Anxiety is a serious problem for many dogs. No matter what’s causing your dog’s anxiety (PTSD, separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, etc.) — they all have the same negative impact on your dog’s quality of life.
Many pet owners are reaching for a bottle of CBD oil to help their dogs cope. Pet owners are hailing it for its ability to relax the mind and stop anxiety in its tracks.
Learn how CBD oil works, what the benefits of CBD oil are for dogs with anxiety, and how to avoid wasting money on ineffective products.
Let’s start with our top three picks for the best CBD oils for dogs in 2020.
Top-Three CBD Oils For Dogs (2020 Roundup)
- Royal CBD – Award Winning, Best CBD Oil Overall
- Gold Bee – Runner Up, Quality Product at a Good Price
- Blessed CBD – Potent CBD, But Only Ships to the UK
1. Royal CBD Pet Oil — Editor’s Pick
Royal CBD is our top pick for providing anxiety-relief with dogs for two reasons:
- These oils are perfectly suited for use with dogs (dog-friendly bacon flavor and potencies)
- These oils are especially high in the anti-anxiety cannabinoids CBC and CBG (above and beyond just CBD)
Royal CBD has won awards for several of its CBD products already. It’s best known for the premium status of its products (organic hemp, high-tech extraction methods, thorough testing, organic carrier oils). You can find mentions of this brand on websites, including We Be High, SF Weekly, Weed News, LA Weekly, SF Examiner, Orlando Weekly, SA Current, Metro Times, and Observer.
Some of the recent third-party tests on this oil indicate high concentrations of the adjunctive cannabinoid — cannabichromene (CBC). This cannabinoid has received a lot of attention lately for its role in supporting anxiety. Some experts believe it may even be a stronger anxiolytic than CBD itself — though more research is needed to find out for sure.
Overall, these pet oils are well worth the money and offer safe and reliable support for managing your dog’s anxiety, promoting a feeling of calmness and relaxation, and reducing the chances of panic attacks in the future.
- Contains a high concentration of CBC, CBG, and CBD
- Premium hemp extracts at a competitive cost
- Made with organic hemp using supercritical CO2
- Only available on the official website (not sold in-store)
2. Gold Bee CBD Oil — Runner-Up
Gold Bee CBD oils are often listed among the upper echelon of CBD brands. They’re rich in cannabinoids and other bioactive hemp-derivatives, use organic hemp plants and come with all the testing we’d expect to see from a top-shelf brand.
So why is Gold Bee our runner-up?
The only reason this brand isn’t at the top of the list is that they don’t technically sell pet-specific products. There are only three CBD oils you can order from Gold Bee — 300, 600, or 1200 mg full-spectrum oils — which are safe for both humans and dogs.
300 mg of CBD oil in a 1 oz bottle works out to around 10 milligrams per dropper — which is suitable for dogs of all sizes:
- Small Dogs — aim for a quarter to half a dropperful
- Medium Dogs — aim for half to one full dropper
- Large Dogs — aim for a full dropper up to two droppers
These oils come in an unflavored version and a honey-flavored version. While we love the honey oil taste, the best choice for dogs is the unflavored option.
Despite how new the company is, Gold Bee has a lot of recommendations behind it already (Cleveland Scene, Riverfront Times, VentureBeat, CL Tampa, and CityBeat, for example).
- Some of the highest quality hemp oil we’ve seen yet
- Excellent cost to potency ratio (high value)
- All third-party tests available live on the company website
- No pet-specific flavors available in this range
- High demand for these oils means the product is sometimes out of stock
3. Blessed CBD Oil — UK’s Best CBD Brand
Blessed CBD is a well-known brand in the UK, but not yet available in the United States. We’ve included this brand as an option for our readers living outside the US. Another UK-based option worth considering is Crush CBD.
Blessed CBD doesn’t have a specific lineup of pet products, but this doesn’t mean these oils aren’t already well-suited for use with dogs.
These organic, full-spectrum hemp oils come unflavored by default and deliver 500 milligrams of CBD per 10 mL bottle. There are higher potencies available as well, but these aren’t recommended for use with dogs.
The 500 mg CBD oil delivers roughly 1.5 milligrams of CBD per drop, so you only need to use a few drops with your dog. I recommend mixing this CBD oil in with your dog’s food. The high potency of the oil means you don’t need to use very much, so it’s less likely your dog will turn her nose up at the hemp-infused meal.
- Made from organic hemp
- Full-range of third-party test results updated regularly on the company website
- Smaller, 10 mL bottles are easier to carry with you throughout the day
- No pet-friendly flavors available in this range
- Only available within the United Kingdom
Types of Anxiety You May Encounter In Your Dog
Dogs experience anxiety just like we do. The difference is that your dog can’t tell you what’s making them anxious.
Here are some of the most common forms of anxiety experienced by dogs:
1. Separation Anxiety
Dogs often associate everything they value in life with their humans — such as playing, going on walks, food, and more. When their human companions leave, they may feel anxious and fearful of losing everything they love.
Separation anxiety is the most common cause of anxiety in dogs, especially if you usually spend a lot of time with your dog.
2. Age-Related Anxiety
As dogs get older, their cognitive function starts to decline. They may experience problems with learning, memory, perception, and emotions. One of the major side effects of this is stress and anxiety.
3. Post Traumatic Stress
Dogs that have had a particularly troublesome past may experience post-traumatic stress throughout their life. Some causes include an abusive past owner, exposure to dangerous and aggressive dogs, or abandonment at a young age.
4. Fear-Related Anxiety
Dogs have a very different perspective of the world and don’t understand the source of loud or abrasive noises. Construction, thunder, crowds of people, or other dog noises can trigger feelings of fear and anxiety in your dog.
Common Signs of Anxiety in Dogs
- Urinating or defecating in the house
- Constant drooling or licking
- Depression and lethargy
- Excessive or frantic barking
- Constant pacing
- Repetitive behaviors
CBD Oil & Anxiety: How it Works
CBD is not a sedative, but it does offer potent relaxing effects on the mind and body. It works through a complex network of receptors in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is tasked with regulating the nervous system. When the nerve cells are firing out of control (which is what happens during an anxiety attack), the ECS steps in to slow everything down. It’s used to help the body return to baseline by slowing down electrical activity in the brain and nervous system, inhibiting the effects of the stress hormone (cortisol), and forcing tense muscles to relax.
How to Find CBD Oils That Are Worth The Money
There’s no doubt CBD oil has a lot to offer dogs with anxiety syndromes, but it’s important to know that not all CBD oils are created equal.
There are many brands selling products with outrageous markups that provide little to no active CBD per dose. Even worse, some companies are sourcing cheap, potentially contaminated hemp from overseas to make their products. A lot of these contaminants can trigger inflammation and make anxiety even worse.
When shopping for CBD oils for your dog, ask the following questions before you finalize your order:
1. Is the manufacturer reputable? What do past customers say about the brand?
2. Does the oil contain THC (anything over 0.3% THC should be avoided for use with dogs)
3. Has a third-party lab tested the oil? Is there proof the oil is contaminant-free?
4. What’s the potency of the oil?
5. What’s the cost per milligram of CBD? (a metric used to determine value)
6. Does the oil come in pet-friendly flavors my dog will like? (such as bacon, beef, or chicken)
7. Will the company ship to my country or state?
8. Is the oil made from full-spectrum extract or CBD isolate? (full-spectrum recommended)
Cannabis Terpenes For Dogs
Terpenes are a large group of compounds abundant in the plant kingdom. They’re associated with many of the health benefits for different herbs, including the hemp plant.
The best CBD oils are full-spectrum products because they take advantage of the medicinal value of these terpenes, as well as cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, CBG, and more.
There are dozens of different terpenes in hemp, each offering a unique benefit; a few examples include:
1. Bisabolol — sedative effects
2. Pinene — anti-inflammatory effects
3. Linalool — sedative and stress-relieving effects
4. Myrcene — anti-inflammatory effects
5. Limonene — mood-supportive effects
6. Lavandin — anti-anxiety effects
One of the more advanced methods of CBD supplementation for both humans and their pets involves boosting the effects of a CBD oil with terpene concentrates. Adding just a few drops of a high-quality terpene concentrate can dramatically improve the potency and overall benefits of a CBD pet oil.
You can order concentrates from manufacturers such as Finest Labs.
Key Takeaways: Using CBD Oils With Dogs
CBD oil is one of the best natural health supplements for alleviating anxiety in humans and dogs alike.
Unfortunately, there are many bad players in the industry selling CBD oils that simply can’t do what the company claims. The leading cause of this is a lack of active CBD in the product. It’s not uncommon for a CBD pet oil to register less than 50% of the CBD advertised on the bottle.
The best CBD oils for dogs are made from a full-spectrum extract by a reputable brand with plenty of positive customer reviews or brand mentions. Look for products that come backed with complete third-party tests to prove the oil’s potency and purity match what’s advertised.
The top-rated CBD oil for dogs with anxiety is Royal CBD. These oils tick all the boxes regarding what makes for the best CBD oil for dogs and come in three dog-friendly strengths and a delicious bacon flavor your dog will love.