This is my pup, Ghost. She suffers from anxiety chewing.
We tried anxiety chewing pills from the vet, which cost us 100’s of dollars, but these didn’t work. Ghost would chew herself raw to the point that my wife and I were desperate to find a solution for her.
- 99.7 % CBD isolate infused honey
- Dosage : 1/8 teaspoon per day
The Science From RxLeaf: Can CBD Help Dogs With Anxiety Chewing Behavior?
CBD is making its way into pet care, but does it work? CBD is everywhere now — and particularly in the pet-wellness industry. But to understand how and why this cannabinoid is so popular, particularly among dog owners, one must first look at the emerging evidence.
For instance, in the above article, a dog named Ghost had been experiencing severe anxiety, which manifested itself as chewing behavior. Ghost would become so anxious that she would actually chew herself raw, leaving behind painful sores. Her owners spent hundreds of dollars on anti-anxiety veterinary medications to try and help their pet, but nothing worked. Ghost’s anxiety chewing continued, to no avail.
Desperate to find a solution, her owners decided to give CBD a try. They purchased some pet-safe CBD honey and observed Ghost’s behavior closely. After only a week, Ghost showed no signs of chewing. Her sores also began to recover.
Anecdotal reports like this one have been flooding in, with pet owners claiming that CBD helps alleviate anxiety, pain, inflammation, and seizures in dogs. But what does science have to say about it?
What We Know So Far About CBD and Dogs
The research is still scarce on this subject, as scientists have only recently begun to explore the effectiveness of CBD on canine populations. So far, there have only been just a few studies. And of those few, none have addressed the possibility of CBD relieving anxiety in dogs.
So what is it we do know? A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association Randomized Blinded Controlled Clinical Trial to Assess the Effect of Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Addition to Conventional Antiepileptic Treatment on Seizure Frequency in Dogs with Intractable … Continue reading concluded that CBD could potentially reduce seizure numbers in dogs with epilepsy. Research has also shown that CBD oil could be used to treat dogs with osteoarthritis, by increasing their comfort and activity levels.
However, that’s about it in regard to veterinarian CBD research. In fact, a 2018 studyBoesch, et al. “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 2 July 2018, … Continue reading published in Toxicology Communications found that actual, scientific knowledge in this area is grossly lacking. So, what are we to make of these anecdotal reports, and does CBD really help ease anxiety chewing in dogs?
Can Anecdotal Reports be Trusted?
In 2019, the Veterinary Information Network ran a survey Kogan, Lori, et al. “US Veterinarians’ Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Frontiers … Continue reading among veterinarians. Results showed that nearly two-thirds of the survey’s respondents were asked by a patient about cannabis at least once a month. Which goes to show, the public’s interest in CBD as pet treatment is soaring. However, knowledge about CBD among veterinarians might be slim. According to a study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science (2018) Greb, Alexandra, and Birgit Puschner. “Cannabinoid Treats as Adjunctive Therapy for Pets: Gaps in Our Knowledge.” Taylor & Francis, … Continue reading many veterinarians do not feel knowledgeable in the subject.
Researchers found that most veterinarians were hesitant to bring up the subject, and even fewer were willing to prescribe CBD to their patients. This was due to lack of knowledge and scientific research. And in some states and countries, it is illegal for veterinarians to prescribe CBD, or to even broach the subject. But at the same time, the veterinarians in the study overwhelmingly supported more research into CBD.
It’s still too early to say for certain what CBD can or cannot do for dogs. And even though anecdotal reports are swarming in, they can’t always be trusted. After all, pet owners are not exactly conducting controlled scientific studies in their homes, and in some cases they can be overly optimistic.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
Even though the jury is still out on whether or not CBD can help calm anxiety in dogs, it may still be worth trying.
So far, CBD appears to be relatively safe for dogs. However, it’s unknown how it interacts with other pet medications. So, if you’re interested in giving your dog CBD, talk about it with your veterinarian first. Even if your vet is still catching up to the current research (like the rest of us), he or she can at the very least help you be aware of any issues or problems, should they come up.
If your dog is experiencing other underlying health conditions, particularly known liver issues, you may want to hold off on administering CBD. But if your pup is otherwise healthy, giving them pet-safe CBD could be safe. Your veterinarian can help you figure that out, as well as the proper dosage. But just be aware, you might have to be the one to bring it up during an appointment. Be sure to watch your dog for any side effects — digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting.
This much is certain — CBD is making its way into the homes of pet owners everywhere, and some are finding that it is helping their dogs with health problems like anxiety, mobility issues, and seizures. More research will definitely help us further understand how CBD can be used to treat our four-legged friends. And even though anecdotal evidence can provide interesting examples of the potential promise that CBD holds, it may be best to temper your expectations. Science has yet to give us the final word.
|↑1||Randomized Blinded Controlled Clinical Trial to Assess the Effect of Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Addition to Conventional Antiepileptic Treatment on Seizure Frequency in Dogs with Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy.” Randomized Blinded Controlled Clinical Trial to Assess the Effect of Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Addition to Conventional Antiepileptic Treatment on Seizure Frequency in Dogs with Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy | Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association | Vol 254 , No 11, avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2460/javma.254.11.1301.|
|↑2||Boesch, et al. “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 2 July 2018, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165/full.|
|↑3||Kogan, Lori, et al. “US Veterinarians’ Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Frontiers Media S.A., 10 Jan. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6338022/.|
|↑4||Greb, Alexandra, and Birgit Puschner. “Cannabinoid Treats as Adjunctive Therapy for Pets: Gaps in Our Knowledge.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24734306.2018.1434470?af=R.|