Can CBD help dogs with anxiety?

Whether it’s separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, or general nervousness, we know how distressing it can be to see our furry friends experience anxiety. That’s where CBD for pets comes in. CBD, or cannabidiol, has gained popularity as a natural remedy for various health conditions in both humans and animals. Let’s dig into the potential benefits of CBD for pets and how it may help dogs struggling with anxious behaviours. 

When do dogs tend to get anxious? 

Just like humans, pets can experience anxiety for various reasons. Common triggers include: 

  • Being left alone or separation from their owner 
  • Loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks 
  • Traveling in a car or plane 
  • Meeting new people or animals 
  • Going to the vet or groomer 
  • Changes in their environment, such as moving to a new home. 

How can I tell if my dog is anxious? 

Dogs can’t tell us when they’re feeling anxious, so it’s up to us as pet parents to recognise the signs. Some common signs of anxiety in dogs include: 

  • Excessive barking or whining 
  • Destructive behaviour, such as chewing or digging 
  • Panting or pacing 
  • Trembling or shaking 
  • Excessive licking 
  • Hiding or trying to escape 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Aggression towards people or other animals. 

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse. 

What is CBD? 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound derived from the cannabis plant. Unlike its psychoactive counterpart THC, CBD does not produce a high effect. Instead, it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote balance and homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of receptors found throughout the body, including the central nervous system, organs and immune cells. By interacting with these receptors, CBD may help regulate various physiological functions, including mood, pain perception and inflammation. 

CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or MCT oil. CBD for pets is becoming increasingly popular as a natural way to help dogs with a variety of health issues, including anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation. While there is still much research to be done on the effects of CBD oil on dogs, many pet owners, like Kane, report that their dogs are happier and calmer after beginning CBD treatment. 

Which dog breeds are prone to anxiety? 

While any dog can experience anxiety, some breeds seem to be more prone to it than others, including: 

  • Border Collies 
  • German Shepherds 
  • Greyhounds 
  • Cavoodles 
  • Labrador Retrievers 
  • Vizslas 
  • Whippets. 

If you have one of these breeds, it’s important to be aware of the signs of anxiety and speak to your vet if you notice prolonged signs of stress. 

How can I help dogs with anxiety naturally? 

There are many natural ways to help dogs with anxiety, including: 

  • Providing a safe, comfortable space for your dog to retreat to when they’re feeling anxious 
  • Using calming scents, such as lavender or chamomile 
  • Playing calming music or white noise 
  • Providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation 
  • Using positive reinforcement training to help your dog feel more confident 
  • Speaking to your vet about using plant-based medicine such as CBD oil or chews. 

How CBD may help with pet anxiety 

While research specifically on CBD for pet anxiety is still limited, studies on humans and anecdotal evidence from pet owners suggest that CBD may have calming effects. CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and central nervous system that modulate anxiety and fear responses. By promoting a sense of relaxation, CBD may help reduce anxious behaviours in pets, such as excessive barking, whining or pacing. It could also potentially alleviate separation anxiety and noise phobias. According to a study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, a single oral dose of CBD oil can significantly relieve multiple measures of dogs’ stress caused by car travel or being left alone. 

Is CBD safe for dogs? 

CBD is generally considered safe for dogs, but it’s crucial to choose quality-compliant products and follow proper dosage guidelines. THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis can be toxic to animals so it’s essential to choose CBD products that are specifically formulated for pets. The only legal way to obtain CBD for pets in Australia is through a veterinary prescription. Due to possible interactions with other medications, it’s essential that any CBD dosage guidelines and treatment plan is under the guidance of your trusted veterinarian. 

The potential benefits of CBD for pets 

CBD is believed to have a range of potential benefits for pets beyond anxiety relief. Some of the conditions that CBD may help with include: 

  • Pain and inflammation: CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may provide relief for pets suffering from conditions such as arthritis or joint pain. 
  • Seizure management: CBD has shown promise in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in both humans and animals. 
  • Skin and coat health: CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may promote healthy skin and a shiny coat and can be helpful in managing atopy and other skin conditions. 
  • Immune system support: CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system may help support a healthy immune response in pets. 

Introducing CBD into your pet’s routine 

Introducing CBD into your pet’s routine can be done in a few simple steps: 

Consult with a veterinarian 

Before starting your pet on CBD, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian who has experience with CBD for pets and can determine if CBD is suitable for your pet’s condition. They can provide personalised advice based on your pet’s health history and specific needs. 

Find the right CBD format for your pet

CBD for pets is available in various forms, including oils, chews and topical creams. The right formulation depends on your pet’s preferences and needs. It’s crucial to follow the recommended dosage guidelines from your vet based on your pet’s weight and condition. 

Start with low dosage 

When introducing CBD to your pet’s routine, it’s best to start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed, in consultation with your vet. Whether it’s adding CBD oil to their food or giving them CBD-infused chews, observe your pet’s response and adjust the dosage accordingly for best therapeutic effects. Every pet is unique, and finding the optimal dosage may take time. 

Calming your pet’s anxiety with CBD 

CBD for pets, when used responsibly and under the guidance of a veterinarian, may offer a natural way to help calm anxiety in our furry friends. While research on CBD’s effects specifically on pet anxiety is still emerging, anecdotal evidence and studies on humans suggest potential benefits. By understanding your pet’s anxiety triggers and incorporating CBD into their routine, you may help promote a sense of calm and wellbeing in your pet. 


Ready to learn more about CBD for pets? Speak with a vet for free. 

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