You’ve heard how CBD dog treats could benefit your dog. Maybe you want to give it to them to reduce seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain or one of the many other health issues CBD can help with.
You have decided to go with dog treats instead of oil, but you are having difficulty finding them or your dog doesn’t like the taste of the ones you’ve bought.
Have you thought about making your own CBD dog treats? It’s easy if you purchase some CBD oil for pets.
Important Note: It’s the safest to by pre-made CBD dog treats from a company. Good ones have put a lot of work and testing into making sure exactly how much CBD each treat contains. While most dogs won’t have an issue with more CBD than recommended on the package (some actually need it to be effective), or less (although it might be less effective), go with the pre-made treats if you want to be well on the safe side. If you think you know what you’re doing after reading this, or are pretty comfortable with the risk, then go ahead and give making your own a try.
Also Note: About the legality and safety of CBD: To be clear, the only CBD product you should ever give your dog is one derived from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp has little to no THC and CBD products produced from industrial hemp are legal in any state. However, depending on the crop, an oil CAN still contain trace amounts of THC. It’s important to purchase a product made specifically to give to dogs and verify it has been tested by an independent lab to contain no THC. It is also very important to consult with your vet before giving your dog a new supplement (although, be warned – less-than-progressive vets may disregard CBD as a viable treatment in general).
Where Can I Get Legal and Safe CBD Oil for My Dog?
There are many ways to find CBD oil for your dog.
If you live in a state where marijuana is legal – like Washington or Colorado – you may be able to find it at your local specialty pet food store. For example, in Seattle, I can buy CBD oil at All the Best Pet Care. You may also find it sold alongside human products at local marijuana dispensaries.
If you don’t live in a cannabis-friendly state, you may have to order it online. My favorite, reliable online source of CBD oil is Pet Relief CBD Hemp Oil.
How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?
How much CBD a particular dog needs will vary. It varies based on weight and the condition being treated. For example, a small dog probably won’t need as much as a big dog and you may need to give them less to treat mild anxiety than you do to help control seizures.
The bottom line is you have to find what works for your dog and situation.
The good news is, several studies on CBD have shown it has little to no side effects, even in high doses.
In cases where side effects did occur, the most common one was drowziness. If you are treating your dog for anxiety, that might not actually be seen as a negative, though.
On very rare occasions, side effects have included excessive itchiness or mild vomiting. If your dog starts having any of these symptoms after ingesting CBD, stop giving it to them and they should return to normal.
CBD oils should list how much CBD is in each drop (if they don’t, don’t use it. They aren’t reputable). This is most commonly measured in milligrams (mg).
The label should also recommend how many drops you should give your dog. This is where you should start.
All the Best Pet Care has some great information about determining CBD dosage. For smaller dogs, they recommend:
- 10 lbs: 1-5 mg
- 20 lbs: 2-10 mg
- 30 lbs: 3-15 mg
If the desired effect has not been achieved in 30-60 minutes, you may want to increase the dosage. For example, Chester and Gretel weigh about 12 pounds each and I primarily give them CBD for anxiety. I started out by giving them 1.5 mg of CBD but didn’t see them start to relax until I increased the dose to 6 or 7 mg.
It’s important you find what works for your dog. Start with the lowest recommended dose and work your way up from there. Once the desired result in achieved, you will know how many drops of oil, or how many mg of CBD, to put in each treat.
How to Make CBD Dog Treats
There are four ways to make your own CBD dog treats at home.
The first two are easy, the third one takes a bit more effort and care, but the last one – baking your own CBD dog treats – can be tricky. It’s tricky because too much heat can cause the CBDs in the oil evaporate so there is little or no beneficial ingredients in the treat.
It’s best to stay away from making baked CBD dog treats unless you are experienced cooking with marijuana.
Let’s look at the ways that don’t involve heat so you don’t have to worry about evaporation.
Add CBD Oil to Ready-made Dog Treats
One super simple way to make your own CBD dog treats is to put drops of the oil on your dog’s treats.
I’ve done this and I can tell you it doesn’t necessarily work on any ol’ treat. The trick is to get the oil to soak in.
In order for this to happen, you need to pick “porous” dog treats. Dog treats that look granular or that have little holes in them work best.
One of my favorite treats for this is BIXBI BarkPops (they’re like dog Cheetos).
Just place the number of drops of CBD oil your dog needs on the treat, let it soak in for a minute and let your dog enjoy. That’s it!
Add CBD Oil to Frozen Dog Treats
This is also a simple way to make CBD dog treats and they are especially great in the summer if your pup needs to cool off.
However, you may need to do a little math.
Most frozen dog treats are prepared in batches. That means you will have to multiply the number of treats the recipe will make by the number of CBD oil drops your pet needs and add that to the recipe.
Adding CBD oil to frozen treats works best if you first add the oil to the “thicker” ingredients (like peanut butter, yogurt, etc) and then add in the liquid. If you mix it in well, and each treat is approximately the same size, you should get an even dosage of CBD per treat.
Alternately, you can make a frozen treat mix, place individual portions in an ice cube tray, add the appropriate amount of oil to each “cube” and then mix it in.
Do remember that adding the oil will change the freezing temperature of the mix so you might need to leave them in longer and/or the finished product may be kind of soft-frozen.
Try one of these frozen treat ideas:
- Dairy-Free Squash and Sardine Dog Ice Cream (click the image above for the recipe)
- Chicken Ice Cream Frozen Dog Treat Recipe
- Peanut Butter Banana Pops
- 2-Ingredient Frozen Pumpkin Dog Treats
- Strawberry Banana Heart Frozen Dog Treats
- Frozen Coconut Oil and Blueberry Dog Treats
- Frozen bone broth (just buy bone broth for pets and pour it in ice cube trays)
If you don’t want to use your own ice cube trays to make these treats, and you want to make them cute for your dog, check out this silicone paw print ice cube tray.
Homemade No-Bake CBD Dog Treats
Your next option if you don’t want to put CBD oil on a pre-made treat, or give your pup a cold, frozen treat is to make no-bake dog treats.
You’ll want to pick a treat recipe that calls for some kind of oil so you can replace all or part of that with CBD oil.
No-bake dog treats are softer than baked dog treats so, while these are a great option around home, they can crumble if you are travelling or hiking. To help prevent this, try putting them in a hard-sided container to protect them.
Here are some recipes to try if you want to go this route:
Bake Your Own CBD Dog Treats
Like I said, this is where it gets tricky.
Making baked CBD treats for your dog is definitely for people with prior experience making marijuana edibles for people or those willing to take a bit of a chance.
The lower the temperature you bake the treats at, the less chance any of the CBD will evaporate. Generally CBD is completely degraded at temperatures in excess of 392 degrees F, although it starts to break down long before that.
The consensus online seems to be the baking temperature should be 350 degrees or below. You can either choose recipes that don’t require baking at a higher temperature or lower the recommended baking temperature for most recipes and just extend the duration accordingly.
This method is also tricky because it’s hard to make sure each treat has the correct dose of CBD.
Using logic, it seems pretty safe to make a dog treat recipe, decide beforehand how many treats the batch will make, add the appropriate amount of CBD oil for that number of treats, and make sure you mix the oil in well to get the right dose in each treat.
However, that is no “scientific” guarantee. There is some risk involved that each treat will not contain the amount of CBD you intended. (remember, giving a little too much CBD is likely not harmful but you could end up with treats that don’t have a full dose in them so aren’t as effective).
Also note you don’t want to make the treat recipe and THEN add the CBD oil or the mix will contain too much oil/moisture and is unlikely to turn out as planned.
In general, the amount of oil a recipe calls for can be replaced with an equal volume of CBD oil. Therefore, it’s best to choose a recipe that already lists some kind of oil in the ingredients list.
Here are some tasty-looking examples that use low baking temperatures and that contain oil in the recipe:
- Baked Sweet Potato and Coconut Oil Dog Treats
- Cheesy Bone Treats (only require a temp of 250 degrees)
- DIY Doggie Breath Mints (take care of two things at once)
- Ginger Apple Dog Treats
- Bacon Carob Brownies
What’s the Easiest Way to Make Your Own CBD Dog Treats?
Besides the effort it takes to make the treats, there are other considerations like the ease of making sure the final treat contains the proper dose of CBD, testing to make sure the final product has the right consistency and making sure you don’t lose any of the CBD in the process.
In my opinion, this is the list of methods in order of easiest to hardest:
- Add CBD Oil to Ready-made Dog Treats
- Homemade No-Bake CBD Dog Treats
- Add CBD Oil to Frozen Dog Treats
- Bake Your Own CBD Dog Treats
So now you have some alternatives to buying pre-made CBD dog treats. Experiment, have fun, and good luck!