You’ve probably heard about all the amazing things CBD has to offer. But not many people know their dogs can experience all the same benefits.
CBD is a powerful natural painkiller. It’s used to alleviate chronic joint pain, hip pain, cancer pain, and much more.
But not all CBD products are created equal. Many CBD oils, capsules, and dog treats don’t provide enough of the active ingredient to provide these benefits.
Learn how to find CBD products for your dog that work for pain and spot scam products that aren’t worth the money.
Let’s start with our list of the top three CBD products for helping your dog cope with chronic pain.
The Best CBD Products for Managing Your Dogs’ Pain
- Royal CBD – Award Winning, Best CBD Oil Overall
- Gold Bee – Runner Up, Quality Product at a Good Price
- Blessed CBD – Potent CBD, But Only Ships to the UK
1. Royal CBD Dog Treats — Editor’s Pick
These CBD-infused dog treats provide 5 mg of CBD per treat and come in three distinct formulas depending on what your health goals are for your dog.
You can get treats for supporting joint mobility (Active Treats), for stress and anxiety (Calming Treats), or protect cardiovascular and brain health (Hearty Treats). Royal CBD also makes a line of CBD pet oils well-suited for managing pain. Its CBD pet product lineup has already won several awards and is mentioned as the top brand on websites such as CFAH, VentureBeat, SF Weekly, Daily CBD, SF Examiner, and Weed News.
The best option for managing pain is the Active Treats — which are formulated with ingredients like boswellia, hemp seed extract, and turmeric.
Both boswellia and turmeric are potent painkillers on their own. They work through a similar mechanism as Aspirin by blocking key enzymes needed for inflammation (COX and LOX enzymes). Both of these herbs work great when combined with the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD.
These treats offer excellent value for the money, are well-loved by dogs, and make dosing CBD easy:
- Small Dogs (under 15 pounds) — 1 Treat Per Day
- Medium Dogs (15 to 30 pounds) — 1 – 2 Treats Per Day
- Medium-Large Dogs (30 – 60 Pounds) — 1 – 3 Treats Per Day
- Large Dogs (Over 60 Pounds) — 2 – 4 Treats Per Day
2. Gold Bee CBD Oil — Runner-Up
Gold Bee is best known for the high terpene content in its CBD oils. Terpenes are small, aromatic compounds produced in plants that offer a host of therapeutic benefits on their own.
Many of the terpenes in Gold Bee CBD oils offer powerful painkilling and anti-inflammatory benefits of their own. Some even offer direct therapeutic effects on the connective tissue of arthritis joints.
These terpenes work to support CBD’s overall benefits for managing chronic joint pain, hip pain, and inflammatory pain in dogs.
Gold Bee doesn’t make ‘pet-specific’ CBD products, but all the regular oils offered by this brand are perfectly safe for dogs.
However, I recommend you choose the potency that best matches the size of your dog:
- Small Dogs (under 15 pounds) — 300 mg CBD oil
- Medium Dogs (15 to 30 pounds) — 300 mg CBD oil
- Medium-Large Dogs (30 – 60 Pounds) — 300 mg CBD oil
- Large Dogs (Over 60 Pounds) — 600 mg CBD oil
The main selling point of Gold Bee CBD oils over other brands is the combination of high-quality (organic hemp, high terpene content, premium carrier oils) and low cost. These oils are listed well-below the industry average for CBD pet oils — especially of this quality.
3. Blessed CBD Oil — UK’s Best CBD Brand
Blessed CBD is a UK-based CBD brand with an impressive lineup of full-spectrum CBD products. The company’s 500 mg CBD oil is well-suited for use with dogs.
This oil is made from organic European hemp and extracted using state of the art supercritical CO2. This produces some of the highest-quality hemp extract possible, without risking contamination of the oil with solvents like propane, butane, or hexane.
This 500 mg CBD oil is distributed into just 10 mL of oil, bringing the potency up to around 50 mg of CBD per milliliter of oil.
That works out to roughly 1.5 milligrams per drop.
Using higher potency CBD oils with dogs means you have to count each drop individually to determine the best dose for your dog. I recommend administering this oil by mixing it in with their food.
CBD Dog Treats vs. CBD Pet Oils For Pain: Which is Better?
So which one is better? When should I use pet treats over oils, and vice-versa?
Compliance: Winner — CBD Treats
Overall, both options work perfectly fine, but for picky dogs, CBD-infused treats tend to do a little better. Treats contain lots of other flavors that mask the hemp extract’s taste, and most dogs are already sold on a treat no matter what’s inside.
CBD oils are also a good option, and you can mix the dose in with their food to help mask the flavor a little more. However, picky dogs may not like the taste it gives their food and will avoid eating it.
Cost: Winner — CBD Pet Oils
In terms of cost, CBD oils are almost always cheaper upfront. This is because there are fewer ingredients in them that add to the price. A CBD pet oil consists of a CBD-rich hemp extract and a carrier oil — that’s it.
CBD pet treats contain other herbal and nutritional additives, flavors, and base ingredients that make up the bulk of the treat itself. This brings the overall cost up.
Dosing Precision: Winner — CBD Pet Oils
When it comes to dosing, CBD oils offer the ultimate level of precision. They allow you to administer any dose to your dog, and you can tweak the dose by single milligrams of CBD at a time.
To dose CBD oils, you just need to know how much CBD is in each drop. Then you can just count the dose up to the amount you want. For example, if a CBD oil provides 0.3 mg per drop (300 mg CBD oil), and you want to give a 2 mg dose of CBD. Just count out seven drops of oil.
Pet treats come in specific doses, so you have much less control over how much you’re giving. If you wanted to give your pet 8 mg of CBD and have 5 mg treats, you either have to cut it short (1 treat at 5 mg) or give extra (2 treats at 10 mg).
A few mg difference isn’t going to have a big impact most of the time, but for smaller animals, even slight changes to the dose are significant.
The Benefits of CBD For Pain in Dogs
CBD offers painkilling benefits in three main ways for dogs:
A) CBD is a Powerful Anti-inflammatory Agent
Inflammation is the primary underlying cause of pain. Short term inflammation, such as after an injury, is helpful. It increases blood flow to protect the area from further damage and initiates the healing process.
However, long-term inflammation isn’t as helpful. It can lead to further damage to the area and cause chronic pain for months or years. This is the most common underlying cause for conditions like arthritis or chronic hip pain in dogs.
CBD works to block the inflammatory process and reduce the burden of chronic pain over time.
This effect takes several weeks or months to reach its full potential, so it’s important to be consistent with your CBD dose.
B) CBD Directly Blocks Pain Signals
CBD has been shown to activate the vanilloid pain receptors in the spinal cord and brain. These receptors work closely alongside the opioid pain receptors to control the volume of pain heading towards the brain.
Activating these receptors works like the volume control knob, reducing the signal that reaches the brain. When this signal is muted, your dog’s perception of pain is decreased.
C) CBD Promotes the Regeneration of Connective Tissue
The most common cause of chronic pain in dogs is arthritis. With this condition, the cartilage that protects the joints from rubbing together begins to break down, usually due to chronic inflammation.
As the cartilage breaks down, other cells start to die as well — such as the chondrocytes, which are tasked with producing the slippery synovial fluid that lubricates the joints.
Without adequate cartilage or synovial fluid, the bones start to rub against each other, causing pain and reduced mobility in the joint.
CBD helps by stimulating the repair process to restore lost cartilage tissue and regenerate chondrocytes in the joints.
This effect offers a long-lasting improvement in joint pain, but it can take several weeks before you start to notice any improvement. The regeneration of cartilage tissue takes time. It’s important to remain patient and consistent with the dose of CBD to take advantage of this effect.
How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?
The ideal dose of CBD for dogs depends on a few key factors:
- The size and weight of your dog — larger dogs need more CBD
- The age of your dog — older dogs, may need higher doses of CBD due to poor absorption
- The severity of symptoms — more severe symptoms may require larger doses of CBD
- The breed of dog — some breeds have a lower fat content and may need smaller doses of CBD.
Every dog is different, so it’s up to the pet owner to find the best dose for each dog individually.
The easiest way to find the optimal dose for your animal is to start with a low dose and increase slowly over time.
Most pet owners will start with a low dose (2 mg) and increase by 2 mg every day until they see signs of improvement.
If using CBD treats, start with half a treat and increase by half a treat every day until you find a dose that works for your dog.
Some dog owners add cannabis terpenes to their dog’s CBD oils. This is done to increase the potency of the oil and helps custom tailor the formula for their dog’s specific symptoms. In general, you’ll want to use about half the recommended dose of terpenes listed on the side of the bottle when administering to dogs. Check out Finest Labs for a good selection of dog-friendly terpene concentrates.
How to Shop for CBD Pet Products
There are a lot of excellent CBD products on the market for dogs. However, there are a lot of really poor products as well. So how do you tell the difference?
Here are three key questions to ask when shopping for CBD pet products to rule-out low-quality or low-value brands:
1. What do Past Customers Say About This Brand?
Whenever shopping with a new brand for the first time, you should do a quick Google search for any brand mentions or customer reviews. You’re looking for indications that people who have already bought from the company are happy with their purchase.
Look for positive customer reviews (keeping in mind there will always be at least a few negative reviews — this is normal). Most of the reviews should be overwhelmingly positive.
It would help if you also looked for mentions or recommendations on reputable media outlets.
If you can’t find a single review or mention, this is a red flag on its own. It could be a sign the company is brand new, or that it’s a scam. I would avoid these companies if you can’t find a single mention online.
2. What’s the “Cost per Milligram” (Value Metric)
The price of CBD products are important, but you should also be looking past the price and checking the value of the product as well.
The best way to measure value is with a metric called “cost per milligram.” This metric shows you how much money you’re spending for every milligram of CBD in the formula.
Many CBD brands are charging a premium for their pet oils, but if you only go off the initial price, you may not notice this.
For example, you can buy CBD pet oils for as low as $30 per bottle, but each bottle only offers 80 mg of CBD. This seems cheap at first, but when you calculate the cost per milligram (total cost divided by total CBD content), you end up with close to 40 cents per milligram — which is way overpriced.
Here are some general guidelines for what to expect to pay for CBD pet products:
- CBD Pet Oils — 15 to 25 cents per milligram
- CBD Pet Treats — 20 to 30 cents per milligram
3. Has This Product Been Third-Party Tested?
Third-party testing is a voluntary step most reputable CBD brands will take to provide transparency for its products.
It works by sending a sample from every batch to an independent lab (no affiliation with the brand) to conduct thorough tests on the extract’s chemical makeup. These tests will check the CBD level, other cannabinoid concentrations, terpene profiles, and check for contaminants in the extract.
The results are then sent back to the company.
Always look for evidence of these tests, which should be posted live on the company’s website. If these tests are missing, you should ask yourself why the company refuses to publish the results and what they might be hiding.
Summary: What’s the Best CBD Product to Manage Pain in Dogs?
CBD is a powerful health supplement to use with dogs. It’s useful for managing many different types of pain, ranging from joint pain and arthritis to cancer or inflammatory-related pain.
You have two options when searching for CBD products for dogs. You can get a CBD-infused dog treat, such as the Active Treats by Royal CBD. Or you can go for a CBD-infused oil — such as the pet oils from Royal CBD or the full-spectrum CBD oils by Gold Bee.
If you’re in the UK, you’ll need to order from a local alternative like Crush CBD instead. Most US-based CBD companies don’t ship to Europe.
Always check for positive reviews, brand mentions, evidence of third-party testing, and look for value when shopping for CBD products to get the most for your money.