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One of the most common uses of pet CBD is for anxiety, but it can be hard for first time pet parents to recognize the symptoms. Unlike people, your pets can’t tell you they are feeling anxious so it’s up to you to look for the signs. Anxiety is the anticipation of future danger from unknown or imagined sources that causes the body to react in a way that is associated with fear; the most common visible behaviors are elimination, destruction, and excessive vocalization.
Fortunately, there are several key indicators of anxiety in pets. Although it is important to remember that dogs and cats can present differently, this article will focus mostly on canines. Even different breeds of dogs can show their anxiety in different ways. Odessa Gun, founder of Odessa’s Essential Health and experienced pet parent, has fostered over 300 animals and has 11 permanent pet residents. She explained that “the truth is in their body language. They may shiver, tremble, hide, defecate, vomit or display abnormal or unsavory behavior.” They can also destroy furniture, tuck their tails, bark excessively, pant, or display repetitive behaviors. In cats, look out for nervous purring, maintaining a defensive posture, and over-grooming leading to bald patches. Sometimes this behavior can be triggered by a place, activity, or person. Other times it can be generalized.
Just like people, dogs with anxiety will try and escape from situations where they feel uncomfortable. You will primarily notice these signs in situations where there are more people present like a get-together or a party. Of course loud noises and bright lights can also cause anxiety, which is why the 4th of July is a difficult time for pet owners.
Sometimes we aren’t sure what causes anxiety, but many experts think that dogs that come from puppy mills could have higher chances of anxiety due to the conditions they were exposed to shortly after birth. Many rescue dogs may also have trauma from their previous experiences that can cause anxiety. Dogs can become anxious and behave differently as they age. Odessa has noticed that some of her dogs tend to get “picky, easily frightened” and present symptoms that are “almost dementia-like.” Sometimes Central Nervous System toxins, like lead or certain viruses can also change dog behavior.
Odessa gave us one recent example of anxiety that she experienced. “ A friend’s dog, Reno, was terrified of the car and my friend is a nomadic adventure seeker, so something had to change. After exhausting every possible solution she found CBD and it changed their lives and fixed the problem.”
Another common cause of anxiety in pets is separation. This can lead to some pretty serious home repair bills if your dog tears up your couch every time you go to work! Odessa’s general advice for cases of anxiety is to give your pet “ extra love and care. Give them lots and lots of consistency, stability, love, more love… and CBD.” Other solutions include weighted dog blankets, creating a safe space for the pet such as an open crate or corner, exercise, and encouraging the dog to focus on you and not the cause of anxiety.
Many pet owners have turned to CBD which can help pet anxiety. We’ve heard from many pet parents that have seen huge changes in their furry friends. If your pet is living with anxiety, Odessa recommends starting with a small dose of CBD and gradually increasing until you begin to see changes. Of course we suggest you visit your vet first, as there may be a medical condition causing the anxiety. Most importantly, remember that your pet is lucky to have you and that you are their greatest source of comfort when they are experiencing fear and anxiety, so give them lots of love and attention.