Are CBD Dog Treats Beneficial in Alleviating Dogs’ Joint Pain? 

  • CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties(1) make it a popular alternative for pet owners to use on dogs suffering from joint pain.
  • With CBD’s rise to popularity in the USA, CBD dog treats are now readily available in the market. CBD dog treats are also an easy and convenient way of administering CBD to pet animals.
  • In veterinary medicine, the presence of joint pain in dogs is most often associated with osteoarthritis(2).
  • A critical 2017 study conducted by Colorado State University was among the first to use CBD on dog subjects with osteoarthritis(3).
    The researchers found that CBD’s administration was effective in lessening the pain experienced by the canine subjects. It was also successful in increasing their comfort and activity.
  • However, there is still an absence of conclusive evidence to support CBD’s effectiveness in treating dogs with joint pain.
    Pet owners must first seek the advice of a veterinarian before an initial administration of CBD.

Best CBD Dog Treats for Joint Pain

Best Bow Chow

cbdMD Pet CBD Oil Treats for Dogs

cbdMD Pet CBD Oil Treats for Dogs

These treats are made with no meat or unnecessary additives, combined with the powerful properties of CBD derived from U.S. hemp that has been grown with organic farming methods.

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King Kanine King Kalm Crunch CBD Pet Treats

King Kanine - King Kalm Crunch Dog Treats

King Kanine is one of the leading CBD pet product manufacturers. They offer three tasty flavors of King Kalm Crunch CBD pet treats. This is available in apple cinnamon, blueberry, and honey oats. King Kanine pet CBD treats are made with naturally derived US, non-GMO, organic hemp with the addition of turmeric, honey and apples. They are also gluten-free and baked at a low temperature and dehydrated for optimal nutritional value. King Kanine’s CBD pet treats offer 0% THC, so you know that your pets are 100% safe when consuming this. Each treat has 3mg of CBD oil. All the products are fully tested by a certified ISO-17025 Lab.

This company has a wonderful dosing chart available online to help first-time pet owners with CBD dosing for their pets. King Kalm is a natural cannabidiol product that works as a great alternative to CBD oil. The natural and ingredients are high-quality and contain macro and micronutrients for good gut health.

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HolistaPet CBD Dog Treats +Stress & Anxiety Relief


Holista Pet contains a full spectrum CBD and are superfood infused dog treats. They are also vegan and organic dog treats, tinctures and capsules to help promote relief from joint pain, stress and anxiety, for heart and immune care, and capsules as a dietary supplement. Holista Pet offers treats that specifically targets a health problem.

This brand also contains a high-quality CBD that is from the U.S. It also combines superfoods for the best results and is available in tasty flavors that your dog will enjoy like green apple and peanut butter, blueberry and sweet potato, and delicious pumpkin spice and cinnamon.

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Why Pet Owners Give CBD Treats to Dogs With Joint Pain

CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties(4) have made it a popular alternative for pet owners to use on dogs that suffer joint pain.

Veterinary practice commonly associates joint pain as a sign of arthritis in canines(5).

The most common type of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease(6).

Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage (tissue surrounding the joints) deteriorates, leading to inflammation in a dog’s joints(7).

When healthy dogs move, their joints are supported by cartilage in a cushioning effect, to allow for a full range of motion.

Because the cartilage is weakened in dogs with osteoarthritis, it loses its ability to act as a cushion, resulting in friction between bones.

As a result, the immune system sends a flurry of antibodies to attack the joint lining, which leads to inflammation.

Dogs with osteoarthritis experience joint pain and lessened mobility in their affected joints(8).

Other symptoms include difficulty getting up, jumping, or playing, stiffness, weight gain, behavioral problems, and pain when petted.

Although older dogs are more prone to acquire osteoarthritis, many factors can lead to its development in young and large breeds of canine.

Injuries, continuous stress, and other diseases, like obesity, may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis in the furry animals.

In a survey report on the use of hemp products for animals, the majority (77.6%) of dog owners used hemp products to treat an illness or condition experienced by their pet dogs, including arthritis(9).

CBD oil, a hemp product, is gaining traction in the USA for its reported therapeutic health benefits(10).

As a result, CBD companies have produced a variety of CBD oil products, including CBD dog treats.

While dog owners have used CBD for dogs with arthritis, many pet parents are also turning to CBD dog treats as a means to provide pain relief to fur babies with joint pain.

Anecdotal evidence suggests CBD dog treats as an effective alternative option for pain management in dogs afflicted with joint diseases.

It was not only useful in dogs with osteoarthritis. Pet owners, whose fur babies were diagnosed with hip dysplasia (painful joint diseases where the hip or elbow is partially dislocated at birth), also gave positive feedback.

Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club, Dr. Jerry Klein, also illustrates how CBD has been used on dogs for its anti-inflammatory properties, and other therapeutic health benefits, like its anti-anxiety effects(11)

However, data on CBD’s effectiveness on dogs is still scarce and inconclusive.

A significant 2017 study conducted by Cornell State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine examined the administration of cannabidiol (CBD) treatment to dogs suffering from osteoarthritis(12).

This study was among the first to utilize dog subjects in a clinical trial that used CBD as a treatment for osteoarthritis.

Researchers administered the canine subjects 2 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight, twice a day, for four weeks, with two weeks as a washout period.

Their findings revealed that CBD significantly reduced the dogs’ pain and successfully increased their activity.

Meanwhile, owners of the canine subjects reported no notable side effects.

The study concluded that a dose of 2 mg of CBD per kilogram of the subjects’ body weight could help mitigate osteoarthritis symptoms and could increase the dogs’ comfort and activity.

Another study published in the European Journal of Pain found CBD effective in reducing pain-related behavior and inflammation in rat subjects with arthritis(13).

The researchers administered CBD gel on the skin of rats with arthritis. They discovered that CBD was able to reduce joint swelling and avert behaviors related to pain significantly.

Doses of 6.2 and 62 mg of CBD per day were also noted to be effective in mitigating inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.

Ultimately, the findings displayed CBD’s potential in lessening joint inflammation and pain-related behavior caused by arthritis, without any notable side effects.

A 2016 research published by the International Association for the Study of Pain examined whether CBD had the ability to impede inflammation that occurs in osteoarthritis(14).

In particular, researchers investigated whether CBD could prevent the development of joint pain and neuropathy (advancing deterioration of a weight-bearing joint) by inhibiting inflammation present in osteoarthritis.

To test this hypothesis, male rat subjects were induced with osteoarthritis and administered differing doses of CBD for 14 days.

Findings revealed that CBD reduced joint inflammation, and in turn, stopped joint pain from developing. They also noted CBD’s neuroprotective effects.

Researchers concluded that CBD successfully blocked pain caused by osteoarthritis. CBD treatment impeded the eventual development of pain and nerve damage in joints affected by joint disease.

Hence, the results demonstrated the potential use of CBD as a safe therapeutic agent for treating joint pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Researchers from Colorado State University conducted a clinical trial to examine the effectiveness of CBD oil in treating chronic maladaptive pain experienced by dogs with osteoarthritis(15).

The clinical trial spanned for 90 days. It was conducted using 37 canine subjects diagnosed with chronic maladaptive pain primarily as a result of osteoarthritis.

The researchers administered full-spectrum CBD oil containing hemp extract and hemp seed oil to the dogs. Of the 37 subjects, improved pain support was demonstrated in 30 dogs.

The researchers concluded that adding CBD oil to the canine subjects’ existing treatment for osteoarthritis was effective in lessening pain and improving comfort, mobility, and overall quality of life.

GW Pharmaceuticals’ former Senior Medical Advisor Ethan Russo declared cannabinoids, like CBD, as safe and effective therapeutic agents in managing chronic pain touted as challenging to treat(16).

Relieving a dog’s joint pain can also help address the related behavioral problems that accompany discomfort, such as aggression, irritability, and anxiety(17).

However, scientific data supporting the ability of CBD to alleviate joint pain in dogs is still limited.

Most studies utilize either humans, rats, or mice as subjects.

Joint pain might be indicative of an underlying disease. Dog owners should first seek a veterinarian’s advice before administering CBD dog treats to furry friends suffering from the condition.

How CBD Works for Dogs With Joint Pain

Deciphering how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its components work is key to understanding how CBD’s therapeutic properties are unlocked in a dog’s body.

The ECS is an important biological system responsible for regulating various bodily processes, including pain and immune function(18).

It also helps maintain homeostasis (stability) throughout the body.

The ECS was found to exist in all mammals, from humans to cats, and even dogs(19).

CBD’s presence in humans, rats, mice, and dogs also explains how it can express similar therapeutic effects throughout the different species.

The ECS is composed of three components: cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids (cannabinoids created naturally by the body), and enzymes that synthesize and break down said cannabinoids(20).

The two primary receptors that interact with the ECS are CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CB1 receptors lie in the brain and nervous system. However, they have also been located in various tissues and organs.

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are abundant in the immune system

Research also found CB2 receptors responsible for suppressing pain and inflammatory responses in the body(21).

In addition, stimulating CB1 receptors was also discovered to reduce pain, inflammation, and hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain)(22).

Endocannabinoids, on the other hand, are neurotransmitters. They act as signals, and upon binding to a cannabinoid receptor, can trigger a specific action within the body.

CBD acts similarly since it is a phytocannabinoid, a type of cannabinoid found naturally in plants (hence the term phyto).

When CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects are activated(23).

As early as 2009, a study published by Future Medicinal Chemistry indicated how cannabinoids exhibited anti-inflammatory responses by interacting with cannabinoid receptors(24).

They concluded that the use of phytocannabinoids, like CBD, had the potential to treat inflammatory diseases, like arthritis.

Another study explained how CBD’s interaction with CB1 and CB2 receptors was able to lessen inflammation in rat subjects induced with inflammatory joint pain(25).

CBD, or cannabidiol, is only one of the hundreds of phytocannabinoids existing in the Cannabis sativa plant.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another example. However, unlike CBD, it possesses psychoactive properties that can elicit a euphoric “high” effect in its users.

Unlike its famous counterpart, CBD is non-psychoactive. It is derived from the hemp plant, one of the variants of the Cannabis plant.

Hemp plants contain less than 0.3% THC, so hemp extracts, like hemp CBD, hemp seed, and hemp oil, do not make its users high.

The absence of psychoactive properties allows dogs to experience its health benefits without the disadvantage that often worries pet parents.

The Pros and Cons of CBD Dog Treats for Joint Pain


  • All mammals, including dogs, possess the endocannabinoid system (ECS)(26), which is responsible for activating CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
  • Researchers that conducted one of the first CBD clinical trials on dog subjects describe CBD’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties as a potential treatment for dogs with osteoarthritis(27).
  • A report on CBD’s safety and side effects found CBD to be non-toxic in both humans and animals. Researchers concluded that the controlled administration of CBD might be safe for humans, as well as animals(28).
  • Another report from the Colorado State University examined the effects of CBD administration in 30 healthy Beagle canines. The researchers concluded that CBD appeared to be well-tolerated in dogs(29).
  • Turmeric is a plant known for its anti-inflammatory properties(30). Some CBD dog treats for joint pain include turmeric in its list of natural ingredients.
  • Terpenes also possess anti-inflammatory properties(31) that may help relieve joint inflammation and, consequently, joint pain.Full-spectrum CBD dog treats list terpenes among its active ingredients.
  • Approval of the 2018 Farm Bill authorized the production and selling of industrial hemp products and extracts, like hemp CBD(32).
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to receive reports of CBD impacting pet animals, such as dogs, negatively(33).However, cases of dogs accidentally ingesting cannabis products are well-documented in various scientific literature.
  • Various CBD brands now offer CBD-infused pet products, due to its increasing fame in the USA.
  • Pet CBD products like dog treats combine organic ingredients, like hemp oil, coconut oil, and MCT oil, with vital superfoods that provide the health benefits a fur baby needs.
  • CBD dog treats are also a convenient way to administer CBD oil to dogs with joint pain.CBD treats contain a consistent dose (mg of CBD) in each treat, leaving little room for error in dosing.
  • CBD dog treats are also a more natural way for pet owners to give their dogs CBD oil since pooches are always welcoming to receiving snacks from their pet parents.Particularly, CBD dog treats are advantageous for dog owners whose pets suffer from separation anxiety.The CBD pet treats to keep the dogs preoccupied as they chew and gnaw at the goodies.These actions may lessen feelings of anxiety fur babies might feel while separated from their owners.


  • THC is considered toxic to dogs(34). A study found that a dose of more than 3 mg of THC per kilogram of body weight is lethal to canines(35).As such, dog owners are advised to check the ingredients list of any CBD dog treat they wish to feed their fur babies.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet authorized the use of CBD oil on animals, including dogs(36).
  • CBD oil’s effectiveness in providing relief to joint pain may be impeded by the production process of CBD dog treats.A 2016 study published by the European Industrial Hemp Association revealed how cannabinoid content in a cannabis-based product is lessened when subjected to high temperatures(37).
  • Certain CBD pet treats’ ingredients may include artificial flavoring and preservatives.
  • The same report detailing the effects of CBD administration on 30 healthy Beagle dogs found diarrhea to be an unwanted side effect, as exhibited by the canine subjects(38).Side effects of CBD administration to dogs may also include developing dry mouth, lower blood pressure, and drowsiness(39).
  • CBD can interact negatively with other drugs taken alongside it. The same case may apply for dogs(40).
  • There is a lack of substantial evidence to support CBD’s ability to provide pain relief to dogs with joint pain.Dog owners should be aware that CBD is by no means a cure for joint pain or any joint disease.There is no known cure for osteoarthritis. When a dog’s joints are damaged, it is rare for it to heal completely(41).Dog owners must always consult with a veterinarian first, before administering CBD dog treats to their furry pets.

How CBD Dog Treats Compare to Alternative Options for Dogs’ Joint Pain

CBD dog treats can help aid non-medical treatment for dogs with joint pain as a result of osteoarthritis.

Veterinarians commonly prescribe pain meds like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to dogs suffering from joint pain.

However, NSAIDs adversely affect aging dogs. 

In a systematic review of NSAIDs’ effects on dogs, 55% of the examined studies reported vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia in canines on NSAIDs(42).

Natural, alternative treatment for dogs with joint pain resulting from osteoarthritis includes weight management through exercise and changes in diet, and joint supplements.

In overweight and unfit dogs, joint pain can be worse, which is why losing weight through exercise and diet changes are essential for dogs with osteoarthritis.

Veterinarians also advise dog owners to help their dogs lose body weight to reduce further strain on their aching joints.

Various studies have suggested that CBD may be useful in promoting weight loss.

In a 2012 study, the administration of CBD was able to reduce rat subjects’ appetite(43).

Meanwhile, another research found CBD to promote the “fat browning process”, which converts white fat cells (fat that stores energy) into fat brown cells (burns fat to create heat)(44).

On the other hand, changes in diet may include feeding the pooches fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, which can regulate blood pressure and reduce inflammation(45).

Canines are unable to produce omega-3 and omega-6 naturally(46), but supplying them with these fatty acids may prove beneficial for the furry animals.

Full-spectrum CBD dog treats contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which may promote joint health by combating inflammation present in cases of osteoarthritis.

Some CBD pet treats also include turmeric, which is also known to reduce inflammation(47).

Veterinarians also commonly advise the use of joint supplements to reduce joint inflammation, improve function, and delay the advancement of joint damage.

Common ingredients of joint supplements include glucosamine and chondroitin. These ingredients are also used for humans, as well as dogs.

Glucosamine is a natural substance produced by the body, and is used by patients with osteoarthritis for pain relief(48).

Although it is unclear whether glucosamine helps with joint pain(49), Mayo Clinic suggests that it is generally safe and “worth a try”(50).

Glucosamine can also be found in the ingredients list of specific CBD dog treat products for joint health.

How to Choose the Best CBD Dog Treats for Joint Pain

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best CBD dog treats for pooches with joint pain.

  • Consider buying full-spectrum CBD dog treats.

Like the best CBD oil for dogs, dog treats with full-spectrum CBD oil contain the majority of active cannabinoids that can be extracted from the hemp plant. It includes terpenes and flavonoids, fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, and other compounds and minerals.

All these components work to bring a synergy known as the “entourage effect”, where the combined ingredients’ effects are more evident than when isolated(51).

Other types of CBD oil is broad-spectrum oil and CBD isolates.

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is essentially the same, except that it contains less than 0.3% of THC.

Lastly, CBD isolates contain pure CBD oil.

  • Pet owners should prioritize buying organic hemp products and non-GMO CBD pet treats. The best CBD dog treats have natural ingredients, like coconut oil, and key superfoods, like turmeric powder and flaxseed.
  • Purchase from legitimate CBD brands and sellers, as they sell the best quality products for pet dogs. By avoiding illegitimate sellers, pet parents can also keep clear of CBD products with artificial flavors, chemicals, unprocessed pesticides, and inorganic derivatives that may harm a furry friend’s well being.

Legitimate CBD brands also provide money-back guarantee for their products.

  • Legitimate CBD companies must have excellent manufacturing processes (cGMP), a COA (certificate of analysis), and third party lab certificates of analysis for every batch of CBD oil manufactured and produced.
  • High-quality CBD oil is extracted using CO2 technology. CO2 technology is currently the safest and cleanest way to extract CBD hemp oil from the industrial hemp plants.
  • Pet parents should also check the legal provisions of the state where the CBD dog treats are going to be purchased from and used. Although the 2018 Farm Bill has approved the cultivation and selling of industrial hemp products, cannabis-derived products are not regulated by the FDA.
  • Dog owners should always check product feedback and customer reviews, as these are indicative of a CBD dog treat’s high quality and effectiveness.

CBD Dosage for Dogs

There exists no standard CBD dosage chart or guide for dogs with joint pain.

As of writing, the FDA has not yet approved the use of CBD on animals, including dogs.

Although high doses of CBD is well-tolerated in humans(52), it is not advisable to give dogs the same amount of CBD their human owner might use.

The common consensus among dog owners and CBD users is that the dosage should depend on the furry animal’s body weight, as well as the seriousness of the medical condition it faces.

The 2017 study conducted by Colorado State University revealed that the administration of 2 mg of CBD per kilogram of a dog’s body weight increased the furry subjects’ comfort and activity(53).

The Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting also provides pet parents guidelines on proper CBD dosage(54).

In the guide, pet owners are advised to “go slow” when administering CBD to their pet animals. They recommend starting with a low dose, and to slowly increase until the targeted dose, and CBD’s effects, are achieved. 

If dog owners are unsure about the proper dosage their fur babies should be receiving, the safest option would be to follow the CBD brand and manufacturer’s dosage instructions.

Each CBD company will have its own specialized CBD dosage chart and guide.

They will also provide information regarding the amount of CBD present in each pet treat.

High-quality CBD dog treats contain a consistent amount of CBD in each treat, making it more comfortable for dog owners to administer CBD on their pet canines.

Most CBD companies indicate that strong doses are used for medical conditions.

Meanwhile, regular doses are for boosting a dog’s health and well-being.

Keep in mind that CBD is not a cure for joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. CBD dog treats can only help to alleviate chronic pain dogs with this condition experience.

Pet owners should first seek the opinion of veterinarians before administering CBD dog treats to their pet pooches.

How Dogs Can Take CBD Dog Treats for Joint Pain

CBD dog treats are simply CBD-infused dog biscuits and soft chews.

These pet treats are usually fed to dogs to help combat feelings of anxiety they might get from a thunderstorm, or to bring pain relief from aching joints.

The best CBD dog treats contain natural ingredients, like plant-based extracts and superfoods. Examples of these are turmeric, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and chamomile.

The listed ingredients are also useful for bringing anxiety relief to irritable dogs experiencing pain and discomfort.

HOLISTAPET is one of the CBD brands that offer CBD treats to pet animals, such as dogs and cats.

Their CBD-infused pet products are also vegan, grain-free, and non-GMO. 

Holistapet offers three varieties of dog treats:

  • Green Apple & Peanut Butter

This product contains L-theanine and chamomile that help soothe anxious, aggressive, or irritable dogs.

  • Pumpkin Spice & Cinnamon
  • Blueberry & Sweet Potato

Holistapet also offers CBD Dog Treats +Joint & Mobility Care, a product that contains active ingredients such as turmeric roots, boswellia (repairs damaged tissue), hemp seed powder, and coconut oil.

These ingredients are beneficial for promoting joint health.

KING KANINE’s King Kalm Krunch is a CBD pet treat made with human-grade ingredients, such as apple cinnamon, blueberry, and honey oats. It is also gluten-free, non-GMO, and uses organic hemp extracts.

HONEST PAWS also offers pet treat bites containing full-spectrum hemp oil, organic oats, barley, and peanut butter that dogs love so well.

CBD dog treats are easy to administer to dogs. Pet owners can simply feed these CBD products to their pets like they would snacks.

However, pet parents can also make their own homemade treats and use CBD tinctures to supply the dogs with their much-needed dose of CBD for the day.

Pet owners can use the dropper available in CBD tinctures to mix CBD oil into the dog’s food-snack.


CBD’s documented anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties make it a promising alternative for dogs suffering from joint pain due to osteoarthritis and other joint diseases.

In particular, giving a dog CBD treats is an easy and convenient way to administer CBD oil to pet animals.

However, only a few studies have illustrated the effectiveness of CBD in bringing pain relief to dogs with joint diseases.

Dog owners are advised to first consult with a veterinarian before administering CBD dog treats to their furry pets.

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  54. Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting. Cannabis Guidelines for Pet Parents. Retrieved from
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