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Can CBD Treat Your Pet’s COVID-19 Anxiety?

Despite all the quality time dogs are getting with their owners, the pandemic could be affecting their stress levels and mental health.

If there’s one demographic that’s had fun over the past couple of months, it’s dogs. While our mental health has been severely challenged by the pandemic and all of the stressors that go along with that, puppies have finally gotten what they’ve always wanted: unlimited time with their owners and really, really long walks. Like, extremely long.

Despite your dog’s happy face every morning, some new data finds that they might also be influenced by the pandemic. We know CBD works to calm anxiety in humans. But could CBD also provide relief for our furry friends?

Pets are much more perceptive than we give them credit for. Sleep Standard conducted a survey, hoping to learn more about pets’ experiences over the past couple of months. When speaking with pet owners, data shows that these people are experiencing anxiety, loneliness, stress and uncertainty over their future, and that they might be passing on these feelings to their dogs. Despite all of this, 91% of pet owners were happy to have a pet while quarantined, since these animals can help them feel less lonely.

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Pet owners also said that their pets were showing anxious behaviors, likely because of the large amounts of time that pets and their people have been spending together.

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Photo by Mark Zamora via Unsplash

Dogs’ anxiety is hard to spot, but it can present itself through aggression, biting on furniture, barking, urinating indoors, and all sorts of behaviors that aren’t “normal” for your dog. Data collected on CBD and its effect on pets is not that extensive; there’s some anecdotal evidence, but not a lot of scientific research behind it.

Some of the research that’s available suggests CBD could help dogs control anxiety, pain, stress and even depression. “Dogs have endocannabinoid receptors within its body called CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors regulate the release of cytokine (signaling proteins) that are a contributing factor for helping regulate mood disorders, such as depression. When dogs ingests CBD, it stimulates their CB1 and CB2 which give them the sensations of wellbeing and a calm state of mind,” says Andreana Pena, founder of pet CBD brand Blooming Culture.

Some veterinarians, however, aren’t ready to say that CBD is a viable option for dogs, explaining that there’s no enough evidence to discard any potential health hazards for pets. They advise on being careful and in monitoring your pet closely if you decide to give them a dose of the product.

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“However, we are truly unsure of its true safety and potential drug interactions with traditional medications. Therefore, there’s a very gray zone on this,” Dr. Adam Christman told the Huffington Post.

While CBD might work for your dog, whether you’re looking to provide them some calm as you go back to work or just want to take the edge off of some strange behavior, it’s important to be very careful. Talk to your vet and look for a product that has good reviews and a certificate of analysis (COA).

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