How to Choose the Right CBD Oil for Your Dog?

Knowing how to choose the right CBD oil for your dogs can be difficult. There are dozens of brands and hundreds of products to choose from. So how do you know which is the best for your dog? We put together this buyers guide to help you understand the difference in CBD oil types and help you choose a safe brand/product that is best for your dogs situation.

How To Choose CBD Oil For Your Dog

1. Understand The Three Different Types of CBD Oil

There are three very different types of CBD oil to choose from. Understanding the differences should be the first thing you do when educating yourself on which CBD oil product is best for your dog. I’ll do my best to explain them all without getting too technical.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil is the most effective type of CBD oil because it contains all of the organic compounds that are found naturally in the hemp plant including the cannabinoids CBD, CBG, CBN, trace amounts of THC, terpenes, essential oils and more. Occasionally referred to as “whole plant extraction”, Full Spectrum CBD Oil is made by processing the entire hemp plant as a whole and extracting all of the beneficial properties into a crude extract that is usually 65-75% pure CBD. (650-750mg of CBD per gram of crude) The crude extract is then mixed with a specific amount of a carrier oil like MCT oil or salmon oil to create the finished product at the desired CBD level. A 1000mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil tincture will contain more CBD crude extract and less carrier oil whereas a 500mg Full Spectrum CBD tincture will contain less CBD crude extract and more carrier oil. Full Spectrum CBD Oil has been known to induce the “Entourage Effect” which is a process where all of the organic compounds work together in your dog to increase and improve the oils overall effectiveness.

How to choose the right cbd oil for your dog
Full Spectrum CBD Crude Extract. Photo courtesy of Moon Mother Hemp Co.

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil is a type of CBD oil that contains all of the organic compounds in the hemp plant except THC and is made by further distilling/processing the Full Spectrum CBD crude extract described above to isolate, separate, and then reintroduce specific organic compounds at desired levels. Broad Spectrum CBD distillate is usually 85-95% pure CBD. (850-950mg of CBD per gram of distillate) The Broad Spectrum CBD distillate is then mixed with a carrier oil to create the finished product at the desired CBD level. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil does not contain any THC which prevents it from creating a true entourage effect that Full Spectrum CBD Oil produces.

Broad Spectrum CBD Distillate. Photo courtesy of CBD Energy Labs.

CBD Isolate Oil is made by extracting Full Spectrum CBD crude from the hemp plant and processing/isolating (hence the name) the CBD molecule from the CBD crude into a white crystalline type powder that is usually 95-99% pure. (950-990mg of CBD per gram of CBD isolate) CBD isolate powder is then mixed/disolved with a carrier oil to create the finished product at the desired CBD level. CBD Isolate Oil is good if your dog needs a high dose of CBD only. CBD isolate does not contain any of the beneficial organic compounds found in the hemp plant other than CBD and will definitely not create the entourage effect.

CBD Isolate. Photo courtesy of Buy CBD Oil Online.

2. CBD Oil vs. CBD Dog Treats

Research shows that when a dog eats a CBD treat, or when CBD oil is dropped onto a treat or your dogs food, the CBD is subjected to the “first pass effect.” During the first pass effect, CBD is partially broken down by the liver and the digestive tract. This causes the CBD effects to take longer and your dog will only absorb 20-30 percent of the CBD. CBD oil taken sublingually by letting it absorb either under the tongue or between your dogs cheek and gum is a more effective and efficient way to take CBD. Since the CBD is not subjected to the digestive track more of the CBD is preserved and the effects are felt faster.

3. Popular Canine CBD Brand and Their Prices

Now that you understand the difference in the three types of CBD oil for dogs and why CBD oil is more effective than CBD treats, the next step is to understand how to find the most popular canine CBD brands, what type of oil they sell, and see how much they charge for their tinctures. You can view our updated brands and price list here. Most, if not all popular canine CBD brands have a social media presence. The easiest way to research brands and their products (other than checking out our updated list) is to start by searching relevant hashtags on Instagram. Try searching #cbdfordogs or #cbdoilfordogs to start. You’ll see there is a ton of content attached to these hashtags. Click on the posts using these hashtags and you’ll start to notice a handful of brands (including PIBBLES) using them regularly. Click through the posts to the brands Instagram page and check out their bio. All of the popular canine brands include a link to their website in their Instagram bio. Click through to their website and you’ll be able to see exactly what they sell and how much they charge for their products. Make a list of the companies (or use our list linked above) that peak your interest based on popularity and/or price. Once you have a list made, you’re going to want to validate the brands on our list. Are their products really full spectrum? Where do they get their ingredients from? Are they working directly with a farm or are they white labeling another brands’ products? Are their ingredients really organic? All of this matters.

4. Validating a CBD Brand

Validating or qualifying a CBD brand is not hard to do as long as you know what to look for. The main thing you’re going to do is find their lab reports. If a brand makes it difficult to find their lab reports on their website or even worse, don’t post them at all, consider this a red flag. A responsible canine CBD brand has nothing to hide and will make it very easy for you to locate their lab reports.

Once you find the lab reports you’re looking for there are a few important data points to research.

  1. Check the date. If a brand is posting lab reports that are over 6 months old I usually like to contact them and ask why? If the lab reports are a year old or more, consider that a red flag. Are they not testing on a “per batch” basis or are they selling year old products? Either way it’s an issue.
  2. Does the name on the report match the brand name? If not, why? If a brand posts their suppliers lab reports for their bulk materials, make sure that the brand and the supplier are actually working together. It’s not unusual but you want to be sure there is a legitimate partnership between the two and that the brand isn’t posting random test results that the grabbed off the internet.
  3. Does the brand post lab reports for their finished products. It is very important that you are able to confirm the amount of CBD in a brands finished product otherwise how are you supposed to give your dog a proper dose? Make sure the date is current and that the brands name is on the finished products lab reports.
  4. Check the cannabinoid levels in their finished products. If a brand is claiming that their products are full spectrum make sure there are detectable levels of THC on the lab reports. On the other hand if a brand is claiming to be broad spectrum, check to make sure there is zero THC in their finished products.
  5. Look for contaminants and toxins, or actually, lack there of. Check either (or both) their bulk products lab reports and/or their finished products lab reports to make suer they are free of any residual solvents, pesticides, mycotoxins, micro-toxins, and heavy metals.
After doing your due diligence you should be good to go. You’ve learned the difference in the three types of products. You understand the benefits of CBD oil vs. CBD dog treats. You know who the popular brands are and how much they charge for their products. And you know how to use their lab reports to validate their claims. The very last thing you may want to do is ask around and see what people have to say about the brand you’ve selected. Customer reviews are subjective due to the fact that no two dogs are the same. But they might help you feel better about your decision.