Which CBD oil is the best for dogs with separation anxiety, stress, and noise phobias?

Summer 2022 update | 4 min read
Tested by Amy (Head of Reviews)

Anxiety conditions are a growing problem for our dogs. The pandemic made our schedules less predictable, cities are full of loud sounds and strange smells, and more dogs are spending prolonged periods indoors. Modern life for doggos can be stressful!

The good news is that CBD oil for dogs has been shown in clinical studies to reduce stress, panic, and other symptoms associated with canine anxiety.

2022 Review results 🎉

Category: Best CBD oil for dogs with anxiety

Winner: Honest Paws Calm

Why? Honest Paws scored highest for CBD quality and customer feedback in our reviews. Dog owners are raving about this product!

Where to buy: Honest Paws Website

Honest Paws CBD Oil for Dogs – Calm Oil

Honest Paws Calm CBD Oil – Winner of this 2022 review

How did other CBD oils score in our 2022 review?

Why trust our reviews?

Our team is made of CBD experts, dog owners, and pet industry specialists. We’re dedicated to all things pet CBD and we take our recommendations seriously.

To guide dog owners through buying CBD products, we use unbiased information from independent labs and real customers.

In our analysis of 38 CBD brands, we looked at hemp farming practices, CBD extraction methods, product recipes, and dog owners’ testimonials.

Is CBD safe for dogs with anxiety?

Yes! Pet-friendly CBD oils are natural supplements made from non-intoxicating hemp. CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it works on the inflammation underlying stress and anxiety, and doesn’t cause a high.

Pets should never consume cannabis products made for humans, as these may contain large amounts of THC.

How do we judge this category?

We rate CBD oils for dogs with anxiety by extract quality and online customer reviews.

  • CBD extract quality

    The best CBD oils for canine anxiety are full-spectrum, which means they contain a whole plant extract. We analyze batch tests and check hemp farming practices to make sure our recommended products contain safe, high-quality CBD.

  • Customer reviews

    Owners are often the best people to observe pets’ well-being and say whether CBD is working for canine anxiety. We analyze independent reviews from Google and Facebook to see what real people think about CBD oils.

How CBD works for dogs with anxiety

Anxiety conditions trigger fear and stress responses. This means that dogs suffering from anxiety issues often experience high levels of inflammation.

Studies show that CBD interacts with receptors in dogs’ bodies that control the inflammatory response, helping pups return to a normal state of calm. CBD may make dogs more receptive to training during times of heightened stress.

Jump down to more info on the science of CBD.

2022 Full product reviews

1. Best CBD oil for dogs with anxiety
Honest Paws Calm

CBD quality

Full-spectrum

Great

Reviews

575+ ratings

4.9/5

We love Honest Paws’ approach to developing CBD products for dogs. Despite being a pet-specific company, they’re committed to using human-grade ingredients and production processes.

This Calm CBD oil contains the brand’s premium quality CBD along with chamomile, a natural extract known for its sedative effect in herbal teas and remedies.

Honest Paws products are full of secondary cannabis compounds, including terpenes. These natural aromatic oils have their own calming effects on dogs and help create a more reliable, well-rounded product.

We also gave this Honest Paws product the number one spot in our overall list of the best CBD oils for dogs, thanks to the brand’s commitment to using awesome organic, non-GMO hemp.

Beyond terpenes and a good amount of CBD, three additional medicinal cannabis compounds make this a truly full spectrum oil.

Honest Paws also includes an organic hemp oil carrier and additional natural supplements in its oils.

2. Runner up CBD oil for dogs with anxiety
Charlotte’s Web Hemp Extract

CBD quality

Full-spectrum

Good

Reviews

71+ ratings

3.2/5

Charlotte’s Web is one of our favorite CBD brands, thanks to their years of experience in the CBD industry, impressive farming credentials, and quality production.

The brand’s CBD oil for dogs is made from their own strain of hemp, and contains high amounts of CBC, alongside CBN, and CBD-A (another cannabinoid linked with anti-anxiety effects).

In fact, Charlotte’s Web is one of just a few CBD producers to make CBD extracts with each of the seven main cannabinoids. This means dogs get to benefit from the entourage effect—an enhanced potency when cannabis compounds are extracted and consumed together.

Charlotte’s Web scores just a C for owner reviews, but this is more due to a lack of reviews for the brand’s size, rather than their content.

Searching owner feedback for anxiety-related posts, there are some great indications that their oils fulfill their potential over the long term:

3. Third-place CBD oil for dogs with anxiety
4 Corners Cannabis Pet Tincture

Use promocode COFD for 25% off

Cannabis Cup winners Four Corners Cannabis are one of a select few CBD brands to be promoted on the American Veterinary Association website.

Their extract comes from premium Colorado hemp and includes high amounts of CBC along with CBG, which is another compound gaining an impressive reputation for its ability to lower internal inflammation.

These ingredients are carried in organic golden hemp oil that has high amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Using such a high-quality oil gives CBD the best possible chance of full absorption into dogs’ bodies.

Despite all these attractive features, Four Corners Cannabis doesn’t score quite as well in our cannabinoid category, and a slightly lower label accuracy means it gets a runner-up pick from us.

4. We also like
HempMy Pet Hemp CBD Oil

HempMy Pet gets a middle-of-the-road score in our overall ratings, but there’s a lot going for this CBD company.

Thanks to close working relationships with organic Colorado Hemp farms, HempMy Pet’s extraction is made from their own strain-specific hemp plants, chosen for high levels of CBD as well as secondary terpenes and cannabinoids.

Found in this oil are:

CBDV, which can treat nausea and reduce the frequency of seizures,

CBG, which is highly effective at reducing pain and gut inflammation,

CBN, which can aid sleep and appetite, and

Terpenes, which are the aromatic elements of cannabis that may have soothing anti-inflammatory effects.

Label accuracy was a slight concern with this brand, as we found variances of up to 5 percent between the label and actual content. However—where there was a difference—CBD content was always above labeled amounts, not below.

Like Charlotte’s Web, this brand only scored a C for owner feedback, due to having fewer than 100 reviews on Google and Facebook and a rating of less than 4.0. But the vast majority of recent posts are positive, with several owners specifically mentioning HempMy Pet’s effect on anxiety.

HempMy Pet also gives owners a flexible array of product options. Their extract comes in several concentrations, with a choice of coconut oil, olive oil, or organic hemp seed oil carrier—meaning that dogs with taste preferences or food sensitivities needn’t miss out.

woman hugging her adorable golden retriever dog at home. love for animals concept. lifestyle indoors

The science of CBD and anxiety in dogs

With the success of CBD supplements that reduce anxiety in humans, it’s no surprise that dog owners and animal healthcare experts are now using hemp oil to soothe anxiety conditions in dogs.

Unlike many dietary supplements, CBD has a real clinical record that suggests it can lower internal inflammation associated with anxiety and stress.

Research suggests that giving dogs CBD can soothe nervous dogs, making them more receptive to new routines and behavioral training.

Recent studies on CBD and anxiety in animals

There are currently no studies that record the effect of CBD on anxious dogs, but because CBD works in similar ways across dogs and other animals, researchers can gather data by testing CBD on humans and mice.

When researchers analyzed the effects of CBD on rats in a 2012 study, they found that it increased available serotonin in the brain, which could reduce the potential for depression or anxiety.

A wide-ranging 2015 review of studies on CBD and anxiety found that regular supplementation is associated with reductions in many kinds of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

A few years ago, in a 2019 clinical study involving over 50 adults, a medium-high dose of CBD with found to significantly reduce anxiety symptoms.

A more recent 2020 review of studies on how CBD affects fear and anxiety in animals found that it can produce “anxiolytic, anti-stress, anti-compulsive, and panicolytic-like effects.”

CBD spectrum

All genuine CBD oils can help to reduce inflammation in dogs. But some products have more potential to fight anxiety than others.

Most experts agree that the best CBD oils for dogs contain a range of cannabinoids alongside CBD. This helps dogs receive the full benefits of hemp.

CBD oils with a wide range of hemp compounds are called full-spectrum. Most brands use the term “spectrum” to describe how many cannabinoids are contained in a CBD oil:

  • Full-spectrum = CBD + all the cannabinoids found in the original plant
  • Broad-spectrum = CBD + some cannabinoids
  • Isolate = CBD only

Overall hemp quality is also a big factor in how potent and well-rounded an extract is.

For dogs with anxiety, we always recommend full spectrum CBD oils.

CBC, CBN, and other cannabinoids

CBD has shown to be particularly effective at reducing anxiety, but there are actually several active compounds found in hemp which are known to have a soothing effect.

Two of those other compounds – called cannabinoids – are CBC and CBN.

Like CBD, these cannabinoids lower inflammation across the brain, digestive system, and central nervous system.

CBN (cannabinol)

Studies using rats have shown that CBD can produce pain-relieving and sedating effects, without causing a high. Many cannabis experts recommend CBN-rich oils to aid sleep and calm.

CBC (cannabichromene)

Researchers believe that CBC is particularly effective and stimulating the release of anandamide – one of the primary pain-fighting compounds produced in dogs’ bodies.

Other studies have shown that CBC-rich hemp extracts can produce an anti-depressant effect in mice.

All of our top pick CBD oils in this category contain higher-than-average amounts of CBC, CBN, or both (according to independent batch testing results).

The entourage effect

This effect happens when CBD oil contains a large number of distinct hemp compounds. Cannabinoids and terpenes combine to provide a more broad and consistent effect than if they were isolated and taken alone.

What causes canine anxiety?

There are three main types of anxiety in dogs: separation anxiety, phobias or traumas, and general anxiety (a nervous personality).

Separation anxiety

Most young dogs experience difficulty dealing with being left alone or when kept apart from their owner.

Some pups, however, are unable to develop coping strategies, and instead develop negative or destructive behaviors such as pacing, barking, whining, incontinence, or aggression.

Separation anxiety describes dogs who become attached to an owner (or another pet), and exhibit these panic or stress responses when separated – even for very short periods.

Separation anxiety is thought to affect about 14 percent of dogs across the country.

There’s mounting evidence that CBD can play a 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.

Phobia and trauma

It’s common for dogs to form negative associations with people, places, and events.

However, some pups develop frequent and exaggerated reactions to triggers that affect their daily wellbeing (to loud noises, for example).

Phobias and traumas occur when dogs have extreme stress reactions to these non-threatening stimuli. Dogs with phobias may shake, cry, hide, or become aggressive.

Experts believe that phobias are more common in dogs who have had multiple owners throughout their life.

General anxiety

General anxiety conditions describe nervous dogs or those who experience ongoing heightened stress or fear.

Breed, sex, and age can all affect a dog’s overall level of stress, as well as their training and owner mentality.

As dogs age, they may be more likely to experience a cognitive or physical decline. This may result in increased stress, due for example to memory loss and confusion.

In cases of phobia and general anxiety, CBD may directly contribute to dogs becoming calmer and more relaxed.

CBD oil for dogs with anxiety – FAQs

  • What is CBD oil for dogs with anxiety?
  • How does CBD oil work with anxiety?
  • What size CBD oil should I buy?
  • Should I buy CBD oils or CBD dog treats for dogs with anxiety?
  • How do I give my dog CBD oil for anxiety?
  • How much CBD should I give my dog for anxiety? (dosages)
  • How do I tell if my dog’s CBD oil is working?
  • Can dogs overdose from CBD oil?
  • Does CBD oil for dogs have any side effects?
  • Do vets recommend CBD oil for dogs with anxiety?
  • Can dogs take CBD with other anxiety medications?
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.

Daily routine or 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:

  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Diarrhea
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.

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