Did you know that dogs are widely considered the most popular pets in the world?  This is likely because they’re one of the best pets to have for companionship and are loving, friendly, loyal, and protective. Yet, many don’t realize that dogs can suffer from similar conditions to humans, so, unsurprisingly, your beloved pet might be suffering from anxiety.
According to the findings of a recent insightful study, it’s believed that more than 70% of dogs display signs of anxiety.  Additionally, the study concluded that older dogs are more prone to experiencing anxiety symptoms, but that dogs of all ages can be affected. Fortunately, Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown good results with anxiety, and pet owners can administer it to anxious furry friends knowing that it is a safe and well tolerated treatment. Our article will discuss what you need to know about CBD for dogs suffering from anxiety, but as always we also recommend that you also discuss the issue with your dogs veterinarian.
How Does CBD Affect Dogs?
At present, there is no formal study on how CBD affects dogs. However, scientists and researchers have determined that cannabinoids interact with dogs’ endocannabinoid receptors found in the central and peripheral nervous system, just as they interact with the human ECS, and actually all mammals.  This system helps maintain balance in most if not all other systems of the body and helps regulate parameters such as hunger, temperature, and pain levels. Thus, when a dog consumes CBD, its believed (and experience has shown as well) he could regain his mental balance and turn calmer.
CBD Oil Dosing For Dogs With Anxiety
It can be challenging to determine dosages when you want to give your pet CBD. Cannabis treatments in general usually require a trial and error process, starting with low doses and gradually going higher, until the optimal dose is found. The problem with pets, dogs included, is that they can not describe how they feel, making it harder to determine when the optimal dose is reached. But most dog owners will be able to figure out how their dog is feeling by its behaviour.
Before giving your dog CBD oil for anxiety, you should look at the recommended dosages on the product and also speak with a veterinarian to be on the safe side. Following is what you can expect, in general terms: Most veterinarians recommend doses ranging from 0.5 milligrams to 1 milligram of CBD per every two pounds of the dog’s body weight. This means, for example, that a dog weighing 15 pounds would receive between four and eight mg, and a dog weighing 40 pounds should be treated with CBD doses ranging between 10 and 20 mg a day. In extreme cases, for conditions such as chronic pain, severe arthritis, mobility problems, epileptic seizures and severe anxiety, higher doses may be required.
In any case, keep in mind the well known slogan “start low and go slow”. This means beginning treatment with a very low dose – between 2 and 8 mg of CBD, depending on the dog’s weight. After the initial dose, you can up the dose by one or to milligrams every few days.
CBD Delivery Methods For Anxious Dogs
The two most common methods of treating dogs with cannabis are tinctures (oil) and treats. You could put drops of CBD oil on your pets’ food, or you could purchase CBD infused treats or snacks. Most pet owners use CBD oil classified as broad-spectrum, containing complementary cannabinoids but no THC. You should usually avoid full-spectrum CBD products when treating an anxious dog, as they often contain THC, which might increase anxiety.
What To Keep In Mind
Interestingly, although further studies are needed, a 2017 WHO report stated that pure cannabidiol is safe and well tolerated by animals, including dogs. However, CBD should not be confused with THC, as in high amounts THC can cause adverse side effects. These could include hyperactivity, convulsions, diarrhea, dry mouth, vomiting, and losing coordination and balance – and also anxiety. In order to avoid these adverse effects, make sure you use the right product. Here are some points to keep in mind:
Firstly, it’s best not to give your dog CBD until you have spoken with a veterinarian who has experience with cannabis.
Secondly, not all CBD oils are the same; some are not as good quality as others, some have misleading labels. Before buying the oil or treat for your pet, check that the product passed a lab analysis and that you have the full ingredients list, including all the cannabinoids and the terpenes and their amounts. Also look for organic CBD products and make sure the test results state that they are free of solvents, fungicides, pesticides and heavy metals.
Lastly, don’t make the mistake of shopping only according to price. Although it costs more for higher quality and purity, it’s better in the long run, because you won’t be giving your anxious dog CBD that may contain toxic substances.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, CBD has been shown to help dogs with anxiety, but there are no concrete studies yet on its effectiveness. Further analysis of CBD products as they relate to canine health and anxiety relief is needed. But, pet owners and veterinarians aren’t waiting for science to catch up, and are using CBD to treat anxiety more and more widely, with very encouraging results.