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The Calming Effects of CBD for Pets: A Guide to Easing Stress in Dogs and Cats

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

How CBD can help Dogs and Cats cope with anxiety or stress during 4th of July Fireworks


Pets are beloved members of our families and as such we are always concerned with their emotional and physical wellbeing. There are many events that can increase our pet’s stress. One of the most common is fireworks displays. With the 4th of July just around the corner, we wanted to address how CBD can be used to help calm your fur babies. This article can also be useful year-round for other events. Whether it is car rides, vet visits, trips to the groomers, or just your daily departures, CBD has proven very effective to help ease emotional stress for animals and people. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is gaining popularity among pet owners. Whether you choose to treat on a regular basis for chronic anxiety and discomfort or use it only for acute situations, we hope you find this information helpful. In this article, we will explore how CBD can be used to alleviate stress in animals and discuss appropriate dosages for effective calming.

Easing Stress and anxiety in dogs with CBD

CBD is a non-intoxicating compound derived from the hemp plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a psychoactive effect, making it safe for pets. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) present in both humans and animals, regulating various bodily functions, including stress response, mood, and appetite. A quick aside - Please do not give your pets a straight THC product. These can increase anxiety and are toxic at very high doses.

Canine Anxiety

Canine Anxiety from fireworks, thunderstorms and new environments

Anxiety in dogs can manifest in various ways, such as excessive barking, panting, pacing, trembling, destructive behavior, and even aggression. Common triggers for canine anxiety include visits to the veterinarian, thunderstorms, fireworks, separation anxiety, and new environments. These stressors can cause significant distress and make it challenging for dogs to function normally.

Cat Anxiety

Feline Anxiety treated with CBD

Cats can display excessive stress with This can lead to destructive behavior, excessive vocalization, or inappropriate elimination. administering CBD to cats experiencing stressful situations or during times of increased anxiety, pet owners may observe a reduction in their feline's stress-related behaviors and a general sense of calm.

CBD for Stress Relief in Pets

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in both humans and animals. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological functions, including mood, appetite, and stress response. CBD helps to promote balance and calmness by indirectly influencing the receptors in the ECS. An interesting fact about dogs and CBD is that they have more ECS receptors in their brains than people do. I have often said I think that CBD works even better for dogs than it does for people. There are, in my opinion, two reasons for this. The first is the number of receptors, but the second, more important factor, is that people are almost always consistent with dosing their pets. That is not always the case for themselves. Consistent dosing is only necessary for chronic conditions. We will address some situational (or as needed) concerns first.

Dogs and Fireworks

Fireworks and Noise Sensitivity

Fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud noises can be a nightmare for noise-sensitive animals, especially dogs. CBD has been found to have a soothing effect on dogs during such events. Administering CBD prior to expected fireworks or thunderstorms can help to reduce anxiety and make the experience more manageable. It's important to note that while CBD can help alleviate stress, it is not a cure-all, and it's recommended to create a safe and comforting environment for your pet during these events as well.

Vet Visits

Vet visitis

For many animals, visits to the veterinarian can be overwhelming and stressful. CBD can be a valuable tool in alleviating this anxiety. By administering CBD before a vet visit, pet owners can help their dogs feel more relaxed and less fearful. The calming effects of CBD can make the experience less distressing for both the dog and the veterinarian, ensuring a smoother examination or procedure.

Environmental Stressors

Changes in the environment, such as moving to a new home or introducing new family members or pets, can cause stress in your pets. CBD can help alleviate this stress by regulating the ECS, promoting a balanced mood, and reducing anxiety. By incorporating CBD into your pet’s routine during such transitions, pet owners may assist their feline companions in adapting more smoothly to the changes.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety in dogs

Both cats and dogs can experience separation anxiety when their owners are away. This can lead to destructive behavior, excessive vocalization, changes in appetite or inappropriate elimination. CBD may help mitigate separation anxiety by promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. Pet owners can administer CBD prior to leaving, providing a calming effect that may help cats cope better with their owners' absence.

Choosing the Right CBD Product

When considering CBD for your furry friend, it's crucial to choose a high-quality product. Look for CBD products that are organic, non-GMO, and third-party lab tested for purity and potency. Additionally, you can opt for CBD products that are specifically designed for pets, as their formulations are tailored to their unique physiology and often contain tasty or helpful additives. Pets can use “people” CBD (CBD is CBD) but be sure there are no added ingredients that are unsafe for pets. This generally means sticking with plain, natural, and unflavored people versions.

Determining the Right Dosage

The appropriate CBD dosage for dogs and cats can vary based on factors such as weight, size, and the severity of anxiety. It's always best to consult with a veterinarian before starting your pet on any new supplement if your pet is already on medications.

As a general guideline, it's recommended to start with a low dose of CBD and gradually increase it until the desired effects are achieved. A typical starting dose is 1mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. For example, a 30-pound dog would start with approximately 3mg of CBD per dose. This can be increased, if necessary, to 5mg per 10 pounds of body weight. It's important to note that CBD can take some time to take effect, so it's advisable to administer it to your dog at least 30-60 minutes before the stressful event.

Regular Dosing for chronic conditions:

Doses should be administered 1-2 times per day. We suggest 2, but some people find results with only one. When deciding to increase the dose, consider adding a second dose first before increasing the size of the first.

  • under 10 pounds – 1-5mg (start with 1 and increase as needed)

  • 10-20 pounds - 2-10mg

  • 20-30 pounds – 3-15mg

  • 30-40 pounds – 4-20mg

  • 50-60 pounds – 5-25mg

  • 60-75 pounds – 7-35mg

  • 75-100 pounds – 8-50 mg

  • 100+ pounds - God, Bless you - 10-50+mg

As needed dosing for Acute Situations:

Try to give your fur baby the dose 30-60 minutes before the event. The first time you use CBD, try the lower end of the scale above and give a second dose in 1 hour if needed. Some owners choose to dose at the higher end of the scale for acute situations. Your pet cannot overdose on CBD. Sleepiness is the most common side effect of too much CBD.

Our best-selling pet products:

CBD Oil by Blue Lotus Botanicals. This USDA certified oil is perfect for accurate dosing as it is 1mg per drop of oil. The droppers have measured markings on them to help you with larger doses. At 50mg per ml, each .25ml provides approximately 12.5mg of CBD. Oil can be placed directly in your pet’s mouth if they will tolerate it. Or it can be added to food or treat.

Treats for Little Dogs – Suzie’s Soft Chews – at 2mg per treat, these are perfect for the tiniest pooches.

Treats for Big Dogs – Lazarus Naturals CBD Dog Treats – at 10mg per treat, they are an ideal dose for dogs over 50 pounds and come in three varieties. The CBD in them is the same and always calming, but you can choose other added ingredients for additional benefits.

Oil especially for Cats – Suzie’s Cat CBD oil, Goodbye UTI – this oil adds ingredients to help bladder health in our beloved felines.

Monitoring Your Pet’s Response

Every animal is unique, and their response to CBD may vary. While CBD is generally well-tolerated, some pets may experience mild side effects, such as drowsiness or dry mouth. If your pet exhibits any adverse reactions, discontinue the use of CBD, and consult with your veterinarian.

In Summary

We love our pets too! We use CBD regularly as it offers a natural solution for helping them cope with stress, anxiety, and chronic discomfort. Whether it's vet visits, fireworks, or other stress-inducing events, CBD can promote a sense of calmness and balance in our beloved fur babies. With the right approach, CBD can be a valuable tool in improving the well-being and quality of life for pets dealing with anxiety, thanks to the calming effects of CBD for pets.

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