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How CBD Can Help Your Pet’s Situational Anxiety

In all of its forms, CBD is quickly becoming a phenomenon. It has, over the last few years, become a mainstream alternative to conventional medication, and even though most of its medical ability abilities are yet to be proven, that hasn’t stopped users warming up to it.

As a remedy and source of relief, CBD saw major use by humans primarily. But now, with increasing research, looser restrictions on consumption and increasing acceptance, the herb is gaining entry into the world of pet medicine too. CBD is now being incorporated in food and alternative medicine for pets, including for conditions such as pet anxiety.

Hiking with a dog

Anxiety in pets

We normally associate anxiety with humans – cue anxiety attacks and panic attacks – but as research and studies show, anxiety is a common problem with pets too. According to a pet health study, anxiety is essentially the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in bodily reactions associated with fear, such as excessive barking or sudden urination.

Most dogs develop anxiety as early as 12 months of age and may live with it all their lives if not treated. In some cases, older dogs can experience a sudden onset of separation anxiety caused by cognitive decline.

Read also: How CBD-Infused Edibles for Dogs Are Made

Anxiety is commonly diagnosed in two types; behavioral and situational. The distinction between the two runs on specificity; behavioral anxiety is experienced by a pet over a longer period of time while situational anxiety is experienced over a specific event or happening.

One common example of behavioral anxiety is separation anxiety, which largely troubles companion pets as they grow older and lose their cognitive abilities. Such dogs fear to leave their owners’ sides or being left alone for long. The numbers are alarming too – over 14% of dogs are affected by the separation anxiety annually.

Situational anxiety in pets

Situational anxiety, on the other hand, can be triggered by anything from impending rain to cars to noise to footsteps. Sometimes, even necessary activities like grooming or going to the vet can be triggers for situational anxiety. Research also shows that over-vaccination of pets can be a cause/trigger; the pet develops extreme situational anxiety as a side effect.

Read also: CBD for Dogs with Allergies

So how do you know that your pet has situational anxiety?

For some pet owners, anxiety is easy to spot. A usually happy, excited cat becomes easily agitated and uneasy, or a lively dog suddenly stops in its tracks when it sees a car. But in some cases, anxiety may be hard to notice. In such cases, one needs to pay extra attention to diagnose. Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for include;

  • Sudden restlessness or pacing around,
  • Sudden urination or passing of stool
  • Sudden shaking or trembling
  • Sudden aggression
  • Intense barking and crying
  • Sudden refusal of food
  • Panting, sometimes too suddenly
  • Sudden intense licking
Picnic with a dog

Recommended remedies for situational anxiety in pets

Anxiety in pets, much like in humans, is a long-term condition that requires treatment to heal. Dog owners can choose between conventional anxiety medication or natural alternatives for their pets, depending on their need and stance on pet medicine.

Over the years, a number of anxiety drugs have been created, mostly for humans, including Xanax, Paxil, Valium and more, and most are also prescribed to pets. They’re known to work to a certain degree, but have over the years accumulated their fair share of bad criticisms, mostly for triggering side effects such as loss of appetite, increased aggression and excessive urination.

Pet owners still have other alternatives to consider, in the form of natural herbs (chamomile, St John’s Wort), essences (Bach Flower), essential oils (lavender, roman chamomile), homeopathic remedies (Phosphorus 30C, Gelsemium 6C), hydrosols and most importantly, CBD oils.

How does CBD oil help with situational anxiety in pets?

CBD oils are extracted from the cannabis plant. The cannabis herb is popular for its much like the herb they are sourced from, CBD oils have been found to have a number of medical benefits, including bodily pain alleviation, stress relieving, and easing insomnia, thanks to their natural composition.

Pets, much like humans, generate CBD naturally in their bodies using their endogenous cannabinoid system, which is made up of receptors entrenched in every organ of the body.

Consuming CBD oils or CBD dog treats essentially supplements the body’s natural production and helps in triggering the release of the serotonin hormone by the brain, mostly known for calming the mind. Coupled with its minimal side effects, this calming ability is the main reason CBD oils are prescribed for pet anxiety.

Read also: Natural Remedy for Dogs With Motion Sickness

How to administer

If your pet suddenly starts exhibiting signs and symptoms of situational anxiety, you can always give it a few drops of CBD Oil to calm it down. You can administer CBD oil to your pet using the dropper that comes with the packaging, by controlling the drops yourself out of a vessel, or by adding it to the pet’s food.

For situational anxiety, it’s important to understand what your pet’s trigger might be. You can then give your pet the CBD drops whenever that trigger is imminent. A good example is giving your pet a few drops before it rains, if you’ve noticed your pet gets agitates by impending rain.

Hiking with a dog

Notes on CBD oil quality

If you intend to use CBD oils for your pet’s anxiety, remember to do the necessary research on the best manufacturers to avoid impure components in your oil. The ideal manufacturer would have a website that explains their whole production process.  


Anxiety is a real problem in pets, and it needs to be treated. You might not easily recognize anxiety in your pet until you look closer, but once you do, please take the necessary steps to procure medication for it.

Pet anxiety can be just as debilitating in animals as it is in humans, and the longer your pet goes untreated, the lower its quality of life will be, regardless of the love you give. Otherwise, good luck with your pet!

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