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How Long Do CBD Dog Treats Take to Work?

By Erin Mastopietro

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CBD has exploded in popularity over the last several years due to its reported health benefits. Nowadays, many people are taking CBD to relieve anxiety, deal with chronic panic, and get better sleep. 

However, scientists have discovered that not only is CBD beneficial to humans, but it’s also beneficial to dogs. Many dog owners now give their pets CBD dog treats to help with many of the same ailments that humans experience. 

But, how long do CBD dog treats take to work? Should your pet feel the effects right away, or does it take a while to build up in the system? Read this guide to learn how long it takes CBD dog treats to work. 

Related: Best CBD Treats for Dogs 

What is CBD?

Before we dive into how long CBD dog treats take to work, let’s first take a look at what CBD is. CBD (short for cannabinoid) is a chemical found in the marijuana plant. Unlike THC, another chemical found in the marijuana plant, CBD does not possess any psychoactive properties. 

Yet, the chemical offers many of the same benefits that THC does. For this reason, many people prefer CBD to THC. Additionally, CBD is legal in all 50 states, which isn’t the case yet for THC. While laws vary by state, in many states, you can purchase CBD online, making it easy to consume this helpful product. 

Related: CBD vs. THC for Dogs

What are CBD Dog Treats? 

CBD dog treats are just like regular dog treats, except they’re infused with CBD. Some pet parents also choose to give their dogs CBD oil or capsules. However, many prefer pet treats because dogs are more open to eating them, as they view them as a reward. 

Dogs’ bodies (and the bodies of most mammals) contain native receptors for cannabinoids. These native receptors in the brain run all throughout the central nervous system. From there, the receptors influence the workings of our internal systems and organs. Their purpose is to regulate everything from memory to pain tolerance to emotional states to hunger. 

For pets (and humans), CBD may provide relief by acting on these receptors and, therefore, the various processes in the body that these receptors affect. 

How Long Do They Take to Work? 

So, if you give your pet a CBD dog treat, should they feel relief immediately, or do they need to wait a while? 

Generally speaking, you can expect a CBD dog treat to take effect within 30 minutes to 5 hours for anxiety-related issues. If you’re giving your dog CBD for chronic pain, it may take up to 4 weeks for your pooch to start feeling the effects. 

Unfortunately, animals can’t tell us if they’re feeling better. However, keep your eye out for clues that the CBD is doing its job. 

For example, if your pet suffers from separation anxiety and you give it CBD, you may notice that your dog is more calm and relaxed when you leave or return home. If they used to bark and whimper every time you’d leave but are now unfazed by your departure, then the CBD is doing its job. 

If you give your dog CBD treats for pain, you may notice that after a few weeks, your dog is back to walking normally and moving around like it used to. 

Factors That Can Affect How Long it Takes CBD Dog Treats to Work 

Dog outside

As we mentioned, the above timelines are just general estimates. There are other factors that can impact how long it takes CBD treats to work for your dog. These include:

The Brand 

Unfortunately, not all CBD dog treats are created equally. Therefore, the brand you buy from can have a huge impact on the overall effectiveness of the product for your dog. 

While you’ll find dozens of CBD dog treat brands online, make sure to do your research before buying. Look for brands with professional-looking websites that sell a variety of CBD products. If the website has a store locator, even better, as this indicates that other businesses trust the dog treat brand enough to sell its products in their stores. 

Also, look for companies that have learning resources on their website and information regarding FDA disclosure. When checking out their CBD products, check to see that they list the ingredients on the packaging and on the site. And, look for companies that list customer testimonials on their website. 

The Potency

The potency of the CBD treat can also play a major role in how long it takes to kick in. Most CBD dog treats contain a CBD concentration ranging from 2 to 20 mg. When deciding how much CBD to give your pet, refer to the product’s size chart and dosing guidelines. 

While you may think that giving your dog more CBD will speed up the effectiveness of the product, this isn’t always the case. Plus, giving your dog too much CBD at once can be harmful. For example, a large dog may require a significantly higher dosage than a smaller one. 

When you’re first introducing your dog to CBD treats, it’s best to start with a small amount and see how they react to it. Then, you can slowly increase until you’ve reached the recommended dosage. 

Remember, you need to be patient, as in some cases, it can take a few weeks for the CBD to take effect. 

Your Dog’s Body

As we mentioned, your dog’s size can affect how big of a dosage they need and how long it takes the dosage to kick in. However, size isn’t the only thing that plays a role in the CBD timeline. 

If your pet suffers from any underlying ailments, they may be more affected by CBD than the average healthy dog. For example, if your dog is underweight and suffers from a lot of pain, they may notice the effects of the CBD more readily. However, if your dog is in generally good health, it may take a bit longer for them to benefit from the effects of CBD. 

Your Dog’s Ailment 

As we mentioned earlier, the ailment your dog is suffering from can also play a role in how quickly the dog treats become effective. If your dog suffers from anxiety or any other sort of mental issues, you can expect the CBD to start kicking in within an hour or so. 

However, it can take up to a month for CBD to work on dogs that suffer from chronic pain. 

How Many CBD Treats Should I Give My Dog? 

As we mentioned, the package should indicate the appropriate dosage for your dog based on its size. If it doesn’t say anything, we recommend starting your dog off with a few milligrams and then working your way up from there. 

In some cases, this may mean splitting the dog treat in half. 

How Can CBD Treats Benefit My Dog? 

Puppy running

So, why should you be giving your dog CBD treats instead of regular treats? Here are some of the benefits your dog may experience from eating CBD treats:

Anxiety 

Anxiety is one of the most common reasons pet owners feed their dogs CBD treats. Anxiety in dogs can often lead to troublesome behaviors, such as barking, urinating inside, and acting out. 

CBD is thought to help dogs calm their nervousness provide them with feelings of calm. Some scientists believe this is because CBD may activate some parts of the brain as serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happy and relaxed. 

This can be particularly helpful for pets that suffer from separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety will often pant or bark when they’re distressed about their owner leaving home. By giving your dog a CBD treat, you can help ease some of this anxiety for them. 

Related: What to Give Your Dog to Sleep Through the Night 

Pain and Inflammation

CBD dog treats can also help with pain and inflammation. While experts aren’t yet certain how CBD relieves pain, it’s believed that the chemical affects the ECS and other nerves involved in creating pain sensations. 

Whether your dog suffers from arthritis or another ailment that causes chronic pain, CBD dog treats may be the answer. 

Click here to learn about the best CBD dog treats for joint pain! 

Seizures 

While not every dog suffers from seizures, they’re more commonplace than you’d think. Studies indicate that as many as 1 in 20 dogs may experience a seizure in their lifetime. 

CBD treats may be able to help prevent seizures in your dog. In fact, a study published by the American Veterinary Association found that CBD helped lower the frequency of seizures in dogs that suffered from epilepsy when used in combination with anti-seizure medication. 

While scientists don’t fully understand how CBD works to prevent seizures, it’s believed that the chemical prevents nerves in the brain from firing off too much and that it can lower the number of electrolytes the body needs to produce a seizure. 

How to Talk to Your Veterinarian About CBD Dog Treats 

If your pet suffers from arthritis, anxiety, or another medical condition that you believe may benefit from CBD dog treats, you should discuss with your vet to figure out which options work best for your dog’s lifestyle. 

However, keep in mind that research regarding CBD products is still a work in progress, and some veterinarians may not be legally allowed to discuss, recommend or dispense CBD products. Or they may not feel comfortable doing so. 

Here are some tips about talking to your vet about CBD:

Understand your state’s laws. 

Your veterinarian is mandated by their state’s veterinary board regarding how much they can guide you regarding CBD products. In some states, such as California, veterans can discuss but not recommend, administer, prescribe, or dispense cannabis products. 

However, advocacy work is currently underway to change these laws so veterinarians can more openly discuss CBD in their practice. But, it’s still important to understand the climate in your state, so you’re prepared for the conversation. 

Be open and honest

When approaching the topic of CBD with your veterinarian, be honest about why you’re considering CBD for your pet. If you have already started giving your dog a treat or product, consider bringing it with you to your appointment so your veterinarian can better evaluate it with you. 

Share resources with your vet

Some state regulations restrict a vet’s ability to outright discuss or recommend CBD products with or to their patients. In many cases, it’s the pet owner’s responsibility to bring up the topic of CBD with their vet. We recommend sharing resources and information to start the conversation. 

Be prepared for potential limitations

Veterinary medical boards in each state are working on guidelines to provide vets with rules regarding cannabis. Due to this murky environment, some vets still have a limited knowledge on the subject. 

However, most veterinarians can provide you with guidance on how to dispense CBD products safely to your dog. 

Bottom Line

Emerging research suggests that CBD treats may help with several pet health conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, seizures, and more. While we need more studies to confirm the exact benefits, many pet parents are using CBD and seeing promising results. 

Before introducing a new treat to your dog, you should discuss using CBD with your veterinarian. Together, you can form a plan to help your furry friend feel its best! 

Are you interested in purchasing CBD dog treats today? Click here to get your dogs’ paws on our Belly Bites!