Is your dog acting out with destructive behavior when the two of you are separated? Dogs cope with anxiety differently than humans, but certain compounds in the cannabis plant can help both species in surprisingly similar ways. In this guide, learn what separation anxiety is in dogs and find out if dog owners should try CBD as a method to help their pooches feel safe and calm.

What is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

A dog’s separation anxiety may look slightly different from a human’s, but all the same hallmarks are there. Starting with a more pronounced stress response, dogs engage in various forms of destructive behavior when separated from their owners.

More common in shelter dogs with existing emotional health issues, dog separation anxiety can put pet owners in an uncomfortable position of feeling unsafe, leaving their dogs alone. For your dog’s emotional health as well as your own, it’s important to find out why anxious dogs are feeling uncomfortable and take appropriate steps.

Mild Stress vs. Acute Stress in Dogs

Before going any further, it’s important to delineate between the serious chronic physical discomfort that can occur when dogs are separated from their owners, and the normal sorts of stress healthy dogs may experience during separation. All dogs who love their owners will feel some degree of distress when separated, but this stress shouldn’t lead to destructive behavior.

Once any stress-inducing scenarios involving separation have passed, healthy dogs return to normal behavior. Not so for dogs with separation anxiety, who can feel anxiety at either the separation event or at seemingly unrelated points during the day.

3 Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Dogs suffer in silence more often than not, so how can you tell if your dog has separation anxiety? Keep an eye out for the following warning signs.

1. Constant crying or barking

It is normal for dogs to show at least some degree of distress when you leave. This is a sign of a healthy bond. Any excessive crying or barking should stop when you return home, however. If your dog continues to bark or cry even when you’re home, it may be time to come up with some measures to alleviate stress.

2. Extreme distress when you leave

Dogs usually calm down shortly after they’re sure you’ve left. If your dog continues scratching or digging at doors, walls, or windows in an effort to escape, however, separation anxiety could be to blame. It is normal for your furry friend to notice when you are about to leave, which can trigger these symptoms before you even step out of the house.

3. Destructive behaviors

Pet dogs are just like their human owners in that they want their living environments to be clean. Pooping or peeing indoors is not normal for trained dogs that are let outside frequently. It’s also not normal for dogs to chew on furniture, clothing, or shoes. If your dog is exhibiting these behaviors or otherwise seems consistently distressed, it’s important to consider the potential role of separation anxiety.

What is CBD? Can CBD Help A Dog with Separation Anxiety?

A non-intoxicating component of the hemp plant, CBD oil is used by both humans and dogs for anxiety, pain, and a variety of other purposes. Unlike THC, CBD does not get humans or animals high. Instead, it provides light feelings of relaxation, which dogs start to feel at a comparatively low dose. CBD products are now widely sold online, including CBD products for dogs.

Does CBD Help Dogs with Separation Anxiety?

Our furry friends appear to find CBD just as useful for anxiety as their human owners. Pet owners who give CBD to their dogs often note marked decreases in symptoms of separation anxiety. Where dogs could not be left alone even for a few minutes before, CBD oil has been reported to reduce acute stress in pet dogs to an often surprising degree.

Dogs & the Endocannabinoid System

The science regarding dogs and CBD remains limited, but one thing is clear: Dogs and most other animals have endocannabinoid systems just like humans. The endocannabinoid system is a mysterious set of neuronal signaling pathways in the brain that appears to be explicitly designed to handle cannabinoids.

How both humans and animals came to have such similar cannabinoid processing systems remains unknown. What’s clear, though, is that the endocannabinoid systems of animals are just as complex as their human counterparts, going some way toward explaining why CBD oil has been reported to help with dog anxiety.

How to Help Dogs with Separation Anxiety: 4 Ways

There are simple steps you can take today to help your dog with their separation anxiety. Here’s where you should start:

1. Provide Emotional Support

The separation anxiety your furry friend feels can often be soothed with overall emotional healing. Separation anxiety in dogs is commonly caused by incompatibility with human lifestyles — a dog’s sensitive nose and sense of hearing are ill-suited for loud humans and their busy cities. Simply taking the time to notice that anxious dogs are feeling unwell is often all it takes to make your pet feel safe and loved.

2. Exercise Together Frequently

Dogs need lots of exercise. Not only does exercising significantly reduce cortisol levels for both dogs and humans, but it gives the two of you a chance to bond. Even a walk or two around the block per day is enough to blow off some steam and deepen the connection between you and your pooch. Going out on walks frequently will also build positive associations with leaving the house.

3. Improve At-Home Environments

It’s possible that part of the reason your dog gets so upset when you leave is that they don’t feel comfortable in your shared environment. In many cases, all that’s necessary is purchasing a simple dog bed, which will make your pooch feel at home and insulated from the stress of separation. Depending on your dog’s preferences, you may also decide to leave the TV on to provide white noise or keep the lights turned on in a certain area of the house while you’re gone.

4. Give CBD for Dogs a Try

Just like human beings, dogs can sometimes use a little boost to overcome their anxiety and stress. CBD has become massively popular among pet owners both for their own relaxation and for helping their furry friends stay calm and collected as well. Neither you nor your dog will experience any intoxication when using CBD, only mild relaxation that might be just the thing for overcoming separation anxiety.

CBD for Dogs with Separation Anxiety

If CBD might be helpful for separation anxiety in dogs, is there a particular CBD product that works better than others? Pet owners naturally want to choose what’s best for their dogs, and plenty of dog-oriented CBD products are out there. In this section, we’ll take a look at the different kinds of CBD products commonly offered to dogs, ending with why we believe Colorado Botanicals CBD Oil for Dogs is the best choice.

Types of CBD Products for Dogs with Separation Anxiety

The two types of CBD products commonly offered to dogs are:

  • CBD oils: Often flavored to suit a dog’s taste, these products are effective and easy to administer.
  • CBD treats: Sometimes ignored by dogs, CBD treats are harder to administer and less effective

Colorado Botanicals CBD Oil for Dogs

Unflavored to fit every dog’s taste, Colorado Botanicals Broad Spectrum CBD Oil for Dogs and Cats features the same excellent quality and attention to detail as our human products. It’s specially formulated, however, to perfectly fit the needs of our canine (and feline) friends. Featuring broad-spectrum CBD extracted from organic hemp, Colorado Botanicals CBD Oil for Dogs offers the enhanced professionalism and improved quality that has made our brand so popular nationwide.

What’s the Best CBD Product for Dogs with Separation Anxiety?

There is no single CBD product that will be perfect for every dog. What’s important is choosing a product your dog will like. With many dogs resisting efforts to administer CBD in the form of treats, Colorado Botanicals Unflavored CBD Oil for Dogs makes giving CBD to your dog easier and ensures there won’t be any issues with flavor. Choosing an unflavored tincture meets your pet halfway, allowing you to add CBD to treats, but only if desired.

How Much CBD Should You Give Your Dog for Anxiety?

Generally, pet owners give their dogs doses of around 1-5mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. There is no scientifically determined ideal dose of CBD for dogs with anxiety, however. Hence, it’s up to dog owners to observe their pets, watching closely for any side effects or indications that a lower dose should be used. We recommend starting with a dose of 5mg CBD or lower, increasing the amount of CBD you give your dog over time as desired.

Can CBD Help Cats with Separation Anxiety?

Yes, there is just as much reason to believe CBD might help cats with separation anxiety as there is with dogs. Both dogs and cats have endocannabinoid systems, so at least theoretically, CBD should help each type of animal with anxiety in similar ways.

Is CBD Safe for Dogs and Cats?

There appear to be no safety concerns regarding giving CBD to dogs and cats. While there are obvious differences, all mammal bodies are constructed using similar biochemical “blueprints,” which means that (at least generally speaking) substances that are safe for humans are also safe for animals. Chocolate and dogs is one major exception, but there does not seem to be any reason to be concerned over CBD toxicity in any animals.

Closing Statement: Dog CBD for Separation Anxiety

As you tackle the problem of separation anxiety with your pet, CBD should certainly be a tool you consider adding to your toolkit. Aside from the initial struggle to acclimate your pet to taking CBD, there aren’t any considerable downsides to this approach to dog separation anxiety. CBD won’t get your dog high, and it shouldn’t have any side effects whatsoever.

Keep in mind that CBD is not a solution to separation anxiety. It only has the potential to alleviate the symptoms. The real solution is developing a close bond with your pet, making them feel safe even when you aren’t home. Start taking the time to develop that bond now, and with the help of CBD, separation anxiety will soon be a thing of the past for both you and your dog.