Welcome to our Honest Paws review!
We thought it prudent to kick off our foray into the pet CBD space with one of the leading pet-exclusive CBD brands.
After a few adjustments to our brand rating system (to account for animal vs human consumers), we have arrived at an overall score for Honest Paws.
Our overall score for Honest Paws is 89.6/100.
As usual, our comprehensive review involved plenty of product testing, site usability/quality assessment, and an interview with a member of the Honest Paws leadership team, President of Brand Development Min Lee.
Despite our slight adjustments to the ranking system, we still maintained our usual categories, which include:
Before we dive into the brand’s backstory, a quick look at some of our favorite Honest Paws products.
A powerful pairing of full-spectrum, organic hemp with glucosamine and chondroitin, this is the go-to CBD treat for pets experiencing joint discomfort.
For even greater effectiveness, Honest Paws formulates this tasty treat with hyaluronic acid, a known joint health promoter.
Big and small pups alike can partake, as Honest Paws provides weight-specific usage instructions for pet owner peace of mind.
Boasting a super-clean, four-item ingredient list in addition to organic, full-spectrum hemp, this peanut butter is a safe and effective treat for your dog.
Each jar provides 160mg of CBD, in addition to supporting cannabinoids included in the full-spectrum hemp extract.
This innovative supplement is among the most positively reviewed and universally loved treats for even picky eaters.
At just $0.10/mg, this powerful and highly cost-conscious supplement will easily take the mantle as your go-to pet wellness product.
This organic, full-spectrum hemp extract provides more wellness-promoting cannabinoids per dropper, making for easier feedings and higher potency.
Our dogs loved this product straight from the dropper, but the oil can also be mixed in with food.
In our conversation with Min, we learned that Honest Paws was born at the intersection of positive personal experience and watchful opportunism.
After co-founder Chelsea Rivera had success treating her epileptic dog’s seizures with a CBD product, she and her brother, co-founder Erik Rivera, along with the rest of the Honest Paws team “started monitoring search volume of certain keywords that could indicate market interest,” said Min.
Min himself has a strong track record in the pet space, including the co-founding of well-established pet-focused brands like Vets Preferred and CertaPet.com.
OnePet CFO and co-founder Josh Awad—a Harvard Business graduate and former naval officer—brought his experience in the private equity industry to the team.
Once demand looked optimal, the Honest Paws team launched their brand in 2017.
In the years following their establishment, Honest Paws expanded their product lines to accommodate dogs, cats, and even horses with several product types, such as their 5-in-1 Dog Wash, CBD chews, Calm Peanut Butter, and of course, pet CBD oil tinctures.
Finding a pet-exclusive CBD brand that offers this broad of a product selection without sacrificing credibility is rare, but thanks to their veterinarian-assisted formulations and high testing standards, Honest Paws has been able to spread across this kind of a catalog without issue.
“Our goal from inception was to create the highest-quality products focusing on premium ingredients, unique recipes, veterinarian guidance, and marketable packaging,” Min told us.
The general consensus on our end and with the vast majority of the Honest Paws customer base is that the brand has kept to these ambitious promises, but as always, we’ll let the step-by-step review process do the talking.
The following ratings are a culmination of our personal experiences with Honest Paws products, the leadership team, the website, and all the cracks in between.
Each criterion is weighted based on how much of an impact it makes in the overall user experience, contributing to an aggregate total of 100 points.
To learn more about how we rate brands, you’re welcome to check out our scoring guide.
Now on to the review, starting with the ever-important matter of quality.
Max score = 35 points.
Honest Paws = 35 points.
Included in our quality assessment are many factors beyond direct hemp quality, such as the brand’s use of packaging/labeling, available hemp extract types, certifications, and more.
Even within the product quality metric, it’s important to call out multiple factors—let’s start there.
One of the first things we noticed when sampling Honest Paws products (we tried several of their dog treats, tinctures, peanut butter, and other products) was that the labeling includes an above-average amount of supplemental information.
As for durability, all of the pouches, containers, and bottles were intact upon receipt and easy to open and close, and they all contained a QR code for quick access to third-party lab reports—top marks all around for packaging and labeling.
Honest Paws offers all the popular formulation types we look out for—some iteration of “relief, relax, and active”—accounted for by their calm, mobility, relief, and wellness lines.
As consistent with claims made by Honest Paws, all the ingredients lists from products we sampled featured clean and safe ingredients like organic barley flour, whole dried eggs, rosemary extract, MCT oil, and more, so they receive full marks for “added ingredients” (other than hemp extract) quality.
Finally, Honest Paws certified organic, full-spectrum hemp is sourced from Colorado farms supervised by the State Department of Agriculture, which checks all the boxes for accountability and quality of product sourcing.
As mentioned, Honest Paws sends their products to be reviewed by a third-party lab, DB labs, who certifies each batch for cannabinoid density, microbial content, residual solvents, and other tests important to the safety and quality of the product.
The brand itself has achieved ISO/IEC 17067:2013 certification, a designation for brands that follow guidelines relating to the “fundamentals of product certification” (according to iso.org).
Considering they also have USDA Organic and Colorado Department of Health and Environment certifications, Honest Paws has most certainly impressed us on the certification front.
Honest Paws uses CO2, the gold standard across the CBD industry, to safely and efficiently remove extract hemp from the hemp plant.
In all aspects of quality, Honest Paws has demonstrated a level of care and consideration that rivals (and even surpasses) many of the human-focused brands we have seen and worked with; they’re the first brand to receive 35/35 for overall quality.
Max score = 12.5 points.
Honest Paws = 10.5 points.
Both the amount of information that a brand is willing to share and the manner in which they share it (particularly as it relates to user accessibility) are factored into this ranking criterion.
Transparency is foundational to trust, and we reward brands based on how easy they make it for consumers to have their questions answered.
Here’s how Honest Paws measures up in this regard.
Both on their website and on product packaging, Honest Paws makes it easy for customers to access certificates of analysis (COAs) from third-party labs certifying the safety and quality of each product.
Customers also have easy access to a healthy amount of product/ingredient information on the website, but the inactive ingredients lists (everything other than the hemp extract) are only available on product packaging, so we made a small deduction here.
The “about us” page provides an anecdote relating to co-founder Chelsea Rivera’s initial experience with CBD, which adds a personal touch, but we made a significant deduction here for the lack of team member profiles, a general timeline of the company’s growth, or any other concrete information.
We make sure to award brands for openly sharing information on their website and with us relating to where their hemp comes from.
Honest Paws runs what they call a hybrid model of vertical integration in which they partner with manufacturing facilities on a contract basis, developing standard operating procedures to be adhered to throughout the manufacturing and handling process.
Similarly, while they don’t own the fulfillment facilities that handle their products, they develop protocols for this step in the chain as well.
While we’ve seen a couple brands provide more details about their supply chain on their site, Honest Paws clearly describes where their hemp is sourced, and they were open with us about it, so they received 90/100 points for the supply chain transparency ranking factor.
Max score = 7.5 points.
Honest Paws = 7.5 points.
Referring now to the more technical side of the online shopping experience, we recognize as consumers ourselves just how important a soundly structured website is in the CBD market or any other.
As such, we make sure to reward CBD brands, pet-focused or otherwise, for making all aspects of the website experience seamless, engaging, and informative.
Looking up products, accessing supplemental information, and purchasing were all completely hiccup-free endeavors on the Honest Paws site.
We especially like how we could shop by animal, formulation type, and product type, and that different concentrations of the same product were grouped under the same listing, which prevented us from clicking through 8-10 pages to see everything.
Finally, the site was mobile responsive, meaning it performed just as well across all the above functions when we browsed from our phones.
Visitors to the Honest Paws website have access to a wealth of helpful and easily digestible guides embedded into some of the product category pages (CBD oil for dogs, for example) as well as the “learn” section of the site.
The latter features a blog with dozens of posts covering general and pet CBD topics, and it was also great to see plenty of general, non-CBD-related pet care posts as well.
Overall, this is definitely one of the most informative CBD websites we’ve visited, hence the full score for website experience.
Max score = 10 points.
Honest Paws = 8.5 points.
It’s safe to say the vast majority of consumers have had both excellent and terrible customer service experiences, and that these experiences strongly influenced their perception and continued patronage of the involved brand.
For this reason, we reward brands not just for the availability of contact options that they allow, but for how accommodating and quick to respond they are to requests for help from customers.
We also factor shipping and return policies into this assessment.
Honest Paws provides a phone number and email address on their contact page, and customers can also use a live messenger to contact support.
All of these options were easy to access, and Honest Paws was quick to respond to our (fake) inquiries with helpful information, earning full marks for customer service options and responsiveness.
While it’s always a good sign to see a 30-day money back guarantee, Honest Paws charges a $5 fee for returns requested more than half an hour after the order is placed.
Also factored into our deduction here is the fact that Honest Paws asks customers to allow up to fourteen days for their order to arrive via expedited USPS shipping due to COVID-related delays more than a year after the pandemic hit the United States.
Max score = 10 points.
Honest Paws = 8.31 points.
This category is straightforward: how affordable are Honest Paws products, and how does the quality compare to the price?
After adjusting our price-per-milligram rating scale to reflect the lower intake recommendations of a medium-sized pet (and not a human), here’s where Honest Paws landed.
Honest Paws offers many formulations and concentrations for different animals, so finding a standardized reference point for per-milligram CBD oil price was a little challenging, but their 250mg CBD tincture for medium-sized dogs was just under $0.20/mg before adjusting for weight.
After adjusting, it was closer to $0.07/mg, a moderately competitive price that earned the brand 60/100 for price alone.
As for the ingredient quality relative to price, it’s hard to give a brand as dedicated as Honest Paws is to clean ingredients and full-spectrum hemp anything lower than a 90/100, so a 90/100 (for this individual factor) they received.
Overall, if you compare all pet CBD brands’ prices without factoring in quality, Honest Paws is somewhere in the middle, but factor quality back in, and they’re on high-value end.
Max score = 25 points.
Honest Paws = 19.75 points.
Finally, we broaden the context of the review to encompass the industry as a whole, and the impact that the reviewed brand has had on it.
For example, if a brand has pioneered new products or new ways of delivering them, they would earn points under this category, as would brands that contribute to CBD research, legislation, general philanthropy, and other positive contributions.
It’s hard to argue for anything less than full points in this subcategory for a brand that offers CBD-infused peanut butter, probiotics for dogs, pet CBD balm, CBD tinctures for horses, and more.
Clearly, Honest Paws has made a point of stretching their catalog into scarcely explored areas within the pet CBD market, and they did it without making gimmicks of these products.
While Honest Paws has not yet participated in any research initiatives, they told us they are currently in the process of identifying multiple university studies they would like to provide products and other support for.
Their legislative involvement is worthy of an eyebrow raise—co-founder Josh Awad sits on the NASC’s (National Animal Supplement Council) CBD regulatory committee, a group that works directly with the FDA to define regulatory parameters for hemp products.
Regarding philanthropy, Honest Paws has helped with pet-focused NPO funding drives through various promotional campaigns.
Also, the brand gives generously to the military community through direct donations, recruiting veterans, and other forms of support (three of the co-founders are military veterans).
All tallied, Honest Paws earned an overall rating of 89.57/100.
Here are some key takeaways from the review:
Overall, we wrapped up our review feeling confident that Honest Paws actually cares about your pet(s), and that they’ll continue to advocate for gentle and effective CBD products to help them stay healthy.
These Honest Paws Peanut Butter Bites come in a 30-count bag, and each bite contains 5mg of CBD for a total of 150mg.
According to the certificate of analysis for our particular product batch, these bites contained 4.77mg of CBD each.
For pet owners concerned about THC, this is a safer choice, as the THC content was reported as below the minimal detectable threshold of 0.219mg/piece.
Given the unique product type, it’s more difficult to make claims regarding this product’s relative affordability.
At $0.17/mg, this product seems more expensive than most oils and many gummies, but unlike those products, these larger treats provide some level of actual sustenance for the dog.
These factors considered, we don’t believe $24.95 for the 30-count bag is excessive.
Honest Paws Calm Peanut Butter Bites come in a standard resealable bag, similar to common grocery store snacks.
The seal held up throughout the product’s life while keeping the treats fresh, and the labeling provided an above-average amount of helpful information about the brand, CBD’s benefits for pets, and usage instructions.
The ingredients list reads as follows: Organic full-spectrum hemp oil, MCT oil, organic barley flour, organic coconut oil, organic oats, organic peanut butter, whole dried eggs.
We’re very pleased with the quality and nutritional density in this completely natural ingredient list, a sentiment shared by many conscientious pet owners.
These peanut butter bites are tied with the CBD-infused peanut butter itself for first place when it comes to popularity among our testers.
Not a single offer was refused, and not a crumb was left behind.
We noticed that our more nervous, hyperactive dogs were less hesitant to approach people they’re normally afraid of (for one tester, men in general).
These are also great to give to dogs who are anxious about leaving the home, whether you’re taking them on a walk around other dogs or running errands.
Overall, they exerted a moderate calming effect demonstrated by significantly reduced signs of distress.
This CBD oil tincture comes in four concentrations, all in a 1-mL bottle: 125mg (4mg/dropper), 250mg (8mg/dropper), 500mg (16mg/dropper), and 1000mg (33mg/dropper).
We ordered the lowest concentration (125mg), which is intended for dogs that weight less than 25 lbs.
The COA for our product batch reported a total of 124.14mg of CBD, 2.45mg of CBG, and 3.43mg of delta-9-THC.
The CBD claim is very close to the mark, the supporting cannabinoid content is moderate, and the THC amount is well below safe levels.
Our 125mg Honest Paws CBD Oil for Dogs – Well tincture costs $39.95 (for non-subscribers), which translates to $0.32/mg.
This is on the pricier side, but keep in mind that a small dog would need far less CBD, and that the price-per milligram drops significantly as concentrations approach the 1000mg product.
When these two factors are accounted for, we bump this product down from expensive to moderately priced.
The container comes housed in a unique, hexagonal tube as pictured.
Both the outer tube and the tincture itself were easy to open and access the contents inside, and each provided an ample amount of helpful information.
The tincture bottle, equipped with a standard dropper lid, was consistent with most high-quality brands we’ve seen; dark tint, easily workable lid, and attractive labeling.
Everything was intact upon receipt, and the dropper lid worked reliably.
This product contains only two ingredients: organic full-spectrum hemp oil and MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil as a carrier.
What it lacks in supporting non-cannabinoid ingredients, it makes up for with CBG and a completely clean ingredients list.
This streamlined formula is also very beginner-friendly, as pet owners won’t have to guess as to which ingredients helped their dog the most when they see benefits.
It’s not so much the taste that can make CBD oil tinctures a little tricky for dogs, but physically administering the product.
Once our testers got the hang of it (and stopped trying to eat the dropper), they lapped up the small shot of CBD oil without protest, always welcoming the next dose.
The most noticeable improvement was an increased eagerness to play outside throughout the day.
Testers would also stay outside for longer than normal each time.
Our one tester with a limp was still a little slow to get around, but even he partook in some diversion after doing his business.
This product comes in a bag of “approximately 30 chews,” and the label also states there are 5mg of CBD per piece.
According to the COA pertaining to our product batch, each chew contains 5.2mg of CBD, and all other tested cannabinoids (CBG, CBN, delta-9-THC, and others) were listed as below the limit of quantitation, or the smallest amount that the lab instruments were tuned to detect.
Honest Paws does list several beneficial terpenes in this product on their ingredients list, including l-theanine and l-tryptophan, but neither of them rose above the minimum detectable level on the lab report.
Pet owners looking for a robust supporting cannabinoid profile may be better suited for a different product, but those who just want the CBD are in luck.
At roughly 150mg of CBD per 30-count bag, customers are paying $0.27/mg.
This price point is cheaper than the wellness tincture, but more expensive than the peanut butter bites.
Once again, after adjusting for the much lower CBD intake recommendations for dogs, this product is moderately affordable.
The packaging is very similar to the resealable bag that the peanut butter bites come in, only smaller.
Once again, the seal held up for the duration, the information on the packaging was very helpful, and the treats always seemed fresh.
Here’s the ingredient list: Organic full-spectrum hemp oil, l-theanine, l-tryptophan, arabic gum, brewers dried yeast, canola oil, citric acid, guar gum, hemp powder, hemp seed oil, maltodextrin, MCT oil, natural poultry flavor, rosemary extract, sunflower oil, sunflower lecithin, tapioca starch, vegetable glycerin, white vinegar.
Overall, this is a very clean ingredients list that focuses on plant-based ingredients, even in the category of texture enhancers.
Some of our pets were a little more dubious when first trying this product, sniffing and investigating longer than they did for the peanut butter treats, but after a single taste, it was a sure hit.
None of our testers turned these chews down outright, and all accepted future offers once acclimated.
After a couple days of sampling these chews, we noticed our more vocal dogs would bark less at such classic cues as guests walking up the driveway or mail deliverers doing anything.
One of our testers spends his days with two toddlers, and though he obviously continued to resist their attempts to pull his hair, he was more willing to get up and move rather than bark.
Overall, we found these treats moderately effective at helping dogs self-regulate during these tense moments.
Especially with a catalog as diverse as this, it can be difficult for new consumers to decide which product type and strength they want to use.
Consider these recommendations a beginner’s guide.
So many pet owners across breeds list joint discomfort among the top reasons that their pet is no longer active. These Mobility Soft Chews by Honest Paws utilize glucosamine, chondroitin, and CBD to provide as much comfort as possible for maximum function.
Small dog owners don’t need to worry about overdosing or tearing treats in half, because the mobility chews already come in 5mg pieces to prevent these issues.
Painful joints are still made to move, so with your encouragement and consciously crafted supplements such as this one, your dog may be able to regain some precious mobility.
If you’ve learned of the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics in humans, you know how vital these benevolent bacteria can be to sustaining so many important functions in the body. Dogs are very similar in this regard.
We highly recommend this Pre+ Probiotic Well supplement for dogs because it supports wellness from within, allowing the body to meet its needs naturally.
Filled with inulin, bacillus coagulans, and other benevolent bacterial cultures, this supplement offers a multi-pronged approach to total-body wellness.
Just like humans, dogs, and hundreds of other species, cats also have receptors in the brain that interact with cannabinoids like CBD.
This particular tincture from Honest Paws does an excellent job accommodating cats, providing dosage information and extensive support for any cat owners who have questions.
Plus, it’s sensibly priced, easy to use, and cats actually enjoy it!
As mentioned, we’re dealing with a few novel – or at least rarely visited – product categories in the case of Honest Paws.
As it stands currently, their all-full-spectrum CBD product catalog consists of:
-CBD oil tinctures
Not all of these product types are available for dogs, cats, and horses, but each type of pet still has plenty of options.
Let’s start with the CBD oil tinctures as usual.
Honest Paws offers full-spectrum CBD oils for dogs, cats, and horses in various concentrations.
As we’ve seen already, pets are recommended concentration levels based on their weight, and the Honest Paws site provides ample dosage guidance beyond these standards.
Dog owners can choose between calm, wellness, mobility, and relief formulations, and the Well formulation is also available to cat owners.
Best Use: For pets that tolerate the taste, CBD oil tinctures offer a more reliable way to dose CBD, ensuring the pet consumes the entire dose instead of losing volume due to sloppy eating.
Honest Paws offers multiple varieties of soft chews and peanut butter CBD treats for dogs.
Available formulations included mobility (chews) and calm (chews, peanut butter).
As mentioned, the mobility formulation is especially potent because of the synergy between glucosamine, chondroitin, and CBD.
Likewise, the peanut butter and peanut butter bites were by far the most well received among our testers.
Best Use: Treats are helpful for pet owners who want to easily measure smaller doses of CBD, and for owners whose pets are more accustomed to treats (and/or not accepting of the oil).
Honest Paws has a 5-in-1 Dog Wash (CBD free) and a Relief Pet Balm.
The balm offers a unique delivery system that perfuses CBD deeply and directly into problem areas.
The 5-in-1 Dog Wash is among the cleanest and most naturally formulated dog wash products, avoiding sulfates, phosphates, and other harmful additives commonly found in grooming ingredients.
Best Use: To address specific areas of discomfort while avoiding oral delivery of the CBD (balm) and to decrease your dog’s exposure to harsh additives.
There’s only one product in this category, but as mentioned, it’s both highly unique and highly sought after for its many potential wellness benefits.
Best Use: As a general wellness booster for dogs with or without discomfort.
Our hope in choosing Honest Paws as our first pet-exclusive CBD brand review candidate was that we could move forward with a firmer understanding of the top safety and quality standards in the pet CBD industry, an effort that was met with success.
In addition to maintaining testing, sourcing, and manufacturing standards that rival human-focused CBD brands, the Honest Paws team has become a thought leader in the industry with their massive store of beginner-friendly informational resources.
They’ve done much more in the above areas than the industry asks of CBD businesses, and for that reason, we confidently recommend Honest Paws to any pet owner looking into CBD.