Supplements | August 6, 2019
Many people investigating CBD for dog anxiety or as a cat calmative want to help their pet overcome reactions to regular occurrences. But how do you know if CBD will work as a calmative for your animal?
While no one can guarantee that CBD will work for your dog or cat, many owners report that their animals seem calmer and better able to face stressful situations when taking this supplement. To find out when CBD can be used for anxiety, and how best to administer it, we talked to Franny Istari, who is an Instructional Designer in Mud Bay’s Learning and Development department.
FI: Hemp CBD is best used as a long-term or short-term calmative for anxiety. I would recommend it when somebody has already tried other avenues to reduce anxiety, but it’s not working for their pet.
Often, we’ll have someone come in with a dog who has separation anxiety or a cat who’s having a hard time adjusting to change, Muddies will suggest they try a calmative like Calm Shen or Happy Traveler. We always want to determine if a dog or cat needs a long-term or short-term calmative for their specific needs. But if that doesn’t work for you, you could potentially add CBD or consider moving to CBD.
FI: Some animals do have an immediate response to hemp CBD, but it’s not enough animals that we’d recommend it for use as an emergency calmative. Hemp CBD works best if you’re using it over a period of days to weeks to months rather than a one-time use.
FI: Emergency use is something that is unpredictable and happens immediately. Dogs that are afraid of thunder and lightning might respond well to an emergency calmative.
Short term use would be something like the Fourth of July. You know it’s coming, you know there will be fireworks, so a few days before, you start using a calmative like hemp CBD to help them with their anxiety.
Long-term use is for a dog or cat who’s chronically unhappy or anxious. Maybe you bring a new baby home, and the cat is just really unhappy about the change in his environment. Because cats can take a long time to adjust to change, maybe you expect to use a calmative for three months or so, and then reevaluate.
Long-term use is also for dogs and cats that have deep-rooted anxiety that never resolves. For these animals, using a long-term calmative can improve their daily lives.
FI: I have a reactive dog, and I felt using a calmative improved our training sessions. Depending on the cause of reactivity, the dog might be anxious all the time. Therefore, using a calmative that prevents the dog from becoming stressed out can help you reach them in the moment and help them learn positive behavior.
Once a dog is hysterical, it’s very difficult to train or redirect in that moment. So, I think testing a calmative or combination of calmatives with your dog can be very beneficial when combined with training. Over time, you could probably work on lessening calmative use after your training begins to produce consistent results.
FI: It varies by animal. I would start by looking at the package and starting at a half dose. Then, I would slowly increase the amount until I saw the results I was looking for. If I was more than double the recommended dose and not seeing the results I wanted, I would consider that CBD might not be the best option for my pet.
Hemp CBD tinctures are the most bioavailable option. However, the best CBD product will be the best option you can reliably administer. Anxious dogs and cats may feel even more anxious administering a tincture. In those cases, using a hemp CBD treat or another form of CBD might be the best option.***