Can CBD help anxious, reactive dogs?

Are you one of the millions of guardians that give their dog CBD? I certainly have used it.

Maggie, my senior dog that lived to be 15 ½ years old, was on CBD regularly to ease her joint pain. And it is my personal opinion that CBD did help her with that. I would add drops of CBD oil to a dry dog biscuit and give it to her at bedtime. She seemed to get more restful sleep and move around easier the next day.

CBD is an extremely popular supplement for dogs. I mean, check out all the stuff it claims to help with:

  • Appetite stimulant
  • Reduce seasonal allergies
  • Soothe skin conditions
  • Relieve joint pain
  • Reduce symptoms of epilepsy
  • Decrease anxiety-based behaviors like noise reactivity and separation anxiety

I mean, WOW – Talk about a miracle drug!

But let’s talk about that last bullet point.  Is CBD effective in reducing anxiety in dogs? 🤔

While there are plenty of companies touting the benefits of their CBD product, science tells us we just don’t know how effective it is. It simply has not been studied enough.

One study in particular tested the impacts of CBD in reducing anxiety in noise-reactive dogs. 

Dogs were divided into 4 groups: One group was given Trazodone (a common prescription drug to treat anxiety and stress in dogs), the second group a placebo, the third group CBD, and the last group CBD and Trazodone.

Blood tests were taken after the dogs were given their dosage.  Then a blood test was taken.

Following the blood test, the dogs were subjected to a noise test. And then a second blood was taken again immediately after and a third blood test one hour later.

Blood work results showed that CBD alone NO impact on reducing the cortisol levels in the dogs. (1) 

“These results do not support an anxiolytic effect of CBD in dogs given 1.4 mg CBD/kg BW/d.” (1)

The Impact of Feeding Cannabidiol (CBD) Containing Treats on Canine Response to a Noise-Induced Fear Response Test

And…we also don’t know if there is a toxic amount to dogs or the effects of long-term effects of its use.

Bottom line: 

If you have behavior concerns about your dog, it’s always best to reach out to a professional:  a dog trainer or behavior consultant, your vet, and even a veterinary behaviorist.  

A vet or VB will likely want you to work with a qualified trainer or behavior consultant, and possibly, vice versa.  

In my opinion, your time and money should be better spent on something that is proven effective for treating anxiety in dogs.

Behavior medication, management to reduce overall stress, positive reinforcement, and behavior modification methods like desensitization and counterconditioning are proven to be effective without causing additional stress to the dog. (2)

I’m curious.  Do you use CBD for your dog? How do you feel it benefits them?  Tell me in the comments!

Until next time,



  1. The Impact of Feeding Cannabidiol (CBD) Containing Treats on Canine Response to a Noise-Induced Fear Response Test
  2. AVSAB Humane Dog Training Position Statement

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