What is CBD oil for dogs with anxiety?
CBD oil for dogs with anxiety is a natural supplement made by infusing a fatty oil (coconut oil or hempseed oil) with an extract from the hemp plant. Hemp is a non-intoxicating species of cannabis, which contains high amounts of anti-inflammatory compounds in its buds.
These anti-inflammatory compounds are called cannabinoids. CBD is one of over 100 different cannabinoids found in hemp, alongside soothing aromatic oils known as terpenes.
CBD oils for anxiety may also contain additional supplements to enhance their calming capacities, such as chamomile extract or tryptophan.
How does CBD oil work with anxiety?
In studies where participants undergo experimentally-induced anxiety, researchers have found that anxiety states affect the immune system, causing increased levels of inflammation.
Often called the “fight-or-flight” response, it’s common for dogs and humans experiencing anxiety to undergo this heightened level of stress, which can exacerbate symptoms further.
When consumed, CBD and other cannabinoids interact with a part of the immune system called the endocannabinoid system. This part of dogs’ bodies is particularly related to the control of inflammatory signals, meaning that CBD can have a direct effect on internal inflammation levels.
Reducing inflammation can reduce associated anxiety symptoms.
What size CBD oil should I buy?
Dog owners take different approaches to CBD supplementation for dogs with anxiety. Often the amount of CBD oil a dog needs will depend upon their size and weight, as well as the specifics of their anxiety condition.
Dogs with ongoing anxiety issues may be more likely to benefit from a daily dose of CBD, given consistently over several weeks or months (or indefinitely). In these cases, a medium-to-large size CBD oil will offer the best value.
If a dog has an acute phobia that only occurs in isolated situations, a single dose of CBD given at the point of need, may be more appropriate. Smaller bottles of CBD are likely to be enough for this purpose.
Should I buy CBD oils or CBD dog treats for dogs with anxiety?
Usually, there’s no difference between the CBD extract contained in a treat or oil product. So whether you choose one type of product or the other often comes down to owner and pet preferences.
Dogs who are suspicious of medications may be more receptive to CBD treats. Treats are also easier to carry around and use when out of the house.
CBD oils allow owners to vary the dosage and can be given straight to dogs or added to food and non-CBD treats.
Beyond preference, one reason why many experts recommend CBD oils is that taking CBD with a fatty oil (such as coconut oil or hempseed oil) can increase absorption during digestion.
Here’s our most recent list of the best CBD dog treats, which includes recommendations for dogs with anxiety.
How do I give my dog CBD oil for anxiety?
Most people add a few drops of CBD oil to their dog’s food each day. This means you don’t need to add an extra routine into their schedule.
But there are several ways to give a dog CBD for anxiety, which can result in slightly different effects.
If you’re using CBD oil to help ease a dog’s phobias, you may want to try giving them a larger dose between 30 mins and two hours prior to the phobia trigger. You can drop the oil directly into a dog’s mouth or rub CBD into their gums.
Other methods of giving CBD include topical application, where a CBD cream or balm is rubbed into dogs’ skin.
How much CBD should I give my dog for anxiety? (dosages)
When it comes to anxiety, many dogs only need a low dose of CBD to feel the benefits. Dosages can also vary widely spending upon a dog’s size and the severity of their anxiety condition.
There are no official CBD dosage guidelines, but most companies and animal healthcare experts recommend a minimum of 0.2 mg of CBD per pound of a dog’s weight. That means that, if your dog weighs 20 pounds, a 4 mg dose of CBD should be a good place to start.
A daily routine or a single dose?
Whether you give your dog CBD every day or only at certain times will largely come down to how often they experience anxiety.
Some people reserve CBD for certain events such as 4th July fireworks or long road trips. Others will only give their dog CBD when leaving them alone in the house.
In clinical studies involving dogs with inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis or seizures, dogs who were given a consistent daily dose of CBD showed the most promising results.
How do I tell if my dog’s CBD oil is working?
For most dogs, it’s unlikely that CBD supplementation will be enough to resolve an anxiety condition. Instead, CBD should be used in combination with routines and behavioral training techniques designed to help dogs develop methods to cope with stress.
Common strategies include crate training and desensitization, where owners identify triggers for a dog’s anxiety and re-associate those stimuli with positive things like treats and rewards.
Many owners report that CBD helps their dogs become less sensitive to anxiety triggers and/or more receptive to training.
When your pet first starts taking CBD supplements, keep a close eye on them to determine if they are benefiting from it.
Can dogs overdose from CBD oil?
Overdosing on CBD oil is not a practical possibility, because CBD and other hemp compounds don’t produce any psychoactive or toxic effects.
When scientists did test the upper limits of CBD consumption (in a morally questionable mid-twentieth century experiment on monkeys), they found that prolonged exposure to extremely high amounts of CBD could cause damage to the liver.
However, dogs would need to consume many times the recommended dose to approach this threshold.
Does CBD oil for dogs have any side effects?
While there’s no evidence of overdose from CBD, some owners have reported mild side effects after giving their dogs CBD oil. These side effects might be due to the CBD extract, the high-fat carrier oil, or both.
The most commonly reported side effects of CBD oil in dogs are:
Do vets recommend CBD oil for dogs with anxiety?
Pet CBD is a natural supplement that hasn’t gone through the FDA-approval process necessary to become a prescribable treatment by vets.
That means that vets in most states aren’t able to recommend CBD oil for dogs with anxiety in a professional capacity.
That said, laws surrounding CBD are quickly changing, and many animal healthcare experts are happy to discuss the pros and cons of CBD supplementation with pet owners.
Always consult your veterinarian before beginning any new treatment plan with your dog.