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How CBD Oil Can Help Your Dog’s Aggression?

a black and tan dog outside in the snow w in snow with lips snarrled

Our furry best friends are integral members of the family, so it’s devastating when they show signs of aggression. Your dog’s behavior is influenced by many factors. Some of these factors include genetic disposition, health, home environment, experience and learning environment, and maternal influences. Understanding what’s contributing to your dog’s aggression, and the nature of his behavioral problems is essential for treatment.

That said, in no way should cannabidiol or CBD replace a veterinary diagnosis and behavior modification. Cannabidiol pet products may help with canine anxiety and aggression and should complement traditional veterinary care, and positive dog training with plenty of socialization each day.

Pet parents need to start enjoying fun hikes, trips to the dog beach and dog park, as well as quick trips to the local Starbucks! Plenty of daily environmental stimulation combined with regular exercise will help combat aggression, boredom, and canine anxiety.

Why is My Dog Aggressive? 

A high-quality, non-GMO, vegan CBD natural supplement does come in handy for numerous potential health issues in dogs and may help with aggression and anxiety. Though it’s first necessary to have your veterinarian rule out pain, with a complete check-up to see if there are any health-aggression related problems.

It’s also important to consider that most senior dogs will have general aches and pains, and be more prone to certain health conditions like osteoarthritis, cancer, and vision loss. Here’s the take: If you think that your dog would benefit from CBD, ask yourself why? Then consult with your veterinarian, especially if your dog is on other medications or has a health condition.

Don’t just purchase CBD products for your furry best friend randomly. Yes, they’re safe, and a natural supplement, but you’re going to want to know the underlying cause of aggression or pain. You don’t want to skim over that by just treating with a CBD pet product.

Owner-Related Aggression 

Aggressive canine behavior can mean anything from threatening behavior to harmful attacks with subtle body posture changes to vocalization, aggressive facial expressions and biting. Aggressive dogs that are easily aroused should avoid all situations that trigger a fight or flight mode, causing aggressive behavior. 

Your dog’s anxiety and arousal state affect his physiological state. Today veterinarians, behaviorists, and positive dog trainers may combine reward-based training with treats and anti-anxiety medications to help combat aggression. 

All of these combinations will help to create a new behavioral state in your dog that is conducive to new learning experiences so that successful behavior modification can take place. This is where CBD may be beneficial in replacing anxiety meds that may have long term side effects, or that may be costly in the long run. 

Some aggression can be managed, while other types of aggression require prevention. Because aggression in dogs is most times unpredictable, it’s important to make sure that children and other household pets are not in harm’s way. 

As for any medical conditions, these need to be treated first to make sure that they are not the cause of aggression. And this is why buying CBD online for your dog is not going to help your furry best friend unless you first rule these out with a thorough veterinary check-up. 

Owner-related aggression can stem from fear and outdated punishment methods that should not be used on any pets. Excessive use of punishment will make a dog fearful, and also cause pain, and result in aggression as a defense. That said, owner related aggression can stem from an adopted dog being fearful of his new environment if he’s recently moved homes. 

Dogs that may have been abused in the past, and that have recently been adopted may take time adapting to new home environments, and overcoming their past history of abuse and neglect. Nonetheless, behavioral modification with positive dog training may be beneficial together with CBD for treating anxiety, depression, and aggression when creating a new behavioral state that is conducive to learning new behaviors. Consult with a CBD savvy veterinarian for the best CBD pet product advice. 

Fear-Based Aggression 

With this being the most common cause of canine aggression, it’s important to find out what stimulus triggers this in your dog. It’s usually triggered by a stimulus that a dog finds fearful in which you’d have a direct response of aggression. This is called defensive aggression. Dogs will try to escape the stimulus, and if they cannot, they will become aggressive.

Dogs that are leashed, confined, cornered or physically held will try to get away from the perceived “threat.” In this case, it’s necessary to identify the fear first, then the threatening stimulus, and to remove it. Additionally, finding out what the very first exposure was to the threatening stimulus is important, because dogs may exhibit fear at the first exposure which later develops into aggression. 

Two white and tan jack russels outside lunging at each other

Food-Related Aggression 

Numerous dogs at shelters will demonstrate food aggression. This is shown during feed time, around dog treats and bones, and around human food when food is being prepared or eaten. 

Maternal Aggression 

Maternal aggression is seen when mother dogs are overly protective of their pups. Aggression is directed toward other dogs or people. This can also affect females with pseudocyesis or can refer to female dogs that show aggression toward their pups, and even show signs of cannibalism. This may be genetic but tends to affect more females right after their first litter. A small amount of aggression is normal, most especially during weaning, 

Dominance-Related Aggression 

This is also referred to as impulse control aggression where there is a threat of aggression towards people when trying to correct a dog’s behavior during training. This is difficult to correct, and situations that may result in aggression need to be controlled.

What is CBD Oil?

Hemp refers to the cannabis varieties that are grown as an agricultural crop, and also contain low amounts of THC(tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is federally illegal in the US if it contains a higher amount than the O.3% allowed for use, though it’s been approved for both recreational and medical use in Canada, and numerous US states. 

For all CBD pet products to be legal, they need to have less than 0.3% THC. CBD is natural, safe, and is derived from hemp and cannabis. Most CBD dog products will use CBD from hemp. That said, there is no “high” and dogs will not consume THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, resulting in psychoactive effects with your dog getting “high”. 

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CBD Oil for Aggression 

CBD dog treats and non-GMO, CBD oil tinctures, and even CBD pills or capsules, when administered to dogs, may help ease anxiety and aggression. Keep in mind that CBD without THC will not give your dog a “high”.  CBD nutraceutical pet formulas are 100% safe without side effects. CBD has a calming effect, and may even have a synergistic effect. CBD affects the endocannabinoid system in dogs and induces a calming effect in your dog by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

Today, there are numerous studies that demonstrate the benefits of CBD for pets. A 2019 University of Colorado study found that 89% of dogs treated in the study with CBD oil, had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. The study additionally says that“The CBD product used in the study was derived from the hemp plant, which has 0.3% or less of the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. The compound is not considered marijuana and can be used for research purposes based on the 2014 United States Department of Agriculture Farm Bill,” via Science Daily.   

Another study explains how CBD helps with arthritic pain and inflammation. “Harvard Health Blog adds that CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation stemming from arthritis. A pharmacokinetic study on CBD administration found that “CBD induces antidepressant-like effects comparable to those of imipramine. These effects of CBD were probably mediated by activation of 5-HT1A receptors,” via PubMed- NCBI. 

The Potential Benefits of CBD Oil 

Veterinarians will need to reduce stress in aggressive dogs and to treat pain from any injuries or health conditions like osteoarthritis. That said, it’s important to always discuss with your veterinarian alternate methods of pain treatment, since traditional methods like opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs), corticosteroids and other drugs may be prescribed as the first option for pain management.

With both acute and chronic pain, a combination of drug and nondrug methods may be effective in treating pain. That’s where cannabidiol pet products may be beneficial for aggressive dogs.

CBD may be useful in treating an array of health conditions in dogs. It has many antioxidant properties and is rich in natural compounds like terpenes and flavonoids. A terpene called limonene that is found in hemp, has demonstrated anti-cancer properties. Studies show that flavonoids such as luteolin and kaempferol that are found in hemp products cause a disruption in cancer cells.

Additionally, opting for a full- spectrum hemp oil that uses the C02 extraction method allows for a high-quality CBD pet product with 100% no THC. Many factors go into the purchasing of a high-quality CBD pet product. That said, the most important consideration is if a CBD product uses an isolate or a full-spectrum oil. A full spectrum oil is the most potent and is derived from the entire plant. It is also of superior quality and should be the only quality CBD oil that you purchase for your furry best friend.

Hemp CBD may help with the following conditions:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Canine depression
  • Separation anxiety
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Seizures
  • Allergies
  • Lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation

Before using CBD on your furry best friend, regardless of whether or not he’s prone to aggression, discuss it with your veterinarian. It’s important to use the right CBD pet product with the correct potency so that it’s effective and safe. CBD dosages will vary among dogs with weight, size, and medical conditions coming into play. A veterinary approved CBD pet product ensures 100% safety and efficacy.

Start off with a low CBD dosage, and gradually work your way up until it’s effective. Most CBD pet products will have dosing guides and expert websites. With that in mind, understand that visiting your holistic veterinarian first for a consult is the way to go. In place of traditional anxiety meds, CBD as a natural and therapeutic supplement is beneficial to all dogs.

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190521101450.htm
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3002664
  3. http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/cornell-takes-lead-cannabidiol-researc
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC20965/

Meet The Author

Claudia Bensimoun

Canine Specialist & Writer

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.

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