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CBD Oil and Pets: Does CBD Help Anxiety?

Does CBD help with anxiety? If you're dealing with an anxious pet, it may be your solution to their behavioral problems and here's why.
September 19, 2018

Is your dog, cat, ferret, horse, or hamster suffering from anxiety?

They’re not alone. Between 20% and 40% of dogs in the U.S. suffer from separation anxiety, and that’s just one cause! If you love your furry friend like he’s part of the family, you likely want to take away his suffering.

Instead of turning to puppy Prozac, prescribed by your vet, give CBD oil a try. It’s been known to help ease anxiety in humans and dogs alike. Plus, it’s natural and has little to no negative side effects.

If you’re asking yourself, “does CBD help anxiety”, read on to find out more about how it just might make your dog finally feel better.

Yes, Pets Have Anxiety Too

Think anxiety is only a human reaction? Think again. Dogs suffer from anxiety similar to how humans do.

It can be circumstantial or it could be a result of trauma your animal experienced earlier on in life. The latter is usually found when you rescue a dog from a pound or shelter and aren’t certain of its history or past experiences.

If your pet was abused or mistreated early on in life, they may develop phobias or idiosyncrasies that you find strange. A dog who was hit on top of the head may back away when you go to give him a gentle pat.

He now associates that gesture with something dangerous, even though your intentions are loving. Dogs can also have adverse reactions to change. Moving homes can be an anxiety trigger for dogs as well as the addition of a new family member.

You may have heard that dogs often suffer from separation anxiety. When you leave the house they whine or tear the place up. This is likely because they were left alone for long periods of time by a former owner or abandoned altogether.

The dog is freaking out because he doesn’t believe you are coming back, and that’s terrifying.

We often underestimate the way animals feel and think. Dog have complex emotions much like humans so it’s important to treat them as such and be sensitive to their needs. Every dog has a different personality and has been through a different set of circumstances, all of which can contribute to anxiety.

Signs Your Pet Is Anxious

When humans are anxious, it typically manifests in physical and sometimes internal ways. Our hearts race, we have shortness of breath, we may become dizzy or start sweating. We usually aren’t externalizing our anxiety, rather it’s something that’s happening within us and we communicate these sensations to another person.

Since dogs can’t communicate, they’re left to tell you they’re anxious with less subtle gestures. Some obvious signs to look for in your dog are pacing, panting, whining, barking more than usual, trembling or becoming aggressive.

If your dog is demonstrating these symptoms, he’s trying to tell you something and it’s important to listen. When you’re away, an anxious dog, especially one experiencing separation anxiety is likely to damage the house and your belongings.

This destruction is how your dog is getting out his anxiety and releasing it, the same way you might cry or scream into a pillow. Your dog doesn’t know what to do with the way he feels so he turns to the only thing he knows how; to bite, chew and claw at the things in your home.

What Is the Cause

Before you try any method to help your anxious dog, it’s important to determine what is making him anxious. Having this information will help you treat his condition, along with other remedies.

Did you have a recent move or big change? Did someone new like a baby or a boyfriend move into the house? Was there an addition of another pet? Do they only get anxious when they can tell you’re leaving the home?

Ask yourself some of these questions and try to hone in on what exactly is making your animal anxious and then work from there.

How CBD Can Help

Recently, more and more people have been turning to CBD for relief from chronic pain, anxiety and other ailments. Extracting the CBD from the cannabis plant means it has no THC or psychoactive chemicals in it, so your dog won’t feel “high”.

Rather, it has calming and healing properties that have been known to work wonders on humans and now on animals as well. When CBD enters the body it is met and filtered through the endocannabinoid system.

The good news? All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. Which means humans, dogs, and other animals can all receive the same benefits. While research is limited on how exactly CBD helps with anxiety in the brain, many scientists suggest it can work similarly to an SSRI like Prozac or Paxil.

SSRI’s can boost serotonin receptors in the brain, which helps elevate mood and decrease anxiety. The upside of CBD, as opposed to an SSRI, is the lack of side effects.

On an SSRI, humans, and animals have to deal with a laundry list of potential negative side effects like nausea, vomiting, dizziness and more. CBD has no known side effects and is gentle on the body when administered.

How to Administer

One thing to keep in mind is that dogs are going to be more sensitive to cannabis and therefore will require a lesser dosage than humans. Be sure to read the dosage directions but keep in mind that because it’s natural, you can’t overdose your dog on CBD oil.

You can usually give him a few drops per day just under his tongue. It that’s tough, you could also mix it into his food so he can’t taste it as much.

Does CBD Help Anxiety? Find Out Today!

Now that you have an understanding of what anxiety in dogs looks like and have answered the question “Does CBD help anxiety,” why not give it a try?

Research shows that CBD could help with anxiety and, while every pet is different, if your animal is struggling, it’s worth a try. You’re better off trying this as the first step over an SRRI medication that your dog may react poorly to.

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