"What can I give my dog for fireworks anxiety?" Full spectrum CBD has been proven to help calm your pet and manage PD and C-PTSD during fireworks. With July 4th coming up, pet parents are wondering, "how do I use CBD?" Your most common questions are answered in time for the celebrations ahead. For the third time, the FDA reminded us that it still hasn’t evaluated CBD products for pets.
What Can I Give My Dog for Fireworks Anxiety?
Is your dog scared of fireworks? I’m guessing the answer is probably yes. As the owner of a rescue farm myself, holidays with fireworks have been my least favorite. Every Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve holiday, my home was filled with panicked howls, whimpers, and the sound of dogs pacing. Before discovering the calming power of full spectrum CBD for dog fireworks anxiety, I wondered “What can I give my dog for fireworks anxiety?” Seeing the animals on my farm cower and shake every time a firework burst just broke my heart. Since using CBD for fireworks anxiety, the animals on my farm no longer shake, pace, or panic during fireworks.
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Is Dog Fireworks Anxiety Common?
According to a 2015 study, published in Applied Animal Behavior Science, which took into account 5,000 dogs of 17 breeds, the answer seems to be YES, in fact they found that:
- Dogs are more afraid of fireworks than they are of gunshots, thunderstorms, or heavy traffic.
- Only 10 percent of dogs exhibited fear of thunderstorms.
- Only 14 percent of dogs reacted to gunshots.
- Yet, 21 percent of dogsshowed “strong or very strong signs of being fearful” during fireworks.
- Fear of loud noises increases with age.
But it’s not just dogs who suffer when fireworks explode. In a 2010 study, surveying 3,527 dogs and cats, roughly 46 percent of cats displayed a level of fear of fireworks that was recognizable to the pet owners. The study also revealed that although dogs exhibit a more outward display or fear of fireworks while cats exhibit cowering behaviors, the duration of fear-based responses did not differ between dogs and cats. Of the animals observed, six percent were injured because of their fear-based reactions.
Why is My Dog Afraid of Fireworks?
Loud fireworks are often a trigger for panic disorder (PD) and canine-post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). PD and C-PTSD are more than just a reaction to fear. They can cause unexpected urination, defecation, vocalization, salivation, trembling or shaking, increased and unfocused motor activity, decreased motor activity or freezing, random destruction, and escape behaviors.
Beyond just pets having intense fear and panic reactions to fireworks, human anxiety can be triggered as well. This can then create a chain reaction, causing anxiety in your pets. Veterans and survivors of shootings are more likely to have an episode of PTSD on fireworks holidays. Also, children are often afraid of the sound of fireworks, which can then trigger cat and dog fireworks anxiety as well.
These panic responses occur because of the fight or flight reaction that happens in the body. When you, or your pet, is responding to acute stress and external stressors, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, due to the sudden release of hormones. These hormones stimulate the adrenal glands, triggering the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. It can take up to an hour for the body to return to normal after the threat is gone, which is why so many dogs continue to pant and panic long after the fireworks end.
The Dangers of Fireworks Fear
Exhibiting signs of fear can mean a wide range of things for different pets. For some, it means they are suffering from separation anxiety or general anxiety which often manifests through barking, pacing, and panting. But for others, fear and panic can lead to dangerous results. These panic reactions can be seen directly on my farm, Nina, a Doberman, and Odie, a miniature schnauzer, are terrified of fireworks. Their reactions range from barking incessantly to pacing, panting, and hiding – all depending on how close and loud the fireworks are. Despite living in an area with daily thunderstorms, noise anxiety is a very real issue for my sweet Nina and my sassy Odie, and it peaks during fireworks.
In recent years, multiple reports have surfaced of older dogs and even puppies suffering fatal heart attacks during fireworks displays. Additionally, during these noisy celebrations there are increased incidents of dogs running through sliding glass doors or running away. In fact, more dogs are lost on July 4th and January 1st than any other days of the year.
How To Calm Your Dog During Fireworks
- Keep your pet inside. Your natural instinct might be to let your dog face their fear and join you outside. However, they may panic and try to run away or become more aggressive. Instead, let your dog run and exercise outside earlier in the day and before the fireworks begin, bring them inside.
- Keep their environment calm. To avoid the bright lights contributing to your pet’s anxiety, close the curtains or blinds. You may find that playing soft music helps keep them calm as well.
- Keep guests away from your pet. New people can cause more anxiety in a panicked dog. If there are lots of people around, keep pets in their own calm space, rather than letting them roam.
- Wrap or Swaddle your pet. Putting something with weight or slight pressure on your pet creates a calming effect, according to a recent study. Just like weighted blankets can help people with anxiety, a comfortable weighted shirt or swaddle can give your pet a sense of feeling grounded and calm. Though be sure they are still able to move around freely. You can find vests, like the Thunder Shirt, at your local pet store. You can also save money by wrapping your pet’s chest in an ace bandage (but not too tight!!) to create the same effect.
What Can I Give My Dog For Fireworks Anxiety?
Despite all of the frightening facts about fireworks, if you’re still wondering ‘What can I give my dog for fireworks anxiety?’ there’s a safe, natural option: Full Spectrum Hemp CBD for dog fireworks anxiety.
A 2013 article published in Neuropharmacology also found that: “In addition to modulating basal anxiety states, recent studies suggest an important role for the endocannabinoid (eCB) and glucocorticoid systems is the modulation of emotional states and extinction of aversive memories in animals.” This means that CBD can help in facilitating extinction of negative emotion surrounding triggers, like fireworks, and helps manage PTSD and anxiety or panic disorders in people and animals. CBD has been shown to help manage PD, C-PTSD, and PTSD on holidays when fireworks will be used.
Even more interesting: A 2019 study published in the Permanente Journal found that CBD also has a calming effect on the central nervous system and is better tolerated than other psychiatric medications.
Although many vets recommend giving your pet children’s Benadryl, it is important to remember that this drug is not intended for animals and may have side effects. For example, Benadryl can put a strain on a dog’s liver and kidneys if they are already experiencing issues in those areas. So remember, when you find yourself wondering, What can I give my dog for Fireworks Anxiety? Remember, CBD is a safer, natural alternative to help your cat or dog’s fireworks anxiety.
Since using CALM: CBD Oil, the animals on my farm no longer shake, pace, or panic during fireworks. Instead, they are able to rest and nap despite the noise, without the sedative effect of Benadryl.
CBD Dosage for Dog Fireworks Anxiety
Cannabinoids in the hemp plant, including CBD, interact with the endocannabinoid system. Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system, which has receptors that instruct the cells how to heal and restore homeostasis in the body. Dogs have twice the amount of receptors than people, which means that CBD and other cannabinoids are incredibly effective.
Despite common misconceptions, dosing CBD has very little to do with your dog’s size and weight. Our CALM: CBD Oil for Dogs and Cats with anxiety has a standard dose (1mL) containing 9mg of CBD. However, your pet may need more, or less, CBD for fireworks anxiety. Some dogs have a more sensitive endocannabinoid system than others, so the optimal dose of CBD for dog fireworks anxiety can vary between dogs.
For example, even though Nina is four times the size of Odie, she only needs around 9 mg of CBD to relieve her fireworks anxiety. In contrast, Odie needs 20 mg or more to calm down. Two dramatically differently sized dogs who require dramatically different CBD dosages for the same ailment, because their endocannabinoid systems are not identically sensitive.
That’s why we have a range of dosage recommendations based on our experience and research. For noise and fireworks anxiety, we suggest a dose of 9mg before the triggering event. Then, if your pet is still anxious after 15-20 minutes, you can administer another 9mg until you see results.
If your dog doesn’t seem to be responding to the initial dose, it is perfectly safe to give them more without fear of overdosing. If you feel nervous about experimenting to find the upper limit of their sensitivity, rest assured, it is completely safe. Numerous studies have proven the safety of cannabis based medicine at even extreme high doses. Doses of up to 640 mg of CBD rich extract were well tolerated by dogs, with only mild adverse effects such as diarrhea.
How Else Can I Help My Dog Scared of Fireworks?
Frustratingly, fireworks do not actually need to have sound. In fact, many fireworks displays in Europe use so-called “quiet fireworks,”. A town in Italy even passed a law that all fireworks must be quiet. Currently, a few cities and towns in the U.S. are petitioning to enact similar laws. However, the number of petitions seem to be growing.
To get involved, find and contact your local congressional representative here to urge them to enact stricter fireworks laws. You can request that they consider requiring all fireworks to be quiet fireworks in their cities and towns. Until more quiet fireworks laws are enacted, you can do your part to help reduce fireworks noise by attending controlled fireworks shows in your community rather than buying your own.
How do I use CBD for my dog’s fear of fireworks?
As humans, we look forward to the celebrations with family and friends that a holiday brings. However, the nights where fireworks explode, laughter exudes and loud music fills a room, high anxiety can occur in dogs. In some instances, the anxiety can be so intense for them, they harm themselves accidentally when trying to escape what they see as chaos.
To ease anxiety and help dogs relax naturally, pet owners have the option to administer the natural compound, CBD. A common player in the health and wellness field recently, CBD is a powerful oil that helps reduce anxiety and stress in pets to keep them calm and feeling themselves. In fact, when administered in its pure state, a World Health Organization report states CBD is actually safe and well-tolerated by animals.
Like all mammals, dogs have an endocannabinoid system, which works in conjunction with CBD to provide various helping qualities. However, it can be hard to trust a new product and wellness area you don’t really know too much about – especially when it comes to a pet. So, it’s important to learn all the ins and outs of CBD for pets from the founder of CBD naturals company Bear Necessities Co., Halee Kalevitch, in order to make an educated choice.
First and foremost, understand that the dosage amount depends on the individual dog. Make note of the size, diet, age, activity, etc. since these variables have an impact on his or her ability to absorb the compound at different rates. To get the clearest answer you can consult a veterinarian for accurate numbers, but it is worth noting that there is no known way for a dog (or human) overdose from CBD – and this includes death.
With Independence Day coming up, the most prevalent questions about CBD and administering it to pets are answered below in time for the celebrations ahead.
Should I start dosing my dogs in advance of July 4th, or should I give them the tincture that day?
It is best to begin dosing gradually to help keep your furry friend’s anxiety level low then administer additional doses on the big day. Think of CBD as a natural Xanax for dogs, but unlike a Xanax, your dog is still there mentally and emotionally.
Does it make a difference if it’s given with or without food?
For the fastest absorption rate, it is best to administer a CBD tincture sublingually without food. This method helps deliver the compound to the bloodstream faster, thus helping with anxiety and other ailments quicker. To ensure quick delivery and accurate potency, simply put the dose amount directly in their mouth. Be sure to wait a few minutes before giving them water or food to allow for maximum absorption.
For pickier dogs, administering CBD tincture by adding it to their food is fine, but note that it takes longer to show effects, and potency can drop. When CBD is absorbed through the stomach and digestive system the compound has a lot more to fight through because of the variables in consumption. However, it is a great way to help aid in digestion, and if this is the only way your dog will take it, adding an extra half dose helps.
What should I look for when buying CBD for my pets?
There are a lot of new CBD products on the market that target pet owners, so it is important to understand key aspects to look for. The biggest thing to look for is HEMP OIL vs HEMP CBD OIL. When a product says “hemp CBD oil”, it means that the product comes from a hemp cannabis plant that has CBD in it. When the product says “hemp oil” that means the product comes from a hemp cannabis plant that may not have any CBD in it.
Think of it this way, say you ordered a dozen red roses for Mother’s Day because it is your mom’s favorite color. However, when the bouquet arrived you discovered yellow roses. Yes, they are still roses but they are not red- the specific aspect of the rose you wanted. This is a big issue surrounding the CBD market because people are trying to get a quick buck by using cheap hemp oil that has a cute look and flashy words but none of the CBD you are hoping for.
Another important aspect to consider is laboratory testing. Look at the label and on the website of the brand, you’re looking to buy to see if they’re open about the testing of their CBD. Reputable companies will have the results available for you to look at, so you can feel confident in your purchase.
Just like humans, dogs do best with consistency, and CBD provides the foundation for this in otherwise stressful and anxiety-driven situations. This 4th of July, be sure to take your dog’s anxiety into consideration and start looking for a pet tincture that is right for yours.
FDA Warns Against Unregulated CBD Products for Dog Anxiety Amid Fireworks
The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine sounded the alarm on Thursday—pleading with pet owners to avoid using unregulated cannabidiol (CBD) products for dogs dealing with anxiety due to scary fireworks noises.
Fireworks have long been recognized as an anxiety trigger for dogs, especially those that already have an anxiety-related condition. Dogs are typically known for their olfactory prowess, however according to Smithsonian Magazine, dogs hear more than twice as many frequencies in sound as humans—providing an explanation for their behavior on the Fourth of July. They can also hear sounds four times farther away than humans. To a dog, a crashing boom could sound like an explosion or some other type of calamity.
“Fourth of July can be a noisy and stressful time for dogs, The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine tweeted Thursday. “Ask your vet about the right way to help relieve your dog’s stress through behavior modification or an FDA-approved drug for sedation or to treat noise aversion.”
But the FDA felt the need to call out one popular anxiety remedy by name—CBD—which is commonly used to treat anxiety in dogs and cats, often marketed as pet treats.
“There’s a lot of talk about CBD for treating [dogs] who react to loud noises. You should be aware that FDA has NOT evaluated these products and can’t say whether they are safe or effective, how they are manufactured, or whether they contain CBD.”
Keep in mind that this is the third time the FDA has issued a similar warning ahead of July 4 celebrations—meaning that the organization just admitted that it still hasn’t done its job to evaluate CBD products for their safety, even after three years of warnings.
One real reason to listen to the FDA is that many pet products that claim to be infused with CBD contain no CBD at all, according to the Associated Press. Online grifters will sell bottles of “CBD oil” for well over $50 to people who fall prey to their schemes.
While research is young, early data suggests that CBD could be effective for certain pet-related conditions, perhaps more in dogs than in cats. “CBD-rich hemp nutraceuticals appear to be safe in healthy adult dogs,” researchers wrote in an examination of CBD’s safety profile for use against anxiety, seizures, cancer and pain.
In July 2018, the first clinical study to measure the efficacy of hemp-derived CBD on dogs was published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, in this case, for dogs living with arthritis. Several more studies have explored different potential benefits.
The FDA is Standing in the Way of Progress
CBD-infused pet treats are widely available, especially after the 2018 Farm Bill was put into place. But that’s not to say that the FDA tolerates them to the fullest degree. For instance, the FDA is notoriously strict about medical claims—both for humans and pets. Benefits from CBD pet treats are not yet proven in dogs nor cats.
Less than a month after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published draft final rules to allow for the production and interstate shipment of hemp-derived CBD products throughout the country, the FDA issued warning letters to no fewer than 13 companies in nine states for selling pet treats or foods infused with CBD. “The FDA is also indicating today that it cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) among qualified experts for its use in human or animal food,” the organization wrote.
For the time being, hemp-derived CBD treats marketed to both dogs and cats can be found freely across the internet, in convenience stores and in dispensaries in multiple states.
Pet owners are encouraged to designate a safe haven to help keep your dogs calm during the onslaught of fireworks this holiday. Dogs can also be slowly desensitized to firework noises, once they get used to hearing them repeatedly.