I recently watched a 2-pound Terrier bark incessantly at a huge Mastiff. The mastiff couldn’t care less and stretched out to snooze. The terrier, of course, was just being a terrier. But it occurred to me the enormous mastiff has little reason for anxiety while the terrier is wired to waste energy announcing its presence. This terrier is only an hors d'oeuvre for the mastiff, but he wouldn’t go down easily.
Terriers and most small dogs are balls of anxiety. But dogs of any breed will show symptoms of anxiety as thunder rolls, firecrackers explode, or lightning strikes. More interestingly, they will demonstrate anxiety when left alone for long periods or as they age — just like humans.
A guide for anxious dog owners and CBD oil
Symptoms of canine anxiety: Anxious dogs display behaviors like upset humans:
• Compulsive Behavior
• Destructive Behaviors
• Excessive Barking
• Urinating/Defecating Indoors
- Causes of canine anxiety: If you return home to find a chair or pillow destroyed, shoes shredded into debris, or table legs gnawed bare, your pet is trying to get your attention.
- Bad Memories: Dogs will react to things they associate with past trauma. If they have been beaten in the past, for example, they may react to certain words or things like belts or paddles. This may occur in dogs that have been abandoned.
- Certain Breeds: Some dogs seem genetically predisposed to anxiety. Energetic and smart dogs seem prone to anxious behaviors: Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Dalmatians, Pekingese, Poodles, Terriers, Shih Tzus, and others.
- Separation Anxiety: Dogs don’t like to be alone. They have been socialized to your presence. You feed them, walk them, and cuddle and stroked them. You are the dog’s best friend. While you may make them comfortable with absences of a certain length like your workday, but if your absence is longer than expected, the dog will get nervous. This is especially true of dogs separated as puppies too soon from their mother.
- Medical Problems: If symptoms of anxiety continue for any length of time, they could reveal other problems: chronic pain, diabetes, encephalitis, hearing loss, hypothyroidism, and more. Like humans, dogs know their own bodies and react to systems dysfunction and disruption. This calls for a visit to the vet.
The veterinarian will be thorough in examining your dog. But the anxiety can be multilayered and difficult to diagnose. The vet is inclined to first eliminate measurable causes and conditions. Blood tests, x-rays, and physicals can only do so much.
- Medications: American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA®) has reviewed the use of alprazolam, clomipramine, diazepam, and trazodone in treating canine anxiety. These are drugs used in treating humans. Each has risks and side effects. And research on these medications has yet to develop standards for dosing different breeds.
- Management: Dog owners have invested in snug-fitting coats to give their dogs the impression of security. Some dogs respond to training that introduces them to fearful situations one step at a time. Others can be trained to sit or focus on something in anxious times. Some owners depend on acupuncture or aromatherapy. And, still more use over-the-counter products.
The American Kennel Club notes, “Some dogs owners have reported success in using CBD oil to treat dog anxiety. CBD is a compound found in cannabis and hemp that dog owners, as well as humans, have found useful for treating a variety of different health conditions. Anecdotal reports from dog owners claim that CBD oil can be effective in treating dog anxiety.”
But it also reminds you there is little scientific research on CBD and anxiety in pets. In addition, CBD-derived products are not subject to quality standards. While purchase and use of hemp-based CBD oils are legal throughout the U.S., cannabis-based CBD oil for pets is not approved even in all the states where medicinal use has been legalized.
On the plus side, CBD oil is easily administered and absent of negative side effects. On the minus side, the dosage has yet to be determined for dog size, breed, or condition. So, you must confer with your vet to determine value and dosage with an awareness of counter-indication with other medications.
All things considered, you might shop among these five products:
- Purity’ Honest Paws is an all-natural, GMO-free, 100% full spectrum, Colorado hemp-derived CBD oil. It comes in three strengths geared to dog size. (They also sell Purrity for cats.)
- MediPets offers oils, snacks, and sprays for dogs (and cats) in different strengths. It’s 100% natural hemp-based and third-party tested. And, MediPets contributes profits to Florida’s Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation.
- 4 Corners Cannabis grows its own help to ensure complete control in the development of their Pedigree oil, third-party tested, and full spectrum hemp oil with Limonene, a terpene some animals react to.
- Hemplucid produces Roxy Pets from Colorado hemp with a non-alcoholic CO2 process developed for purity and flavored with chicken for your pooch’s palate.
Receptra Naturals procures its Receptra™ Pet hemp from local family farms in Colorado. They use select parts of the plant for best effect for CBD-hemp extract in MCT oil and essential fatty acids with a 30-day money back guarantee.
One final tip
While you are conferring with your veterinarian, you might also ask about using cannabis products for temporary anxieties like car rides, long trips, air flights, and more short-term risks.