CBD May Help Your Dog Deal with Holiday Anxiety

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Read time: 3:25 mins

If you’re having even just a couple of  friends and family over this holiday, it still may be enough to give your dog some anxiety this time of year. CBD may help your dog deal with holiday anxiety so they have a good time too!

“Some pets are more socialized than others,” says Dr. Tim Shu, a licensed veterinarian and founder and chief executive officer of VETCBD. “Pets that aren’t used to large groups of people, or kids, may be more shy or timid initially as they need time to adjust.”

Even if you aren’t hosting parties this holiday season because of the pandemic, our (and our dog’s) houses transform this time of year. Whether it be a Christmas tree, Hanukkah candles, or other shiny lights and decorations, your dog’s environment – one that rarely changes 11 months out of the year – is all of a sudden different. That, combined with all the new seasonal sights, sounds and smells, could cause your dog to become anxious and uncomfortable.

Fortunately, there’s growing evidence that CBD (Cannabidiol), the second most active ingredient of the cannabis plant that doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects may help your pet relax and feel less nervous in uncomfortable situations, just like in humans

Signs Your Dog May Be Anxious or Uncomfortable

  • They pull their ears back 
  • They hang their tail low
  • Their back is hunched or their posture is tense
  • They are hiding 

How Could CBD Help Your Dog?

“CBD interacts with serotonin receptor 5-HT1A, and interaction with that receptor can decrease anxiety,” says Dr. Shu. “CBD also appears to inhibit FAAH, which is the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, a cannabinoid naturally produced by our (and our pets’) bodies. Anandamide, also known as the “bliss molecule,” appears to be responsible for providing feelings such as happiness. So when CBD is present, less anandamide is broken down.”

How to Give Your Dog CBD 

There are hundreds of CBD-infused pet products on the market today that come in a variety of the most popular flavors, including steak, chicken, peanut butter, bacon, and cheese, etc. and come in varying forms such as soft chews and biscuits.

But if your pet is finicky, or maybe accustomed to only eating one type of treat, then a pet CBD tincture could be a wise choice. If putting a dropper or oral syringe into your pet’s mouth isn’t something you (or your pet) want, you could instead add the desired amount onto your pet’s current treat/food of choice or right on his or her food and still achieve the desired effect. 

“Some dogs may not like certain treats or are picky and it can be difficult to get them to eat a CBD-infused treat. Tinctures can be applied into food or into a tasty treat of choice, if not directly into the mouth,” says Dr. Shu.

Dosing – How Much CBD is the Right Amount?

When it comes to dosing, Dr. Shu recently told a Three Wells-hosted webinar audience, to remember the acronym “GLASS” which stands for Go Low And Start Slow. 

“In general terms of dosing when it comes to cannabinoid therapeutics, we start low and go slow,” Dr. Shu said. “We have a dosing guideline that goes by body weight. And that is the recommended dose that most patients will take when they’re in that body weight. But what we’ve seen in both humans and animals is that every patient can use and utilize a different dose. Some patients (dogs) may need a higher amount. Some may be able to use a lower amount.”  

Many of us consider our dogs to be members of the family, and we enjoy having them with us when we celebrate the season. But it’s difficult to have a good time if you know your dog is stressed. In addition to incorporating CBD, try to keep your dog’s schedule as consistent as possible. Try your best to:

  • walk your dog at the same time you always do. 
  • feed them at the same time as usual.
  • take time to play with them and show affection

With a combination of love, patience, affection and with the addition of some CBD, you and your dog should have a fun, relaxing and stress-free holiday.


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