Just as anxiety is a common problem among humans, it is also a pervasive one among canines. If you have a dog which suffers from anxiety, you may be searching for natural treatment options. One which you can consider trying is CBD oil for dogs.
How to Administer CBD for Canine Anxiety
If you want to give your dog CBD for anxiety, you will need to start out by selecting a CBD product for dogs.
Most CBD products for dogs come in the following forms:
- Biscuits or treats
I have written a detailed guide on administering each of these forms of CBD to your dog. Please see, “How to Give Your Dog CBD – Tips, Tricks, and How To’s.”
There really are no special instructions if your dog has anxiety, but keep the following tips in mind:
- New routines are difficult for dogs in general, including those which are well-adjusted. Dogs with anxiety may have an even more difficult time getting used to a new routine. So take your time introducing CBD supplements to your dog. Be patient and use rewards.
- You may want to consider trying biscuits or treats if your dog is not fond of capsules or tinctures. It is easy to build a positive association around something which is already designed as a reward.
- Use the proper dose to treat your dog’s anxiety with CBD. The product you purchase should tell you what the recommended therapeutic dose is. You should probably start with the lowest recommended dose to see how your dog reacts. You can then raise the dose to see if there is a more dramatic effect on your pet’s mood.
- Experiment with timing. There are a couple of approaches you can take with timing dosages of CBD for your dog’s anxiety. You can try administering at the same time each day, or you can try administering the CBD as-needed as a treatment for acute anxiety attacks. See what works best for your pet. Do not exceed the recommended dose each day.
- In general, giving a dog CBD for anxiety is pretty much like giving a dog CBD for just about anything else. Follow the instructions on the product.
- Keeping your dog’s anxiety in mind, introduce the supplement in a gradual and positive way.
- Choose the product you’re anxious dog responds to best.
- Test administering the CBD daily at the same time versus as-needed for acute attacks.
- Any approach you want to take is fine so long as you do not exceed the recommended safe dosage each day and your pet responds well.
How Can You Tell if CBD is Effectively Treating Your Dog’s Anxiety?
If you are skilled at reading your dog’s moods already, it may be easy for you to notice whether there is a difference in your dog’ s demeanor and behavior since starting with CBD.
If you are not adept at reading your dog’s body language, here is a quick list of anxious behaviors in dogs:
- Dogs which are experiencing anxiety may engage in excessive pacing.
- Lots of panting or whimpering may indicate anxiety.
- Trembling is generally a sign of anxiety.
- Anxious dogs sometimes will act out and behave aggressively in order to try and feel safe.
- A dog which is anxious may lose its appetite.
- Sometimes, anxious dogs will lick their lips a lot.
- If your dog is anxious, it might appear to forget all housetraining.
- Obviously, a dog that is anxious may also bark wildly. Howling is possible as well.
- An anxious dog also may become more destructive than usual.
If you start seeing fewer of these behavioral signs from your dog after administering CBD, that is a good indication that your dog’ s level of anxiety is decreasing.
In order to try to be as objective as possible, you can try keeping a journal about your dog’s behavior and mood. Note down doses, timing and symptoms that you observe. Try and be as detached as possible when you write these entries.
Every few weeks, you can look back over the entries you have recorded to see if patterns are emerging.
If you consistently notice that your dog is more calm since commencing with CBD treatment, that evidence would seem to suggest that you are getting the results you are after.
What Are the Best CBD Products for Dogs with Anxiety?
Excited to try giving your anxious dog CBD to see if it will help? There are numerous CBD products for dogs on the market today, but only a few make the cut in terms of quality and value.
To save time, please take a look at our recommended CBD for dogs. Our reviews can help you identify the products which will be most suitable for treating your pet’s anxiety.
What is CBD Oil?
If you’re not familiar with CBD oil, let’s open up with a brief discussion about what it is and how it works.
CBD oil is an extract which comes from the hemp plant.
Industrial hemp is used for producing CBD oil since it is a breed of cannabis which is naturally lower in THC and higher in CBD.
THC is the compound in cannabis which produces a psychoactive high.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a type of cannabinoid which does not produce a high.
Research into the health effects of CBD is in many respects just getting off the ground.
Nonetheless, so far, studies have shown promising results.
CBD acts on the body via cannabinoid receptors which are part of your endocannabinoid system.
That’s right—your body has a system which works directly with the compounds in cannabis! Pretty cool, right?
In fact, our bodies actually produce cannabinoids internally—also quite amazing.
The endocannabinoid system has a number of responsibilities in the body.
It plays a key role in regulating how we respond to pain, when we feel hungry, how we sleep, how our memories function, and how we feel.
This is why CBD oil has become popular as a natural remedy for treating a variety of conditions, including anxiety.
- CBD oil is an extract from the hemp plant.
- CBD oil contains a high concentration of the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD).
- This compound acts on receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system.
- This system regulates mood, pain, appetite, sleep, memory, and more.
Like You, Your Dog Possesses an Endocannabinoid System
So now you know why CBD oil may be beneficial to you. But why might it be beneficial to your dog?
The reason your dog might benefit from CBD is the same reason that you might, and that is that like you, your dog has an endocannabinoid system.
As in humans, this system works to regulate everything from mood to sleep pain response.
So just as a human being can take CBD as a natural remedy for anxiety, a dog may also be administered CBD for anxiety.
Is There Research to Support the Use of CBD to Treat Anxiety in Dogs?
You now understand the biological basis for using CBD as a treatment for anxiety and other conditions in humans and canines.
But what does science say about using CBD to treat anxiety?
Well, research into CBD in humans is still in the early stage. For canines, there is even less research evidence available at this point.
According to this article from PetMD, the very first medical hemp veterinary study was published on July 23, 2018 by researchers at Cornell University.
It seems like most of the research conducted on dogs at this point has involved osteoarthritis or seizures.
This study for example showed that “2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA.”
Dogs which are in pain may suffer from related mood disorders, including anxiety and depression.
It is logical that by treating the pain component, the mood component could also be alleviated.
While we are still waiting for definitive studies involving treating dogs with anxiety using CBD, there are some human studies we can look at to determine CBD’s efficacy for this use case.
Here are a few examples:
- In one study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, CBD was studied in relation to treating generalized social anxiety disorder. It was found that the CBD treatments used in the study produced activity in the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain. Apparently through this mechanism, the CBD was discovered to reduce this type of anxiety.
- In this case study, a girl with PTSD was able to get better sleep using CBD.
- According to a review published in 2015, “We found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder … Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.”
While this does not definitively prove that CBD can produce similar results for canines, it is logical to assume that it is likely.
Again, both humans and canines have endocannabinoid systems. So we would expect CBD products to act similarly upon both species.
- Research into using CBD on canines is still in the very early stages, and has focused largely on the treatment of osteoarthritis as well as CBD’s anticonvulsant properties.
- Early research does show that CBD may be effective in treating conditions like these in canines, which could hypothetically reduce associated anxiety.
- Current research on using CBD as a treatment for anxiety in humans is very promising.
- While human research studies do not prove that CBD would work the same way in canines, it does seem to strongly suggest that such might be the case.
Good luck. Hopefully, your dog will be feeling calmer and happier soon. Who knows—you might just notice some other health benefits for your dog as well when taking CBD!