CBD Dosage for Dogs

CBD Dosage for dogs

Despite common misconceptions, finding the right CBD dosage for dogs has little to do with your dog’s size and weight. Let’s discuss why we recommend a different method. 

Full spectrum hemp extract (CBD) has the potential to make a huge difference in your pet’s quality of life – that much is clear. When it comes to determining the right dose however, you may be a little less certain. 

That’s because cannabis-based therapies are different than the western pharmaceutical medicines we have become accustomed to. All western medicines are isolated molecules with a single target. Cannabis-based therapies contain a broad range of biologically active compounds, all working in synergy with one another.

CBD dosage for dogs - molecules

In order to find the right CBD dosage for dogs, it is important to first make sure the product you are using is a full-spectrum extract. 

The term full spectrum means a product contains the full range of naturally occurring, biologically active compounds. Once you have your full spectrum product, you are ready to find the right dose for your pet. 

CBD Dosage for Dogs

Despite common misconceptions, dosing CBD has very little to do with your dog’s size and weight. Dosage is most effectively determined with consideration for each animal’s unique physiological condition. 

This includes factors such as:

  • Their Endocannabinoid System
  • Age
  • Metabolism
  • Disease
  • Current Health and Wellness Status
  • Other individual health factors

What does that mean for you? Dosing CBD is not as cut and dry as it seems. 

CBD Dog Health tinctures are designed to contain the average effective daily dose for several grouping of ailments. This is a benchmark that works for most animals, however you may need more or less depending on the factors discussed above.

Trial and Error

As we listed above, there are numerous factors that may affect your pet’s sensitivity to CBD. So until you start your pet on a CBD regimen, there really is no way to know for certain, exactly how they will react. Sensitivity can range greatly between dogs, and can even change over time, based on age or chronic illness. 

That’s why we recommend a trial and error method to determine the optimal dose for your pet. Start low and go slow as you increase dosage and find a stable regimen. 

Pet parents are often highly concerned that they will give too much CBD and cause harm to their pets. More often than not when a pet is not having the desired reaction, it is because the pet isn’t getting the dosage they need for their ailment. 

If you feel nervous about experimenting to find the upper limit of their sensitivity, rest assured, it is completely safe. Numerous studies have proven the safety of cannabis based medicine at even extreme high doses. Doses of up to 640.5 mg of CBD rich extract were well tolerated by dogs, with only mild adverse effects.


  1. Keep a log of the dose in milligrams (mg).
  2. Record some information about how they respond. (eg. energy levels, mobility, symptom relief, sleep patterns)
  3. Adjust accordingly. We encourage you to be flexible with the dose until you find the right amount for your pet’s specific needs.

Chronic Conditions Vs. Situational Need

In most cases, your best bet for a successful outcome when using a full-spectrum hemp extract is with consistent application. For pets with chronic conditions, this is especially true. Much of the effects of CBD are happening below the surface and may not be immediately recognizable. You may see immediate results after starting a CBD regimen, but there are long term benefits that only arise with consistent use. 

Conditions where this is the case include (but are not limited to):

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer and other neoplastic conditions 
  • Seizures and Epilepsy
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Behavioral Therapy 

There are instances however, where your pet may benefit from an extra dose outside their consistent CBD regimen. Additionally, for some pets, a situational approach is more suitable than constant use. Some pets only ever need to use CBD for a particular event, rather than everyday.

Situations where an extra dose, or simply situational use may be suitable include:

  • Thunderstorm/Firework Anxiety
  • Bouts of Increased Pain
  • Separation Anxiety 
  • Car Rides
  • Grooming

Administering CBD Dosage For Dogs

  1. Shake the bottle before each use.
  2. Apply the oil directly to the gums, or as close as possible. 
  3. Wipe the dropper clean after use to prevent contamination. 
  4. Store in a cool, dark place. 

A recent study proved sublingual application resulted in the fastest and most thorough absorption. To do so, simply lift the lip and apply dose directly onto the gums, as the most direct way into the bloodstream. If added to food, the medicine may not be as effective and can take significantly longer (30-45 min) to reach the bloodstream as it works its way through the gastrointestinal system.

When administered to the gums, CBD stays in our pets bloodstream for between 6-8 hours, according to a recent study. The study shows that peak concentration occurs around 2 hours after dosing. 

In order to ensure the blood concentration levels stay at a consistent level, split your pet’s daily dose of full spectrum hemp extract (CBD) into smaller doses throughout the day. This allows for the therapeutic benefits to have an uninterrupted effect throughout the day. This is especially helpful for dealing with chronic issues, such as anxiety, pain and seizures.

Case Studies – Determining CBD Dosage for Dogs

To further understand why weight is not the determining factor in dosing, consider the story of Nina and Odie

Nina is a 50-pound Doberman – she is roughly the size of a miniature pony and suffered from severe thunderstorm anxiety. Odie is an 8-pound miniature schnauzer who fits in a paper grocery bag with ease. He too suffered from severe thunderstorm anxiety. Both take CALM, our 550 mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD with Lavender, but they both need dramatically different amounts. 

Even though Nina is four times the size of Odie, she only needs around 9 mg of CBD to relieve her anxiety. In contrast, Odie needs 20 mg or more to calm down before a storm. Two dramatically differently sized dogs who require dramatically different CBD dosages for the same ailment, because their endocannabinoid systems are not identically sensitive.

CBD Dosage for dogs - Nina and Odie

In Conclusion

In the end, you know your pet best. If you have a high quality full-spectrum product from a reputable source, you should feel confident making decisions about CBD dosage for dogs. Remember that taking a flexible approach to dosing is an important step in being your pet’s best advocate. 

To recap, here are some final tips on how to get the best results using CBD for your pets needs.

  1. For best absorption and quickest onset, apply CBD oil directly to your pets gums. 
  2. CBD can be used consistently or situationally, as needed.
  3. For consistent use, split the full daily dose into 2-3 doses throughout the day for consistent blood concentration levels.
  4. Give CBD along with fatty foods for better absorption.
  5. Be consistent.


About Angela Ardolino

Angela Ardolino Schnauzer Odie

Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of  Beautify the Beast a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets.

Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.