Dogs & Anxiety
Our dogs are our best friends–they are part of the family. And just like us, they have a full range of emotions that they express in a multitude of ways. Pets can experience anxiety from separation, new environments, people and more just as we do.
CBD provides general relief by targeting CB1 & CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system, which includes our skin, organs, brain and more. CBD oil affects any mammal with a backbone, so that includes pups! While CBD can assist in alleviating mental and physical stress, it’s important to know that the only way to fix a dog’s bad behavior is through consistent training and dedication.
We asked Allaire Burke, owner and head trainer of @hundhausdogtraining, for some advice in managing dog’s anxiety. Allaire has been a professional dog trainer for 2 years but has been dedicated to well-behaved pups since the age of 8. Starting at 4H dog obedience camps as a child then apprenticing at a dog aggression rehab in college, she certainly has a passion for helping & educating families and their pups.
How dogs express anxiety
Allaire says dogs often will express anxiety in different forms such as destructivity, excessive whining, tail tucking, hiding, panting, and neediness, among other behaviours. These stressors can be triggered by a multitude of variables, but some common ones include other dogs, being left alone, loud noises and new environments.
When dealing with a dog who is exhibiting anxious behaviours, It’s important to be patient & understand that some dogs – especially rescue dogs, could potentially come from a traumatic background and need a higher level of understanding to properly acclimate to their new life.
Training out stress
Don’t reward neediness
It’s imperative in the success of an anxious pup to not reward their neediness, instead help them build confidence by helping them understand the expectations in their new home. Rewarding a dogs’ flight response with affection only encourages it and can be habit-forming.
Allaire instead recommends owners give a well-known command, (such as sit) and allow the pet to calm down on their own–only once they’re calm should the owner reward them with food and affection.
Working through stressors
Head trainer of Hund Haus Dog training advises to identify your dog’s stressors and learn to work through them together, slowly. Be your dogs’ biggest advocate and always create distance between your dog and what’s creating this stress – for example: if other dogs stress your dog out, always switch to the other side of the street to create physical space.
Always start your training in your home under low distraction so they’re able to be calm and absorb what they’re learning. She suggests the best method to calm your dog when they’re stressed is to create physical distance between them and the stressor, always reward them for ignoring the stressor and choosing to be calm.
Dogs can sense your energy and will respond accordingly; if you’re feeling anxious or stressed, know your dog will then exhibit similar behaviours. It’s key to model the cool, calm and collected behaviour you want to see from your pup.
Allaire’s last tip is: “Be your dog’s biggest advocate and be sure that you have clear expectations set for you and your dog so you can build a strong trusting relationship.”
We encourage you to discuss CBD with your physician or healthcare practitioner if you have any specific health related questions or concerns. There are also many independent research studies about CBD available on the internet.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease.