Anxiety disorders are one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the world. They are characterized by profound tension and fear. Usually, an anxiety disorder can last up to six months and might get worse without proper treatment. That’s why it is crucial to seek professional help once you are suffering from any anxiety disorder. You might think that this mental issue can only be observed in humans, but the truth is, some animals also face the struggle of anxiousness. Pets like dogs and cats may suffer from anxiety disorders. Even some animals in the zoo are becoming mentally ill once exposed to several factors. These facets that can cause anxiety and depression to animals include animal abuse, loss of companions, loss of freedom, stress, and trauma. It is vital to be aware of these things so that you will know what to do once you see your pet having mental issues.
Symptoms of Anxiety in Animals
As a pet owner, it is important to know the symptoms of anxiety in animals. In this way, you can easily identify whether your pet is suffering from a mental health condition. Knowing the symptoms is vital in diagnosing your pets. Not only that, but it can also prevent you from misinterpreting their behaviours. Common symptoms of anxiety in pets include destroying walls, freezing in place, vocalizing (barking and meowing), and refusal to eat. Although some of these might be common to other animals, it is crucial to seek veterinarian’s assistance if you find them recurring to your pets.
How Can Animals Deal With Anxiety?
As a human, there are several ways on how you can overcome anxiety. For low-level stress, deep breathing, exercise, meditation, and yoga could be your coping mechanisms. There are several meditative practices that you can perform to deal with stress. The question is, how can animals overcome their anxiety? According to Dr. Katie Smithson and Dr. Tony Ashley, veterinarians in Chattanooga Holistic Animal Institute, there are preventive and managing ways on how you can help your pets deal with anxiety. Here are some tips:
1.Socialization – It is highly recommended to check your pets’ behaviour from time to time. Doing so will help you identify if they are showing some symptoms of mental disorders. Once they show you a change in their behaviour, you can ask your veterinarian about the things that you can do for your pets. You can also do some preventive measures to lessen the risk of animals from getting anxiety disorders. One way to do it is through socialization. This period of socialization is seen when puppies, kittens, and the like are able to adapt to different situations. Typically, this period ends before eight weeks of age. During this time, consider exposing your pets to people, other animals, and even to different locations to help them cope in different situations. Doing so can help your animals lessen their fear of seeing new things, helping them to socialize while they are growing up.
2. Acclimation or Behaviour Modification – Acclimation and behaviour modifications are recommended after socialization. It helps animals acclimate their triggers to lessen the anxious response. For instance, if your pet dog is afraid of meeting new people, you have to let them meet more people who will give them positive experiences. Let the individuals they meet give some treats to your pets, modifying their fear. Through rewards, your pets can ease their anxiety, knowing that these people are giving them some treats. With the continuous positive experience in meeting new people, animals can quickly adapt to different situations.
3. Medication – If socialization and acclimation are not enough to help your pets deal with anxiety, know that there are medications that you may consider. All you need is to ask your veterinarian what natural supplements and other treatments you can give to your pets.
CBD Oil for Medication
Some people who don’t find relief in a particular medication opt for CBD oil. It is also what some pet owners consider in treating their pets who have anxiety disorders. Medical marijuana has been an alternative solution for both humans and animals who are suffering from mental conditions. But what is CBD oil? Cannabis oil is a liquid extracted from marijuana plants. Unlike THC that provides psychotic effects, CBD can alter them. Some people who feel anxious felt relief after using CBD oil. On the other side, there are dog owners who also use CBD oil to treat their pets’ anxiety disorders.
According to Dr. Tim Shu, founder and CEO of VETCBD, the cannabinoids help animals alleviate anxiety, nausea, and pain. Not only that, but Cannabis oil can also treat arthritis, back pain, seizures, symptoms of cancer, and even gastrointestinal issues, which could be your dogs’ health conditions. It is vital to use the right amount of it when treating your pets to maximize the benefits of CBD. Always consult an expert to determine the proper dosage of CBD.
Potential Risks of CBD Oil for Pets
Like any other medication, overdosing can lead to potential risks. You can tell that your pets have overdosed if you find them unable to eat or stand. It is better to take your pets to a veterinarian immediately once you suspect a change in their behaviour after treating them with CBD oil. Overdosing could be life-threatening, so you have to be extra careful when using CBD oil for medication. Knowing the proper dosage is crucial to prevent overdosing.
Pre-clinical studies have shown the effectiveness of CBD oil in treating anxiety disorders. The relief was not only found in humans but to animals as well. It is why many patients and pet owners are considering CBD oil as an alternative to other medications. If you are taking CBD into consideration, then make sure to consult a doctor or veterinarian regarding proper dosage. They can also assist you in where to buy CBD oil. It is essential to know where to purchase this medication since not all stores have a license to sell these products. In some cases, you might need a doctor’s prescription to avail CBD oil.