Hemp Oil for Dogs: Benefits and Uses
When it comes to dog wellness trends, cannabidiol (better known as CBD) leads the pack. Hemp oil for dogs has exploded in popularity. Research shows that the market for hemp-derived pet supplies is estimated to reach $125 million in 2022, making it one of the fastest growing segments of the CBD products market.
Pet owners are giving hemp oil to their dogs to address a range of health and wellness needs from pain to anxiety.
“Hemp oil is a great way for pet owners to get started on a holistic path,” says Dr. Marcie Fallek, a holistic veterinarian at Animal Natural Healing Center in New York.
Hemp Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil
When you start shopping for hemp oil for your dog, you’ll notice there are two different phrases used on the label: hemp oil and hempseed (or hemp seed) oil.
Both oils come from the hemp plant and are made from pressing the oil out of the plant matter, but different parts of the plant are used to create each oil.
Hemp oil, also known as CBD oil (and sometimes called full spectrum hemp oil or broad spectrum hemp oil) is made from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of Cannabis sativa plants. It contains cannabidiol or CBD, which is the compound that has been shown to have health benefits for both pets and humans.
Hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Although the seeds were once believed to not to be a source of CBD, new research shows that, depending on the processing, hemp seed oil can contain up to 30 different cannabinoids. CBD levels are lower in hemp seed oil than in hemp oil.
Both hemp oil and hemp seed oil also contain plant compounds such as terpenes and phenols that offer additional health benefits, according to Dr. Patrick Mahaney, a holistic veterinarian with California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness in Los Angeles.
“If a pet owner had a concern about CBD going into their pets and just wanted some of the benefits from the plant, I’d recommend hemp seed oil over hemp oil,” Mahaney says.
Benefits of Hemp Oil for Dogs
A growing number of studies have examined the potential benefits of hemp oil for dogs. Research has found that hemp oils with CBD helped to:
- Reduce epileptic seizures
- Ease osteoarthritis pain
- Improve mobility and quality of life
- Lower anxiety
To control chronic issues like seizures or osteoarthritis, Mahaney recommends using hemp oil once or twice per day. It can be offered as needed for acute anxiety-triggered by events such as fireworks, thunderstorms or appointments with the vet or groomer. You’ll need to plan ahead to make sure the CBD oil has time to kick in before the anxiety-producing event.
“It generally takes about an hour or so to have a therapeutic effect,” Mahaney adds.
Is Hemp Oil Safe for Dogs?
Hemp oil is considered safe for dogs. Although some hemp oils contain CBD and small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the concentrations are extremely low. These are not psychoactive products and will not cause dogs to feel “high.”
Check the label to ensure that hemp oil contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Mahaney notes that a dose this low is “improbable to show traditional signs of marijuana toxicity” such as whimpering, disorientation, and unsteadiness while standing.
Some pet owners have reported side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and lethargy after ingesting CBD oil. However most dogs do not experience side effects or require veterinary treatment. In studies that examined the effectiveness of hemp oil for osteoarthritis, no side effects were reported.
Fallek has worked with countless pet owners who use hemp oil and adds, “I’ve never seen or heard of any side effects.”
How to Use Hemp Oil for Dogs
Hemp oil is sold as an oil (called a tincture) and added to soft chews or other treats. These hemp oil products are available with and without CBD.
Hemp oil in tincture form comes with a dropper that can be used to give a precise dose to pets. You can use the dropper to put the oil under their tongue or against their cheek, which is considered the gold standard for accurate, effective dosing. If your dog is uncomfortable taking the hemp oil in this manner, it can be drizzled on a treat or your dog’s food.
You can also purchase soft chews or capsules containing hemp oil. The flavoring in the treats help mask the taste of the hemp oil. Hemp oil treats for dogs are also easier to give on-the-go than a dropper full of hemp oil. However, these non-liquid products are not absorbed in the same way as traditional hemp oils.
“[Hemp oil] is better absorbed through the mouth and gums,” Mahaney says. “If you give your pet hemp oil chews or a capsule or put a tincture on their food, it’s going to be primarily absorbed through the small intestines. Those products still work but the absorption might not be as good as we would like and it might take longer to take effect.”
In general, treats also contain lower amounts of active ingredients like CBD than hemp oil tinctures.
Best Hemp Oil for Dogs
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With the sheer number of different hemp oils for dogs available at pet stores and online, it can be difficult to choose a product. Here are a few of our favorite picks.
- Best Overall CBD Oil for Dogs: FOCL CBD Pet Drops
- Best Organic CBD Pet Oil Tincture: BATCH by Wisconsin Hemp Scientific
- Best Calming CBD Oil for Dogs: Honest Paws Calm CBD Oil for Dogs
- Best Flavored Hemp Oil for Dogs: Huggibles Organic Hemp Seed Oil
- Best Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs: NaturVet Hemp Seed Oil
- Best Organic Hemp Oil for Dogs: Pet Releaf Daily Releaf
Best Overall CBD Oil for Dogs
Our pick: FOCL CBD Pet Drops
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FOCL believes in giving pets the highest-quality, hemp-derived CBD oil possible…just like they do in their human CBD products. That’s why this fast-growing wellness brand is such a hit with pet parents. Not only is the hemp used in FOCL’s specially formulated pet CBD drops grown organically and held to the highest standards, but the formula is also 100% THC-free. That means you don’t have to worry about THC toxicity or your dog feeling “high” instead of calm. Plus, FOCL offers hemp oil for pets in three delicious flavors – peanut butter, wild salmon, and savory chicken – so dogs look forward to every dose. There’s even a discount on their variety pack, so it’s easy (and affordable) for your pup to try them all. Each individual bottle is safety-tested, with results prominently displayed on FOCL’s website for full transparency and pet parent peace of mind.
- Can help ease a dog’s arthritis and joint pain, may reduce seizures, and is useful for separation and situational anxiety
- Safe for regular use by following the dosage instructions on the packaging
- Made with organic, human-grade hemp grown in the United States
- Can be used on puppies, adults, and senior dogs with your veterinarian’s guidance
- May help improve digestion and reduce gut distress
- Will not make your dog “high,” as FOCL’s drops contain no THC
- Contains no residues, pesticides, or herbicides
Things to Consider
- If dispensing twice daily, you may need to order product more frequently
- Some dogs may not enjoy dropper administration, but you can place the product on food or in a treat
Best Organic CBD Pet Oil Tincture
Our pick: BATCH by Wisconsin Hemp Scientific
Save 20% off your entire order with code VETSTREET20
Rooted in science and crafted from nature’s finest, organically-grown ingredients. BATCH makes a full-spectrum CBD oil tincture that pet parents can feel good about using to calm stressed-out dogs. BATCH uses 100% hemp that’s locally grown on small family farms near the company headquarters in Wisconsin. To maintain the best quality and potency, the CBD is extracted from hand-harvested hemp crops in small batches, then blended into an easy-to-dose calming oil tincture that dogs love. Made with limited ingredients, every dose of BATCH is flavored with bacon oil or wild Alaskan salmon oil for palatability.
- Made from hemp that is organically grown, harvested, processed, tested, and packaged in Wisconsin, USA.
- Contains no GMOs
- Third-party tested for safety
- Yummy bacon and salmon flavors
- Easily dispense under your pet’s tongue or mix into food.
- Free shipping on orders over $25
Best Calming CBD Oil for Dogs
Our pick: Honest Paws Calm CBD Oil for Dogs
Get 15% off your order with code VETSTREET
Hoping to calm your nervous pooch? Honest Paws’ premium organic product contains full-spectrum hemp oil with naturally occurring CBD and chamomile. Chamomile has been used for thousands of years to promote calmer, happier moods and promote healthy brain function. Coupled with Honest Paws’ third-party tested full-spectrum CBD hemp oil and 30-day money back guarantee, this formula ranks high on our list.
- Contains no GMOs, corn, soy, or other contaminants.
- Third-party tested for purity and potency
- Available in a variety of formulas depending on your dog’s weight
- Contains no additives that may be toxic to pets
- Promotes relaxation in your dog
- May help relieve occasional aches and discomfort in dogs
Best Flavored Hemp Oil for Dogs
Our pick: Huggibles Organic Hemp Seed Oil
Not all dogs love the taste of hemp oil—it’s a bit earthy and may be unappealing for picky pups. But this hemp oil from Huggibles features a delicious duck flavor that pups absolutely love, which makes giving it to them directly a breeze. The organic oil delivers on the benefits of hemp and helps with stress and anxiety relief, cognitive and joint support, immunity, and inflammation.
- Made with organic hemp seed oil.
- Formulated with Omega-3 and Omega-6.
- Duck flavored.
- Provides stress relief and additional soothing benefits
- Clear dropper for precise dosing.
- Made in the USA.
Best Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs
Our pick: NaturVet Hemp Seed Oil
If you’re looking for a non-CBD hemp oil option for dogs, then this hemp seed oil from NaturVet is a great choice. This product offers all the benefits from the seeds of the hemp plant along with salmon and krill oil for ultimate skin and coat health. Because of the fish oils, most dogs really enjoy the flavor of this product and it won’t be difficult to get them to ingest it. It’s safe for dogs over 12 weeks of age and can even be given to cats too.
- Hemp seed oil plus krill and salmon oils to support skin, joint, and respiratory health.
- THC-and CBD-free.
- Made in the USA.
- Great for multi-pet households.
Best Organic Hemp Oil for Dogs
Our pick: Pet Releaf Daily Releaf
Daily Releaf from Pet Releaf is designed to be a one-stop hemp oil for mobility, calming, digestion, and skin support. Made in Colorado with plant-based organic ingredients, Pet Releaf products are USDA organic and third-party tested. Each dosage contains organic full-spectrum hemp extract with organic MCT oil as a carrier.
- Benefits include immune system support, improves general wellness, promotes calmness, and supports a dog’s long-term health.
- Available in dosages for dogs from small to extra large
- The 750 mg bottle is ideal for multi-dog households
- Dosage is easily dispensed via dropper in the morning and evening