Hemp CBD oil is safe for dogs of all ages, including puppies. But do young dogs actually benefit from taking CBD products?

Vet holding dog on leash

Pet-safe CBD products have grown in popularity in recent years, as a way to support dogs with inflammatory issues like arthritis and anxiety.

Just like older dogs, puppies can experience inflammation due to injuries, genetic conditions, and stress.

As a natural anti-inflammatory supplement, CBD can help lower inflammation in puppies, reducing associated symptoms like discomfort and anxiety.

So when is CBD appropriate for puppies, and should owners worry about giving their younger dogs CBD products?

Is CBD safe for puppies?

Because CBD is a natural supplement made from non-intoxicating hemp plants, it’s completely safe for puppies and dogs of any age.

Unlike many human cannabis products, which are made from potent marijuana plants, pet-safe CBD doesn’t cause a high and contains very low amounts of THC – the cannabis compound famous for its psychoactive effects.

THC content in hemp plants and products is federally limited to 0.3% of the total content. While higher levels of THC can be very harmful to puppies, animal healthcare experts agree that cannabis products containing 0.3% THC or lower are safe for pets to consume and cause no ill effects.

On the other hand, puppies should never be given human cannabis products. Even CBD oils produced for humans can contain much larger amounts of THC.

Likewise, it’s important to buy pet CBD from a known provider that uses traceable hemp grown in the US. This helps to ensure your puppy’s product is made using farming and manufacturing best practices.

We analyzed the lab results of 38 brands for safe, quality CBD for dogs. Read our post here on the best CBD oil for dogs in 2022.

Should puppies take CBD?

Even though it’s a supplement rather than a medication, there should be a good reason for puppies to take CBD.

CBD is an anti-inflammatory compound. That means it’s relevant to any inflammatory or immune issue that dogs may have.

Inflammation in puppies can occur for various reasons. Generally, the cause will be:

  • acute (an injury or illness)
  • chronic (a genetic disorder or disease)
  • or due to stress (anxiety or trauma)

What does that look like?

For example, a puppy might experience teething pain, get stung by a bee, or experience swelling when recovering from fixing and other veterinary procedures. CBD may help lower pain and discomfort by reducing swelling and redness in these situations.

Alternatively, a puppy may develop hip dysplasia and other mobility problems that some breeds are particularly prone to. Here, CBD can help maintain and improve joint function.

For those puppies who develop more serious illness, gastrointestinal issues, or seizures. CBD can reduce nausea, convulsions, and other inflammatory symptoms.

Puppies that experience stress due to separation anxiety may become calmer and more receptive to training methods when supplementing with CBD.

If a puppy isn’t experiencing inflammation, there’s no need to supplement CBD.

What shouldn’t pet CBD be used for?

  • As a replacement for prescription medications. Even though clinical studies have shown CBD’s ability to reduce inflammation, it shouldn’t be thought of as a replacement for medications prescribed by vets. In some cases, pets may be able to transition to CBD from an existing treatment, but only under the guidance of an animal healthcare expert.
  • As an alternative to behavior training. The soothing effects of CBD can improve dogs’ behavior, as they become less agitated by inflammatory symptoms. But proper socialization and training methods are still crucial for helping to manage dogs’ wider wellbeing, making them feel safe and assured across different situations.
  • As a sedative. Like many anti-anxiety supplements and medications, CBD may cause some dogs to feel sleepy. While this is a safe side effect, owners shouldn’t take advantage of this effect to sedate dogs.

How to give CBD to a puppy

Even though there’s no risk of overdose from pet-safe CBD supplements, it’s important to find the right CBD dosage for your puppy, and not to give them more CBD than necessary.

CBD dosage instructions for puppies

There are no universal dosage guidelines for pet CBD, but most producers and experts recommend a starting dosage of 0.2 mg of CBD per pound of a dog’s body weight.

So, if a puppy weighs 15 pounds, then 3 mg of CBD should be a good initial dose. Remember that CBD extracts are infused into a carrier oil, so owners will need to divide a product’s total volume by the listed concentration to work out the right dose.

Even before this starting dose, many owners will give their dogs a small taste of CBD to ensure they tolerate it well and don’t experience possible side effects such as fatigue or diarrhea.

  • Dosage schedule

There are several ways to give CBD to puppies depending upon their needs. Owners can decide whether it’s more appropriate to administer CBD at the point of need or on a consistent daily schedule.

– For example, you might give your dog a CBD dose whenever their exhibit symptoms of teething pain or separation anxiety, up to a maximum of two doses per day.

– Or you might mix a dose of CBD oil into your puppy’s dinner each evening.

Because puppies often have more sensitive stomachs than fully grown dogs, it can be helpful to mix CBD with a good amount of food or to drop CBD onto a treat.

  • Talk to your vet

Any time you decide to start a new course of supplements with your puppy – CBD included – it’s important to talk with your vet.

While vets can’t yet formally prescribe pet CBD products, many are familiar with CBD and will be able to advise owners on whether supplementation is an appropriate step.

CBD for puppies to sleep

All dogs need to sleep for around half of the day, but sleeping is particularly important for puppies, who use their downtime for rest, recovery, and growth.

The calming effects of CBD can cause drowsiness, especially in puppies. Some owners have found that this side effect can be harnessed to help their pets find a healthier sleep schedule.

While CBD and other medications shouldn’t be used as sedatives, there’s no harm in timing a CBD dose to coincide with quiet periods in your pup’s day. This may encourage them to sleep more deeply.

In addition, CBD can help calm down and relax dogs, which may resolve some of the underlying stress that’s stopping puppies from sleeping peacefully.

A 2019 study on the effects of CBD on sleep in human participants found that 2/3rds of those using CBD products experienced sleep improvements. Owners report similar effects in dogs.

CBD for teething puppies

Like human babies, teething can be an uncomfortable period for puppies, especially since dogs rely on their mouths to explore and learn about their environment.

Oral inflammation can occur around the site of new teeth, causing swelling, redness, and pain – all symptoms that may be soothed by supplementing with CBD oil.

Currently, there are no credited studies on the effects of CBD on teething, so clinical evidence for this use of CBD is lacking. However, owner testimonials suggest that CBD can speed up recovery and minimize discomfort.

CBD for puppy separation anxiety

One of the most popular uses of CBD oil in dogs of all ages is to help combat separation anxiety.

Canine separation anxiety occurs when dogs form a “hyper attachment” with an owner or another pet in their home. When a dog becomes separated from its attached partner, they react with panic and agitation.

Separation anxiety reactions can occur even if a dog is apart from its attached person for even short periods of time.

The most common way to use CBD for separation anxiety in puppies is to combine a daily dosage of CBD with behavioral training methods such as crate training and desensitization.

CBD may make puppies more receptive to these conditioning techniques, and better able to fall back on training during times of stress. See our list of the best CBD for dog anxiety here for a list of safe, high-quality oils.

Summary

  • CBD is a safe, non-intoxicating supplement that can reduce inflammation in puppies
  • This makes it appropriate for puppies experiencing inflammatory issues such as separation anxiety, teething pain, and stress-related sleep problems
  • Owners should find the right dosage for their puppy by (a) talking to their vet, (b) starting with a small amount, and (c) using an appropriate schedule for their needs
  • The most popular uses of CBD with puppies are for treating teething pain and anxiety