Is Hemp Seed Oil Good For Dogs’ Anxiety?

lively looking golden retriever

Dog owners are always on the lookout for ways to make their furry friends feel calm and comfortable. One natural solution that has recently gained popularity is the use of hemp seed oil for dog anxiety. But is it really effective, and how does it work? Let’s find out!

What Is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). Despite being from the cannabis family, hemp seed oil does not contain the psychoactive compound THC that causes the “high” associated with marijuana. Instead, hemp seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, vitamins, and other nutrients.

Why Do Dogs Experience Anxiety?

Dogs, much like humans, are sensitive beings. They develop bonds, routines, and a sense of understanding about their surroundings. But when things change, or when unexpected events occur, our furry friends can become anxious. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons behind their anxiety.

  1. Loud Noises (fireworks, thunderstorms): Dogs have a more sensitive sense of hearing than humans, so loud and unexpected noises like fireworks or thunderstorms can be incredibly distressing for them. Their enhanced hearing makes these noises much louder and more intense, which can be startling and scary. Additionally, dogs don’t understand what these noises are, so they can’t rationalize or make sense of them. This lack of understanding can make the experience even more frightening.

  2. Being Left Alone (Separation Anxiety): Dogs are pack animals and naturally crave companionship. When left alone, some dogs may become anxious and distressed. This is especially common in dogs that have been adopted or have experienced traumatic events in the past. These dogs may have a stronger fear of being abandoned or left alone. Separation anxiety can manifest as excessive barking, destructive behavior, or even accidents in the house while you’re away.

  3. Changes in Environment or Routine: Dogs are creatures of habit, and they rely on their routine for a sense of security and stability. Any changes to their environment or routine can be unsettling for them. This can include moving to a new house, introducing a new pet, a change in their feeding or walking schedule, or even a change in your work schedule that affects the amount of time you spend with them. These changes can cause confusion and anxiety as they try to adjust to their new circumstances.

It’s important to note that anxiety can also be caused by underlying medical conditions. If your dog seems persistently anxious or if their behavior changes suddenly, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian. Sometimes, the anxiety could be a symptom of a physical ailment that needs to be addressed.

Dog with sad and pain face

How Does Hemp Seed Oil Help with Anxiety?

Studies have shown that the fatty acids in hemp seed oil can have a positive impact on the brain’s health. These fatty acids are vital for the proper functioning of the brain, and they can help regulate mood and anxiety. The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp seed oil also contribute to alleviating anxiety in dogs.

For example, a study conducted at the University of Colorado found that dogs receiving hemp oil showed significant improvement in anxiety levels and overall health. Another study published in the Journal of Veterinary Science and Medical Diagnosis found that dogs given hemp oil experienced a reduction in anxiety symptoms and an increase in their quality of life.

Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs’ Anxiety:

Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs’ Anxiety
  • Natural and Safe: Hemp seed oil is a natural and non-toxic supplement that can be used without worrying about harmful side effects or addiction.

  • Improves Brain Health: The essential fatty acids in hemp seed oil support brain health and can help improve anxiety-related behaviors.

  • Reduces Inflammation: Hemp seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate anxiety symptoms in dogs.

  • Enhances Quality of Life: Regular use of hemp seed oil can improve your dog’s mood, reduce anxiety, and promote overall well-being.

How to Administer Hemp Seed Oil for Dog Anxiety

  • Consult a Vet: Before introducing hemp seed oil to your dog, consult a veterinarian for advice on the proper dosage and any potential interactions with other medications.

  • Start Slowly: Begin with a small dose of hemp seed oil mixed into your dog’s food or directly into their mouth. Gradually increase the dosage while monitoring your dog for any adverse reactions.

  • Observe Your Dog: Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and anxiety levels. If you notice positive changes, you can continue with the recommended dosage. If there are any negative effects, stop the administration and consult your vet.

Vet doctor smiling to labrador puppy on his clinic

Are There Any Side Effects?

Hemp seed oil is generally considered safe for dogs. However, some dogs might experience digestive issues or allergies when introduced to the supplement.

  • Digestive Issues: Hemp seed oil is rich in fats, and while these fats are beneficial, an excess can sometimes lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea or soft stools, especially when introduced to a dog’s diet too quickly. It’s important to start with a small dose and gradually increase it while monitoring your dog’s reaction.

  • Allergies: Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to almost anything, including hemp seeds. Signs of an allergic reaction can include skin rashes, excessive itching or scratching, swelling, or trouble breathing. If you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction, discontinue the use of the hemp seed oil immediately and consult your vet.

dog on the beach

Conclusion

Hemp seed oil holds significant promise for improving the well-being of our furry friends, offering a range of benefits from enhanced skin health to potential relief from anxiety. However, as with any supplement, it’s essential to introduce it with caution and always keep a keen eye out for any changes in your pet’s behavior or health. Reliable sources, such as the Veterinary Information Network and the American Kennel Club, support the safe use of hemp seed oil but also highlight the need for further research. When considering the use of hemp seed oil, or any other supplement, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure the best outcome for your beloved pet. With careful administration and the right guidance, hemp seed oil can be a valuable addition to your dog’s wellness routine.

FAQs

How long does hemp oil take to calm dogs?

Hemp oil typically starts showing calming effects within 30 minutes to an hour after administration. However, it’s essential to remember that each dog might react differently, and several factors, including the dog’s size, age, and metabolism, can affect this timing.

Can hemp oil make dogs sleepy?

Yes, one of the side effects of hemp oil in some dogs can be drowsiness or lethargy. This is especially true if the dog is given a dose higher than recommended. It’s always crucial to start with a small dose and gradually adjust based on your dog’s reaction and needs.

How many times a day can I give my dog hemp oil?

The frequency of hemp oil administration will depend on the reason for use and the recommendation of your veterinarian. For general wellness, once daily might suffice. However, for anxiety or pain management, it might be administered two to three times a day. Always consult your veterinarian for a personalized dosing schedule.

What can I give my dog daily for anxiety?

There are various treatments available for dog anxiety, ranging from behavioral therapies, and calming aids like pheromone sprays, to medications. Hemp oil is becoming increasingly popular as a natural remedy. However, it’s essential to discuss with your veterinarian to determine the best approach for your dog’s unique situation

What is the difference between hemp oil and hemp seed oil?

While both oils are derived from the hemp plant, they come from different parts and serve different purposes. Hemp oil, often referred to as CBD oil, is extracted from the plant’s leaves, flowers, and stalks and is primarily used for therapeutic benefits such as pain relief and anxiety reduction. On the other hand, hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the plant and is mainly used for nutritional benefits, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It doesn’t contain the cannabinoids found in CBD/hemp oil.

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