Giving Your Dog CBD for the First Time

Est. Reading: 7 minutes

Written by Juan Romero ON May 20, 2024

If you're curious about trying CBD for your dog, we've got you covered! Welcome to our beginner's guide on "Giving Your Dog CBD for the First Time."

CBD is a natural and gentle supplement that may help your furry friend with issues like anxiety, joint discomfort, and overall wellness. But before you start, it's essential to understand the basics to keep your dog safe and happy.

In this easy-to-follow read, we'll explain how CBD works for dogs, how to choose the right product, and how to find the perfect dosage. We'll also address some common side effects, so you can make well-informed decisions and ensure the utmost care for your beloved furry friend.

The Benefits of Using CBD for Dogs


Is your dog suffering from separation anxiety or depression? CBD can work like magic by stabilizing brain chemistry and promoting a sense of calm and happiness. Furthermore, the components of CBD interact with serotonin receptors in your dog's brain to make it work properly. Many pet owners use CBD oil to treat separation anxiety or fireworks or storm anxiety in dogs.


A seizure is a disruption in electrical activity that can result in a severe tremor. Seizures often originate in the brain and can be very difficult to manage. Recently, some scientific studies have revealed that the use of Cannabidiol can significantly reduce the number and intensity of these electrical disruptions in the brains of most pets.


CBD is similar to anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This means it may be able to help with inflammation, like arthritis or inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Some evidence suggests that CBD could be a helpful alternative to NSAIDs, which is great news for dogs experiencing side effects from long-term NSAID use. This could provide relief and reduce the need for traditional anti-inflammatory medications.

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Some vets who have used it on their pets have noticed a significant improvement in symptoms in older dogs with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. The most common signs of this medical condition are disorientation, sleep cycle disruptions, decreased activity or increased anxiety or restlessness, and appetite disturbances.


CBD has been studied as a possible direct treatment for tumors and to help alleviate secondary symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy.

These studies have shown that CBD can help reduce nausea in people undergoing chemotherapy, and similar effects have been observed in rats and ferrets. This suggests that dogs receiving chemotherapy might also experience relief from nausea with CBD treatment. Although more research is needed, these preliminary findings offer hope for using CBD as a supportive therapy for dogs undergoing cancer treatment.

Introducing CBD to Your Dogs

Using CBD oil for your dog is easy and customizable. Start the day with a morning serving mixed with their food or given directly on their tongue. In the evening, give another serving or try a calming formula for restful sleep.

For extra support throughout the day or as a sweet bedtime treat, you can use CBD-infused dog treats. Just follow the recommended serving size on the package.

If needed, you can also use CBD cream or balm on your dog's skin following the provided instructions. CBD oil can bring joy and well-being to your furry friend's life, and you can easily adjust the experience to their needs.

How to Give Your Dog CBD for the First Time?

CBD oils are generally administered orally to a dog, which means you can put the oil directly into your dog's mouth using a dropper. However, if your dog is really active and won't sit still, it's best to add the oil to their meal.

Wait for a few minutes for the oil to be absorbed. The recommended amount is one drop of CBD oil for every pound of food, but avoid mixing it with poultry as it could upset their digestive system and fatty acid balance.

You can also use a manual feeding syringe with a plastic dropper or silicone tip to apply CBD oil directly to the back of the gum line, cheek, or middle of the tongue. For minor cuts, rashes, sores, or hot spots, applying CBD oil as a tincture or salve might be a better option.

If all these methods don't work, try putting the drops into a container of water, but be careful because the oil droplets may splatter out of the bowl. Choose the method that works best for your furry friend and enjoy the potential benefits of CBD oil for their well-being.

Administration Recommendations while Giving Your Dog CBD for the First Time

Before starting CBD treatment for your dog, it's crucial to consider some important factors:

  • If your dog is already undergoing medical treatment for another condition, CBD and the medication may interact in unexpected ways. Always inform your veterinarian before deciding to use CBD.
  • Each dog can respond differently to CBD, so it's best to start with the lowest dose recommended by the product and closely observe your dog's response. Adjust the dosage as needed based on their results.
  • CBD oil for dogs is typically given orally.
  • The most common form of CBD oil for dogs is in a dropper bottle.
  • Avoid putting the dropper directly in your dog's mouth to prevent contamination. If you do use the dropper, clean it thoroughly afterward.
  • Instead, consider using a teaspoon or a syringe to give the CBD oil to your dog.
  • If possible, administer CBD oil without food to enhance absorption.
  • Store the CBD oil in the refrigerator for proper conservation and avoid direct sunlight. Once opened, use it within a few months.
  • Start with a low dose, so choose a CBD product with a low percentage (e.g., 3%).
  • Younger animals usually require less CBD compared to older ones, so adjust the dosage accordingly based on your dog's age and response.

Can my Dog Overdose on CBD?

In general, you should be very careful about dosing and administering CBD to your pets. High THC percentages in products can make animals feel uncomfortable and drowsy.

Overdosing on CBD can lead to side effects that may last from several hours to a couple of days, depending on the dose. These side effects can include loss of appetite and drowsiness. After giving your dog CBD, make sure to observe their behavior, energy levels, appetite, and other activities.

If you suspect that your dog has overdosed on CBD or observe any concerning signs, please discontinue treatment and consult a veterinarian.

Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs

CBD poses a relatively low risk of side effects, with occurrences being very rare. Veterinarians have reported that the most common side effects in dogs are lethargy and drowsiness. For many dog owners, this sleepiness can be seen as a positive effect, especially if their pet requires ample rest due to their condition, where sleeping around 13 hours a day is necessary.

However, there have been reports of negative effects such as vomiting and itching, but they have only occurred in extremely rare cases.

How Long Will CBD Last in My Dog?

The duration of CBD effects in dogs can vary based on several factors, including the individual dog's size, metabolism, the dosage administered, and the specific CBD product used. In general, CBD effects can last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours in dogs.

Keep in mind that CBD is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and each dog may respond differently to it. It's better to observe your dog's behavior and response to CBD to determine the optimal dosage. If you're unsure about the right dosage or how long the effects are lasting for your dog, it's always best to consult with a veterinarian, who can provide specific recommendations based on your pet's unique characteristics and health conditions.

Can CBD Make Dogs Sleepy?

Yes, CBD can make dogs sleepy. One of the potential effects of CBD in both humans and animals is its calming and relaxing properties. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates various bodily functions, including sleep. When CBD is administered to dogs, it can promote a sense of calmness and may lead to drowsiness or sleepiness, especially if given in higher doses.

For some pet owners, this sleepiness can be beneficial, particularly for dogs that may experience anxiety or have trouble sleeping. However, the degree of sleepiness can vary from one dog to another, as individual responses to CBD may differ based on factors like size, breed, and metabolism.

Do Vets Recommend CBD for Dogs?

Before purchasing CBD products for your dog, it's a good idea to discuss them with your veterinarian. While many scientific studies have shown positive results, some veterinarians might not be up to date with this information.

Additionally, you can educate yourself and exchange information with other pet owners who have already used CBD oil for their dogs. Remember that CBD oil has minimal side effects and is generally safe for pets. If your dog doesn't respond well to CBD oil after the first treatment, you can stop using it immediately.

If you decide to try CBD oil for your dog, choose a high-quality product extracted from organic hemp plants. This ensures that CBD oil is free from harmful substances like mold, pesticides, and heavy metals, which can be dangerous for pets.


How do I introduce my dog to CBD?

To introduce your dog to CBD, start with a low dose of CBD oil. You can mix CBD oil into their food or give it to them directly on their tongue using a dropper. Observe your dog's behavior and response to the CBD, and if necessary, adjust the dosage accordingly. If you choose CBD treats, follow the recommended serving size provided on the product package. Additionally, you can consider using CBD for specific issues like minor cuts or rashes by applying CBD oil as a salve.

How much CBD should I give my dog for the first time?

As mentioned above, overdosing on CBD oil could cause side effects and psychoactive problems in your dog. Since there isn't enough research to determine the exact dosage for pets, a general guideline is to give one drop of 4-5% CBD oil for every 5 kilograms of their body weight.

Bottom Line

CBD oil, derived from medical cannabis, offers many health benefits for animals. Using it regularly can keep your pets healthy and provide relief from anxiety, pain, cancer, or seizures.

While CBD oils are safer than some medications, giving too much can lead to side effects in dogs. By using CBD oils correctly, you can have a happy and healthy furry friend by your side for years.

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