New study reveals CBD is effective at reducing canine stress


Results found that in 2 commonplace scenarios dogs felt less stressed

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Waltham Petcare Science Institute, a part of Mars Petcare, performed a study they recently published1 revealing that a single oral dose (4 mgs per kg of body weight) of THC-free cannabidiol (CBD) can significantly alleviate multiple measures of dogs' stress caused by car travel or being left alone.

According to a company release,2 the goal of the randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study was to:

  • Understand the affect of a separation event and car travel on canine stress.
  • Discover if a single dose of a THC-free, broad-spectrum CBD could positively influence measures of canine stress during these 2 events.

Another recent Waltham study3 displayed a once-daily oral dose (4 mg/kg of body weight) broad-spectrum THC-free CBD over a 6-month period to be safe for healthy adult dogs. These studies together contribute an expanding body of evidence surrounding the safety and efficacy of CBD for dogs. 

"We know pet owners try various approaches – from training to medications and supplements – to help their dogs cope with stressful situations often with mixed results," said Dr. Jennifer Welser, DVM, DACVO, chief medical officer of Mars Veterinary Health, in the release.2 "We're focused on scientific inquiry that generates knowledge that can inform pet professionals' and pet owners' decisions. So, this study is important because it gives us new evidence that CBD at the dose studied can be beneficial for dogs in specific circumstances."

The study examined how CBD affected the experience of 20 dogs in 2 commonplace activities that commonly cause stress, including car journeys and being left alone. Researchers collected various physiological (eg, blood levels of cortisol, ear temperature, heart rate) and behavioral measures (eg, whining, trembling, panting) at different times throughout the study. It found there were notable in several stress-related measures, with the car journey causing a more significant stress response.

Next, dogs received either a placebo or CBD capsule (~4mg/kg bodyweight) and, 2 hours after administration, were exposed to either the separation event or car travel. Researchers discovered multiple measures of the dogs' stress improved afeter administration of CBD. Particularly, dogs treated with CBD were reported as significantly less "sad," had significantly lower cortisol levels, experienced less whining and were in a more relaxed emotional state overall than dogs that received a placebo.


  1. Hunt ABG, Flint HE, Logan DW, King T. A single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) positively influences measures of stress in dogs during separation and car travel. Front Vet Sci. 2023;10. doi:10.3389/fvets.2023.1112604
  2. 2. New study from Waltham Petcare Science Institute, part of Mars Petcare, shows cannabidiol (CBD) is effective at reducing stress in dog. News release. Mars Petcare. February 22, 2023. Accessed February 22, 2023.
  3. Bradley S, Young S, Bakke AM, et al. Long-term daily feeding of cannabidiol is well-tolerated by healthy dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2022;9:977457. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2022.977457.
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