By Contributing Author
Just like humans, dogs are also very emotional and this can cause them to experience anxiety regardless of their breed. This is why it is important to know how to calm anxiety in dogs.
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Anxiety in dogs, when left untreated, can lead to different behavioral issues, which can be more challenging to handle. It may appear uncommon, but the truth is that many dogs suffer from anxiety, especially separation anxiety.
The two most important questions here are, how do you know if a dog has anxiety? What can you do to treat it? We will answer this and a lot more in this article.
Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs
There are three types of anxiety in dogs. These three are the fear of loud noises, separation anxiety and changes in the environment. These are also the main causes of anxiety in them.
To know if your dog is anxious, here is what you can look for:
- Frequent urination
- Barking and howling when you are not at home
- Inability to settle
- Excessive chewing or licking
- Panting and pacing up and down even when it is not hot
- Destroying the furniture
- Loss of appetite
- Running away and maybe cowering in a corner
- Escaping the yard
- Lifting a paw
- Showing whites of the eyes
When you see your dog depicting any of these signs, then you can definitely be sure that you are dealing with anxiety and you should immediately act on it. Dogs respond to body language. They understand it and use it to communicate too.
When you notice that your dog is anxious, you need to calm it down. You can play them some music, sing to them or get them to do some physical exercise.
How to Calm Anxiety in Dogs
There are several ways that one can use when handling anxiety in dogs. These options will depend on what stage of anxiety your dog is experiencing.
With some dogs, all you need to is to check your state of mind because you might just be projecting your stress, depression, or your own anxiety to them. If you are wondering how to calm anxiety in dogs, some of the common ways of handling it include:
- Behavior Training
If you are dealing with separation anxiety in dogs, then you can train your dog to keep itself occupied while you are away. You can get them a toy or two, like a food puzzle toy that will keep them busy for long.
If you know that you will be away from your dog, start training it by leaving it alone for a little while. Then, gradually increasing the time that you are away, this will help them adjust and cope. This same principle can apply if your dog is afraid of traveling and you can reward them each time they get even close to the car.
- Cuddle Them
Dogs, especially pet dogs, love attention. Patting them may not be enough to calm them. Take another step and cuddle them, especially if they are crying just like you would do to a kid.
This will reassure them that they are loved and cared for and that you did not leave them behind because you hate them or that the storm cannot harm them.
Also, there are thunder-shirts sold in the market that you can wrap around the dog tightly making them feel like then constantly being huggled. You can get one for your dog.
- Get Them a Furry Friend
When dogs lose a kennel or a canine mate, they may be affected by separation anxiety. The best thing you can do in this case is to try and get another dog because your dog was used to having a companion around.
However, a furry friend may not help in the case of separation from human contact.
If the above three ways do not work, then it is definitely time to give the dog some medication. There are a number of medications and ways to treat anxiety in dogs. There are some that might appear to work but are just covering up the bigger problem.
Remember, you need to find a solution that fixes the problem and not one that masks it. There are different kinds of treatments that you can choose from today and one of such treatments is by the use of CBD.
CBD for Dogs with Anxiety
Even though it is not FDA approved yet, CBD has so far proven to treat many common ailments in human beings including anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. This is why it is no surprise that it can also be used to treat anxiety in dogs.
CBD oil or Cannabidiol is extracted from the cannabis plant and does not contain THC. It works with the body system to relieve anxiety and the same goes with dogs too.
Cats and dogs have an endocannabinoid system, which allows them to benefit fully from CBD. This makes it possible for this oil to relieve symptoms and fight things like:
- Pain (Both severe and moderate)
- Joint pains
- Chronic inflammation
- Digestion problems
- Stress and Anxiety
Choosing the Best CBD Products for Your Dog
CBD for dogs can be found in the shape of treats, tinctures, topical creams, and extracts and all have a variety of potency. All CBD products are not created equal; there are a number of factors that determine the quality of the end product and it might be hard to tell which product is the best. When using CBD for dogs with anxiety, try and find out the following:
- How it was processed
Because there are no regulations yet on how CBD should be extracted or how the products should be made, there are companies who are taking advantage of this and making substandard products. Try and know the source. Some manufacturers use butane and Hexane and these two petroleum-based solvents are not fit for consumption and can be toxic to your dog.
- Is it tested?
It is possible to find out the results of independently tested medicinal products and this also includes CBD products. These results can be accessed by the public and you can be able to know if the product you are buying has been tested or not.
- Know if the product is organic
Cannabis can now be grown using organic methods. This then translates to better and safer products given to the fact that no chemicals were introduced to the plant through fertilizers and pesticides. The pharmaceutical ethanol used to grow organic hemp helps to get rid of all the toxins in the plant.
- What is the THC count?
CBD products should be free of any THC, and if there is any, it should be below 0.3%. However, the amount of YHC on the product can be influenced by the way the product was handled during the manufacturing process. You want your product to have the least amount of THC possible if not none.
Dosage of CBD for Dogs with Anxiety
It is important to exercise caution when giving your dogs CBD. This is because the research on this is not as extensive and so far its efficacy or its dosage levels have not yet been proven. However, this product is recommended by veterinary doctors.
Before you give CBD to your dog make sure that you:
- Consult your vet
- Find out if your dog is healthy and this is where the vet comes in. If there are any underlying conditions proceed with caution.
- Note down the weight, size, and how active the dog is so that you can determine how it will metabolize the medication.
- Start with a low dose, maybe 0.25mg a day, and only increase if there is need. Be keen to watch how your dog responds to it.
- Buy only the correct potency for the size of your dog. If your dog is small then 75mg would be fine and 300+mg for a larger dog.
Remember, each dog depending on its breed, size, and weight will respond differently to CBD. While some dogs may show immediate relief, others might require a few more days to show any signs of relief.
Take note of any changes in behavior and discontinue medication if you sense any form of danger. More research is still being carried out on CBD and other hemp products, with time it will be much more easy to treat using it.
Still Wondering How to Calm Anxiety in Dogs?
Dogs are much more sensitive to cannabinoids than humans. This is why you should give small doses when using CBD for dogs with anxiety.
In order to see continued results, use the product consistently for a period of time unless your dog reacts negatively to it. Do not forget to read and research more on CBD and how to calm anxiety in dogs.
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