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Can CBD Oil Help with Dog Training?

A whippet lays down in green grass as its owner gives it a command

Cannabidiol is an extraction from the flowers and buds of the marijuana plant. However, it does not induce feelings of intoxication since it has significantly low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical commonly known as THC. Cannabidiol is also referred to as CBD, Cannabinoid Oil, or hemp.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

CBD works with endocannabinoid receptors and is useful in helping with different physical and mental ailments. Theendocannabinoid system aids in maintaining the body's physiological processes. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally in mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, etc. It promotes biological harmony when dogs experience changes in their environment.

What Can CBD Oil Be Used For?

There is a multitude of uses for CBD oil in dogs. However, it is vital to state that CBD tests are only in their beginning stages, but so far, things are looking good.

For example, CBD oil is believed to reduce inflammation. In a study conducted in 2017, byCornell University, CBD was tested to see if it would provide greater comfort for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. The results proved positive, and Cornell recommends 2 mg/kg of body weight twice daily for dogs can decrease discomfort and increase mobility.

AtColorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, another study used CBD oil to see if it can help reduce seizures in dogs suffering from intractable idiopathic epilepsy. The research has reflected a reduction in seizures, though only by 33%. However, they are hopeful that continued testing will show a higher percentage of successful cases.

Unfortunately, there has been no formal testing using CBD for behavior modification. There are several CBD products on the market that advertise the use of CBD for anxiety in dogs. Though there is anecdotal evidence that it works, there is no hard evidence at this point.   That being said, it does not mean that CBD won’t work, in fact, many swear by its usefulness when used to aid in:

  • Reducing depression
  • Improving Appetite
  • Reduces anxiety caused by loud noises, separation, or stressful situations like travel
  • Reduces general anxiety often seen in older dogs
  • Aids in promoting calm behavior

Can CBD Oil Help with Dog Training?

Again, no formal studies have proven that CBD oil can help when training a dog. But, many dog parents believe that CBD oil can help reduce anxiety, which in turn helped with training their dog.

CBD does not increase your dog’s intelligence, nor does it make handlers better at training. But if a dog is anxious, creating a calm environment will help your dog feel more comfortable and allow them to focus on training.

According to theAKC, dogs respond best to training when they feel safe and loved. And the AKC further states that a happy dog makes for a well-behaved dog, not the other way around. Attempting to train a fearful or anxious dog often creates friction between the dog and the human, even when using positive reinforcement-based training.

When a dog is feeling stressed, they cannot function normally and focus on the cause of anxiety or fear. Also, dogs can feel anxiety if they just by trying to please their human, and falling short of success can accentuate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Where CBD oil comes into the picture is by helping reduce feelings of stress and anxiety—allowing your dog to feel more mellow and relaxed. It can even help keep your dog more focused on you, instead of becoming easily distracted or reactive.

What Are the Risks of Using CBD for Training?

Like with all supplements, there are potential risks in using CBD oil as a training aid.

It is critical to use products made specifically for dogs to ensure that the THC levels remain at a minimum or that have no traces of THC. Though there is a higher safety margin when it comes to THC toxicity in humans, the same cannot be said for our canines.

With the rise of the legalization of products containing THC, veterinarians have also seen an increase inTHC poisoning in dogs. Though rarely fatal, THC can make our dogs feel and act as if they are drunk. They may even experience urinary incontinence in addition to drooling, staggering, and vomiting.

Additionally, some dog owners have reported that their dogs have become too relaxed and laid back for training. So, it is essential to start with a small dose and build up from there slowly as all dogs respond to CBD differently.

Other side effects noted in dogs who have been exposed to CBD include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Drowsiness

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How to Choose CBD Oil?

If you have ever shopped for CBD oil or CBD products, you know there is an abundance of choices on the market, and it can be challenging to know which one is the best choice. Here are a few tips to help choose the right CBD oil for your dog:

  • Go organic – Cannabis plants are sometimes used to remove pollutants from the soil. Unfortunately, since the FDA does not regulate CBD oil, nothing is stopping the use of these plants in CBD products. Though not enough is known regarding the impact of the toxins on the CBD extracts, it is best to err on the side of caution.
  • Don't Choose Based on Price– Premium high-quality CBD oils are expensive to make and reflect that in the price tag. But before buying the most expensive option on the shelf, be sure you read the label and research the product to ensure you're getting what you pay for.
  • Read the Analysis – CBD Oil manufacturers often provide a certificate that reflects the product's CBD content. Products can list CBD on the label, but be sure of the quantity. Additionally, check the percentage listed for THC; you will want to choose a product with minimal THC amounts.
  • Choose CBD Oil – CBD comes in various products. CBD oil is the easiest way to monitor and adjust the dosage you give your dog.

To Use or Not to Use CBD Oil for Dog Training

When training a dog who suffers from anxiety, fear, or reactiveness, it is best to address the issue before you start training. One-way dog owners can help promote feelings of security and relaxation is through the use of CBD products.

Though CBD does not work for all dogs, it is often a safe choice to try. However, just like all supplements, it is best to consult your veterinarian before adding any new medications to your dog’s diet.

Meet The Author 

Jessica Mabie author of Dog Paw Pad Injuries for dogs: What you need to know

Jessica Mabie

Canine Specialist & Writer

Jessica Mabie is a Freelance Writer residing in the Twin Cities. She specializes in writing about pets, travel, and food. Jessica graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, TC.

Jessica has always loved dogs, and, at the age of 14, she started volunteering at a neighborhood vet clinic. While at the U of M, she continued her work with dogs as an obedience trainer and vet tech. Although she no longer works with dogs professionally, she does use her experience as a volunteer with American Brittany Rescue as well as aiding in her writing.

When not working, Jessica and her family spend a lot of time camping and hiking from spring to fall. So, if you happen to see her out and about with her family don’t hesitate to say “Hi!”, (You’ll know it’s her since few are so daring as to have 4 Britts).

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