Hemp for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know About Its Uses and Safety

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Hemp has emerged as a popular natural wellness option for pets, with many dog owners curious about its potential benefits. But before introducing hemp to your furry friend, it’s crucial to understand its effects, proper dosage, and possible risks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 & 6 fatty acids and might benefit your dog’s skin, coat, joints & overall health.
  • Hemp products come in various forms: hemp seed oil (minimal THC), full-spectrum hemp oil (consult a vet on availability), and CBD oils (concentrated CBD).
  • Choose the right product based on your dog’s needs (skin, anxiety, etc.) and consult your vet for dosage and legal considerations.
  • Remember, consult your vet before introducing any new supplements to your dog’s routine.

What is Hemp:

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a plant species related to marijuana. Still, with a crucial distinction: hemp contains minimal to no THC, the psychoactive compound that produces the “high” associated with marijuana. This makes hemp safe for dogs and unlocks a range of potential benefits:

The Benefits of Hemp for Dogs:

Hemp seed oil, derived from the hemp plant (not to be confused with marijuana), offers a unique profile of nutrients that might benefit your canine companion:

  • Essential Fatty Acids: Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, hemp seed oil can contribute to healthy skin and coat, promoting shine and reducing itchiness.
  • Joint Support: The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp seed oil may be helpful for dogs with arthritis or joint pain.
  • Anxiety Relief: While research is ongoing, some studies suggest CBD oil (a different extract from the hemp plant) might help manage anxiety in dogs.
  • Overall Wellness Boost: Hemp seed oil provides essential minerals and antioxidants, potentially contributing to a stronger immune system.

Navigating the Hemp Options for Your Dog:

Hemp has become a popular choice for dog owners seeking natural ways to support their canine companions’ well-being. But with various hemp products available, choosing the right one can be confusing. Let’s explore the different types of hemp for dogs and some popular options within each category:

1. Hemp Seed Oil:

Extracted from hemp seeds, this oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, beneficial for skin, coat, and overall health. It typically contains minimal to no THC.

Popular Products:

  • NaturVet Hemp Quiet Soft Chews: These chews combine hemp seed oil with calming ingredients like chamomile and L-theanine for stress relief.
  • Zesty Paws Hemp Bites: These tasty bites offer a convenient way to deliver hemp seed oil along with added glucosamine for joint support.

2. Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil:

This oil contains all the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, including CBD (cannabidiol). The amount of CBD varies depending on the product. It’s crucial to choose a product specifically formulated for pets with minimal THC content.

Important Note: Full-spectrum hemp oil is not yet widely available for purchase due to legal restrictions in some areas. Consult your veterinarian to discuss its availability and suitability for your dog.

3. CBD Oil for Dogs:

This oil is specifically formulated to contain concentrated CBD, extracted from the hemp plant. It typically has minimal to no THC.

Popular Products:

  • PetHonesty Hemp Elixir for Dogs: This liquid formula allows for easy dosing and contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil for additional benefits.
  • Receptra Advanced CBD + Hip & Joint Support for Dogs: This oil combines CBD with glucosamine and chondroitin for targeted joint support.

Choosing the Right Hemp Product for Your Dog:

Before selecting a hemp product for your dog, consider the following:

  • Your Dog’s Needs: Addressing skin and coat health? Opt for hemp seed oil. Seeking potential anxiety relief? Explore CBD oil options (consult your veterinarian for availability).
  • Dosage: Dosage recommendations vary based on product type, dog size, and intended purpose. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance.
  • Legality: Hemp product regulations can vary by location. Check with your veterinarian or local pet stores to ensure the chosen product is legal in your area.

By understanding the different types of hemp for dogs and the available products, you can make an informed decision to support your furry friend’s well-being naturally. Remember, consulting your veterinarian before introducing any new supplement to your dog’s routine is crucial.

Finding the Right Dosage:

The appropriate dosage of hemp seed oil for dogs depends on factors like size, breed, and the intended purpose. It’s essential to consult your veterinarian for a specific recommendation based on your dog’s needs.

Potential Side Effects of Hemp for Dogs:

Here’s a breakdown of the potential side effects of hemp for dogs:

  • Digestive Issues: Diarrhea or upset stomach is the most common side effect, especially when introducing hemp or using high doses. These issues typically subside as your dog adjusts or by lowering the dosage.
  • Drowsiness: Less frequent, but some dogs might experience mild drowsiness after taking hemp products. Monitor your dog’s behavior and adjust the dosage or time of day you administer it if necessary.
  • Appetite Suppression (Less Common): Some research suggests hemp seed oil might have mild appetite-suppressing effects. While potentially beneficial for weight management, ensure your dog still consumes enough calories for overall health.

Important Note:

These side effects are generally mild and temporary. However, if you notice any concerning reactions in your dog after introducing hemp, discontinue use and consult your veterinarian immediately.

Hemp and Safety Concerns:

While generally safe, exceeding recommended doses can be harmful. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Dangerous Levels: THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, can be toxic to dogs. Ensure the hemp product you choose is specifically formulated for pets and contains minimal to no THC.
  • Potential Side Effects: Mild side effects like diarrhea or drowsiness might occur, especially when starting or using high doses. Monitor your dog for any changes and adjust the dosage accordingly.

Essential Precautions:

  • Always consult your veterinarian before introducing hemp to your dog.
  • Choose reputable brands that offer third-party lab testing for purity and potency.
  • Start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed, following your veterinarian’s guidance.
  • Be mindful of potential interactions with other medications your dog might be taking.


Hemp seed oil offers a natural approach to potentially support your dog’s well-being. However, navigating the world of hemp products requires proper research and the guidance of your veterinarian. By understanding the benefits, dosage, and potential risks, you can make an informed decision about whether hemp is a safe and valuable addition to your dog’s wellness routine.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as veterinary advice. Always consult with a licensed veterinarian before administering any new supplements or medications to your pet.