The weather’s getting warmer and the official start to summer is just around the corner. We’ve finally had a couple days consistently in the 70’s. Most of our yard work and spring cleanings are complete. We’re scheduling day trips, barbeques and weekends at the shore. As we all gear up to celebrate and enjoy the summer we sometimes forget to keep our pups’ best interests in mind. Whether you plan to include your dog in your plans or not, there are
many anxious behaviors and triggers that we must be aware of. The three things that come to mind during this time of year are dogs you get anxious traveling or in new places, dogs that get anxious when separated from their owner, and then dogs that get anxious at the sound of fireworks. All of these events can be very scary and traumatizing for your dog. Even if your dog is not destructive, their emotional state should be something that we are always aware of and prepared to help with.
The way I like to gage a dog’s emotional state is through their willingness to accept food. Initially I may use some of the very enticing treats we discussed last week, but what if your dog will not accept any food when displaying a form of distress or even eustress. One of my
favorite supplements to help anxious dogs, is the use of CBD products. Ironically, the use of CBD will also increase your dogs appetite and may make taking food seem more appealing in these stressful situations. Now I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of buzz about the use of CBD, but if you haven’t tried it yourself, you might not know where to start. With so many products out there, it is important to do your research and understand the differences between the brands and how each is administered. From oils to pills, soft chews to hard treats, honeys to balms, there are many different ways our dogs can get the relaxation benefits of CBD.
First off, let’s talk briefly about what causes anxiety in dogs. Not taking into account the effects we as humans have on our dogs in these moments of panic, but from a strictly scientific approach, when a dog has a strong emotional response to something, they will release stress hormones. These stress hormones will fall to the extremes of distress and eustress and can classically condition the dog to repeat the same emotional response if their
perception of their emotions is not balanced. When using CBD products, the calming and relaxation effects are due to the absorption by the dogs endocannabinoid system. Once absorbed, the CBD travels through the nervous system seeking areas or stress and discomfort. When anxious, CBD will reach the brain, allowing serotonin to be released and a calming effect to occur.
Now one of the many questions I get is, will my dog be high? The answer is no, your dog will not be high. The CBD used for dogs is generally derived from hemp oil and not marijuana. If you are using a marijuana based CBD, the THC will be removed and therefore offer the relaxation benefits without the “high”. In regards to preferred application, I like the edibles.
Super Snouts has a great soft chew that allows for 3-5x more absorption than the oil, meaning that they will last you longer with more benefits in smaller doses. This is important to consider because CBD products are not cheap. You can typically tell the quality based on the price. If you are going to use the oil, make sure to read the labels as to how much PCR is actually in each serving. What other oils are in the formulas is also going to be important, such as krill oil or MCT oil. I also strongly suggest that you give the oil without food, it will be absorbed much better.