Though many pet owners ascribe to their dogs human feelings, we often forget just how similar our canine companions are. Anxiety affects over 40 million adults in the United States alone and it’s an issue more common in dogs than you may realize. You may have heard of separation anxiety – a fear of being left alone – but dogs can suffer anxiety triggered by an illness, by trauma from their past, or by nothing in particular (this is called generalized anxiety).
Anxiety in dogs can cause symptoms ranging from general restlessness, pacing, and whining to trembling, destructive behavior, spontaneous elimination, and even escape attempts.
Treatment for anxiety in dogs varies depending on its causes and triggers. In some cases, it may simply be a matter of working with your dog to replace a negative association with a positive one. For example, if your dog is nervous about going into his crate, try giving him treats when he goes near it on his own or include in your daytime play sessions.
Your veterinarian is the best person to talk to about your concerns with your dog’s anxiety. Your vet will be able to rule out underlying conditions which could be triggering his symptoms and you’ll be able to discuss treatment options together. If you’re looking for a natural treatment to help calm your dog’s nerves and support his overall health, consider CBD.
In this article, we’ll explore the subject of CBD oil for dogs with anxiety and delve a little bit deeper into what it is, how it works, and our top 5 favorite brands.
The Best CBD Oil for Dogs with Anxiety
You’ve probably heard of CBD oil in the context of human usage, but is it safe for dogs? CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is a cannabinoid compound found naturally in different strains of the Cannabis plant. Marijuana, Cannabis indica, is known for its THC content – tetrahydrocannabinol, another cannabinoid compound. Though THC has psychoactive properties, CBD does not. It is most highly concentrated in hemp, Cannabis sativa, and offers a variety of therapeutic benefits.
Though CBD has been the subject of limited scientific research, the results are promising. Studies confirm the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of CBD and it can even relieve anxiety.
It’s difficult to say whether all the benefits of CBD demonstrated in humans are mirrored in dogs, but several small studies suggest they may be. In fact, there are several studies that support the anxiety-reducing effects of CBD. We’ll talk about the specifics a bit later but, for now, let’s take a closer look at some of the best CBD oil for dogs with anxiety currently on the market.
If you’re thinking about giving CBD oil for dogs with anxiety a try, we recommend these five brands:
|Top Pick||The Anxious Pet||400mg, 800mg, 900mg||$48+|
|Budget Pick||CBD Pure||100mg||$25+|
|Best Treats||Honest Paws||5mg per treat||$40+|
|Best Flavor||CBDfx||250mg, 500mg, 1000mg||$30+|
|Best Variety||MediPets||25mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, 250mg, 350mg, 550mg||$30+|
*Weekly price estimated for a 30-pound male dog with normal activity level
Which CBD Oil is Best for Dogs?
Since CBD has become legal, its popularity has skyrocketed. Not only are there a variety of CBD products out there for people, but now there are companies that focus exclusively on pet CBD. If you’re new to the world of CBD, you may be looking for some guidance – here are our recommendations:
Top Pick: The Anxious Pet
When it comes to pet anxiety, no one understands like The Anxious Pet. This company was developed by a pet owners whose dog suffers from severe anxiety and the products were made not only for him, but for other pets who struggle with the same difficulties. The Anxious Pet offers two concentrations of organic hemp CBD oil (400mg and 800mg) as well as calming soft chews (900mg). On top of high-quality products, The Anxious Pet offers free next-day shipping and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
The Anxious Pet organic hemp oil comes in two concentrations and is made from full-spectrum hemp oil with organic coconut oil as a carrier oil. Dosing instructions are simple to follow, broken down by body weight with your dog’s age taken into consideration. If you prefer treats, Relax & Roll soft chews come in a tasty peanut butter flavor with 60 chews per container and 15mg per treat. On top of broad-spectrum CBD, these chews contain calming ingredients like ginger, chamomile, and melatonin.
- Made with organic hemp oil CBD
- Free shipping, 60-day money-back guarantee
- Additional calming ingredients like ginger and chamomile
- No low concentrations (only 400mg and 800mg)
- Somewhat pricey compared to some options
Budget Pick: CBD Pure
When shopping for CBD products, you’ll find that prices vary significantly from one brand to another. If you’re just starting out and you only need a low dose, or if you’re not sure CBD will work for your dog, the last thing you want to do is spend a fortune. With CBDPure you can enjoy affordable pricing and a simple choice. Though they only offer one option in their CBDPet 100, CBD Pure offers competitive pricing at under $25 per bottle. Plus, the more you buy the more you’ll save!
CBDPet 100 comes in a 60ml (2 oz.) glass bottle and contains 100mg of CBD – that’s about 1.6mg per ml. When you price it out, that averages to about $0.06 per ml which is pretty unbeatable. Every CBDPure order is backed by a 90-day money-back guarantee so there’s no risk, and the dosing instructions are simple to follow. Just give your dog 1ml (half a dropper) per 10 pounds of bodyweight.
- Affordably priced under $25 per bottle
- Backed by 90-day money-back guarantee
- Natural organically grown hemp oil
- Only available in a single dosage
- No flavor options (natural hemp only)
Best CBD Treats: Honest Paws
If you’re going to be giving your dog CBD oil on a daily basis, you probably want to make it as easy on yourself as possible. Dosing and administering liquid CBD can be tricky, but CBD dog treats are simple. Honest Paws offers several recipes for CBD dog treats including one formulated specifically to promote calmness and ease anxiety. Available in chewy treats and soft chews, these treats contain a predictable dosage of 5mg of CBD per bite.
All Honest Paws products are made with full-spectrum hemp grown in the USA. These products are free from GMO ingredients as well as fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. Honest Paws dog treats contain wholesome organic ingredients like oats, barley, and peanut butter in addition to organic hemp oil as well as calming ingredients like L-theanine and tryptophan. Enjoy free shipping on orders over $49.95 and can save an additional 15% off when you sign up for an automatic refill.
- Available in chewy treats and soft chews
- Contains 5mg of CBD per treat
- Easy to administer, predictable dosage
- Made with US-grown full-spectrum hemp oil
- May be a little more expensive than some
- Limited flavor options (peanut butter only for Calm recipe)
Best Flavor: CBDfx
Even if you’re familiar with CBD products for your own use, pets are different. CBDfx makes it easy by offering CBD oil formulations based on pet size – simply choose from a formula for small, medium, or large breeds. These CBD oils come in 250mg, 500mg, or 1,000mg concentrations, all made with simple, natural ingredients. CBDfx uses US-grown hemp oil and CBD is extracted using the CO2 extraction methods free from solvents and other harsh chemicals.
All CBDfx oil tinctures for pets are made with broad-spectrum CBD and have an unbeatable natural bacon flavor. These recipes are human-grade and vegan, supplemented with curcumin for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Every CBDfx product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and has verified potency with lab test results available online.
- Broad-spectrum CBD grown in the USA
- Irresistible natural bacon flavor
- Supplemented with curcumin for added benefits
- Limited product selection (3 concentrations)
- No CBD treats, just CBD oils
Best Variety: MediPets
For dogs who suffer from anxiety every day, you may be looking for a simple option in daily CBD treatment. MediPets offers a wide variety of choices that makes it easy to find something that will work for your dog. If you can’t make up your mind, they even offer bundles that come with CBD oil and CBD treats, categorized by dog size. Plus, you can save considerably by starting a monthly subscription.
MediPets offers CBD oil in concentrations as low as 25mg and as high as 350mg per 30ml bottle. Everything is labeled according to the strength of the concentration and the recommended dog size, plus the dosing instructions are broken down by drop. This company makes it easy to get started with CBD for dogs with anxiety and you can easily adjust your dog’s dosage by adding a few more drops or upgrade to a slightly higher concentration with your next order.
- Wide variety of product choices (CBD oils, treats, and sprays)
- Considerable saving with recurring subscription order
- Categorized by concentration strength and dog size
- Somewhat pricey by comparison (with one-time orders)
Other Dog CBD Brands We Love
If none of the options above seem like the right fit for your dog, there are still others to choose from. Here are a few more you might consider:
Dogs with anxiety often require daily doses of CBD but Charlotte’s Web makes it easy with an assortment of low-dose CBD oils and CBD treats. Their full-spectrum hemp extract contains just 17mg per ml and comes in 30ml and 100ml bottles. If your dog prefers treats, Charlotte’s Web Calming Chews for Dogs come with 30 chews per bag and each contains 2.5mg of CBD. Every order over $25 receives free shipping and you can save 10% on autoship orders (plus, every 7th order is free!)
This company offers a variety of CBD oils and dog treats so you can easily find the option that works best for your dog. Their CBD treats come in two flavors (peanut butter and baked cheese) and three concentrations up to 600mg. Paw CBD oils come in peanut butter or natural flavors with concentrations all the way up to 3,000mg. All products are made with premium broad-spectrum CBD oil extracted from US-grown hemp. Every product is third-party tested for purity and safety.
This company encourages you to discover a healthier, happier, and calmer pet with their wide variety of CBD oils, treats, and other products. The Calm & Quiet product line is designed specifically to support peace and tranquility and comes in tasty treats or a CBD oil. Both products contain calming natural ingredients like hemp oil extract, valerian root, chamomile, and lavender. Receive free shipping on orders over $50 and enjoy the security of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Though this company does offer a few options for cats, they are really all about dogs. Owners of dogs with anxiety will appreciate the King Kalm line of CBD products which includes both CBD oils and CBD-infused dog treats. Choose from four concentrations of CBD oils ranging from 75mg for small dogs up to 600mg for large dogs. King Kalm CBD oils are made with broad-spectrum CBD oil as well as hemp oil and krill oil for the added omega fatty acids.
What is CBD Oil, Anyway?
The acronym CBD stands for cannabidiol which is a type of natural compound found in the Cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is one of many cannabinoids that occur naturally in Cannabis but, unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it doesn’t produce psychoactive effects. This means it won’t get your dog high and there’s no risk for intoxication. Instead, CBD offers therapeutic benefits for a variety of problems in humans and, potentially, in pets.
Here are some of the potential benefits CBD has to offer:
- Reducing inflammation
- Relieving pain
- Improving sleep quality
- Relieving anxiety and depression
- Stimulating appetite
- Reducing nausea and vomiting
Though the therapeutic benefits of CBD are the subject of significant research, many of these studies use mouse or human subjects. Research regarding the benefits of CBD for dogs is limited, but there are a few out there and some of them even support the use of CBD for dogs with anxiety.
Does CBD Oil Work for Dogs with Anxiety?
Scientific research regarding the benefits of CBD is ongoing but numerous studies show promising results. In fact, the anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) benefits of CBD are actually very well studied. The question is whether the same results can be expected as in humans.
The benefits of CBD oil are linked to its effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system in the bodies of all mammals that helps regulate essential processes. By interacting with this system, CBD may help relieve anxiety. Though research involving canine participants is limited, a large case study of human subjects revealed a decrease in anxiety among nearly 80% of patients within the first month of using CBD.
Generally speaking, CBD is regarded as safe but there is always a risk for side effects with any medication or supplement. Common CBD side effects include dry mouth, drowsiness, and changes in weight or appetite. These are the effects most commonly noted in humans, so it’s hard to tell whether the same is true for dogs but it is reasonable to assume it is so.
What to Look for in CBD Oil for Dogs
Your dog’s health and safety are always a priority, so it’s important to take the time to do your research when shopping for CBD oil for dog anxiety. At first glance, most CBD products look more or less the same, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that some brands are more trustworthy than others.
Here are a few things to consider when shopping for CBD oil:
- Quality – Do some research on the company to find out where their CBD is grown, how they extract the CBD oil, and what other ingredients they use in their products.
- Sourcing – Check to see whether the hemp is US-grown and know the difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products (full-spectrum may contain trace amounts of THC).
- Concentration – The amount of CBD per mg is the concentration. Liquid CBD oils come in low, medium, and high strengths so pay attention to what you’re buying.
- Safety – Make sure any CBD product you purchase has been tested by a third-party lab to ensure purity, potency, and safety.
- Price – When shopping for CBD, you can compare prices between companies using the price per mg of CBD. You may have to do some math!
- Guarantee – Many CBD companies offer money-back guarantees on their products to make sure customers are satisfied – some companies offer up to 90 days.
On top of choosing a quality dog CBD product, you also need to be careful with how much you give your dog. There is no standard dosage for CBD, unfortunately, so it’s hard to tell how much your dog will need. Dosage is generally determined by weight – dogs with more severe anxiety may need higher doses as well. Talk to your veterinarian and refer to the directions on the package to start at a low dose then gradually increase the dose if needed until you start seeing the results you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is CBD oil safe for dogs?
Yes, CBD is generally recognized as safe when used properly. Keep in mind that the quality and potency of CBD products varies, however, so shop smart and follow the dosing instructions carefully.
Does CBD oil relieve anxiety?
Yes, the anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) benefits of CBD are well-studied. The benefits of CBD are thought to be linked to its impact on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the bodies of mammals, though these effects are still being studied. Whether CBD works exactly the same in dogs as in humans is also being studied, but several small studies suggest CBD does help relieve anxiety in dogs.
How much CBD should I give my dog?
There is no standard dosage for CBD oil in dogs or humans and your dog’s dosage needs may vary according to his weight and the severity of his symptoms. Refer to the directions on the package and start with a low dose, working your way up slowly until you find the right dose for your dog.
Should I give my dog CBD oil every day?
You can certainly give your dog CBD oil every day if he suffers from generalized or chronic anxiety, but some dog owners only give it when their dog is experiencing symptoms. Talk to your veterinarian about which option is best for your dog.
Will CBD oil interact with other medications?
Possibly. Though CBD is generally recognized as safe, it may interact with other medications that produce a similar effect or could change the way your dog’s body metabolizes medicine. Talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog CBD just to be safe.