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Will CBD Help Treat My Dog’s Stress?

What you need to understand before buying supplements for your pooch

Stress is something much of the human population experiences – and the same goes for man’s best friend.

Dogs experience stress for a variety of reasons and it manifests in just as many forms. But what about treatment?

Well, you guessed it: there are just as many treatment options out there as there are causes and effects. CBD oil for dogs is rising in popularity to treat this frequently occurring condition. 

Rigby, one of the two Yorkies owned by Tricia and Rick gets CBD when they travel in the car between NYC and their upstate home in High Falls. Rigby becomes very anxious when he is placed in his box seat in the car and would howl and bark, especially during the first 15 minutes of the trip.

Rigby takes High Falls Hemp’s CBD oil and his barking, howling and stress melts away, until he sees another dog on the streets of NY, or other wildlife common to High Falls.

The Root: Finding What Causes or Triggers Your Dog’s Stress

Before treating stress with CBD for dogs or other methods, it’s imperative to have at least a basic understanding of where it stems from. Like humans, dogs experience stress for many different reasons. 

Some dogs are predisposed to stress due to their genetics or something specific may trigger your dog’s stress, or a combination of those criteria. Common triggers include, but aren’t limited to, loud or sudden noises, certain smells or the sight of a specific item, or travel.

Other dogs may experience what’s known as social stress: this occurs when a dog is anxious around other people or animals. Perhaps the most commonly known type of stress in pets is separation stress: an stress that occurs when your pet is left alone or his favorite person leaves. 

Environmental factors commonly produce stress behaviors in dogs. A common example many dog owners have witnessed is the effect a thunderstorm has, or fireworks. Many dogs are seemingly terrified of thunderstorms, often panting, trembling, and either hiding or remaining particularly close to their humans. 

Behavior: How Does Stress Manifest in Your Dog?

Dogs exhibit stress in a variety of ways and some may be more difficult to notice than others. Sometimes you may just feel that something isn’t right with your dog or they may begin doing something uncharacteristic.

Although not inclusive, the list of behaviors exhibited with stress may include excessive barking, trembling, panting, salivating or pacing. Any of these behaviors are cause for concern for pet owners as they always indicate something is wrong.

As a pet owner, it’s difficult to see your dog is uncomfortable, whether the cause is medical or stress. Unlike humans, dogs cannot simply tell us what’s wrong – it’s up to us to determine why he’s acting this way and the root of the cause. Because it’s so difficult to witness, many pet owners try everything they can think of to try and comfort their dog – including promising supplements such as CBD oil. 

Treatment: Where to Begin

It may seem easy and poignant to treat your dog’s stress with an over-the-counter supplement such as CBD oil and, in most cases, it won’t harm your dog. However, it’s also important to understand your dog’s stress and determine a treatment option or plan that will help settle the stress she or he is feeling before it even comes on and consult with your veterinarian before deciding on the best course of action.  

As your dog’s guardian, discussing treatment options with your vet is always the best place to start. If you begin noticing signs of stress in your dog, start a journal depicting the entire situation. It may seem frivolous; however, detailing your dog’s stress in full will help your vet and you decide on a course of action perfectly tailored to your dog. 

Things to consider which should be journaled are what happened leading up to the stress-induced behavior, what was going on during the behavior, and anything out of the ordinary that happened. Was there a thunderstorm or loud, sudden noise outside such as fireworks or a gunshot? Did you have company over? Did you leave at an unusual time or stay gone longer than normal? Did your dog meet someone new? If so, what did they look like or how did they behave? All of these can have adverse effects on dogs.

The journaling of your dog’s stress may help you in the future, as well, as you may be able to stop something from happening that will frighten your dog or you may be able to better prepare your dog and yourself.

What to Know About CBD for Dogs

Despite the rise in popularity and emergence of results from clinical studies, CBD is not federally regulated and cannot be prescribed by your veterinarian as a prescription drug. Yes, certain laws went into effect in 2014 that allowed for commercially available CBD products to hit the shelves. Along the way, various pet stores and veterinarians started carrying or recommending CBD products, but the rules about who can recommend CBD is vague at best. 

Not all veterinarians are familiar with CBD, but some are and are happy to make suggestions. Don’t be surprised if your veterinarian won’t answer questions such as “how much CBD oil should I give my dog?” or “Should I try CBD oil for my dog?” because they just do not know or are concerned about making recommendations for this category.

While many vets are excited by the potential CBD may have, many are still on the fence regarding its safety and efficacy; this is largely due to the lack of completed studies on the subject and unknown long-term effects. Many agree, however, that a high quality CBD oil for dogs is generally safe.

Purchasing CBD Oil for Dogs

Before committing to a product to help manage and treat stress in dogs, research the company that manufactures the product and ensure they have third-party testing for CBD along with transparency in their manufacturing process. A high quality CBD oil for dogs is much safer and more easily traceable than an unknown product found on the shelf of your local gas station.

In Conclusion: Making the Right Decision

It is up to you and your veterinarian to come up with the safest and most effective method of treatment for your dog’s stress. Implementing a small dosage of CBD oil for dogs daily may help curb anxious behaviors based on ongoing studies and trials, but much is still unknown regarding its true efficacy.