CBD Treats for Dogs: A Personal Guide to Benefits, Variety of Products, and Recommended Amounts

Posted on September 03 2021

The sudden burst of CBD products on the shelves of pet stores (or even grocery stores and hardware stores) is not a passing trend. Rather, the abundance of CBD treats for dogs is a testament to the growing demand for plant-based treats that can improve a dog’s well-being without troublesome side effects.


What is CBD? Are CBD Dog Treats Safe?

CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, which is just one of over a hundred different compounds in the hemp plant. Generally considered safe for consumption by humans and pets, CBD can offer a whole range of benefits due to its unique interaction with an animal’s endocannabinoid system.    


The Benefits of CBD Treats for Dogs

The practice of treating pets with CBD dates back several decades, but only since the recent legalization of hemp are people beginning to research and realize the myriad of benefits available to dogs. Lab tests are ongoing, but pet owners are discovering for themselves how CBD can help their dogs.

Relieving anxiety is a common reason for pet owners to give CBD treats a try. Dogs show stress and anxiety in different ways (e.g. excessive barking, pacing and visible agitation, or failure to settle down) but the calming effects of CBD can help reduce the “edge” of any stressful situation. Studies on the effects of CBD treats for dogs use recorded fireworks to gauge a dog’s noise-induced fear response. If your dog reacts negatively to loud noise, big crowds, or separation from you, then CBD might help.

CBD treats for dogs can be excellent for road trips, helping your dog settle in for a long journey. They can also help a dog that is spending a night away from their regular home, or a pet that becomes anxious when meeting new people. Giving your dog one or two calming soft chews before any potentially stressful situation (such as a visit to the vet) can help the dog feel more relaxed and secure when that moment arrives. Many dog owners find that one of the acute effects of CBD treats is that their animals become less whiny and exhibit less agitation.

But calming your dog is not all that CBD offers. Many pet owners treat their dogs with CBD as a regular health supplement to strengthen and modulate the immune system, improve heart health, and support better brain function. High-quality CBD treats can also reduce the soreness that older dogs feel after prolonged strenuous activity. Other positive effects of CBD dog products are healthier skin with less dryness and less itching.    


Different kinds of CBD Treats for Dogs

While CBD oil for dogs is a more direct mode of administration, there’s a chance your pet might not like the taste or the experience of liquid poured into the mouth. CBD tinctures can provide similar benefits but are typically administered by dropper directly into a dog’s mouth. Edible CBD treats offer a simpler alternative to administering CBD without reminding your pet of taking medicine from the vet.

Soft chews are tasty, quick, and easy for dogs to consume, with the natural effects of the CBD appearing within an hour after ingestion. CBD treats come in many different flavors, so look around for a product that matches your pet’s individual likes. You may experiment with different flavors (such as peanut butter versus cheddar) to discover the best match for your pet. Finding the right flavor and texture can help your dog to develop a positive association with the CBD treats that are providing beneficial relief and improving well-being. Depending on your dog’s individual likes, CBD treats can become part of your dog’s regular health regimen.


Quality Control in CBD Treats for Dogs

Always check the packaging of any CBD treats you consider giving your pet. Some products rely heavily on fillers and extra ingredients which offer little benefit and might even be harmful. It’s also important to understand what kind of CBD is in the treats you are considering giving to your pet. Knowing the difference between different kinds of CBD is important. Isolated CBD is pure CBD with no other compounds, while Full-spectrum CBD contains the full range of cannabinoids in the hemp plant (including a small amount of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis). Broad spectrum CBD has close to zero THC and can often show more benefit to dogs because it produces a combined effect with several other helpful compounds from the hemp plant.

To ensure your dog treats contain high quality CBD, only use products that carry a third-party Certificate of Analysis. This certificate (printed on the packaging label) means the CBD treats are lab tested by an independent body to make sure the product is exactly what the labeling says. Giving your dog CBD treats that have not earned a Certificate of Analysis is simply not worth the gamble. 


What’s the Right Amount of CBD for your Dog?

The standard amount of CBD is typically measured in milligrams, with around 1 to 1.5 milligrams of pure CBD inside each treat. Knowing the exact quantity of CBD in each treat is important in ensuring you are giving the right amount to your dog. Delivering the right amount of CBD in dog treats is the best way to ensure the most benefit to your pet.

It’s also important to consider the size and breed of your dog. Obviously, the right amount of CBD for a Great Dane is likely to be different than the best amount of CBD for a chihuahua or Pekinese. Knowing your dog’s exact weight and adjusting the amount of CBD accordingly is important.

Some CBD treats cater specifically to smaller or larger dog breeds, but size is not the only thing to consider. Given that a CBD treat enters an animal’s body through digestion, you must consider your dog’s metabolic rate.

The general guideline for pet owners is to give 1 milligram of CBD per 10 pounds of dog weight. This is not an exact number however, since many other factors come into play, such as the specific condition you are addressing in your pet, what other food your dog may be eating at the time, whether your dog is active or more sedentary, your dog’s age, and any medical conditions your dog may have.  

When deciding the right amount of CBD to give your dog, consider the exact condition you are addressing. The amount of CBD it takes to help regulate your dog’s mood may be different than the amount used to improve a dog’s general physical well-being.

Closely following instructions on the packet of treats is the safest way to ensure you are giving your dog the right amount of CBD. It’s also critical that you watch your dog closely and learn the right amount that provides optimal benefits for your pet.


How Quickly Do CBD Treats Work?

Edible CBD treats for dogs work less quickly than CBD tinctures or CBD oil for dogs. That’s because the CBD has been mixed into food which can metabolize slower in your dog’s stomach. Typically, edible CBD treats (like a soft chew) will begin to take effect within 45 minutes after ingesting, though some dogs may show positive effects within as little as 20 minutes.

Other factors to consider is any other food your dog has eaten, or the amount of time that has passed since your dog’s last meal. If you are seeking acute effects from CBD, plan accordingly and give your dog the treat at least an hour in advance. 


Side Effects of CBD

When delivered in correct amounts, pure CBD is not detrimental to dogs. A recent study showed that sustained use of CBD treats did not affect a dog’s normal daily activity, which means giving your pet high-quality CBD with the peace of mind that it will not affect your pet’s daily routine or unique personality.

Keep in mind that like humans, our pets are individuals with their own physiology and unique responses to whatever they ingest. Dog owners should apply the same precautions they do when making any changes to their pet’s diet. Start with just a small amount and observe closely how your dog reacts. Watching your pet carefully can teach you the best way to incorporate CBD into your dog’s health regimen.

Negative side effects from CBD treats are rare, although giving too much CBD to a dog may cause symptoms like dry mouth, drowsiness, or mild diarrhea. One way to reduce the chance of possible side effects is to make sure you are giving your dog pure CBD.


CBD Treats for Dogs: What to Remember

CBD is a plant-based compound that when used correctly, can bring wonderful benefits that improve your pet’s physical and mental well-being. While all kinds of dog treats and pet products are flooding the market, not all CBD dog treats are the same. Factors like extra ingredients, amount of CBD, quality of CBD used, and the type of CBD used, can affect the ultimate experience and potential benefit of whichever CBD treats you choose to give your dog. For the best experience and benefit, learn the right amount of CBD for your individual pet, and only give your dog treats containing third-party lab-tested CBD.