This post contains affiliate links.
Best CBD Oil for Dogs in 2019: Reviews of the Top Brands and CBD Products for Canines
With the proliferation of CBD products for pets on the market, more and more people are considering cannabidiol or CBD oil for their dogs. Both established pet supplement companies and new ones, too, are producing CBD products. By all accounts, many have an excellent product, but beware of those who cut corners in their extraction process. Because the FDA does not regulate the industry, stick with well-reviewed reputable brands you can trust.
Designed to help you jumpstart your quest for high-quality CBD products you can feel confident in giving your dog as a supplement or medicine, our list of the best CBD oil for dogs is a great place to start. We also include a list of our choices for the yummiest CBD treats. We can't think of a better way to introduce your dog to CBD!
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil for dogs is one of the hottest trends today because studies have shown CBD oil for dogs has exceptional therapeutic value. Cannabis plants produce both hemp and marijuana and contain more than 113 chemicals called cannabinoids; including phytocannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. The two main ones are CBD or cannabidiol and THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. While THC is the psychoactive chemical that makes you high, CBD is medicinal and non-psychoactive. To appreciate the critical difference between the two, consider that marijuana contains 10-15 percent THC, while hemp is regulated and must contain only 0.3 percent or less THC. Consequently, it's impossible for your dog to get high or overdose with CBD because most CBD oil on the market for pets has zero THC.
Various strains of cannabis plants produce THC, and others are specifically cultivated to be high-CBD/ low-THC. Still, others are industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) and have zero THC content. The latter is generally used for CBD products for pets. Bottom line, CBD oil for dogs is extracted from hemp, not marijuana. Ongoing, in-depth research and studies have concluded that CBD oil is safe to administer to your dog. Concerned about side effects? Your dog may experience drowsiness, much like the effect of a Benadryl tablet.
How does CBD oil for dogs work?
You may be considering CBD oil if your dog has any of the following illnesses, conditions, or behavioral issues:
- Chronic pain
- Skin conditions
- Acute pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Anxiety or fear (separation, thunderstorms, or car travel)
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of appetite or anorexia
- Neurological disorders
- Nausea and vomiting
During your research, you may have read studies showing that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects or that CBD is beneficial for palliative care. You may be hopeful that CBD will help your dog, but still, you have reservations; you wonder, how does CBD oil work?
Dogs, humans, and all vertebrate animals have a complex endocannabinoid system which consists of cannabinoid receptor sites in the brain, central nervous system, and peripheral organs especially the immune cells. This newly discovered biological system is not entirely understood, and research is ongoing. But the nitty-gritty is that your dog's body naturally releases endocannabinoid chemicals which connect with the cannabinoid receptors and stimulate the body's natural ability to create serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine. This natural mood stabilizer is known as the "happy" chemical because it contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. CBD oil enhances this natural ability. CBD also promotes homeostasis, the optimum functioning of the body.
Important considerations when choosing CBD oil
The manufacturer and supplier: Buy CBD oil for dogs from a pet-exclusive supplement manufacturer/supplier.
The cultivation method: The highest quality CBD oils come from organically grown hemp that is dried and cured to avoid pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and heavy metals.
The CBD extraction method**:** CBD oils extracted from the hemp plant with CO2 extraction result in a clean, high-quality CBD Concentrate. CO2 extraction is expensive, but is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world. Other methods such as liquid solvents which employ butane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, or ethanol are much less safe with the possibility of impurities and toxins remaining in the concentrate.
Phytochemical diversity: Choose a brand that blends CBD with other compounds and terpenes in the formulation to create the "entourage effect," a theory popularized by the doctor who was the first person to isolate delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The "entourage effect" explains how the compounds work in concert to become more effective than CBD alone.
You get what you pay for: The FDA does not regulate the manufacturing of CBD oil. While some companies use cheap methods of extracting CBD from the plant such as petroleum-based solvents, don't be fooled by advertising terms like "affordable." Unless they can back up their affordable claim with proof of CO2 extraction and zero THC, you should avoid the brand. Purchase the best quality that you can afford. Expect to pay at least $50 for high-quality CBD oil for your dog.
Get a Certificate of Analysis and ask for third-party lab results. You should be able to access independent lab results easily and get a Certificate of Analysis for the CBD product you purchase.
Check the THC content. It is essential that the CBD oil you choose for your dog contains less than 0.3 percent THC, preferably zero.
Top-Rated CBD oil for dogs.
We have compiled the following list based on our independent research of pet CBD oil manufacturers. We found out everything we could about pet-exclusive supplement companies who offer CBD oil products for dogs. How did we choose the top-rated? We dug deep, and:
- Scoured company websites combing through testimonials and customer reviews; many featuring photos of customers' dogs, descriptions of their disorders or illnesses, and how CBD has helped. Keep in mind, this is only anecdotal evidence, but it speaks to how pleased customers are with the results of using CBD oil for their dogs.
- Read company mission statements, philosophy, and executive bios. Do they have a veterinarian on staff or a holistic veterinary consultant?
- Confirmed that the formulations are 100-percent cruelty-free and manufactured in the U.S.?
- Checked out the company's experience and history in the pet-supplement field.
- Googled CEOs and searched for media interviews to see what they had to say.
- Scrutinized company Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts.
- Queried why companies chose to get involved with making CBD products in the first place.
- Favored those who included a comprehensive library of CBD articles, studies, and research results on their websites.
- Chose those who included a Certificate of Analysis and full dosing guide with purchase.
- Had a soft spot for those companies who offered discounts to rescues and shelters or donated a portion of sales to animal welfare organizations.
- Finally, the company had to offer a full money-back guarantee of satisfaction.
We set the bar high, but we found most of these all-important features in our top picks. As a cross-reference, we also reviewed "best-of" and "top-rated" lists of CBD oil for dogs on reputable review sites.
If you decide to try CBD oil for our dog, talk to your veterinarian but keep in mind that she may not feel comfortable recommending CBD oil. It's also a good idea to call the company who makes the products you are interested in trying and ask them any questions you do not find answers to on their website.
The backstory alone was enough to get Pet Releaf on our top-rated list, including a passionate, heartfelt video message from the founders that supports their claim of honesty and integrity. Pet Releaf offers a full-spectrum CBD hemp oil that is a more concentrated form of CBD oil, intended for dogs and cats that need a higher potency product. Their CBD hemp — a specialized, proprietary strain — is grown at the largest USDA-certified organic hemp farm in the United States with whom they have an exclusive partnership. The whole plant including seeds and stalks is utilized in a CO2 extraction process delivering the benefits of multiple compounds or the "entourage effect."
Canna-Pet® is a global innovator in hemp products, and their products are sold throughout the world. Their CBD products are the result of more than 30 years of research and do not contain THC. Canna-Pet® uses the industrial hemp plant from which CBD is extracted by CO2. But rather than focusing only on CBD, Cann-Pet CBD oil contains more than 24 compounds, terpenes, and flavonoids including hemp, ß-Caryophyllene, CBC, CBG, limonene, α-pinene, and linalool that produce what's known as the "entourage effect." Your dog will enjoy the therapeutic effect of several whole plant extracts working in tandem. A 2016 study conducted by Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences reported that 93 percent of all surveyed pet owners said they favor Canna-Pet® products to some, most, or any medications. Canna-Pet® gives a 50 percent discount to shelters, fosters, and other animal rescue charities.
King Kanine is considered one of the top dogs in the industry with their King Kalm line of CBD products which includes oil, treats, and topical balms and creams. Their products are formulated by a 24+ years-licensed compounding pharmacist in a state certified ISO6 clean room. The CBD oil in their products is extracted by CO2 from hemp plants and full-panel tested by a Certified ISO-17025 Lab. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is available with each CBD product, and testing includes Microbiology, Pesticide, Mycotoxin, Residual Solvent, Heavy Metals, and more. The King Kalm CBD oils are a blend of pure hemp extract, natural high omega-3 krill oil, and a touch of natural lavender, known for its calming effects. A Licensed Holistic Physician and Nutritionist develops the recipes for the CBD treats.
Holistapet has the most extensive library of CBD articles on their website of all the companies we researched. Here, you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about CBD; it's an excellent CBD learning resource. Holistapet developed their CBD Dog Treats, CBD Cat Treats, Tinctures & Capsules based on 12 years of research. Their hemp is grown, cultivated, and processed in Colorado, and a holistic veterinarian develops their recipes. Their products contain a combination of superfood ingredients mixed with Cannabidiol (CBD) effectively producing the "entourage effect." A relatively new player, Holistapet products have tremendous feedback from customers.
Best CBD oil for dogs with cancer.
It's heartbreaking to learn your dog has cancer. Helping your best friend cope with its effects and enjoy a decent quality of life is your primary concern.CBD oil may help and is known to prevent the growth and spread of tumors in the body. The following companies have developed CBD formulations that address cancer in dogs:
Best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis.
Watching your best friend struggle with arthritic pain is difficult. Common in older, large-breed dogs, arthritis and other joint problems steal his puppy-like enthusiasm for life. Being able to keep him mobile and comfortable is your main concern. The following companies offer CBD oil formulations that address arthritis and joint deterioration:
Best CBD dog treats.
If you're on the fence about giving your dog CBD oil, why not start by trying some organic CBD treats? Your dog will thank you for it, and treats are a great way to break into the CBD realm of products which also include oil, tincture, and topical cream. Here are our top picks for the most scrumptious-sounding CBD treats offered by some of the companies on our top-rated list:
- Pet Releaf CBD Hemp Oil Peanut Butter and Banana Edibites
- Holistapet CBD Dog Yummy Pumpkin Spice & Cinnamon Flavor Treats +Joint & Mobility Care
- Holistapet CBD Green Apple & Peanut Butter for Stress and Anxiety
- Canna-Biscuits for Dogs: Advanced Formula Maple Bacon – Organic
- King Kalm Crunch Honey Oats
Most importantly, follow the treat dosage guidelines from the manufacturer. Keep in mind, too, that although CBD treats are THC-free, they should be kept separately from other treats, out of your dog's reach, in a locked cupboard or a room your dog does not have access to, or in a child/dog-safe canister inside an upper kitchen cupboard. Most dogs who stumble upon yummy treats unsupervised will eat way too many.