Growing public interest in the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for companion animals has amplified the need to elucidate potential impacts. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the influence of CBD on the daily activity of adult dogs. Twenty-four dogs (18.0 ± 3.4 kg, 9 months−4 years old) of various mixed breeds were utilized in a randomized complete block design with treatments targeted at 0 and 2.5 mg (LOW) and at 5.0 mg (HIGH) CBD/kg body weight (BW) per day split between two treats administered after twice-daily exercise (0700–0900 and 1,700–1,900 h). Four hours each day [1,000–1,200 h (a.m.) and 1,330–1,530 h (p.m.)] were designated as times when no people entered the kennels, with 2 h designated as Quiet time and the other 2 h as Music time, when calming music played over speakers. Quiet and Music sessions were randomly allotted to daily a.m. or p.m. times. Activity monitors were fitted to dogs' collars for continuous collection of activity data. Data were collected over a 14-day baseline period to establish the activity patterns and block dogs by activity level (high or low) before randomly assigning dogs within each block to treatments. After 7 days of treatment acclimation, activity data were collected for 14 days. Data were examined for differences using the MIXED procedure in SAS including effects of treatment, day, session (Quiet or Music), time of day (a.m. or p.m.), and accompanying interactions. CBD (LOW and HIGH) did not alter the total daily activity points (P = 0.985) or activity duration (P = 0.882). CBD tended (P = 0.071) to reduce total daily scratching compared with the control. Dogs were more active in p.m. sessions than in a.m. sessions (P < 0.001). During the p.m. session, dogs receiving HIGH tended (P = 0.091) to be less active than the control (CON). During the a.m. and p.m. sessions, CBD reduced scratching compared with CON (P = 0.030). CBD did not affect the activity duration during exercise periods (P = 0.143). These results indicate that, when supplemented with up to 4.5 mg CBD/kg BW/day, CBD does not impact the daily activity of adult dogs, but may exert an antipruritic effect.

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Published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, v. 8, article 645667.

© 2021 Morris, Kitts-Morgan, Spangler, Gebert, Vanzant, McLeod and Harmon

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The authors declare that this study received funding from AgTech Scientific, Paris, KY.

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