If you’re planning on taking your dog traveling long distance, it’s totally normal to worry about how he might respond. Particularly if your dog isn’t used to traveling, there is a chance that he may suffer from traveling anxiety and stress while away from home.
CBD oil for dogs is an effective solution for pet owners with pooches that suffer from travel anxiety. CBD oil is extracted from the flower of the cannabis plant, however, don’t worry, CBD will not produce the ‘high’ that’s normally associated with cannabis. There are a magnitude of anecdotes from pet owners who use CBD oil for their dogs to reduce stress and anxiety. Although there isn’t a lot of scientific research on CBD for dogs, vets and experts do appreciate it’s benefits, when used correctly.
In this article, we will outline exactly what CBD oil is, the benefits it has on travel anxiety in dogs, as well as how to get the right dosage for your pooch. We will also answer frequently asked questions about CBD oil for dogs, so you can feel confident that it’s safe and beneficial.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. It’s a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products such as oils and edibles to create a feeling of relaxation and calm. CBD oil doesn’t contain any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive part of cannabis, and will not create a ‘high’ feeling, that people often associate with the plant.
Many vets recommend CBD oil for dogs, even as veterinary scientific research into this new treatment is in its infancy. Scientific studies in humans, however, have shown that cannabinoids have many benefits. These include anti-inflammatory effects and helping with anxiety, aggression, pain, seizures, muscle spasms and neurological disorders.
CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil: What’s The Difference?
A lot of people believe that CBD oil and Hemp oil are essentially the same, but they’re not.
CBD is an active compound that comes from the leaves, flowers, and sometimes stems of mature cannabis plants. It is this cannabinoid compound that has been found to have the medical and therapeutic benefits you get from CBD oil. We will discuss these benefits in detail below.
Hemp oils, on the other hand, are made from the cannabis seeds. The seeds are completely different to the cannabis plant itself, hardly containing any CBD or THC. Although hemp seeds don’t share the same therapeutic benefits as CBD, hemp oils do have their own distinctive nutritional benefits. As it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, many pet owners use hemp oil as a nutritional supplement for their dogs. Additionally, some pet owners use hemp oil to moisturize their dog’s skin and fur. Hemp seed oil is natural and can be used to prevent skin disorders in dogs such as dry nose, acne, eczema, rash and dandruff.
What are the benefits of CBD oil for dogs?
Some dogs get really stressed and anxious while traveling, particularly if they aren’t seasons travellers. Traveling can be a scary experience – being in a small carrier and being made to endure a bumpy, dark and potentially noisy journey. If your dog is boarding a plane with you, being surrounded by so many people in a new environment, your dog will likely feel anxious and stressed. Pet owners and experts recommend using CBD oil for dogs traveling long distance, particularly if they are nervous or highly-strung. Even if you’re planning on leaving your dog behind with a family member or friend, your dog may experience separation anxiety from being left behind in unfamiliar surroundings.
CBD oil has been researched extensively for reducing anxiety, stress, panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders. In recent years, research has found that CBD helps reduce the following behaviours in humans:
- Reduce anxiety caused by public speaking (source: here)
- Reduce anxiety in both healthy people and people with anxiety disorders (source: here)
- Be effective for panic disorders (source: here) and post-traumatic stress disorders (source: here)
Dr. Adam Christman is an award-winning veterinarian and a board member of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association who has written books and created YouTube videos about pet wellness. He said although there isn’t a lot of scientific research on the affects of CBD oil for dogs, it is praised among many pet owners, with a huge number of positive anecdotes from owners who swear by it.
He has said that research seems to support anecdotal reports of CBD for dogs, with benefits for both pain and anxiety. The study he is referring to is a 2017 Cornell University study (source: here) where dogs with osteoarthritis were give CBD oil twice a day. Results showed an increase in the dog’s comfort and activity after consuming CBD oil.
Dr. Ibrahim Shokry is a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine with over 30 years of veterinarian experience. He said that CBD “can be used in the treatment of certain types of seizures, to control pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, to stimulate appetite and to manage anxiety”. However, he does mention that “all these uses are based on experiences, but controlled clinical studies are needed in dogs and cats to establish efficacy and safety”.
How will I know if my dog will benefit from CBD oil?
If your dog is nervous and gets stressed easily, it’s likely he will benefit from CBD oil. CBD has been found to calm nervous or anxious dogs, as well as dogs who suffer from pain and seizures. If you notice your dog getting stressed while traveling, he may well benefit from CBD oil.
Common signs of stress and anxiety in dogs are as follows:
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive barking
- Repetitive or compulsive behaviors
- Urinating or defecating unexpectedly
When taking dogs on airplanes, many airlines require that dogs are calm and well behaved. Therefore, if your dog is a nervous traveler, he may benefit from CBD oil. It will potentially prevent your dog from being refused in the plane cabin with you, which may mean he’s forced to fly in the cargo area by himself. This may then be extra stressful for him, without your comforting presence.
Is CBD Oil safe for dogs?
In recent years human use of CBD oil is growing in popularity massively. This is particularly the case in Canada and many states in the US where medicinal and recreational marijuana use is legal.
Although vets agree that more research is required to scientifically say that CBD oil can help anxious dogs, they say that it is generally safe if used correctly. Thus, you need to ensure that you are using CBD oil for dogs specifically, not human CBD oil. Additionally you need to ensure you get them from a reputable source and that you use the correct dose. So, when used correctly, there are positive affects of CBD oil for dogs with traveling anxiety.
Can you give a dog human CBD oil?
The answer to this question is simple: no, you cannot give your dog any of your CBD oil. This is because human products containing CBD oil have a far higher concentration that is too much for a dog.
How do I find high-quality CBD Oil?
Since CBD oil for pets isn’t yet regulated, it’s very important that you use high quality CBD oil for your dog. The following are some vital factors to consider when looking for the most effective and safe products.
- Organic: High-quality CBD oils are made from organically-grown cannabis and therefore free of toxins.
- Safe methods of production: Safe methods of producing CBD oil include carbon dioxide (CO2) and cold press extraction. Avoid using CBD oil from companies that use cheap methods and potentially toxic solvents. These toxins include propane, hexane and butane, which are used to extract THC from the cannabis plant.
- Independently tested: Buy from companies that test their products independently and provide a certificate of analysis (COA).
- Low THC level: Avoid using products that contain high levels of THC, as they could be harmful to your dog. You want to use CBD products with less than 0.3% THC.
How do I get the correct dosage of CBD oil for my dog?
As mentioned above, there isn’t enough scientific research to be 100% sure of CBD oils efficiency in dogs. Therefore, experts and vets urge pet owners to use CBD for dogs with caution. Still, there are many vets and pet owners that highly recommend the use of CBD oil for dogs traveling with anxiety and stress.
Unfortunately, due to lack of scientific research, there aren’t regulated dosage levels as of yet. However, there are guidelines based on your dog’s weight:
1. Firstly, you need to calculate roughly how many milligrams (mg) of CBD your dog should have based on his weight. Generally, you should give 0.2mg of CBD per pound.
For example, if your dog is a small Bichon Frise like mine, weighing 10 pounds, you should give him 2mg of CBD oil.
2. Next, you need to calculate how much oil you should give to your dog based on the milligram content of CBD in your oil. This will depend on the specific CBD oil formula you are using, as their strengths vary.
Here are some common formula strengths and how much CBD (mg) is in each:
- 75mg formula=2.5mg of CBD per ml of oil
- 150mg formula=5mg of CBD per ml of oil
- 300mg formula=10mg of CBD per ml of oil
- 600mg formula=20mg of CBD per ml of oil
So, for my Bichon Frise weighing 10 pounds, I would give him 0.8ml of the 75mg formula, 0.4ml of the 150mg formula, 0.2ml of the 300mg formula or 0.1ml of the 600mg formula. However, if you are the owner of a small dog like mine, we recommend only using the 75mg formula, simply because it’s difficult to measure smaller than 0.8ml.
When in doubt, always start off with a dosage on the lower end of the spectrum, and increase it if you don’t see any effect.
Find the right CBD dosage before your travels
So, if your dog suffers from travel anxiety and stress, CBD oil for dogs can help calm him. However, getting the right dose for your dog may take some time. As mentioned above, the recommended content of CBD for dogs depends on your dogs weight. However, this is just an approximate guide as each dog responds differently based on his individual metabolism, activity levels and size.
If you will be giving CBD oil to your dog for the first time, make sure you do some trials a few days, before your planned trip. Start administering CBD one or two days before the journey to see what dosage is most effective at calming your dog.
Begin with a dosage with a lower content of CBD, and increase it if you don’t see any effect.
How long will it take for the CBD oil to take affect?
Each dog is different. Most dogs only take a few minutes before they feel the effects. However, other dogs take up to a half hour.
Top tips from holistic veterinarians on using CBD oil for dogs
Here are some tips from holistic veterinarians, who have loads of experience using CBD for pets:
- Consult your veterinarian before you give your dog any treatments.
- Start with a very low dosage and slowly increase if needed.
- Monitor your dog and his response to CBD oil.
- Consider your dog’s other health conditions that may affect his ability to react to or metabolize CBD oil, for example, liver or kidney problems
- Be aware that your dog’s weight, size and activity level can help you determine how your dog will metabolize CBD oil.
- Use a high-quality CBD oil for dogs that’s organic and free of any kinds of toxins.
- Buy the correct potency for your dog’s size. Most oils come in different CBD potencies, starting at 75mg for small dogs and up to 600mg for very large dogs.
So, CBD oil for dogs can be beneficial for dogs who suffer from travel anxiety and stress. Many pet owners and experts recommend CBD oil for dogs traveling long distance who suffer from anxiety and stress, as it has a calming affect.
Although there are many anecdotes from pet owners who swear by using CBD oil for their dogs, there is limited scientific research. However, due to the rising trend in the use of CBD oil for dogs, there is bound to be an increase in research over the next few years.
If you believe your dog will benefit from CBD oil, be sure to use high-quality, organic products and be careful with the dosage. Always do a trial before your travels to ensure you get the correct dose for your dog and start off with a low CBD content.
Hope you have found this helpful.