Can CBD Treats Help Your Dog’s Anxiety?
Does your dog ever seem helplessly restless, freak out when you leave the house, react poorly to loud noises like fireworks, or display inappropriate behavior around guests and strangers?
You’ve most likely answered yes to one or more of the questions above, meaning your dog might have an anxiety condition.
To put it lightly, our dogs are anxious. When analyzing the behavior of 13,715 pet dogs belonging to 264 different breeds, Finnish researchers found 72.5% of the dogs expressed anxiety-like behaviors. This has led to a lot of dog owners wondering what they can do for their nervous fur buddies.
Legalized federally in the United States, under the 2018 Farm Bill, Hemp CBD has become a popular natural aid for treating anxiety both in humans and canines.
Many dog owners say being able to give their dogs a CBD treat when they notice their anxiety flaring up is a blessing. Not only does it reward them with a scrumptious flavor during nerve-wrecking moments, CBD provides 4-6 hours of direct anxiety-reducing effects and can be safely given multiple times a day. These benefits have accumulated into making CBD the most popular anti-anxiety alternative to prescription medication in recent years.
Today, we look into whether CBD treats such as those by companies like Innovetpet can help your dog with their anxiety.
Breaking Down Canine Anxiety
With a recent study finding that 3 out of every 4 dogs experience anxiety on a recurring basis, pet owners need to familiarize themselves with the main forms of anxiety found in domestic dogs.
There are 4 main forms of anxiety. Of dogs affected by an anxiety condition, 32% of dogs experience anxiety to noise sensitivity. Common triggers for this form include fireworks, storms, celebrations, yelling, and loud arguments — fireworks being the most likely culprit.
General fearfulness affected around 29% of dogs with 17% showing fear of other dogs, 15% fear of strangers, and 11% fear of novel situations.
The last two main forms of anxiety in dogs are aggression (14%) and separation anxiety (5%) — other studies have found significantly higher occurrences of separation anxiety in all breeds, with some breeds showing abnormally high rates.
Our Finnish study, too, saw how a dog’s breed affects their reaction to anxiety.
- Lagotto Romagnolos, Wheaten Terriers, and mixed breed dogs had the highest prevalence of noise sensitivity.
- Miniature schnauzers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers showed the lowest prevalence for noise sensitivity.
- Spanish Water Dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs, and mixed breed dogs were found to be the most fearful.
- Rough Collies and mixed breeds were most sensitive to fear of surfaces and fear of heights.
- Smaller breeds showed more aggression to strangers.
Not unexpected, anxiety was found to increase with age. As well, males tend to show more aggressive anxiety while females tend to be more fearful.
With similar findings to the above found in other studies on anxiety in domestic dogs, most research concludes anxiety in domestic canines is a result of genetics in combination with their environment.
Why So Many Are Turning To CBD For Treating Anxiety
Between the way it makes us feel in the moment and the surrounding stigmas, the subject of anxiety is uncomfortable for us.
This leads many to battle anxiety on their own in secrecy. Then it is common for us to downplay our anxiety and its severity. For these reasons and more, treating anxiety with natural and alternative medications is seemingly the norm. And as you can guess, our issues with facing the subject of anxiety are reflected onto our dogs and how we tend to theirs’. But there is a problem with this.
Lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm are the three big traditional natural aids for help with stress and nervousness, and while research shows they have stress-relieving properties, they are pretty mild. Especially when compared to prescription anti-anxiety medication.
CBD, derived from non-intoxicating hemp plants, on the other hand, may have significant anxiolytic properties that change how we treat anxiety in both the doctor and veterinarian’s office. This is all thanks to how it works.
How CBD Lowers Anxiety
While research into CBD’s potency for treating anxiety is still in its infancy, research has established that the compounds in CBD products have a very unique way of mitigating all forms of anxiety.
Anxiety engenders itself from the nervous system, whose state of health can significantly influence the severity of the anxiety it’s producing. To combat this, through homeostatic processes, the body keeps regulatory systems like the nervous system running optimally despite outside influences. And CBD can it assist with that!
Thanks to cannabis and the activated compounds in it, called the cannabinoids, scientists discovered the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Called a mother regulatory system, the ECS triggers homeostatic processes over several other regulatory systems, with the nervous system and immune system being the largest.
The ECS is composed of two main types of receptors, along with the self-created neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that activate them. The cannabinoids that appear in cannabis products like CBD can also activate those receptors.
For some people and pets, that’s huge, because chronic conditions like anxiety, injuries, and on, can unbalance regulatory systems, causing the ECS to run low on available endocannabinoids when tending to them.
This may explain why many use CBD every day, as it’s helping supplement a deficiency of much-needed regulatory neurotransmitters.
CBD Treats Or CBD Oil?
Both CBD treats and CBD oil contain the same active compounds, and which one is best for your dog ultimately comes down to preference.
Many owners like the simplicity of a treat, and we’re sure our dogs prefer them too, since they probably think they’re being rewarded. That last part can be really helpful when you want to quickly get your dog’s mind off their anxiety.
On the other hand, giving your dog CBD oil on an empty stomach will bring on its effects the fastest. As well, due to CBD’s ability to inhibit cytochrome liver enzymes, some dogs on prescription medications may require a specific dosage of CBD to avoid a drug-drug interaction.
For administering specific amounts of CBD, CBD oil is greatly preferred over CBD treats. The general dosages that treats deliver appear fine for most dogs, however.
When it comes to natural alternatives for anxiety, many remedies ultimately fall flat. For CBD, this doesn’t appear to be the cause with its unique ability to support regulatory systems like the nervous system, which anxiety calls its home.
However, by the same token, it appears CBD by itself is insufficient in ultimately curing anxiety, which is most likely a result of genetics and the environment at play.
CBD does have its place, with many owners finding it helps reduce their dog’s anxiety in the first week after starting it daily. Not only can this help give our dogs fast relief from their stress, but it can also help them be more receptive to training designed to reduce and potentially cure their anxiety.