Evidence based

Best CBD Oil For Dogs With Arthritis

As dogs get older they suffer from all the aches & pains that come along with it.

Learn how pet owners are helping their dogs manage arthritis symptoms with CBD.

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on November 19, 2020

If you notice your dog is having a hard time getting up after lying down, tires easily, or seems stiff — they may be suffering from canine arthritis. 

A dog’s joints have a very similar structure to humans and are subject to the same damage and degeneration that comes with age. 

CBD oil is a popular treatment for canine arthritis because it targets four separate aspects of the condition — it blocks pain, inhibits inflammation, promotes recovery of joint tissue, and alleviates common side-effects of arthritis

In this article, you’ll learn how to use CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, including the dose, safety, and how to incorporate CBD oil with other non-medical treatments for greater benefit. 

Let’s start by covering the best CBD oils for dogs with arthritis in 2020. 

  • Table of Contents

Best CBD Oils For Dogs With Arthritis: 

1. Royal CBD Pet Oil — Best CBD Oil For Dogs With Arthritis

Royal CBD makes three full-spectrum pet oils to choose from depending on the size of your dog — 125, 250, and 500 mg. Each bottle contains 1 oz of high-grade CBD extract in an MCT oil base.

Most CBD companies charge a markup on their CBD pet oils — surprisingly, Royal CBD actually charges slightly less for their pet lineup. 

These oils are produced from organic hemp, processed with supercritical CO2, and mixed with a dog-friendly bacon flavor. They have won several awards for the excellent cannabinoid and terpene profiles contained inside and are one of our go-to CBD oil brands to use with dogs across the board. 

Use the code DAILY10 at checkout for 10% off your order. 

2. Honest Paws Relief Oil — CBD Dog Oil With Turmeric

Honest Paws makes CBD products exclusive for use with pets. They carry three different CBD oil formulas for dogs, depending on the symptoms you’re looking to support. 

For joint pain, I recommend this turmeric-infused, full-spectrum, organic Mobility Oil

The addition of turmeric in this formula adds extra painkilling and anti-inflammatory benefits. Turmeric has been shown to block an enzyme known as COX, which is a key inflammatory mediator. Blocking this enzyme is the same mechanism drugs like Aspirin use to alleviate pain and inflammation from arthritis. 

You can get these oils in three different potencies to match the size of your dog — 125, 250, and 500 mg per bottle. 

Enter the code DAILY CBD for 15% off your order

3. Austin & Kat (Bakko’s Hip & Joint Formula) — CBD Dog Oil With Omega-3

$64.95
Austin & Kat

Austin & Kat — Bakko’s Hip & Joint Formula

5 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    450 mg

  • Potency:

    15 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.14

  • Extract Type:

    Full-Spectrum

Austin & Kat specialize in making CBD products for pets. They carry an impressive lineup of dog and cat-friendly CBD products. Some of their products are broad-acting, while others — like this hip and joint formula — are specifically formulated with other ingredients to support a specific symtpom. 

I love this formula for supporting arthritis in dogs because it contains several other joint-supportive ingredients. Inside the bottle, you’ll find ingredients such as Ceylon cinnamon, astaxanthin, green-lipped mussels, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate — all of which offer additional joint-supportive benefits. 

This CBD comes in one potency with 450 mg per bottle (15 mg/mL), which is enough to cover the dosage requirements of dogs up to 60 lbs.

4. Canna-Pet Advanced Max CBD Liquid — Best Low-Potency CBD Pet Oil

$99.99
Canna-Pet

Canna-Pet Advanced MaxCBD Liquid 10 ml

2 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    675 – 8111 mg

  • Potency :

    67 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.12 – $0.15

  • Extract Type:

    Full-spectrum

  • THC Content:

    0.0%

This is a simple, high-potency full-spectrum CBD oil for use with dogs and cats by Canna-Pet.

Each bottle contains 680 mg of CBD diluted in 10 mL of oil. The high concentration of CBD combined with the low volume of the oil makes this product much more potent than most CBD pet oils. Every milliliter of oil (one full dropper) delivers roughly 68 mg of CBD. 

The dose for every drop of this oil is around 2 mg of CBD. This means a single dose of CBD for your dog could range from just one drop to about 30 drops. 

5. Lazarus Naturals Pet CBD Oil — CBD Oil With Omega-3

$12.00 – $38.00
Lazarus Naturals

Lazarus Naturals Pet CBD Oil Tincture 15 – 60 mL

4.33 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    225 – 900 mg

  • Potency:

    15 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg of CBD:

    $0.04 – $0.05

  • Extract Type :

    Full-spectrum

  • THC Content:

    0.0%

Lazarus Naturals is one of the largest CBD companies in the United States. They carry products in virtually every category imaginable, including this CBD pet oil. 

This pet oil comes with a full-spectrum hemp extract and salmon oil — which is rich in joint-supportive omega-3 fatty acid.

You can buy these unflavored CBD pet oils in potencies ranging from 300 to 900 mg per bottle and prices as low as $12. 

The Benefits of CBD Oil For Dogs With Arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition involving the gradual destruction of the joint tissue. This causes pain, more inflammation, and a loss of mobility. 

CBD is a popular support option for arthritis for its ability to block pain and decrease inflammation. It offers direct improvement in symptoms. Long-term use of CBD oil may be able to reverse or slow the progression of arthritis.

The main benefits of CBD for arthritis include: 

  • Reduces inflammation contributing to pain in the joints
  • Alleviates chronic pain 
  • Promotes faster recovery of joint tissue
  • Helps alleviate side effects of chronic pain

1. CBD Decreases Joint Inflammation

The first benefits of CBD oil are its anti-inflammatory effect. CBD oil blocks several key inflammatory mediators involved with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in dogs. Less inflammation means less pain, slower progression of the disease, and better mobility. 

Most conventional arthritis treatments work by blocking inflammation. 

2. CBD Alleviates Pain 

CBD oil has been shown to interrupt pain signals traveling to the brain. It activates a series of receptors in the spinal cord that mute the pain signal before it reaches the brain. This effect has the greatest impact in the short term.

Your dog should start to feel the painkilling effects of CBD within about 45 minutes of application. 

3. CBD Promotes The Regeneration of Joint Tissue

The third way CBD oil benefits arthritis is through its tissue-regenerative effects. 

A fundamental aspect of arthritis is the degeneration of cartilage and chondrocytes in the joints. As these tissues break down, your dog experiences more pain, more inflammation, and a gradual loss of mobility. CBD oil helps by supporting the regeneration of cartilage, chondrocytes, and other important cells that maintain the health and function of the joint. 

4. CBD Alleviates Common Side-Effects of Arthritis

Looking beyond the condition itself, CBD oil can help other aspects of your dog’s life that may be affected by the condition. 

Experiencing chronic pain all day long can have a dramatic impact on mental health and wellbeing. Dogs with severe or persistent arthritis often experience anxiety, depression, and sleep dysfunctions as a direct result of the condition. 

CBD is an excellent health supplement for managing all three of these side effects.

How To Use CBD Oil With Dogs

Using CBD oils with dogs is pretty straightforward — you can add the oil to your pet’s food (recommended) or apply it directly into their mouth. 

The first method is the easiest and is probably going to be the ideal method for your dog. However, some dogs can be picky and may turn their nose up at their hemp-oil-infused food. 

To get around this, you’ll have to use the old fashioned method — squirt a dose of oil directly into their mouth and hold it closed for a few seconds to make sure they don’t spit it out. 

This won’t hurt your dog, but they will no doubt find it annoying. This is how most oral medications are given to dogs, as recommended by vets. 

To reduce the chances of your dog refusing the oil mixed in with their food, it helps to find a pet oil that’s flavored with something like bacon, chicken, fish, beef, or peanut butter. Avoid CBD oils that are overly sweet-tasting, as dogs generally don’t like these flavors. 

What’s The Dose of CBD Oil For Dogs With Arthritis? 

The dose of CBD for dogs depends on their weight. Other factors like individual genetics, the severity of their condition, and digestive health can all affect the optimal dose. 

The best research currently available for the use of CBD oil in dogs with arthritis found that 2 mg of CBD for every kilogram of body weight was effective for managing symptoms. Some dog owners notice an improvement at doses much lower than this as well. 

Here are some general guidelines to follow when dosing your dog with CBD oil based on their individual weight and severity of symptoms: 

CBD Dosage Chart For Dogs With Arthritis

Dog Size & WeightDosage Range(Low-Dose)Dosage Range (High-Dose)Recommended CBD Oil Potency
Very Small Dogs (2-15 lbs)1 – 7 mg2 – 14 mg150 mg CBD Oil
Small Dogs (15-30 lbs)7 – 14 mg14 – 28 mg300 mg CBD Oil
Medium Dogs (30-60 lbs)14 – 27 mg28 – 54 mg300 – 600 mg CBD Oil
Large Dogs (60-150 lbs)27 – 60 mg54 – 120 mg600 – 1500 mg CBD Oil

Is CBD Oil Safe to Use With Dogs?

Several high-quality clinical trials have been published on the use of CBD products in dogs and other animals (usually rats). All of these studies have concluded that CBD is safe. 

Some of this research found that doses as high as 8 mg per kilogram had little to no adverse effects. This is the equivalent of 250 mg for a dog the size of a golden retriever. To put this in perspective, the average dose for a dog of this size is around 30 mg, with a high dose considered to be around 60 mg. 

With that said, side effects are still possible when using CBD products with dogs, so it’s important to monitor your animal closely for the first few days after starting them on CBD. 

The most common side effects of CBD in dogs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Drowsiness

Should I Use CBD Oil or CBD Dog Treats?

There are two ways pet owners are giving CBD to their dogs — CBD oil for dogs or pre-formulated CBD dog treats

In truth, both are great options, and both work for managing your dog’s arthritis

I prefer using CBD oils because they tend to be much cheaper, especially when you’re giving your dog high doses of CBD. Treats are better for mild symptoms or smaller dogs that may only need 5 or 10 mg of CBD at a time. It’s possible to find treats with much higher doses as well (20 mg or higher), but they tend to be very expensive.

A high-quality CBD pet oil usually costs around $0.12 per milligram of CBD. So a 20 mg dose costs roughly $2.40. The equivalent in the form of a dog treat ($0.20) works out closer to $4 per dose. 

With that said, CBD treats offer other benefits from additional ingredients in the formula. For example, you can get specific CBD pet treats for managing joint pain from companies like Royal CBD (Active Treats) or Honest Paws (Relief Bites). These products contain other ingredients that help with arthritis, such as turmeric or boswellia. 

Research On CBD Oil For Dogs & Arthritis

The best evidence for the use of CBD oil for dogs with arthritis comes from a study done by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University [2]. This randomized, double-blind, clinical trial involved 16 dogs who were given two doses of CBD by their owner per day. 

There were two doses used in this study — 2 mg/kg and 8 mg/kg of a full-spectrum CBD oil. All dogs received both doses for four weeks, each in randomized order (double-blinded). 

The results of this study were very promising. Dog owners reported dramatic improvements in their dogs’ symptoms with both treatments, and blood tests showed a systemic reduction in inflammatory markers. There were no side effects reported throughout the course of the study for either dose. 

Other animal studies involving rodents have shown that CBD attenuated nerve pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis [1]. Researchers concluded that CBD may be a safe therapeutic agent to treat osteoarthritis pain. This study involved rats, but the effects can be directly applied to dogs, which share many similarities in terms of joint function and inflammatory response. 

Canine Arthritis: Signs & Conventional Treatment

Canine arthritis is very common — especially in older dogs. Estimates suggest nearly 25% of dogs will experience clinical arthritis at some point in their lifetime. 

Joint pain is most common in older dogs — with early symptoms appearing around middle-age.

Some breeds are more predisposed to developing arthritis than others — such as german shepherds, golden retrievers, bulldogs, mastiffs, and chihuahuas. 

Arthritis can affect any joint but tends to be most common in the large joints such as the hips or hind knees. 

Risk Factors For Canine Arthritis Include: 

  • The age of your dog (old-age is a primary risk factor)
  • The weight of your dog (arthritis is common in overweight dogs)
  • The size of your dog (large breeds are more likely to develop arthritis)
  • Injuries (even injuries that have fully healed can lead to arthritis later in life)
  • Poor nutrition (low omega-3 or mineral intake can lead to arthritis)
  • Infections or diseases (tick-borne diseases are a common cause of arthritis)

Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis is common in older animals. Signs and symptoms of the condition happen gradually as they get older. You may not notice your dog has any symptoms until the disease has progressed into later stages. 

The earlier you can identify arthritis or joint pain in your animal and seek treatment, the better the outcome. Starting your dog on CBD oil or other joint-supportive treatments early can slow the progression of the disease substantially. You may even be able to reverse the condition if you catch it early enough. 

Here are five signs of arthritis in dogs

  1. Difficulty getting up from sitting or lying down
  2. Less interest in going for walks or playing
  3. Limbing or other signs of tenderness while walking
  4. Whimpering when touching the joints
  5. Difficulty going upstairs or onto furniture

Conventional Treatments for Canine Arthritis

The most common treatment for dogs with arthritis is NSAIDs — which is a class of anti-inflammatory drugs that include Aspirin. Dogs usually receive drugs such as Novox, Rimadyl, Deramaxx, or Metacam. 

While these drugs work to reduce symptoms, they come with a list of negative side effects as well. 

A systematic review using 35 canine models of arthritis and 29 clinical trials with dogs found that NSAIDs resulted in side effects in 55% of the studies [3]. The most common and severe side-effects by far were digestive system dysfunction — including vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia. 

Other medications are also used, such as steroid injections, opioid painkillers, or surgery. 

The Most Common Medical Treatments For Arthritis In Dogs Include: 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)  Novox, Rimadyl, Deramaxx, or Metacam
  • Glucocorticoids Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone, Dexamethasone, or Betamethasone
  • Antihistamines Zyrtec
  • Opioid painkillers — Buprenorphine, Morphine, Meperidine, or Oxymorphone
  • Surgery — joint replacements or reconstruction

Side-Effects of Conventional Treatments For Dogs

TreatmentCommon Side Effects
NSAIDsNausea & vomitingDiarrheaFatigueKidney DamageUlcers
AntihistaminesNausea & vomitingPoor appetiteFatigueHeart arrhythmiasHyperactivity
GlucocorticoidsUrinary tract infectionsLowered immunityMuscle weaknessNausea & vomiting
Opioid PainkillersFatigueConfusionGeneral malaiseOverdose

Natural Arthritis Treatments (Combine These With CBD Oil)

The best way to treat arthritis is through a multifaceted approach. This involves combining other treatments with your CBD oil use to help manage different aspects of arthritis. 

For example, CBD oil offers excellent symptom relief, but if the cause of the problem isn’t removed (such as poor nutrition or obesity), the condition will continue to worsen. Taking steps like placing your dog on a weight loss regimen and supplementing your dog’s food will go much further than relying solely on CBD oil. 

Here are the top non-medical treatments to use alongside CBD oil to manage your dog’s arthritis: 

  1. Exercise — even short walks each day can improve blood flow to the joint and speed healing
  2. Food — give your dogs organic or whole food that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  3. Other health supplements — supplements like glucosamine, omega-3 oil, or chondroitin sulfate can dramatically improve your dogs’ joint health
  4. Weight Control — maintaining a healthy weight will help slow the progression of arthritis in dogs

Natural Health Supplements for Canine Arthritis To Use With CBD

There are several prominent health supplements available for dogs that can be combined with CBD to offer more well-rounded support for arthritis. These supplements work by promoting the regeneration of cartilage in the joints, providing supplemental doses of omega-3 fatty acids, or alleviating chronic inflammation. 

Here are 7 of the best supplements to combine with CBD oil for arthritis in dogs: 

  1. Glucosamine — glucosamine has been shown to support the health of chondrocytes (cells that maintain the protective cartilage in joints)
  2. Green-lipped mussels — New Zealand green-lipped mussels are a popular health supplement for dogs due to the high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids
  3. Fish or krill oil — fish and krill oils are an excellent natural source of omega-3, which is important for regulating inflammation in the joints
  4. Shark cartilage — cartilage from sharks, provides all the necessary precursors dogs need to build cartilage tissue in the joints
  5. Chondroitin sulfate — this compound is one of the primary nutritional precursors dogs need to repair cartilage
  6. Boswellia — otherwise known as frankincense, this supplement is a potent anti-inflammatory for the type of inflammation involved with arthritis
  7. Turmeric — turmeric is another powerful anti-inflammatory supplement that works through similar mechanisms as NSAID medications, but without the side-effects

All of these supplements are safe to use alongside CBD oil in dogs and work to boost the joint-supportive and anti-arthritis benefits of CBD oil. 

Key Takeaways: CBD Oil For Dogs With Arthritis

CBD oil has many benefits to offer towards arthritis in dogs. It blocks pain, reduces inflammation, promotes the regeneration of cartilage in the joints, and ameliorates common side effects of the condition (such as anxiety, depression, or insomnia). 

The best CBD oil for dogs is made from a full-spectrum extract, offers potency options appropriate for the size of your dog, and comes in dog-friendly flavors. 

Always speak with your vet before using CBD products with dogs if they have any underlying medical conditions and are using prescription medications. 

CBD oil works best for arthritis when combined with other diet and lifestyle changes directed around weight loss, adequate nutrition, and exercise. 

References Cited In This Article

  1. Philpott, H. T., O’Brien, M., & McDougall, J. J. (2017). Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain, 158(12), 2442.
  2. Gamble, L. J., Boesch, J. M., Frye, C. W., Schwark, W. S., Mann, S., Wolfe, L., … & Wakshlag, J. J. (2018). Pharmacokinetics, safety, and clinical efficacy of cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs. Frontiers in veterinary science, 5, 165.
  3. Monteiro‐Steagall, B. P., Steagall, P. V. M., & Lascelles, B. D. X. (2013). Systematic review of non-steroidal anti‐inflammatory drug‐induced adverse effects in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 27(5), 1011-1019.d

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