‘Do dogs suffer from stress and anxiety?’
This is one of the most commonly asked questions by dog owners all over the world.
Unknown to many pet parents, our furry friends suffer from various health conditions traditionally thought to be unique to humans. Anxiety is one such problem.
One of the most typical types of canine anxiety disorder is known as separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is prevalent among dogs that are highly attached to their owners but left alone for extended durations.
Although anxiety disorders can affect any dog, older dogs are at a higher risk. As dogs grow old, they become more withdrawn from the rest of the pack. That means spending too much time alone. Without enough physical and mental stimulation, such dogs may develop severe stress and anxiety disorders.
What Causes Anxiety in Dogs
Hormonal imbalance accounts for the vast majority of stress and anxiety in dogs. Like all mammals, a dog’s body comprises a complex cell-signaling system known as the endocannabinoid system.
One of the core functions of the endocannabinoid system is regulating an animal’s endocrine activity. For instance, the system continually strives to keep stress hormones like cortisol under manageable levels. But when cortisol levels in your dog’s body rise beyond what his endocannabinoid system considers healthy, the animal may develop stress and anxiety.
In addition to hormonal activity, a dog could also suffer situational anxiety induced by stressors like fireworks, thunderstorms, strangers, traveling, or drastic routine changes.
And in rare cases, canine stress and anxiety might result from an underlying medical condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Check out an online cannabis store to get the best deals for yourself.
Symptoms and Treatment of Anxiety in Dogs
The symptoms to watch out for include;
- Destructive behavior like excessive chewing, scratching, or digging.
- Too much vocalization, including excessive barking and growling
- High blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Misplaced aggression
- Unusual bowel and bladder activity, such as peeing or pooing outside of the litter box
- Unusual feeding habits, including loss of appetite or overeating
While there are various ways to treat anxiety in dogs, herbal extracts like cannabidiol (CBD) and medicinal mushrooms have proven to be exceptionally effective. However, you need to be careful when selecting mushrooms for your pet. Medicinal mushrooms are very different from magic mushrooms Canada, so take expert opinion before selecting a product and administer it in the right proportions.
How to Treat Anxiety in Old Dogs
- Insist on organic CBD
Cannabidiol has always been obtained from the cannabis plant. But due to the ever-rising demand for CBD-based products, some manufacturers may opt for synthetic CBD products.
Unlike organic CBD that comes from cannabis, synthetic CBD is made through various biological and chemical processes in the lab, such as using yeast.
While synthetic CBD products are relatively affordable than their organic counterparts, they usually contain potentially toxic ingredients. Plus, synthetic cannabidiol is less potent compared to CBD, which’s organically-extracted from the cannabis plant.
- Consider CO2-extracted CBD
There are multiple methods to extract CBD from cannabis, including Carbon Dioxide Extraction and Solvent Extraction. As you might expect, each of these extraction methods has its pros and cons.
However, experts recommend the Carbon Dioxide Extraction method when looking for the best CBD product to administer to your dog.
First, CO2-extracted CBD tends to be purer and more potent as it contains minimal residues. Also, the CO2 Extraction Method doesn’t use flammable reagents, which makes it fit for consumption.
- Go for lab-tested CBD products.
There are thousands of CBD-based products marketed as effective against stress and anxiety in older dogs. But as an unsuspecting buyer, it’s difficult to tell whether a product contains high-quality CBD or not. In fact, you may never know if there are even traces of CBD in the product in the first place. That’s where lab-tested reports come in.
Before purchasing any CBD product for your canine friend, demand to see test results from independent laboratories. Once you have the report, analyze it carefully, keeping an eye out for the strength of CBD in the product and the other ingredients used.
When checking the ingredients list, especially take note of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels and ensure they’re as low as possible. THC, a compound in cannabis, causes euphoria, and you don’t want your dog to become intoxicated in the process of treating his anxiety.
- Consider the delivery method.
CBD products come in many forms, including inhalable, smokables, topicals, oral tinctures, and edibles. Obviously, it’s almost impossible to get a dog to vape or smoke CBD. No self-respecting dog owner would attempt teaching their canine friend to smoke or vape.
That leaves you with topicals, oral tinctures, and edibles. Topicals work best when dealing with a localized condition, such as inflammation on your dog’s thighs. But since anxiety is a condition that affects the entire body, your best bet is to consider either edibles or oral tinctures.
But then again, oral tinctures may be unideal for picky eaters. And as you shall find, most old dogs are generally fussy eaters. So, edibles remain the best CBD products to treat anxiety in older dogs.
CBD is highly effective against various illnesses in older dogs, including chronic anxiety and pain. However, you can only have better luck using CBD if you invest in high-quality products. Most importantly, remember to administer CBD to your pooch in moderation. An overdose could result in side effects like drowsiness and dry mouth.