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How to Give CBD to Your Dog in 3 Easy Ways: Part I

 Woman applying balm oil

When buying CBD for your dog, choosing a quality product is just the first step. To maximize the benefits of the product, you’ll need to give CBD to your dog in a way that’s safe and effective.

The good news is that you can choose from three ways to give CBD to your dog: Topically on the skin, sublingually (under the tongue) or on the outside of his gums. Each method has its benefits, and you can choose a product and administration method that works well for both you and your pup.

How to Give CBD to Your Dog Topically

When you give CBD topically, you’ll rely on your dog’s skin to absorb the CBD compounds. Topical applications let you focus on a certain area, like paw pads, ensuring the CBD gets to that specific area.

Topical application is quick and easy. While it’s important to avoid getting the product in your dog’s eyes or open wounds, you can apply it to most areas of his body. For the best results, apply when your dog is calm and relaxed, such as when you’ve just returned from a long walk and he’s ready to take a nap.    

How to Give CBD to Your Dog on His Gums (Transmucosal)

Rubbing CBD oil on your dog’s gums is another excellent option. With this method, his mucous membranes absorb the CBD, bypassing his digestive system and going straight into his bloodstream.

Because there’s no digestion involved, this process is faster than feeding CBD to your dog. The cannabinoids have much less traveling to do, and they’re not exposed to the harsh environment of your dog’s digestive tract. This is a big advantage and means that more cannabinoids get into your dog’s bloodstream, where they can go to work.

cbd for dog dosage table

Zebra CBD Canine Oil is best administered on your dog’s gum line or inside the cheeks. You can use the included easy-measure syringe to draw up the correct amount as follows:

  1. Insert the syringe into the Zebra CBD Canine Oil adapter.
  2. Flip the bottle and syringe upside down and let the air pocket settle.
  3. Find your pet's proper dose on the weight chart.
  4. Draw the oil up to the recommended amount.

Once you have filled the syringe, squirt the oil along your dog's gum line or inside his cheek. Alternatively, you can put the oil on your finger and rub it along your dog’s gums. This is best done when he is calm and relaxed. 

woman lifting dog's ear

Transdermal Administration of CBD

If your dog resists oral administration, another option is to rub the oil directly onto the underside of his ear flap. Known as transdermal administration, this method is less effective than oral administration, but it has the same benefit of bypassing the digestive system for absorption directly into the bloodstream. (Avoid this method if your dog has a ruptured eardrum.)


You can also give your dog Zebra Canine Chews. The CBD will be absorbed through the digestive system, but the effects take a little longer to kick in than if it were absorbed through his mucous membranes.

In part II of this article, we’ll cover how to give CBD to your dog orally. We’ll also include some tips on what to do if your dog accidentally gets too much CBD, and what products you can safely use in combination.

About the Author

Paige Cerulli Image

Paige Cerulli

Paige works as a freelance copywriter and content writer. She often covers health, wellness and chronic-pain topics. A lifelong animal lover and equestrian, Paige particularly enjoys writing about pets and horses. You can find her at

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