How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog

Posted on October 19 2021

When it comes to giving CBD to our pets, the question we often ask first is, “How much CBD oil should I give my dog?” Knowing the right amount of CBD for your dog—and the most effective amount for your dog’s needs—is top of mind for pet owners. Taking some time to read and understand the different factors at play can help you determine the right amount of CBD oil for your dog. Smart pet owners need to consider the type of CBD products they’re using, the quality and concentration of CBD, as well as the size and body weight of the dog, the animal’s age, activity level, and overall wellness. This brief overview covers the essentials for finding the right amount of CBD oil for your dog. 

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog? 

Pet CBD is less a question of a fixed serving size than it is knowing the sweet spot for addressing your dog’s needs. Nobody wants to give their dog the wrong amount of anything—even food—so think about how you determined the right amount and frequency with which you feed your dog.

First and foremost, remember that your dog is a unique individual and that one size does NOT fit all. When it comes to CBD oil, remember the fairy-tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”—what’s perfect for one animal may not be right for another. As a pet owner, you’re looking for that “just right” amount of CBD—the sweet spot that improves your dog’s quality of life. The best method for achieving that sweet spot is to start low and increase the amount slowly, as needed.

CBD and Body Weight

When measuring out serving sizes for dogs, a good starting point for CBD oil is 1 to 3 milligrams (mgs) per 10 pounds (roughly 4.5 kg) of body weight. Some pet owners may increase that amount up to 4 mg or 5 mg of CBD oil per ten pounds of body weight.

For tiny dogs under 10 pounds, starting small is your best bet, as low as 1 to 2 mg per serving. For small dogs up to 20 pounds, you could start at 2 mg and work up to 6-8 mg per serving. For medium dogs around 50 pounds, start at 5 mg, and work up to 12 or 25 mg. The pattern continues, with very large dogs (100 pounds +) receiving up to 50 mg of CBD in a single serving.

Concentration of CBD 

Bear in mind that not all CBD products contain the same concentration of CBD. For example, many CBD dog chews contain 2-5 milligrams of CBD in each individual chew, while CBD oil will likely contain much higher concentrations. Proper labeling should show the total “Mg of CBD” in each bottle of CBD oil. Elixinol’s Calm Chews and Mobility Chews feature 5mg CBD per chew, and the brand’s Dog Drops have 500mg of CBD in the bottle. 

To calculate the exact concentration of CBD in the oil, divide the volume of the bottle by the total amount of mgs of CBD on the label. Most standard droppers hold 1 ml of liquid, so if a 30 ml bottle contains 75 mg of CBD, then one full dropper equals 2.5 mg of CBD. Yes, you have to do some basic math but it’s worth it.  

Most dogs receive CBD oil by pet owners squirting a dropper directly into the dog’s mouth. The CBD oil enters the bloodstream through the sensitive mucosal membranes on the inside of the mouth. This method is one of the most effective ways to give a dog CBD as it ensures a maximum concentration of the CBD product is absorbed—in other words, this method provides the highest bioavailability.

Once you have figured out the optimal amount of CBD for your dog, you might consider

CBD chews, which often contain precise amounts of CBD at different concentrations. If your dog struggles to take liquid from a dropper, then CBD chews may be a better option as they are small and easy to give. Remember that since CBD dog chews are ingested, they enter the bloodstream through the digestive system, and therefore might take slightly longer to show benefits than CBD oil dropped directly in the mouth.

Listen to Your Vet, Listen to Your Dog 

Of course, pet owners should always consult their veterinarian, but you should also listen to your dog. Nobody knows your dog as well as you do, and nobody understands how your dog communicates better than you do. When giving your dog CBD oil, pay attention to their reaction. Depending on metabolic rate, a dog could begin to feel the CBD effects anywhere from 20 minutes to hours after ingestion. Conscientious pet owners should observe closely. Remember that CBD is safe for dogs, and you are giving CBD oil to your dog to improve their level of comfort. 

Also, remember, the most acute effects of CBD oil for dogs can last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, so it’s good to wait at least that long between servings of dog CBD. CBD for dogs can take time to show its full benefits. Be patient and pay close attention to your pet’s individual needs. Just like with any supplement, consistency is key. 

What about my Cat? Can I give my Cat CBD Oil? 

Obviously, dogs and cats are different animals with different physiological needs, but since cats are also mammals with an active endocannabinoid system, CBD can be beneficial in modulating the natural processes of the body.

More research is required when it comes to CBD for cats, but when considering how much CBD oil to give your cat, consider that cats have fewer cannabinoid receptors than dogs. Note: Elixinol’s pet collection is currently formulated for canine’s only. 

Always Finding the Right Amount of CBD Oil for Your Dog 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, the next time someone asks, “How much CBD oil should I give my dog?”, you can tell them, “Whatever the right amount is for your dog.” Remember that no two dogs are alike, so remember to consider the basic factors such as a dog’s age, weight and size, the level of activity, and the benefits you wish to achieve for your pup. Also remember that different brands of CBD oil may have different concentrations of CBD. Check the labeling to know exactly how many milligrams of CBD you are giving your pet. Most importantly, remember to watch your dog closely and observe reactions to gauge the right amount of CBD for your best friend.