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How Does CBD Work for Pets with Separation Anxiety?

January 03, 2020 7 min read

Envy CBD
Introducing a revolutionized holistic lifestyle through responsible use of Full Spectrum CBD.

We love our furry friends as much as you do, and it's important to us to keep them feeling their best.  Whether you pet is easily stressed, suffers from arthritis, or has any other issue, you want to do everything you can to ensure they remain stronger for longer.  While no blog post is a substitute for veterinary advice, we though we'd share what we've learned about CBD for pets, particularly, with those with anxiety.  Interested in CBD for dogs or other pets?  Read on to learn more!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Our new cbd pets collection!

We've heard many reports from pet owners who've said that CBD has helped their pets.  With that in mind, we decided to bring our hemp-derived Full Spectrum CBD oil into pet product!   Our CBD Pets collection features a delicious bacon-flavored CBD Pet Tincture along with an irresistible, CBD-infused bacon-flavored Dog Treats.  Your pup is sure to wag their tail for these yummy treats!

what is cbd?

Let's back up a little bit.  What is CBD?  CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally-derived cannabinoid found in hemp.  By law, hemp was legalized and rescheduled as an agricultural commodity by the 2018 passing of the Farm Bill and as such, CBD products have exploded into mainstream.

When CBD enters the body, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps to regulate homeostasis by inhibiting or stimulating other bodily functions in response to perceived threat.  All mammals on this planet, including your furry friends have an endocannabinoid system, therefore, opening up the potentially therapeutic benefits CBD has to offer.

When it comes to the health of your pets, many vets recommend CBD oil for dogs, even as veterinary scientific research into this new treatment is still in its infancy.  Studies in humans, however, show that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety effects and can help with aggression, pain, seizures, muscle spasms, neurological disorders and more.

can cbd oil help my pets suffering from anxiety?

Anxiety can affect any pet, large or small, and the consequences can be destructive for the home as it may cause undue stress to both the pet and owner.  The two most common forms of anxiety are separation anxiety and noise anxiety (check out our exclusive article on noise anxiety here).  Luckily, thanks to CBD's inherent ability to manage feelings of anxiety, pet owners are now looking to the compound as a more-natural alternative to treatment versus other traditional forms, such as pharmaceuticals that are 1) expensive and 2) possess a wide range of adverse side effects.

understanding separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is mostly seen in dogs (but cats can have it too) and can affect any type of dog.  By nature, dogs are pack animals, and therefore, thrive in rich social environments. When left alone, dogs may start to feel anxious.  While you may know your schedule and when you plan on coming home, your pet does not, and this can lead to anxiety.

Separation Anxiety Can Have Many Possible Causes Including:

  • Over-attachment to owner(s)
  • An abusive background/past
  • Changes in routine
  • Lack of proper exercise or stimulation

Anxiety In Pets Can Manifest Itself in Many Ways:

  • Panting
  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Destructive behavior
  • Aggression
  • Having accidents in the home
  • Digging
  • Hiding
  • Trembling
  • Hyperactivity
  • Depression

Typical Treatment Usually Consists Of:

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Environmental Modification
  • Pharmaceuticals

treating separation anxiety

Separation anxiety in pets can be a heartbreaking and even dangerous behavior that is sometimes difficult to treat.  However, with some patience, consistency, and the right techniques, most cases can be managed and improved over time.  Treating separation anxiety in pets, most notably dogs, is best approached from a training and biological perspective.

Here are 4 tips to consider:

1. punishment makes everything worse

The knee-jerk response might be to scold or punish your dog when you return home to the trash being strewn about all over the floor, the baseboards are all chewed up, and several areas of the house have urine or defecation on it.  Research, however, is clear on this subject: Punishment makes everything worse. (Read: Chill out yelling bad dog!)

At the most fundamental level, separation anxiety stems from insecurity, meaning, your dog does not feel safe and confident when you are away.  Punishment makes dogs feel less secure.  Consider training your dog with positive, reward-based methods to help Lucky feel more confident.

2. replace the trigger with a more-positive association

This is called 'counterconditioning' and this is a training technique designed to reprogram an anxiety-producing trigger to give it a new and more positive association for your pet.  For example, let's say every time you put your shoes on, your pet assumes you are leaving and starts to whine to express its anxiety.  Chances are, every time you put your shoes on, you did leave the house, therefore associating the act with feelings of abandonment.  By changing the narrative of the feelings to be experienced by you putting on your shoes, your pet should now look forward to you doing so.

Let's say as you put on your shoes, you play with your pet.  Shoes on -a game of fetch! Shoes on - tug of war! Shoes on -a round of tricks followed by treats! Shoes on- you fill a hollow toy with peanut butter and more treat!

Associating events that lead to feelings with anxiety with more inviting games that exude feelings of fun leads to a calmer dog that you and your house will thank you for.

3. easing your pet into being okay solitude

This may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the ways you can actively teach your pet to gain more confidence with being along is to literally leave them alone!  This is obviously done in very controlled environments and is conducted in small amounts of time to help associate the absence of you with rewards.

First train your pet to be consistent in sitting and staying.  Typically, when you train your pet to do a trick, them doing said trick is often followed by heavy praise and most likely a treat.  This is called reward-based training and its effective for several things associated with the mental health of your pet.

Start rewarding your pet with a treat or a piece of kibble if they can successfully sit/stay for 3 seconds.  While you wait for the 3 seconds to pass, slowly walk away from them.  Slowly increase the time before reward over several training sessions.  Remember to not react to failure and instead focus only on success.

Once you have a solid sit/stay command, try doing this trick by you being on the other side of an open door.  Reset back down to 3 seconds and slowly increase the time from there.

4. introducing cbd into the mix

In addition to training techniques, you can look to CBD and its inherent ability to manage anxiety.  While there are pharmaceuticals out in the market to effectively suppress feelings of anxiety, the long-term risks are often fatal for your pet.

Due to CBD being a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, it has been scientifically demonstrated to significantly reduce anxiety thanks to the way it interacts with the HT1A receptor located throughout the central nervous system.

Introducing CBD into your pet's meals or even as a treat during training can show a lasting impact on your pet's overall health, including its mental health.  Be sure to follow the dosing guide on the product's packaging to ensure your pet gets the optimal dose.                            

is cbd safe for pets?

If CBD wasn't safe for pets, we can assure you that we wouldn't be offering it!  Pets are a part of our family and we understand how important it is to keep them safe and healthy.  CBD is a naturally-derived compound and in many cases, helps to boost your pet's wellness and allow them to stay stronger for longer.

Before you consider introducing CBD into your pet's wellness routine, however, please consult with your veterinarian.  If your pet is on existing medication, CBD might interact with it.  We are neither medical professionals nor veterinary professionals, so please do your due diligence and research before making an informed decision.

does cbd have side effects for pets?

One of the best things about CBD is that its side effects are significantly less intense as other over-the-counter or prescription-grade drugs.  Occasionally, CBD may causes drowsiness when taken in large amounts or a slight boost in energy.  It's worth noting that CBD may not be particularly effective for some pets.  If you are noticing your pet experiencing unwanted side effects or nothing at all, talk with your vet about changing its dosage.  Often, it just takes a bit of experimentation to land on the perfect dose for your pet's individual needs.

Our Products

As most pet owners know, it can be tricky to give your pet their supplements or medications. Have you ever tried to hide a pill in cheese or peanut butter, only for your pet to spit it out? Thankfully, there are some options designed to get around that problem - no pills necessary!

CBD PET TINCTURE

These options come in liquid form. You can easily add a few drops to your pet's food each day. The dropper system allows you to adjust the dose up or down with ease. Some CBD oils are flavorless, but as a bonus, you can buy flavors that your pet will really enjoy (like bacon)!

Our CBD Pet Tincture is formulated with hemp seed oil, MCT oil, delicious bacon flavoring, and - of course - Full Spectrum CBD oil!


cbd dog treats

These are like the tasty treats your dog knows and loves, but with all the incredible benefits CBD has to offer! They're easy to administer at any time of the day, with a meal or without. You can take them on-the-go if needed.

Our CBD Dog Treats include delicious ingredients like bacon, peanut butter, chicken brother, and - of course - Full Spectrum CBD oil.


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