In our previous article, we began to scratch the surface on the potential use of hemp oil & CBD products to treat the symptoms of various medical conditions as well as some of the common myths associated with the use of CBD. In this article we will explore the use of CBD to treat anxiety and as a calming agent in dogs. Just as it can be in people, when a dog comes down with the symptoms of anxiety it can be deliberating and in some instances, the cause of anxiety in your dog can be clear; a crack of thunder, knocks on a door, or even too much activity can cause visible stress cues from your dog.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
As the popularity of CBD to treat the symptoms of medical issues in people has increased, attention has turned to the use of hemp oil and CBD products tailored to treat various ailments in dogs and cats.
While studies into the effects of CBD in dogs and cats haven’t been fully researched, anecdotal evidence shows that just as in people, all dogs are different and while some dogs may benefit from the use of CBD to treat pet conditions such as pet anxiety, others may not.
How Does CBD Affect Dogs?
As a pet owner myself with 3 very different dog breeds, I have personally experienced both the advantages & disadvantages from the use of CBD to treat pet anxiety. During the time leading up to the 4th of July, the increase in the use of fireworks by people around the neighborhood increasingly put our dogs on edge, especially the larger fireworks that are specifically made to be loud. Fiona, our Brittany mix dog Fiona, absolutely benefits from CBD treatments that help calm her in the evenings when numerous fireworks sporadically go off.
Fiona has been a great example of the positive benefits that can be achieved with the proper use of CBD. In addition to the use of the full spectrum hemp seed oil CBD for her to help calm her when she suffers from anxiety, it also did an amazing job with pain management after she injured a disc in her neck when she was playing with a toy with our other dog, Sadie. Our third dog, Bella is a Tea Cup Chihuahua not more than 5 pounds full size. Due to her small size as well as her health, we don’t currently see a need to begin including CBD as a preventative or treatment.
CBD Products For Large Dogs
CBD products made for large dogs are formulated to provide benefits to your pets based on their larger size but they aren’t a one-size fits all product. While we mentioned that every dog is different and that no reaction to hemp oil and CBD is the same, in some instances you may find that while you may have a larger log or cat breed, a hemp oil CBD tincture with a lower dosage amount may be a preferable product to introduce the potential benefits to your pup.
CBD Products For Small Dogs
Products such as our 300mg Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Tincture For Small Dogs & Cats Under 20 Pounds gives owners of smaller dog breeds a CBD treatment option for dogs with a lower amount of milligrams and our easy to use dropper allows for smaller doses to learn what amount is best for your dog. It’s always recommended that when you begin treatment for your pet, whether a cat or dog, large or small, you administer the smallest possible does and work to find a balance that’s right for your furry friends.
Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
Our other dog Sadie, is a pure Beagle breed and while Fiona positively benefits from the use of CBD oil to treat her anxiety, for Sadie, CBD has the opposite effect.
After administering a small dose of CBD oil for the first time, Sadie became more anxious and exhibited a few of the classic symptoms of anxiety in dogs. It’s important to remember that if you’re looking to try CBD for your pet, you understand all pets are different and what may be right for some, may not be right for every pet.
Additional Potential Side Effects of CBD in Dogs can include:
- Increased Thirst & Dry Mouth: Many pet owners have reported an increase in thirst, potentially due to decreased production of saliva. This increase in thirst can directly correlate with an increase in urination, which itself is a symptom of anxiety.
- Decreases in Blood Pressure: It also has been reported that when CBD is administered in higher doses in dogs it can lead to a large, temporary drop in blood pressure which can make your dog feel light-headed.
- Increase in drowsiness: In addition to a drop in blood pressure, another side effect can be drowsiness and can be especially true when CBD is administered to dogs in small doses.
Identifying the Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs
While not every dog breed is different, these symptoms can be a reference to help you determine if your dog can be suffering from anxiety.
As a word of caution, if you see or experience changes in your pet’s behavior, especially suddenly, you should take your pet to the Veterinarian immediately.
Although these symptoms can be synonymous with anxiety, they are by no means the only health condition with these symptoms
Barking & Howling When No-one is Home
- Experiencing your dog barking or even openly howling when you’re not at home. This can be hard to determine if you live in a rural environment without neighbors to inform you that they’ve heard your dog barking. Or, alternatively, leaving the house and waiting to hear if your dog has quieted down before you leave.
Your Dog is Digging Unexpectedly
- While some dogs are well-known diggers, if you notice digging activity outside of the normal digging behavior from your dog this could potentially be a sign that your dog is suffering from the beginning stages of anxiety.
Your Dog is Shivering, Excessive Panting or Visually Agitated
- As a pet owner, you understand your dog better than anyone else. If you begin to notice your dog excessively panting, shivering or acting in an erratic manner, even if it’s not hot or the dog has undertaken any physical activity can be another indicator of anxiety in your dog.
Your Dog Has Begun Hiding or Cowering from You or Family
- If your dog recently has been trying to get/run out of doors as you or a guest enter or leave your home or your pup has started to hide or cower from you or family, there are many red flags that can be raised from this. From anxiety to the mistreatment of your pet by a family member, many things can trigger anxiety in dogs. Even if they can’t speak with us directly, as a pet owner it’s important to understand the visual and auditory cues to help quickly understand when your pet is facing medical or emotional problems faster.
Your Dog Has Begun Escaping the Yard or Trying to Run Out of the House When Someone Enters
- Whether a dog is suffering from an ailment or perfectly healthy, It’s always common that your dog will see something outside of your yard, bark, get agitated or excited. However, if you’re increasingly concerned that your dog is actively trying to escape from your yard or attempting to run out of the house when doors are opened, besides ensuring they are safe; this is another sign that your dog is suffering from anxiety or another, unrelated condition.
Your Dog is Excessively Licking or Chewing at Themselves
- Excessive licking and chewing by your dog can directly lead to self-harm and the need to treat conditions that are self-harm related. While this can be indicative of other conditions such as a heat spot, scratch or other injury, it’s also yet another sign that your dog may be suffering from pet anxiety.
Your Dog Has Suddenly Stopped Eating, Lost its Appetite or Eating Patterns Have Changed
- We know that all dogs are typically excited about foods and snacks. Besides the excitement of seeing you after you’ve been gone all day, food is one of the biggest highlights of the day for dogs. If you notice your dog is experiencing a loss of appetite or begins to change their established eating habits, it’s likely that this could be one of the symptoms of anxiety you notice first. As soon as you see changes in your dog’s behavior and you notice it’s not one-off behavior, be sure to check with your vet to ensure no major health problems are starting to develop.
Your Dog is Urinating More Frequently
- One of the symptoms of anxiety that can potentially be more difficult to pinpoint is the increase in frequency your dog has to urinate. If you work from home or have a family home with your dog throughout the day, it’s easier to track your dog’s consumption of water to correlate it with the increased need to urinate. However, if your dog is home by itself at pints throughout the day and your dog begins to have an increase of accidents or you do notice your dog having the urge to go out and pee excessively can be a cause for concern. Whether anxiety or a larger medical issue beginning, you want to check with your established Veterinarian to better understand the health issues your dog is experiencing.
Your Dog Seems Agitated and They Have Trouble Or the Inability to Settle Down
- A general inability to settle can be indicative of many conditions, even pain. As with all of the symptoms of anxiety in dogs listed here, the sooner you notice a change in eating habits or behavior, it’s imperative you inform your veterinarian to get your dog seen, and a diagnosis reached.
While all of the above potential symptoms are better identifiable, there are other symptoms that your dog may present that can be much more subtle including an overall shyness, beginning a consistent pattern of looking away or excessive licking of their lips.
Choosing the Right CBD for Your Dog
After discussing with your Veterinarian if CBD can potentially help your dog and you decide you want to use CBD to treat anxiety or another condition in your dog there are a few considerations to think about when purchasing hemp and CBD oil.
- Superior Quality: Choosing a quality brand of CBD ensures additional elements such as fungicides, pesticides and solvents aren’t added ingredients and your pet is only getting the best ingredients.
- Lab Analysis: Reputable sellers of hemp and CBD oil should be able to provide a lab analysis certificate that accurately states what the product contains including the THC content and the quality of the CBD itself.
- The Right Type of CBD to Administer: Hemp CBD oils and tinctures are a preferred method of delivering the proper dosage to your dog. This allows you to start with the smallest dosage drops and increase amounts slowly as necessarily.
Recognizing Your Pets’ Habits
As a dog owner, it’s important to pay attention to the actions of our furry children because while we can perceive their general well being by their actions, they can’t tell us what’s wrong with them.
While the use of CBD and hemp oil to treat the symptoms of different ailments in dogs is still relatively new; it has a potential to be a huge benefit to your pet’s health but it’s not right for every dog. It’s important to speak to your Veterinarian before beginning a new treatment or giving your pet something new.