Firework displays, while it creates beautiful and awe-inspiring moments for many of us, it can also be a source of intense stress and anxiety for our pets. The loud bangs, sudden flashes, and also the strange smell of gunpowder, can send our four-legged friends into a frenzy of panic and fear. So with the increasing availability and interest in Cannabidiol (CBD) products for pets, many people who are pet owners are curious and wondering if dog CBD can be the answer to managing their pet’s anxiety during firework seasons.
Let us dive in.
Also Read – CBD For Pets: The Comprehensive Guide
The Impact of Fireworks on Pets
It is not just a slight scare; many of the pets, especially dogs and cats, can experience anxiety during firework displays. The symptoms can range from hiding, trembling, panting heavily, and to more severe reactions like trying to escape or the pets showing aggressive behaviours.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound that is found in the cannabis plant. In recent years, it has gained attention for its potential health benefits to humans, like managing anxiety. This has naturally led to the curiosity about its effects on pets.
CBD for Pet Anxiety
Some recent studies have started exploring CBD’s efficacy in managing anxiety in pets. So, while there is a limited evidence supporting its role in solving pet stress, some studies have shown potential promises. For instance, a study from 2023 found that CBD could ease stress and anxiety in humans, but its effects on canine stress are less documented. However, numerous anecdotal accounts from horse owners suggest that CBD can really help in reducing anxiety symptoms in pets, especially during traumatic events like intense fireworks display.
How to Use CBD for Your Pet
- Consult with a Veterinarian: Before you introduce any new product or supplement into your pet’s regimen, make sure that you consult your vet. They can provide guidance on the right dosage that is required for your pet, and ensure that CBD does not interact negatively with any medications your pet may be on.
- Opt for Quality Products: Always look for high-quality CBD products that are specifically formulated for pets. These should be free from THC, the psychoactive component found in cannabis.
- Start Small: Begin with a low dosage and observe the reaction of your pet. Gradually increase it if necessary, based on the needs of your pet.
- Monitor Your Pet: After administering CBD, monitor your pet to make sure that they are not experiencing any adverse effects.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Here are some potential risks and side effects to keep in mind:
- Drowsiness: This is a common side effect reported in pets. Even though this may seem like a good idea when your pet is anxious, you have to understand that excessive drowsiness can potentially affect their daily activities.
- Dry Mouth: Your pet may experience increased thirst, but you can manage this by ensuring your pet has access to fresh water at all times. If your pet is experiencing chronic dry mouth, you should consider adjusting the CBD dosage.
- Changes in Appetite: Some pets may experience changes in their taste buds. It can come as an increased or decreased appetite in food. If these changes are causing your pet to lose weight, consult your vet for a solution.
CBD shows potential promise as a tool for managing pet anxiety, but this must be approached with caution and a deep understanding of the potential risks and side effects.
Even though fireworks are a celebratory tradition for many of us, they can be traumatic for our pets, and while CBD offers a potential solution for managing this anxiety, ensure to consult a veterinarian so you can get guidance on appropriate options for your furry friend’s wellbeing.
Dr. Jason O’Donnell works at Holy Cross General Hospital. He is a General Practitioner with extensive experience in cardiology, geriatrics, adult medicine, and internal medicine. Dr. O’Donnell studied at the UCL Medical School and holds a Doctor of Medicine in London in the UK. He also completed an internal medicine internship at London Imperial College. From here he went on to complete a residency in internal medicine at St. George’s London University. He is currently practicing adult medicine, cardiology, geriatrics, and internal medicine at Holy Cross General Hospital. Before he performs any operation, he first assesses the patient’s medical goals and concerns. After the surgery, he monitors the recovery of the patient and makes adjustments to the treatment program, when necessary. Dr. O’Donnell is also a proud member of Health for Humanity where he volunteers his skills in medicine for people in need across the globe.