One of the most popular uses of pet CBD products is for older dogs. But does CBD actually meet senior pup needs?

Vet holding dog on leash

As dogs age, they are more likely to encounter three types of common canine issues. These are (1) mobility problems, (2) mental stress, and (3) chronic disease.

All these conditions increase inflammation, which can lead to discomfort, pain, gastrointestinal upset, and anxiety.

If a senior dog is experiencing any of these issues, CBD can help.

As an anti-inflammatory supplement, CBD oil for dogs has been shown in clinical studies to reduce inflammatory symptoms in dogs — especially those related to mobility, stress, and chronic conditions.

Is CBD safe for senior dogs?

Yes. CBD is a safe and accepted anti-inflammatory supplement made from hemp plants. Hemp is a non-intoxicating type of cannabis that doesn’t produce a high or other psychoactive effect.

Thousands of dogs and humans take CBD supplements daily without any side effects. Just remember only to give your dog pet-safe CBD, and never CBD products designed for human consumption.

While some human CBD products may be safe for dogs, others can contain high amounts of THC, the intoxicating cannabis compound that causes a high and is considered poisonous to animals.

Read our post on the best CBD oil for dogs here

  • Combining CBD with other medications

Many senior dogs will take CBD alongside prescribed medications. Usually, this is completely safe. CBD is thought to be compatible with most types of drugs.

However, there are some medications that do not mix well with CBD – particularly those related to thyroid management, blood pressure management, or blood thinning.

Researchers believe that CBD affects the enzymes responsible for breaking down these drugs, which can lead to high-than-normal levels of medication remaining in dogs’ bodies. This is sometimes known as the “grapefruit effect.”

Because CBD can cause mild sleepiness in dogs, it may increase feelings of fatigue when taken alongside medications such as opioids, benzodiazepines, or antihistamines like Benadryl, which can also produce a sedating effect.

Always consult an animal healthcare expert when planning to combine CBD or other supplements with existing treatments.

Does CBD help senior dogs with mobility problems?

Canine osteoarthritis describes the loss of cartilage and increased inflammation around dogs’ joints. As they become older, dogs are more likely to experience worsening joint health, which can lead to stiffness, swelling, discomfort, and reduced mobility.

Osteoarthritis is thought to affect around 20% of all dogs, with that number rising to nearly 80% of dogs over 8 years old. For many, arthritis is a progressive condition, which means that it slowly worsens over time.

Thankfully, studies suggest that CBD has a real and lasting effect on inflammation in joint tissues.

By interacting with receptors in the body that control the immune response, CBD and other cannabis compounds return the body to a state of calm. This can reduce swelling and discomfort, as well as help to protect against further damage.

CBD science
  • In 2018, a study at Cornell tested CBD on dogs with osteoarthritis and found dogs supplementing with cannabis extracts experienced increased comfort and activity levels, as assessed by veterinarians.
  • Other studies performed on dogs, rats, and mice have confirmed that CBD can improve both symptoms and joint health in animals with arthritis.

See the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis

Does CBD help senior dogs with mental stress?

Like humans, dogs can experience mental decline as a natural part of the aging process. This can lead to confusion, stress, and anxiety over things that didn’t bother dogs in their younger years.

Senior dogs can develop several common types of canine anxiety, including noise phobias and separation anxiety, where a dog becomes hyper-attached to an owner or fellow pet and shows symptoms of distress when apart from them.

Older dogs may also experience a change of ownership, due to the death of an owner or changes in family circumstances. Dogs who have had multiple owners are more likely to develop anxiety conditions.

Like arthritis, stress and anxiety cause internal inflammation, which means that CBD can support elderly dogs experiencing these issues. CBD may calm dogs and make the more able to respond to owners cues and training techniques.

In clinical studies, CBD has shown the potential to regulate cellular function, which promotes healthy aging and brain function.

See the best CBD for dog anxiety

Does CBD help senior dogs with chronic diseases?

With more dogs than ever reaching a senior age, cancer and other chronic diseases are becoming an increasingly common part of dogs’ lives.

Research suggests that 50% of dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer, while other conditions like kidney disease and heart disease are also more common in senior dogs.

While it shouldn’t be considered a cure for any chronic illness, CBD can help to reduce the symptoms of cancer and serious disease for many dogs.

Taking CBD to decrease general inflammation can support the body in reducing swelling and pain caused by disease progression.

Regular CBD supplementation may also support healthy eating and digestion by increasing appetite and fighting nausea.

See the best CBD oil for dogs with cancer


  • CBD is a safe, anti-inflammatory supplement that’s relevant for many conditions experienced by senior dogs
  • In particular, senior dogs with joint issues, anxiety, or cancer may benefit from CBD supplementation
  • CBD has been shown in clinical studies to affect receptors in dogs’ bodies that control the immune response, reducing swelling, pain, nausea, and related symptoms of inflammation.