How CBD Can Help
With Aggressive Dogs

CBD- A Dogs Best Friend

CBD has been all the rage of late, Americans are diving in with 4 paws on the benefits that CBD can have on certain ailments and medical issues. Millions of Americans are now using CBD to help deal with things like pain, inflammation, insomnia and much much more. This has lead to those CBD users to ask, can CBD help my dog? It is having such a profound effect on humans and their issues that it only makes sense that CBD can help your dog with a wide variety of pet related ailments. CBD is of course a non-psychoactive chemical derived from the hemp plant, which targets different compounds in the brain to help deal with specific issues a dog may be experiencing like anxiety, aggression or pain. CBD acts by targeting receptors located in the brain, organs, central nervous system, and immune cells that stimulate relaxing effects. 

This abundance of benefits can do wonders for your dog, specifically those dogs that have problems with being too aggressive or agitated. Though research is still in the puppy stages, it is becoming more and more apparent that CBD does a lot more good then it does bad. Check out our article on How CBD Can Change Your Pets Quality of Life.

Is CBD Safe For Dogs?

Before we get into how CBD can help with your aggressive pooch, we want to spend some time looking at the safety of CBD when consumed by dogs. Researchers have been playing close attention to the emergence of CBD on humans and whether this new form of treatment is here to stay for the long term. One of the biggest key indicators of the safety behind CBD is the World Health Organizations (WHO) classification on CBD. The World Health Organization is a global agency that falls under the United Nations where they help with international public health. WHO has stated that CBD shows no effects “indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” In fact, as of today, there haven’t been any recorded instances of “public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.  Dogs like most other mammals including humans, have the same system in their body that processes cannabinoids (CBD). This is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which helps regulate and moderate a variety of bodily processes, CBD stimulates our endocannabinoids by activating or blocking the group of receptors it contains. Studies show that by interacting with your dog’s endocannabinoid system, CBD may do several things such as reduce pain and inflammation, lower the severity of seizures, and help control anxiety.

As mentioned before, CBD and the research behind its benefits are still in the puppy stages, but there are recent studies that have been conducted that have shown promising indications that CBD can indeed help your dogs health. Cornell University has been researching whether CBD can help dogs who are suffering from pain due to osteoarthritis and their results were published in the July issues of Frontiers in Veterinary Science. The study conducted a double-blind placebo trail where both the veterinarian and owner don’t know if that dog is receiving the CBD or the placebo, resulting in a non bias result. The dog’s mobility and activity we’re measured every 2 and 4 weeks along with blood tests to indicate the dogs pain level. Of the 16 dogs studied, a whopping 80% of the dogs who were given CBD showed significant improvement in pain levels and quality of life, with no side effects.

Another promising study comes out of Colorado’s State University James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital where dogs were again given double-blind placebo clinical trail to discover if CBD could help dogs who are epileptic. Out of 16 dogs, 9 were treated with CBD and 7 were treated with a placebo. The study showed that 89% of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the amount of seizures they were experiencing.

Though more research is needed, the positive impacts CBD can have on dogs is promising and looks like as more research is conducted the more positive results will come out that CBD does indeed benefit dogs and specific ailments. It’s important to do your research and follow these steps when choosing to give your dog CBD:

Consult your Veterinarian

In 2018 The U.S. Government signed the Farm Bill which allowed for the sale of hemp-based CBD products throughout the U.S.A. This means that you are completely legal to buy and give your dog CBD. That being said, it is best to speak with your vet before you start your dog on a CBD regiment. Veterinarians can’t recommend CBD themselves, but they certainty can provide input and answer any questions to help reduce any harm or side effects that may occur. This is especially true if your dog is already taking another medication, it’s important to understand if mixing that medication and CBD may have its own effects.

Look for the Product’s Certificate of Analysis

It’s important that the CBD product you are purchasing is commissioned by an independent third-party tester who then provides a Certificate of Analysis, known as a COA. These tests show how much CBD is in the specific product and also if there are any contaminants like heavy metals and fungicides.

One CBD at a time

If you do decide that CBD is right for your doggo make sure you start slow. In the tests mentioned above researchers used 2.5 mg of CBD per kilogram of the dogs weight, twice a day. This was later doubled by the end of the study. Most CBD products have dosing instructions directly on the table but it really does come down to being selective and how your pup reacts. It’s best to air on the side of caution and start low and go slow. Using CBD oil and its tincture can help regulate how much you are giving your dog.

Store CBD carefully

Cannabinoids have been known to degrade over time so it’s very important to keep all your CBD oil and treats at room temperature and away from any bright lights and sunlight. When CBD is heated or put into colder temperatures is can change the chemical composition. Keep an eye out if your CBD has changed color, this is usually a indication the CBD has been damaged.

CBD For Aggressive Dogs

Having an aggressive dog can be upsetting, especially if your dog is protective and loving to your family when at home. Your dog may appear to be aggressive and easily agitated when our in public, but more of the case that doesn’t reflect the dogs true domineer. Many dog owners see their dogs aggressive nature as a behavioral problem, but many types of aggression come from physical or physiological causes. This is where CBD may help.

Dog aggression comes in many forms, from snarling, growling, showing teeth or attempting to bite humans or other animals, can all escalate into a dangerous situation. This is why it’s vital to ensure you deal with your dogs aggressive behavior right away, before it becomes too late. It can be tricky to pin point the exact cause of your dogs aggression, with most dogs having a specific trigger for the cause of their aggression. Most dogs might be well behaved at home but once in public they become aggressive to children, strangers or other dogs.  There are many different types of dog aggression that might related to your aggressive pup, such as:

  • Anxiety related aggression
    • When a dog is aggressive towards a human or animal because the dog is feeling afraid
  • Sexual aggression
    • Aggressive behavior associated with mating behavior
  • Territorial aggression
    • When someone or something enters the dogs perceived territory
  • Possessive aggression
    • When a dog feels there resources such as food are being threatened
  • Protective aggression
    • When a dog gets aggressive protecting something like their puppies or mate
  • Pain related aggression
    • When a dog is in pain or irritated which causes aggression
  • Social conflict aggression
    • Aggression motivated by internal conflict displayed in the context of social interaction
  • Redirected aggression
    • Out of frustration due to the dog not being able to reach the target of its aggression

Once you’ve discovered what is causing your dogs aggressive behavior it’s important you work with your vet to create a plan to help curb your dogs aggression. If the dogs aggression is due to a medical problem it’s vital to treat the dogs condition while also making sure the treatment doesn’t enhance your dogs aggressive tendencies.

When dealing with a dog who is purely acting aggressive due to behavioral problems, it’s important you work on those behavioral traits. One option is to work with a dog trainer who specified in dog behaviors, this can see great results but can come with a large price tag. You can also use the old technique of positive reinforcement. This involves using treats and praise for the dog to instill positive behavior, for example if your dog is aggressive towards other dogs a trainer might slowly get them to socialize with other dogs at a distance. They’ll then use treats and praise to reinforce your pet’s positive behavior.

CBD, Dogs and Their Brain

For many dogs, these techniques may do the trick and you’ll start to see a more disciplined less aggressive dog, but for some dogs it comes down to the chemistry of their brain and that it needs to be altered to see real results. Many medications used to treat dogs effect the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, these neurotransmitters work like chemical messengers and can alter the way different areas of the brain communicate with each other. Specific neurotransmitters in the brain have a direct effect on mood, for example increased levels of serotonin help reduce anxiety and depression while increasing feelings of happiness and relaxation. Many people however don’t like the idea of giving their dogs harsh behind the counter medication, just like humans, these medications can have various side effects which can be harmful to a dog.

This is where CBD has come into the playing field. An all natural supplement which has increasingly shown positive effects in both humans and animals to help with things such as pain, inflammation, anxiety and mood disorders, CBD has become a go to for millions of Americans and their pets. CBD has been shown to effect the endocannabinoid system in the brain which is a system that is made up of cannabinoids and respective receptor cells. The endocannabinoid system directly effects a variety of functions in the body of humans and animals, many which relate directly to behavior. Both humans and animals produce endocannabinoids in response to things such as exercise and stress. CBD acts a molecular pathways that ends up stimulating the endocannabinoid system indirectly. In fact, researchers have identified over 60 different molecular pathways via which CBD can work on the body.

But what exactly can CBD do to help dogs with your dog’s aggression? Well, as mentioned earlier, the endocannabinoid system plays a very important role in managing our emotions, mood, and responses to the world around us. By activating this system, CBD can change neurotransmitter activity in the brain and possibly drive down aggressive behavior in your dog much like some prescription medications. CBD continues to show signs that it can increase serotonin levels in the brain, acting specifically on a serotonin receptor called 5-HT1A. Serotonin is a key factor when taking medications such as antidepressants and anxiolytics, this is due to the fact that serotonin levels are proven to help boost moods and overall happiness.

CBD also effects the GABA activity in the brain, modulating and and binding to GABA receptors. This effectively helps lower GABA levels in the brain which helps slow down brain activity, which in turn provides calming and sedative-like effects helping drive down fear, stress, and anxiety. CBD has also shown to increase the anandamide levels in the brain, anandamide is a neurotransmitters that effects our mood and emotions. When feeling stressed the level of anandamide in the body goes up, helping reduce the levels of other stress hormones in the body. Anandamide increases the experience of feeling happy and calm, by temporarily boosting anandamide levels in the brain, CBD can have mood-boosting and calming effects that can also drive down aggression in dogs with behavioral problems.

For further reading check out our article on the Top Ten Benefits of CBD For Your Dog 

Why You Should Try CBD for Your Dog

CBD is just a puppy when it comes to research and it’s true value for how it effects humans and animals, but as each day goes by the evidence becomes clearer that CBD does work. If you are interested in trying CBD for your dogs aggression we recommend starting with Wild Thing Pets Dog Treats, an easy and effective way to administrate CBD to your dog and they’ll be sure to love the taste!  Or try our Wild Thing Pets CBD Oil, which is a perfect way to give your doggo the perfect does, without having to guess.