Small dog running happy through a grass field.

Best CBD Dog Treats for Small Dogs

As research continues it’s becoming more evident that cannabidiol (CBD) may have health benefits for humans and animals. The booming CBD pet products market attests to the increasing use of CBD in pets.

For example, a 2021 survey showed that half of 1,448 pet owners give their pets (cats and dogs) CBD. Data from market researcher Statista indicates that CBD edibles are the most preferred form of CBD among US pet owners. 

So, if you have a small dog and have been contemplating giving it CBD dog treats, you are joining a growing population of dog and cat lovers doing so to manage wide-ranging pet health conditions.

Indeed, mounting research evidence supports the efficacy of CBD in alleviating pain and inflammation, stress and anxiety, skin conditions, and metabolism, among others.

Most CBD research thus far has been done on marine and equine models. There is little research using canine test subjects, but this in no way implies CBD cannot work on dogs.

If anything, dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, so they likely respond more readily to CBD.


Key takeaways

  • CBD treats are popular buys among pet owners in the US.
  • Research studies show they may help pets with certain ailments, e.g., anxiety, pain, inflammation, etc.
  • CBD's wide-ranging health benefits are attributed to its numerous action mechanisms via the endocannabinoid system.

How can CBD help my dog?

CBD works in dogs because they have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system comprises the endocannabinoid receptors (primarily CB1 and CB2), enzymes, and cannabinoids.

It modulates numerous bodily functions, e.g., sleep, mood, digestion, reproduction, temperature control, pain processing, immune responses, learning, and memory, among others.

All mammals have an endocannabinoid system and produce endocannabinoids ("endo" means internal), which are signaling molecules that facilitate the activities of the ECS. Endocannabinoids are released when G protein-coupled receptors are activated.

This happens due to an influx of compounds that stimulate the ECS, such as chocolate, spices, tea, essential fatty acids, and phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids).

CBD is a phytocannabinoid, hence its ability to stimulate the ECS. Phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC have the same effect on the ECS as the cannabinoids the body produces. As such, an influx of CBD into the mammalian system triggers wide-ranging physiological processes that benefit the host organism.

So, feeding your small dog CBD is undoubtedly beneficial. Among the health benefits of CBD treats for your dog are:


CBD demonstrates promising anxiolytic potential. Numerous human studies reinforce CBD's positive effect on various stress-based disorders, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Indeed, according to a recent Forbes survey, over half of US adults using CBD cite stress and anxiety relief as the reason for doing so. 

We know that dogs can occasionally suffer from anxiety. Separating puppies from their mothers, loud noises (e.g., firecrackers, thunderstorms), pain, being alone, strange people, or pets can cause anxiety in our canine friends.  

Giving a dog a CBD treat when it is anxious can go a long way toward helping it deal with the situation. The CBD helps it relax and calm down. The key is to feed it CBD at the right time.

For example, if your dog gets anxious around strangers, give it CBD 30 minutes to an hour before guests arrive. This gives the dog time for the anxiety-relieving effects of CBD to kick in.

Moderate to severe pain

Pain can significantly affect your dog's quality of life. For the most part, the causes of pain in dogs are pretty similar to humans and include infections, arthritis, cancer, dental problems, etcetera. Treatment procedures such as surgery can also create considerable discomfort.  

The good news is that CBD treats may help. That's because CBD has potent analgesic properties that have been highlighted in many pre-clinical and clinical studies.

CBD uses multiple pathways to reduce pain sensations. For example, it interacts with receptors (CB1 receptors) involved in processing pain and inflammation in the body. 

CBD can also bind to G-coupled protein receptors (e.g., opioid receptors and D2 [dopamine]) to influence how the body perceives pain. It also demonstrates an inverse agonistic tendency on certain protein receptors (e.g., GPR3, GPR6, and GPR12) implicated in the development of neuropathic pain.

Notwithstanding the complex action mechanisms CBD exhibits in pain relief, there is reason to believe that dogs can significantly benefit from CBD. 


Inflammation hardly springs to mind when thinking of the most pressing health issues that can affect your dog. But it is a silent menace linked to numerous health conditions.

Inflammation is the body's typical response to illness or injury. It is the result of the body attempting to protect itself by vasodilating blood vessels that white blood cells use to reach an affected area. So it is an essential immune response that helps keep dogs and humans healthy – until it gets out of hand.

CBD may help dogs with chronic inflammation thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory qualities. Clinical studies confirm that it may indirectly induce anti-inflammatory effects by suppressing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibiting the proliferation of T-cells, inducing T-cell apoptosis, and minimizing the migration of immune cells.

These findings are based on human studies, but given the striking similarities between dogs and humans, it is likely that CBD may have a therapeutic effect on dog inflammation.

Arthritis pain

Arthritis is often associated with aging dogs. It happens when the joints become inflamed, causing stiffness, pain, and discomfort. The inflammation is caused by the joint bones rubbing against each other due to the progressive breakdown of cartilage.

Even though all dogs can become arthritic, this condition is more common in larger breeds and aging dogs. Dog experts contend that arthritis affects 80% of older dogs (8 years and above). How long a dog lives with this condition depends on several factors. These include:

  • The severity of the pain
  • The treatment plan 
  • Physical activity
  • Body condition 
  • Existing medical conditions

Since it is essentially an inflammatory condition, arthritis may be managed with CBD. Indeed, research has found positive correlations between improvement in arthritis symptoms (e.g., pain) and CBD use. 

A growing body of animal studies supports CBD's effectiveness in mitigating inflammatory responses. For example, a 2011 study showed that CBD reduces inflammatory pain in mice by altering the response of pain receptors to pain stimuli.

The main issue with these research findings is that, in most cases, researchers use cannabis extract containing both CBD and THC. This makes it difficult to tell if a therapeutic effect is due to CBD alone. Nonetheless, these results are promising.

Joint pain

Joint pain is usually the result of a degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis—a condition caused by the progressive breakdown of the cartilaginous tissue in joints. 

In a healthy joint, the cartilage cushions the bones forming the joint, enabling smooth movement and a full range of motion. When a degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis sets in, the cartilage breaks down, no longer protecting the bone joints.

This causes inflammation, reduces motion range, and promotes the growth of bone spurs. These problems are common in dogs, especially large dog breeds and aging dogs.

As mentioned earlier, CBD possesses pain-killing properties. A 2017 study found it could be a useful treatment option for joint pain due to osteoarthritis. This is supported by an earlier review of animal studies that concluded CBD might effectively treat osteoarthritis. 

Besides joint pain, a 2016 study found that CBD oil may improve sleep quality and overall quality of life. These are equally vital for a dog with joint pain, given how pain can impact an animal's overall health. 

Digestive problems

Dogs love to eat, so it's no surprise that they develop digestive problems from time to time. Digestive issues in dogs can be caused by food allergies, eating non-dog food, infections, overeating, swallowing foreign objects, and digestive system injuries. 

In most cases, digestive problems resolve in 1-2 days, so there's no real cause for concern. However, in severe cases, the symptoms can last much longer, significantly affecting your dog's overall well-being. 

Fortunately, CBD treats may help by fostering a healthy environment in the intestines. It does this by promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which enables the intestines to respond well to inflammation.

CBD also helps lower plasma cortisol levels, thus preventing intestinal permeability (leaky gut). Due to cortisol's deleterious effects on the gastrointestinal tract, as shown in human studies, it is important to regulate it well for a well-functioning digestive system.

Some studies suggest that CBD may help regulate appetite. This can help reduce overeating, thereby preventing bloating. 


What are CBD dog treats

Dog treats are essentially the equivalent of snacks. Regular dog treats are often used in training sessions as rewards when a dog achieves a milestone. Dog treats come in various forms, with harder ones generally preferred for bigger dogs. The softer, crunchier treats are ideal for smaller dogs. 

If you infuse CBD oil into a regular dog treat, you have a CBD dog treat! This works for dog biscuits, chews, and other edibles. For treats like animal hooves and bones that cannot absorb CBD oil, you can smear CBD oil on them for the dog to lick.

The oil's got to taste great for the dog to lick it, though!


What to consider when shopping for CBD dog treats

That ecstatic tail-wagging from a dog expecting a treat can be as charming as the eager smile of a baby. It conveys trust and unfailing faith in our ability to keep them safe and healthy. That's why your dog deserves nothing but healthy treats.

Whether for training and rewarding good behavior or simply wanting the best for your pet, healthy CBD dog treats are a surefire way to demonstrate your love for these canine buddies. 

The wrong treats can result in poor nutrition. A dog may love bacon or other fatty treats, but these can make them put on weight fast. Heavier dogs live shorter lives than their leaner counterparts and are prone to developing health problems like diabetes, arthritis, and pancreatitis. 

So, what should you consider when looking for healthy CBD dog treats?

For starters, avoid fatty dog treats or those with chemical preservatives. Check the labels to analyze the ingredients used to make the treat. Specifically, check the fat percentage and ensure it's lower than 25%. Pet experts recommend US-made dog treats since they have better safety oversight than Chinese equivalents.

Go for dog treats with single-source ingredients. Dehydrated or freeze-dried protein treats have high acceptance among dogs and pack lots of nutrients. Moreover, dehydrated veggies and fruits can last much longer without preservatives and are hugely satisfying for dogs to chew.

Pet experts prefer dog treats made with human-grade ingredients and under similar for-human-consumption conditions. Our Premium CBD Pet Drops are human-grade and are packed with healthy organic ingredients. They are specifically formulated for dogs and cats to help support calm and relief when they need it.


How much CBD for a small dog

We recommend starting with smaller doses and adjusting as needed. Start with 1-2 milligrams (mg) of CBD per 10 pounds. 

For example, if your dog weighs 55 pounds, the recommended starting CBD dose would be 10-12 mg. That would be 50-60 drops of the low-strength CBD oil (300mg/30mL) or 25-30 drops of the more potent CBD oil (600mg/30mL).


CBD chews for small dogs

Small dogs have smaller teeth and jaws, so their chews should be large enough that they cannot swallow and have enough "give" to avoid damaging their teeth. Rubber chew toys are probably the best as they aren't too flimsy but firm enough to withstand serious chewing. These you can use with food-flavored CBD oil for the dog to lick as it chews.


Best calming CBD treats for small dogs

The best calming treats for dogs should be of high quality and manufactured to human-grade standards. Naturally, they should be deliciously flavored to make it easier for dogs to eat. Dogs have a sensitive sense of smell, so if anything smells off in their food/treat, they will likely avoid it.

Most importantly, make sure your CBD dog treat is completely THC-free. THC is toxic to dogs, even in doses considered low by human standards!