CBD Oil for Dogs With Anxiety
Date Published: 2018-12-19
Date Updated: 2020-01-05
There are many benefits of CBD oil for dogs – one of which is that it reportedly reduces anxiety.
Anxiety is something your dog is bound to feel from time to time. Worry is a normal part of the canine (and human) experience. But some pups, unfortunately, are more anxious than others.
Symptoms of severe anxiety in dogs include:
- Trembling and shaking
- Tucking their tail between their legs
- Whimpering, crying, and frantic barking
- Trying to hide, escape, or run away
- Urinating or defecating suddenly, especially inside the house
- Biting themselves
Nobody likes to see their dog struggling with anxiety. So what can you do to help them?
The answer might lie in the endocannabinoid system.
Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system. This system affects your skin, mood, cardiovascular system, and all organs. As the name suggests, the endocannabinoid system is affected by cannabinoids, which are found in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is one of the most widely studied cannabinoids.
So, it stands to reason that CBD can reduce anxiety in dogs and other mammals. Let’s look at what the research says.
Research on anxiety in dogs and CBD
Admittedly, there isn’t a lot of research on using CBD oil to ease anxiety in dogs.
But there is a lot of evidence that CBD eases anxiety in humans, and many dog lovers say it works on their four-legged friends.
It’s difficult to study anxiety in animals because you can’t ask animals to rate their anxiety, nor can you give them a psychological assessment as you would with humans. Anxiety looks different in different dogs, and behavior that you might interpret as anxious – such as cowering in fear, trying to get into your arms, or even running away – can technically be caused by other things.
So, while you might know when your pup is anxious, it’s not always easy for scientists to agree on way to measure anxiety in all dogs.
However, a few studies have shown that CBD reduces anxiety in humans. For example, this research from 2019 looked at 103 people and found that it reduced anxiety and improved sleep quality. A smaller 2011 study showed that CBD reduced anxiety in people with social anxiety disorders.
Many people have praised CBD for reducing their anxiety – which is why many people reason that it must help dogs.
While further research is needed to confirm this, the anecdotal evidence is staggering. Many people claim CBD helps their dogs deal with anxiety.
What’s more is that a recent survey of US veterinarians found that vets rate CBD as an effective treatment for anxiety, as well as a range of other ailments. They also found it to be a relatively safe treatment, with the main side effect being sleepiness.
So, how does CBD reduce anxiety? Researchers think it may be because CBD improves the receptors in our brain that react with, a chemical that improves our mood. Issues with seratonin often cause mood disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. Further research will tell us more about the link between CBD and serotonin.
Is CBD safe for my dog?
Yes! CBD is safe for your dog, and it can’t get your dog high.
Research, such as this 2018 study, has shown that there are little to no side effects of CBD for dogs. One of the few side effects is sleepiness. Another study published in 2018 shows that CBD is both an effective and safe treatment for dogs. Generally, researchers agree that dogs seem to tolerate CBD very well.
However, it is important to use high-quality CBD oil or CBD treats for your dog, as synthetic or low-quality brands might dilute their formula with harmful substances. Some companies even claim to sell CBD oil, but instead sell liquid with no traces of CBD. In 2015, the FDA actually issued warning letters to several companies that sold products falsely marketed as CBD products. The FDA found that these products contained no CBD at all. Some of these companies created so-called CBD products for dogs.
How to give my dog CBD for anxiety
You can give your dog CBD oil or CBD-infused dog treats. It can also come in the form of capsules or pills. The CBD products you choose will depend on your dog. If your dog struggles to take medicine, rather use dog treats.
It’s important to use the right dosage of CBD for your dog. Our dosage chart can come in handy here.
It’s best to start with a low dosage of CBD and gradually increase it. Remember that CBD takes a while to work, so it might take about a week or longer before you see a noticeable difference in your dog’s behavior. For best results, keep a close eye on your pup and make a note if their behavior changes.
You might want to give your dog a slightly higher dose of CBD to prevent anxiety during particularly stressful times. While every dog has their own triggers for anxiety, the following situations are the most common in causing anxiety in dogs:
- Separation anxiety
- Noise disturbances such as fireworks or construction
- Car trips
- Meeting new family members, whether new pets or babies
- Adapting to a new home
- Adapting to the absence of a loved one or a fellow pet
- Healing after abuse
- Anxiety due to illness
- Recovering after an accident
However, you must remember that CBD isn’t like a headache tablet that works instantly. It’s more like a multivitamin that works gradually over a longer period of time to give your body what you need. So, it’s best to give your dog CBD often both before and after a stressful event. You can even give your dog a small amount of CBD every day to promote general health.
Ideally, you should always speak to a veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements or medication. A holistic veterinarian with experience in using CBD oil is best equipped to give you the advice you need.
There isn’t enough scientific evidence on the link between CBD oil and anxiety in dogs – but since we know CBD oil is safe for dogs and it’s seemingly helped many anxious canines, it’s definitely worth a shot!