Training and consistency go a long way when it comes to helping your behaviorally challenged dog, but it doesn’t always work on its own. There’s been a big push in recent years to medicate dogs for reactivity, anxiety, and fear, but CBD hemp oil is a much better alternative than many of the drugs being prescribed. Learn what CBD oil is, what it isn’t, and how it can help your dog’s behavior. But FDA warns: Not every CBD tinctures are safe! Read more Can CBD oil help with dog training for phobias and other behavioral problems? Explore how hemp oil may support canine behavior modification training.
Can CBD Hemp Oil Help Dogs with Anxiety and Reactivity?
I’m a holistic relationship-based dog trainer, so I always cringe a little bit when I hear people are medicating their behaviorally-challenged dogs with drugs like Prozac. Most dogs who have anxiety, are fearful, or fear reactive can be helped with proper training and the right support from their human parents.
Until they can’t.
It can be heartbreaking to see your best buddy stressed out. Sometimes stress in dogs can manifest as separation anxiety, fear of people, places, noises, or objects, reactivity, incessant barking, and even aggression. Training and consistency go a long way when it comes to helping your dog calm down, but it doesn’t always work on its own.
There’s been a big push in recent years to medicate dogs for anxiety and the behavior that it causes, but CBD oil is a much better alternative than many of the drugs being prescribed.
What Causes Behavior Issues Like Anxiety, Aggression, and Reactivity?
Fear and stress are natural biological responses when there is a perceived threat to an animal’s safety and wellness. An example would be if your dog is in your backyard and senses a coyote or other predator on the other side of the fence. He’s going to get nervous about it, which is normal. When the predator leaves, most dogs will go back to whatever they were doing.
Having a healthy sense of anxiety in the wild when it’s necessary is actually a good thing because it keeps a dog safe from harm. (1) The problem is when anxiety becomes chronic or “irrational.”
What affects the dog’s behavior:
genetics, relationship, age, food, stress, health, location, sex, nutrients, water, purpose, exercise.
We think our dogs have it so easy. They get fed regularly, a roof over their head, and lots of love. Dogs appreciate it, but living in a house can cause more anxiety than being out in the wild because our pets are essentially prisoners when they’re in our care.
Think about it. from young age, the only access to fresh water they have is what we provide. The only food they get comes from us. Their health depends on us. Quite often they can’t even go to the bathroom or exercise without an escort.
These conditions can cause an enormous amount of stress for a dog, and can be responsible for separation anxiety, destructive behavior, reactivity, and resource guarding. Many dogs are terrified that they’re going to starve to death when you leave the house.
Another thing that can cause anxiety is trauma. Physical or mental abuse, environmental changes, or a sudden shock can all contribute to a dog’s stress. Most dogs have at least one or two traumas.
Genetics and physical problems can also be responsible for anxiety. Dogs with an illness, pain, food and environmental allergies, medical conditions like thyroid disorders, heart disease, Cushing’s, or cognitive impairment, commonly exhibit symptoms of stress.
A dog who isn’t fully confident in their owner’s ability to take care of problems or doesn’t have a clear job description can have constant anxiety.
How is Anxiety Normally Treated in Dogs?
Vets and behavior specialists should be the first line of defense in helping a dog heal from anxiety. Once their assessment is made and it’s established that training or a health issue isn’t the problem, most vets choose medication as the other option.
If a dog has a specific fear, like thunderstorms or riding in the car, a vet can prescribe a short-term anti-anxiety medication. They’ll also prescribe daily medication for dogs with chronic anxiety.
Common medications prescribed by board certified behaviorists are Prozac, Xanax, Valium, and Elavil, but these drugs were designed specifically for human use, and they can give your dog some awful side-effects. Here are a few:
Lethargy and sleepiness
Memory and learning issues
The problem with giving anxious dogs (especially guardian breeds) a medication that makes them feel impaired, is that it can make the anxiety a lot worse. I have seen this time and again with dogs that I’ve been called in to work with.
There are times when medication is the only option, but I personally feel that some behaviorists rely on it more than they should, and they don’t take the time to properly evaluate the situation at home. Regardless, CBD hemp oil is a much better solution than drugs for a number of different reasons.
The studies confirmed
CBD supports COVID-19 Treatment Researchers at the University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute have recently published a peer-reviewed article suggesting that CBD could be included in the treatment regimenfor the COVID-19 coronavirus. Researchers say that both THC and CBD appear to reduce the severe lung inflammation associated with the virus.
The article was published in this month’s issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, the authors concluded that, “Collectively, these findings support the investigation of cannabinoids as a plausible option to be added as an adjunct to Remdesivir or any new antivirals on SARS-CoV2 induced lung inflammation.”
Study at Cornell University shows that older dogs with osteoarthritis benefit from CBD. They compared it against placebo, for one month resulting to modestly reduced pain and increased activity levels (the tasks tested were: rising to standing, walking, running, and climbing) as reported by the dogs’ owners, it reduced joint pain upon touch when examined by a veterinarian.
What CBD Hemp Oil Is. And What It’s Not
Let’s clear the air of any misconceptions folks often have about CBD hemp oil.
Both hemp and marijuana come from the same family of plants called cannabis. They have very similar healing properties, but with one big difference; one gets you high and one doesn’t.
THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana that causes impairment. Marijuana plants have up to 30% of the heady stuff, while hemp contains less than 0.3%. CBD is the healing compound found in both hemp and marijuana, but in hemp plants it has almost no discernible amounts of THC.
Since hemp CBD doesn’t have THC in it, it won’t make your dog high. It’s also legal in all 50 states in the USA, as well as in most other countries.
While there haven’t been many studies of CBD and anxiety in dogs, it doesn’t matter because a metadata study found that it affects all mammals the same way. (2) That’s because we all have an endocannabinoid system in our body, or ECS, which mediates cannabis in the same way.
Here are a few of the things that the ECS regulates in mammals:
Inflammation (including neuroinflammation)
CBD stimulates the ECS, which creates balance for these specific functions in the body.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure how CBD helps anxiety in any animal, but there have been multiple studies that show that it works.
Here’s How CBD Can Help Anxious Dogs
CBD can boost serotonin levels, help memory, improve mood, and decrease stress. It can also alleviate symptoms of many physical problems like pain that can contribute to reactivity, anxiety, and aggression.
A perfect example of just how powerful CBD oil can be is from my own life.
My wife’s dog Barnaby is 15 years old and starting to go blind. As a result, he’s become very dog reactive to the point that he’s borderline fear aggressive. When he sees another dog, his anxiety kicks in, which causes his prey drive to go over the threshold of what he can handle. Once he is in that state, it’s very difficult to get him to listen.
This is a common issue with elderly dogs, and can often be one of the first signs of canine dementia. It was disheartening to watch him go through this, as well as stressful for the entire household.
I’ve got plenty of tricks up my sleeve to help dogs who are reactive, but nothing worked with him. After finally realizing that he might be in the early stages of dementia, I researched natural alternatives and found that only the best CBD oil would be a Best viable solution.
Within a week of using it, his excitement control was almost back to normal. Unfortunately, he still had a bad habit of going after other dogs, but the CBD made it much easier to do the training work necessary to get his behavior back on track. An added bonus is that the heart arrythmia he’s had since he was young appears to be gone.
CBD can be used as a regular treatment for dogs who have generalized anxiety, but it can also be used as a one time treatment for a scary situation, like on a holiday where there are loud noises, or when traveling.
Use It in Conjunction with Training for Best Results
If you decide to use CBD for your dog’s fear or anxiety, it’s important to do training or behavior modification along with it. Dogs can develop coping mechanisms when they’re stressed, so the behavior as a result needs to be addressed.
An example is a dog who is terrified of the car and will pull on the leash to try and get away. CBD can calm the fear, but the dog is in the habit of trying to run for it. CBD can be used alongside techniques that can help desensitize the dog to the car, so eventually it won’t be necessary to use it anymore.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to help your anxious dog with his or her behavior, click here.
Great Benefits For Shelter Dogs Overview
Rescues and shelters struggle with dogs who show aggression and stress usually caused by underlying medical conditions. CBD may be an inexpensive solution for treating most of them. Here are some things that CBD can offer a shelter dog:
Reduces the severity of the illness
Improves the chance of recovery
Reduces the cost of treatment
Reduces the length of treatment
Increases the adoptability of the pet
Medical Conditions That Can Be Treated or Improved to Potentially Reduce Behavior Issues.
Helps with epilepsy and seizures
Reduces or kills tumors
Chronic pain reliever with no side effects
Relieve of arthritis pain
Remedy for anxiety and depression
Mediates joint pain caused by sprains, strains, and tears
Helps treat IBS and associated conditions
Cancer retardant and stopper
Remedy for anorexia helps switch to raw meat diets
Benefits the heart health and functions
Supports bone health
Reduces or delays feeling of nausea
Protects the brain and nerve cells
Regulates blood sugar levels in type 1 and type 2 diabitis and insulin sensitivity
CBD Oil for Leash Reactive Dogs
CBD oil can be a part of a training program to help address behavioral problems in dogs such as separation anxiety , aggression , and phobias .
Although we find that many of our customers have success using Lolahemp to help provide calming relief for their pets, we also believe that proper training methods can make a world of difference, especially for rescue dogs with neglect or abuse in their past.
We want to make sure our readers have all of the tools available to help their loving pups live happy, long, and healthy lives.
Raises the Reaction Threshold
One of the ways that professional dog trainers use CBD oil in training programs is to help raise the reaction threshold for dogs with phobias. Let’s take a moment to understand what the “reaction threshold” is and how it can help you with desensitization and reconditioning training programs.
The reaction threshold is a very helpful concept to understand when working with dogs who have any kind of phobia including separation anxiety, travel phobias, noise phobias, hyperactivity, or aggression in response to certain triggers. It refers to the moment that your dog becomes reactive when exposed to a trigger.
When reconditioning (the training used for most dog phobias), it is important to keep the dog under the reaction threshold. That is, you are looking for the moment when they are close enough to the stimulus that they are aware of it, but not yet reactive to it. Then, reward calm behaviors with tasty treats and praise, while slowly getting closer to the stimulus.
For example, consider a dog who is reactive when they see another dog on a leash. They may react by pulling on the leash and lunging toward the other dog even when they are 50 feet away. However, since CBD may help the reactive dog, they may only begin to react when another pooch is 20 feet away. This is called a “higher” reaction threshold.
When the reaction threshold is high, you have more opportunities to reward calm behavior in the presence of a diminished stimulus, speeding up the desensitization and reconditioning process.
Although not all dogs experience the same calming benefits of CBD oil, many of our customers say that Lolahemp has made a noticeable difference in their dog’s reactivity. So, using CBD for dog reactivity might be an answer, although you can never know precisely how much it will affect your dog.
Hear the story of Lilly the Border Collie , for example.
Helps Your Dog Focus
Some dogs have a lot of problems with focus during training sessions. For example, many food-motivated dogs get so excited about earning treats that they become hyperactive during training, offering random behaviors in hopes of rewards.
Others do great with training in familiar environments but struggle to focus around strange sounds, people, or other animals. While enthusiasm is certainly welcome during training sessions, hyperactivity can become a block to ideal learning conditions.
Again, the calming effect that many dogs experience with CBD may offer pro trainers and dog owners another tool in the toolbox of positive reinforcement-based training. Whether you are looking to rehabilitate a dog with significant phobias or teach a hyperactive Boxer some new tricks, CBD oil may help keep focus possible.
Supports an Active Lifestyle
Many of us train our dogs for athletic sports such as flyball, agility, dock diving, lure coursing, and more. One of the best things we can do for athletic dogs is to help support their overall well-being by doing what we can to reduce inflammation, soreness, and stiffness from a long or vigorous workout.
Unfortunately, according to the FDA, veterinary drugs prescribed for pain and inflammation can have dangerous side effects including gastrointestinal problems and negative impacts on liver and kidney function.
Lolahemp, an all-natural CBD oil made from organic hemp, is safe and available without a prescription.
Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
As dogs get older, soreness and stiffness become a barrier to the things they once did, including those fun training sessions. If your dog is getting up in years, then CBD oil may help you keep activity levels as well as interest in training up.
While many people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, it just isn’t true. As long as your older dog isn’t suffering, training can be a fun way to get their mind and body moving well into their senior years. After all, they brought their A-game into your life and they deserve to be supported in their golden years.
Many of our customers report improvements in mobility and interest in games for their older dogs after adding Lolahemp to their daily regimen.
CBD Oil for Dog Trainers: Lolahemp Affiliate Program
Are you a professional dog trainer who has already discovered the benefits of using CBD oil for the dogs in your care? We would like to invite you to give our organic, full spectrum, and lab-tested CBD oil for dogs a try.
We also offer an affiliate program that offers you a small commission for each sale through your unique URL with no obligation to purchase our product in advance or carry inventory.
Joey is the founder of Lolahemp. In 2015 he and his mother launched Lolawawa’s Pet Boutique, an e-commerce store for pets and pet lovers that donates a portion of profits to animal rescue efforts. In 2018 the son and mother duo launched Lolahemp after the success their own rescue chihuahua, Lola, had with hemp products. Joey & Susan are the visionaries behind the brand, oversee day-to-day operations & marketing, and run all of the company’s philanthropic efforts.