Based on current studies, CBD is viewed as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders in dogs. CBD can help reduce separation anxiety, traveling, calm fears from thunderstorms and fireworks, and support emotional balance in dogs.
This article will focus on how CBD dog treats can help pets with anxiety and answer some popular questions on the topic.
Do CBD Dog Treats Help With Anxiety?
Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) can help reduce anxiety in dogs. The working theory is that CBD works by changing how the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin – the hormone responsible for happiness and emotional wellbeing.
Essentially, CBD enhances this natural ability by supplementing the body’s endocannabinoid chemicals, helping to calm a dog’s anxiety.
Are CBD Treats Safe for Dogs With Anxiety
Yes, CBD treats are safe for dogs with anxiety when used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. According to the World Health Organization report on cannabidiol, “CBD is generally well-tolerated, with a good safety profile.”
A study that investigated the safety of CBD in pets concluded that “hemp-based CBD appears to be relatively safe in healthy populations of dogs and cats.” Another study from the Colorado State University stated that “CBD is a well-tolerated supplement.”
What are the Best CBD Treats for Dogs With Anxiety?
The best CBD treats for dogs with anxiety are made of organic, full-spectrum hemp oil and natural ingredients like l-theanine, chamomile, cinnamon, turmeric root, sweet potato, blueberries, hemp seed powder, pumpkin spice, etc.
Some of these ingredients are added because they promote relaxation, and others enhance the flavor and make the CBD treats more dog-friendly.
The Honest Paws soft chews contain the following ingredients:
- Organic Full Spectrum Hemp Oil – all our organic full-spectrum hemp oils are free of GMOs, soy, corn, and other contaminants. They’re also third-party tested for purity and potency.
- L-Theanine – as an amino acid found in green tea, L-theanine has been known to provide a calming effect in dogs and cats.
- Tryptophan – tryptophan promotes better sleep quality and provides relief from occasional anxiety.
In addition to organic full-spectrum hemp oil, the Honest Paws bites also have:
- Organic Barley – also grown here in the US, organic barley can help your pet with digestion.
- Organic Oats – our palate-cleansing whole grain oats are grown right here in the US, and may help with inflammation.
- Organic Peanut Butter – made from peanuts grown here in the US, our human-grade and creamy peanut butter definitely amps up the flavor in our bites.
How do CBD Treats for Dog Anxiety Work?
Cannabidiol or CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis – general balance and health within the body.
The ECS consists of endocannabinoids (synthesized in the body), endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), ad enzymes. The above-mentioned functions are managed when the endocannabinoids bind with the receptors. Once they have fulfilled their role, the enzymes break down the bind complexes.
CBD replaces the body’s endocannabinoids and binds with the receptors boosting the ECS and balancing the brain chemicals to manga stress and relieve anxiety.
Benefits of CBD Dog Treats for Anxiety
Compared to CBD oil, dog CBD treats are more practical and can be used on the go. Treats often feature chicken or bacon flavors and are therefore much easier to administer to dogs.
However, they are usually available in one potency making the dosing a bit more challenging, and it takes their effects longer to kick in.
In terms of anxiety relief, CBD dog treats are beneficial on several levels. Here are some proven CBD benefits.
Calms Your Dog’s Fears From Environmentally-Induced Stress
It is normal for dogs to feel scared from things they do not understand, like noises from fireworks, loud human crowds, or thunders, moving into new homes, or changes in the family member compositions (new baby, new pet).
CBD oil can help dogs deal with environmentally-induced stress. Decreasing the exposure to the stressors will boost the CBD effects.
Helps Maintain Your Dog’s Contentment During Separation
Separation anxiety is a severe issue in modern dogs. Although some breeds are more likely to develop this form of anxiety, virtually all dogs are susceptible.
Managing a dog with separation anxiety requires a multimodal approach – special training, behavior modification, and some CBD oil support.
Helps Dogs Cope with Changes in Their Daily Routine
Dogs thrive on a schedule. It makes them feel safe and cared for. If you alter their typical routine, be prepared for unwanted anxiety outbursts. CBD oil can make the transition into the new routine smoother and more stress-free.
Supports Normal Emotional Balance in Dogs
As mentioned, CBD works by interacting with the ECS, and the ECS is responsible for mood and emotional wellbeing. CBD has a positive effect on your dog’s emotions – it eliminates stress and promotes relaxation.
How Many CBD Treats do I Give My Dog for Anxiety?
Typically, the recommended CBD dose is 1 to 5 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of your dog’s weight. Having said that, dogs are all different, so it is a good idea to start with less and monitor how your dog responds.
Once you notice how your dog reacts, you can gradually increase the dose until you have found the right CBD dosage. What you want to see is a calmer pup with fewer worrisome symptoms of anxiety.
The CBD dosage instructions for our Honest Paws full-spectrum CBD Bites and Chews (available at one potency of 5 mg of CBD per treat) are as follows:
- Dogs less than 25 lbs: 1 x 5mg treat per day
- Dogs between 25 and 50 lbs: 2 x 5mg treats per day
- Dogs over 50 lbs: 3 x 5mg chews per day.
In general, CBD products are given once per day. However, when CBD is used for anxiety relief, it is recommended to give it to your dog twice per day. That way, you will be sure your dog is stress-free at all times.
Alternatively, if your dog suffers from various anxiety forms, you can combine different CBD products. For example, if your dog has age-related anxiety, you should use CBD oil twice per day on a regular basis.
Similarly, if your dog also has noise phobia and the weather channel announced storms and thunders, you can boost the anti-anxiety effect by using CBD dog treats before the bad weather begins.
CBD Side Effects and Safety Concerns for Dogs with Anxiety
As a natural supplement, CBD is safe and rarely associated with side effects. However, like any other medication, supplement, or drug, it can cause some mild adverse reactions in overly sensitive dogs.
Among the more frequently reported side effects we can list:
- Dry mouth – CBD can lead to a decrease in the production of saliva. This typically presents itself as an increased thirst in your pet. Ensure that your dog always has access to fresh water so that they can slake their thirst as needed.
- Diarrhea – If you’ve ever introduced a new food or supplement to your dog’s healthcare regimen, you probably already know that diarrhea is almost an expected side effect. In this case, the gastrointestinal upset is not caused by the CBD itself but rather by the carrier oil that’s used in the product. This is why it’s important to slowly introduce CBD to your dog, as it gives their body time to acclimate.
- Lowered Blood Pressure – If you administer too high a dose of CBD to your pet, it may cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. The drop itself is small, but it can create a temporary feeling of lightheadedness in your pup. Be sure to stay within the recommended dosage range for your dog’s weight whenever offering them CBD.
As far as the risks and considerations go, we suggest talking to your vet before starting your dog on CBD treats or other edibles. CBD interacts with certain medications, thus requiring your vet’s approval before you start supplementing.
How to Shop for CBD Dog Treats for Anxiety
We encourage pet owners to do their research, ask questions and make sure they are buying the best CBD dog treats made from organic hemp CBD oil and natural ingredients.
Here are some things to consider when shopping for high-quality CBD oil for your anxious dog:
- Full-Spectrum CBD Oil. When shopping around, you’ll see terms like “full-spectrum hemp extract,” “isolate,” or “broad spectrum CBD oil.” While all three are high-quality CBD products, the full spectrum oil contains the most cannabinoids and additional health-boosting compounds like terpenes, flavonoids, and omega fatty acids.
- THC-Free Hemp-Extracted Oil. It is essential to make sure that the CBD product you buy is hemp extract. Cannabis plants give two forms – hemp and marijuana, and oil can be extracted from both. However, pet CBD treats must be made from hemp as the marijuana version contains THC – a psychoactive and toxic compound for pets.
- Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil for Dogs. It is also critical that the treats contain CBD oil. Do not be fooled by hemp oils that are only extracted from the seed of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oils are beneficial but do not contain CBD, thus lacking anti-anxiety properties.
- Organic and Made in the US. Farming practices will impact the quality of CBD hemp oil. Toxins in the soil, heavy metals, pesticides, and bacteria can make their way into the CBD tincture and then treats. Therefore you should buy dog CBD treats made using organic ingredients grown and manufactured in the USA.
- CO2 extraction technique. Also, make sure the CBD oil in the treats has been made using the CO2 extraction process, which is most effective in clearing the final product of impurities.
- Preservatives, GMO, Soy, Dairy, Corn, and Gluten-Free. When supporting your pet’s health, the last thing you want is allergens in the CBD product. Ensure the product excludes common allergens and cheap fillers of questionable quality.
- Certificate of Analysis (COA). A Certificate of Analysis is a lab-tested report of the product’s chemical make-up. A third-party lab should create the COA showing that they’ve tested the product for heavy metals, pesticides, and microbes. The COA will also show you the concentration of each cannabinoid in the oil and confirm the less than 0.3% THC concentration.
- Reputable and Trustworthy Brand. Ensure that the pet CBD treats come from a respected, reputable company in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. The number of reviews on their CBD products and what those reviews say are also important. A brand confident in its supplements will offer a money-back guarantee and special policies like free shipping and monthly subscription discounts.
Dog Anxiety: Signs & Symptoms
Anxiety is defined as “apprehensive anticipation of a stimulus or situation that the animal perceives as unpredictable or dangerous.” In dogs, there are four distinct forms of anxiety disorders:
- Separation anxiety – this is the most frequent behavioral issue in dogs. It develops when dogs are afraid to spend time away from their owners, and it is more common among members of certain dog breeds.
- Age-related anxiety – as dogs get older, their cognitive function deteriorates, becoming stressed and anxious. Plus, they often have arthritis, and joint pain contributes to general anxiety.
- Post-traumatic stress – dogs with troublesome pasts like abusive owners, early abandonment, or exposure to aggressive pets are more likely to develop this anxiety form later on in life.
- Fear-related anxiety – dogs do not understand loud and abrasive noises like thunder, fireworks, or construction. Exposure to these stressors results in fear-related anxiety.
The most common red flags indicating your dog might be anxious include:
- Constant pacing
- Depression and lethargy
- Excessive or frantic barking
- Extreme attachment (clingy behavior)
- House soiling
- Lack of appetite or overeating
- Lip licking and drooling
- Repetitive behaviors
Our Final Thoughts on CBD Dog Treats for Anxiety
So, can CBD oil help with your dog’s anxiety? The simple answer is yes. CBD oil is a natural and drug-free remedy for a happier and relaxed dog. Just make sure you are using high-quality, human-grade pet CBD supplements and consult with your veterinarians.
The Honest Paws Calm Collection is specifically formulated to promote relaxation and support calmness. The line offers various CBD treats – soft chews, bites, and peanut butter.