Using CBD Oil for Canine Anxiety

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the inactive cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp. Though you will see countless click-bait headlines advertising dogs “using marijuana” for anxiety relief, it is not the same thing; for one thing, CBD comes from hemp rather than cannabis, and for another, it does not contain THC, therefore providing many of the benefits without the psychoactive properties. Although people use this for their dogs in order to help ease arthritis, seizures, and even allergies (to name a few), I began giving this to Sasha to help with her anxiety.

Sasha’s anxiety typically manifests as hyper-vigilance when walking in and around our apartment building; she gets super excited when she sees other dogs, and becomes anxious in places where she knows she usually sees them. Though we have been doing active counterconditioning for months (see my blog post about her dog reactivity), this sounded like something that could further aid her progress. I had heard about CBD oil for dogs through the pet supply store where I work, so I thought “What the heck, why not?”

I began giving Sasha Pet Releaf Edibites treats (pictured below), which contain 1.5 mg of CBD oil in each treat. Giving it to her in treat form made it very easy to administer, since she gobbled them right up! I began giving her the treats on a Friday, giving two treats twice a day, and by Sunday I could see a difference: we had friends over in the evening, and rather than trying to jump all over them as she usually does, she simply laid on her bed next to us and calmly watched. It also seemed to make a little bit of a difference with her hyper-vigilance in our apartment building, and excitement in seeing other dogs.

Where I really saw the most difference, though, is when I started giving her the straight CBD oil, also manufactured by the Pet Releaf company (pictured below).  On the bottle, it recommends giving one full dropper each day. I began giving her half of a dropper twice a day, because it takes action within one hour and has an effect for 9 hours. Over the course of the next few days my boyfriend and I both saw a huge difference in Sasha: she was a lot less frantic on walks, and it also seemed to take the edge off of her at home. Overall, her disposition is now a lot more calm and content, and her training has been progressing more smoothly since I started giving her the CBD oil.

After giving Sasha CBD oil for a month and seeing positive results, I will definitely keep doing it, at least until she grows up and is a little older and calmer. It really seems to help her be a calmer, happier dog, which allows her to be better able to focus on our counterconditioning training. Although it is not a solution in and of itself, it can aid in any training or behavior modification work that you are currently doing. It has greatly helped us and I would 100% recommend it to anybody else going through similar experiences.

I gave Sasha the peanut butter & banana Edibites treats, which she loves. However, the oil itself (on the right) is not difficult to administer: I slip it into the corner of her mouth and put it under her tongue, and give her a tasty treat afterwards. 

7 thoughts on “Using CBD Oil for Canine Anxiety

  1. Hi Is Sasha on any prescription medication for her anxiety? I came across your response to a question on Reddit and it had a link to your blog.
    My dog has severe separation anxiety and he’s been on Prozac 40mg. It veterinarian just increased it to 60mg and added 200mg of trazadone twice a day. Thanks Dana

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    1. Hi Dana,
      It’s funny you should ask, because the veterinarian just recently prescribed Fluoxetine for Sasha (I just haven’t had the chance to write a post about it yet). She is 40 pounds and is on a 20 mg/day dose. I’m hoping to see positive results, but it will probably be a few weeks before that happens! I hope the medication is helping your anxious pooch too. 🙂

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  2. Hi Dana,

    Like the above comment, I found the link to your blog via a reddit post. I’m curious how you figured out the dosing for the CBD oil that worked best for Sasha. Did you have to up the dose from what was recommended on the bottle? And out of curiosity, what is Sasha’s current dose?
    I ask because we just started giving CBD oil to our 50lb aussie shephard and the bottle recommends half a dropper for his body wt (which works out to 0.5mL of 300mg CBD oil) and it’s hard to tell if theres any difference yet after 4 days.

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    1. Hi Chris,
      Thanks for commenting! What I did with Sasha was start with the recommended dosage on the bottle and go from there. I ended up having to up the dose a little bit, since the recommended dose is just that- a recommendation. Unfortunately, as of now there is not great research done on CBD oil (at least in dogs), so it takes a lot of trial and error. If it has been a few days I would recommend upping the dose for your dog, since it shouldn’t take that long to see the effects.
      I actually haven’t had Sasha on CBD oil regularly for a few months, since we started fluoxetine (the generic version of Prozac) and it’s working great for her. But when I was giving her CBD oil daily I was giving her 4 Edibites treats each day (divided into two portions, so two treats in the morning and two treats in the evening). Since each treat has 1.5 mg of active CBD, she was getting 6 mg/day.
      Hope that helps!
      Bridget

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