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How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in a Dog’s System? Vet-Reviewed Benefits, Risks & More

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 25, 2024 by Dogster Team

giving CBD oil to dog

How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in a Dog’s System? Vet-Reviewed Benefits, Risks & More

VET APPROVED

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Luqman Javed

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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CBD oil has become a popular natural remedy for many common ailments, and it is now being used to treat some conditions in dogs. CBD oil is known to be safe and effective for humans, and the same appears to be true for dogs. Some pet owners are using CBD oil to help their dogs with anxiety, joint pain, and even seizures.

While more research needs to be done on the safety and efficacy of CBD oil for dogs, initial reports are promising. The current consensus is that a dose usually lasts around 4-10 hours. Read on to learn more about CBD oil and your dog.

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Please Note

The FDA has not yet approved the use of CBD or any other hemp-containing products in animals to treat any ailment. If you plan to administer CBD to your pet, you should consult with your veterinarian before doing so.

How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in a Dog’s System?

Research on CBD, in general, is still relatively new and has mostly been done to study its effects on humans. There is a bit of guesswork needed to determine the best dosage you need for your pet as well as the effect you are hoping the CBD will have. It is recommended to consult with your veterinarian to determine a dose that’s safe and effective for your dog. Also, as with any supplement, check with your veterinarian before giving it to your pup if you have concerns about how your dog’s system will react.

While there is no hard science to prove the time CBD will stay in your dog’s system, the current consensus is that a dose usually lasts between four to twelve hours. The dose amount depends on several factors, including the size of the dog, the potency of the CBD formula, and usage. It is always best to follow the dosing instructions given by the product and brand you are using. This applies to CBD oil given to dogs orally and can be controlled in dosage by the number of drops given. For treats or other edibles containing CBD, dosing is much harder to control and measure the outcome.

woman giving CBD oil to her dog
Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay

Half-Life of CBD

When looking at drug efficacy and prescribing dosage, it is important to consider the concept of a drug’s “half-life.” This is the time it takes for an initial dosage to decrease to half the amount in the body. The half-life is important to understand because after a certain amount of time, the drug might not be available in enough quantities to produce its desired effect. However, dosage recommendations are done with this in mind, and you shouldn’t attempt to modify the dosage in your dog to prolong the effects of CBD (unless directed by your veterinarian).

The science is not exact, but the estimated half-life of CBD in humans is between 1 to 31 hours depending on the route of administration and the dosage consumed 1. So how do you determine the half-life of CBD in dogs?

At this stage, the research done on CBD half-life in dogs is still inconclusive, but we do know that dogs have a much speedier metabolism than humans meaning a shorter half-life is much more likely. A rough estimate, according to published studies, is that the half-life is between four to nine hours.

dog taking cbd oil
Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay

The Right Dose

The amount of CBD oil you should give your dog depends on their age, health status, diagnosis (if any), and any concurrent medication they’re on. Your veterinarian can help you determine an appropriate dose for your pet if you intend to use CBD oil as a long-term medicine to manage pain or some other ailments (such as recurring seizures). For a one-time dose (for dogs dealing with a temporary anxiety episode, such as during a thunderstorm or during fireworks), you should follow the recommended dose on the product you purchase for your pet. It’s always best to double check a product’s recommended dosage with your veterinarian.

Factors That Affect How Long CBD Oil Stays in a Dog’s System

Several factors can impact how long CBD stays in your dog’s system.

Age is an important factor to consider when it comes to the metabolism of CBD oil. A puppy or very old dog will not be able to metabolize CBD oil the same way a healthy adult dog would.

Studies have shown that CBD is fat soluble, meaning that it can be absorbed by fat cells and then slowly released back into the bloodstream for prolonged periods of time. This means an overweight dog might have a shorter duration of therapeutic effect of CBD but might also take longer to eliminate it entirely from their body. Interestingly, your dog’s breed size is not a factor when it comes to how long CBD will stay in their system (provided you dose it properly).

Diet can also impact how quickly your dog metabolizes CBD. A high-fat diet may cause CBD to be more readily absorbed than a low-fat diet.

Because CBD is primarily metabolized by the liver, the condition of your dog’s liver may impact how long it stays in their system. A healthy liver will metabolize CBD oil more rapidly than an impaired liver.

Some factors that impact CBD oil metabolism
  • Age
  • Body fat percentage
  • Diet composition (possibly)
  • A dog’s biochemical physiology
  • Liver status
  • Frequency and amount of CBD dosing
  • Concurrent medications
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The Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

The use of CBD oil for dogs has shown to be effective in providing relief from a variety of ailments including anxiety, osteoarthritis, and inflammation. CBD oil is non-toxic and has minimal side effects, making it a promising (albeit inconclusively studied) treatment option for dogs. CBD oil is also known to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate a variety of functions including mood, appetite, and pain perception.

dog taking CBD hemp oil
Image Credit: iAmMrBenjamin, Shutterstock

The Risks of CBD Oil for Dogs

CBD oil is a natural remedy used for many common ailments in humans. However, its safety in dogs is not well-researched or understood. While there are few documented side effects of CBD oil in dogs, the most common being dry mouth, low blood pressure, and drowsiness, it is important to be cautious when using this product. As with any new medication or supplement, it is always best to speak with your veterinarian before starting your dog on CBD oil.

The most important thing to look for when using CBD oil for your dog is whether it contains THC or not. Many CBD oil brands made for human consumption contain trace amounts of THC which has a psychoactive effect. CBD oil made specifically for pets has been lab-tested to ensure it contains no THC. While THC is okay for humans it can be harmful or even deadly for pets, so check that the brand you are using is pet-friendly and has been clearly marked as lab-tested for THC.

Conclusion

In conclusion, common consensus estimates that CBD oil has a half-life in a dog’s system of roughly 4–10 hours. Talk to your veterinarian about whether CBD oil is right for your dog.

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Featured Image Credit: 24K-Production, Shutterstock

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