Dog and car

Welfare and Behaviour

Study finds a daily dose of CBD can reduce stress in dogs over a six-month time period

Scientists at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute are seeking to understand the safety and efficacy of THC-free cannabidiol (CBD) in cats and dogs, specifically its potential benefits when it comes to aiding anxiety and pain. 

A study by Hannah E. Flint et al was recently published in Journal of Animal Science, and showed that a daily dose of CBD significantly reduced some measures of stress in dogs going on car journeys, which persisted over the six-month study period.  

Car travel is often a part of daily life for people, but it can trigger anxiety and stress in dogs. The research focused on understanding whether administration of CBD can contribute to consistently and reliably reducing car travel-induced stress.  

The placebo-controlled study of 19 dogs explored the effect of giving them a daily CBD dose of 4mg/kg of bodyweight two hours before a car journey. Results found CBD had a positive impact on various behavioural and physiological stress measures in dogs. Dogs given CBD were scored as having a calmer emotional state, significantly lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels and exhibited lower levels of anxiety-related behaviours, such as whining and lip-licking, than dogs that received the placebo. Results also showed that feeding a daily CBD dose had a similar effect over the length of the six-month period, but was equally effective after a single dose. 

This new research, ‘Daily dosing of cannabidiol (CBD) demonstrates a positive effect on measures of stress in dogs during repeated exposure to car travel,’ is helping add to the growing body of scientific evidence around the efficacy and safety of CBD use for dogs. However, further research is required to fully understand the complex effect of CBD on canine emotional wellbeing. 

At Mars Petcare and Waltham Petcare Science Institute, we are committed to investing in science in service of our purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™.