If you’ve never given your dog a CBD dog treat before, you’d be forgiven for considering it a rather “high minded” concept. As easy as cannabinoid dog treats may be to joke about, however, the potential health benefits of CBD supplements for your dog can be seriously beneficial.
With some exceptions such as the Gold Bee options, dog CBD treats are relatively easy to find online, but you still want to make sure you’re finding the best and most restorative options for your dog. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what goes into making the best CBD dog treats and which options are best for your pooch.
Best CBD Dog Treats Review in 2021
With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at five of the best CBD dog treats and see what they can do to help soothe your four-legged friend.
One of the better regarded options online, Royal CBD has been making high-quality pet treats for years. Their CBD treats are all-natural chews with the CBD element taken from Colorado-grown organic hemp.
It makes use of CO2 extraction to offer high-quality cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, and all without resorting to GMOs. The chews are also dairy and gluten-free.
The treats come in a slim bag that’s both easy to tear open and durable and dog-proof enough to assuage fears that your dog might get into it and have a party.
There are actually three distinct varieties of these treats, each of which is specially engineered to offer extra relief for certain conditions:
- Cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice Flavor, which includes turmeric and is ideal for arthritis, joint pain, mobility issues, and so on
- Green Apple and Peanut Butter, which includes chamomile and is ideal for dogs that have stress and anxiety issues
- Blueberry and Sweet Potato, which includes flaxseed and is ideal for dogs in need of heart and immune system supplements
Each of these options is specially formulated to produce a potent CBD treat, while the flavors can help entice dogs that might otherwise be shy about trying them. You can feed these treats to your dog on their own or try mixing it in with their food.
The recommended dosage is 5 mg – potent, but it may be too much for small dogs.
Reviewers have responded positively to these treats, with many noting their usefulness in helping calm dogs in everyday situations such as thunderstorms and with conditions such as arthritis.
Things We Like
- Flavorful treats
- Full-spectrum CBD with Supercritical CO2 extraction
- Organic, all-natural, and vegan
Things We Didn’t Like
- Slightly more expensive than other options
- 5 mg may be too strong for small dogs
Despite the name, these treats don’t leave dogs feeling “goofy,” as Gold Bee removes all THC from the treats. Instead, it contains a host of other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes to soothe your dog.
These treats are not as strong as the Royal CBD ones, which is due in part to the fact that the CBD has been harvested via cold-press rather than CO2 extraction. This process takes the hemp plant and essentially “juices” it in a way that is not only all-natural but arguably more environmentally-friendly than CO2 extraction.
That said, there are those who prefer CO2 extraction, since it can be more potent. Both have potential pros and cons, so it’s up to you to be the ultimate judge.
The Goofy Bones themselves are quite potent, with a slightly higher CBD content than the Royal CBD treats at 6 mg per treat, with the treats coming in bacon and pumpkin flavors.
Users have liked the quality of the hemp and found the larger size of the treat a benefit for larger dogs. Reviews have also been positive on the authenticity of the bacon flavor.
One potential downside is that this brand is no longer listed on the company’s website and can be harder to find.
Things We Like
- Good bacon flavor
- Good for larger dogs
Things We Didn’t Like
- Rarer than other options
- 6 mg may be too much for smaller dogs
These treats are softer and chewier than the Goofy Bones. Even more strikingly, however, is the fact that while the Goofy Bones were quite potent at 6 mg per dose, the Hempure Chews are much milder at only 2 mg.
On the one hand, if you have a large dog, this may be too small of a dosage to be effective in a single chew. That may mean having to give them more than one chew, which in turn could lead to you going through a bag more quickly and thus having to spend more on chewable CBD treats than you may like.
On the other hand, however, as mentioned above, 6 mg is probably way too strong for a tiny dog, and 2 mg suits them much better.
Hempure Chews is another example of an extracted CO2 CBD option, is grown in America, and is GMO-free. That said, it also has lots of additives (such as glycerine, added beef flavor, sodium alginate, and dried brewer’s yeast). There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, but you’ll still want to check the ingredients for yourself before deciding if they’re right for your dog.
The packaging, like that of the Royal CBD, is easy to open and durable enough to keep curious dogs out.
Reviewers have tended to praise the digestibility of these treats and their soft, chewy texture, though they note they only come in a single beefy flavor.
Things We Like
- Soft chewy texture
- Good digestibility
- Good for smaller dogs
Things We Didn’t Like
- Likely too weak for larger dogs
- Several additives
- Only one flavor
CBD Dog Treats Buying Guide
For those not in the know, CBD dog treats have a calming, healing effect on dogs’ brains and bodies. They are most effective when used as general pain relief or as a palliative for dogs with neurological conditions.
Among the most common uses of CBD dog treats are:
- Pain relief for arthritis
- Pain relief for chronic conditions
- To help calm dogs with heart issues
- To help calm dogs with anxiety issues
- As an appetite stimulant for dogs who aren’t eating
Different CBD treats have different recipes. Some of the best features to look out for in the best CBD dog treats include:
- CO2 extraction
This last feature involves using pressurized CO2 to extract as many high-quality cannabinoids from the plant as possible, thus ensuring the treat is enriched with all the pain-soothing dog-calming powers you would hope for.
Before you go checking different CBD extractions, however, you’ll first want to get a better idea of what CBD is all about in the first place. There are a lot of different takes out there, so let’s try and condense down the basics of this dog health trend and see what’s at the core of it.
Chances are you have faced a situation when your dog’s been anxious, hyperactive, or both. Sometimes this is down to behavioral or medical conditions, and sometimes this is due to their surroundings (fireworks going off and scaring them, for example).
Either way, you want to be able to calm your dog down.
The same holds true for pain mediation, as alluded to already.
CBD oil is good at controlling both of these factors.
One thing it does not do, however, is “get dogs high.” This is one of the most common concerns among pet owners first looking into these treatments, and it stems in large part from the “cannabinoid” name.
The truth of the matter is that the CBD oil that is used in dog treats on the market do not use the all-important ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known to the world as THC. This is what imbues marijuana with its famed psychoactive nature, and what creates that sensation of “feeling high.”
Without that, CBD is completely safe for dogs to use.
But why use it if it doesn’t contain THC? The CBD that it does contain is already known to show signs of effectiveness in a calming and painkiller role in other tests.
We already know that cannabinoids can interact with endocannabinoid receptors, which are located in the peripheral and central nervous system and are responsible for maintaining bodily balance.
A study in the European Journal of Pain (reposted by the Harvard Health Blog) found CBD used on animals to be effective in lowering pain and inflammation stemming from arthritis. A separate study reiterated these findings, and likewise found CBD to inhibit neuropathic pain.
The latter is especially notable given the fact that it is one of the more difficult types of pain to treat. It also demonstrates why there is so much hope for CBD treats’ effectiveness in helping to banish mental and physical distress in dogs.
Some dog owners have reported CBD treats being effective in helping treat dogs with epileptic seizures.
Dr. Jerry Klein of the American Kennel Club has commented on the ongoing state of experimentation with this treatment. While he gives the important medical caveat that there is no conclusive evidence for its efficacy, he also notes several benefits CBD is known to have, including its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-nausea properties, its ability to stimulate appetite, and potential cardiac benefits.
In 2017, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) teamed up with Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for a joint study to evaluate CBD’s efficacy as an epileptic treatment. In 2019, an update on the study gave positive signs, reporting CBD oil to have “shown to have anti-convulsant properties,” arguing it could save the lives of dogs that might otherwise have to be euthanized as a result of uncontrollable epileptic fits.
Potential side effects of CBD treats for dogs include dry mouth and decreased saliva production, drowsiness (especially at higher doses), low blood pressure, and light-headedness.
What to Look for in CBD Treats for Dogs
One of the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing from among the best CBD dog treats out there is their potency in relation to your dog’s size.
On the one hand, it may seem like potency is easy to measure — the higher the CBD mg dosage, the stronger the treat. On the other hand, what’s “strong” for a tiny Shi-Tzu or Schnauzer may be ineffective for a Great Dane or Doberman. A good baseline potency is 5 to 6 mg — strong enough for most medium and large dogs, quite strong for small dogs, and perhaps too strong for tiny lap dogs.
2. Organic Brands
The organic-ness and cleanliness of the source hemp is also essential. Plants that have been sprayed with pesticides may be fine, but you’ll want to make sure your dog isn’t ingesting chemicals, hence the importance of the “all-natural” label.
Dogs don’t know what these treats are, but instead only know how they taste, so try and find a flavor you already know your dog likes.
4. Softness and Texture
You’ll want to consider the strength of your dog’s teeth, too. The older the dog, the weaker their teeth tend to be, and thus the more important it becomes to make sure any food or treats you give them are extra soft and chewy.
5. The Trust Factor
These factors in turn filter into the overall reputation of the brands. When purchasing CBD treats, you want to make sure you’re buying from a company you can trust that has been well-vetted and reviewed.
6. Do Your Research
While CBD dog treats can be beneficial for many dogs, you still want to make sure they will agree with your dog’s system. Do your research and ask your vet if CBD dog treats are right for them.
While all of the CBD dog treats here have their pros and cons, the Royal CBD treats retain their crown as the best CBD dog treats out there, in large part because of their well-rounded nature.
They are softer and more chewable than some of the other options on this list, and likewise have an established pedigree of brand trustworthiness.
They come in three flavors, which are themselves blends of two flavors each, giving you a ton of tasty options for your four-legged friend.
They’re organic, all-natural, vegan, dairy-free, and the CO2 extracted hemp speaks to their high quality.
Any one of these treats can help calm your dog, but Royal CBD remains the king of the pack.