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Dosing supplements, medications, or other therapies usually follows a 3-step process:
- Identify the condition being treated and the correct dosing range.
- Adjust the dose to the minimum of the dose range for the individual patient’s characteristics: Age, weight, or ability to metabolize.
- Slowly adjust the dose up within the safe dosing range until desired results are achieved.
This is also called start low and go slow, and it works really well for CBD dosing!
- Identify the condition CBD is being used to support. (chronic anxiety, arthritis pain, fireworks anxiety, etc.) Find the table for that condition below.
- Weigh your dog, or get the weight from your veterinarian if they’ve had a recent visit.
- Start with 1mg/kg based on your dog’s weight.
- Consider working up to 2mg/kg. Before going beyond this dose, have a discussion with your veterinarian to ensure no interactions with your dog’s medications or conditions.
Make sure you calculate the dose correctly, and make sure that CBD is compatible with your pets’ other medications and conditions. Always double-check your understanding with your veterinarian or pharmacist.
Dose for Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Hip Dysplasia, or Joint Pain
We recommend 1-2mg/kg of CBD oil dosed twice daily for stiffness, pain, and inflammation of the joints. Based on published research, 2mg/kg of oil achieves improved quality of life and relieves pain in dogs with osteoarthritis. We also recommend this for other types of joint pain. Other studies have found that 2mg/kg is safe and is usually very close to the tested effective doses. The way CBD works relieves the root causes of multiple types of joint pain — inflammation and the flexibility of nervous system to handle pain.
Dose for Hyperactivity, Anxiety, and Aggression
Hyperactivity, anxiety, and aggression all involve similar responses from the brain. As a result, many medications and nutraceuticals like CBD are used to treat all three.
We’ve found 1-2mg/kg of CBD oil to be the ideal dose for safety and efficacy in hyperactive, anxious, or aggressive dogs.
You can find out more from our recent article, CBD for Dog Anxiety.
Dose for Seizures
Dosing CBD for seizures in dogs can be a tricky process.
First, we recommend that your vet be consulted each step of the way. If your dog is showing signs of seizures, have them seen immediately. If your dog is on seizure medications, consult your vet before adding CBD or changing the dose.
Second, we recommend start low and go slow.
1-2mg/kg is our ideal target dose, but if your dog is established on anti-seizure meds, it may be best to start at an even lower dose and increase gradually every week or two.
If you and your veterinarian have questions, we are happy to discuss research or provide guidance from our experiences with other customers.
Dose for Itching
1-2mg/kg is also the effective dose for itching in dogs. Today’s Veterinary Practice has a good summary of the studies to date:
“Two clinical studies recently evaluated the use of cannabinoids in dogs with atopic dermatitis. The first, a retrospective case series of 8 dogs with atopic dermatitis, demonstrated decreased pruritic behavior after CBD (without THC) was given twice daily; it was well tolerated by all dogs over a wide dose range (0.14 to 1.4 mg/kg/day).25 A subsequent prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study involving 32 dogs demonstrated no change in skin lesions or inflammatory markers but a significant reduction in pruritus (based on visual analog scale score) in dogs receiving 2 mg/kg q12h of a CBD/CBDA (cannabidiolic acid, a CBD precursor) dominant hemp extract.”
Converting Dose From CBD Oil to Treats for Dogs
As mentioned, CBD oil is better absorbed through the walls of the mouth than treats or oil that is eaten and absorbed through digestion.
If you are using treats with your dog, the dose will need to be higher to get the same good as a lower dose of oils given under the tongue.
As we’ve read the available literature, we agree with the veterinarians we’ve spoken with that a significant dose increase is needed — approximately 3-6mg/kg.
The dosing provided with our treats will guide you to the right number of treats to give your dog based on their weight!
How Long Does CBD Take to Work?
We recommend using a starting dose for conditions as listed in the above tables and waiting at least a week to see results. In severe or serious situations, a higher loading dose may be appropriate as guided by your veterinarian.
How Long Does a CBD Dose Last?
After using CBD for several weeks, it’s probable that once-daily dosing is sufficient to maintain blood levels where they need to be to provide relief.
CBD dosing, like any substance used to support health and activity, is determined by the condition being treated and the weight of the pet. Remember that the safest dose of any therapy is the smallest amount that works!
We here at Relievet hope that this article answers most of your questions on CBD dosing. If not, talk to your veterinarian and/or reach out to us!