The Best CBD for Dog Anxiety: Hope for Natural Relief
Posted on May 15th, 2021
Just like their human owners, dogs can experience a wide range of emotions. Anxiety is one of those. When it becomes uncontrollable, however, dog anxiety can be really problematic for them and for you.
Understanding anxiety in dogs is the first step towards discovering a viable solution for it. Luckily, the market offers a good range of dog anxiety products, some of them completely natural and highly effective.
What’s Dog Anxiety?
Anxiety is a condition that can affect all dog breeds and ages. If experienced for prolonged periods of time and left untreated, anxiety could actually develop into an anxiety disorder. The latter kind of anxiety comes with various behavioral changes that are problematic.
Canine anxiety can come in many forms and be the result of many different triggers that can be set off in many different ways.
Some dogs are sensitive to sounds. Shotguns, fireworks, and even vacuum cleaners can make these dogs fearful. Separation anxiety, fear-related anxiety, and age-related anxiety are also common.
According to some American studies, anywhere between 20 and 40 percent of the dogs referred to a behavioral specialist experience an anxiety disorder. These dogs react to stressful situations in exaggerated ways, and they can display emotional discomfort distinctively. Let’s talk a little more about dog anxiety in-depth, shall we?
How Do Dogs Experience Anxiety?
Changes in the environment the dog is more familiar with are the ones that typically trigger an anxious response. In time, this anxiety may become chronic. This is especially true for dogs that are more sensitive, traumatized, or victimized in any way.
Some of the common signs of anxiety in dogs include:
- Constant barking
- Inappropriate and uncontrollable urination and defecation
- Aggression towards other animals and humans
- Destructive behavior
- Depression and lethargy
- Restlessness and repetitive, compulsive behaviors (like chewing on something or scratching at the door).
If these occur relatively every once in a while, a dog isn’t really dealing with an anxiety disorder.
Dogs can be anxious occasionally due to circumstances. Isolated occurrences of anxiety symptoms shouldn’t be a cause of concern. That said, anxiety that turns into aggression or complete lethargy is something much more dangerous. Not only do these conditions affect the pet itself, but they could also have very serious negative consequences for the owners and others.
It’s not always easy to determine what makes a dog anxious or what triggers destructive behavior. Even behavioral experts will be incapable of pinpointing the reason every once in a while.
What matters in such instances, however, is nipping the issue in the bud. The more you postpone the initiation of treatment, the more your dog’s behavior will deteriorate.
Common Treatments for Dog Anxiety
Dog anxiety’ traditional treatment can take place in a couple of ways.
Talking to a veterinarian or a behavioral specialist can help pinpoint the anxiety trigger. Whenever you as an owner can help to eliminate or mitigate that trigger is when the condition is likely to improve bit by bit.
If there’s so far no luck in identifying a specific trigger, however, you will have to adopt a different approach.
Training and counter-conditioning are often ways to address destructive behaviors. The aim of counter-conditioning is to modify the dog’s response to the stimuli that would be anxiety-inducing. It’s a kind of desensitization therapy that makes a pup less vulnerable to whatever’s causing stress.
Anxiety medications could also be a last resort to dogs which anxiety episodes become unmanageable.
Pharmaceutical treatment is reserved for the most severe of cases, however. SSRI and antidepressants are two things that really do exist for dogs. Just like human drugs, however, these medications could cause side effects. Proper dosage and the selection of the right treatment are both very important to ensure a positive outcome without unpleasant unintended results.
Luckily, another option does exist, and it comes in the form of CBD products. CBD or cannabidiol is a type of cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. This extract famously has possible anxiety reduction effects in humans, and it may also manifest the same effects in our canine companions.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Before taking a specific look at CBD specifically, let’s discuss cannabinoids in general.
A cannabinoid is a naturally occurring compound in the hemp plant. There are over 480 different compounds that can be extracted from the plant, and of those, over 100 are cannabinoids.
These chemical substances bind to certain cannabinoid receptors in the body, causing a specific effect. The most popular cannabinoids that you’ve probably heard of include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The main difference between the two is that while THC can get you high, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive impact.
In fact, the main difference between many known cannabinoids is on the basis of their psychoactive properties. CBD, cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC), for example, aren’t known to have any mind-altering effects. THC, cannabinol (CBN), and cannabinodiol (CBDL) can have a certain degree of psychoactive effects, especially THC.
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabinoids like CBD work by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors found on the surface of human and animal cells.
Receptors are present throughout the central nervous system. Although there are different types of CBD receptors in the body, they categorized into two main types – CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are mainly in the brain. CB2 receptors are primarily in the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system. THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids bind mostly to CB1 receptors, which is where the psychoactivity takes place. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are devoted to anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects.
CBD can largely activate the CB1 receptors as well, hence delivering an array of beneficial effects. One of these positive results is the reduction of anxiety in humans and animals.
CBD for Dog Anxiety Treatment
While research is still scant, there’s some evidence that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in dogs. And just like in humans, that interaction may yield antianxiety effects.
CBD products for pet anxiety are one of the fastest-growing trends on the pet wellness market as of 2021.
The way in which CBD appears to work is fairly simple. When taken in the form of an oil or a tincture, CBD changes the brain’s response to serotonin. That’s a chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter, and that helps elevate and improve mood.
When a dog takes a CBD product, it will deliver a sense of wellbeing and relaxation. Lets’ remember that a very similar effect also happens in humans who take CBD products.
What Is the Best CBD for Dog Anxiety?
The best CBD for dog anxiety products usually comes in the form of an oil or a tincture. This way, the CBD is pure and concentrated enough to deliver benefits without the risk of side effects.
As far as CBD-containing products for pets go, there are various options on the market.
Apart from the tinctures and oils already mentioned, there are CBD-containing dog treats, topicals, pellets, and pills.
Liquid forms of CBD are the most potent ones for dogs. As such, they’re likely to deliver an effect beyond what dog treats are capable of doing. In addition, liquid-based cannabinoid products for pets allow for better and easier dose adjustment. You can literally change the dosage drop by drop to determine the one that’s bound to give your pet an optimal effect.
When looking for CBD pet products, you can explore a couple of additional characteristics to discover the best ones.
CBD for Dog Anxiety Dosage and a Few Additional Considerations
Needless to say, the dosage is very important to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the best CBD for dog anxiety products.
Usually, manufacturers provide dosage guidelines based on the dog’s weight and on the specifics of the condition to treat. It’s always best to start with the smallest recommended dosage and to go up if needed.
While different sources recommend different amounts, the general recommendation for pet wellbeing is one milligram of CBD per five to 10 pounds of body weight. There are calculators and online formulas that you can use on your own to come up with a much more specific calculation.
You should not worry about your pet getting “high” on a CBD oil or tincture. As already mentioned, this effect happens not because of CBD but due to THC, an entirely different cannabinoid.
It may be a good idea to talk to your veterinarian before giving CBD oil to your pet.
While safe and even healthy, CBD may not always be the best choice for your dog. Your vet will provide some recommendations and suggestions on the basis of your pet’s age, condition, and general health. If your dog is taking any kind of medication, consult the vet before having your dog take it simultaneously with CBD. Since it does impact the functioning of the nervous system, it could potentially affect the absorption of other products.
Best CBD for Dog Anxiety
Every dog is unique, and so are its health needs.
Jumping on the CBD oil bandwagon is a great idea if your dog suffers from anxiety. Many pet owners report significant relief and a reduction in destructive symptoms. The chances are that a CBD product will also help your pet cope well with stressors.
As far as the best CBD for dog anxiety goes, we will have to go with CBD dog treats for convenience. However, objectively speaking, it is liquid products like traditional CBD oil that are the best CBD for dog anxiety due to quick and potent effects. Choose whichever works best for you.