All animals – vertebrate or invertebrate – have an endocannabinoid system. Our pets can reap many of the same benefits from cannabidiol (CBD) that we can, including reducing anxiety. Pets demonstrate anxiety in a myriad of ways:
- Urination and salivation
- Decreased activity
- Seeking comfort from people
Certain events and situations may spark a nervous reaction. For example, a survey published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that of 17 dog breeds, 23% demonstrated fearful responses to fireworks .
The Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club, Dr. Jerry Klein, reports that CBD is used by owners for its anti-anxiety impact . Anecdotes from pet owners are abundant though clinical research in pets is limited. However, human studies support CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety .
Other research exploring CBD for pets is emerging. Colorado State University, for example, conducted a groundbreaking study on CBD for treatment-resistant epilepsy in dogs and found significant reductions in seizures . Another study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science reported positive results in pain reduction for osteoarthritic dogs . Other possible applications of CBD for pets may include inflammation reduction (including in the GI tract), nausea and vomiting relief, appetite stimulation, and overall wellness.
Dosing & Administering CBD to Pets
Fido the Labrador will respond to a certain dose of CBD differently compared to Luna the Chihuahua. Heavier pets require larger doses of CBD. Even if pets are the same weight and breed, they have different biochemistries and personalities that will affect their response. This requires observing how your pet reacts to a given dose.
There is no universal standard CBD dosage for pets. A good rule of thumb is to start with a low dose and increase until you see the desired effects. The aforementioned clinical study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science administered CBD at 2 mg/kg bodyweight twice daily in canines with osteoarthritis, and the dose increased comfort and activity . One kg is equal to roughly 2.2 pounds; this is a high dose, however. Our Pet CBD offers 20 mg per ml and includes specific dosing instructions on the label.
Tell your veterinarian that you’re trying CBD and share your notes on doses and effects. Heed their advice. Your pet may develop a tolerance and require a larger dose to maintain the desired effects.
- Storengen, Linn Mari, and Frode Lingaas. (2015) Noise sensitivity in 17 dog breeds: Prevalence, breed risk and correlation with fear in other situations. Applied Animal Behaviour Science171, 152-60. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2015.08.020
- Kriss, Randa. (2019) CBD oil for dogs: What you need to know. American Kennel Club. Accessed May 08, 2019. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/
- Blessing, Esther M., Maria M. Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares, and Charles R. Marmar. (2015) Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics,12(4), 825-36. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
- Guiden, M. (2019, March 07). Preliminary data from CBD clinical trials ‘promising’. Retrieved from https://cvmbs.source.colostate.edu/preliminary-data-from-cbd-clinical-trials-promising/
- Gamble, Lauri-Jo, et al. (2018). Pharmacokinetics, safety, and clinical efficacy of cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 5. doi:10.3389/fvets.2018.00165