Cancer, CBD, and Playdates

Dogs are incredibly social animals, just like us. Without companionship from other dogs, or other humans, or even cats, our dogs can become depressed and lonely. 

A dog having a playdate is similar to us having a coffee date with a best friend or spending time with family outside our home. Keep your dog’s playdates as regularly as possible to release her tension (and ours). 

Why Dogs Need Playdates

Your dog may have cancer, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to socialize. Most dogs have a strong desire to play with other dogs, but not just any other dog. I know, that sounds a bit unusual, but like us, there are some dogs who get along well with others and some who find one or two dogs are most compatible with. 

Playdates are critical to ensuring our dog’s quality of life stays high; it will help her mind, body, and soul.

How to Arrange a Playdate

Arranging the playdates, as the keeper of your pup, can prove more difficult than you think. But, if you sit for a moment, think of all the places you have gone, the friends you have, the places your dog enjoys going. Do those places have a dog yours has always been compatible with? If so, reach out. 

Since your dog has cancer, you’ll want to factor in how much her energy level has changed since the last time she played with each dog. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but you wouldn’t want a senior dog with cancer trying to keep up with a young puppy. She won’t be able to keep up and it will be more stressful than relaxing. We want her time to be as stimulating as possible without being overbearing.

If your dog isn’t exactly into playing with other dogs (some dogs never are), who does she enjoy going to visit? Being social and having a playdate near a person she loves is equally as beneficial.

Recommendation from a Canine Behaviorist

As a Canine Behaviorist, I recommend playdates to my clients all the time, with or without cancer. You would be surprised how life-changing a simple playdate is for dogs with anxiety, or even dogs with behavioral problems like chewing, digging, excessive barking, or all of the above. 

Sometimes, all your dog needs is a good dose of mental and physical stimulation around people and/or dogs he loves.

Stay in Neutral Territory

If your dog doesn’t have any people or dog friends yet, you can pick a neutral area for your dog to meet some new friends. The dog park, if your dog is vaccinated, could potentially be a good place if it’s not overwhelmingly packed full. Or, you can ask around to see who has a dog your dog is compatible with. You would be shocked at how many people are looking for more ways for their dog to play.

And, choosing a neutral location helps dogs get to know each other in an area they don’t have to pull out the territory card over.

CBD to Help the Playdate

If your dog has situational anxiety, or anxiety caused by certain experiences, playdates can be a bit more challenging. That’s where CBD can come in. CBD has been proven to reduce anxiety in our dogs, regardless of the type of anxiety, and can help our dogs relax enough to play. 

To help a bit with dosages, see the information and chart below.

Starting CBD Dosage For Situational Anxiety:

  • Start with 9-12 mg applied directly to the gums.
  • Wait 15-20 minutes and assess how your pet responds.
  • If you see no changes, then you can give another 1/2- full dose.
  • Continue to monitor every 15-20 minutes and repeat the dosage as needed.
  • It may take 3-4 doses the first time and that’s ok!
  • The next time they’re stressed you may find a lower dose helps. This is because their endocannabinoid system is being supported.

Starting CBD Dosage For General Anxiety:

  • Start with 9-12 mg applied directly to the gums daily for 7- 10 days.
  • Monitor and assess how your pet responds using the journaling tip I shared earlier.
  • If you see no changes, or not enough of improvement then increase the dose for another 7-10 days.
  • Repeat this cycle until you find the dose that works best.
  • Splitting the daily dose into at least two doses (morning and night) will help to keep the CBD active in the body.
  • Once you have the dose that works for your pet you can always try to tailor that dose back down after a few good weeks.

You Know Your Dog

You know your dog the best. Pay attention to her body language and what she is communicating to you. By observing her, you will know if she wants to play more or is beginning to be a bit sleepy. Knowing when to draw the line is equally as important as the playdate. 

If she becomes irritable immediately at the beginning of the playdate you have together, don’t get discouraged. It could just not be her scene or she didn’t find anyone she was compatible with. Don’t be afraid to try again.

About Amber Drake

Amber Drake

Amber Drake is a highly accomplished, world-renowned, and published book author, freelance writer and editor, inspirational speaker, an inspiring teacher, a well-reputed canine behaviorist, a canine cancer researcher, CEO of Canine Companions, and of course, animal lover. Starting with an Associate of Science degree in Biology in 2007 from Jamestown Community College, she has since expanded her knowledge horizon by acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree with courses from both SUNY Fredonia and Cornell University, followed by a Master of Arts Degree in Education (2011) from Ashford University, a Post-Master’s Educational Certification, and a Doctorate from the North Central University, Prescott Valley Arizona. Drake is a woman of extreme passion with great love for her work as a canine behaviourist, writer, and college professor.

About Angela Ardolino

Angela Ardolino Schnauzer Odie

Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of  Beautify the Beast a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time that she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association, and has trained hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit for more information.