It might only be a few drops per dose, but using a good quality oil can make a big difference to how CBD affects your dog.

Our view on carrier oils

  • CBD can be infused with almost any type of edible oil, but most experts agree that hemp seed oil and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil are the best carriers.
  • We think that hemp seed oil offers the most benefit for dogs, thanks to an awesome combination of Omega fats and antioxidants.

  • MCT oil is also a good option, but some owners have claimed it may contribute to gastrointestinal upset in dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • CBD oils beat CBD treats and other types of carriers thanks to their ability to boost absorption into the body.

Today’s cannabis market is flooded with different delivery mechanisms, from vapes and gummies to drinks and creams.

For dogs, the choice of carrier comes down to oil, snack, or topical balm. Each has its strengths, but we at CBD Oil for Dogs recommend oil in most situations (not surprisingly).

This is because CBD is fat-soluble, which means that infusing it with a good quality oil can increase its bioavailability.

A 2019 study by the University of Minnesota found that taking CBD with fatty foods can quadruple the amount of detectable CBD in the body.

While different meals contain slightly different amounts of fat, prepared carrier oils help create a consistent dosage, giving your dog reliable access to CBD’s benefits.

Types of carrier oil

Browsing the best CBD oils for dogs will show you that most brands prefer hemp seed oil or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil carriers.

As long as they’re produced at a high quality, both are great sources of healthy fats.

A small minority of producers continue to use more traditional plant and seed oils, such as grapeseed or olive oil. These are also safe but may not promote the same levels of CBD absorption.


*As featured in our review of the Best CBD Oil for Dogs

Honest Paws – CBD Oil for Dogs – Calm

CBD Oil for Dogs – Calm

RUNNER UP for Best Overall

*As featured in our review of the Best CBD Oil for Dogs

NuLeaf – Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Pet Oil

NuLeaf – Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Pet Oil
  • Full spectrum

  • Carrier: Organic virgin hemp seed oil

  • $0.01-$0.13 per mg of CBD


*As featured in our review of the Best CBD Oil for Dogs

cbdMD – Pet CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs

Pet CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs
  • Full spectrum
  • Organic

  • $0.13 – $0.05 per mg of CBD

  • 3rd party testing

Hemp seed oil

 Our preference

Hemp seed oil, made from cold-pressed hemp seeds, is our favorite carrier. It offers a balanced mix of fats that benefit a dog’s diet and boost CBD’s powers.

Hemp has an optimal ratio of approximately 3:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids, which increases the dog’s ability to digest CBD. It’s also rich in antioxidants and amino acids, which help to maintain healthy skin, coat, and muscles.

High-quality hemp seed oil may also contribute to the entourage effect, where cannabis extracts containing a greater diversity of cannabis compounds appear to have a more potent effect than isolated CBD.

What’s so good about this oil?

  • Many of the compounds found in hemp seed oil are sold as supplements in their own right.
  • Omega pills are widely used in humans and dogs to help support joints and a soft coat. Some types of hemp seed oil actually contain greater amounts of Omega than fish oil!
  • Hemp seed oil also contains Beta-Sitosterol, which is sold as a dietary supplement to help lower cholesterol.

Any downsides?

  • Hemp seed oil can have a distinct grassy or ‘weed’ flavor, which may be off-putting for picky pups.
  • While it’s safe to say that the majority of owners won’t have an issue, we’ve read some reviews stating that a dog won’t even try a hemp seed oil product.

MCT oil

 Also a great choice

Triglycerides are a common type of fat found in the body. Medium-chain triglycerides are the artificial version, usually sourced from coconuts or palm kernels.

These oils, which are grouped under the name MCT oil, are the most common CBD carrier. They’re widely available and can be highly cost-efficient when imported in large quantities.

Like hemp seed oil, MCT oil helps to speed up digestion, resulting in greater and faster absorption of CBD into the body.

What’s so good about this oil?

  • MCT oil’s medium-chain fats are digested quickly by the body, which reduces the amount of CBD that’s lost to the metabolism.
  • Compared to virgin coconut oil, fractionated MCT oil is relatively odorless, meaning that dogs shouldn’t have any problem with the taste.

Any downsides?

  • There’s some debate on whether MCT oils might be a mild irritant, affecting gastrointestinal health in sensitive dogs. These claims seem to refer to MCT oils made from coconut.
  • The ASPCA recommends caution when giving any coconut product to your dog, due to their super-high fat content. Coconut products other than MCT oil have been known to cause stomach upset, loose stools, and diarrhea.

Alternative oils

 Can work for specific uses

A minority of CBD producers use different types of plant and seed oils to carry CBD.

The most popular of these are olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and just plain hemp (not hemp seed) oil.

Often, brands will use these oils to make their products more suitable for combining with food, as they tend to be more soluble than MCT and hemp seed oil.

Do these carrier oils work as well?

  • If you’re looking for oil specifically to combine with food, an alternative CBD carrier oil is a good option.
  • Besides that purpose, nut and seed oils tend to be healthy, but lower in beneficial compounds.
  • Grapeseed oil, for example, contains polyunsaturated fats and anti-oxidant compounds.

Any downsides?

  • These oils tend to be composed of longer-chain fats, which are associated with negative health outcomes when regularly consumed.
  • They’re also not as good for expediting CBD absorption, although any fat-based carrier is preferable.

Carrier oil comparison

Type of oil Is this carrier oil safe for dogs? Does it have any additional benefits?
Hemp seed oil Yes Contains high amounts of Omega fatty acids, as well as anti-oxidizing and cholesterol inhibiting compounds.
MCT / coconut oil May cause stomach upset in some dogs. Promotes fast absorption into the body, which reduces fat storage and may speed up CBD effects.
Grapeseed oil Yes Contains anti-oxidant compounds.
Other plant/seed oils Yes Negligible

Oils > treats

Beyond their fat profile, we prefer CBD oils to treats because of their flexibility.

With an oil dropper, it’s easy to give dogs a quick, exact dosage. Owners can fine-tune the amount of CBD their dog receives.

To add variety, you can combine CBD oil with a dog’s dinner or different types of snacks. For skin issues, you can even rub oils directly onto an affected area.

But ingredient quality is always key

That said, the quality of any CBD product comes down to the ingredients used. Our reviews always prefer a carefully created CBD treat over a sub-par oil.

When shopping, look for signs that carrier oils and snack ingredients are sourced from within the US, ideally from organic, small-batch producers who understand canine dietary needs.

We review every CBD oil for product quality, alongside four other key factors.