CBD Oil for Hyper Dogs: Safety, Dosing, and Effects As a loving and loyal pup parent, you want the best for your dog. Like humans, dogs have their own quirks and personalities. Does your Dogs and cats can become hyperactive throughout their lives. Hyperactivity is a psychological disorder characterized by compromised focus — which is where CBD can help. When discussing CBD as a solution for hyperactivity, we’re not talking about medication or sedation, in fact, CBD is not a medication.
CBD Oil for Hyper Dogs: Safety, Dosing, and Effects
As a loving and loyal pup parent, you want the best for your dog.
Like humans, dogs have their own quirks and personalities.
Does your dog bear the same characteristics as the Energizer bunny? Are your measly human legs unable to give your dog the amount of mileage they need on a daily basis?
Hyperactive dogs often appear to have poor impulse control, difficulty paying attention, and are highly distractible. Some dog owners have turned to CBD oil for hyper dogs, but you might be hesitant to give hemp to your pet.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help you gain some insight into whether or not CBD is the right choice for you and your canine friend.
What is Hyperactivity in Dogs?
While you may think all dogs are hyper, true canine hyperactivity can make training and managing your pup difficult. Everyday tasks like walking and going to the dog park become unpredictable and potentially hazardous.
Some hyperactive dogs may even have a rare condition called hyperkinesis which is similar to ADHD in humans. Just like in humans, these dogs may display symptoms like an abnormally short attention span, dog anxiety, difficulty staying calm, difficulty following instructions or commands, poor impulse control, and random bursts of energy.
These characteristics are distinguishable even when a hyperactive dog is a puppy. They may have violent or destructive tendencies, be constantly chewing up or getting into things around the house, and have difficulty adjusting to new stimuli.
This hyperactivity may coincide with other emotional issues, like seeming unstable, being overly attention-seeking or socially avoidant, showing a lack of attention, and displaying anxiety and nervousness.
Hyperactivity in dogs is a question of nurture versus nature. Just like humans, the interplay between genes and the environment can lead to behavioral issues. Many dogs have such an acute sense of their surroundings that if they are exposed to harmful conditions at a younger age, like social isolation or aggression from owners, they may become more hyperactive and even have other emotional disturbances as they get older.
There are certain breeds that tend to be more prone to hyper behavior based on what they’ve been bred for. Some dog breeds prone to hyperkinesis are Border Collies, Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers, and Jack Russell Terriers.
Can I Give My Dog CBD Oil to Calm Them Down?
Yes! CBD oil for hyper dogs is a great option to supplement traditional holistic behavioral training (more on that later).
Dr. Kangas, a veterinarian based in San Diego, CA, explains that all vertebrates have what’s called an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which includes receptors all where cannabinoids produce different effects throughout the body. When CBD interacts with the central and peripheral nervous system, it offers a variety of therapeutic benefits.
Some of the benefits of hemp-derived CBD include:
- Pain and inflammation relief
- Calming effect
- Improved sleep
- Stress and anxiety relief
- An overall sense of well-being
- Reduced chance of seizures
But avoid giving your dog a squirt from your personal bottle of CBD oil. You’ll want to ensure you’re giving the proper dose of CBD to your dog. While full-spectrum CBD oil is non-psychoactive, you never want to overmedicate your dog, just as you wouldn’t want to overmedicate yourself.
When searching for the right dog CBD for your pet, you’ll want to look for a few things. Be sure it is free of harmful additives like herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals. You’ll want to go for a product that has little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and has undergone third-party testing from a lab outside of the manufacturer.
Look for brands that use organic hemp, natural ingredients, and are THC-free, like Public Goods’ 1000mg organic full-spectrum CBD oil. Dogs are incredibly sensitive to smell, so don’t opt for our organic peppermint CBD oil for your dog (though it’s delightful to the human tongue!).
Also, avoid CBD derived from marijuana—the sister of hemp. While both are referred to as cannabis, hemp and marijuana are differentiated by their THC content. You don’t want your doggie to have a bad trip!
CBD doesn’t just help with hyperactivity. It can also be used for a myriad of other conditions, like anxiety, seizures, cancer, inflammation and joint pain, digestion and nausea, and even to relieve the pain of teething puppies.
CBD oil can be especially helpful for situations where your dog is extra hyperactive, like during a thunderstorm, when they have separation anxiety, or when they are in a new place.
What Is CBD?
If you’ve made it this far and are wondering, “What is CBD?” we’re here to help.
CBD, aka cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the plant commonly known as cannabis or hemp.
Often called hemp oil, CBD extracts are typically derived from the hemp plant versus the marijuana plant, which tends to have higher concentrations of THC. While THC has psychoactive effects and can cause someone to be high, CBD offers feelings of calmness and relaxation, as well as medicinal benefits.
So, in case you’re wondering—no, CBD oil will not get your dog high—as long as it has little to no THC!
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Hyper Dog?
As a doting pet parent, you naturally want to be cautious when trying something new with your pet, like CBD.
Since there’s not a lot of definitive data out there on CBD dosing for dogs, you’ll want to take into account whether or not they have any other underlying conditions, such as with their liver or kidney function, that would affect their ability to metabolize CBD.
The general rule of thumb is anywhere from 0.2 mg to 2 mg per pound of your dog’s body weight. Start small. You can gradually increase the dose depending on your pet’s needs. This means if your dog weighs 20 pounds, you can try giving them 4mg of CBD oil. Be sure to note what that looks like on the dropper in your bottle!
You’ll also find brands selling CBD dog treats that already have measured doses. CBD dog treats are a wonderful alternative to CBD oil, which frequently uses coconut oil as a carrier oil. Some dogs will eat anything, but it’s not natural for them to eat coconuts! Look for CBD soft chews with ingredients that dogs love, or buy irresistible treats, like our freeze-dried chicken dog treats, and place the CBD oil directly on it. Odds are, it’ll be gone before your pooch has a chance to taste any unpleasant plant-based flavors!
You can also try putting the oil directly in your dog’s mouth, on their food, in their water, or put it in a kong toy with a treat.
Of course, if you have any specific questions about CBD and hyperactive dogs, especially if your dog has an underlying condition, you should contact your veterinarian. They’re there to help!
5 Holistic Ways to Calm Your Hyper Dog
Just like humans, dogs benefit from a holistic approach to behavioral issues, meaning you’ll want to incorporate a variety of methods to help support your pup in addition to giving them CBD.
1. Improve Your Dog’s Diet
First, let’s look at your dog’s physical health. Believe it or not, changing their diet may help calm your dog! Dogs need proper nutrients to thrive, just like humans. You’ll want to make sure their dog kibble is free of fillers and full of nutrition. You can also make them fresh food like homemade chicken and vegetables. You may even want to consult your vet on any vitamins or supplements for dogs that can help your dog meet their nutritional needs.
2. Keep Them Engaged
Your dog, of course, has plenty of energy to burn off. That means they’ll need your help figuring out novel ways to stay engaged and stimulated, like puzzles and games.
3. Run and Play
Be sure your dog gets plenty of physical exercise, especially if they are young or a puppy. Switching up their walking routine often lets them explore new smells, and helps keep them on their toes!
4. Get Social
Unless you’re concerned for their or others’ safety, try to socialize your dog. Hyperactive dogs are often not getting enough socialization. This is especially helpful if you start them at a young age by going to the dog park, signing them up for dog sports, and having doggo playdates. Fun!
5. The Click and Treat Method
For especially hard-to-train hyperactive dogs, trainers and vets recommend using the click and treat method. This uses positive reinforcement for good behavior by making a small noise the moment your dog correctly follows instructions, and then follow with a reward like a tasty sweet potato dog chew. Some people use a small clicker device, but you can also click your tongue or snap your fingers so that your dog recognizes that noise as a positive reinforcer.
Live Harmoniously with CBD Oil for Hyper Dogs
Whether you’re in the middle of training or you’re turning to CBD as a last resort, you’ll want to have plenty of patience; your dog feeds off your responses and even your emotional state.
That includes CBD. The intention of CBD is not to dose your dog until they fall asleep. Instead, it should be regarded as a daily wellness practice and a tool to help you train your loveable, huggable, excitable pup!
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CBD For Hyper Dogs: Can Hemp Oil Calm Hyper Dogs?
Hyperactivity is a psychological condition that is characterized by short attention spans, lack of self-control, and frantic activity.
Dogs and cats can become hyperactive throughout their lives for a variety of reasons.
Hyperactivity demonstrates visible symptoms, including panting, salivation, rapid heart rate, abnormal urination, and the inability to adapt to the current surroundings.
Veterinarians often prescribe stimulants for hyperactive dogs, including medications such as d-amphetamine or methylphenidate to calm their nervous system down. However, these medications can have dangerous side effects on your dogs.
Parents of hyper dogs are looking for natural alternatives to treat their condition. A survey conducted in 2016 showed that pet owners often use CBD in their furry friends due to the wide range of health benefits it offers.
CBD can reduce anxiety, improve focus, and modulate the activity of the nervous system — contributing to relief from common symptoms of hyperactivity.
Since all mammals have the same endocannabinoid system, it’s within reason to assume that you can successfully use CBD for hyper dogs.
In this article, we’ll cover the subject from top to bottom.
How to Tell That You Have A Hyper Dog
Hyperactivity is another term for hyperkinesis, a canine condition that involves frantic activity, panting, rapid heart rate, drooling, impulsive behavior, infrequent urination, and behavioral problems.
A 1993 study on hyper dogs concluded that the condition is a rather normal behavior in specific breeds; it can also be conditioned by the owner, but according to the authors, it’s not a physiological condition.
The study mentions dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine as the main neurotransmitters in the brain involved in hyperactivity.
Hyper dogs manifest attention issues or difficulty remaining in the zone. Vets typically recommend stimulant drugs to tackle these problems in canines.
However, such medications are considered dangerous for dogs by health organizations like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty in Animals (ASPCA).
The side effects caused by stimulants in hyper dogs include elevated blood pressure, high body temperature, increased heart rate, and overall activity.
The above risks have made many dog parents turn to holistic remedies such as CBD oil.
CBD for Hyper Dogs: Highlights
There are over 400 active compounds in cannabis plants, of which 115 have been classified as cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the two most abundant cannabinoids. They produce most of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
THC is the major intoxicating compound and shouldn’t be given to dogs because it may result in toxicity.
On the other hand, CBD is a non-intoxicant, so it won’t get your dog high — but it will still deliver many health benefits.
In a 2016 survey, the majority of owners admitted they support CBD because it improved their pets’ health on many levels, including health conditions such as anxiety, pain, inflammation, and insomnia. Dogs with anxiety disorders are also more prone to suffer from hyperactivity.
According to the American Kennel Club, canine anxiety is often followed by symptoms such as pacing, barking, aggression, restlessness, compulsivity, and destructive behavior.
These are similar symptoms to hyperactivity in dogs.
CBD has been found to exert calming effects on the brain in many animal and human studies regarding anxiety disorders. Although researchers have yet to fully understand the mechanism of action and effective dosages, they believe that CBD offers the same level of relief as conventional medicines.
The anti-anxiety effects of CBD stem from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the major regulatory network in all mammals. It responds to CBD and other cannabinoids, producing a wide range of positive reactions, including reduced anxiety.
Can You Give CBD Oil to Hyper Dogs?
You can give your hyper dog CBD to modulate their ECS. The ECS has its own neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids, enzymes, and two types of receptors (CB1 and CB2).
Research shows that dogs and humans share many of the same disorders and diseases. Scientists can use them for reference to get a more in-depth look into the underlying causes behind these conditions.
These studies show that similar to humans, dogs can benefit from the therapeutic properties of specific cannabinoids such as CBD because their ECS performs similar functions.
A 2019 study elaborated on this concept, concluding that dogs have higher levels of CB1 receptors in their brains than humans do.
Studies on CB1 receptors in humans were launched as early as the 1990s and touched on the effects of CBD on anxiety. Researchers found that a dose o 300 mg of pure CBD was able to reduce anxiety in participants. They also said these effects were nearly as potent as those of benzodiazepines such as Valium.
In one study published by the Neurochemical Research Journal, CBD was shown to inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, making the hormone more available for the body. Serotonin regulates many processes that are linked to feelings of calm, well-being, and happiness.
Since dogs have more CB1 receptors in their brains, it’s perfectly possible that CBD oil can provide similar benefits for anxiety in dogs and hyperactivity to the ones observed in humans.
Pros & Cons of Using CBD for Hyper Dogs
- CBD demonstrated remarkable anxiolytic properties in human studies. Since all mammals share similar endocannabinoid systems, hyperactive dogs could also benefit from such supplementation.
- Animal studies showed that CBD can alleviate anxiety in dogs through a series of mechanisms that help it prevent hyperactivity.
- CBD is well-tolerated by dogs in doses ranging from 2 to 2.5 mg/kg, according to the Journal of American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (JAHVMA).
- CBD comes in many different forms, including oils, capsules, pet treats, and topical products.
- The FDA hasn’t received any direct reports about the dangerous effects of CBD in animals.
- Studies on using CBD for hyper dogs are inconclusive. Researchers haven’t yet fully understood the long-term effects of CBD.
- Although safe and well-tolerated, CBD still has a few side effects, including dry mouth, drowsiness, changes in appetite, and low blood pressure.
- CBD can compromise the liver’s ability to metabolize drugs, resulting in negative interactions with many medications.
- The FDA doesn’t support the use of cannabis products in animals.
CBD vs Other Natural Treatments for Hyper Dogs
When it comes to hyper dogs, herbal products are the top choice of dog parents.
You can try to add the following herbs to your dog’s routine:
- Lemon balm
These herbs are useful in separation anxiety in dogs that go through severe stress. You can give them to your dog in the form of teas or essential oils. In a similar way, CBD can be added to edibles and beverages. Dog parents also report that CBD oil in their humidifiers helps promote calming vibes at home so their dogs can feel relaxed.
Last but not least, CBD regulates GABA levels in the brain so that the nervous system can slow down by balancing certain chemical messengers. In a similar manner, CBD can increase the availability of serotonin for the brain, further reducing anxiety and stabilizing mood.
How to Choose CBD Oil for Hyper Dogs
There are three main types of CBD products based on their cannabinoid spectrum — full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD is sourced from the whole plant and contains all of the naturally occurring compounds from hemp. It also comes with essential fatty acids, which act as anti-inflammatory agents when you consume them.
That being said, full-spectrum CBD also contains trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less). THC is an intoxicating cannabinoid that can cause a high in your dog. The good news is that full-spectrum CBD doesn’t contain enough CBD to get your dog buzzed.
Still, some dog owners choose to avoid full-spectrum products.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil is similar to its full-spectrum counterpart, except for the THC content. THC has been removed during the later stages of extraction. This way, your dog can benefit from the whole-plant synergy — but without any THC in the product.
You can also purchase CBD oil, which contains CBD isolate. Such products have no odor and flavor and offer the highest dose of CBD per serving. However, since they don’t contain other cannabinoids and terpenes, they don’t leverage the entourage effect in cannabis.
Things to Consider when Choosing a CBD Product for a Hyper Dog
- Ask for certificates of analysis (COA) to confirm the product’s CBD content and purity. These certificates will tell you if the product is free of contaminants like solvents, heavy metals, and pesticides. If a company doesn’t publish lab reports on its website, you should change your potential vendor.
- CBD oil is the most common CBD format — and for a good reason. Many veterinarians recommend this form of CBD due to its relatively easy application and dosage accuracy. Dog parents should follow the dosing instructions outlined by the vet to avoid potential side effects.
- The best CBD oils for hyper dogs are made from organically grown hemp. They also contain natural additives, such as calming herbs or essential oils. Avoid any dog treats with synthetic flavorings, colorings, wheat, and preservatives, as they can be dangerous for your dog’s digestive health.
- Only purchase from reputable manufacturers that provide certificates of analysis and have many positive reviews on social media.
- Consult a holistic veterinarian if you need professional advice regarding the purchase and use of CBD for a hyper dog.
CBD Dosage for Hyper Dogs
The FDA hasn’t yet investigated the efficacy and safety of CBD in animal health conditions, so there are no specific dosage charts or recommendations.
Veterinarians often analyze past studies on dogs that took CBD for anxiety and the symptoms of hyperkinesis. In a 2019 clinical trial, epileptic dogs benefited from a CBD dose of 2.5 mg/kg administered twice a day for 12 weeks — without any dangerous side effects.
However, this study was conducted on dogs with a different medical problem. Hyper dogs may need different doses depending on the severity and frequency of their symptoms.
A good rule of thumb is to start low and gradually increase the dosage until you observe a positive change in your dog’s behavior. Veterinarians recommend starting out with 0.5–1 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of the dog’s weight.
What CBD Products Are Best for Hyper Dogs?
The choice of the best CBD product for a hyper dog boils down to how your dog prefers to take CBD. Dog owners can choose between two product types:
In the ideal world, your dog should lick the content of CBD oil through the syringe, allowing it to absorb in the mouth and work its way to its endocannabinoid system.
CBD oil for dogs comes in glass bottles with droppers that allow the owner to accurately measure out the dose of CBD and place it under the dog’s tongue. Giving your dog CBD oil this way avoids the first-pass metabolism in the liver, ensuring faster-acting effects and higher bioavailability than other forms of CBD for hyper dogs.
Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world, so if your dog fusses over CBD oil, you may want to give them some treats instead.
CBD dog treats are just hemp edibles for pets, which is perhaps the most enjoyable way to consume CBD by hyper dogs. These treats are made into very appealing shapes — usually resembling a bone — and flavors such as bacon, cheese, or peanut butter.
Although CBD treats take more time to produce their effects and offer lower bioavailability than oils, these effects can last longer — up to 10 hours.
Just make sure that your CBD dog treats contain only biologically appropriate ingredients.
How to Calm A Hyper Dog
Some people are very quick at describing their dogs as hyperactive, while in fact, hyperactivity in dogs is a rare condition, at least according to the book Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals.
Dogs with high energy levels require a greater amount of physical and behavioral exercise. They also need more social attention on a regular basis. Some breeds are more prone to be hyperactive than others, but most of the time, your dog’s behavioral problems may be caused by an insufficient amount of physical activity.
Other physical reasons include a poor diet, lack of stimulation, or genetic burden.
Here are a few steps you can take to naturally calm a hyper dog.
Provide Enough Exercise
This should be your top mark to tick off on your priority list. The dog should always receive a sufficient amount of exercise throughout the day, especially if you own a high-drive breed with a hunting or sporting heritage. Such dogs may even need a special workout plan.
Although there’s no universal pattern for dog workouts, dogs that are stimulated throughout the day can rest more efficiently by the end of the day. Playing games that require the dog to stay focused can release some of the excess energy.
If your dog likes running, your exercises can revolve around this kind of activity. Besides, it’s an excellent way of burning energy. You can also add different rules to the game to make it more mentally demanding.
You may also consider getting your dog involved in sports such as lure or agility coursing, which should keep hyperactivity at bay by keeping your buddy exhausted.
Keep Their Brain Occupied
Mental exercises are as important as physical ones when it comes to hyper dogs. In fact, they can be even more engaging than physical training.
Most dogs have high energy levels, especially when they’re in the puppy stage. However, certain breeds may require more mental exercise to get them tired.
Shaping games or teaching your dog tricks that require focus are a great way to manage its hyperactivity.
The simplest way of engaging your dog’s brain is to use games that tap into their senses. Make the dog sniff around by hiding his favorite snacks all over the house. You can also try puzzle games and rewarding the dog with food for winning. This way, you will condition his brain to think that making an effort is something positive.
Work on Their Behavior
Destructive behavior and restlessness are signs that your dog is seeking attention, which can be wrongfully taken as hyperactivity. In fact, these behaviors may simply mean that you haven’t trained your dog.
Teaching your dog the right behaviors through behavioral conditioning can improve their social capabilities and help them achieve their goals the right way. Working with a trainer also helps to manage their sensitivity to external stimuli, which is also a common symptom among hyper dogs.
Feed Them the High-Quality Food
While you may be tempted to purchase bulk bags of affordable dry dog food at your local store, keep in mind that doing so will take a toll on your dog’s physical and mental health. Dogs aren’t machines; they require high-quality biologically appropriate food that will support proper communication between neurotransmitters — it works the same way with all mammals.
Most cheap dog foods are usually filled with unnecessary ingredients, such as wheat, sugar, colorings, preservatives, and byproducts. It’s nothing but fast food for pets. Ask your veterinarian about a BARF diet, as it has been recently shown to be beneficial for canines in terms of the long-term effects on their health.
Feeding a dog low-quality food can deteriorate their hyperactivity, so make sure that you take care of high-quality ingredients when you buy their food.
Key Takeaways on CBD And Hyper Dogs
Hyperactivity is a mental condition in animals that involves a short attention span, constant frantic activity, and impulsive behavior. Hyper dogs can also experience such symptoms as panting, infrequent urination, rapid heart rate, salivation, and the inability to get used to environmental stimuli.
Researchers claim that hyperactivity isn’t a physiological problem, but it’s rather on the dog parent’s side. Hyper dogs usually show a whole range of other behavioral symptoms that indicate the lack of attention from the parent.
If your dog suffers from hyperactivity, your vet may recommend stimulants to help with symptom control. However, their short-term benefits are outweighed by their side effects, which is why dog parents are turning to natural remedies, such as CBD oi, for hyper dogs.
CBD can aid your dog’s mental health on many levels. Not only does it regulate GABA activity and serotonin levels, but it also modulates cortisol production and promotes a calm state of mind by bolstering your dog’s response to stress. The health benefits of CBD are largely attributed to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system — which works similarly among all mammals.
- Schier AR, Ribeiro NP, Silva AC, et al. Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug. Braz J Psychiatry. 2012;34 Suppl 1:S104‐S110. doi:10.1590/s1516-44462012000500008
- Luescher, A (June 1993). Hyperkinesis in dogs: Six case reports. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1686557/pdf/canvetj00367-0050.pdf
- Gamble LJ. et al. op. Cit.
- Kriss, R (2019, May 14). Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Dog Anxiety. Retrieved from: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/treating-dog-anxiety/.
- Gaetani S, Dipasquale P, Romano A, et al. The endocannabinoid system as a target for novel anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2009;85:57‐72. doi:10.1016/S0074-7742(09)85005-8
- Freundt-Revilla J, Kegler K, Baumgärtner W, Tipold A (2017) Spatial distribution of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in the normal canine central and peripheral nervous system. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181064. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181064
- Silver RJ. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals. Animals (Basel). 2019;9(9):686. Published 2019 Sep 16. doi:10.3390/ani9090686
- Zuardi AW, Cosme RA, Graeff FG, Guimarães FS. Effects of ipsapirone and cannabidiol on human experimental anxiety. J Psychopharmacol. 1993;7(1 Suppl):82‐88. doi:10.1177/026988119300700112
- Russo, E.B., Burnett, A., Hall, B. et al. Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Receptors. Neurochem Res 30, 1037–1043 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11064-005-6978-1
- Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (2018. A Report of Adverse Effects Associated With the Administration of Cannabidiol in Healthy Dogs. Retrieved from: https://www.ahvma.org/wp-content/uploads/AHVMA-2018-V52-CannabisAdverseEffects.pdf.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
Is CBD oil a good solution for hyper dogs?
If using CBD to treat a hyper dog was about dosing them into a sedated slumber, nobody would dream of doing it.
When discussing CBD as a solution for hyperactivity, we’re not talking about medication or sedation—in fact, CBD is not a medication in the traditional sense at all.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural, non-toxic, and non-psychoactive concentrate made from the hemp, not marijuana, plant. This means that concepts of being high or stoned are irrelevant when it comes to CBD.
Instead, owners of dogs with hyperactivity issues are turning to CBD oil for dogs for its ability to reduce inflammation and anxiety, without affecting a dog’s subjective experience.
Let’s take a look at the root causes of canine hyperactivity, and why CBD makes such a good component of a treatment plan.
Why is my dog hyperactive?
Apparently, true hyperactivity in dogs is a rare disorder. Chronic hyperactivity—or hyperkinesis as it’s clinically known—is a little diagnosed though possible canine condition, which can present with the same types of distractedness and energy bursts as found in hyper dogs.
Hyperkinesis isn’t a psychological or training issue but instead stems from biological markers such as constant high heart rate, salivation, super high energy metabolism, rapid breathing, and suppressed urination.
But it goes without saying that there’s a lot of dogs with a lot of energy out there, who aren’t hyperkinetic. Talk to any owner, and it’s a good bet that, at some point in their dog’s life, they’ve had to deal with over-distractedness, impulsiveness, fidgeting, or an inability to listen to commands.
So, where is all this non-hyperkinetic hyperactivity coming from?
Take a look at the dogs that most often present with hyperactivity, and it’s no surprise that you’ll find breeds literally designed to work and run all day long.
Pointers and retrievers are notorious for being hyperactive dogs, but we need to be careful when distinguishing what counts as excess excitement and energy—as these animals naturally thrive on constant physical stimulation (i.e. finding or retrieving things).
The same goes for terriers, shepherds, and even poodles: what can look like hyperactivity in an urban context suddenly becomes exactly the right level of energy in a rural or working environment.
Of course, most owners are well aware of this. They substitute a dog’s preferred daily work with walks, games, and dog-park playtime. But, before making any firm judgments about your pup’s hyper-activeness, it’s always worth upping their daily exercise (ensuring it’s the right type of workout for their breed), and seeing if it helps their behavior.
Lack of stimulation/socialization
Nurture is as relevant as Nature when it comes to excess energy in dogs, especially in early years training and development.
The behavioral damage of premature removal from a litter can be irreversible, with a body of research dating back to the 1960s confirming that excessive social contact behavior can dramatically rise when puppies are raised in semi-isolation (from both humans and other dogs.)
At the same time, it’s important to vary your dog’s opportunities for stimulation and socialization—at all ages. Switch up play dates, games, and walking routes to keep their mind actively engaged and present.
Dogs may react with a lot of energy and enthusiasm upon first encountering something, be it another dog, the first time they meet children, or a new type of animal. After getting used to novel stimuli, however, most dogs will quickly acclimatize and then may barely register it.
Although anxiety can inhibit action in humans and dogs, many pups express their nervousness in ways that mimic symptoms of hyperactivity. Among other behaviors, anxious dogs are liable to bark excessively, pant, destroy things, and be aggressive.
Most dogs enjoy lots of exercise and social contact, stable habits and routines, and clear expectations and commands. Without these things, the risk of anxiety increases, either in a generalized form or as the result of fixating on particular triggers—such as when everybody leaves for work in the morning.
Of course, you might have a case of all three, with each aspect feeding into a nightmare of endless walks and games of fetch!
What makes CBD a good solution?
Some dogs are exercised to the point of exhaustion, given plentiful mental and social stimulation, well-trained, and carefully observed for signs of anxiety—and yet they keep bouncing off the walls!
This is when things really start to get difficult for owners. It can feel overwhelming to have tried every method in the book and still find your four-legged-friend ready for more.
Strategies at this point include crate training, time-outs, solidifying household routines, and even mobile doggy gyms, such as this entertaining project out of Arizona, where hot weather impedes midday walking.
For us, CBD offers a solution that stands above these other options, thanks to its safety, consistency, and its ability to boost other tried-and-tested calming measures—not to mention its more general wellness benefits.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of many cannabinoids discovered in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are the natural equivalent of biological ‘endocannabinoids,’ which are produced by the body and used by the endocannabinoid system to affect the function of major organs and internal systems.
While a relatively newly-discovered bodily system, we know that it affects almost every area of the body—organs, bones, muscles, blood vessels, etc. We also know that the main function of endocannabinoids is to stimulate responses to inflammation and distress, keeping homeostasis as the body reacts to changes in the outside environment.
According to UCLA Health, the endocannabinoid system is able to produce these beneficial effects in processes relating to “pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function.”
Cannabinoids, and particularly CBD, are able to effectively activate the endocannabinoid system and induce the same de-inflammatory and anxiety-reducing processes on demand.
How does this help dogs with hyperactivity? Studies indicate that CBD’s effect on the endocannabinoid system increases the potency of endogenous elements such as anandamide, an endocannabinoid that acts as a regulator of inflammation, mental motivation, and pleasure/reward cycles.
Boosting endocannabinoids such as anandamide bolsters your dog’s ability to process and manage their energy, contributing to a more stable and relaxed daily state of being. On their own, CBD and the endocannabinoid system are unlikely to solve canine hyperactivity. But they’re a great way to boost the effectiveness of other training methods and wider lifestyle changes.
Perhaps even more interestingly, a 2013 review in the journal Cell Metabolism discusses, cannabinoids may be able to affect glucose tolerance, as well as energy and metabolic regulation—providing a direct way of managing sudden energy bursts.
NOT a sedative
We mentioned it up top, but it’s worth repeating here: CBD oil is not a sedative, so using it on dogs with lots of excess energy isn’t going to knock them out—nor should you want it to.
The theory here is that dogs who are hyperactive (but aren’t suffering from hyperkinesis) will benefit from CBD’s ability to increase homeostasis in the body, reducing internal inflammation.
While this process isn’t intoxicating, anyone who’s tried CBD for themselves can attest to a sensation of relaxation, a little like having a massage, a glass of wine after work, or the feeling after a really good yoga class.
In this way, using CBD to build a more relaxed foundation gives your dog a better opportunity to begin learning those behaviors that can help mitigate their hyperactivity. A more relaxed dog should be more susceptible to training through treats, crates, habits, and responsible socialization—all things that help instill a healthy level of discipline.
True hyperactivity in dogs stems from a physiological condition called hyperkinesis, which is thought to be pretty rare.
In fact, many dog’s supremely high energy levels are the result of careful breeding for specific tasks and activities.
The pressures, sedentariness, and isolation of urban life can all cause dogs to become hyperactive.
When hyperactivity is caused by environmental factors, CBD’s ability to boost a dog’s endocannabinoid system makes it a highly effective treatment.
Even though CBD is able to calm hyperactive dogs, it is not a sedative in the manner of traditional drugs.