Possible effects of cannabidiol (CBD) administration on the vocal activity of healthy domestic dogs upon their temporary separation from caregivers

Heliyon. 2024 Jan 30;10(3):e25548. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e25548. eCollection 2024 Feb 15.


Recent human clinical studies indicate that cannabidiol (CBD), the primary non-addictive component of cannabis, possesses considerable therapeutic potentials. The purpose of the present study was to explore the possibility of effects of CBD administration on behaviors of healthy domestic dogs. It is well-known that when temporarily separated from their caregivers, they may show an increase in vocalization. Here the effects of CBD administration upon such vocal activity were assessed. Ten 4- to 7-year-old healthy dogs experienced temporary separation from their caregivers twice, once following the administration of CBD at 2.0 mg/kg/day over a 2-week-period, and once following the administration of the same amount of olive oil as placebo over the same length of period. When the behavioral assessment was conducted by computing the total duration of any vocal activity exhibited by the dogs before the separation from their caregivers and after the separation, it was found that all of the 10 participant dogs vocalized more often when being left alone (after the separation) than when being with their caregivers (before the separation), whether they had received the administration of CBD or placebo. Following the CBD administration, however, the degree of such increase was significantly less robust than that following the placebo administration (p < 0.01). As one of the possible explanations for the results. the author hypothesizes anxiolytic effects of CBD in healthy domestic dogs, as has been reported in humans.

Keywords: CBD; Cannabidiol; Separation; Vocalization; dog.