How CBD Oil Can Calm a Dog Scared of Thunder

How CBD Oil Can Calm a Dog Scared of Thunder

October 22, 2021

The fear of thunderstorms in dogs is real.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, in his book “Dogs Behaving Badly,” puts it this way:
“Even before a storm arrives (changing electrical fields?), they start to look anxious and begin to pace and whimper, sometimes seeking solace from their owner.”

A research study by scientists at Scientific Reports suggests that more than 70% of dogs exhibit anxiety, with 32% of dogs’ anxiety resulting from noise.

While there isn’t conclusive evidence on what causes thunder phobia in dogs, some theories point to exposure during puppyhood and genetics.

CBD research has proved that hemp oil supplements are useful for pets suffering from anxiety.

The question is: how does CBD help pets who are frightened by thunderstorms?

Keep reading, hopefully, you’ll get some insightful answers.

Cbd oil calm dog scared thunder

What Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil for Dogs?

Cannabidiol finds its origin in the cannabis plant. It has no psychotropic effect. It’s also free from delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If any THC is present in pet CBD products, it should be less than 0.3%.

Cbd oil for dogs seizures

CBD helps dogs heal naturally and is a healthy alternative to long-term drugs. A Cornell University study revealed that CBD effectively reduced inflammation and chronic pain in pets.

The Cornell study further affirmed that pets given CBD don’t develop tolerance and the need for additional dosage.

Always double-check your CBD product to ensure that it’s free of THC.

CBD oil testimonial from client

What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil?

Scientifically, there isn’t any precise data supporting the use of CBD oil in dogs.

However, when handled correctly as directed by the manufacturer’s manual, CBD oil has proven safe for canines.  A WHO report summarizes it this way:

“CBD is generally well-tolerated, with a good safety profile.”

CBD oils aim for your dog’s endocannabinoid system, responsible for the body’s emotional balance. This body gland has spaced-out receptors that collaborate to balance the body.

A dog’s endocannabinoid system illustrated

CBD fires chemical transmissions amongst these receptors, which has a calming effect during stressful times.

Consequently, as it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it lowers subjective anxiety related to cerebral blood flow. This extra stimulation makes the body react to anxiety. It then subjectively sets the body back into a homeostatic state.

It’s therefore a fitting solution for dogs with phobias and overall anxiety.

Other benefits of using CBD oil include:

  • CBD oil is a natural and healthy alternative to prescription. Dogs with anxiety issues might benefit from CBD oil more than they would traditional prescription medications.
  • It reduces pain. This is an extra boost for a dog that has suffered physically.
  • It isn’t addictive. You can therefore administer the oil without fearing drug dependence or withdrawal symptoms

How Do I Administer CBD Oil to My Dog?

Suppose you’ve already considered giving CBD oil to your furry friend; attempt oil administration half an hour before the dog gets emotional. The dog will calm down as its endocannabinoid system reacts.

While CBD oil dosage isn’t precise, a widely accepted dosage is 1–5 mg for every 10 pounds of flesh.

Give the Oil Directly From the Dropper

Administering a CBD product using a dropper

This is a straightforward method that mainly works for dogs with little tolerance to CBD products.

It consists of using a plastic dropper with an accompanying natural flavor. In this way, you control the amount of tincture that the dog consumes.

Administer the oil as follows:

  1. Using the dropper, draw the correct amount of oil (you can optionally shake the bottle, though that isn’t mandatory)
  2. Infuse the dropper into the dog’s mouth, taking it to the back of their mouth. Be careful so that you don’t gag the dog in the process.
  3. Squeeze the dropper steadily as they swallow.
  4. Give them their preferred treat just after administering the medicine. This will keep them from taking off every time they see the dropper.

Mix CBD Oil With Their Food

You can add CBD treat into their meal

A few dogs aren’t keen on being given CBD oil from a dropper, despite its mild taste. Sometimes, this owes to sad memories associated with medicine that tastes bad.

Fortunately, you can administer the oil through your dog’s favorite treat.

Add the right amount of CBD oil to your dog’s soft food or hard kibble and mix everything up. The oil has a natural taste and is less likely to affect your dog’s flavor profile.

You could also throw in some drops of the oil onto the dog’s hard treat, give it some time to soak, then feed your pet.

Important Points

  • Give your dog the same amount of CBD oil daily. You can do this in the morning, at lunchtime, and a few drops at dinner time.
    While doing this, ensure the total serving size for the day corresponds with the dog’s weight and health.
  • This method is best applied to wet food. Start with a small dosage, which you can increase as your dog grows used to the taste.
  • When administering the oil and food, maintain eye contact with the dog to gain their trust. Scientists have found out that dogs and humans bond through direct eye contact.
  • For dogs with sensitive stomachs,  allergies, or sensitivities, slowly introduce new foods into their diet. If your dog gets diarrhea from overeating a treat with CBD oil, simply reduce the dose next time around until they can handle it.

Add CBD Oil to a Custom-Made Home Treat

Testomonial from Stacey

You can bake CBD oil into your dog’s homemade treat. The process can be simple, and you can consult numerous recipes which you can download online.

Choose recipes with healthy ingredients like pumpkin, blueberry, sweet potatoes, coconuts, and oats.

Here’s a simple recipe:

  • Combine a quarter cup of peanut butter with a third cup of pureed pumpkin and one cup of oats.
  • Flatten this out onto a baking pan, then set your oven at 300 degrees for 20–30 minutes.
  • Cool it down before giving it to your dog.

You need to know how much oil goes into each treat. If you make 20 treats and target 15mg per treat, you should add 300 mg of CBD to the recipe.

However, adding CBD oil to baked treats can be tricky since you stand the risk of evaporating the oil with all its benefits. In such a case, no-bake treats seem a suitable alternative.

We feature a DIY, no-bake treat in the video below:

Also, since oil and water don’t mix, there’s a possibility of an uneven distribution of CBD oil in the recipe, causing each treat to possess different amounts of oil.

Lastly, avoid industrial sugar in the ingredient (except for small quantities of natural sugars like honey). Dogs get hyperactive after taking sugary food.

How Do I Administer CBD Oil to My Picky Dog?

The best way to administer the oil is to give it directly through the dog’s mouth (under the tongue or on gums). Consequently, it appears to stay longer in the dog’s body when administered this way.

However, picky pups don’t prefer this method. As a result, there are alternative workarounds.  Consider the ones outlined below, and pick what works for your dog:

  • Always start with small amounts, then as their tolerance increases, you can scale up.
  • Use a pre-made cookie treat since many dogs prefer them. Top among these are cheese and bacon-flavored CBD dog treats.
  • Feed your dog with bacon-flavored chews that have CBD inside. Each chew should contain 5mg of oil. The softer the chew, the better.
  • Eggs work wonders. Beat eggs into a mixture, add CBD oil to it, then sprinkle this over your dog’s kibble. Not only will your dog ingest the oil easily, but it will also have added protein to its diet.
  • Treats come after CBD. Put the dropper into the dog’s mouth, squeeze in the mixture, then reward it with a treat. That way, they’ll positively associate the dropper with the reward.
  • Squirt the CBD oil directly into their gums in such a way that they find difficulty spitting.
  • Use pill pockets, onto which you’ll add the drops. This will also aid in monitoring dosage.
  • The bait and switch method involves giving the dog plain tasty meat like roasted chicken or hamburger, then following it with one that has CBD oil added to it.

Finally, assess the taste of carrier oil used with your CBD product.

At Cannanine, we use Hemp Seed Oil as our preferred carrier oil. It contains essential Omega-3 fatty acids and comes with a delicious flavor that most dogs can’t resist.

Remember: Your dog doesn’t need as much medicine as humans (actually, it only needs a quarter as much or less). For instance, dogs should take 25 to 40 mg of medication per day compared to the 100 mg needed by humans.

CBD dosage on dogs and humans isn’t the same

What’s a Veterinarian’s Role in CBD Oil Administration?

Always talk to a veterinarian before using CBD oil. He/she will assess the dog for health issues and also aid you in choosing the best product for it.

Your vet may or may not voice their direct opinion on using CBD

However, they can’t administer CBD products. State laws deter them from recommending, dispensing, prescribing, or administering any cannabis products for animals in the US.

Visiting your vet can help you understand the medical laws in place so you can make an informed decision when choosing CBD oil for your pet.

If your country allows vets to recommend CBD oil:

  • Discuss your dog’s health and the best CBD product for your anxious dog.
  • The vet may give a prescription as stipulated by law.
  •  They’ll administer the treatment discreetly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Dogs Exhibit Thunderstorm Anxiety?

Thunderstorm Anxiety

Changes in atmospheric pressure build static electricity on a dog’s coat, giving it a feeling akin to a painful electric shock. That’s why dogs normally opt for grounded places like the bathtub or basement.

The following are possible causes of anxiety:

  • Fear of the unknown — Dogs aren’t sure why it’s happening and how long it will last.
  • Shyness — Some dogs are naturally timid, making them hide from people and loud blasts.
  • Breed — Dogs vary in noise sensitivity. Dog breeds like the Lagotto Romagnolo and Norwegian Buhund are among breeds that exhibit issues with noise sensitivity.
  • Owner anxiety — during a storm, your anxiety may easily be reflected by the dog.
  • Lack of exposure —  No exposure to loud noise at the puppy stage.

What Are the Likely CBD Adverse Effects on Dogs?

There’s no scientific backing to support side effects resulting from CBD usage in dogs. However, please check out for the following potential side effects after you administer the oil:

  • Low blood pressure — This could also result in brief light-headedness in the dog
  • Lethargy — CBD brings calming effects, but can also induce drowsiness when the dosage is high.
  • A dry mouth— The dog shows signs of low saliva and salient thirst.

What Are the Consequences of CBD Oil Use in Dogs?

The risk factors that come with CBD oil administration in dogs haven’t been firmly established.

Interestingly, the US Food and Drug Administration hasn’t publicly acclaimed CBD usage or even provided a corresponding dosing chart.

What this means is that it’s not yet clear which dosage size would be harmful. It is therefore advisable to always start with small dosage amounts and observe the dog for effects. In case of anything, consult your veterinarian.

Will CBD Oil Make Your Dog High?


Pet CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant, high in CBD with negligible levels (0.3% or less) of THC. This is legal for use in all US states, given its proven calming effect.

Contrarily, the marijuana strain is responsible for high THC levels and very little CBD. This is what causes the “high” effect in dogs.

What Should I Consider Before Buying CBD Oil for My Dog?

Finding the best hemp CBD oil for your dog will need keen shopping to ensure the product is natural, lab-tested, and free from impurities like pesticides and heavy metals.

When choosing a CBD product, consider the following measures:

  • Find the product’s Certificate of Analysis (COA).
  • Assess the type of emulsion, whether it be standard, liposomal, or nano-sized.
  • Check out the THC levels revealed in the COA.
  • Restrict your choice to an organic hemp product.
  • The price should not be too good to be true.
  • Full-spectrum is better than CBD isolate.
  • Buy the CBD as a tincture, strictly for therapeutic use.

For in-depth information, visit the CBD buying guide page.

Is CBD Oil for Dogs Legal?

Yes, it is.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has rescheduled certain drug products that contain CBD. Rescheduling is often done for drugs with a high potential for being abused, and can’t be used for treatment.

These are normally termed as Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 substances, which lie within a five-scale framework of a drug’s acceptable medical use or its dependency potential.

Before August 2020, CBD was considered a Schedule 1 medical substance.

In the days succeeding August 20, 2020, control was removed on FDA-approved drugs containing Cannabidiol, provided their THC concentration didn’t exceed 0.3% THC. The document states, in part:

“Previously DEA, pursuant to 21 CFR 1308.15, separately controlled in Schedule V drug products in finished dosage formulations that have been approved by the FDA and that contain cannabidiol (CBD) derived from cannabis and no more than 0.1% (w/w) residual tetrahydrocannabinols (under Controlled Substance Code Number 7367).”

“Note that CBD in a mixture with a Δ9-THC concentration greater than 0.3% by dry weight is not exempted from the definition of ‘marihuana’ or ‘tetrahydrocannabinols.’ Accordingly, all such mixtures exceeding the 0.3% limit remain controlled substances under schedule I.”

Federally speaking, these products are legal and safe for use. Please stay current on regulatory changes in the state where you reside.

What’s the Right Dosage for CBD Dog Oil Tinctures?

CBD is rarely related to your dog’s weight and size.

It’s best to match the dosage to the canine’s physiological condition, such as age, metabolism, endocannabinoid system, ailments and disease, and other health factors.

For instance, a typical dog could be calmed by 10mg of a tincture, while another dog of the same size and breed may need up to 20 mg to achieve the same effect.

It’s wise to use the “trial and error” method as you keenly observe the pet’s response. Tweak the amount till you achieve optimal dosage.

Administer anxiety dosage using any of the following methods:

Anxious Condition How to administer
Situational anxiety (Noise, travel, etc.) Give 9 mg* in anticipation of the triggering condition. Wait for 20 minutes. If the pet still shows anxiety, add another 9 mg until you reach the desired result.
General anxiety Administer at least 9 mg. Observe the dog for the next 1 to 2 weeks. If it doesn’t show change, upscale this to 15 to 25 mg daily.

*9mg is approximately a 1 mL serving (fits into one dropper)

Keep Your Dog Calm with Cannanine’s CBD Oil Products

Cannanine products offer the best options for your dog’s thunder anxiety

Cannanine’s CBD oil products are a great way to calm your dog down. Our products exhibit the following advantages:

Advantage Description
Contain no THC Our products contain no THC, therefore ruling out the possibility of your dog getting “high”
Manufactured in the USA Our products are legalized in all 50 states. They’re also made from human-grade ingredients
Patented nano-sized microemulsion The nanosize gives room for maximum absorbability and bioavailability
Non-GMO The full-spectrum phytocannabinoid hemp oil is natural and rich in terpene
Toxin-free Devoid of harmful bacteria, heavy metals, mold, yeast, and other toxins

At Cannanine, we support every product with a money-back/risk-free guarantee. You can be assured that each product offers the quality necessary to help you handle your pet’s anxiety issues.

Cannanine organic CBD oil for dog’s anxiety problems
Cannanine™ Ultra-Premium Hemp Oil (250mg, 500mg, 1000mg)

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