CBD for Separation Anxiety In Dogs

CBD for Separation Anxiety In Dogs

Separation anxiety is very common with a reported 20% to 40% of dogs seen by veterinarians and behavioral specialists suffering from this condition. There are many overlapping symptoms with separation anxiety and other behavioral problems, so it’s important for pet owners to rule those out first. Before we learn more about CBD for separation anxiety, let’s take a deeper look at this complex issue.  

What Are the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety?

Every dog is different. Some may display one or two of these symptoms while others may experience all of them. Here are symptoms that can indicate separation anxiety:

  • Urinating and defecating: If your dog urinates or defecates while they’re home alone or separated from their guardians, this can be an indicator of separation anxiety.
  • Barking and howling: Being left alone or separated from guardians may result in barking and howling. If you can’t find any other triggers that cause this behavior and find that it’s only persistent in these circumstances, it’s a good chance that it’s separation anxiety.
  • Chewing, destruction, and digging: Some dogs with separation anxiety will chew on doors, window sills, or objects; dig at doorways and kennels, or destroy household items whenever left alone or separated from their guardians.  
  • Escaping: Dogs may try to escape from confined areas when left alone or separated from guardians.
  • Pacing: Patterned pacing behavior has been observed in some dogs with separation anxiety. These dogs may walk in circular patterns, walk back and forth in straight lines, or pace along a specific path with a fixed pattern.
  • Coprophagia: Some dogs may defecate and then consume some or all of their excrement. 

If any of these behaviors happen when the dog’s guardian is present, then it most likely isn’t a sign of separation anxiety. It’s important to isolate and determine when these behaviors are happening so that you can properly treat the underlying causes. 

What Causes Separation Anxiety?  

While there is no conclusive evidence explaining exactly why dogs develop separation anxiety, researchers believe that the loss of an important person or life changes are associated with causing this condition. Since separation anxiety impacts a significantly larger amount of dogs who have been adopted from shelters, it’s believed that loss, abandonment, and changes in guardianship are some of the biggest contributors. However, other life changes can also lead to separation anxiety. Abrupt changes in schedule, moving to a new residence, or changes in members of the household like a family member moving or dying may all cause this development.    

Treating Separation Anxiety In Dogs

For dog parents, separation anxiety can be a complex issue that causes heartbreak, confusion, and frustration. The good news is that there is hope and a number of treatment therapies to help. Once you’ve concluded that your dog’s symptoms are caused by separation anxiety, here are some tips in helping your dog cope with the condition:

  • Train your dog to adjust to being alone: When you’re home, this is a great time to practice this training. Have them stay in one area out of sight and leave the room for longer periods of time as they adjust. Giving them treats and extra attention right before you leave the room can help them develop positive associations with you leaving.
  • Create a safe space: Either practicing confinement to a safe area or crate training is an important step of this process. However, confinement, while they’re alone, can usually make this behavior worse. Train them to use this space when you’re home during the adaptation phase. When your dog is using the safe space, it’s best to fill it with their favorite toys, blankets, and treats to reinforce positive associations.
  • Consistent exercise: Making sure your dog has plenty of exercise before you leave them can also help alleviate this anxiety. Physical stimulation promotes stress relief and also helps wear them out so they can focus on rest while you’re gone.
  • Provide mental stimulation: Finding ways to keep your dog mentally stimulated while you’re gone can also help. Always leave toys and interactive options like treat balls. Lick mats have been shown to calm anxiety. You can also leave the TV or radio on to help keep them occupied.
  • Check-in during long periods: If you’re gone for long periods of time, having a friend or dog walker stop by can be really beneficial. Treat-dispensing cameras and interactive dog monitors are also good options for check-ins.

  • CBD for Separation Anxiety

    Since separation anxiety is a multifaceted condition that can cause a number of behavioral issues, it’s important not to rely on one solution for all of your support. While it is important to incorporate a variety of different training and coping methods, CBD can be a helpful tool during this training and may provide future preventative benefits when combined with these tips. However, CBD should never be the only thing you try when dealing with separation anxiety. 

    There is an overwhelming amount of positive preliminary data supporting CBD’s therapeutic value for anxiety. Additionally, there are many anecdotal reports and client testimonials specifically on successes with CBD and separation anxiety in dogs. Studies have found that CBD may work on multiple biological pathways to help calm anxiety and stress. One animal study found that CBD may address the learned fear response, helping reduce the body’s physical blood pressure response while reducing anxious reactions to fearful stimuli. 

    Tip: We recommend incorporating CBD into some of these training methods for separation anxiety. Try giving your dog CBD treats before you leave or adding some broad-spectrum hemp oil to lick mats for them to interact with while you’re gone. Make sure you’re introducing CBD while you’re home and getting your dogs well-acquainted with their cannabinoid regimen before leaving them alone.

    Rover’s Wellness for Dog Separation Anxiety

    Rover’s Wellness proudly offers premium water-soluble broad-spectrum hemp products that are ideal for helping support your dog’s separation anxiety. Our fast-acting formula enables quicker effects for calming anxiety and stress. When combined with proper training and care, our broad-spectrum tinctures can provide comprehensive relief for your furry companion. For more information regarding CBD for separation anxiety, please contact us!

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