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How Long Does It Take CBD To Work In a Dog? Facts & Dosage Info

Written by: Visnja Radosavljevic

Last Updated on June 25, 2024 by Dogster Team

man giving cbd oil to his dog

How Long Does It Take CBD To Work In a Dog? Facts & Dosage Info

CBD has become extremely popular over the last couple of years, and people use it to relieve all sorts of health problems. However, CBD is not only beneficial for humans, but it works for dogs as well. Many dog parents give their canines CBD to help them with ongoing medical issues and relieve their stress and anxiety.

If the whole CBD for dogs experience is new for you, you probably have a bunch of questions about how the CBD will affect your dog and how long it will take to work, there are a lot of factors involved to answer these questions so there is not a clear answer. Depending on the dose and the reason for use, the effects of CBD might be noticeable in as little as an hour for healthy dogs or as long as a few weeks if you’re administering the CBD to reduce a chronic pain your dog has.

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What Is CBD?

CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. While many people may connect this with psychoactive substances, CBD doesn’t contain THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which can make you high. Instead, CBD solely offers benefits similar to THC without affecting the psyche.

It is legal in the USA, although the consumption laws vary state by state. However, you can typically purchase CBD dog products online without much hassle.

cbd oil
Image By: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay

When Should I Use CBD for My Dog?

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.

CBD represents a potential therapy for various conditions your dog might be going through. If your dog is experiencing issues similar to the ones you’ll see below, CBD could be a helpful tool for relieving your pet’s problems.

  • Pain management: CBD may help with pain management for multiple health conditions, especially for inflammatory pain.
  • Arthritis: As CBD influences the inflammation process in the body (in human & animal tests), it helps with conditions such as arthritis. If you give your dog CBD in the appropriate dosage, it may ease arthritis signs.
  • Anxiety: Although there’s inconclusive scientific evidence that CBD can directly affect a dog’s anxiety issue, due to its sedative properties, it may reduce anxiety by keeping your dog calm.
  • Seizures: Dogs can experience seizures due to various conditions, and if your furry friend suffers from these, you know how difficult they can be. Giving CBD to your canine may reduce the number of seizures, but you should also provide it with a veterinarian’s permission.
  • Cancer: CBD cannot directly cure cancer but can soothe signs such as pain and nausea your dog might experience from chemotherapy or the cancer itself.

Although not all of these effects have scientific proof, many dog parents that use CBD have reported that using CBD has helped their dog.

Are There Any Side Effects To Using CBD for Dogs?

CBD is safe for dogs and shouldn’t have any negative effects on your dog’s health. However, certain scientific research shows an elevation of alkaline phosphatase in dogs, which is a liver value in blood work tests. Although there’s no experiment on this issue yet, it may signify that CBD can irritate or damage the liver, but there’s no proof for this claim.

Other side effects of CBD in dogs (in dose experiments) included:
  • Lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite changes

The only side effect of giving your canine too much CBD is that it can become sleepy, but that is nothing to worry about. Still, before giving your dog CBD, you should consult your veterinarian to ensure it’s a treatment your dog should engage in.

dog taking cbd oil
Image By: Erin Stone, Pixabay

How Long Does It Take CBD to Work for My Dog?

Typically, once you give CBD to your dog, it will take effect in 20 to 90 minutes after your dog ingests it. It’s difficult to estimate the time it takes for CBD to work, as you can use it for different circumstances. Also, not all CBD dog products contain the same amount of CBD, which will also affect the time it takes for the effects to kick in.

If your dog suffers from chronic pain that lasts for some time, your dog might need to consume CBD for a couple of weeks before showing signs of relief.

The 3 Main Factors That Determine How Long It Will Take for CBD to Work

There are only general estimates of how long it will take for CBD to kick in for your dog. However, certain factors will affect the time it takes for CBD to work for your canine, so read more about them below.

1. Your Dog’s Health Status and Ailment

Depending on your dog’s health status (particularly with regards to their liver), their body fat percentage, and their ailment (if any) for which CBD is used, the effects may take variable times to be noticeable.

2. Brand and Delivery Method

Not all CBD products are created equally, and different brands provide different effectiveness of their products. That’s why you should always research the brand before purchasing it for your dog. It’s best to look for companies with many learning resources and provide an ingredient list on their website. Another helpful thing is to verify if the company has customer testimonials confirming the product’s credibility.

The delivery method will also play an important role in the time it takes for the CBD to work. For example, if you give CBD oil to your dog, putting it directly inside their mouth, it will react much faster than CBD balms that are applied onto their skin.

dog taking CBD hemp oil
Image By: iAmMrBenjamin, Shutterstock

3. Potency

The majority of CBD products for dogs contain between 2 and 20 mg of CBD, and you should always check the product’s recommended usage chart and dosing suggestions. Never increase the dose on your own because that could harm your canine.

When first introducing CBD to your dog, it’s better to start with smaller amounts and see how your dog reacts. You need to remember that if your dog has an ongoing condition, it can be weeks before you begin to see the positive effects of CBD.

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How Much CBD Should I Give to My Dog?

When it comes to the dosage of CBD you should give to your dog, there’s no one standard formula you can follow. However, there’s an estimate of how much CBD you should provide to your dog based on an example scenario:

Research has shown that healthy adult dogs can tolerate CBD at doses of 4 mg/kg for up to 6 months with no adverse signs for some formulations (in pill form). To calculate an acceptable dose for your dog, the best method is to follow the manufacturer dosing instructions on the CBD product you purchase.


In instances where this information isn’t available to you, to calculate a dose, you would need the following information:
  • Your dog’s weight
  • A safe dose for your dog (confirmed by your vet)
  • The concentration of the CBD product you have

Let’s say your pup weighs 10 pounds. To calculate the dose for your dog, you would first calculate the safe dose for your dog.

For this example, we assume a dose of 4 mg/kg is safe for a healthy adult dog
  1. In this example, 10 pounds is approximately 4.6 kg
  2. Therefore, the dose for your pup would be 4.6 x 4 = 18.4 mg
  3. Next, you’d have to divide this dose by the concentration of the product. Let’s say the product has 10mg of CBD in 1 milliliter of the liquid
  4. Therefore, the amount to give your dog would be 18.4/10 = 1.8 ml
  5. Say you are advised to give your dog CBD twice a day. Therefore, this dose would be divided by 2; 1.8/2 = 0.9 ml per 12 hours would be the final dose for this example.
Important Note:

Please note that the calculations above are just an example that assumes a safe dose that was used in one experimental study. This does not mean it is the same dose for the CBD product you have. You should ALWAYS consult with your veterinarian to ascertain the safe dose for your dog, and the amount of CBD you can safely give your dog. You should not self-medicate your dog if you aren’t sure of a dose. Overdosing any drug can be very harmful to your dog.

Which CBD Products Are Safe for My Dog?

With so many available dog CBD products on the market, it can be hard to decide on the product you’re going to use. Expert advice is to ensure that the product has the National Animal Supplement Council Seal of Quality Assurance and that it provides a list of ingredients.

That way, you can check the possibility of harmful substances inside the product, which will give you peace of mind when giving them to your beloved pet. Remember to avoid products with THC as they could cause issues for your canine.

Final Words

If you’re considering giving CBD to your dog, you should begin by talking to your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is a good candidate for CBD. The effects of CBD are noticeable at variable times, depending on the product you use, the route of administration, the dose required for your dog’s ailment, and the ailment itself.

It is best to follow your veterinarian’s lead when it comes to helping your furry friend with their issues. Of course, this type of treatment is not for everyone, but if it works well for your pup, it can be very beneficial.

Featured Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay

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