The Fourth of July can conjure up feelings of patriotism, gratitude for all we have in this country, and fun times with family and friends.
But when the barbeques wrap up and the sun goes down, the pups in the party can start to get a bit anxious. How can you help your best friend stay cool and calm this 4th of July? We have some ideas!
Why dogs get anxiety:
Just like people, dogs feel anxiety when there are things in their environment that are causing them fear or worry.
Anxiety can affect all breeds, but each individual dog experiences anxiety differently. If strong or prolonged experiences of anxiety goes unchecked, it could develop into an anxiety disorder.
Dogs can experience two types of anxiety: behavioral and situational. Fireworks, lighting/thunderstorms, noise phobias, travel, and having visitors or unfamiliar people over are all examples of situational anxiety. Behavioral anxiety can happen when you are gone all day (separation anxiety) or other fears that are causing anxiety for a prolonged period of time.
How do I know if my dog has anxiety?
Is your dog anxious? Here’s a few behaviors that anxious dogs may exhibit:
- Urinating/defecating indoors
- Excessive barking
- Repetitive or compulsive behaviors
Any of that sound familiar? Don’t worry – or let your puppers stress – another minute! Anxiety doesn’t have to be the norm on holidays like 4th of July and Halloween (yep, all that door bell ringing!). There are some great natural remedies that could help you and your dog.
3 ways to help my dog with anxiety:
Here are three ways you could help your dog manage anxiety that are easy to implement this 4th of July and beyond:
- Try a weighted blanket or vest. These are especially useful during thunderstorms and fireworks. Weighted blankets are very grounding to the nervous system. Have you ever tried one? They are super calming for humans too!
- Stay home and enjoy fireworks with your faithful friend rather than leaving the house. This one may sound like kind of a bummer, but if you have an especially anxious furry friend, leaving them during a night known for its booms may not be a great plan – at least until you can test out some other ways of calming them. If this isn’t an option, see if there is a (very familiar) friend or pet sitter you can call to be at home with them for a bit. Seeing a friendly face is soothing, and the dog sitter might be able to minimize any destructive behaviors that might be happening while you’re away.
- Consider a natural remedy like CBD for your dog. According to Dr. Earl Mindell’s CBD and Health for Dogs, CBD could encourage calm in dogs because as it enters their endocannabinoid system, it activates receptors that are associated with soothing anxiety. Other natural remedies like aromatherapy, playing music or tv as a familiar sound or using a favorite blanket or stuff or may also help them feel at ease.
Remember, don’t hesitate to get your Vet involved when it comes to your dog and anxiety! Call them to ask about coping methods, remedies, and any other concerns or questions you might have around your pet and the holidays that involve fireworks. Always let them know you are planning on using CBD for your dog to make sure it is ok to use with other medications or supplements your dog might already be taking.
How to use CBD for your dog:
If the idea of using CBD this 4th of July is piquing your interest, here are a couple of guidelines for giving your dog CBD, again from Dr. Earl Mindell:
Start low and slow: 1 mg per 10lbs of body weight is a good place to start. Be conservative when you are just starting out with CBD. Oh, and it’s a good idea to start before the night of the 4th. You’ll want to test it out on a regular day/night and see how your dog reacts before adding the pressure of exploding lights and loud booms.
Use a quality CBD that you can trust: Use organic, high-quality CBD that has been tested by a third-party lab. We have labs to back up all of our products – yep, even the pet ones! You can find them on each product page by clicking the Lab Results link, just under our list of stellar ingredients. By the way, did you see that our Full Spectrum Pet Oils also have wild Alaskan salmon oil? This is one of the best things you can give your dog with CBD, because the fatty acids are actually precursors to endocannabinoids!
Monitor your dog: Again, don’t do this the night of the 4th – give them CBD when you can stick around and keep an eye on how they react (hint: also when you’re not distracted by gatherings and things exploding!) Give it to your dog on a night when you are not doing anything else that might normally stress them out. Keep a detailed log of when you gave them CBD, how much you gave them, and what method (be it in their food, directly in their mouth, or mixed up in a single treat). Observe their behavior for anything out of the ordinary. While it is commonly said that there are not many side effects to giving dogs CBD, things to keep an eye out for include dry mouth, drowsiness and an increase in appetite. When keeping this log, make a note of your dog’s behavior for the next few hours. Pro tip: Does your dog seem to feel the effects of CBD after just an hour or does it take longer? Perhaps it’s felt fast but fades fast? Keep that in mind for when to administer on the night of the 4th! Different dog sizes and breeds metabolize things differently, just like us. The great thing about using CBD Oil, is that you can adjust the amount you give drop by drop!