By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy
As Florida continues through peak hurricane season, homeowners aren’t the only ones on edge when storms start ramping up. To furry family members, the sound of thunder alone can seem earth-shattering.
In fact, nearly one-in-five lost pets go missing after being frightened by thunderstorms and other loud noises, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Because much like their owners, family pets also experience fear, anxiety and stress.
One recent study analyzing more than 13,000 pet dogs found that more than 70% displayed anxiety-like behaviors. Of that total number, 32% of dogs had noise sensitivity.
While there are many ways to calm your canine or feline companion, one product in particular is becoming more common for helping with bouts of anxiety – CBD.
From peanut butter treats to bacon-flavored drops, higher awareness of CBD’s benefits has led to pet owners’ greater interest in natural pet products, which come in many flavors and forms.
According to Grand View Research, sales for pet CBD, or cannabinoid, have continued to surge globally each year for issues like joint pain, anxiety, epilepsy and other health concerns.
So, what do you need to know if you’re considering CBD for your four-legged friend?
How does CDB affect pets?
While there isn’t a formal study for animals yet, current research on CBD is promising.
According to scientists, cannabinoids interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the human body, a communication system that’s also known to be in animals. It plays a crucial role in regulating things such as anxiety, pain, mood and motor control and helps maintain balance in the body.
When it comes to CBD for dogs, studies have shown it can help pain and seizures. It’s also been used for anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and anti-cancer benefits. The American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation is sponsoring a study that evaluates the use of CBD for treatment-resistant epileptic dogs.
While there isn’t as much information when it comes to cats, who metabolize much differently than their canine counterparts, studies have shown positive results for decreasing anxiety and pain from arthritis.
Six ways pets can benefit from CBD
Some potential benefits of using CBD for pets include:
- Calming fear of thunderstorms, fireworks and other loud noises
- Easing separation anxiety and other anxiety disorders
- Relieving joint pain or physical discomfort
- Reducing epilepsy
- Helping mitigate cancer symptoms
- Alleviating digestive issues to boost appetite and reduce nausea
One important factor that pet owners need to consider before purchasing any product is quality. For your pet’s safety, make sure your CBD comes from a credible source.
Some CBD products can contain ingredients that may be toxic to animals, like THC, so try sticking to pet care products that contain little to none. Cannabinoid with less than 0.3% THC is considered safe.
Even with its benefits, pet owners should consult their veterinarian first to determine any possible drug interactions or side effects based on their pet’s current medications. A knowledgeable veterinary physician or pharmacist can provide guidance on product quality and safety, as well as formulation selection, usage and application.