Pet CBD products have grown in popularity for a number of reasons, including helping reduce joint pain, decrease seizures, and overcome anxiety. Many pet owners have found relief for their dogs from anxiety caused by separation, storms, noise disruptions, travel, and more. A common question is how much CBD for dog with anxiety? After all, you want to provide enough but don’t want to overdo it.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the emotional reaction to a potential threat or perceived danger. It’s a normal and even healthy emotion that alerts us to issues we may need to resolve in our surroundings. In dogs, signs of anxiety can include:
- Excessive barking
- Repetitive or compulsive behaviors
- Destructive behavior, including potentially harming themselves
- Urinating or defecating in the house
Anxiety and fear can also lead dogs to act aggressively toward other dogs or people, so it’s important to address anxiety early on and help prevent these issues.
What Causes a Dog to Be Anxious?
The three main causes of anxiety for a dog are fear, separation, and aging. Fear can be caused by loud noises, new people or animals, or unfamiliar objects like hats or umbrellas. Some dogs may be uncomfortable visiting new places like a vet’s office or even going on car rides.
Around 14% of dogs experience some degree of separation anxiety and are unable to comfort themselves when left alone or even when simply separated from their favorite family member.
Finally, as dogs get older, their ability to learn or remember, as well as their perception and awareness, may decline, especially for dogs with CDS (cognitive dysfunction syndrome). This can lead senior dogs to feel confused and anxious.
Treatment for Anxious Dogs
The first step may be to talk with a trusted veterinarian who can help you identify the causes or triggers as well as the type of anxiety the dog is experiencing. They can help rule out any medical conditions as well as help you determine a treatment plan.
Training and counterconditioning can also be effective ways to help adjust your dog’s response to stimuli that leads to anxiety. For example, you may be able to train your dog to focus on you, sit or lie down, or go to a safe place (such as their crate). You may also be able to use reward therapy to help reduce anxiety. A professional dog trainer can help you and your dog work together to combat anxiety.
Prevention can often be the best treatment. For example, knowing what leads your dog to feel anxious can help you better treat symptoms before they become more serious.
Learning to read your dog’s body language can help you better understand when they’re uncomfortable, scared, or anxious, so you can redirect to a more positive experience. Proper socialization—such as introducing your dog to new places, people, animals, and experiences—especially when your dog is young, can help prevent future anxiety issues.
Positive obedience training is a great way to learn how to communicate more effectively with your dog or puppy and build a trusting relationship. Plus, obedience classes are a fun place to introduce your dog to new people, places, and situations in a more controlled environment.
In addition, regular exercise, playtime, and stimulation can help your dog better adjust to changing conditions and improve your dog’s confidence and well-being. A well-adjusted dog is less likely to pick up destructive behaviors. Taking care of your dog’s physical and mental needs by exercising regularly and feeding a nutritious diet can help them better deal with tense situations.
Finally, do your best to avoid situations that cause your dog to feel anxious and afraid. If they feel overwhelmed by a large group of dogs at a dog park, avoid dog parks and instead go for walks, potentially with a friend who has a dog your pup enjoys spending time with.
You can also avoid uncomfortable situations by keeping your dog leashed with a secure harness, or, if your dog has already demonstrated aggression, choose a gentle basket muzzle before entering triggering or dangerous situations to help keep everyone safe.
Does CBD Help Dogs with Anxiety?
Because research on CBD was hindered for decades due to its pending legal status, the research on CBD for dogs with anxiety is limited. Fortunately, now, research on CBD is exploding. This is in response to the skyrocketing interest in the benefits of CBD for humans and companion animals.
The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the stress response, so quality CBD oils may be one of the most effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
For instance, new research is examining CBD’s effects on managing anxiety 1 as well as improving sleep and anxiety symptoms. 2 CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors have also been examined for potential improvements in anxiety, pain, metabolic regulation, immune function, and more. 3 The new research is also increasing the understanding of the endocannabinoid system and how it relates to stress reduction, anxiety management, neurological functioning, and more. 4, 5
Depending on your dog, natural therapies like CBD alone can often help your dog stay calm. However, if the dog is more anxious or the triggers more severe, CBD can sometimes be combined with medications used for serious anxiety disorders. Again, discuss the options with a trusted veterinarian familiar with CBD, its effects on anxiety, and how well it works with other medications.
How Much CBD for Dog with Anxiety?
Providing the proper, effective dose of a quality CBD is important. How much CBD for dog with anxiety depends on the dog’s size and may take a bit of experimentation to find what works best. Not enough as well as too much CBD may make the product less effective. 6 Here’s the recommended dosage to start:
Observe your pet’s response to the CBD and adjust up or down slightly to see what works best for your dog. If you have any questions on dosage, feel free to contact us with questions. We’re here to help!
Ready to see how the best CBD for pets—ABSC Organics—can help your pet live a more vibrant, healthy life? Get started here.
1. White CM. A review of human studies assessing cannabidiol’s (CBD) therapeutic actions and potential. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2019 Jul;59(7):923-34. https://accp1.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jcph.1387
2. Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series. The Permanente Journal. 2019;23. https://www.thepermanentejournal.org/doi/10.7812/TPP/18-041
3. Mackie K. Cannabinoid receptors as therapeutic targets. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology. 2006 Jan 1;46(1):101-22. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.46.120604.141254
4. Silver RJ. The endocannabinoid system of animals. Animals. 2019 Sep 16;9(9):686. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/9/686
5. Di Marzo V. New approaches and challenges to targeting the endocannabinoid system. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. 2018 Sep;17(9):623-39. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd.2018.115
6. Cindy HJ, Rupasinghe HV. Cannabidiol-based natural health products for companion animals: Recent advances in the management of anxiety, pain, and inflammation. Research in Veterinary Science. 2021 Nov 1;140:38-46. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034528821002538#bb0440