CBD Dog Treats vs. Oil

CBD Dog Treats vs. Oil
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Unlike marijuana, CBD is a safe way to support the health of a dog. It can help to alleviate pain, anxiety, inflammation, and nausea in dogs with health conditions, and also helps to stimulate the appetite. It's a natural, effective way to help dogs with arthritis, cancer, kidney disease, anxiety, seizures, and other health problems to feel better and live longer.

More and more pet owners and veterinarians are discovering the benefits of CBD for dogs, and it's become a more widely used supplement for a variety of dog ailments and symptoms.

CBD can be administered to dogs in a variety of ways, and each way has benefits and drawbacks.

Topical Application of CBD Oil 

As with humans, CBD can be administered by massaging it into the skin. This is a great way to target a specific body area without the CBD oil needing to travel throughout the entire bloodstream to reach the targeted area.

Topical Application of CBD Oil


  • Best way to swiftly target the specific body area being treated
  • No need to persuade the dog to take CBD orally
  • Excellent for certain conditions, like arthritic hips, skin conditions, and skin damage after fleas or excessive licking
  • Often contains other ingredients to support healthy skin, like aloe vera or coconut oil
  • Safe when eaten, so there's no need to worry about a dog licking the treated area


  • Dog hair interferes with the absorption of the oil
  • Difficult to determine how much CBD oil has actually been administered or absorbed
  • May reduce the effectiveness of beneficial CBD side effects
  • Can be messy

CBD Capsules

As with any other medication, CBD oil can also be administered in capsules for the dog to swallow. Capsules deliver CBD oil systemically, from the digestive system into the bloodstream and throughout the dog's body.


  • Simplest way to know exactly how much CBD is being administered with every treatment
  • Most accurate dosage for medical conditions
  • Treatments are very easy to measure and track
  • Systemic distribution is good for a variety of pet concerns and conditions, with beneficial side effects


  • Some dogs may resist swallowing a capsule
  • Slower to take effect, because it works through digestion

CBD Tinctures

These tinctures use extracts to suspend CBD oil in a solution that can be taken orally in drops. These drops are usually administered under the pet's tongue, and are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream


  • Fastest systemic absorption of CBD of any method, because it bypasses digestion
  • Easy to track and measure drops being administered for medical conditions


  • Some dogs do not like the taste of CBD tinctures
  • Some dogs will not readily accept medication administered in this way

CBD Edibles 

CBD oil can also be cooked into dog treats that are administered like any other dog treat.


  • Easiest way to administer CBD, as most dogs will eat treats readily
  • Simple to track how many have been given
  • Can be combined with training and positive behavioral reinforcement


  • Least accurate dosage, as it is difficult to tell exactly how much effective CBD is in each individual treat
  • Slowest to take effect, as other ingredients in the treat are also being digested at the same time
Which CBD Administration Method is Best for Your Pet

Which CBD Administration Method is Best for Your Pet? 

The best method for your pet depends on what your goals are for CBD treatment, and your pet's disposition and behavior. For most pet owners, there isn't a single “right” way to give CBD, because it depends on your treatment goals. Generally speaking:

Topical CBD oil for dogs

  • Best for treating skin problems and concerns, like dermatitis, rashes, skin damage, or wound healing
  • May also be calming and pleasant for dogs, and create quality bonding time
  • Worst method for treating systemic diseases that call for a specific dosage

CBD capsules for dogs

  • Best method for owners with a busy schedule who need to give a specific, trackable daily dosage of CBD
  • Best for treating systemic diseases and medical conditions, and ensuring beneficial side effects like relieving anxiety
  • For some dogs, this may be the most unpleasant method of administering CBD

CBD tinctures for dogs

  • Best method for fast absorption and effectiveness throughout the body. Easy to track, although not as easy as capsules
  • Also good for treating systemic diseases and gaining beneficial side effects
  • Many dogs do not like the taste, and may resist holding still and allowing drops to be placed in their mouths

CBD treats for dogs

  • Best method for getting a dog to accept CBD treatment
  • When treats are combined with positive behavior reinforcement, they can promote better overall health and happiness for the dog and owner
  • Worst method for medical care, because it is difficult to know exactly how much CBD is in each treat, and absorption is slowed and impaired by digestive processes


Most owners treating a medical condition opt for CBD capsules or tinctures, and switch to treats if the dog resists these methods. However, all your options should be discussed with your veterinarian, who will help you optimize dosage and delivery method.

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