One of the most common problems for pet parents is their dog’s aggression, and one of the best all-natural ways to calm dogs can be found in the use of CBD oil. This article will help pet lovers everywhere understand how. Without dogs being able to use words to tell the humans how they feel physically or emotionally, it’s up to us to be able to decipher their actions. They don’t lie to get what they want, and they don’t act healthy when they are sick just to appear brave. What they do is behave honestly. This gives the people and animals that they are closest to a way to understand them. Dogs have a complex emotional reaction to their surroundings, and when they become aggressive, it’s typically due to feelings of fear, anxiety, and insecurity about their current situation. CBD oil can help with anger, balance and calm them as part of an effective behavioral training program.
What is dog aggression? Types
It isn’t abnormal for a dog to become aggressive when they perceive something to be a threat. This reaction is normal when they are experience fear and anxiety; however, when it becomes dangerous and unhealthy does it become an issue. Defined, aggression is a hostile reaction to a non-threatening situation, which can range from rage-filled to slight anger. A dog only reacts in this way when they want to protect themselves and those they love. There are many reasons that a dog will become aggressive that include:
- Fear – the most common reason that dogs become aggressive in certain situations. It often is based on lack of proper socialization or previous abuse.
- Anxiety – threats can arise from anywhere, like new family member or moving to a new home.
- Protective – hypervigilance over perceived territory.
- Territorial or possessive – dogs don’t like giving up their prized possessions and may become anxious when another animal or person tries to take what is theirs.
- Defensive – dogs naturally defend their space when it’s threatened.
- Illness or chronic pain – a change in normal behavior to aggression may indicate a health issue causing discomfort.
- Resource guarding – caused by a threat to something they love, like a toy or their food.
- Social – dogs may react negatively when their position in the household where multiple dogs exist is threatened.
- Sexual frustration – mainly occurs in males when they have the desire to mate.
- Frustration, or redirected aggression – generally stems from a dog wanting something and not being able to obtain it or do it.
Since dogs lack the ability to tell us what’s wrong, here are examples of aggressive behaviors that can escalate and become life threatening:
- Tensing of muscles
- Intense staring
- Squinting eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Leaning toward the threat
- Puffing out their chests
- Ramming nose into the perceived threat
- Nipping or biting
- Charging and cornering the perceived threat
Figuring out what is wrong is essential, and amateurs and professionals alike try various methods of behavioral therapy so that they can attempt to give their dog a normal life and protect the family.
What are common ways to stop aggressive behavior in dogs?
Figuring out what is triggering the aggressive and violent actions can be the key to the solution. Normal behavior for a dog would be seeing a new box sitting by the front as a perceived threat and reacting by barking at it, leaning into it, and poking it with its nose. Owners know their pets better than anyone. When the aggression becomes violent and happens during times that aren’t logical is when it can become a problem. Attempting to rid the dog’s life of the trigger isn’t always a feasible solution if they are irrationally afraid. Not every dog responds well to behavioral therapy, so some people choose to try medications.
Are there drawbacks of prescription dog medications for aggression?
If a dog becomes irrationally aggression and nothing specific seems to be its trigger, seeking professional help may be the next step. Using prescription medications to suppress the aggression in a dog is a big decision as it can come with side effects that aren’t easily conveyed by the canine. Common drugs used for aggression may not work well and the process is long. Drugs and their side effects include:
- Anti-anxiety medications – mild cases may be solved with buspirone, which can calm the dog and lower anxiety. Side effects can include drowsiness, headache, nausea, restlessness, dizziness, and trouble sleeping.
- Beta blockers – treat the physical issues with anxiety disorders, such as elevated heart rate, rapid eye movement, labored breathing, and high blood pressure. The drug comes with the risk of gastrointestinal upset, weight gain, poor circulation, fatigue, and dizziness.
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) – make it possible for neurons to absorb serotonin, calming depression and anxiety. This may cause them to stop eating; have red, inflamed skin; vomit; diarrhea; and increased drinking and urination.
- TCAs (tricyclics) – these are essentially anti-depressants. Usually used on dogs with severe separation anxiety. They strive to fix neurotransmitter imbalances, but may cause sedation, constipation dry mouth, urination retention, irregular heart rhythms, and seizures.
Just like in humans, trying to find the right medication is a long process that may not even work in the long run and may produce side effects that are worse the actual aggression. Who wants a lethargic dog who is miserable? With the endless risk factors involved when administering medications, CBD oils may be the perfect answer to preventing beloved fur babies from experiencing discomfort, while still calming them.
Why is CBD a wise choice to help stop aggressive behavior in dogs?
Every vertebrate has an ECS (endocannabinoid system) that is responsible for homeostasis. It balances and regulates biological and psychological responses to outside stimuli. When it has become overwhelmed and needs balanced, CBD, or cannabidiol, binds to or indirectly affects ECS receptors that are strewn throughout the body. Searching for a way to relax and give the dog self-control is the key to the solution, and CBD’s main goal is to do just that. It has been used as a highly effective all-natural treatment option to reduce anxiety, frustration, and fear. With numerous online and storefront companies offering the benefits of CBD oil, choosing the best one will optimize one’s efforts. Dogs might not be willing to just ingest a tasteless product, so many companies offer a variety of forms to make administering them easy, such as dog treats and tinctures that are easily dropped under their tongue.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, hasn’t been as researched as its more popular cannabinoid counterpart, THC, throughout the years but has shown promise in the studies that have focused on it. It has been proven to have few to no negative side effects, so it is a perfect treatment to use on our beloved dogs. Starting at a smaller dose and working up to one that is the most effective and helps stop the dog’s aggression can be exactly what was needed to bring sanity back to a family with their fur baby by their side.