Can Hemp Oil for Dogs Manage Pet Anxiety?
Posted on June 23rd, 2021
Did you know that hemp oil for dogs could make a difference for your pet? That’s especially true if your pooch is living with anxiety. And that’s a condition that can any dog breed.
Of course, your pet can’t describe its symptoms. But, with the help of this post, you can recognize the warning signs of pet anxiety. Then, you can decide if hemp oil for dogs will make a different. First, though, you need to understand a little bit more about hemp oil and how it works in humans. And in pets.
What is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil can refer to two products. It could mean the oil we extract from hemp seeds, rich in nutrients, but containing no CBD or cannabidiol. More often, we’ll refer to that product as hemp seed oil.
In contrast, we extract hemp oil from the plant’s leaves and flowers, so it’s full of CBD, but not psychoactive THC. Because legal hemp oil for dogs contains less than 0.3% THC concentrations, it’s safe for pets. And it may help your pet cope with anxiety, or other unwanted symptoms.
Effects of Hemp Oil CBD
Because of the extract’s cannabinoid content, it interacts with endocannabinoid systems. (Also called the ECS, both dogs and humans have them!) As a result, hemp oil may help manage certain conditions.
Managing pain is a well-researched CBD effect. When you apply or ingest hemp oil, it activates the ECS, helping regulate your pain perception. In this way, hemp oil for dogs or pets could offer chronic pain relief.
Anxiety and Depression
Research shows that CBD can relieve social anxiety. And anecdotal evidence tells us it may help relieve other forms of anxiety. Meaning it may be useful for anxious pets and owners.
How Does Hemp Oil Work for Dogs?
Like we mentioned earlier, dogs have an endocannabinoid system just like people. At its most basic level, the system consists of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. And it’s got a big job: regulating many of the body’s various biological and physiological functions.
Dog’s bodies always produce endocannabinoids. But, if the system gets thrown off, production may not meet demand. And, if that happens, your pet may show signs of imbalance. Including pain or anxiety, to name a few.
Now, if you offer your dog CBD-rich hemp oil, you’ll be introducing plant-derived cannabinoids to its system. These phytocannabinoids look and act similarly to endocannabinoids. And that’s why they interact with your ECS, restoring your dog’s internal balance.
Once they enter your dog’s blood stream, CBD molecules binteract with ECS receptors, but they don’t directly attach to them. That’s why CBD for dogs can offer pain and anxiety relief. But it won’t put your dog at risk by creating a high like THC. Which is why many pet owners now ask their vets about hemp oil for dogs.
What Causes Dog Anxiety?
There are so many reasons why your dog gets anxious. If you adopt a shelter pet, its early life experiences may contribute to anxiety. But no matter where or when you adopted your dog, changes in environment can make any pet feel anxious. From loud noises to a mail carrier’s visit, anything can trigger dog anxiety.
That’s especially true if you need to seperate from your pet. Today, after the COVID shut downs, many dogs are used to spending all day with their humans. So, as you begin to leave more often, your dog may show signs of separation anxiety. And he wouldn’t be alone. In fact, up to 14% of all dogs display anxiety when they aren’t with their owners.
Dog anxiety can increase as your pet ages, since older pets may develop cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). With this condition, your dog can also become confused and anxious.
Signs of Anxiety in Dogs
While your pet won’t tell you he or she feels nervous, dog anxiety can show up with some of the following symptoms:
- Loss of bladder or bowel control in the house, even if your dog is house broken
- Sudden or unwarranted barking
- Destructive behavior, including shredding or attacking furniture
- Pacing and other signs of restlessness
- Excessive drooling or panting
Sometimes, dog anxiety is a temporary problem. It may go away once a thunderstorm ends, or you return home with a warm pat. But if your dog’s anxiety is chronic, it could change your pet’s personality. This could trigger aggressive behavior, making your pet dangerous to you or to itself. To avoid poor outcomes, talk to your vet about managing anxiety. He or she may suggest helping your pet manage anxiety with external supplements.
Conventional Treatments for Dog Anxiety
As we said, your first stop should be a discussion with your vet. He or she can examine your dog, ruling out medical conditions that could contribute to anxiety. Once your pet proves healthy, you can discuss ways to manage anxiety in dogs.
First on the menu may be extra pet training. Skilled dog trainers can help your dog react differently to people or situations that trigger anxiety. By using rewards (or negative stimuli), training can help stop your pet’s anxious behaviors. It can also help replace them with ones that you’d prefer in your home.
Many trainers use a technique known as desensitization. With this method, you keep exposing your dog to anxiety triggers. Over time, your pet learns not to fear those sources of anxiety. This technique can be very effective, especially if you offer rewards to your dog.
For some pets, simple training won’t relieve anxiety. So, if your vet thinks your dog has serious mental health issues, he or she may recommend pet anxiety medications.
As with humans, some anxious dogs may find relief with antidepressants or SSRIs. If your pet falls in this category, it may not need a constant prescription. Instead, a small dose during anxious moments could offer relief. But it could also trigger other side effects. Which is why many pet owners prefer natural supplements that may offer anxiety relief for dogs. And hemp oil could be on the short list of options.
You never want to give your dog too much of any substance. Even adding extra food to its diet could cause problems. But you also want to offer enough hemp oil for dogs to effect anxiety symptoms. Which is why you should discuss dosing guidelines with your vet before trying this supplement.
Factors to Consider
As with humans, hemp oil dosing guidelines depend on weight, height and age. But, as a jumping off point, you can try offering hemp oil with 1 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of dog weight. Then, with your vet’s approval, you may work up to a 5 mg, working with small weekly increases.
It may take time, patience and a bit of experimenting. But you’ll ultimately find the right dose for your dog. And you’ll know you’ve found it when your pet seems less anxious. Just remember, depending on your delivery method, the CBD in hemp oil won’t kick in for at least 30 minutes. So be patient, and don’t increase your dose until you’ve waited to see how your pet reacts to the initial levels.
It’s also worth noting that you must watch the THC content in any hemp oil for pets. Dosing your dog with too much THC could result in dangerous complications. So, in order to be safe, you could choose a CBD isolate.
Or, if you prefer full-spectrum CBD for its entourage effect, source your product wisely. Be sure to shop with manufacturers who can provide third-party lab results that prove the THC contents are safe for pets. And feel free to browse Tanasi’s range of high-quality hemp extract products.
In our online CBD store, you’ll enjoy a wide range of delivery options. And you’ll have easy access to ingredients lists and complete certificates of analysis. So you’ll never have to worry about harmful additivies that could hurt your four-legged friend!