Popular CBD Dog Treat Recipe For Pain Relief
We want to do everything to reduce our dogs’ pain. Switch out your regular dog treats for these natural pain-relieving cookies with healing herbs and CBD (cannabidiol). This grain-free, preservative-free recipe helps to reduce pain, inflammation and stress related to arthritis, cancer or other health conditions.
Tip: If you don’t have CBD, just leave this ingredient out and your dog will still have a delicious pain-busting herbal treat. If you think your dog is in pain, always have your Holistic or Conventional Veterinarian perform a full assessment right away.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of several components derived from cannabis or hemp plants. CBD is not intoxicating and has no mind-altering or psychoactive effects. It is one of the most researched components in hemp and cannabis plants. Research shows CBD is promising for treating:
- autoimmune diseases
- inflammatory bowel disease
Can CBD Help My Dog’s Pain?
Dogs – like humans – can experience pain for a number of reasons. Pain can be acute and short-lasting (such as from injuries or surgery). Pain can also be ongoing or chronic from conditions like:
- arthritis and joint pain
- advancing age
- irritable bowel disease
- a serious medical condition like cancer
Studies of CBD in dogs are very encouraging, with reports of:
- decreased pain
- increased mobility
- improved quality of life
- reduced inflammation
- reduced seizures
A recent study of dogs with arthritis pain demonstrated a significant reduction in pain and an increase in their activity levels when given CBD oil – all with no observable side effects.
A Cornell study found that over 80% of dogs who took CBD in a proprietary hemp oil blend showed significant improvements in pain related to osteoarthritis, chronic joint pain and geriatric pain and soreness; dramatic effects were seen in the senior dog group. Research supports the anecdotal experience of thousands of pet parents and canine clinicians who have been using CBD for years.
Is CBD Safe for My Dog?
CBD is very safe for dogs and well tolerated. Even at high doses, no overdoses or serious harms have been reported. Mild side effects are occasionally reported (nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, slight increase in a liver enzyme called alkaline phosphatase).
Warning: Never give your dog cannabis (marijuana), as they are exceptionally sensitive to psychoactive THC in marijuana, which can be harmful.
Research shows that dogs with arthritis pain show a significant decrease in their pain and an increase in activity with CBD – all with no observable side effects.
Can CBD Interfere with Prescription Medications?
CBD is metabolized in the liver, where it’s broken down by enzymes known as CYP450 or the “cytochrome pathway”. About 60% of all medications use this pathway. When more than one medication uses this metabolic pathway at the same time, the rate or speed with which the medications are metabolized can be affected. Sometimes a medication breaks down faster or slower, and enters the bloodstream in somewhat higher or lower concentrations. CBD can compete with other medications in this pathway. Although CBD may not necessarily cause an increase or decrease in the levels of other medications in your dog’s body, there is that possibility. Dosing of CBD and other medications may need to be monitored.
CBD and Common Medications for Dogs
CBD is safe and well-tolerated in dogs. If your dog is taking CBD together with one of these commonly prescribed medications though, here’s what you should know:
- Antibiotics. There are no known interactions, however some studies show taking antibiotics and CBD together may amplify the effects of both, without any significant side effects.
- Metronidazole (Flagyl). This is an antibiotic that also kills parasites and is commonly prescribed for bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract, and for inflammatory bowel disease. Research is unclear about any specific interactions or side effects if taken with CBD. However, it’s prudent to consider that the effects of both may be heightened, if taken together.
- Thyroid Medications. If your dog takes medications for hypothyroidism (low thyroid), it’s possible that CBD can slightly increase the amount of thyroid hormones in his body. Continue to check thyroid levels regularly, and let your vet know your dog is taking CBD.
- Arthritis Medications. Vets commonly prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) for joint pain. Early research suggests CBD can be given together with most NSAIDS. A small study has suggested very high doses of CBD may lessen the pain-relieving effects of Tramadol, however there is no research regarding smaller CBD doses.
- Steroids. CBD can increase the risk for systemic side effects of steroids like prednisone or hydrocortisone (oral). Avoid using CBD while your dog is taking a steroid.
- Chemotherapy. Early research suggests CBD may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy, help improve a dog’s appetite and slow tumour growth (Henry et al, 2021).
- Seizure Medications. Drugs like phenobarbitol are commonly given for seizure disorders. CBD may increase the concentration of anti-seizure medications in the body and heighten side effects like drowsiness. One recent study found no significant interactions, but warned of possible increases in a liver enzyme with long term use at high doses. Ask your vet about blood tests to determine if a lower dose of seizure drugs may be needed when CBD is used. CBD and anti-seizure drugs can be used together very effectively with the help of a knowledgeable vet.
- To avoid or minimize any possible interactions, give your dog CBD 2 hours before or after administering other medications
- Start with low doses of CBD. Low doses can be quite effective while avoiding interactions
- If you or your vet are concerned about CBD-drug interactions, consider other forms of CBD such as CBD creams or ointments that aren’t taken internally
- Many vets aren’t well informed about CBD. Ask if your family vet is willing to consult with a CBD-informed conventional or holistic vet or medical specialist
How Do I Choose the Right CBD for My Dog?
There are several different forms of CBD available, such as powdered isolate, alcohol tinctures, topical ointments and oils. This recipe calls for CBD oil.
Where Can I Get CBD?
Check with your country or state about any restrictions on purchasing CBD products. To assist you, we have included US and Canadian links to CBD products that can be used in this recipe.
Canadian residents can click here to order CBD oil for dogs.
How Much CBD to Give to Dogs with Mild to Severe Pain
- Find your dog’s weight in the table.
- Add the amount of CBD in milligrams based on your dog’s level of pain. It’s best to start with the lowest amount of CBD oil and gradually work up. Each batch of cookies lasts 6 days, so it’s easy to start low and increase gradually. Always make 12 cookies per batch to ensure your dog gets a consistent amount of CBD and herbs.
CBD Dosage for Dogs Chart:
|Dog’s Weight in kg (lb)||
Low Dose and High Dose CBD in milligrams per cookie
|<5 kg (11 lb)||
LOW DOSE 3 mg per cookie (36 mg per batch)
HIGH DOSE 10 mg per cookie (120 mg per batch)
|6-10 kg (13-22 lb)||
LOW DOSE 4 mg per cookie (48 mg per batch)
HIGH DOSE 12-20 mg per cookie (144-240 mg per batch)
|11-15 kg (24-33 lb)||
LOW DOSE 7 mg per cookie (84 mg per batch)
HIGH DOSE 22-30 mg per cookie (264-360 mg per batch)
|16-23 kg (35-50 lb)||
LOW DOSE 10 mg per cookie (120 mg per batch)
HIGH DOSE 32-46 mg per cookie (384-552 mg per batch)
|24-30 kg (52-66 lb)||
LOW DOSE 13 mg per cookie (156 per batch)
HIGH DOSE 48-60 mg (576-720 mg per batch)
|31-36 kg (68-80 lb)||
LOW DOSE 16 mg per cookie (192 mg per batch)
HIGH DOSE 62-72 mg per cookie (744-864 mg per batch)
|37-41 kg (81-90 lb)||
LOW DOSE 18 mg per cookie (216 mg per batch)
HIGH DOSE 74-82 mg per cookie (888-984 mg per batch)
|41-50 kg (91-110 lb)||
LOW DOSE 22 mg per cookie (264 mg per batch)
HIGH DOSE 82-100 mg per cookie (984-1200 mg per batch)
|51-60 kg (112-132 lb)||
LOW DOSE 26 mg per cookie (312 mg per batch)
HIGH DOSE 102-120 mg per cookie (1224-1440 mg per batch)
Pain-Relieving Herbs for Dogs
There are several safe and effective herbs that can also help relieve your dog’s pain and inflammation naturally. Our dog treat recipe includes these healing herbs and natural ingredients to boost pain control – even if you don’t add CBD.
Turmeric is a popular anti-inflammatory herb and comes from an Indian root commonly used in curries. It is well researched for its properties of relieving pain and inflammation. Make sure you include the coconut oil and black pepper in this recipe so that turmeric gets fully absorbed. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that can stain hands or surfaces, so protect surfaces and wash hands after handling.
Boswellia (also known as Indian Frankincense) comes from the resin of tree bark and is used widely in traditional medicine for arthritis pain and inflammation. Boswellia and turmeric are often researched together for their role in improving pain and mobility and have been shown to be a more effective pain reliever than the pharmaceutical drug Celecoxib in humans.
When Boswellia was studied in dogs with arthritis pain, nearly three quarters treated with Boswellia for 6 weeks showed significant improvement in arthritis pain. Side effects were noted to be extremely rare and very mild (occasional gas and loose stools).
Devil’s claw is a natural analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant known to reduce arthritis and muscle pain quickly and effectively. Leave this herb out of the recipe if your dog is pregnant, lactating, diabetic or taking medications for heart problems.
Although Lavender is not used specifically to decrease pain, it is used in this recipe to help with the stress and anxiety related to pain. It also helps soothe gastrointestinal issues and depression.
Natural CBD Dog Treat Recipe for Pain Relief
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter – NO sugar NO salt and NO xylitol (toxic to dogs)
- 1 free range organic egg
- 3 tbsp coconut oil melted
- Dried Boswellia
- Multiply your dog’s weight in pounds x 6 mg to get the amount per batch
- e.g. a 50 lb dog would need 50×6 mg = 300 mg of Boswellia in the entire batch
- Dried Turmeric
- Use 1.5 tsp per 10 pounds of dog’s weight e.g. a 50 lb dog would need 1.5x tsp x 5 = 9 tsp of dried turmeric per batch
- Dried Devil’s Claw
- For dogs under 20 kg 45 lb use 2/3 of a tsp dried herb per batch
- For dogs over 20 kg 45 lb use 1 1/4 tsp dried herb per batch
- Dried Lavender is used to sprinkle over cookies before baking
- CBD oil (see table above for amount of CBD to use, based on your dog’s weight)
- Preheat over to 325-350 degrees. Temperatures above 350 degrees may degrade the CBD.
- Mix together all dry ingredients into one bowl: coconut flour, black pepper, Turmeric, Boswellia and Devil’s Claw
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together wet ingredients: egg, coconut oil, CBD oil
- Add peanut butter to wet ingredients and whisk together thoroughly
- Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix
- Work the dough in your hands until it sticks together. Wear gloves to prevent staining your hands with turmeric.
- Divide evenly into 12 cookies and place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
- Sprinkle cookies with a bit of dried lavender
- Bake at 325-350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done
- Cool cookies on a cookie rack
- Give one cookie twice a day (every 12 hours). Gradually increase from low to high doses of CBD if needed. Keep cookies refrigerated or frozen (freezing does not affect CBD).
- Have a pair of disposable gloves ready to prevent staining your hands from turmeric.
- You may need to grind herbs such as Boswellia or Devil’s Claw (with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder) if they aren’t already ground up into very fine pieces, or in powdered form.
How Do I Know if CBD Treats are Helping My Dog?
The effects of these CBD dog treats can take several days or even weeks to notice. In studies of pain-relieving herbs, researchers typically begin to see positive changes after at least six weeks of consistent treatment. However some pet parents notice a change more quickly. We have seen near-immediate effects with CBD, even after one dose. Here’s how to tell if CBD dog treats are helping:
- your dog becomes more active or mobile e.g. it’s easier for your dog to stand, sit, walk
- your dog stops licking or biting at sore spots e.g. hind legs or lower back in dogs with hip dysplasia
- you see positive changes in behaviour e.g. your dog may wag his tail more, have more energy, play or engage with you more often
- your dog may sleep longer or better, without periods of agitation
- your dog may show improvements in stress or anxiety e.g. they may show fewer stress-related behaviours such as chewing, vocalizing, pacing, licking
- Check with your Holistic Vet before giving these biscuits to pregnant or lactating dogs, in those with severe liver disease, and in dogs taking heart medications.
- Start with the lowest dose of CBD and gradually increase over a few days. Knowing the lowest effective dose also saves money.
- Every CBD product doses differently. This recipe and dosing table is in milligrams – not drops or millilitres. CBD oil will be labelled according to its strength or concentration of CBD per unit of carrier oil (milligrams of CBD per amount of carrier oil in millilitres). For example, if there are 1000 mg of CBD in 30 mL of carrier oil, half the bottle (15 mL) will give 500 mg of CBD for one batch of high-dose CBD cookies for a dog weighing around 50 lb. If in doubt, check with the product’s manufacturers.
- Consult a holistic vet when using CBD with dogs who have compromised livers. One study showed a slight increase in a liver enzyme called alkaline phosphatase during CBD treatment. However, proper nutrition, supplements (such as milk thistle) and minimizing unnecessary pharmaceutical drugs can support the liver while benefiting from pain-busting CBD.
- Never substitute cannabis (marijuana) for CBD, as cannabis contains THC which can have harmful psychoactive effects in dogs
- Consider other holistic modalities to help reduce pain like:
Doran CE, McGrath S, Bartner LR, Thomas B, Cribb AE, Gustafson DL. Drug-drug interaction between cannabidiol and phenobarbital in healthy dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2021 Nov 1;83(1):86-94. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.21.08.0120. PMID: 34727050.