Exploring CBD for Dogs with Kidney Disease: A Comprehensive Guide

October 02, 2023
cbd for kidney disease in dogs

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Kidney disease is unfortunately not rare in dogs, and can seriously hurt their quality of life. It presents in two forms: acute and chronic. Acute kidney disease occurs suddenly and is often reversible with prompt medical attention. Chronic kidney disease is a long-term ailment that gradually worsens over time, which needs ongoing management to keep your furry friend comfortable.

For managing kidney disease, many pet owners have considered the use of CBD (Cannabidiol), a natural compound derived from the hemp plant. CBD is reputed for its therapeutic properties, which may provide some relief to dogs suffering from kidney disease.

In this guide, we look at kidney disease in dogs, introduce the potential benefits of CBD, and provide guidelines on how use CBD for dogs with kidney disease safely. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make well-informed decisions for your pet’s health and comfort.

Understanding Kidney Disease in Dogs

Kidney disease in dogs is a condition where the kidneys are unable to effectively filter waste from the blood. This inability can lead to a build-up of harmful substances in the body which further damage the kidneys and affect other organs.

Causes of Kidney Disease in Dogs:

  • Aging: As dogs grow older, their kidney function may naturally decline.
  • Genetic Predisposition: Some breeds are more prone to kidney issues.
  • Infections and Diseases: Certain infections and diseases can cause kidney damage.
  • Toxins: Exposure to harmful substances can damage kidney function.

Symptoms and Diagnosis:

  • Increased thirst and urination.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the urine.
  • Lethargy and a change in behavior.
  • Diagnosis can involve:
    • blood tests
    • urine tests
    • X-rays or ultrasounds to assess the extent of kidney damage

When to See a Vet: Recognizing Serious Symptoms

  • Persistent Vomiting or Diarrhea: Non-stop vomiting or diarrhea can be signs of severe kidney disease or other serious health conditions. It’s crucial to visit the vet if these symptoms persist.
  • Blood in Urine or Frequent Urination: Blood in the urine or a sudden increase in the frequency of urination are other indicators that it’s time to see a vet.
  • Increased Thirst and Urination: If your dog is drinking more water than usual and urinating frequently, it could be a sign of kidney issues.
  • Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss: A sudden loss of appetite and weight can indicate kidney disease or other health problems.
  • Lethargy or Depression: Changes in behavior, such as increased lethargy or signs of depression, can be a signal that your dog is feeling unwell.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of over a hundred compounds found in the hemp plant. Unlike THC, known for its psychoactive effects, CBD does not produce a “high.” Instead, it’s often sought after for its potential therapeutic benefits. The appeal of broad spectrum CBD products comes from their ability to provide relief for symptoms like anxiety, pain, and inflammation without the effects associated with THC.

Just like humans, dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates various bodily functions such as mood, pain, and appetite. The ECS is a network of receptors and sensors spread throughout the body, with two main types known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD interacts with these receptors, potentially aiding in the regulation of these functions. Research indicates that that through this interaction, CBD may help in managing symptoms associated with kidney disease and improving the overall quality of life for your pet. Understanding the interaction between CBD and the ECS could be the key to comprehending how CBD may provide relief for dogs suffering from kidney disease.

Potential Benefits of CBD for Kidney Disease in Dogs

CBD has garnered attention for its potential to offer relief to dogs facing kidney disease. One of the notable benefits is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a common issue in dogs with kidney disease, and the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD may help alleviate this problem, providing comfort to your furry companion.

Additionally, symptoms like nausea or loss of appetite are frequent in dogs with kidney disease. Some pet owners have reported that CBD helps in minimizing these symptoms.

While scientific studies regarding the specific efficacy of CBD for kidney disease in dogs are limited, there are reports from pet owners who have observed an improvement in their pets’ well-being after administering CBD. It’s crucial to note, however, that while CBD might offer some relief, it’s not a cure for kidney disease.

Considerations Before Using CBD

Before introducing CBD to your dog’s regimen, especially for dogs with kidney disease, several considerations need to be addressed to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD:

Full Spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including THC. On the other hand, Broad Spectrum CBD has had the THC removed.

Concerns about THC:

The presence of THC in CBD products can lead to unwanted effects in dogs. THC can also have drug interactions and could potentially exacerbate kidney disease, especially if it’s chronic and progressive. So it’s best to opt for CBD products that are free of THC.

Consultation with a Vet:

It’s imperative to consult with a veterinarian before administering CBD to a dog with kidney disease. A vet can provide personalized advice based on the dog’s health status and the progression of the kidney disease.

Quality of CBD Products:

When it comes to selecting a CBD product, quality is important. Look for USDA certification, which tells you the product meets strict organic standards. Certificates of Analysis (COAs) confirm the cannabinoid content and check for the presence of harmful substances like heavy metals or pesticides. Additionally, products manufactured in FDA-registered facilities adhere to high-quality standards, ensuring the safety of the product.

Dosage Considerations:

The correct dosage of CBD is crucial for achieving the desired effects. Dosage can vary based on the dog’s weight, the severity of the kidney disease, and the concentration of CBD in the product. A common starting dose is 1-2 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight. It’s advisable to consult with a vet for personalized dosage recommendations.

How to Use CBD to Dogs

Administering CBD to dogs requires a careful approach to ensure it’s done safely and effectively. There are various forms of CBD available, including oils and treats, each with its own set of benefits that may suit different preferences or circumstances.

Various Forms:

Determining the right dosage of CBD for your dog depends on various factors including the dog’s weight, the severity of the kidney disease, and the concentration of CBD in the product. A common starting dose is 1-2 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight. It’s advisable to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it while monitoring your dog’s reaction.

Monitoring Your Dog’s Response:

Observe how your dog responds to CBD over time. Look for changes in behavior, appetite, and the severity of kidney disease symptoms. Adjust the dosage as needed, and consult with your vet to ensure the continued safety and effectiveness of the CBD treatment.

Other Supportive Measures for Dogs with Kidney Disease

Managing kidney disease in dogs involves more than just administering CBD. It requires a holistic approach to ensure your dog remains comfortable and the progression of the disease is slowed down as much as possible.

Diet Modifications:

A specialized diet that’s low in phosphorus and protein may be recommended by your vet to reduce the workload on the kidneys. Always consult with your vet before making any dietary changes to ensure they are safe and beneficial for your dog.

Regular Check-ups:

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to monitor the progression of kidney disease and adjust treatment plans as necessary. These check-ups can help catch any complications early and ensure your dog is receiving the best care possible.

Other Medications or Supplements:

There might be other medications or supplements recommended by your vet to manage symptoms or slow down the progression of kidney disease. Adhering to the vet-prescribed treatment plan is essential for your dog’s well-being.


Kidney disease in dogs can be a challenging and distressing condition for both the pet and the owner. However, with appropriate management, including the consideration of CBD as a supportive measure, the quality of life for dogs can be significantly enhanced. It’s critical to have talk with your vet before introducing CBD or making any other changes to your dog’s care regimen. By adopting a well-rounded approach that includes diet modifications, regular vet check-ups, and possibly CBD, you can provide your furry friend with a comfortable and happy life despite the challenges of kidney disease.


Q: Can CBD cure kidney disease in dogs? A: No, CBD is not a cure for kidney disease in dogs. However it may provide some relief from symptoms and improve the quality of life for dogs suffering from kidney disease.

Q: Is CBD safe for dogs with kidney disease? A: While CBD is generally considered to be safe, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian before administering CBD to a dog with kidney disease to ensure it’s a suitable option.

Q: How much CBD should I give my dog? A: The right dosage of CBD can vary depending on the dog’s weight, the severity of the kidney disease, and the concentration of CBD in the product. A common starting dose is 1-2 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight. Using a dosage calculator simplifies finding the right amount to use.

Q: Where can I buy high-quality CBD products for dogs? A: High-quality CBD products can be found at reputable online retailers, pet stores, or through your vet. Look for products that have USDA certification, Certificates of Analysis (COAs), and are manufactured in FDA-registered facilities to ensure their safety and efficacy.

Q: Can I use human CBD products for my dog? A: It’s not a good idea to use human CBD products for dogs, since dogs have a different sensitivity to CBD products than humans. It’s best to use CBD products specifically formulated for pets.

biscuits story

Biscuit's Story

Chris Kjolseth | CEO, Relievet

I was unprepared for what would happen to my dog, Biscuit. 

Ever since she was a puppy, she’d spend her days running and playing. I’d take her on walks, to the beach, and dog parks.

Unfortunately, at age 10, she started to limp after trips to the beach. It broke my heart to see her in pain doing what she loved the most. I started feeding her a raw food diet and added high-quality supplements to ensure her nutritional needs were met. Unfortunately, while she loved the food, the limping persisted.

I went to the vet, who looked over Biscuit and said she was likely limping due to joint inflammation. She gave us something to help. This worked well at first. Biscuit was moving around more freely, and was limping less. 

However, a few days later, It was to my absolute shock that she…

Read Her Story

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