What dose of CBD should I give my dog – By Dr. Angie’s
Dr. Angie's holistic veterinarian in Boulder, Colorado
Date Published: 2020-03-15
Date Updated: 2020-03-15
If you are interested in using CBD for your dog, you may be wondering how much you need to give. Many veterinarians aren’t knowledgeable or feel uncomfortable giving advice about CBD due to current legislation. In this article, I am going to walk you through choosing and calculating a dose for your pup!
What you need:
- Your animal’s weight in pounds or kilograms.
- A calculator.
- The CBD product label you are using. (If you don’t have a product yet, https://boulderholisticvet.com/product-category/cannabis-hemp/hemprx-medium-dogs/here is the product I use in practice).
Calculate a starting dose.
CBD is expensive! This is why I often start with a lower dose and increase until I get the desired effect. For most conditions I start with 0.5 milligram of CBD per kilogram of body weight twice daily. This can be confusing if you live in the United States or another country that doesn’t use the metric system. Another way to express this same dose is giving your dog 1 milligram (mg) of CBD per 5 lbs of body weight twice daily.
Let’s do an example calculation using both methods of calculation. Let’s start with a 50 lb dog.
Step 2: Multiply the weight in kilograms by the dosage.
22.7 kg x 0.5 mg/kg = 11 mg of CBD twice daily
If converting units and cancelling out kilograms sounds like too much work, you can simply use the rule of 1 mg of CBD per 5 pounds of body weight twice daily.
How to increase your dog’s dose.
If you don’t see the desired result with the starting dose, it’s fine to increase. Here is how I increase the dose for dogs in my practice with the following conditions.
Cancer. CBD can be a great way to support dogs with cancer. It reduces inflammation, increases appetite and can help increase general sense of well being. For moderate to severe pain, I do not recommend using CBD as a stand alone pain medication. I start with 0.5 mg/kg of CBD twice daily and increase to 2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily over 2-3 weeks. This translates to roughly 4 mg of CBD per 5 pounds of body weight twice daily.
Arthritis. Using CBD for arthritis can help reduce or eliminate the need for other pharmaceuticals such as Rimadyl or gabapentin. I start with 0.5 mg/kg or 1 mg of CBD per 5 pounds of body weight twice daily. If after 2 weeks, I see no improvement, I double the dose. I repeat again in 2 weeks. If no improvement after another 2 weeks, I consider the CBD ineffective.
Seizures. If your dog is already on anticonvulsant medications, it’s important to keep giving those medications while starting CBD. If you know your dog’s average seizure interval, start with 0.5 mg/kg of CBD twice daily. The goal is to either increase the time in between seizures or to reduce the severity of the seizure. If either of these occurs, you can double the dose to 1 mg/kg of CBD twice daily. In my practice, I use up to 3 mg/kg of CBD twice daily or 7 mg of CBD per 5 pounds of body weight. If this dose fails after a seizure interval, I discontinue CBD. You can read more about my holistic approach to seizures on boulderholisticvet.com site.
Anxiety. Using CBD for anxiety can be very rewarding. Most dog parents notice results within 1-2 days of the first dose. Therefore, adjusting the dose can be done very quickly. In my experience most dogs find benefit at 1 mg/kg of CBD twice daily or 2 mg of CBD per 5 lbs of body weight twice daily. You can learn more about other natural remedies for anxietyon boulderholisticvet.com site.
How do I read the label?
Now that you have a starting dose in milligrams (mg) for your pup, it’s time to demystify the CBD label. CBD commonly comes in oil, capsules or chewable treats. Oil is my favorite formulation because it’s easiest to adjust dosing and is typically the most cost effective. If the label does not clearly state how many milligrams (mg) of CBD is in each drop or in each milliliter of oil, I would recommend calling the manufacturer or finding a different product. Most capsules or chewable treats are clearly labeled with the milligrams of CBD contained in each chew.
My favorite formulation, HempRx, comes in two strengths. HempRx has 0.5 mg of CBD per drop or 15 mg in each milliliter (mL). HempRx Forte has 1 mg of CBD per drop or 30 mg in each milliliter.
So, for our 50 pound dog that requires approximately 10 mg of CBD twice daily, I would use 10 drops of HempRx Forte twice daily.
Sending you and your pup tons of love,