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CBD Oil for Depression in Dogs

A dog laying down looking at the camera. The photo is in black and white.
Claudia Bensimoun author of CBD Oil for Depression in Dogs

Dogs can get depressed just like humans. It happens often and affects millions of dogs at shelters, and at home, most especially after the long summer holidays when everyone goes back to school and work. When a dog is depressed he may not eat or drink as much, may behave differently, and may also be prone to sleeping more than usual. That said, it’s up to you to figure out why your dog is sad, and what you can do to help him!

In addition, your furry best friend may not want to even go for long walks anymore. Furthermore, it’s always best to first visit your veterinarian to rule out any health conditions, and to make sure that your dog is not in any physical pain from a medical condition.

After that, you can consult with a veterinary behaviorist to help with your dog’s depression. Keep in mind that mental stimulation, plenty of outdoor exercises, and a high-quality diet together with regular veterinary care is key to keeping your dog in good health mentally and physically!

This article will explain depression in dogs, and how CBD oil can help your dog feel much better. CBD oil may also be beneficial for treating separation anxiety, storm phobia, and will help in increasing appetite. You’ll also need to understand that due to a change of lifestyle becauseof COVID-19, your pooch may feel depressed when you go back to work.

What is Depression in Dogs?

From staving off the winter blues to a traumatic experience that may have affected your dog, CBD has been demonstrated to help a dog’s positivity. If you and your dog used to enjoy visiting dog parks and beaches, going for long hikes, but suddenly find that your pooch lacks the enthusiasm to exercise, you may need to visit your veterinarian for a consult. COVID-19 may also spark numerous cases of canine depression once the lockdown is lifted and schedule changes. Dogs will not be spending as much time with their pet parents when everyone goes back to work again.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

If you and your dog enjoy parks, traveling and plenty of outdoor activities, your dog no doubt enjoys the open space and lots of sunlight. Given the inevitability of rain, snow, and cold weather in the fall, dogs are often faced with a change of schedule; change of environment, and being indoors for long periods of time. They can’t tell you how sad they feel, but there are certain tell-tale signs. Across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, dogs at home, in daycares, or at kennels suffer from seasonal affective disorder. (SAD)

CBD may be beneficial in helping your furry best friendwith SAD.Research suggests that restoring the chemical balance is not done easily since serotonin cannot be given as a shot or in pill form.

Veterinarians, when faced with a depressed or anxious pet, will turn to drugs like tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines, and other meds to treat anxiety, aggression, and compulsive disorders. These are most often prescribed for humans, and may have side effects.

If the idea of giving your dog Prozac or a “serotonin uptake inhibitor” (SRI) doesn’t appeal to you, then learning about the predictable and natural ways of manipulating your dog’s environment, such as using light therapy which stimulates the brightness of sunlight is the way to go.CBD as a natural supplement is also effective in helping ease canine depression.

Causes of Depression in Dogs  

Humans have an inability to properly diagnose dog depression, but keeping an eye out for it when certain situations come about can help catch it. Death of a pack or human family member can trigger depression, as do environmental changes such as a move or introducing a new person to the household.  

Trauma from an accident or injury can also trigger depression. Boredom from lack of stimulation or activity plays a large role in depression, as does abandonment and changes in the owner’s daily routine as with COVID-19 self-quarantining. Keeping your dogs fit and healthy during theCOVID-19 lockdown is key to combating canine depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression is often brought on by the illness. Lavishing your pets with the best in veterinary care and maintaining regular physicals at least twice a year guarantees the knowledge that your pet's depression is not brought on by an illness. 

Brain chemistry is also affected by your dog’s sense of smell. Certain smells like lavender may improve his mood by changing his brain health. Increasing exercise and grooming your dog regularly with gentle and relaxing bathing products also helps to stem canine depression.

Symptoms may include:

  • Lethargy & lack of interest in the interaction
  • Anxiety
  • Noise phobias
  • Whimpering
  • Whining
  • Mopey
  • Extreme dietary changes like overeating or lack of appetite  
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Odd behavior like excessive chewing/licking
  • Hiding and withdrawal from their families

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What Causes Stress in Dogs?

Just like with people, stress can contribute to a bout of depression. By ensuring that your furry best friend lives in a stress-free household that offers quiet time, as well as stimulating exercise and playtime, you’ll be helping your dog live a stress-free life. According to Animal Wellness, there are many things that can make your dog feel anxious or fearful.

“Dogs have an increase in stress hormones when life is uncertain,” says Dr. Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, MRCVS, via Animal Wellness, adding that the following situations are among the most stressful for dogs:

  • Going to the veterinarian
  • Being left alone at home
  • Loss of a canine companion
  • Separation from the family
  • Introduction of a new animal
  • Moving house
  • Children returning to school on Monday or after holidays

Treating Depression in Dogs

Understanding the importance of regular exercise, good veterinary care, and mental stimulation may allow for a shorter duration of depression. You’ll need to look at your schedule and see what it is that you can do to improve your dog’s life. Swimming at the beach, long hikes in a forest, mini trips to a Starbucks may just encourage that playfulness once again. Keeping your dog well-socialized plays an important role in easing depression.

Dog parks or dog beaches allow for your furry best friend to hang out with other dogs and people at the dog park. Dog training classes during puppyhood and throughout his life will also allow him to make canine and human buddies that he can see each week. This applies to dog sports like agility, canine surfing, and so forth. Try to see which dog sports your pooch enjoys the most, and add them to your schedule.

Sporting and activity schedules need to remain in place so that your dog can predict what he’s going to be doing each day. Alternating dog sports according to season and outdoor temperatures is also key to avoiding heat exposure during the hot summer months.

CBD Oil for Dog Depression

CBD for pets can produce a calming effect over the body and will help with appetite and regulate feeding. CBD helps to calm depressed or anxious dogs and relaxes dogs allowing for easier interactions. CBD Oil can be purchased onSitStay, offers a high level of purity, and will ship directly to your home in no time at all!

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Meet The Author 

Claudia Bensimoun author of CBD Oil for Depression in Dogs

Claudia Bensimoun

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.

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