It is official – people actually love dogs more than their fellow humans, well, apart from babies!
This is the finding of a research study indicating that we are more willing to donate to dog campaigns than to human ones. But who wouldn’t love these kind, loving, and compassionate creatures?
When your dog falls sick, it is almost instinctive to think about the veterinarian. After all, they understand animal illnesses way better than we do. However, visiting the vet may not always be the only option.
With the growing popularity of naturopathic remedies, many pet owners are increasingly exploring alternative nature-based solutions for their pets’ health issues. And it is easy to see why—natural medicines are less toxic and cheaper than conventional prescription drugs.
In particular, the emergence of cannabidiol (CBD) has been a significant game changer.
Widely believed to have broad-ranging health benefits, CBD’s popularity has sky-rocketed in recent years. It is practically in everything and anything these days!
And pets have not been left behind – they are becoming top beneficiaries as pet owners increasingly experiment with CBD. So far, a growing body of research evidence suggests that CBD may help people manage various health conditions affecting them, one of them being anxiety.
But can CBD help pets calm their rushing minds too? Here’s everything you need to know about using CBD for dog anxiety.
Can CBD oil help dogs with anxiety?
Let’s first explain what CBD is before determining whether it can help animals like dogs.
CBD is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabis has many compounds, and CBD belongs to a family of compounds called cannabinoids. While CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most well-known and studied cannabinoids, cannabis has over 100 cannabinoids.
Increasingly, researchers are turning to this non-psychoactive cannabinoid and studying its ability to help manage symptoms of wide-ranging conditions.
CBD research is gaining momentum as other areas of interest open up. For instance, the use of cannabinoids in animals continues to draw the attention of researchers keen to document their biological effects in various animal species.
That said, it is worth noting that CBD research on canines is quite limited, but there is a substantial body of research on CBD’s effect on humans and laboratory animals. The findings are largely encouraging for health issues like arthritis pain, anxiety, and itchiness.
While there is no substantive research on how CBD affects dog anxiety, scientists are making some progress. For example, in 2020, a team of researchers investigating the impact of CBD treats on dogs’ responses to noise-induced fear found no evidence that it reduced fearful responses.
The researchers offered several limitations that may have affected the overall experiment. First, they noted that the stressor may not have induced sufficient fear in the dogs. Secondly, the scientists may have administered CBD too early in the day before exposing the dogs to stressful stimuli.
Further, the researchers contend the dogs might have acclimatized to the stressor due to repeated exposure to the same stimuli. There is also the view that the CBD dosage used in the study may have been too low (1.4mg/kg BW).
Be that as it may, other studies show that CBD may reduce symptoms associated with anxiety in humans and mice. Specifically, the rat studies demonstrated that CBD doses ranging from 1 to 20mg/kg produced notable anxiolytic effects, despite some dose-dependent responses.
In humans, there is evidence that cannabinoids may help reduce anxiety. A study on the impact of CBD on social anxiety disorder (SAD) showed that the participants on CBD treatment exhibited less anxiety than their counterparts on placebo. Both cohorts were subjected to simulated public speaking tests before the CBD/placebo treatments.
Nonetheless, a study conducted in Australia may offer hope for pet owners intending to use CBD to treat dog anxiety. It demonstrated that shelter dogs treated with CBD for 15 days were less aggressive towards people when tested.
Currently, the basis for using CBD for dog anxiety seems anecdotal; no scientific study has demonstrated CBD’s effectiveness in this regard.
How does CBD affect dogs
CBD affects dogs by interacting with their endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex and intricate network of endocannabinoid receptors, cannabinoids, and enzymes regulates wide-ranging bodily functions.
While many other substances can activate the ECS (e.g., chocolate, spices, herbs, essential fatty acids, and tea), cannabinoids are probably the most famous.
Cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors to either upregulate or downregulate their activity. This results in broad-based beneficial physiological processes such as pain relief and better sleep.
Dogs, like humans, have an ECS and can, therefore, be affected by CBD.
Studies show that CBD may be beneficial for dogs. How? Well, these studies suggest that CBD may help reduce pain, inflammation, seizures, and possibly anxiety in canines. There is evidence that it may also help with skin conditions.
In humans, research shows that CBD may provide relief against sleeplessness. Since dogs and humans seem to be afflicted by the same health issues and are affected by CBD in the same way, scientists are optimistic that CBD may help dogs with similar conditions.
Will CBD oil make your dog high?
One of the main concerns of pet owners seeking to try CBD on their pets is whether it will make them “high.” Well, CBD is non-psychoactive, which essentially means it cannot make your dog “high.”
The compound responsible for inducing the all-famous “high” in cannabis users is THC—the most abundant compound in cannabis. THC and CBD are quite different in their chemical composition and effects.
In instances where pets have become “high” from taking CBD products, THC is the obvious culprit. And the explanation is simple — some CBD products may claim to be THC-free, while in reality, they are not. Unfortunately, this is one of the downsides of the non-regulation of the CBD industry.
However, there are simple measures you can take to ensure your pet’s CBD does not contain any THC. For starters, ensure the product is made from broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolate. Ideally, these two types of CBD do not contain THC.
Also, check out the certificate of analysis (COA) to get further information on the contents and composition of the product. Pay close attention to the initials ND, LOQ, and LOD, as these values tell you what is in the CBD product.
Is hemp oil different from hemp CBD?
Yes, hemp oil and hemp CBD are different products.
Hemp oil, or hemp seed oil, is derived from hemp seeds. Typically, hemp contains extremely low THC concentrations, and its seeds do not have CBD. Instead, they contain omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and essential amino acids. Thus, hemp oil is popular for various health conditions.
On the other hand, hemp CBD is obtained from hemp flowers, leaves, and stalks. These parts are highly concentrated with CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial cannabis compounds.
Best way to give a dog CBD
There are many ways to administer CBD to your dog. However, the best way to do it is by placing the CBD directly into its mouth using a dropper. This method is considered the easiest and best because it enables the dog to get the exact dose.
You can easily do this with our Premium CBD Pet Drops. They come in an easy-to-use dropper that you can place in your dog's mouth to deliver the oil.
CBD treats are another great way to give CBD to a dog. What’s more, treats are usually given to dogs as rewards for good behavior, so they are an excellent way to let your dog associate CBD with fun and excitement.
Alternatively, you can mix CBD oil into your dog’s food. Dogs love to eat, and if the CBD does not taste strange, they will most likely eat it without even noticing. Dry foods are usually the best for this approach because they mask CBD’s taste rather well and soak in the oil.
Can I give my dog CBD along with other medications?
Now, this may be an issue because CBD can potentially react with other medications or disrupt drug metabolism.
Research shows that CBD affects how the cytochrome P450 enzymes work. This group of enzymes plays a vital role in drug metabolism, detoxification, and the production of steroids, thromboxane, cholesterol, and prostacyclins.
CYP450 also breaks down CBD. However, in the process, CBD occupies the sites for enzyme action, dislodges other chemical compounds, and stops CYP450 from metabolizing other substances.
Because there is still uncertainty regarding CBD’s interaction with CYP450 and other drug-metabolizing enzymes, it is best to consult a licensed veterinarian if you want to introduce CBD to a dog on other medications.
How to give a dog CBD oil for anxiety
Some breeds of dogs are more likely to get anxiety than others. Generally, most dogs experience anxiety due to environmental factors such as loud noises, changes, trips to the vet, etc.
Also, many dogs are affected by separation from their owners or siblings, leading to separation anxiety. The common signs to look for in an anxious dog are pacing, shaking, panting, hiding, licking, peeing, and barking.
You can give CBD oil to your dog via direct oral application. This simply means putting CBD oil directly into the dog’s mouth. The easiest way to do this is by using a dropper.
You can also mix CBD oil into the dog’s food. This method works if the canine does not detect the presence of a foreign substance in its food. If it does, it may reject the food. Sometimes it may take a little time before the dog gets used to the CBD.
Finally, you can soak the CBD oil in your dog's treats. If you opt for this method, go with dry treats since these soak up as much CBD oil as possible. Alternatively, you can buy pet treats infused with CBD oil to make your work easier.
For more information on how to give CBD oil to your dog, watch the following video: