• Wellness
  • by Skippack Pharmacy
  • November 1, 2023
  • 118
  • 0

ANXIETY AND CBD FOR OUR PETS

CBD Knowledge for Pets and Pet Owners | EarthWise Pet Bentonville

Whether it’s fireworks around the Fourth of July or a late summer thunderstorm, loud noises can trigger bouts of extreme anxiety for your pets. These episodes of severe anxiety are not good for the health and overall wellbeing of your furry companion. In recent years there has been much consideration about how to overcome sound induced anxiety in pets and it has been found that CBD just might be the answer we have been looking for.  

 

Why are your pets afraid of loud noises?

This fear is mostly due to the extremely loud noise that the fireworks or thunder emits. While we as humans might be startled or have a rush of adrenaline, we usually can calm down pretty quickly because we understand what fireworks and thunder are and why they are making such loud noises. On the other hand, our pets don’t understand why these noises are happening. The noises are all-encompassing and continue for long periods of time and our pets tend to get more and more frightened with each sound. Additionally, pets tend to get more frightened from loud noises as they grow older. 

In a 2015 study conducted by Applied Animal Behavior Science it was found that roughly 21% of dogs and 46% of cats showed high levels of fear during fireworks. Of these, 6% were injured because of their fear-based reactions.

Some of the most common signs of sound anxiety that pets exhibit include: shaking, seeking comfort, salivating, urinating, hiding, and vocalization.

What is CBD?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the main derivative found in cannabis and hemp. CBD does not contain THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – which is the psychoactive component found in marijuana. THC is thought to be 4-6 times more toxic in canines than humans.

It is important to make sure that you are choosing hemp products, rather than marijuana products, as these do not contain significant THC levels. 

  • Marijuana-derived products can contain up to 12% THC
  • Hemp-derived product contain 0.3% or less THC 

In addition to helping with anxiety, CBD products may help with inflammation, seizures, skin issues, and pain relief.

 

How will your pet react?

Side effects are rare, but when they do happen they are often similar to what we see in humans. These include :

  • Dry mouth = this is caused by a lowered production of saliva that can lead to dehydration. It is important to ensure that your pet has plenty of access to water. 
  • Lethargy = CBD promotes relaxation in animals. Usually this just leads to sleepiness which can be beneficial in environments with high stress levels, however it is important to notice if your pet is becoming too drowsy as this will let you know if the dosage should be lowered
  • Lowered blood pressure = sometimes when giving a high dose of CBD your pet can experience a slight decrease in blood pressure. The drop is usually not very significant but it can cause symptoms of lightheadedness.
  • Diarrhea = this usually happens because of new components to your pet’s dietary regimen. This means that this gastrointestinal distress is likely not caused by the CBD itself but rather having this new addition to their diet, which is especially seen with CBD oils.

CBD products may also be associated with slight liver toxicities, so if your pet has preexisting liver conditions it is best to be aware of this potential risk.

To try to avoid the worst of these common side effects, try to introduce your pet to CBD slowly. This will allow you to ensure that they take well to it and you can adjust the dosage as needed.

 

Is it safe?

Like many herbal supplements and pet products, CBD has not been approved by the FDA for safety and efficacy standards. This is mostly due to the limited research that has been conducted on the subject. It has been found the THC-containing products are toxic to pets and should be avoided as much as possible. This means that the best products for pets are those derived from hemp rather than marijuana. When in doubt of how much CBD is in a product you can check for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) with the company of the products. This document states that there are no toxic contaminants in the product and it also provides an in depth breakdown of the components included. The COA also ensures that the product has a THC level of 0.3% or less.

It is a good idea to proceed with caution and watch your pet to make sure they are taking well to this new product. If you have any concerns at all, it is best to contact your veterinarian.

 

Types of CBD products

CBD comes in a variety of pet friendly forms, including: oils, bites and chews, and topical formulations.

Oils

  • These come with a dropper that is usually 1 mL in size, which allows easy administrations of drops directly into your pet’s mouth. 
  • It is best to administer these oils sublingually, which is directly under the tongue, as this allows for better and faster absorption into the blood system.
  • It might be beneficial to administer at meal times

Bites and chews

  • These can come in various sizes and shapes 
  • Many include ingredients like coconut, peanut butter, and turmeric. This will make it more likely that your pets will enjoy eating these products.
  • Some companies make CBD-infused peanut butters and coconut oils
  • All this makes it easier to add this to your pets current diet and health regimen

Doses

  • When it comes to dosages it is recommended to start low and progressively get higher. This is to ensure that your pet takes well to this new product and that they don’t experience any serious adverse side effects. It also allows you to know which dose works better for your pet. Every pet is different and some need more or less than others. It is important to know what works best for your pet.

*It is important to note that CBD often takes about 30 minutes to show peak effect so it would be most beneficial to give your pet the CBD before the fireworks or thunder is planned to start.*

 

Other ways to help your pets

In addition to using CBD products, you can also attempt to comfort your pets by other means. One of the best ways to do this is to keep them inside in a quiet and comfortable place away from the loud noises. Be sure to have their favorite toys, blankets, and comfort items in this area to try to keep them as calm as possible. It can also be beneficial to wrap or swaddle your pets with something slightly weighted to create a calming effect. This acts similarly to weighted blankets for humans and can help lower their anxiety, however you need to make sure to not have them weighted down too much to the point where they can’t move on their own as this could exacerbate the situation. 

Skippack Pharmacy carries a wide variety of CBD products for pets. Stop by or call our pharmacy for more information about these products and more!

Sources – 

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/ 

https://www.bestfriendspetcare.com/news-tips/cbd-for-your-dog-most-important-questions-answered

https://www.chillpaws.com/blogs/news/do-fireworks-scare-your-dog-see-how-cbd-can-help

https://cbddoghealth.com/cbd-for-firework-anxiety-in-dogs/ 

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