Vets write tons of prescriptions. In fact, half the revenue for the typical veterinary office comes from the medications it prescribes.
So the chances are good that, sooner or later, you’re going to have to dose your dog. And that means dealing with one of the thorniest problems any dog owner will ever face: how in the world do you get your dog to take his medication?
Some people’s pets have such a trusting nature – or such a voracious appetite – that it’s not difficult to get them to take a pill or eat the medicine if it’s hidden in food. Most of us, unfortunately, aren’t that lucky.
When our dogs are seriously ill or have a chronic medical condition, naturally, we make sure they get their meds – even if it’s at the cost of a few scratches or nipped fingers. However, what if it’s a pill or liquid which will simply keep them healthy, or help ease the pain they’re suffering? It’s sometimes easier to skip the battle for a day or two.
CBD is an excellent choice to help your dog with pain, and it’s often used effectively to treat diseases like epilepsy and cancer. It can even help relieve your dog’s anxiety. And for those who are worried about how their pet will react to a daily CBD dosing regimen, there’s good news: you can now choose from a variety of dog treats, in the form of chews and biscuits.
Most dogs already look forward to their owner giving them the treat to reward their good behavior. That makes dog biscuits or chews the ideal way to get your dog to swallow his CBD without the risk of a daily struggle.
Here are the best CBD treats you can buy.
Best CBD Dog Treats (Biscuits & Chews) – Top Brands
1. Royal CBD
Royal CBD has a reputation for producing the highest-quality CBD products, and their dog biscuits are no exception. These are made from full-spectrum CBD (always with less than 0.3% THC content), extracted via a supercritical CO2 process so all of the other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are still present for the important entourage effect that maximizes health benefits. The hemp is organically-grown on the company’s Colorado farms and bred for maximum CBD content.
The Royal dog biscuits each contain 5 milligrams of CBD, and each package comes with a dosing guide explaining how many should be given to your dog each day (depending on his weight). They’re available in three flavors, and each is formulated for a specific benefit. The “calming treats” are good for anxiety and stress, and have a peanut butter/green apple flavor. “Active treats” are sweet potato/blueberry flavor and designed to promote healthy joints and mobility. And Royal’s pumpkin spice/cinnamon “hearty treats” are formulated to boost heart health and the immune system. All are vegan, with no gluten, no dairy, and no GMOs, and have the crunchy texture dogs love.
Royal’s CBD biscuits all come with third-party certification, tested for THC and CBD content as well as showing that they contain no solvents, heavy metals or toxins. Their price is a bit high, but it’s worth it for this premium product.
- Optimized for maximum CBD and <0.3% THC
- Full-spectrum CBD, retaining all substances necessary for an entourage effect
- Produced via supercritical CO2 extraction from organic hemp
- Three formulations designed for three different canine health challenges
- Tastes and texture appealing to dogs
- On the expensive side
- Somewhat-high dosage may not be appropriate for smaller dogs
2. Gold Bee CBD
Gold Bee offers a product called “Goofy Bones,” which are small dog biscuit-shaped treats that contain 6 milligrams of CBD each. That’s the highest content per treat that we’ve found in high-quality options. These treats are organic whole-hemp products so they have all of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids you’d normally expect, but they’re formulated to contain 0% THC.
That guarantees that your dog won’t be getting any of the psychoactive cannabinoids that CBD normally contained in very small amounts, although some believe the minuscule 0.3% THC that’s present in most CBD products contributes slightly to their medicinal benefits. The CBD is extracted by cold-pressing instead of using CO2; for that reason, the Goofy Bones are of slightly lower quality than the Royal biscuits, but not by much. And cold-pressing is a perfectly-safe way of extracting CBD. These treats are pumpkin/bacon flavored, and you know how dogs feel about bacon.
- No THC content, for those wanting to stay completely safe
- Full-spectrum CBD, with all other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids retained
- High CBD content per treat ideal for larger dogs
- Organic and high-quality
- Bacon flavor a good choice
- No slight THC content, possibly minimizing entourage effect
- Only one flavor
- The high amount of CBD per treat can make dosing somewhat difficult
3. Hempure CBD
If your dog is more partial to chews instead of biscuits, this is the product we think is the best option. The Hempure CBD pet chews each contains 2 milligrams of CBD extracted via a supercritical CO2 process, and like the Goofy Bones, they’re processed to contain 0% THC. That’s ideal for some dog owners’ desires, slightly less than ideal for others.
Hempure uses the whole plant, to ensure that the chews contain all of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for CBD’s entourage effect. The hemp is organic, grown in the US, and non-GMO, although there are more natural additives than usual (including preservatives) in the product. These soft chews are priced competitively, they have a pleasing beef flavor, and the package comes with full dosing instructions for dogs weighing less than 15 pounds, those between 15-30 pounds, those weighing 30-50 pounds, and those that are heavier.
- High-quality CBD dog chews as an alternative to biscuits
- No THC content – for those who want to be extra-careful
- Produced from organic American-grown hemp via supercritical CO2 extraction
- Reasonable price
- No THC content – for those who believe a tiny amount contributes to the entourage effect
- Only one flavor
- Low dosage level
- Quite a few natural additives
4. Honest Paws
As you could guess, this company specializes in CBD for animals. However, the flavors are really all that’s “specific” to animals since they say their products are “produced to human standards.” Honest Paws offers four choices for your dog (or other pet): soft chews and three varieties of “pet bites” treats. The CBD is taken from organically-grown American hemp via CO2 extraction, contains no THC, and is vegan, gluten- and soy-free.
The three varieties of Honest Paws pet bites are peanut butter-flavored “Calm” (for anxiety relief), turmeric-flavored “Relief” (for pain relief), and creamy coconut-flavored “Wellness” (for immunity system support). The soft chews are also branded “Calm” and are poultry-flavored. All have CBD content of 5 milligrams per treat, and all are competitively-priced.
- Good assortment of variety and flavors
- Full-spectrum CBD produced from high-quality hemp
- Competitive price
- CO2 extraction, not supercritical CO2 extraction
- Flavors (like coconut) which might not be to the liking of some dogs
- Higher dosage level may be too much for small dogs
- Less entourage effect due to the elimination of trace amounts of THC
5. King Kanine
Our final choice is a line of crunchy hard chews available in three flavors: apple cinnamon, blueberry, and honey oat. They do have some added ingredients which your dog may not be happy with, however; there are turmeric and black peppercorn in the apple cinnamon and honey oat flavors (plus almonds in the latter), and sweet potato and diced apple in the blueberry flavor. There’s nothing objectionable about the quality of the additions, of course, but the more flavors in any treat, the greater the chance that a dog may reject it.
These chews are made from broad-spectrum CBD extracted with a CO2 method; the hemp is organic and American, and there is no THC content. As we’ve previously mentioned, that may make some pet owners more comfortable, but may slightly lessen the entourage effect of the CBD. Each treat contains approximately 3 milligrams of CBD.
- Produced from organic American hemp
- Three interesting flavors
- Reasonable price
- Added flavorings or spices which might not work for some dogs
- CO2 extraction, not supercritical CO2 extraction
- Lower dosage level
- Less entourage effect due to the elimination of trace amounts of THC
CBD Treats for Dogs – Buying Guide
The A-B-Cs of CBD for Dogs
You’re probably somewhat familiar with CBD since it’s been one of the biggest health-related products to hit the market in recent years. But you may only know the basics:
- It can treat pain.
- Tons of stores and online sites sell it.
- It has some connection to marijuana.
Here’s a brief primer on CBD – not just so you understand why it’s is so popular, but also to give you the information you need to be comfortable giving to your dog.
The cannabis plant produces a number of compounds, called cannabinoids, which are the primary sources of marijuana’s psychoactive effects and health benefits. The one you’ve undoubtedly heard most about is THC, which is responsible for pot’s hallucinogenic effects but is believed to have at least some medicinal benefits as well.
The second-most important cannabinoid in cannabis is CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. CBD is the cannabinoid that provides the bulk of marijuana’s health benefits, along with the plant’s terpenes (largely responsible for its scent) and flavonoids (responsible for its color). The combination of THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids creates what’s known as an “entourage effect,” enhancing the benefits of cannabis.
But the marijuana plant is only one variety of cannabis. The other is the hemp plant, and it’s very different from marijuana in two important ways.
- Hemp contains almost no psychoactive THC (by law, it can’t contain any more than 0.3% THC if it’s sold to consumers). That means hemp provides almost all of the same medical benefits without making the user high.
- Hemp and hemp products are legal for sale in all 50 states (with some bizarre restrictions, because the law legalizing it is quite complicated). Marijuana, of course, has a much murkier legal status.
What makes those differences so significant?
First, the CBD and other substances in hemp that make it so effective medicinally can be legally sold everywhere once they’re extracted. And second, products made from hemp like CBD oil, CBD tinctures, and CBD capsules don’t get you high; they deliver their health benefits without any psychoactive effects.
That’s particularly important for pet owners. Pot also has strong medicinal properties but you definitely don’t want to give it to your dog. Cannabinoids deliver their effects when they bind to receptors in the body, and your dog’s brain has a lot more of those receptors that you do. In a nutshell, he’ll get a lot higher than you would – and he’ll have no idea what’s happening to him. He probably won’t die, but he’ll get very, very sick.
That makes CBD a godsend for treating your dog since, by law, hemp-derived CBD cannot contain more than 0.3% THC and you can find many CBD products without any THC content at all. He’ll get almost all of the medicinal power of cannabis, but won’t get high and won’t get sick from it (unless you give him way too much). In fact, a small study has already found that canines tolerate the substance quite well, with only minor side effects.
As for the benefits your dog can realize from CBD, read on.
Substantial research still needs to be done on CBD (and the other substances in cannabis) to definitively prove all of its health benefits. There have been enough studies, however, to prove some beneficial effects of CBD, and give us hints about what else might be possible.
- Anti-inflammatory: CBD has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent, effective against both inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases.
- Mood disorders: In studies done on animals, CBD appears to provide antidepressant properties.
- Neurological disorders: Research has shown that cannabinoids, including CBD, have a strong ability to mitigate a number of neurological disorders. In fact, it’s already used to treat human neurological conditions and diseases such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
- Cancer: There are many word-of-mouth stories about CBD’s ability to mitigate the effects of cancer treatment and possibly treat the disease itself. Evidence is scanty so far, but in animal research, there have been some signs that CBD may actually be able to kill cancer cells.
That research gives us a road map to the many possible uses for CBD in canines.
The benefit that’s been most-widely established involves the millions of dogs with arthritis. CBD has been shown to be an extremely effective treatment that can relieve much of the pain and many of the mobility issues suffered by dogs with this common canine ailment. This research also supports the use of CBD to treat other types of canine pain, overwhelmingly shown to be effective by anecdotal evidence and supported by preliminary research.
The other benefits we’ve mentioned also apply to dogs and their health. CBD can be used to treat inflammatory diseases that commonly affect older canines, such as inflammatory bowel disease. The neurological benefits of CBD can help treat dogs for anxiety issues, and it is also being used with good results to treat canine epilepsy. And the impact that CBD’s possible anti-cancer properties could have is evident.
There’s no medical textbook detailing all of the ways that CBD can help treat humans. Similarly, veterinarians don’t have volumes of information or years of experience proving that CBD should be a front-line treatment for their canine patients. However, the combination of research and anecdotal evidence – and the fact that CBD has virtually no major side effects for dogs – make it an option well worth considering.
The Best Way to Give CBD to Your Dog
When deciding whether to give CBD to their dog, many pet owners face a big dilemma. CBD, as we’ve mentioned, can help with a variety of health issues and make their best friend happier, healthier, and more alert. But it can also lead to an unpleasant daily battle. Not only do most dogs hate taking medications, but CBD also has a nasty, bitter taste and is rarely available in flavored varieties for pets.
That leads to a not-very-surprising outcome. The two most common forms of CBD for dogs are oils (or tinctures) and capsules. As you may know from unpleasant past experiences, getting a dog to swallow nasty-tasting oil or eat their regular food where it’s been hidden usually isn’t easy (to put it mildly). Getting him to swallow a capsule can be even more difficult. So some owners decide that even though their dog may benefit from CBD, the fight just isn’t worth it.
There’s another option, though. You can buy dog treats containing CBD, and they’re sold in both biscuits and chews. Many dogs who will fight you tooth-and-nail when you try to give them oil or capsules will very possibly end up begging you for CBD treats. What could be better than that?
That leaves one decision: chews or biscuits. There’s no evidence that one is a better choice than the other, so it’s primarily a choice that may depend on which your dog likes better. Many brands of biscuits contain slightly more calories than chews, but there’s not a huge difference (and they’ll both have more calories than oil or tinctures). Since your dog won’t be pigging out on CBD treats all day, the extra calorie intake won’t really matter for most pets.
In our experience, dogs enjoy biscuits more than chews, so our #1 listing is for the best CBD dog biscuits. Your mileage, however, may vary.
It’s true that dosing can be more exact when you’re using CBD oils or tinctures; you can determine exactly how many drops of oil to administer, while treats are manufactured in a limited variety of pre-measured dosages. That’s assuming, of course, that your dog actually swallows all of the liquid you’re trying to drop into his mouth. We’re all familiar with how that scenario might play out.
So in reality, your pet may actually be getting a more exact dose if he eats the entire CBD treats that you give him. As you certainly know, getting a dog to gobble up a treat isn’t usually much of a problem.
Dosing With CBD Treats
If you’re giving CBD oil to your dog, you may regret zoning out during high school math classes. It really can be that complicated. The process often involves choosing a specific milligram dosage formula (for example, 75mg, 150mg or 300mg), determining the formula’s ratio of CBD to oil (measured in “milligrams per milliliter”), and then using that ratio and the weight of your dog to decide the optimal dose. Our suggestion, if you’re using CBD oil or tincture: beg your vet to tell you how much to use.
CBD treats make the process much easier. Most companies sell them in a single dosage formula, along with recommendations on how many to give small, medium-sized, or large dogs each day. Both chews and biscuits are available in a number of dog-friendly flavors, so you can change things up regularly and make sure your pet is always excited to get his next CBD treat.
Buying CBD Dog Treats
CBD dog treats can easily be found online, and many vets sell them as well. But not all treats are the same, and it’s a mistake to trust your dog’s health to a random product you find online or on Amazon. You can’t always trust what’s on the vet’s shelf, either; veterinarians often just sell the brands that offer the highest profit margin.
The most important guidance is to stick with CBD products manufactured by a reputable company. There are many reasons to be careful; one is that some companies are careless with processing or dosage labeling, and don’t account for the fact that some potency can be lost during baking or processing. The products we’ve singled out process or bake their treats at low temperatures, to conserve potency. Another reason for caution is that there are disreputable manufacturers whose products contain way too much THC.
We’ve highlighted the best producers in our reviews at the top of this page. Here’s what we look for:
- CBD sourced from organic, industrial hemp grown in America, not from marijuana plants.
- Broad-spectrum CBD, which contains all of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids required for the entourage effect. (Most companies call their broad-spectrum CBD “full-spectrum” which isn’t really the correct term for it, but it’s basically the same thing as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC).
- CBD produced via supercritical CO2, or cold press extraction, not solvent extraction which can be harmful to pets.
- CBD has been tested by an independent third-party lab and comes with a certificate of analysis.
If you love your dog (and who doesn’t?), take a little extra time to carefully choose the best CBD treats. He’s worth it.