CBD, Dogs and Car Travel

Today, we’re looking at a new, fascinating study that looks into the effects of daily doses of CBD for dogs that get stressed out by car rides. Our four-legged friends share not only our lives, but also many of our routines - meaning that they are sometimes exposed to a lot of car journeys. While some love it, others easily get anxious and stressed. Just like for humans, frequent stress can have some nasty effects on a dog's health, so addressing it is essential for their wellbeing. 

Dogs and Stress through Car Travel

The stress that many dogs experience during car travel is often manifested in behavioural responses like barking, whining, shaking and lip licking. While some of this can be eased through training, traditional drugs or supplements, the results often vary - as does the range of side effects. Given CBD’s success in managing stress in humans, a team of researchers set out to see whether consistent CBD treatment over six months could make a difference in our four-legged friends during car rides.

The Study

The research study involved 19 healthy dogs. To set a baseline, the teams went on a series of short car rides to assess the stress levels manifested in the dog’s behaviour and biomarkers. Then, the dogs were divided into two groups: one receiving CBD (4mg/kg body weight), the other a placebo 2 hours before the car journey. In the 6 months following, their stress levels were evaluated before, during and after car travel. The researchers looked at their cortisol levels (a biomarker for stress), heart rates and, of course, their stress-related behaviours.

CBD for Dogs: Calming Effects

So, what did they find? Turns out, CBD might be a great source of relief for our four-legged companions. The dogs that were receiving the CBD showed notable decreases in their stress indicators compared to the placebo group. Their serum cortisol levels showed a significant reduction, which is an important sign for CBD’s potential to soothe the internal stress responses that dogs experience during travel.

Additionally, the scientists observed a decrease in particular stress-related behaviours of dogs under distress. Excessive whining, which can indicate anxiety and discomfort, and lip licking, often a sign of nervousness - were reduced in dogs treated with CBD. These changes provide a window into the emotional state of dogs and suggest that CBD may help them to stay calm and collected, even during stressful phases of their lives.

The Future for CBD for Dogs

While the findings of the study are great news for dogs and their owners, there are also a lot of things we don’t know yet about CBD’s vast potential for dogs. More research is necessary to explore how its effectiveness is influenced by individual characteristics of dogs, such as their breed, age and specific stress triggers. There is also a lot more to learn about dosage and timing and duration of treatments.  

If you want to try CBD for your dog, we recommend using a natural product without additional flavourings or colourings. In addition, although CBD is generally regarded as safe, you might want to check with your vet beforehand - especially if your dog has underlying health conditions or is receiving medication. 

Portrait of Anna Falk

written by

anna falk - head of product

As the Head of Product at Harmony, Dr Anna Falk leads the development of our products and provides expert tips for your wellness. With over 10 years of experience in the research and development of natural products, her work is based on rigorous scientific studies.

Anna is an award-winning, internationally published researcher with a PhD in Organic Chemistry. She applies her expertise to develop Harmony's certified products that support your overall well-being. From research to development, she ensures that our products are of the highest quality and meet the highest standards.