Can CBD Dog Treats Cause Diarrhea?

CBD dog treats laying on a table with an old golden retriever standing with his two back legs on the ground and his two front legs on the table

Dog lovers everywhere are raving about the potential benefits of CBD for their furry friends, but as with any new trend or treatment, it’s vital to approach with a well-informed perspective. For beginners, one question often pops up: Can CBD dog treats cause diarrhea? Let’s dive into this beginner-friendly guide and discover the answer.

What is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a common condition characterized by the frequent passage of loose or watery stools. It can occur for various reasons and can be either acute (short-lived) or chronic (lasting more than a few days). Diarrhea can result from:

  • Infections: Caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites.

  • Food intolerances and allergies: Some people are intolerant to certain food components, such as lactose in dairy.

  • Medications: Some drugs, including antibiotics, can lead to diarrhea.

  • Digestive disorders: Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease can have diarrhea as a symptom.

While it’s often not serious and can resolve on its own, chronic or severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration and may be a sign of more serious underlying conditions. It’s always essential to consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about persistent diarrhea.

Cute fluffy Labrador Retriever laying on sofa at home looking unhappy

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound among more than a hundred cannabinoids discovered in the cannabis plant.

Contrary to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound known for inducing intoxicating effects, CBD doesn’t lead to a “high” or any mind-altering sensations. In recent times, the spotlight has been on CBD for its potential health benefits, which might encompass:

  • Natural pain mitigation

  • Alleviation of stress and mood disorders

  • Properties that guard neural pathways

Different modes of consumption for CBD have emerged, from oral tinctures and gummies to salves for topical application. Its rising fame has also seen its introduction into pet-centric products, such as snacks and elixirs tailored for our furry companions.

Diarrhea is a common digestive issue, while CBD is a non-psychoactive compound from the cannabis plant with potential therapeutic benefits. Both have their own implications and considerations, especially when discussed in conjunction with one another.

Focus on a cannabis plant in a large greenhouse

What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?

Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from diarrhea for an array of reasons. Understanding the potential causes is crucial to addressing the issue promptly and effectively. Common triggers for canine diarrhea include:

  1. Dietary Changes: Switching to a new type of food abruptly or introducing new treats.

  2. Stress or Anxiety: Moving to a new environment or being separated from the owner.

  3. Toxic Ingestion: Consuming poisonous substances or indigestible objects, such as certain plants, spoiled food, or non-food items.

  4. Internal Factors: Issues like pancreatitis, colitis, cancer, or blockages due to ingestion of items like toys or bones.

  5. Infections: Viral or bacterial infections can upset the dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

  6. Organ Dysfunction: Diseases of the kidney or liver.

  7. Other Conditions: Such as inflammatory bowel disease or parasites.

CBD dog treats in a jar  and a fluffy dog

Do CBD Treats Cause Diarrhea in Dogs?

Can CBD itself cause diarrhea in dogs? Scientifically speaking, there’s no direct evidence to suggest that CBD causes diarrhea. However, like any new addition to a pet’s diet, it’s possible for side effects to occur, and every dog may react differently.

But why might some dogs experience diarrhea after having CBD treats? A few reasons could explain this:

  • Quality of the Treats: Not all CBD products are created equal. The source of CBD, its purity, and the other ingredients in the treat can all play a role. Always choose high-quality, vet-approved products.

  • Dosage: Overdosing can lead to side effects. It’s crucial to start with a lower dose and monitor your pet’s reaction.

  • Sensitivity: Just as some humans have sensitive stomachs, so do some dogs. Introducing anything new can lead to gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea.

How CBD May Help Soothe Your Dog’s Diarrhea?

For dog owners exploring natural remedies for their pets’ ailments, CBD (Cannabidiol) has emerged as a promising option. Particularly when it comes to diarrhea in dogs, the potential therapeutic effects of CBD could provide relief. Let’s delve deeper into how CBD might soothe the distressing symptoms of diarrhea in our canine friends:

How CBD May Help Soothe Your Dog’s Diarrhea

1. Pain Alleviation: A Respite from Abdominal Discomfort

Diarrhea can cause significant abdominal pain and cramping in dogs, making them restless and uncomfortable. One of the hallmark attributes of CBD is its potential analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. This is primarily due to how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in mammals.

The ECS plays a pivotal role in regulating a variety of physiological processes, including pain sensation. By modulating the ECS, CBD might offer a natural means to alleviate the abdominal discomfort often linked with diarrhea.

2. Anti-Nausea Effect: Combating the Upset Stomach

A distressed digestive system often brings about more than just diarrhea. Many dogs may also experience nausea and even vomiting. This is where CBD’s potential anti-emetic properties come into play.

While the exact mechanisms remain under investigation, preliminary studies suggest that CBD can influence receptors that regulate nausea and vomiting in animals. By potentially mitigating these symptoms, CBD offers a dual solution—addressing both diarrhea and the associated nausea.

3. Reducing Inflammation: Targeting the Root Cause

Often, diarrhea can be a result of underlying inflammation in the intestines or digestive tract. Chronic inflammation can disrupt the natural balance of the digestive system, leading to frequent or severe bouts of diarrhea.

CBD is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Through its interaction with the ECS, CBD may help downregulate the inflammatory response in the intestines. This could not only provide immediate relief but also aid in the longer-term stabilization of the dog’s digestive health.

CBD presents a promising avenue for treating diarrhea in dogs, so it’s essential to approach its use with caution. Always consult with a veterinarian before introducing CBD or any other supplements into your dog’s regimen. This ensures that you’re making the best and safest decisions for your beloved pet’s health.

Cute dog barking on the floor at home

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog for Diarrhea?

Determining the right dosage of CBD for your dog is paramount. If you’re considering CBD treatment, start with a minimal dosage, especially if it’s your dog’s first encounter with the compound. Gradually adjust based on the dog’s reaction.

While there’s no standard dosage (as the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products for pets), a general rule of thumb is 1-3 mg of CBD per 10 lbs of your dog’s weight. Always consult the product label and, more importantly, your veterinarian for guidance.

What Can I Give My Dog to Stop Diarrhea?

Besides considering CBD, there are other remedies you might try to alleviate your dog’s diarrhea:

  • Prescribed Medications: Always consult with a vet first.

  • Dietary Measures: Fasting for a short period, followed by introducing a bland diet like plain cooked chicken, white rice, and canned pumpkin can help.

  • Natural Probiotics: Adding natural yogurt to the dog’s diet.

  • Other Foods: Boiled potatoes, cottage cheese, or cooked eggs (without oil) might be helpful.

However, if your dog isn’t used to these foods, introduce them gradually to avoid further gastrointestinal upset.

et in a white and green photography studio, capture a lively moment of a cream - colored Labrador dog catching a treat in his mouth.


Managing your dog’s health requires an informed, cautious approach, especially when introducing newer remedies like CBD. With potential benefits spanning from pain relief to addressing inflammation, CBD may indeed offer solace for canine diarrhea. However, holistic health doesn’t solely rely on one remedy.

Ensure to balance modern insights with traditional veterinary care, always prioritizing your pet’s unique needs and safety. Before you venture into the realm of CBD or any alternative treatments, a discussion with a veterinary specialist remains paramount, safeguarding your dog’s well-being in every step.


Can CBD chews cause diarrhea in dogs?

While CBD is generally well-tolerated by most dogs, it can lead to side effects in some. One potential side effect is diarrhea. Other possible effects include dry mouth, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue.

Can CBD dog treats make dogs sick?

CBD, in itself, is not harmful to dogs. However, like any substance, it’s essential to administer the correct dose. Some dogs might experience side effects such as diarrhea or vomiting if they consume excessive amounts of CBD or react negatively to a specific CBD product.

How long do CBD treats stay in a dog’s system?

CBD typically stays in a dog’s system for around 24 hours. However, this can vary based on the dog’s size, metabolism, and the dosage of CBD given.

How can I tell if CBD is working for my dog?

You may not see an immediate change in your dog’s behavior after administering CBD. However, within 30 minutes to an hour, if given the appropriate dosage, your dog should exhibit a calmer and more relaxed demeanor.

Is it safe to give my dog calming treats every night?

While some calming treats can be given daily, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for your dog’s specific needs.

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