51% of Dog Owners Give CBD to Their Dog

Top Reasons: Fear, Stress and Anxiety

Dogs can experience distress, separation anxiety, mobility issues, joint issues, and pain, among other things. As a dog owner, it is difficult to stand by and watch your pup suffer. With the rise of interest in hemp-derived CBD products, pet parents report turning to CBD to help their dogs with their fear, stress, anxiety, aggression, mobility issues, joint issues, and pain. In the first quarter of 2021, the Center for Canine Behavior Studies conducted a CBD survey that asked dog owners about their use of CBD with their dog for these types of issues.

Key Highlights:

  • 51% of dog owners gave CBD to their dog
  • Over three quarters of dog owners used a CBD oil tincture
  • Most dogs that were given CBD were over 6 years old
  • Fear, stress, or anxiety were the top ranked reasons for giving CBD to dogs

What is the Center for Canine Behavior Studies?

The Center for Canine Behavior Studies is a non-profit organization focused on reducing dog surrender and euthanasia and keeping dogs with their family for life. They report a startling 800,000 dogs are euthanized each year in America, and that up to 30% of these dogs were given up due to behavior problems. The Center is dedicated to finding and sharing solutions that will fix dog misbehaviors to help reduce the number of dog surrenders and keep dogs living with their family for their lifetime.

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, moleculeCBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one cannabinoid of over 100 cannabinoids naturally occurring in the hemp plant. CBD oil is extracted from the stalks, leaves and flowers of the hemp plant to make CBD products.

Hemp-derived CBD products for dogs typically contain a dominant amount of CBD with zero or up to 0.3% THC, are low in toxicity, are non-intoxicating, and are generally well tolerated by canines. Dog CBD products vary in type, from CBD oil drop tinctures to CBD chews and CBD treats.

Studies examining the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD for canines are scarce but are underway.  One study found that a CBD dominant oil was safe and better tolerated by dogs compared to an oil formulation with high concentrations of THC.  Another study that examined aggressive behavior towards humans by shelter dogs found that CBD was effective in significantly reducing their aggression over time.

Pending additional research, dog owners have nevertheless turned to CBD derived from the hemp plant to help improve fido’s quality of life. In fact, most data on CBD use with dogs is from self-reports by pet parents.

What we do know is that dogs just like humans have an endocannabinoid system that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis. Homeostasis means a state of balance.

We also know that dogs like humans naturally produce endocannabinoids and have cannabinoid receptors that influence their body’s endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoid refers to a cannabinoid naturally produced by the body.

The body’s endocannabinoid system is essentially the master balance regulator of body systems and functions. It is linked to the immune system, the nervous system, how pain is perceived, digestion, mood, anxiety, responses to stress, sleep and more.  While experts are still studying how CBD chemically works in the body, it is believed that CBD can influence the endocannabinoid system to promote balance of an imbalanced system or function.

⇒ Recommended: How CBD Enhances the Endocannabinoid System

About the CBD for Dogs Survey

In addition to some basic demographic questions, the survey asked dog owners some basic questions about CBD use with their dog.  These questions included whether CBD was given to their dog, what type of CBD product they used, how long they had been giving their dog CBD, and why they gave CBD to their dog.

The survey had a total of 409 participants who own or owned a dog.  Below we highlight their findings.

How many dog owners give CBD to their dog?

51% of the participants reported giving CBD to their dogs.

While 49% of the participants had not yet tried a CBD product, roughly 16% of these dog owners were considering trying CBD to help their dog’s mobility/joint issues, fear/stress/anxiety issues, and pain.

How did dog owners learn about using CBD?

The survey asked dog owners why they decided to try giving CBD to their dog. Here’s what the data showed:

  • 21% decided to try CBD with their dog because family or friends recommended it.
  • 15% based their decision on the recommendation of a veterinarian.
How old were the dogs receiving CBD?

Dog ages ranged from 1 to over 10 years . Most dogs receiving CBD were over 6 years old.  Specifically,

  • 36% of dogs were 10 years and older
  • 32% of dogs were 6 to 10 years old
  • 28% of dogs were between 1 to 5 years old.
Why did dog owners give CBD to their dog?

Dog owners reported giving their dog CBD to help with the following issues:

  • 32.4% gave CBD to their dog to help with fear, stress, or anxiety
  • 25.7% gave CBD to their dog to help with mobility/joint issues
  • 22.5% gave CBD to their dog for pain management
  • 6.0% gave CBD to their dog to help with aggressive behavior
  • 4.4% gave CBD to their dog to help with seizures
  • 2.9% gave CBD to their dog to help with dementia
How long had dog parents been using CBD to help their dog?

The majority of dog parents reporting giving CBD to their dog for more than year.

  • 41% of pet parents reported giving their dog CBD for more than 1 year.
  • 26% reported giving their dog CBD between 4 to 12 months.
What type of CBD product did they give their dog?

When asked what type of CBD product they gave their dog:

  • 77% reported using a CBD oil tincture
  • 36% used CBD chews or CBD treats
Final Thoughts

Based on the popularity of hemp-derived CBD products among humans it is no surprise that dog parents are likewise turning to this natural plant-based aid to help improve the quality of their pet’s life.

Here are the main things to keep in mind when shopping for a pet CBD product:

  1. Have access to the lab report. You want access to the CBD product’s lab report, called a Certificate of Analysis. The lab report will show the amount of CBD and any other cannabinoids, including THC, in the product.  The lab report will also show if the product was tested for harmful contaminants (like residual solvents, pesticides, microbes, heavy metals) and is safe to use.
  2. Ensure the CBD product has no more than 0.3% THC. For hemp-derived CBD products to be legal they cannot contain more than a trace amount of THC of up to 0.3 percent.
  3. CBD and drug interactions. If your dog is taking prescription medication or suffers from a serious medical conditions, speak with your veterinarian before using CBD about any potential drug interactions or other complications.
  4. Do not shop for CBD on Amazon for your dog or yourselfAmazon has a seller’s policy that prohibits the sale of any CBD products on amazon.com. All the “hemp oil” and “hemp extract” pet products you see on amazon.com are really hemp seed oil or something else but not CBD. Hemp seed oil is not the same as hemp CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is rich in amino acids and omegas 3, 6 and 9 but not CBD.  Also, as none of the hemp products on amazon.com provide a lab report you have no idea what you’re really buying including whether it is safe to use.

⇒ Recommended: How to read a CBD lab report

Sources

The Center for Canine Behavior Studies: CBD Survey
Corsetti, S., Borruso, S., Malandrucco, L. et al. Cannabis sativa L. may reduce aggressive behaviour towards humans in shelter dogs. Sci Rep 11, 2773 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82439-2
Silver RJ. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals. Animals (Basel). 2019;9(9):686. Published 2019 Sep 16. doi:10.3390/ani9090686

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