If you have a dog that gets nervous during thunderstorms or anxious when there’s thunder, CBD pet products may be a beneficial option to solve the problems of you and your pup! Summer means increased thunderstorms in many places. While some humans enjoy the beauty of the afternoon storm, it is a nightmare for pet owners. Here we explain why your pet is scared of thunder, how to tell if they are anxious during the storm, and tips on calming pets. Causes of Storm Phobia in Dogs and Cats Several
CBD for Storm Phobia in Dogs
If you have a dog that gets nervous during thunderstorms or anxious when there’s thunder, CBD pet products may be beneficial. Dog thunderstorm anxiety is a real thing with classic treatment being desensitization to the sound of thunder using thunder sound tapes, the use of thunder shirts, and canine Prozac. The good news is that today there’s CBD that may be beneficial in easing thunderstorm phobia and anxiety in pets.
Sound sensitivity is more common in larger dog breeds like the German Shepherd, Border Collie, Retriever, Labrador, and the Northern breeds. Herding dog breeds also seem to be most affected to thunderstorm phobia. That said, this phobia can affect dogs at any stage of their lives.
Today, countless dogs are given anxiety meds like canine Prozac to help ease thunderstorm anxiety. In this blog, we’re going to discuss the association between pain and anxiety , and discuss how cannabidiol for dogs may be beneficial in helping with pain and anxiety in dogs.
Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder Storms?
Veterinarians explain that there are many contributing factors to storm phobia, and anxiety may stem from the following:
- Lack of environmental exposure to storms during puppyhood
- Genetic predisposition
- A pet owner’s anxiety during a storm may trigger anxiety in their dogs
Dogs that are scared of storms may feel the barometric pressure dropping, may react to the sound of thunder, lightning strikes, and even to the electrical charges in the air during a storm.
Signs of Thunderstorm Anxiety
As many as 40% of dogs suffer from noise anxiety with it becoming worse during the summer. Dogs that are anxious will display excessive fear, pacing, drooling, panic, and will also have an increased heart rate. CBD research has demonstrated that CBD hemp oil supplements may be effective for pets suffering from anxiety. Dogs that suffer from storm phobia may do the following:
- Be extra vigilant
- Excessive pacing
- Tense muscles
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive licking
- Howling and whimpering
- Excessive destructiveness
How CBD Can Help by Relieving Stress
New research from Israel explains how CBD was beneficial in relieving stress in dogs that were anxious due to rocket attacks and the sounds of sirens. According to an early July report on the Maariv news site , dogs in shelters in southern Israeli communities are in need of R&R in the wake of repeated sirens and rocket attacks from Gaza. “Examinations conducted by veterinarians from the Israel Medical Cannabis Association show that over 50 percent of dogs have anxiety symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and pressing against walls,” reads the Hebrew media report.
CBD research has demonstrated that CBD hemp oil supplements may be effective for pets suffering from anxiety. One of the best ways of getting optimal benefits from pet CBD products for thunderstorm phobia is to first consult with a holistic veterinarian for a diagnosis, and then to get a personalized dosage for your dog based on his weight and medical condition.
Thunderstorm-phobia in Dogs
In “ Dogs Behaving Badly ” by Dr. Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, MRCVS, he explains that “even before a storm arrives (changing electrical fields?) they start to look anxious and begin to pace and whimper, sometimes seeking solace from their owner. As the wind and rain pick up and the storm rumbles closer, the state that some dogs enter can only be described as one of panic or sheer terror. It is even worse for the dogs if they happen to be alone during the storm, and many tear through the screens, some hurtling out of second or third story windows to the ground below and injuring themselves in the process.”
Dr. Dodman adds that owners of dogs with thunderstorm phobia often state that their dogs were mildly anxious during storms as pups and that this mild anxiety carried on for a few years before a cataclysmic worsening that could be related to a particular storm on a particular day.
A 2018 study on dogs with noise sensitivity adds that “ Dogs which show fear or anxiety when faced with loud or sudden noises should be routinely assessed for pain by veterinarians, according to new research.
Researchers believe that pain, which could be undiagnosed, could be exacerbated when a noise makes the dogs tense up or ‘start’, putting extra stress on muscles or joints which are already inflamed leading to and associated with a loud or startling noise,” via Science Daily.
Professor Daniel Mills from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences explains that they believe that undiagnosed pain could be exacerbated when dogs react to a noise that makes a dog tense up putting extra stress on inflamed muscles and joints, causing more pain.
The researchers explain that the “pain is then associated with a loud or startling noise, leading to a sensitivity to noise and avoidance of situations where they had previously had a bad experience — for example a local park, or a louder room in the house.”
The researchers concluded: “We found that these dogs which had pain do indeed show different signs, in particular, they seem to form much wider associations with the noise, for example, they would often tend to avoid not just the place where they had the bad experience but much larger areas too. These dogs also tended to avoid other dogs as well. The findings of this study are really important because they contribute to the dog’s welfare and improved behavior as pain could be identified and subsequently treated,” via Science Daily.
Another study has gained insight into how domestic dogs react to noises. “Our results suggest that the characteristics of dogs, their early environment, and exposure to specific noises are involved in the development of fear responses to noises,” says Dr. Rachel Casey, who led the study at the School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol , via Claudia Bensimoun, Animal Wellness.
Dr. Casey explains that “almost half the people interviewed reported their dogs showed at least one behavioral sign of typical fear when exposed to noises such as fireworks, thunder and gunshots, even though only a quarter reported their dogs were fearful of noises.”
Apparently the most commonly reported behavioral responses included vocalizing, trembling, shaking, hiding, and seeking people. Fear responses to loud noises from fireworks, gunshots and thunder appear to commonly co-occur, suggesting generalization between these stimuli. Interestingly, many responses to less salient sounds, such as traffic and TV noises, apparently co-occurred with other signs of fear or anxiety; but responses to fireworks, gunshots, and thunder did not commonly co-occur with separation-related behavior or behaviors linked to fear or anxiety.”
The study concluded that fear responses to less important noises (TV, traffic) probably reflect fearful personality characteristics (as with Penny and the truck-hating poodle), while those to very significant noises (gunshots, thunder, fireworks), may reflect specific exposures and experiences.
Desensitization During Puppyhood
Dr. Monique Udell, assistant professor of Animal and Rangeland Sciences at Oregon State University says that “Exposure to sounds early in life, especially those a dog is likely to encounter as an adult, is an important part of socialization,” “Think of humans who have grown up in the city versus those who have grown up in the country – traffic sounds at night are often less disruptive to the former than the latter,” via Claudia Bensimoun, Animal Wellness.
She goes on to add that “Puppies that have the opportunity to experience…sounds that might otherwise be frightening to them as adults, might indeed fare better in some cases, especially if there are other adult dogs or humans around who show either little reaction or a positive one, to those sounds. However, I think there is still a lot of research to be done on the conditions in which these general predictions hold true, and the situations in which they might not, and to what degree.”
Veterinarian Dr. Kathryn Lord teaches courses in animal behavior and has spent thousands of hours observing hand-reared puppies and wolves. She began to consider how early life experiences contribute to sound sensitivity and adds that “Dogs’ ears open around three weeks of age,” she says. “At that point, they have little or no fear of novelty. So this is a good time to start introducing them to sounds,” via Claudia Bensimoun, Animal Wellness.
“She goes on to explain that sounds they hear at this point, up through eight weeks, will not be frightening later. Fear increases as they approach eight weeks, so caution should be taken the closer they get to this age. It is best to introduce novel sounds when pups are in a comfortable and familiar place. Many sound phobias start from bad experiences with novel sounds. If dogs are familiar with a variety of sounds, they are less likely to develop phobias down the road.”
What is CBD Oil for Dogs?
Cannabidiol is a component of the cannabis plant that does not have a psychoactive effect when it is free of delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Pet CBD products should contain less than 0.3 % THC, if any at all. CBD is a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid and offers both therapeutic and medicinal purposes for humans and pets naturally in the form of capsules, dog treats, transdermal patches, and tinctures made specifically for pets.
CBD is the most important cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and has numerous medical and veterinary benefits. Unlike THC which binds with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD will bind lightly with CB1 receptors.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a supplement that supports natural healing in dogs. It is a good alternative to long term pharmaceuticals which may have side effects. Before using hemp-derived CBD for pets, it’s important to understand that a complete health check-up with your veterinarian and diagnosis is key to optimal health in pets. It’s also important to note that pet parents need to triple check their CBD pet product of choice to make sure that there is no THC.
A CBD study from Cornell University concluded that CBD works for pets with chronic pain, and demonstrated evidence that CBD effectively reduced inflammation and chronic pain in pets. The Cornell study also found that pets taking CBD did not build up a tolerance to CBD, so doses did not have to increase with time.
CBD Overall Benefits
Cannabidiol can help dogs with anxiety, and may also help with many of the same symptoms, conditions, and diseases in dogs as it does for people. Here are some other benefits that a high-quality, reliable CBD pet brand may offer:
- Pain reliever
- May help with canine depression resulting from pain
- May provide relief from cancer side effects like chemotherapy and radiation
- Promotes healthy skin and coat by preventing sebaceous gland cells from secreting too much sebum
- May provide benefits to dogs with neurological disorders
- Helps decrease inflammation in dogs
- May help prevent cognitive decline
- May be beneficial for cardiac health
- CBD may be beneficial in preventing tumor growth
- CBD helps with diabetes prevention by reducing diabetes up to 56%, and reducing associated inflammation in diabetic dogs.
- Digestive issues
- Blood disorders
- Fights off free radicals, and may prevent the development of cancer
The Benefits of the Entourage Effect
This is the synergistic interaction of all hemp compounds like cannabinoids, flavonoids, fatty acids, and terpenes. When all of these compounds work together they offer more health benefits than if they worked alone. It is thought to be better if you use all the beneficial compounds from the entire hemp plant and also opt for an extraction method like the CO2 method to purify, resulting in the product retaining as much of the plant for maximum health benefits.
What to Look for in CBD Pet Products?
- Hemp CBD should be 100% food grade
- Should be made using CO2 extraction
- No solvents like butane
- Full-spectrum lab testing by a third party for purity and potency
- Lab certificates need to be available for all pet parents
- Pesticide and herbicide free
- Made with non-GMO hemp
- High- quality CBD pet products with good reviews
- Numerous flavors in treats like pumpkin, turkey, sweet potato, blueberry with antioxidant properties work well with CBD oil.
Purchase from reputable US pet companies that have been in business for years
How CBD Can Help with Thunderstorms That Scare Your Pet
Summer means increased thunderstorms in many places. While some humans enjoy the beauty of the afternoon storm, it is a nightmare for pet owners.
Here we explain why your pet is scared of thunder, how to tell if they are anxious during the storm, and tips on calming pets.
Causes of Storm Phobia in Dogs and Cats
Several factors work together to cause thunderstorm phobia in dogs and cats. These include:
- Thunder – Pets don’t understand what thunder is and that it cannot harm them. The loud unexpected BOOM startles them and makes them feel afraid. Multiple reports have surfaced of puppies and older dogs suffering heart attacks during events associated with loud noises, such as fireworks displays and thunderstorms.
- Changing barometric pressure – The rapid change of air pressure in the atmosphere caused by the storm makes dogs uncomfortable and may even trigger a stroke. Your dog is sensitive to barometric pressure because of its keen sense of smell. Changes in pressure cause odors to move differently in the air. The dog notices this and becomes scared because they associate that sensation with the trauma of thunderstorms.
- Startling bright flashes of lightning – Sudden lightning startles pets. Dogs and cats show signs of stress even when there is a lightning storm without the thunder. They associate the streaks of lightning with the unpleasant thunder experience.
- Storms bring static electricity – Your dog may be sensitive to static electricity in the air. Rubbing a balloon creates static electricity that causes your hair to stand on end. Dogs and cats experience the same sensation all over their bodies before, during, and after a storm.
- Pets hear low-frequency thunder – Ever felt like your dog or cat can predict a coming storm? Fear behaviors outlined below may show up even before the storm clouds form. This is because our pets have remarkable hearing. They hear the approaching storm long before you do.
Signs Your Pet is Afraid of Thunder
Every dog and cat are different and has its way of expressing fear. Know what to look for so you know how to help your pet.
Common signs of fear to look for in your pet’s behavior during foul weather include:
- Ears pinned back
- Tail down or pulled between legs
- Barking or whining
- Shaking and pacing during thunderstorms
- Hiding or remaining near the pet owner
- Fecal incontinence
- Destructive behavior, such as destroying furniture or hurling itself against a glass window
- Easily scared by not-so-loud noises
- Body posture is low to the ground
If you think this kind of fear is nothing and will go away after the storm is over, it is a huge psychological problem for your dog or cat.
So how do you calm your pet during a thunderstorm?
How to Soothe Your Pet’s Fear
Your dog’s or cat’s fear is real and warranted, and they require support and help from you as their most trusted companion.
Some ways to soothe your pet during a thunderstorm include:
- Creating a haven your pet can retreat to
- Keeping their environment calm by closing the blinds or curtains and playing soft music
- Keeping guests away from your panicked pet
- Swaddling or wrapping your pet can help keep them calm according to research
- Using extra support tools like pet CBD
How CBD May Help Your Pet Cope
All-natural supplements, such as cannabidiol (CBD), may help ease the fear of thunderstorms. Pet CBD has a calming effect without the harmful side effects associated with anti-anxiety drugs.
Here are other ways CBD helps:
- Support nausea and digestive disorders – Pets, especially the younger ones, can suffer from nausea as a reaction to fireworks and thunderstorms. This is because the events are very uncomfortable for them and may also interfere with their diets.
- Plan ahead – Preparing ahead with cat CBD is the best means to counter your pet’s fear. Administering the product during the event can be difficult, plus the effects may not kick in immediately.
- Counter thunder phobia with regular use – CBD oil may help improve behavioral changes in pets by dampening fear’s effect on them. Offering CBD hemp oil for dogs and CBD for cats within an hour of the storm may help calm them down.
- Desensitize and award calm behavior with CBD chews – Desensitizing some phobias is possible with the right tools. CBD edibites are an excellent way to encourage relaxed behavior. Use them to train your dog to face the situation calmly.
- Improve sleep quality – One of the most important properties of CBD is its ability to help pets maintain a normal and relaxed disposition. It can keep your cat calm and even asleep throughout the entire duration.
Lose the Stress and Help Your Pet Overcome Fear of Thunderstorms
Storm phobia causes are different for different pets. For some, it is the thunder, while others are sensitive to the barometric pressure changes. You can soothe your pets with techniques like calming formulas of dog CBD or cat CBD when you observe the signs. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian before using any supplements.