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cbd for dog digestion

CBD for Your Dog's Digestive Issues

Digestive issues are frequent and common among canines, but there are a variety of reasons that can be at the root of your dog’s stomach problems. CBD aids digestive issues in different ways for different problems, with certain circumstances benefitting from CBD’s ability to stimulate an appetite while others will be aided by CBD’s capacity for reducing inflammation. CBD’s uses are as many as there are causes, but we focus here on how CBD may help relieve symptoms tied to digestive problems. For more general info on CBD, check out our CBD Education page! 

An upset stomach can be a symptom of a wide range of issues that are either temporary or long-lasting. CBD can be useful in this regard because it is a noninvasive ingredient that can provide relief for passing less-serious issues without resorting to harsher treatments. But CBD also has the potential to relieve digestive issues that are related to more chronic problems such as illnesses and behavior related symptoms. Keep reading to find out how CBD may help relieve nausea, a loss of appetite, and chronic digestive system issues.  

Before delving into specifics, here are some of the most common causes for digestive issues in dogs:

• Food or things that are not compatible with your dog’s diet

• Eating too quickly

• Stress

• Side effects from medications

• Motion sickness

• Viruses

• Parasites


One study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information has found that CBD is helpful in reducing feelings of nausea as well as for re-normalizing the digestive process. By stimulating the digestive receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CBD helps to stabilize the digestive system. The endocannabinoid system maintains equilibrium across multiple systems and helps to stimulate “specific digestive receptors that affect gastric secretion, digestion and bowel movement.” 

As an added benefit, CBD works holistically so that, for example, if your dog is experiencing stomach pain in addition to nausea, CBD can also contribute to minimizing those symptoms as well.

Loss of Appetite 

CBD oil in particular can be a useful option when your pup is refusing to eat her regular food or even treats. Many things can cause a loss of appetite--anything from the common cold to heart disease can stifle hunger cues. It can even be a side effect of stress or a medication your dog may be taking. Like humans, dogs can also experience similar digestive symptoms when it comes to brief ailments like an upper respiratory infection or chronic illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

One of the most challenging and perhaps underrated symptoms is a loss of appetite. It may seem like digestive issues are not as stressful or pressing as other symptoms like pain, but it is critical that your pup get her proper nutrition in order to manage all the other effects of a long-lasting problem (either medical or behavioral).  

Whatever the cause, studies have shown that endocannabinoid receptors are activated by CBD to trigger “the motivational or reward-based aspect[s] of eating.” These receptors encourage the brain to jump start hunger cues so that not only does CBD promote a healthy appetite but also makes eating more enjoyable so that your dog is encouraged to eat again. This is especially valuable if your pooch is dealing with a long-lasting problem and the loss of appetite is chronic and/or has led to illness-induced anorexia.  

Be aware that a loss of appetite can signal a more serious medical issue. Even if not, a sustained loss of appetite can lead to other complications. If you notice an uncharacteristic loss of appetite, be sure to talk to your vet as it could be a symptom of an underlying problem. 

Other Digestive Issues 

cbd and your dog's digestive system

Digestive problems aren’t only caused by illnesses. Other contributing factors can be stress, grass eaten during a walk, or a side effect of getting a routine vaccination. And the outcome can also take different shapes: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. While CBD is not a magic cure-all, it can address many of these symptoms by calming the digestive tract.  

Stress-diarrhea is perhaps one of the more familiar and unpleasant digestive issues that dog parents confront. CBD may help soothe your worried pup’s digestive system by not only reducing inflammation but countering the overall effects of stress as well, by triggering the endocannabinoid system. For more about how CBD relieves stress and affects the endocannabinoid system, check out our “CBD for Your Dog's Nervousness, Stress & Fear of Separation” page.  

Again, these symptoms can signal an underlying medical issue so check with your vet if it becomes frequent or your dog begins to show other symptoms like a lack of energy or loss of appetite. And if your dog is taking any other medications, also consult your vet to ensure that there will not be any negative interactions with CBD.   

Because many digestive issues are often the result of long-lasting behavioral (brought on by stress) or medical (brought on my illness and/or inflammation) responses, CBD is most beneficial when taken regularly. Additionally, CBD can help address multiple underlying symptoms while also treating the root problem. With a Greenwell Pet subscription, you can rest assured that you are receiving a consistent supply of CBD products from trusted brands to aid with your dog’s digestive issues.  

Pet Health and CBD With Dr. Kelly Fishman