Several studies have on CBD for dogs have detailed the administration methods used, as well as which types of CBD products are the most effective, how much CBD dogs should have, and how often CBD should be part of their routine.

We’ve read all the scientific research, and spent years talking to CBD brands and pet owners giving their dogs CBD, to give you this complete guide on how to give your dog CBD oil.

In this post, we will share everything you need to know when it comes to giving your dog CBD, so that they receive the most benefit from hemp’s naturally soothing cannabinoid compounds.

What’s the best way to give dogs CBD oil?

There are four common ways to give dogs CBD oil:

  • Adding CBD oil to your dog’s food
  • Dropping CBD oil directly into their mouth
  • Rubbing CBD oil into your dog’s gums
  • Giving your dog a CBD treat

Some experts believe that the most effective way to give dogs CBD oil is to rub it into their gums or place it under their tongue – the idea being that direct contact between CBD and the soft tissues of the mouth creates maximum absorption and means no CBD is lost during digestion.

However, research suggests that there is no special benefit to rubbing CBD into dogs’ gums. Studies show that the first three methods listed above are equally effective when giving CBD oil to dogs.

In a recent study, scientists from the University of Perugia in Italy tested whether there’s any extra benefit to rubbing CBD into dogs’ gums, over dropping it in their mouths or adding it to food, finding no significant difference between the two methods.

What happened in the study?

Researchers picked 12 dogs of different ages and breeds who were all suffering from chronic conditions causing mild pain (10 dogs had osteoarthritis and two had IBD).

They gave half the dogs CBD oil by dropping it onto their meals and massaged CBD into the inner cheeks of the other half. The researchers also fitted each dog with an IV to take blood samples to check CBD plasma concentration, as well as how long the CBD stayed in the dogs’ systems.

For both methods of delivery, CBD was detectable in some of the dogs’ blood within 15 minutes, most of them within 30 minutes, and all of them within an hour.

Also for both groups, the maximum concentration of CBD in the dogs’ blood occurred between one and four hours after taking CBD.

Even though the effects of the “first-pass metabolism” mean some CBD is lost during digestion, the researchers found no real difference in CBD absorption between adding CBD to dogs’ food and rubbing it in their gums.

What type of CBD product should I choose for my dog?

The researchers, producers, and dog owners agree – CBD oils are the most effective, flexible, and cost-efficient type of pet CBD product.

7 different CBD Oils lined up in a row

There are a couple of reasons why CBD oils beat CBD treats and creams in most cases:

  • Studies show that when CBD extracts are infused into high-fat carrier oils like MCT oil or hemp seed oil, more CBD is absorbed into the body. In one experiment performed on humans, up to four times more CBD was absorbed when people consumed it alongside high-fat foods.
  • CBD is most effective when consumed orally in twice-daily doses. This method and schedule keeps a steady amount of CBD in dogs’ bodies. While you can use CBD treats in the same way, oils and capsules can be conveniently added to your pup’s breakfast and dinner for easy regular dosing.
  • Depending on a dog’s weight and level of inflammation, they may need different amounts of CBD. CBD tinctures/oils offer the most flexible and cost-effective dosing option, as owners can decide exactly how much CBD their pets receive.

What about other types of pet CBD products?

While we recommend CBD oils over other types of products for most dogs, CBD treats and creams also have their benefits.

CBD treats can be a good option for picky dogs who may be suspicious about new flavors and smells. Treats also make it easy to give your dog their dose when out of the house.

CBD creams and balms don’t penetrate the skin layer, so don’t produce a full-body anti-inflammatory effect. But for dogs with sore paws or other skin irritations, topical CBD products can provide relief from itching and discomfort.

Related questions:

Key points

  • Oral delivery of CBD oil is best, not treats. Whether added to dogs’ food or dropped straight into their mouths, oral delivery with a high-fat oil provides better absorption, and gives owners greater dosage flexibility.

  • CBD dog treats offer ease of use and are typically well-received by dogs, but they provide less dosage flexibility and lower bioavailability.

  • Topical CBD products are only effective for localized issues but don’t produce a full-body effect.