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One of the most challenging aspects of dog ownership is finding ways to keep your dog calm during stressful situations, whether it be a car ride, a trip to the vet, or a high-activity day at the dog park. Pet parents often don’t want to resort to using anti-anxiety medication every time due to the potential for side effects, so many of us look for alternative options.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been a hot topic recently as a treatment for many different human conditions, but can CBD work for pets too? A new study performed by researchers at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute in the United Kingdom sought to find out.
The study involved 20 dogs in total with a control group receiving a placebo and a test group receiving 4 milligrams of CBD per kilogram of body weight. After getting their dose, the dogs were studied for their behaviors before, during, and after a car ride. Scientists checked levels of cortisol (a hormone that indicates stress levels) in the dogs’ blood, as well as looking for more obvious signs of anxiety like whining.
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Each dog in the study had previously exhibited symptoms of discomfort while in the car, but the researchers found that dogs who received CBD had significantly reduced stress during trips. It didn’t completely stop anxiety in the dogs, but it made a noticeable difference.
Interestingly enough, the control group dogs who received a placebo also showed some reduction in stress during the study. Researchers attributed the dogs simply getting used to riding in the car over the 24 weeks. While all dogs involved benefited from this, those who received CBD still fared better on average.
Researchers need to conduct more studies to determine the future of CBD treatments for dogs, but results show promise so far. the scientists believe this form of medication could be useful when combined with other options, like behavioral modification therapy, to help dogs with situational stressors.
It may be a while longer before official dog CBD products become popular, but soon enough, you may be able to share your favorite substance with your pup and chill out together.