Health & Wellbeing

CBD Oil for Dogs Australia: Your FAQ’s Answered

Everything you need to know about CBD oil for dogs in Australia.

Have you heard about CBD oil for dogs, but you’re unsure whether it can help your sick, anxious or senior pup?

The use of CBD oil for dogs in Australia still feels very much like a taboo topic here. This is mostly because CBD oil is not widely available in Australia, which is lagging behind the rest of the world in making products containing cannabidiol or CBD more freely available. 

The main purpose of CBD oil for dogs is to keep pets calm and pain-free. And naturally there are plenty of questions pet parents have about the benefits of CBD oil, how to use it, and where to access it.

So to answer all your questions, we’ve teamed up with the pet health experts at CBD Vets Australia the first company in Australia to support vets with education, as well as access to legal medicinal cannabis for pets.

Read on to learn more about CBD oil for dogs including all the answers to these common questions:

  1. What is CBD oil?
  2. How does CBD work in the body?
  3. What’s the difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil for dogs?
  4. What are the benefits of CBD oil for my dog?
  5. Is CBD safe for dogs?
  6. Will my dog feel “high” taking CBD oil?
  7. Can I give my dog CBD oil bought online?
  8. How much does CBD oil cost in Australia?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice.

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CBD Oil for Dogs in Australia: Your FAQ’s Answered

CBD Oil for Dogs Australia: Your FAQ’s Answered1

What is CBD oil for dogs?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a type of cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant species. Since its discovery in 1940, it has been researched for a range of medicinal actions in humans. More recently, investigations into the use of CBD oil for dogs and pets has surged. Following its use overseas, CBD oil is now legally available in Australia, however it can only be prescribed by your local vet.

How does CBD work in the body?

CBD works through its relationship with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex system interdependent and interwoven with pretty much every other system in the body. It has dynamic relationships with the immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.

What’s the difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil for dogs?

Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are both derived from cannabis plants. Hemp seed oil or hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of cannabis plants that contain less than 0.0075% CBD and 0.005% of the intoxicating THC.

Therefore, it is classed as a food source that may contribute towards general well-being as a supplement, but it is not considered to possess therapeutic value. 

CBD oil differs in that it is extracted from the flowers and stalks of the hemp, as well as other cannabis varieties, and is widely researched for its potential therapeutic properties. 

Human cuddling dogs face | CBD Oil for Dogs Australia: Your FAQ’s Answered1

What are the benefits of CBD oil for my dog?

The benefits for CBD oil for dogs are similar to those for humans. According to research, CBD oil may be helpful for pets with epilepsy, arthritis, chronic pain and anxious or depressed behaviours.

Some pet parents have also shared positive outcomes when treating their pets with CBD for the symptoms of cancer, diabetes and gastrointestinal concerns. 

A survey of dog owners in international markets shows CBD or medical cannabis products are most commonly utilised by pet parents for pain relief, inflammation, anxiety and noise phobias.

Dr Rebecca Dowling BVSc from Sunset Home Veterinary Care has been using CBD oil on a number of her pet patients:

“It’s helpful for muscle pain in dogs with arthritis. It has improved the ease of falling asleep and being less restless during the night for many dogs, and we assume this is because they are less painful. It has also been helpful for anxiety – especially the anxiety associated with their conditions.”

– Dr Rebecca Dowling BVSc.

While the Veterinary Director​ of CBD Vets Australia Dr Christopher Lee says:

“I have seen first-hand how CBD oil can be used not just for pain control but also for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, as well as a mood balancer for animals. As a new modality of therapy, with its lack of significant side effects and wide safety margins, CBD is a viable alternative for long term pain control and an exciting adjunct therapy for veterinarians.”

Dr Christopher Lee.

Is CBD safe for dogs?

CBD oil is generally safe for dogs. In safety studies and trials of dogs taking CBD oil, the most common side effect observed has been diarrhea. 

In some initial research into the safety of CBD oil, dogs have been shown to tolerate CBD oil in relatively high doses. While some research shows CBD might affect liver enzyme status, other data suggest changes aren’t clinically significant.

Other less common side effects include redness around the ears or discharge from the eyes. 

While side effects from CBD are possible, when administered by a knowledgeable vet, they can be mitigated or avoided with a careful dosing schedule. 

CBD Oil for Dogs Australia: Your FAQ’s Answered2

Will my dog feel “high” taking CBD oil?

CBD is one of many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Another well-known compound in the cannabis plant is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Whilst coming from the same plant, CBD and THC have different effects.

THC is the most active constituent of cannabis and has a psychological effect. It creates a mind-altering “high”. Dogs have a higher level of CB1 receptors in the brain than humans making them more susceptible to the psychoactive effects of THC.

Therefore, any cannabis product that has not been legally bought on prescription is potentially dangerous for your dog, as you can’t guarantee there won’t be harmful levels of THC inside.

Unlike THC, CBD is not intoxicating and won’t provide the euphoric or ‘high’ feeling.

CBD products adhere to regulations stipulating a THC content of less than 0.2%, this means medical CBD has so little THC that it will not cause your pet to feel intoxicated, and is thus deemed not harmful to your beloved pet.

Can I give my dog CBD oil bought online?

Buying CBD for your pet online is illegal in Australia. There are many downsides and dangers that come with administering medicine from an unknown, unlicensed vendor and without medical advice from a qualified vet practitioner. 

Online and black market products may be of poor quality and contain contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides or bacteria, which could do more harm than good to your dog. Ambiguities such as these result in a risk of reduced safety, quality, and efficacy. Also of concern for dogs, is the level of THC in the product which can cause adverse side effects.

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How much does CBD oil cost?

You may have seen articles that suggest that medicinal cannabis obtained through legal pathways for animal healthcare is a lot more expensive than what is obtained on the black market. 

However, on average, the price of medicinal cannabis CBD prescribed legally has come down to be on par with the black market, as it has for CBD for humans.

How much your dog will need and for how long, depends on the health condition and size of dog, which makes costs variable. 

Accessing medical cannabis for your pet

CBD Vets Australia can recommend a local prescribing vet and have a team well-versed in treating animal health conditions with CBD oil who can answer any further questions you have.

Contact CBD Vets Australia on (02) 8294 9303 or


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