5 possible side effects for dogs when using CBD

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Among pet products, CBD is one of the most popular nowadays. Because of developments in legislation, it is now available to be purchased without prescription in pet stores, cannabis shops, and even online. It has also been used for dogs to treat various health disorders.

Because CBD is gathered from cannabis plants, many are worrying about the possibility of having side-effects when using it. However, if you buy from a high quality source then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If you are concerned about where to buy your oils from, check out our CBD for dogs buying guide for Canadians right here!

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol and it is a naturally occurring compound in nature. It is not psychoactive which means that it will not cause your pet to be high. This is because this effect is seen with the other compound in cannabis which is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. With the products made for dogs, THC is reduced to less than 0.3% to ensure that it won’t influence their behavior.

CBD is natural and has been proven to have a lot of benefits for dogs, cats, humans, and even horses. Because of this, many pet owners stand by their effectiveness.

Are there side effects with CBD?

As with anything taken too much, CBD can have side effects too. However, it is important to know that this can only be experienced by the dog if you give them too much of it. With proper administration, this can be avoided.

1. Thirstiness

One of the most frequently seen side effects of CBD is having the dog thirstier than usual. This is even if the temperature is cool inside the house. This seems to be a side effect that is also seen with CBD for humans. This is manageable, though, as long as the dog has access to potable water. If not, they may start drooling.

2. Allergic reactions

Giving strictly the compound CBD to dogs is almost impossible for manufacturers because its potency and shelf life will be drastically reduced. Because of this, it is usually mixed with an oil such as MCT or coconut. It can also come with other medicinal ingredients like rosemary, black pepper, and others. While they may not be allergic to CBD itself, they may have a reaction with these other ingredients.

3. Lethargy / Sleeping more

One of the common reasons for using CBD is to treat any chronic pains that the dog is experiencing from. Once they take this and their pain is relieved, they will become very relaxed and calm which is why many dogs become very sleepy when first taking CBD. Their body may also need to adjust to it at first. With regular use of CBD, this will happen less.

4. Low blood pressure

CBD should not be given over the recommended dose for dogs. If this happens, they may experience a sudden drop in their blood pressure. While this is not lethal, it is still a disorienting feeling for your dog which may cause nausea for some minutes. They may also experience less energy.

5. Upset Stomach

CBD is usually given through oil. Because of this, their stomach will take some time to properly process it as oil is more complex than other foods. When you give them too much CBD, their stomachs will be irritated. This may also cause vomiting. This is a common one that many people who buy lower grade products can encounter. This is because the ingredients could be lower quality, and in turn cause more issues with your dogs stomach. As no one likes and upset stomach for their dog, if you are worried about your product, or haven’t bought one yet. Make sure to read our guide to the best CBD oils for dogs in Canada.

How to avoid side effects of CBD with your dog

As explained earlier, CBD generally has no side effects when it is properly given to them. To do this, one of the best ways is to simply follow the instructions provided by the product’s manufacturer. You should note that most CBDs differ in the exact formulation of their oil, with some having a stronger dose and some including other ingredients to boost its effects.

The right CBD for the right size of your dog

Before buying CBD, check the information about which dog it is for. Usually, the range for this includes CBD for small, medium, and the largest breeds. This is because the dose of CBD is determined based on their weight. Some brands even consider small dogs and cats to belong in the same category and give them the same formulation.

Type of CBD forms that can be used for dogs

The most popular form of CBD is CBD oil. Aside from its capacity to extend its shelf-life, it’s also the fastest to take effect in their body. This is because its liquid form allows it to reach their bloodstream faster.

To control its dose, it comes with its own dropper where you can measure how many to give your dog. You can also count how many drops you will give them. This is given by dropping it directly on their mouth or mixing it with their food.

Another form of CBD for dogs are the dog treats. These are biscuits mixed with CBD oil and mixed with natural flavoring. Its dose is controlled by counting how many drops you will give to your dog in a day. For this, the smallest breeds are given one per day, medium breeds two to three per day, and more for the largest breeds. There are many different ways to give your dog CBD, so if you are unsure we suggest you start with the smallest size of a product and see if they will take it regularly.


CBD generally has very little to no side effects when administered properly and if the dog is not allergic to its ingredients. If you accidentally give them too much, they may be thirstier than usual, be sleepier, and have stomach issues. However, if you stay within the ranges of the suggested dosage amounts by the manufacturer you should be fine. As always, when starting out, it is best to talk to your Vet if your dog is on any medications just to be safe.

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