Animal Anxiety Explained
A dog that has been abandoned or has memories of ill-treatment is more likely to show signs of anxiety. Even when they are adopted into a loving family that takes care of their needs. They’ll retain memories of the distressing times they experienced. Just as humans can experience bouts of anxiety after stressful situations. So can our dogs. Below we explore how CBD can lower anxiety in pets and the best ways to use this for your dog.
Is my dog Suffering
How to Spot Anxiety in Your dog. The symptoms and behaviours displayed by anxious dogs are often variations or extremes of normal behaviour. Making it a little difficult to spot. Some breeds of dog are more prone to animal anxiety than others – German and Australian Shepherds, Shorthair Pointers and Bichon Frises are just a few breeds that are more likely to display signs of anxiety.
Behaviour including chewing furniture and other inappropriate items, or urinating and defecating in the house only while you are out, can all be signs of separation anxiety; common in dogs that have been abandoned or spent time in a shelter.
Anxiety – The Signs
Excessive panting, pacing, whining and whimpering are also signs of Animal Anxiety, as is avoiding eye contact, hiding and trembling.
Ways to treat your dog’s anxiety
The first step to take if you suspect your dog suffers from anxiety, is to chat with your vet. They’ll be able to help you understand the causes. The best course of treatment and rule out (or identify) any medical conditions that could be contributing to this.
There are many natural ways to help reduce anxiety in your dog. Pheromone diffusers can help to ease anxiety in pets. Allowing them to sleep with you at night can provide benefits to both you and your pooch.
Other natural remedies include chamomile, which can be used for tense tummies’; passionflower which is a mild sedative and pain reliever with calmative effects. Often used to treat insomnia in people; and valerian a traditional treatment known to be safe and gentle with sedative effects that are useful for nervous anxiety.
More recently, CBD oil is also being used to treat anxiety in dogs.
How CBD lowers pet anxiety
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in all mammals. This biological system is responsible for sleep, memory, immune systems and other bodily functions. It reacts with cannabinoids produced by the brain to trigger various functions and also responds beneficially with CBD – one of the non-psychoactive compounds found in marijuana and hemp, so it won’t produce a ‘high’ in the user.
CBD has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety in both humans and pets (although much of the data for pets is anecdotal) by temporarily increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
In addition to this, CBD has been shown to promote homeostasis, which is best explained as the normal functioning and balance of biological processes. This combined with the anxiety and stress lowering properties can help improve your dog’s mental and physical health.
It’s wise to raise your intention to use CBD to treat your animals anxiety or general health with your vet as it can react with other medications either causing unexpected side effects or reducing their effectiveness.
Stephanie James is a freelance writer who writes on home, health, and lifestyle topics. You can find her work on a variety of sleep health topics for Mattress Advisor or connect with her on Twitter: @sjaywrites13.