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The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a pure celebration of the great American experiment, and I love the parties, fireworks, and music that surround it. But for our four-legged friends, holiday fireworks may cause distress and even panic. We want to help our fellow pet owners and provide some tips for how CBD can help pets handle their fear of fireworks.
CBD Products for Pets
If your pet is a mammal, there are a variety of CBD products from Holistic Hound, Hemp4Paws, and Rx CannaCare primarily aimed at dogs. For snakes and other reptiles, fish, etc. not so much. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), and like humans, CBD (and THC) nourishes the ECS and provides calming effects in our pet’s body. Last December, we posted an article about CBD Products for Pets. It explored a 2018 nationwide survey of 1,068 dog owners by Colorado State University, and nearly 80 percent said they bought hemp or marijuana products for their dogs. Another survey of 632 people reported that 49.3 percent felt CBD helped moderately or a great deal in relieving anxiety for dogs and cats. While more research is desperately needed, the early results indicate CBD may be helpful in calming our pet’s anxiety during fireworks and thunderstorms.
We contacted veterinarian Dr. Tim Shu of VETCBD for some tips for dealing with 4th of July fireworks. His 20:1 CBD to THC formula has helped keep pets calm since 2015. While the products contain small amounts of THC, this means that VETCBD products are tested by state-certified laboratories in accordance with California cannabis testing regulations to ensure quality and safety. They can only be purchased in licensed cannabis dispensaries in California.
Dr. Shu said that “CBD has anti-anxiety properties that can help keep pets calm (dogs and cats) when fireworks are going off. It is important to note that sedation and anxiety relief are not the same things. Sedatives can sedate a patient without providing anxiety relief. So CBD having specific anti-anxiety properties without sedation is what makes it a great choice for anxiety issues.”
We also asked Dr. Shu about dosing guidelines and timing. He said that “Each individual pet is unique, and dosing can vary from individual to individual. So it’s best to establish a dose that works well for that individual prior to July 4th so an owner knows how much to give. We recommend giving it one to two hours before anticipated events to allow for full absorption of the CBD from the GI tract.”
Dr. Shu also provided some non-medication tips:
News reports confirm that the busiest day for animal shelters is July 5th. Distressed and panicked pets may try to escape the sonic disruptions by running away during the fireworks show. We highly recommend sticking with CBD products created for pets as they may contain different ingredients than those made for humans. As Dr. Shu recommended, you may even want to start a few days prior to the holiday and see how it affects your pet. Remember, like humans, don’t break the GLASS Rule: Go Low and Start Slow and keep an eye on your pet for any adverse reactions. So to keep your cats and dogs purrfectly happy and healthy this 4th of July, consider CBD as part of the mix.
Please share your 4th of July experiences and whether CBD products help your dog or cat. Log in and make a comment or share this story on social media.
John Ansimoore covers all things cannabis for Three Wells.