Treating anxiety issues in dogs is about having knowledge, patience, and the right tools.
How does CBD help with anxiety?
CBD works differently depending on the seriousness of the anxiety condition and other solutions owners are putting in place.
There are three main types of anxiety in dogs:
There’s mounting evidence from owners and researchers that CBD can play a key role in treating separation anxiety, by relaxing dogs so that they become less affected by triggers and more receptive to new routines or training techniques.
While this doesn’t make CBD a cure-all, it does suggest that owners are more likely to have success with crate training and similar methods when their dog is supplementing with CBD.
In cases of phobia and general anxiety, CBD may directly contribute to dogs becoming calmer and more relaxed.
A 2015 review found that CBD has the potential to treat a wide range of disorders, including social anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Evidence from a study on rats also indicates that CBD increases available serotonin in the brain.
(There are currently no studies performed directly on anxious dogs, but CBD is thought to work in similar ways across mammals.)
Read our full page on CBD and anxiety in dogs for more on the current state of research.
Why does CBD spectrum matter for anxiety?
While CBD plays the biggest role in all of the products listed above, several other cannabis compounds have their own anti-anxiety properties and can enhance CBD’s effect.
As mentioned, CBC and CBN are two important cannabinoids, but there’s a bunch more, including CBG, CBD-A, small traces of THC, and aromatic terpenoid oils.
When a CBD oil includes a large variety of these compounds, it produces something called the entourage effect. This is where cannabinoids and terpenes work together, creating a wide-ranging, more reliable impact on dogs.
CBD brands advertise the variety of cannabis compounds in their products using the term spectrum:
- Full spectrum CBD contains the widest variety of cannabis compounds.
- Broad spectrum CBD contains zero THC and some other cannabis compounds.
- Pure isolate CBD contains CBD and no other cannabis compounds.
For dogs with anxiety, we always recommend full spectrum oils. However, owners looking for zero-THC may feel more comfortable with broad spectrum or isolate products.
A small number of brands use spectrum labels misleadingly, with not every full spectrum CBD containing a rich mix of cannabinoids. The only way to know for sure is to read each product’s certificate of analysis.