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Can CBD Ease a Dog's Stress and Anxiety?

So if CBD can ease stress in humans, can it also do the same for dogs? Early findings and substantial anecdotal evidence reveal that yes, CBD can soothe and calm dogs with anxiety.

The benefits of CBD for dogs

Scientific interest in the benefits of CBD for dogs and other animals remains largely unexplored, and evidence from the few studies that have looked at the medicinal potential of CBD is still preliminary and far from conclusive. Early anecdotal evidence, however, does show that cannabidiol, or CBD, from hemp has the potential to be beneficial for  a wide variety of health issues in dogs and other animals, including:

  • Pain and inflammation associated with joint disease, cancer, and surgery, among others 
  • Anxiety, depression, stress, and other mood disorders
  • Sleep issues
  • Seizures associated with epilepsy
  • Cardiac conditions

All animals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex signalling and regulatory system responsible for many of the body’s responses to both external and internal stimuli. CBD is a cannabinoid found in plants — and predominantly in hemp; this phytocannabinoid has a similar structure to the body’s endocannabinoids and, therefore, has the ability to directly interact with the ECS. 

Early studies have found that when CBD is introduced to the body, it affects how endocannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors so that the body’s response, i.e., to anxiety or stress, is altered. More specifically, CBD has been shown to impact levels of serotonin, which is a brain chemical responsible for regulating mood, sleep, and behavior, among others.

Giving your dog CBD to target anxiety

Knowing the appropriate dosage to give your dog is important to get the desired results. Your dog’s weight and the specific condition you want to target are the main determinants of proper dosing, but every dog will metabolize CBD differently and this will also affect the efficacy of CBD. The best way to determine proper dosing is to consult your veterinarian. The next best option is to choose good quality CBD products, which should provide reliable dosage recommendations on the product label based on actual and verified CBD content. 

Stress and anxiety in dogs typically only require low to moderate dosages. Give Fido the lowest recommended dose during the first week or so, and then gradually increase the amount over the next few weeks until you see the desired effect. Do not start your dog on a high dose to get quick results; it’s important to ease him into his CBD therapy so you can monitor how he responds to it. 

How quickly the CBD takes effect depends on the rate at which your dog’s body metabolizes the chemical compound and on the concentration of CBD present in the product. Keep in mind that different types and brands of CBD products contain varying concentrations of cannabidiol; CBD oil, for example, is the most potent while CBD treats often contain low amounts. This is why it’s important to take it slowly in terms of CBD dosage while you’re still determining the ideal amount your pet needs to ease his anxiety. 

Knowing your pet’s anxiety triggers, you should give him CBD oil about 30 minutes to one hour prior to exposure. You may not see the calming effect you want during the first few times that you administer CBD; this means your dog may require a higher dose. Again, increase his dosage gradually. You should expect a few weeks or months of trial and error, and even trying a different CBD product, before you get the desired results.  

Lastly, remember that dogs require much lower doses than humans even when targeting the same condition. 

CBD for easing anxiety in dogs - Final Thoughts

One of the main benefits of CBD use in dogs is its potential to produce calmness in times of anxiety and stress. Early evidence points to the possibility that CBD may affect serotonin levels in the brain, thereby improving mood.. There are a lot of CBD products you can choose from if you’re looking to target your dog’s stress and anxiety in a natural way. One way to guarantee that you’re buying good-quality CBD oil is by choosing a product derived from locally and organically grown hemp and manufactured by a reputable company that does third-party lab testing for all their products.