More than 60 million lucky American households are fortunate to be blessed with at least one canine companion. Much like humans, our canine pals also suffer from stress and anxiety. While research into the use of CBD oil for dogs is still limited, there is promising anecdotal evidence from pet parents reporting significant improvements in their dog’s anxiety. Read on to learn more about CBD for dogs with anxiety.
Common Signs in Dogs
According to a recent study, dogs are particularly prone to anxiety, with 70% of dogs displaying a wide range of anxiety-like traits. It’s a normal emotional response, but some dogs suffer from stress much more than others. So how can you know if your dog has anxiety? Here are some signs you can watch out for:
- Excessive barking or howling
- Cowering in the corner or running away
- Digging or trying to escape enclosures
- Panting and drooling
- Whining and whimpering
- Destructive behavior like destroying furniture
- Repetitive or compulsive behaviors
- Self-harm, including excessive licking or chewing
- Loss of appetite
- Defecating or urinating where they shouldn’t
Some mild anxiety signs can be challenging to pick up on, but they are equally important as precursors to deeper anxiety. They include:
- Showing whites of the eyes
- Lip licking
- Looking away
- Lifting a paw
The earlier you spot anxiety signs in your dog, the higher your chances of success in treating it.
Anxiety in dogs can present in different ways.
Environmental anxiety, such as loud noises like sirens, fireworks, or thunder can trigger anxiety in dogs. It can also be caused by new or strange environments like moving to a new house, going to the vet, or car rides.
Separation anxiety is one the most common forms of anxiety in dogs, affecting one in every four to six dogs. Dogs crave company from their family members and hate being left alone. Some dogs cannot find comfort when separated from their family members.
Social anxiety includes being around strange people or other dogs. This happens especially if the dog hasn’t been frequently socialized or due to past trauma.
Age-related anxiety typically affects older dogs and can be linked to cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). This condition is similar to Alzheimer’s in humans. Dogs with CDS often suffer from declining memory, learning, awareness, and perception, which understandably causes them to be anxious.
How CBD Oil May Help Treat Anxiety in Dogs
Like humans, dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates multiple physiological processes such as mood, pain, sleep, metabolism, and appetite. It is a powerful regulatory tool that helps the body and mind maintain a sense of balance. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many active compounds found in hemp and cannabis. When taken orally or used topically, it has shown to help support the ECS in its goal to maintain balance.
CBD works by binding to endocannabinoid receptors that regulate anxiety-induced behaviors and mood, creating a calming effect and reducing nervous behavior. A study on CBD as an anxiolytic drug found that animals taking CBD had a significant reduction in behaviors associated with anxiety and panic attacks.
CBD can also help ease anxiety by reducing pain, especially in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis and age-related anxiety. A study by Baylor College of Medicine found that dogs taking CBD had significant improvement in their conditions regarding reduced pain and increased ability to move around. As a result, the dogs seemed happier.
CBD oil for dogs is extracted from industrial hemp (Sativa) plants, which have high CBD levels and virtually no THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces a ‘high.’ Since CBD oil contains negligent amounts of THC (less than 0.3%), it doesn’t cause a psychoactive reaction.
What to Consider When Buying CBD for Dogs
CBD labeling and advertising can often be misleading and confusing, so to find the best CBD oil for your dog, you will want to shop carefully. Here are some vital factors to consider when searching for the most effective and safe products.
- How was it extracted? Safe CBD oil extraction methods include carbon dioxide, cold ethanol, and dry ice extraction. Avoid products produced using cheap methods and potentially toxic solvents such as butane, propane, and hexane as they are harmful to your dog.
- Is it independently tested? When choosing a CBD product for your dog, be sure to look for companies that independently test their products and provide a certificate of analysis (COA). This certificate is issued by an independent lab and confirms if the information on the label is correct or not.
- What’s the THC content? THC is toxic to your dog, so look for THC-free products or those with less than 0.3% THC potency.
- Where’s the CBD oil sourced from? The country of origin affects the quality of the product. Go for products sourced from the US or another country where growing cannabis is legal and regulated. Even better, find companies who can produce certificates of origination for their hemp.
- It’s important to understand that while many people use CBD oil to treat anxiety, there is currently very limited scientific data on using CBD oil for dogs’ anxiety treatment. Additionally, under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals. This is due in big part to the fact that it is an emerging industry that is currently unregulated, which will evolve in the coming years.
CBD shows promising signs of naturally alleviating your dog’s anxiety. Plus, CBD without THC is a non-harmful option to explore. While veterinarians can’t prescribe CBD, it’s always best to consult with your vet before starting any new routine, especially if you are already giving your dog other medications.
If you are ready to try CBD to help your dog with anxiety, our Allvane CBD Oil Canine Formula is a great choice. Made with just two ingredients, it is simply and specially developed to support the health and wellness of your dog. Buy it online here or grab one from our retail partners, including Puppy Play & Stay (Lakeville, MN) and Camp Bow Wow (Eden Praire, MN).