wheelchair, and finally on his own power by balancing and standing on his hind legs. He now walks, runs, lifts his leg on a bush to pee, and plays. Using CBD keeps him active and happy. He has to exercise and walk three times a day to help him drain his bowles and blatter. But I thank God I still have him with me. Using CBD, Buddy is getting some reflects function back. He is my vets Wonder Dog

Peggy C.

Saturday 18th of January 2020

Patti, where did you find as CBD bismuth? I thought it only came in oil.


Saturday 18th of January 2020

That's wonderful to hear Patti! I'm so glad you chose to rehabilitate him instead of putting him down which many people would have done.


Saturday 18th of January 2020

I use CBD oil for my senior chi mix to treat anxiety and arthritis. She's been on it for about 8 months and by instructions takes 2 drops once daily. I think it has given her some relief from both conditions. I buy it from who gets it from a producer in Quebec Canada. It's liquid and I put it on her food. She eats it without problem and for my pickey little eater that's a success. She wieghs between 7 and 8lbs.


Saturday 18th of January 2020

I'm so glad it's helping her Karen. I'm surprised they sell the CBD oil on Amazon in Cananda. They don't in the US or UK. Just the hemp oil. I wish they would sell it on Amazon.

Carol Quandt

Saturday 18th of January 2020

Dear Cathy, Nicely written article. I have used cbd oil for my pups but i find it hard to administer . They smell the addition in their food and walk away. Has anyone else had this problem?

Carol Q

Sissie Simmons

Sunday 19th of January 2020

I use bacon flavored cbd and put it on a small piece of bread. Mine gobble it up


Saturday 18th of January 2020

Thanks Carol. With Roxy, I just hold on to her collar (she's a big dog) slip the dropper in the side of her mouth, and squeeze the oil in. She doesn't like it either but I have gotten so quick at this, I do it before she has a chance to get away. Plus I always give my dogs a treat after I give them any medication so they learn to associate the meds with something good.


Saturday 18th of January 2020

Hi Carol, I add the CBD oil to Blinkin’s food. She doesn’t seem to have any issue with it being in her food, but she only gets two drops because she is so tiny. They recommend giving it straight, but I ended up giving her too much that way.