CBD For Dogs: Everything You Wanted To Know About Dog CBD, From An Expert

Pet CBD expert Kat Donatello (founder of Austin & Kat) answers all our questions about dog CBD.

All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here's our process.

Perhaps you’ve heard that CBD for dogs can help them with various issues, but are unfamiliar with CBD and curious to know more about why you would give your dog CBD oil (or treats) and how it can benefit them.

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Well, so were we. We spoke with the founder of premium pet CBD company Austin & Kat, Kat Donatello, to learn more about CBD for dogs, including the potential CBD benefits for dogs, CBD dosage, their different CBD blends for dogs such as senior pets, those that suffer anxiety, and those very active and larger dogs who could benefit from taking CBD oil (or treats) to help with recovery and inflammation. We also cover the importance of selecting the right pet CBD brand so you can be confident you are giving them a good quality supplement that will help them, and some frequently-asked-questions about CBD for dogs.

As with our dog food (as well as our personal food and wellness) we sought out a reputable brand which stands behind their products and gives us the confidence that we are using quality products that will be safe and beneficial for our pets.

Austin & Kat is one of the most well-regarded pet CBD companies, and our dog Kepler has been using their CBD oils and treats since he was young. As well as being a long-time dog Mom, Kat is an endurance athlete herself, so she knows a thing or two about athletic recovery and managing inflammation, as well as the other ways that CBD can benefit both people and our pets!

CBD For Dogs: Table of Contents

What is CBD oil?

CBD for dogs - Austin & Kat Interview - Trail and Kale
Kepler the Adventure Dog [Read his articles here]

Many people are confused about what CBD oil is and how it is associated with Marijuana, so before we jump into the interview with Kat, let’s start here by explaining what it is, what it contains, and what it does not:

  • CBD is short for Cannabidiol and is found in both Hemp plants and Marijuana plants.
  • Hemp and Marijuana plants are the same Cannabis plant family but have different levels of CBD.
  • The CBD oil most people want is extracted from Hemp, and NOT from Marijuana plants.
  • Marijuana plants contain higher concentrations of the active compound known for getting you ‘high’, which is called THC (short for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD oil extracted from Hemp plants is not addictive, either (although some people take it every day by choice).
  • Basically, CBD oil is a natural, concentrated oil that is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It’s a supplement, not a medication – basically like other oils and popular natural remedies you may find in herbal supplements and health food stores.
  • CBD is not plain ‘Hemp Oil’ – generic hemp oil may come from other parts of the hemp plant and not contain much or any CBD at all.

So, if you’re wondering if CBD oil would get you (or your dog) ‘high’ then the answer is no – CBD is not what gets you high, it would only be if you took CBD oil that had been extracted from a plant with high concentrations of THC in it (i.e. a marijuana plant) that that would happen.

It’s also worth noting that many CBD products are labeled as being ‘THC-free’, whereas some may have very small concentrations of THC as the hemp plant the CBD oil is extracted from may have low concentrations of THC in it.

Finally, if you’re curious to learn more from a scientific source, it was the subject of a study by the World Health Organization in 2017, which states that CBD, in its pure state, appears to be safe and well-tolerated by animals.

Our experience of the benefits of CBD for our dog

CBD for dogs - Austin & Kat Interview - Trail and Kale
Kepler may be thinking about Austin & Kat CBD cookies in this photo [learn how to go trail running with your dog]

Like with similar products for people, there is not currently enough scientific evidence of the benefits of CBD oil for dogs. However, there is wide-ranging anecdotal evidence that giving it to dogs can help them with certain issues, such as pain management, feelings of anxiety and over-excitement, and even controlling seizures. We’ve heard of people treating their dogs by giving them CBD to help with pain from arthritis, for example.

There are some interesting findings referred to in this summary of the current state of veterinary research in this area, which you may find interesting if you’re curious to learn more in this area.

Our dog is young and we give him CBD to help calm him down and recover from intense workouts and frisbee sessions. CBD has a reputation for helping people recover from intense exercise, which may include reducing inflammation and as a sleep aid (as sleeping is key to exercise recovery and helping the body rest and heal). We give our dog CBD for the same reason. At best, it really helps with his recovery and calms him down, and at worst, it’s a small dose of a herbal supplement that he enjoyed eating (or licking, as the case may be).

Our personal view (although everyone should make up their own mind as with any supplement use) is that it does seem to help calm our dog down when he is overly excited, anxious or alert. It is particularly helpful for us to give it to him on days where he is having those feelings, including when we’ve taken him trail running or hiking, been on an (overly) exciting walk featuring lots of cars and other dogs, or occasions when there are lots of fireworks and loud noises outside, such as July 4th celebrations, which can cause stress or anxiety which may last several days.

Interview with Kat Donatello, Founder of Austin & Kat

CBD For Dogs Austin and Kat CBD Interview Trail and Kale
Kat with two of her dogs, Austin and Lady Harper

T&K: Hi, Kat – thanks for taking the time to speak with us!

On CBD benefits for dogs

T&K: What does CBD do for dogs?

Kat: CBD interacts with a pet’s endocannabinoid system – the central regulatory system known to affect bodily processes such as digestion, anxiety, mood, discomfort, and sleep. It also contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and contains antioxidants which can have long-term health benefits.

T&K: What is it about CBD oil for dogs that can help calm them?

Kat: I’m going to get a bit sciency here, but I think it’s important to understand how the endocannabinoid system works (in both people and pets). The endocannabinoid system is only recently discovered (it’s found in all mammals) and it regulates body processes such as mood, appetite, and inflammation.

CBD For Dogs Kat Donatello Founder of Austin and Kat CBD Interview Trail and Kale
Kat Donatello, founder of Austin & Kat, with her dogs Bailey, Austin and Lady Harper

The system is made up of several components, including the endocannabinoids, the receptors (CB1 and CB2) which receive a signal from the endocannabinoids, and the enzymes which break down the endocannabinoids once they’re finished doing their jobs.

Now consider this…..sometimes the ECS needs a little help in its regulation of the body and that’s where CBD comes in.

CBD helps in the regulation of body processes by either preventing the receptors from receiving signals it doesn’t need, or by acting as a helper to activate (or turn on) the receptors that need help.

So when a pup is super anxious, nervous, or just needs some help settling down, CBD aids the body by helping to regulate it and bring it back to balance or normal (aka homeostasis).

T&K: What are the main benefits for dogs like Kepler, who are active and young, when it comes to their joints?

Kat: It’s important to support him when he’s out there pushing himself. Broad-spectrum CBD can provide a reduction in inflammation and when it’s combined with complementary botanicals a young dog can recover quicker and be back out there day after day.

The blend of ingredients improves energy, keeps his sore muscles and joints at bay, and helps him recover more quickly after long, adventure-packed days.

T&K: How does giving them CBD oil help pets recover after exercise?

Kat: Keeping inflammation at bay and reducing its effects on joints is key. It also can help these super active pups like Kepler relax and get a great rest, especially after so much adventure stimulation.

T&K: Yes! We’ve found these supplements very helpful as part of calming our dog down after exercise and helping him relax when he’s had lots of excitement.

On choosing the best CBD oils and treats for your dog

CBD for dogs - Austin & Kat Interview - Trail and Kale
A selection of Austin & Kat’s range of CBD oil for dogs

T&K: What differentiates Austin & Kat CBD for pets?

Kat: Austin and Kat uses premium, trusted ingredients across the board, while many companies focus only on the purported quality of their CBD oils. We have a highly specialized team, with expertise in biomedical sciences, veterinary health, and pet longevity.

Each Austin and Kat ingredient is:

  • Identified through comprehensive research and analysis
  • Rich in health benefits that are clearly communicated to customers whenever possible
  • Consciously sourced from best-in-class suppliers
  • Selected for its safety and efficacy, rather than its cost.

Austin and Kat takes a holistic approach to wellness. The goal is not only to make pets more comfortable, but to grant them healthier, happier, and longer relationships with their families and to build a thriving and engaged community.

CBD For Dogs Austin and Kat - Kat and her very active senior dog Austin running together - Trail and Kale
Austin & Kat are long-time running buddies

Our approach to pet health is rooted in my story. My personal experiences with CBD have allowed me to share the knowledge and expertise I’ve gained over the last 7 years with 1000s of pets. Our ethos is motivated by a genuine desire to boost not only pets’ but customers’ quality of life and dramatically improve the time they spend together. Our products are diverse and can address a variety of physical, emotional, and behavioral health challenges.

T&K: Could you briefly explain what each Austin & Kat formula is for and what kind of dog [disposition, fitness, life stage, etc] would particularly benefit from each?

Kat: We believe that looking at every stage of life a pet has to go through should be addressed. But ideally, take a holistic approach and begin using CBD for dogs (or cats) as part of the routine addressing their healthy lifespan, not just when they are ailing, in pain, or dealing with anxiety-inducing situations.

  1. General Wellness oils and soft chews
  2. Senior Blendsto support older dogs’ wellness needs
  3. Hip & Joint Formulafor promoting joint mobility for larger dogs in particular
  4. Bailey’s No More Wigglesto help calm anxious dogs down
  5. Austin’s Active Formulato aid athletic recovery for active dogs

1. General Wellness CBD Oils and Soft Chews

Our general wellness soft chews and oils are the most well-rounded CBD product on the market. They offer an opportunity to address all need states of dogs, as well as addressing general wellness. Both products combine the very best hemp (CBD) we can source, as well as trusted and reliable (and fully traceable) ingredients along with complementary botanicals and adaptogens, like curcumin, CoQ10, and black pepper extract.

2. Senior Blends

Our Senior blends were especially important for our family with two dogs (Bailey and Austin approaching their senior years ~ a six-year-old dog is now considered a senior). I knew promoting long-term health and wellness in senior dogs 6+ years old was really important, Our Senior dog blend promotes long-term health with botanicals selected to aid cognition, eye health, immunity, and circulation.⁠

⁠But how you ask?⁠ It’s all about the ingredients! As you’ll hear me say a lot these days ingredients really do matter!⁠

⁠We’ve folded our premium hemp oil extract into proprietary blends of fat optimized ingredients for complete absorption and whole-body metabolism. For this formula, we’ve selected natural products from around the world to complement our cannabinoids and promote long-term health and homeostasis. The main ingredients are:⁠

  • Premium Hemp Oil Extract⁠ (CBD)
  • Organic Turmeric Extract⁠
  • Wild Reishi Mushroom⁠
  • Organic Gingko Biloba⁠
  • Organic Bilberry⁠
  • Organic Hawthorn berry⁠
  • Green Lipped Mussel⁠

3. Hip & Joint Formula

CBD for dogs - Dog CBD oils - Austin & Kat Interview - Trail and Kale
Hip & Joint Formula

Our Hip & Joint Formula (a favorite among our running dogs, as well as larger dogs), was designed to promote joint mobility, flexibility, and proper back function. Just like our Senior Blend, we incorporated ingredients that would complement one another and provide both relief as well as increased mobility for our running partners.

We mixed broad-spectrum CBD with salmon oil, flaxseed, New Zealand green mussel, glucosamine, chondroitin, ginger and L-carnitine for a supplement for dogs who just want to get up and go!⁠⁠

For dogs suffering from hip and joint issues, or for dogs that are very active (runners, agility, etc) the chews and oils with an efficacious amount of additional supplements and botanicals can really help!⁠

4. Bailey’s No More Wiggles

CBD for dogs - Dog CBD oils - Austin & Kat Interview - Trail and Kale
No More Wiggles

My favorite of all is the Bailey’s No More Wiggles, because well, the wiggles can be really hard on those anxious and stressed out pups. Bailey is our English Springer, and I came into his life just four years ago. Bailey really struggled with anxiety. It didn’t take much to set his nervousness off….be it the mailman, the UPS truck, thunder, and worst of all fireworks, Bailey went into complete “fight or flight,” and usually it was flight to the closet, under the bed and even under the covers.⁠

It took me almost three years to create a formula that was just right for him. He did really well on my general wellness tinctures, but when I added other supplements to his diet he responded even better. So by combining soothing botanicals reminiscent of your favorite cup of tea, our⁠ Bailey’s Calm & Quiet formula lends pet owners a⁠ hand in all sorts of exciting situations. By⁠ combining the relaxing properties of hemp⁠ (CBD) with the likes of lavender, chamomile and valerian⁠ root, destructive behavior and stress from noises and separation are now a thing of the past.⁠

5. Austin’s Active Formula

CBD for dogs - Dog CBD oils - Austin & Kat Interview - Trail and Kale
Active Formula

And finally, the product that I created for selfish reasons, Austin’s Active Formula. As I mentioned earlier, Austin is my running partner. A true energizer bunny, who literally will run for days if allowed.

Knowing how as an athlete myself, the ritual of recovery was so important to be able to get out there day after day, I needed to create something that would help him recover too! I also wanted a chew in a format that would be similar to using a fueling source like GU for me.

In addition to our high quality hemp oil (CBD), blueberries and Alaskan salmon oil are added to the formula for optimal performance. ⁠Additionally, I added a blend of cordyceps mushroom, ceylon cinnamon and ashwagandha root all known to help with inflammation, reduction in free radicals and helps with oxygen uptake. WIN – WIN for athletes!

Blueberries are a natural source of antioxidants like anthocyanins and phenolic acids to support a healthy inflammatory response to exercise. Our Wild Alaskan Salmon oil is ethically sourced and an antioxidant powerhouse packed with Omega-3’s to support physical and mental performance.

Kepler also has some questions for you!

YETI Dog bed review trail and kale web wm 6

Kepler: I’ve heard that you can use CBD for dog anxiety. How can it help me stay calm during 4th July and other scary firework-heavy nights?

Kat: Did you know that the busiest day at shelters is July 5th? That’s because fireworks can turn on the fight or flight response in some dogs. It’s best to prepare before the events happen. I usually encourage people to begin using CBD regularly at least a week before. Starting with a higher dose, such as 2-3mg per 10lbs of weight.

The key is consistency and really tuning into your dogs’ responses to the noises. You may need more, you may need less….having a plan prior will set your dog up for a much calmer night.

Kepler: What is your recommended dosage for dogs like me (40lb adult dog using, for example, your Hip & Joint formula)?

Kat: Depending on what you are doing, a wellness (every day) amount will be 8-10mg in the morning and again before bed. On those high activity days (long runs or hikes), I recommend using a bit more in the evening and making sure to do some massage therapy too. Nothing like a back rub!

T&K note: Austin & Kat recommends you start with 2mg of CBD for every 10 lbs of pet weight, hence why for our 40lb Border Collie, we would give him around 8mg of CBD at a time using this dosage calculation, a couple of times a day. Based on Austin & Kat’s 450 blend CBD oils, this is just over half a dropper of oil each time. Find more guidance on the CBD dosage for dogs at Austin & Kat’s website.

Kepler: I love the taste of the Hip & Joint Formula. I lap it up in seconds and could literally have the bottle in one go! With that said, is it possible to have too much CBD oil? (i.e. can you overdose on CBD?) Asking for a friend.

Kat: Well, I wouldn’t want you to finish a whole bottle at once… the CBD may cause drowsiness and the carrier oils of hempseed could cause some serious upset, which might lead to many trips outside and a lot of poo bags.

Kepler: Ok! Best to keep the bottle (and CBD dog treats) well out of my way then!

T&K: What is the one thing you would love all cat and dog owners to know about CBD for pets?

Kat: Incorporating CBD into our pet’s wellness routine is just as important as our own wellness supplementation. When looking at products, do your research, know what you are giving, where it is sourced and how transparent is the company you are buying from.

For me, I make these products for my three dogs and their needs, if I wouldn’t give it to them, then I wouldn’t give it to yours. I want every pet to have a long, fulfilling, happy, content and joyful life…a healthy life span, not just a long life, but a long, healthy life.

T&K: Thank you, Kat, for taking the time out to answer all our questions about CBD for dogs (and cats)!

Other FAQ about CBD for Dogs

We sniffed out the answers to some other commonly-asked questions about CBD for dogs.

What is the right dosage for dogs?

CBD brands such as Austin & Kat provide guidance on how much CBD oil to give your dog to start out with. From there, you can adjust the amount up or down, depending on how much you feel your dog needs.

Side effects of giving your dog CBD

This has not yet been studied and there is not currently any scientific evidence to demonstrate side effects of giving your dog CBD. Our dog doesn’t show any but everyone is different, and as noted above, we don’t often give him more than the recommended dosage.

Can your dog overdose on CBD?

We understand there is no known possibility of overdose, although we stick to the recommended dosage for our dog, especially given it can be expensive if you use it often so we don’t necessarily want to give him more than he needs.

It’s also important to us to ensure we’re buying our dog’s CBD oil from a reputable brand that has their oils and treats lab-tested to verify the quality and CBD concentrations are what they’re supposed to contain, and, equally importantly, that the oil doesn’t include anything that it isn’t supposed to, such as toxins.

Can you get CBD treats for dogs?

Yes! CBD treats are an easy way to give CBD to your dog, especially if they happen to be of a weight where you can give them a whole treat or two at a time and be in line with the manufacturer’s dosage guidance.

For example, the Austin & Kat dog CBD treats we have contain 10mg of CBD in each cookie. So, if we are giving our dog a treat rather than drops of oil, we give him a whole cookie rather than trying to be too precise and shave 1/5th of it off to try and approximate an 8mg dosage.

So using the same calculations, that works out to be one 10mg cookie for a 40-50lb dog, and a 90-100lb dog could have two 10mg cookies to be broadly in line with that dosage guidance. If your dog is 20-25lb in weight then half of one of these cookies would be a more suitable dosage.

CBD oil can be more versatile if you’re controlling your dog’s diet more strictly and don’t want to give them treats, as you can measure dosage with the oil bottle’s dropper, and either give it directly to your dog directly (we put drops of it in a bowl for him to lick up) or mix it into their food.

How to find the right CBD for your dog

Ensuring the quality of the CBD oil and treats you give your dog is, of course, of paramount importance. This industry is not regulated so it pays to do your own research to find reputable companies you feel are making the greatest effort to produce the cleanest, purest CBD oil for your dog.

Reputable companies (such as Austin & Kat) will have their product third-party lab tested and with those results available for you to see. They will also be very transparent on their website, labels and marketing materials to explain what is in their CBD oil, how and where the hemp was extracted, and where the oil was produced.

How much does CBD oil for dogs cost?

How much CBD oil costs depends on the brand and particular blend. The most popular blends from Austin & Kat that are mentioned above and which we use cost around $65 for a 1oz bottle, and how long that lasts depends on how much and how frequently you give the oil to your pet.

If you’re planning to buy your dog CBD products, you can get 25% off your order from Austin & Kat’s website by visiting using the button below and using our exclusive code: TRAILANDKALE25


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Hi, I’m Helen, one of Trail & Kale's founders. Things that bring us joy are spending time together running, hiking and adventuring in beautiful places around the world, working towards being more self-sustainable and living a healthy, plant-based lifestyle. We changed our lives to realize our dreams and share advice on how you can do the same.