We tested CBD dog treats that give furry friends a paws of relief

CBD dog treats

Dog ownership is no joke, especially with two keyed-up Australian Shepherds (like I have) or nervous rescues. Sure, it’s easier than parenting a human child in most cases, but these puppers keep me on my toes. Since CBD is considered safe for dogs and relaxes humans, we put the top eight CBD dog treats to the test against my very nervous dog.

RELATED: CBD may make dogs happier in stressful situations

Chili, the younger of my two canines, is extremely anxious around people she doesn’t know, leading to barking and growling. This includes aggressive behavior towards my human child, who, to be fair, was very unpredictable with the fur pulling for his first few years. That said, the household would be more peaceful if Chili could finally let him into her inner circle.

A few months ago, GreenState Editor Rachelle Gordon sent me some all-natural treats from Bad Apple Pets, her fiance’s brand, to try for my spicy meatball. After success with this holistic approach, I decided to test the major dog treats against her most detested scenarios: unexpected visitors at the door, walks on busy trails with many strangers, and getting brushies.

On top of that, my other dog Monty, has a sensitive stomach and will get itchy, chew his paws, or get horrible gas from some common pet food ingredients. So lucky for you, there’s going to be some allergy talk in these reviews as well.
Itchy paws and gassy tummies are among the few side effects my dogs experienced with this experiment. Since they’re larger, I didn’t observe any lethargy, though with larger doses or smaller dogs that might be present as well.

Much like it does with humans, the dog endocannabinoid system regulated homeostasis which suggests it might have potential benefit with reactive dogs like Chili. Let’s see how the top eight CBD pet treats on the market did for my nervous girl Chili Dog and Monty Bear’s testy tummy. If these treats help Chili, they may be a wise fit for rescues suffering from similar fearful behavior.

RELATED: CBD Oil vs Treats for Dogs

Bad Apple Pets

Serenity Treats // 5 mg // 16 ounces for $19

CBD dog treats: Monty looks at Bad Apple Treats
Monty looks at a Bad Apple Treat Photo: Cara Wietstock

Overall: A+
Flavor: A+
Dosage: A
Formulation: A+

Bad Apple Pets treats are made in Minnesota using Wisconsin-grown hemp and human-grade, quality ingredients. When my dogs see this bag they calmly walk over and sit, being the goodest dogs in hopes of getting one. Even Chili, who trusts no food unless she puts it on the ground to inspect, will eat this treat straight from my hand. This may be a testament to how well-made Bad Apple treats are, they’re made in a local bakery with full-spectrum hemp, and make a healthy human snack, too.

These treats inspired this entire article because after giving my dog one she had a completely non-reactive walk despite a trail busy with people, other dogs, and bicycles whirring by. The Serenity Treats are also lovely for training when visitors arrive, just seeing guests holding this bag of treats makes both dogs stop barking and sit patiently at attention.
While I’d love them to release a 10 mg treat option, I’m glad that they offer a tincture in higher doses. The natural ingredients, paired with how much my picky Aussies loved them, made this one of the best on the list.

VetCBD

Calming Soft Chews // 30 x 5 mg soft chews // $24.99

CBD dog treats: Monty looks at VetCBD treats
Monty looks at Vet CBD treats Photo: Cara Wietstock

Overall: A+
Flavor: A
Dosage: A+
Formulation: A+

There is a full suite of CBD pet products available from VetCBD including tinctures and treats. As the name implies, they are formulated by a real veterinarian, Dr. Tim Shu, who also serves as the founder and CEO of the brand.

After looking up each ingredient, it’s obvious that these are formulated by a veterinarian. Even the unrecognizable ones, like Ascorbyl Palmitate, a pH-neutral form of vitamin C, turned out to be harmless. The reality is that though this isn’t a product with recognizable ingredients, each has been hand-chosen by Dr. Tim to help my dog, and I trust him.

RELATED: This is what happens when you eat your dog’s CBD treats

When tested against my spicy meatball Chili dog, VetCBD stood up to her nervous nature. I gave her two 5 mg Calming Soft Chews and tried to brush and cut out her mattes an hour and a half later. Generally, I can brush her a few times and maybe cut a matte out before she starts fearfully nipping at my hands.

After having two VetCBD soft chews, she let me cut every single matte out of her Australian Shepherd coat. If you know, you know, grooming these babies is important, and if they go too long without, grooming becomes a big task.
They like the flavor, and I trust the founder and veterinarian who makes them. They also have tinctures suitable for dosing my cats (and horses). This is a great choice for pet owners who hope to ease the nerves of their nervous dogs.

Suzie’s Treats

CBD Bones for Big Dogs // 25 x 8 mg bones // $39.95

Monty shows interest in Suzie’s Treats Photo: Cara Wietstock

Overall: A+
Flavor: A+
Dosage: A+
Formulation: A+

When it comes to flavors dogs (and cats and horses) love, Suzie’s Treats has it covered. All-natural ingredients are everything to my sweet mutts, especially Monty, who has a sensitive stomach. When I took the Bone Broth Soft Chews out of the box, both dogs trotted over and immediately knew what was in there, and it remains the favorite flavor of the bunch. Bones, Hearts, and Cube Soft Chews are also available in apple, pumpkin, or peanut butter flavors.

Chili and Monty fear visitors, or they’re very protective. This behavior only increased after we had a kiddo and moved into a new house on a much busier road, all in only three months. Suzie’s Beef Bone Broth Soft Chews have been an effective training tool for when we welcome visitors. They hold the container and wait for the dogs to sit calmly before giving pets or treats.

The brand has truly personalized the treat dosages, with offerings for all sizes, from small toy breeds to big dogs. This can help those pet parents with chunkier dogs who don’t need multiple treats but might need more CBD in their treats.

Hippie Hounds

Hippie Hounds Treats // 30 x 10 mg // $35

CBD dog treats: Monty looks at Hippie Hounds
Monty looks at Hippie Hounds Treats Photo: Cara Wietstock

Overall: A
Flavor: A
Dosage: A+
Formulation: A-

These rank in the top slots because of the natural ingredients and customer care, but I do wish there was one more formula that doesn’t include pumpkin since it makes Monty-boy itchy. But luckily, this trial is about Chili, and she’s an absolute unit that can consume almost anything.

Hippie Hounds treats are made with ingredients found in most human-grade baked goods, they’re also shaped like little dog bones which is a cute touch also found in a few other treats on the list. Founder Andrea Harris gave me specific recommendations based on Chili’s size and needs, which includes a CBD & CBG tincture along with a 10 mg treat.

Having a 10 mg option paired with the tincture was helpful for calming down Chili, who was able to enjoy calmer walks with the combo. These treats stack up with the other all-natural options as a great basic CBD dog treat that their humans could eat, and the customer care only adds to the success.

Super Snouts

Chill Out Chews // 6 x 5 mg // $10.99

CBD dog treats: Monty looks at Super Snouts CBD treats
Monty looks at Super Snouts treats Photo: Cara Wietstock

Overall: B+
Flavor: A-
Dosage: A+
Formulation: C

There are many grain-free CBD pet treat offerings from Super Snouts, like the Chill Out Chews, Hemp Joint health treats, and even a mix of dog-safe functional mushrooms and hemp. Super Snouts products address stress, anxiety, mobility, allergies, digestion, and everyday comfort.

The Chill Out Chews worked well for Chili in helping her relax on walks when the trail is busy or not barking at passersby on the sidewalk while she hangs out in the front yard. Since she’s a chunky girl, I need to give her two treats at a time for her anxiety, which may add up calorically. That said, she enjoyed the flavor after her initial ritual of dropping something new on the floor and inspecting it. Now that she’s completed that ritual once, she eats them without question.

RELATED: Is CBD for dogs effective? New study shows promise

There was a small grading ding for having calcium propionate on the ingredients list– great for keeping things fresh and mold-free, but it’s possibly harmful to the liver in high, continual doses. Feed these mindfully, and you’ll be fine, but sensitive dogs may want to stick with the Super Snouts tincture, which contains solely hemp seed oil and broad-spectrum CBD.

The breadth of options with targeted uses available from Super Snouts gets them a higher ranking on this list.

+PlusCBD

Calming Care Beef & Bacon Chews // 30 x 10 mg // $29.99

cbd for dogs: Monty looks at +PlusCBD treats
Monty looks at +PlusCBD treats Photo: Cara Wietstock

Overall: B+
Flavor: A-
Dosage: A+
Formulation: B

After using +PlusCBD products myself in a massive review of cannabis products for sleep, I was excited to put their pet line to the test with my two knuckleheads. Chili needed to inspect the treat before she would eat a Calming Care bone-shaped chew, but eventually, she was all in and looking for more.

The ingredients did leave slight room for pause with the inclusion of calcium propionate, but so far, no upset tummies (aka dog barf) in our house just yet. As far as calming goes, it was a home run, which may be due to the addition of chamomile, l-tryptophan, ginger root, and l-theanine alongside hemp in the formulation. This earned the brand some points back from the calcium propionate of it all in the final grading.

All in all, these are a stunning option for someone who wants to buy their human and pet CBD products all in one place.

Belushi’s Farm K-9

K-9ine Full Spectrum Hemp Tincture // 500 mg bottle // $44.97

CBD dog treats: Monty with Belushis Farm K-9ine Tincture
Monty with Belushis Farm K-9ine Tincture Photo: Cara Wietstock

Overall: A
Flavor: B
Dosage: A+
Formulation: A+

Adding a tincture to a pet treat lineup may feel out of place, but it felt important to include this brand-new pet offering from Belushi Farm. K-9ine is pesticide-free, made with Oregon-grown hemp that is tested and formulated with care. It’s meant to boost a doggo immune system, but can be used for lots of dog-specific issues.

Chili isn’t super keen on having tincture squirted into her mouth, but with enough trust, she let me dose her–and it went well. However, those looking for a treat that makes it easy to dose their dogs might want to use this to bake their own treats at home. Since this is a brand-new product from the farm, we hope they release a treat or soft CBD chews for dogs eventually, too.

Happy Hounds CBD

Calm + Joint Bacon Strips // 30 x 5 mg chews // $29.99

Monty with Happy Hounds CBD for dogs
Monty with Happy Hounds CBD treats Photo: Cara Wietstock

Overall: B-
Flavor: A+
Dosage: B+
Formulation: D

This CBD pet treat brand came highly recommended by multiple sources on LinkedIn, and I was excited to try them out with my little Aussies. Unfortunately, I’m not the hugest fan based on a few of the ingredients.

Artificial food coloring isn’t deemed bad by all veterinarians or physicians, but some have shied away from eating things with ingredients like Yellow 6 Lake, which may contain carcinogens. The treats also contain potassium sorbate, an ingredient considered safe when present at one percent or less of the ingredients. Titanium dioxide is the final ingredient that left me room for pause, as a 2021 report deemed the ingredient unsafe for pet consumption. We emailed

“Yes, potassium sorbate is a food preservative that is safe for dogs in small amounts as it is in most canned products and foods for moisture,” CEO and founder Rianna Young said to GreenState, “We are working to remove all additives to our products. Food coloring within the treats is quite small compared to the general diets of cats and dogs. Working to remove this as well. We have started using beet and other natural colorings, but yes removing them as a whole is paramount for us.”

Ingredient talk aside, the Calm + Joint smokey bacon strips had Monty chewing his itchy paws and quite gassy, but he loved the flavor. As for the Calm soft chews, Chili was not keen on the look or smell at first (they are small, stiff, white bones). But after taking it to her bed, rolling on it, and testing it with her teeth like Scrooge McDuck with a gold coin, she finally ate it.

On our walk an hour and a half later, Chili didn’t growl at any person, dog, or stroller–except when a man wearing all black just happened to be walking fast up behind me. At that point, both dogs were alert and protective but still not reactive. They wouldn’t walk and kept looking at me, while the man approached to be sure that I was safe. No growling or barking, though.

That experience showed me that though they’re more relaxed with CBD, they are still fit to “work.” Though these ingredients left room for pause, the treats helped Chili feel less stressed during her daily exercise.

CBD Dog treats–they really work

Dogs are sensitive and also equipped with lots of sharp teeth. If they feel threatened, biting is possible, but hopefully, training can address the fear and anxiety before things come to blows. In those endeavors, CBD dog treats helped Chili.

While using these treats, Chili could enjoy her trail walks more than ever, finally get big mattes cut out of her skirt, and sort of get used to the nanny coming to the door four days a week. Best of all, while the kid isn’t able to pet her, she’s stopped growling when he walks by or guarding the couch from him. All in all, this experiment has made me a believer in hemp CBD for dogs, and we will continue working with it in our house. Before starting the same with your pets, always check in with their vet to be sure they are safe and ready to add a supplement to their regimen.

People often tout CBD as a cure-all, and while that may not be true, it’s possible that it can make a true change in some dogs’ lives.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.