Bulldogs are companion canines, so they can get very anxious when left alone for long hours. This is why pet owners have to subject them to rigorous training and desensitization. Aside from that, many Bulldog owners have tried another solution: CBD oil for dog separation anxiety.
CBD oil products for pets aren’t new. Many brands have been making and selling them for years now. Many experts and pet owners alike swear by its efficacy, especially for canines suffering from anxiety and stress.
Below, I discussed the benefits of CBD oil, how it works, and what you need to know before getting one for your dog.
Separation anxiety in Bulldogs
Separation anxiety happens to many dogs. In fact, about 14% of all canines are suffering from some degree of separation anxiety.
But as much as it’s common among Bulldogs and other breeds, there’s always a way to reduce its intensity. Training, socialization, and desensitization are crucial if you want to raise an independent and tolerant canine.
Still, Bulldogs can only handle so much isolation. The problem is that some owners dismiss anxiety symptoms as rude behavior. This prevents them from solving the problem, and the dog suffers even more.
If left unchecked, separation anxiety can worsen and branch out to other behavioral problems that are hard to correct. Also, your Bulldog will become destructive, noisy, and even aggressive.
Causes of anxiety in Bulldogs
There are many possible causes of separation anxiety in Bulldogs. The following are the most common culprits Bulldog owners report:
- Separation. Since Bulldogs are companion dogs, they hate being left alone for long hours. Being alone makes the dog stressed, which leads to anxiety. The Bulldog feels insecure not having their family around.
- Fear. Loud noises, new pets, first car ride, strangers, and other stimuli can trigger anxiety among Bulldogs. Most of these episodes are brief, but you shouldn’t leave them unchecked. Desensitization is the key here, together with other aids and solutions.
- Age. As a Bulldog becomes older, it gets confused easily. The cognitive decline can easily make a canine stressed, afraid, and confused. All of these will fuel anxiety, which is quite similar to when humans experience the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Whatever the cause of your Bulldog’s anxiety is, it’s very important to address it right away.
What is CBD oil for dogs?
Now that you’re familiar with separation anxiety let’s now discuss CBD oil for dogs.
CBD or cannabidiol is an active compound harvested from the cannabis plant. Take note that CBD oil came from the hemp plant and NOT its infamous cousin plant, marijuana.
The main characteristic of CBD is its calming effect. This is the opposite of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which gives a ‘high’ feeling. It’s the same reason why many pet owners and even veterinarians explore CBD oil when addressing anxiety disorders among canines.
For years, CBD oil has been touted for its range of benefits. Many CBD oil brands started formulating products for pets, which aims to serve as a calming aid. Aside from oils, you can also find CBD-infused dog treats.
Before we proceed, let’s address the elephant in the room: is CBD oil for dogs legal? Back in 2019, the federal government removed hemp from their controlled substances list. So as long as the CBD oil is harvested from hemp, it should be legal to use – unless the state imposes its own laws.
How CBD affects dogs
Truth be told, there’s still a scarce number of studies about CBD in dogs. Still, scientists are sure about one thing: canines have an endocannabinoid system just like humans.
The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system in the peripheral and central nervous systems. It’s primarily responsible for maintaining the body’s balance.
As CBD enters the brain, it helps boost the production of serotonin, which makes your dog feel good. Overall, the result is a calming feeling for canines.
In dogs and humans, the CBD content of CBD oils interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This allows canines to experience immediate relief from pain, discomfort, and anxiety.
Does CBD oil for dog separation anxiety work?
The biggest question now is this: does CBD oil for dog separation anxiety work? Most of the proof here is quite anecdotal, but there’s a growing number of Bulldog owners who swear by the efficacy of CBD oil in alleviating anxiety symptoms.
Overall, CBD oil can greatly help Bulldogs with separation anxiety. After all, it has a calming benefit that will tone down a dog’s destructive and noisy nature as anxiety kicks in.
As with any supplement, CBD oil for separation anxiety in dogs is just one of the ways to tackle the problem. You still have to deal with the root of the problem to train your dog out of it.
Using CBD oil alone may provide immediate results, but as the effects wear out, your dog will be just as anxious as ever.
Aside from that, CBD oil isn’t always a long-term solution. Depending on your Bulldog’s overall health, the vet may have reservations about prolonged use of CBD oil for pets. Also, each dog is different, so some may not respond well to CBD as others do.
And just like any supplement or medication, it’s always smart to consult your dog’s veterinarian before purchasing a CBD oil product for your dog.
Other benefits of CBD oil for Bulldogs
Aside from its anxiety-alleviating perk, the following are the other benefits of CBD oil for Bulldogs:
- Pain-relieving. Bulldogs suffering from physical pain will find immediate relief with the use of CBD oils. Old dogs are the ones who largely benefit from this, especially those who have arthritis and terminal illnesses.
- Reducing inflammation. Together with its pain-relieving effect, CBD oil for dogs is observed to reduce the canine’s inflammatory response. This is an excellent benefit for canines with allergies, arthritis, and other sensitivities.
- Aiding digestion problems. Some Bulldogs that are administered with CBD oil are observed to experience less abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- Easing symptoms of cancer. While CBD oil isn’t a cure for any health issue, it sure does help a lot in alleviating cancer symptoms. It helps reduce pain, swelling, nausea, and other uncomfortable bodily responses.
- Reducing seizures. Based on the clinical trials, dogs given CBD oil experienced reduced seizure episodes than those given other medications. This benefit is also observed in humans and one of the main reasons why CBD oil is very popular.
- Boosting heart health. Aside from easing pain and stress, CBD oil can also boost your Bulldog’s heart health. It helps control high blood pressure as well as maintaining a normal heart rate.
- Easing nausea. Is your dog getting nauseous during car rides? CBD oil will be a big help. While the proof for this is anecdotal, there’s no harm in trying as long as you consult your dog’s vet.
What veterinarians have to say…
CBD oil products for dogs are not yet FDA-regulated. This fact makes some veterinarians frown upon the idea of administering it to canines. Still, vets who are open to modern and alternative solutions are willing to try.
Most of the time, traditional veterinarians will not recommend CBD oil due to the following facts:
- Research is scarce. This is one thing that every pet owner should keep in mind. CBD oil use in dogs is yet to be studied enough to establish substantial proof for its effects. Since there’s minimal research done, vets have no solid reference in case your Bulldog experiences adverse reactions.
- Fear of being persecuted. The hemp plant from which CBD oil is derived has been listed as illegal before. In some states, there are still restrictions regarding its use. This is the reason why some vets will shy away from recommending CBD products to pet owners.
- Unclear benefits. Many veterinarians prefer to stick to established and standard medications. This makes them unaware and quite doubtful of the benefits that CBD products promise.
- Lack of knowledge. Conventional vet schools rarely, or most of the time, don’t teach holistic medicine. With this, CBD oil is completely out of the window.
Still, more and more veterinarians are seeing the benefits of CBD oil in dogs. In some cases, when pharmaceuticals no longer work, vets will resort to CBD products to provide relief to the ailing canine.
Potential side effects of CBD oil for Bulldogs
Just like any medication or product, CBD oil can have side effects on a Bulldog. Take note that your dog’s health, the dosage you use, and product quality are key factors when assessing adverse reactions.
To keep you guided, the following are the most common side effects of CBD oil in dogs:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
Take note that most of these side effects only occur if you administered high amounts of CBD oil to your Bulldog. It’s very important to check the dosage to ensure that your dog won’t encounter these problems.
The rule of thumb is that you should only give 1 to 5 mg of CBD oil for every 10 lbs. of your dog’s body. This could be lower or higher depending on your Bulldog’s needs and overall health condition.
For separation anxiety, it’s best to start with the lowest dose to allow your dog’s body to adjust. From there, you can increase the dosage little by little. It’s also best to ask the guidance of a veterinarian.
Additional ways to address canine separation anxiety
Aside from giving your Bulldog CBD oil, there are other ways to tackle separation anxiety. It’s a multi-faceted problem that requires the right approach.
The following are some of the tips that work well for our Bulldogs:
Leave your smell behind
One trick we use for our dogs is leaving one of our recently worn shirts on their beds. This will give your Bulldog a sense of safety since they feel like you’re still around. You can also place the worn shirt inside the crate at night to prevent your Bulldog from crying.
Depart and arrive calmly
Next, don’t make a big deal about leaving and arriving at home. Many pet owners inadvertently reinforce separation anxiety by the way they address leaving.
If you give grand gestures like kisses, hugs, and pets before going, your Bulldog will realize that panicking when you go is a rewarded behavior. Over time, your dog will learn that exhibiting the negative behavior will earn him attention.
Simply exit the door without any fuss. And when you arrive, enter calmly and don’t hug your Bulldog right away if it’s overexcited. Wait for your dog to calm down before giving it attention. This will teach your dog that overreacting isn’t a rewarded response.
Rearrange your routines
Bulldogs may not be the smartest in the bunch, but they can learn your routines over time. For example, your Bulldog will realize that the sound of jingling keys is a sign that you’re about to leave. It could also be the moment you put your shoes on or lift your bag.
To prevent your dog from launching a panic attack during these ‘cue moments’, it helps to shuffle your routines. Pick up your keys first thing in the morning, put your shoes on, and then take them off. This way, your routines before going out becomes unpredictable.
Some dogs will start to lose track of the succession of routines. This gives you the chance to slip out of the door without being seen by your pet.
Provide interactive toys
Another way to keep your Bulldog’s mind off anxiety is by providing it with interactive toys. Sniff mats with hidden treats, puzzles, rolling toys, and more are just some of the best picks. It will keep your dog busy while you’re at work.
However, be careful with your choice of toys. Make sure that it doesn’t have any small parts that could be choking hazards. Also, make sure that the material is safe for canines.
Take your dog on a short walk
A short walk before you leave home is a good way to drain your Bulldog’s energy. By the time you exit the door, your pet is sound asleep.
Unlike other breeds, Bulldogs don’t need a lot of exercise. A short walk in the neighborhood should be enough. Don’t forget to leave your dog with water so that it can rehydrate after the tiring stroll.
Desensitize your dog
Lastly, it’s important to desensitize your dog to being left alone. You can start by exiting the door and leaving your Bulldog inside for two minutes.
After that, go back inside and see how your dog will react. Again, don’t reward excited behavior. Ask your dog to sit or give other commands that will distract it from overexcitement.
Over time, you can increase the duration of your dog’s isolation. You can increase it by two minutes until your dog can tolerate being left alone for a few hours.
Take this process slowly. It may take weeks since Bulldogs can get whiny, and some take time to adjust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do vets recommend CBD oil for dogs?
A: Not all veterinarians are willing to prescribe or administer CBD oil for personal and law-related reasons. It’s important to talk to your dog’s vet first to know their opinion about this form of medication. While some vets aren’t into CBD use, there are some who are willing to explore this alternative.
Q: How long does CBD oil stay in a dog’s system?
A: CBD usually remains in a dog’s system for up to 24 hours. For higher dosage, it could linger on your dog’s body for up to 48 hours. It’s very important to administer the right dosage, so your dog will achieve the best results with little to no side effects.
Q: Can CBD oil kill a dog?
A: There’s no known recorded case of a dog dying due to proper use of CBD oil. It’s very important to talk to your dog’s vet first to ensure that your pet won’t suffer from side effects. Most of all, you should only give high-quality, lab-tested, and pet-formulated CBD products to your Bulldog.
Q: IS CBD oil bad for a dog’s liver?
A: As long as you administer the right dosage, CBD oil won’t damage your Bulldog’s liver. If your Bulldog is currently taking other medications, you must consult the vet first. This is to prevent adverse contraindication between the two substances.
Q: What happens if you give your dog too much CBD?
A: Too much CBD consumption will trigger adverse reactions in dogs. It includes lethargy, low blood pressure, diarrhea, vomiting, and more. The worst-case scenario is a seizure, which is quite rare in healthy canines. Nevertheless, you should always follow the right dosage to prevent such problems.
CBD oil for Bulldog separation anxiety is a big help. Still, you should talk to your dog’s vet first to discuss the benefits, potential side effects, and dosage. Aside from that, CBD oil should only be a supplemental solution to training and desensitization.
What do you think of CBD oil for dogs? Share your thoughts below!