What you need to know
Determining an ideal dosage and schedule for administering product to your dog or cat is critical, for two main reasons. First, you want your pet to experience the greatest possible benefit. Dosages that are too low will not yield maximum benefits, and dosages that are too high may come with unwanted side effects, such as lethargy. Secondly, giving your pet excessive serving sizes may provide no incremental benefit, but still results in you overspending on products.
It’s also important to note that the dosage advice on this page may differ greatly from what you have read elsewhere. This is because every product is different, and each company’s dosage recommendations depend on its own ingredient gradation and the concentrations of CBD and other cannabinoids contained within.
CBD isolate is always the best place to start when helping to relieve common conditions that animals experience. Isolate is the purest form of CBD, stripped down to its single molecule. It has been separated from all other compounds such as flavonoids, fat lipids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids. It is the preferred introductory product for pets when focus is placed on general health issues, such as longevity, stress or anxiety, chronic disease, or immune deficiencies.
Our full spectrum products also contain CBD, while providing other cannabinoids that naturally occur in the hemp plant, such as Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), among others. Each of these individual cannabinoids offer a unique therapeutic benefit, and when combined, merge to create an entourage effect within an animal’s endocannabinoid system. For animals who need more complete care, a full spectrum oil is most effective. In these more extreme cases, when a boost from additional cannabinoids is necessary, severe or advanced illnesses such as cancers, excessive inflammation, uncontrolled neuropathic pain, major anxiety or stress, and unrelenting physical pain can be effectively treated.
No matter which of our products you choose, our dosing guidelines work the same.
There will be a particular dosage at which your pet receives the most benefit. Below this dosage, and your pet may not be getting maximum benefits. Above this dosage, the efficacy might actually decrease, or unwanted effects may result. By following the protocol mentioned in this guide, determining an ideal dosage for your pet is both straightforward and clear.
How to determine the ideal CBD dosage for your dog or cat
Because every pet is different, it’s important to determine an ideal dosage for your pet in particular. This involves a little experimentation in order to get it right. In a nutshell, the idea is to start low and work your way up until you are achieving the desired results.
The three steps to determining the ideal CBD dosage for your dog or cat are:
- Start with one low daily dosage
- Observe your pet’s condition and behaviour
- Slowly increase the dosage until you achieve desired results
When you first begin treatment, we recommend that you start with a dosage that is half (or less) of the recommended dose shown in the illustrations below. If the recommended dosage is 30 drops, for example, start your pet off with 15 drops or less, once a day. If the chart calls for 1 CBD pet treat, then start with one half a treat per day.
Stick to this schedule for the first few days. Once you feel comfortable that the product is well tolerated by your pet, then you can begin increasing the dose. However, If you perceive a benefit at the initial daily dose, there is no need to increase the dosage.
If you’re giving your pet CBD to promote good health, then the once-a-day recommended dosage should be fine. However, if your pet has a medical condition such as chronic pain or seizures, higher and more frequent doses may be required in order to achieve maximum benefits. In this case, it’s best to administer the recommended dosage twice daily, in the morning and in the evening.
How long before it takes effect?
Some of the benefits of CBD can sometimes be seen in the first few days of starting the treatment, and in some cases, such as with anxiety, they can even be seen within the first hour. However, for certain applications, it can take up to two weeks to see results as your pet’s body adapts. Be patient.
Watch for unwanted effects
Unwanted side effects are fairly rare and CBD supplements are generally well tolerated by pets. Some of the unwanted effects which can occur include lethargy, drowsiness, and soft stool. If any of these arise, or you notice any other unwanted effects with the initial low dosage, there is no need to be overly concerned. Either reduce the dosage further or stop altogether. Stopping treatment with CBD will not cause your pet to experience withdrawal symptoms.
In some cases, initial signs of lethargy will subside within three or four days. If your pet has a medical condition but is experiencing lethargy, you might want to wait a few days before you stop treatment to see if the lethargy subsides as your pet’s body becomes accustomed to CBD.
If no unwanted effects are observed the dosage can be slowly increased.
Treats, oils, or both?
If you’re planning on giving your pet CBD twice daily, then it’s a good idea to use both oil and treats. The reason for this is that our pet treats are formulated with adaptogenic herbs which are not included in our dietary oils. Many of our customers who own large dogs opt for this combination treatment as their pets will receive a more concentrated dose of CBD with the oil while still getting the additional support of the herbs.
If you plan on using both products, we recommend starting out with the oil until you determine the ideal dosage, after which you can try substituting half of the dosage of CBD oil with half the recommended serving of treats. For example, you might choose to use the oil in the morning and the treats in the evening.
Note that CBD oils work best when taken with food to aid absorption.
Creating Brighter Days pet CBD products are formulated specifically for pets. They are not intended for human consumption.
- Don’t treat pregnant or breeding animals with CBD.
- Don’t treat puppies or kittens under 52 weeks old with CBD unless advised by your veterinarian.
- Keep out of the reach of children.
Still have questions?
If you still have questions about administering CBD to your pet you’ll find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
You can also submit questions via our contact form.