CBD Oil for Dogs and Pets in NZ – Everything You Need to Know

CBD Oil for Dogs and Pets in NZ - Everything You Need to Know

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We love our dogs, so of course, we want to keep them healthy, happy, and thriving. Whether it’s reducing your dog’s pain levels, helping them with inflammation, or even treating seizures, keeping your dog healthy will leave them happier and with a better quality of life.

One natural treatment option could help your dog stay healthy in a variety of ways – CBD.

Although CBD oil is legal prescription medicine for humans, it is not available legally for animals in NZ. The Cannabis Clinic can prescribe CBD oil for people for a variety of reasons, from stress and wellness to pain and insomnia or anxiety. 

CBD oil and dogs

When you think of CBD oil, you probably haven’t thought that it could offer anything for dogs – but it turns out that CBD shows a lot of potential as a possible treatment for multiple canine health disorders.

Here are the ways that CBD for dogs can be used.

Reduces inflammation

One area where CBD oil could help your dog is by possibly reducing inflammation. Inflammatory conditions can leave your dog with a reduced range of motion, in pain, and struggling to participate in their regular activities.

Canine diseases that are caused by inflammation include inflammatory bowel disease, osteoarthritis, and dermatitis.

CBD has demonstrated a significant possible ability to reduce inflammation and possibly help your dog with their inflammatory disorder.

Reduces pain

There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog in pain, and to make it even worse, we often don’t realise that our dogs are in pain until it’s very painful. Because of this, it’s important to know the signs that your dog might be in pain.

Signs that your dog might be in pain include:

  • Sensitive to touch
  • Less active than usual
  • Crying out
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Excessive licking of one area

But your dog doesn’t have to suffer from pain; natural treatment options like CBD oil have shown great promise in possibly helping to reduce the symptoms of pain.

One way that CBD oil for pets may act as a pain reliever is by increasing the effects of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is well-known for its positive effects on mood. But serotonin can also block pain, especially in cases of chronic pain. CBD can activate serotonin receptors and, therefore, could help to reduce pain in your dog by increasing serotonin activity.

How can CBD oil help dogs?

As the research tells us, CBD oil may possibly make some significant changes to your dog’s health by reducing their pain levels and reducing their inflammation. The main way that CBD possibly induces these effects is by interacting with certain receptors. The type of receptor and the location of those receptors determines the response that your dog will experience.

Endocannabinoid receptors exist in mammalian brains, so we know that mammals like dogs can experience the many effects of CBD. Knowing that CBD can impact your dog, here are some of the ways that you could help your dog by using CBD oil for pets.


Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes the cartilage in your dog’s joints to deteriorate. As the cartilage deteriorates, the cushion that protects their joints from bone starts to disappear, leaving the joint more susceptible to damage and pain. Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis progresses over time and can leave your dog in pain and with a reduced range of motion.

If your dog is suffering from osteoarthritis, CBD may be able to help. Multiple studies have demonstrated the ability of CBD oil to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs. These studies found that CBD oil improved pain levels, mobility, and activity levels in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Seizure disorders

Seizure disorders can be especially debilitating for dogs, causing them to lose control of their muscles and convulse when a seizure occurs. Seizure disorders can leave your dog scared, in pain, and in danger of hurting themselves or suffering from brain damage.

The good news for owners of dogs suffering from seizures is that CBD may offer some relief.

A recent study published in 2019 found that CBD oil reduced the frequency of seizures in dogs that suffered from idiopathic epilepsy. Importantly, the study also found that the owners of the dogs reported no negative side effects from the CBD treatment.

While more research is needed into the effects of CBD on canine seizures to fully understand how it works, this early stage research is certainly promising.

How to give CBD oil to your dog?

If you’re interested in CBD oil for your dog’s ailments, you may be wondering how exactly to give CBD oil to your dog.

Consuming CBD oil is easy for humans – you can choose between vaping, topicals, nasal sprays, and edible products, to name a few. But for dogs, it can be a bit harder to incorporate CBD oil into their routine.

To make it easier to give your dog CBD oil, you can purchase ready-to-consume CBD dog treats. These are ideal because they are fuss-free and easy to dose, and your dog will love them.

If you can’t find CBD dog treats, you can simply mix CBD oil into your dog’s food. Handy hint – you may find it easier to add CBD oil to wet dog food, rather than dry.

For any questions about dosing, it’s best to ask your veterinarian what dose of CBD will be best for your dog and their health issues.

CBD oil side effects

If you’re interested in CBD oil for dogs, one of the benefits is its high safety profile. CBD is largely considered to be safe, and studies involving CBD oil for dogs have shown that CBD may result in no negative side effects.

Some mild side effects from CBD oil use are possible. These can include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry mouth
  • Lethargy

One side effect that you don’t have to worry about when giving your dog CBD is any psychoactive effects. CBD isn’t intoxicating, meaning that it can’t get you or your dog high.

The bottom line

Whether you’re wanting to treat your dog’s pain and inflammation or perhaps more serious conditions, like a seizure disorder, it seems that CBD for pets could possibly offer a lot of help. CBD has demonstrated possible therapeutic abilities and could possibly help to improve your dog’s overall quality of life.

If you’re thinking about giving CBD oil to your dog here in New Zealand, unfortunately there are currently no legal products. This is likely to change as companies work quickly towards gaining ACVM (Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines) registration for prescription medicinal cannabis products for animals.

Disclaimer – medicinal cannabis and CBD oil are unapproved medicines in NZ which means that there is no conclusive evidence for their effect, apart from Sativex. Many doctors do not routinely prescribe cannabis medicines. The above article was written for general educational purposes and does not intend to suggest that medicinal cannabis can be used to treat any health condition. Please consult with your healthcare provider. 

MBChB (Otago), BSc (Auckland) - As our tele-medicine doctor and author, Dr. Waseem keeps busy educating both patients and doctors about medicinal cannabis. He also consults with people from all over New Zealand, offering a listening ear and giving the most relevant advice.

13 thoughts on “CBD Oil for Dogs and Pets in NZ – Everything You Need to Know

  1. Debbie Redmond says:

    My 10yo border collie has arthritis and his dysplasia in his back legs. Therefore no more running for him and playing with the ball. This is very sad as he is a very active dog

  2. Buddy Pet Australia says:

    Thanks for a thorough article on CBD oil for dogs and the benefit of using it. In Australia, CBD oil for dogs will need to be prescribed by the vet. Hopefully, the government will make it more available to the public soon.

    • Cannabis Clinic says:

      Yes! We hope that it becomes more available soon so our furry friends can benefit from it too.

    • Marewa Sheen says:

      CBD OIl would be perfect for my 14year old Labrador she is sore. Most of the time now
      I’m in New Zealand
      What’s thee best way to purchase. CBD
      Thank you
      Marewa Sheen

  3. Lizzie Traviss says:

    Hi there, what appointment do I book for our dog? I had her on CBD oil a year or so ago and it was amazing for her, and she hasn’t needed it again until this winter. She is 13 and getting quite sore again, and I think the CBD oil would be amazing for her. Thanks Lizzie

    • Dr. Waseem Alzaher says:

      Hi Lizzie, thank you for the question. Unfortunately we cannot prescribe for animals at this stage but at some point soon the law will allow vets to, hopefully. We can however prescribe for people. Hope this helps.

    • CJ Stoffberg says:

      Hey Deb, thank you for your question. It is best to consult with your GP or give us a call on 0800 223 645. Our team will be able to answer any questions that you may have.

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