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A CBD Dosing Guide For Dogs: Your Questions & Concerns Answered

Updated: Aug 9

In this blog, we discuss recommended doses of CBD for your pup based on the use of Gaia Provides products, keep in mind each brand varies so always check with the specific brand and consult your veterinarian.

Featuring Elvis, enjoying his CBD on the mountain. Photo Credit: Dr. Kimberly Lincoln

Once dog owners learn about the many ways CBD may benefit their best companion, they are eager to try it, and rightly so. Unlike the many prescription medications that cause damage to vital organs like the liver, kidneys, or the heart, CBD is a naturally occurring compound that provides a gentler approach to boosting the health and wellness of your dog. (Don't forget to download your dosing chart towards the bottom!)


Several studies show CBD can alleviate many common canine conditions associated with pain and inflammation, as well as to aid in maintaining overall health. This cannabinoid has a high safety profile with little to no side-effects when taken regularly, and no harm will come to your dog even if you don't get the dosage right the first time around.


A lot of dog owners new to CBD worry about the safety, efficacy, dosing, and side effects of overdosing. Accidentally giving your dog too much CBD will not cause them to be "stoner" or discomfort, since CBD is non-psychoactive; the most common result is that he or she may experience drowsiness napping a little longer than usual, and in a small amount of cases some pets may experience diarrhea. On the other hand, if you give too little CBD, chances are your dog will not get relief since they need a consistent amount of the compound in their body to work.


One of the most common questions we receive at Gaia Provides is, "How much CBD oil should I give my dog?" Choosing the proper amount of CBD to give your dog shouldn't be a challenge, but there are a few factors you need to consider. The weight and age of your canine, plus the severity of their condition, are the most important.


In this blog, we discuss recommended doses of CBD for your pup based on the use of Gaia Provides products, keep in mind each brand varies so always check with the specific brand and consult your veterinarian. Although we consider our recommendations a baseline starting dose, based on your pet's weight and type of ailment, we also explain in this blog how to alter the dosage based on the results you see, however you should always consult with a veterinarian familiar with CBD use.


What conditions can CBD help?


Dog owners use CBD to help with a plethora of health and wellness issues, some of which are backed by science. The standard conditions are:


  • Inflammatory conditions

  • Low energy or mobility

  • Arthritis and joint pain

  • Reduced appetite

  • Chronic pain

  • Seizures

  • Anxiety

  • Aging

What makes CBD so effective?


The reason CBD is effective in aiding in your dogs ailments such as pain, inflammation, and anxiety is due to ability of CBD to bind to the receptors of your dog's endocannabinoid system. In both dogs and humans, the endocannabinoid system helps regulate many systems in the body, like the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems.


Studies show the endocannabinoid system is highly integrated within the body and plays a role in controlling inflammation, pain, mood, appetite, and sleep, to name a few things. When your dog consumes cannabinoids like CBD, this compound, in turn, activates this system.


What type of CBD products should you give your dog?


Most people favor giving their dog either a CBD oil tincture or some other edible form like dog treats. After all, dogs always think about their bellies and love to eat, so adding CBD oil to their food makes the process stress-free and enjoyable for you and your dog.


There are hundreds of products available that you can give to your dog, like tinctures derived from broad-spectrum distillate or CBD isolate. In our experience, flavorless CBD oils like the one by Gaia Provides are wildly popular among dog owners, since there is no unpleasant taste dogs tend to happily take it!


What other things should I consider when buying CBD for my dog?


There are two key things to consider when buying CBD for your dog, the type of CBD extract in the product, and the credibility of the product — has it been tested by a third-party accredited lab?


The first question you should ask yourself when buying CBD for your dog is, does the product contain THC. Why? Dogs, and pets in general, do not tolerate THC well, and ingesting this compound may potentially cause your dog to experience seizures, lose coordination, and become disoriented. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, safe, effective, and won't cause your furry companion these health or bodily issues.


The second thing you want to ensure is the quality of the product. Since there is no federal mandate for testing and only a few states have mandatory testing, it is up to you as the consumer to make sure the company you buy from if providing you with the product they claim they are. You can do this by verifying the company does third party testing to validate the purity and potency of the product by always asking for a Certificate of Analysis (COA). One study conducted by Penn Medicine found a whopping 70% of CBD products mislabel, meaning the product specification on the label does not match the physical product in the container.


At Gaia Provides, we utilize a triple testing method for quality assurance. Our final level of testing consists of sending product batch samples in for testing post-manufacture to credible ISO certified USA laboratories, with industry educated chemists and experienced staff, to validate the potency and purity of our products.


Where is the best place to get CBD for my dog?


CBD products are everywhere. Marijuana dispensaries, smoke shops, drug stores, online stores, and even gas stations.


We do not recommend buying your CBD at gas stations or any other store for that matter that does not have experience carrying nutritional and medicinal products. For this reason, we suggest buying your dog products from credible sources either online, at your local dispensary, CBD shop or Pet store, even better your veterinarian.


Again, you want to ensure third-party labs test the product you buy and a certificate of analysis (COA) is available upon request from the company. If the brand or company cannot provide you with a COA, we recommend you do not buy it!


How to choose a starting dose for your dog


Some medications, supplements, and natural/alternative therapies require what is known as a loading dose; this is the initial dose that must be given for some time to reach a therapeutic level in the body to be most effective; CBD (and other cannabinoids) are similar in this manner. So the 14 day time period is a critical step, allowing time for a proper-dose response of cannabinoids to build up in your dog's body will be more effective. This idea is similar to starting a new diet or exercise routine. The body needs time to adapt and respond to the changes. Another important concept to consider when dosing your pet, is the half-life of CBD.


What is half-life? It is the time it takes for a substances, such as CBD, to decay half way. Current research shows the half-life of CBD is 4-5 hours when administered orally in the oil form, this means 4-5 hours after administering the dose, your pet will have half the amount of the dose given left in their system. With that said, for purposes of establishing a baseline dose we suggest starting with 2 doses a day, however due to half-life of CBD it can be administered more frequently if needed, please consult with your vet.


At Gaia Provides, we recommend starting with 1 mg/10 lb of your dog's body weight and splitting the dose up in 12-hour increments, for a minimum of 14 days to assess the efficacy of the CBD. If your dog weighs 80 lbs, for example, you will start by giving them 8 mg (80 lbs/10 mg) of CBD twice a day, every 12 hours. We developed this initial dosing chart and timeline based-on published scientific studies and anecdotal feedback from veterinarians and independent clients who tested our products during the research and development phase. To determine the appropriate amount for your pet open and/or download the dosing chart below once you determine the starting amount follow the titration steps below.

Gaia Provides Tincture Dosing Chart
.pdf
Download PDF • 109KB

How to monitor and alter the dose


1. Determine an initial dose for your dog by using the guided chart below, at the recommended 1mg CBD/10lbs, twice a day.


2. Start administering the CBD at the lowest suggested dosage for 14 days, giving one dose in the morning and the second dose a night. Pay particular attention to changes in your dog's mood, appetite, or behavior and write them down each day in a notebook. A full 14 days provide an opportunity for CBD to build up in your dog's system and should give you enough time to observe the effects of CBD on your dog.


3. If you do not see the desired results after 14 days, double the dose from 1mg/10 lbs to 2mg/10lbs, administering one dose in the morning and second dose in the evening. Continue this new dose for another 14 days, carefully monitoring any changes in your dog's behavior.


4. If you don't observe positive results after this second trial, continue doubling the dose every 14 days up to a maximum of 10 mg CBD/10 lbs until you notice an improvement in your dog's condition. Make sure to record notes on each dose increase as well.


5. Once you begin to see the desired changes in your dog's condition or behavior, reverse the process and start lowering the dose. In this way, you should be able to pinpoint a maintenance dose that will be adequate for your pet's needs.


Because dogs can't communicate like us, it can be more challenging to find the sweet spot that is going to make your pet the most comfortable but stick with it. Although it takes time and patience, remember the goal is to help your companion feel better. If, for some reason, your pet's condition does not improve, consult with your veterinarian and do not give your dog more than 10mg per 10lbs of body weight twice a day.


Sporadic vs. Daily Dosing


We know some pet owners prefer to give their dogs a hefty dose of CBD as a sort of rescue remedy for seizures or anxiety attacks rather than a daily maintenance dose. Sometimes, this may even be your veterinarian's recommended protocol.


While this method often works, we feel it is much better for your dog's health and well-being to work on a daily maintenance regimen of CBD that will eliminate the need for a rescue dose.


After all, would you prefer to suffer from a seizure or full-blown panic attack before getting help, or would you instead take a natural remedy that would keep you from having to go through these types of harrowing experiences altogether?


Other Considerations


You should always consult with your veterinarian with questions you have regarding CBD and your dog's health, especially if your dog has liver or hormone issues, and when combining with other medications. We know not all vets are familiar with CBD use, so if you do not have or know a vet who is familiar with CBD and how to use it, please email us and we would be happy to provide you with contact information for vets that are familiar with CBD.


The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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