CBD for Dogs: How It Can Help with Anxiety and Stress?
As pet owners, we want the best for our furry friends, including their physical and mental health. Like humans, dogs can experience anxiety and stress, which can have a negative impact on their well-being with serious health effects. Disruptions in routine, travel, and of course fireworks are just a few of the triggers with serious repercussions for pets. CBD has rapidly emerged as a potential natural remedy for calming dogs and easing their anxiety. Curious on how your dog may benefit from hemp-derived CBD? We’ve broken down the benefits, emerging studies and research, and included some practical tips for pet owners when considering CBD.
How does CBD calm dogs?
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in hemp plants, which means it won't make your dog high. Instead, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system in the body that helps regulate various physiological processes like maintaining balance in the body, including regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and inflammatory or immune responses.¹ The ECS functions in similar ways for humans and dogs alike.
The ECS is composed of two primary receptors - CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system and immune system. When CBD is consumed, it interacts with these receptors, helping to promote balance and regulation within the ECS.
CBD may help promote balance within the ECS by increasing the availability of endocannabinoids, which are natural compounds produced by the body that bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors.² By increasing the availability of endocannabinoids, CBD may help promote overall balance and reduce feelings of anxiety or stress in both you and your pet.
When dogs consume CBD, it interacts with the ECS receptors and may help to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve overall mood. In addition to its potential anxiety-reducing effects, CBD might have other potential benefits for dogs, such as reducing inflammation which might also help them feel calmer. After all, it's hard to relax when you're feeling sore.²
It's important to note that CBD may not provide immediate relief for acute anxiety in dogs. However, by taking CBD regularly, dogs may experience more balanced and regulated ECS function, which could help reduce anxiety symptoms over time.
What does the science say about CBD for dogs?
Several studies have looked at the effects of CBD on dog anxiety. One study published in the Frontiers in Veterinary Science journal found that dogs may not benefit from CBD for acute anxiety in especially stressful events like thunderstorms or fireworks shows.³ However it should be pointed out that the study administered CBD to the 16 dogs in the study 4-6 hours before the audio stress was induced. More recent research suggests that peak effect of CBD is around 1.5 hours after ingestion, so the study itself acknowledges that the results may not be an accurate representation.
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a study that found dogs with osteoarthritis pain and anxiety showed improvement in both conditions when given CBD oil.⁴ During the study, dogs were given CBD oil daily for four weeks, and their pain and anxiety levels were measured using various standardized veterinary assessments. The researchers found that the dogs showed significant improvements in both pain and anxiety levels compared to the baseline measurements.
Another study found that CBD may reduce aggressive behaviors towards humans in shelter dogs.⁵ Dogs were given a serving of CBD every 24 hours, and it seemed to reduce aggressive behavior. CBD has also been shown to relieve stress in dogs with separation and car ride anxiety.⁶ Dogs were given a serving of CBD two hours before being separated or going on a car ride, and researchers found that stress markers like whining, panting, and cortisol levels were reduced.
While there’s mounting evidence showing promising results for dos and CBD, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on dogs. Always talk to your veterinarian to ensure that CBD is right for your pet, and never use it to treat any medical condition.
Is CBD safe for dogs?
Like CBD in people, CBD is generally considered safe for dogs when appropriately administered. In fact, a study published in the Frontiers in Veterinary Science journal found that long-term daily feeding of CBD was well-tolerated in healthy dogs.⁷ Keep in mind that CBD can interact with other medications, so it's crucial to consult with a veterinarian before giving CBD to a dog that is currently taking medication.
You should also be aware of the potential side effects of CBD.⁸ Some pets (and people) may experience sleepiness, dry mouth, or diarrhea when taking CBD. Since these side effects typically occur in very large servings, it helps to start low and increase slowly.
Additionally, as with any new supplement, you should start your dog off with a small serving initially and monitor them closely for any adverse reactions. If your dog experiences any negative side effects, such as vomiting or lethargy, you should stop administering CBD and talk to your vet.
Giving your Dog CBD: Practical Tips
Maybe your pet is getting older or experiencing pain, or maybe they’re an anxious car rider or really uncomfortable when you head to work during the day. Whatever the circumstance, CBD may help provide the balance your pet needs to feel comfortable in their bodies and in their minds. If you're considering using CBD to help calm your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog CBD, especially if they are currently taking medication or have a pre-existing medical condition.
- Start with a small serving and gradually increase. Until you see the desired effect. Remember, CBD works best when it's taken daily. Lazarus Naturals CBD Dog Chews are fully emulsified with 10mg per serving, making it easy to break the treats apart to adjust the serving size to your dog's needs and weight.
- Choose a high-quality CBD product specifically formulated for pets. Lazarus Naturals pet products are made with organic full-spectrum CBD, ensuring your furry friend gets the highest quality ingredients. Best of all, our products are lab tested by third parties to ensure purity and are made with plenty of functional ingredients that may support your pet's overall wellness in other ways.
- Know how much CBD to give your pet. Most reputable pet care brands using CBD will have a label based on body weight that you can use as a starting point. Just keep in mind that every pet may react differently, so it's best to start small. A general rule of thumb is 0.5 to 1 mg per pound of body weight. When you're first starting out, you might want to opt for 0.25 to 0.5mg per pound. It may take up to a week to start seeing the potential benefits of CBD, so stay consistent and gradually increase as needed.
- Use CBD treats or tinctures. Depending on your pet's personal preferences, if you have a picky eater at home, you might have better luck with CBD pet treats. However, if your pet doesn't like the treats, you can always sprinkle a serving of CBD tincture with their breakfast or dinner or let them lick it from your hand.
- Watch for any adverse reactions. Keep an eye out for reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. If you notice any negative side effects, stop giving your dog CBD and talk to your veterinarian.
CBD for Dog Anxiety: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, pet health is at the top of mind for pet parents. While CBD has emerged as a potential natural remedy for calming dogs and easing their anxiety, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD on dogs. Early studies have shown that CBD may help reduce anxiety when taken daily and may support a balanced mood by reducing inflammation and balancing the ECS.⁹
If you're considering using CBD for your dog, consult your veterinarian and choose a high-quality CBD product specifically formulated for pets, like Lazarus Naturals CBD dog chews. With the proper serving size, CBD may help promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve your dog's overall well-being.
Lazarus Naturals is one of the most trusted names in the CBD industry, offering a wide range of high-quality CBD products for both humans and pets. Our CBD dog chews and pet tinctures are made with organic full-spectrum CBD and other functional ingredients that support pet health, cognition, digestion, and inflammatory response. Inside, you can find ingredients like fish oils, pumpkin, and L-theanine, which may help promote deeper relaxation in your furry family member.