CBD Oil has been the talk of medical journals for years, and in the past few years has popped up frequently in mainstream news as an alternative medical approach to a variety of health issues. As more and more has been discovered about the uses for CBD oil, its use in pet health treatment has gained in popularity, particularly for the treatment of anxiety. CBD Oil for dog’s anxiety is a focus of discussion, and many pet parents are asking the question: will CBD oil help my dog’s anxiety? The topic itself (as with all CBD products) is a complex one, but as with all health treatments, there are pros and cons. Here’s what we know about CBD oil for dog’s anxiety:
CBD Oil: What is It?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound derived from hemp, and to be classified as CBD, the oil must contain less than 0.3 percent of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the ‘high’ feeling. Because CBD contains less than 0.3 percent THC, there is no psychoactive reaction. Most CBD oil is derived from hemp.
Benefits of CBD Oil
It’s important to start by saying that there is not definitive scientific data supporting the use of CBD oil for dogs, but there is a growing amount of anecdotal evidence from pet parents that lends to CBD’s use for pain, particularly neuropathic pain. CBD is also used to help control canine seizures. The use of CBD oil for daily health treatments in dogs is growing in popularity, and many dog owners swear they have seen a striking difference in their dog’s health, including treatment for inflammation, cardiac problems, nausea, lack of appetite and anxiety, both in daily anxiety management and in short-term anxiety treatment, such as travel or the sounds of Fourth of July celebrations.
Chronic anxiety in dogs is not only miserable in the moment, but it can produce more serious long-term effects, such as cardiac problems, high blood pressure, stroke, higher susceptibility to illness and even a shortened lifespan. CBD can produce a calming effect, and for many dogs that suffer from chronic anxiety, CBD Oil can offer much-needed relief and rest, over time leading to overall health and wellbeing.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
As with all health treatments, the user must weigh potential benefits against potential risks or side effects. It’s important to note that perhaps the most important (and preventable!) risk is that the CBD market is still fairly new and is not yet regulated or tested for safety. So when purchasing CBD oil for pets, many dog owners can’t be sure of what they’re buying. Is the product good quality? Are there any toxins present? Is the CBD oil properly formulated? Is there even CBD oil in there at all? The easiest way to avoid risks in this area is to speak with your veterinarian and purchase oil directly through them. This allows you and your vet to formulate a plan for consistent and accurate use of CBD oil, as well as test regularly to ensure proper dosage and receptiveness.
Other potential side effects can include dry mouth (which will increase your dog’s thirst), lowered blood pressure (which could cause lightheadedness and dizziness) and drowsiness. Because CBD oil treatment for dog anxiety is somewhat new, it’s important to note that other side effects could be present, so it’s important to closely monitor your pet and start with the smallest dosage available to ensure no allergic or otherwise adverse reaction.
A Well-Balanced Treatment Plan
Anxiety in dogs can be the result of internal and external factors, so responsible pet owners should develop a well-balanced treatment plan:
Take Away the Stressors
Is there a loud television constantly blaring? Does the vacuum cause anxiety? Does the sight of the mailman throw your dog into a fit? Your dog is relying on you to create a safe environment with as few stressors as possible, so take away anything in your dog’s immediate environment that might be causing anxiety.
Create a Safe Place
Of course you can’t tell the mailman not to deliver the mail, and you can’t control a thunderstorm’s arrival, but you can offer your dog a safe place in your home, one that is created just for them. Choose a small room (bathroom, laundry room) that’s far from your home’s main entrance, and make sure your pooch has a snuggly bed and plenty of food, water, snacks and toys. This should feel like a safe place, one that he can retreat to when anxiety starts to take over.
Start an Exercise Plan
Just like with people, animals need the opportunity to shed stress through exercise, even if just for a quick walk around the block each morning and evening. Without regular exercise, the stress manifests as tension, which leads to chronic pain, digestive issues, and other health problems.
CBD oil for your dog’s anxiety might be the right choice for your furry friend, or there may be a different option that works best for you. When you’ve removed every stressor you can, created a safe place, and have incorporated the right dog food and regular exercise and your dog is still suffering from anxiety, speak with your veterinarian about treatment options. No dog should have to continue suffering with anxiety, so find the plan that works best for you and your buddy as soon as you can.
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