My dog has anxiety. And when I say anxiety, I mean ANXIETY. My sweet baby girl, Penny, is five years old and completely blind. Because she was born blind, she gets around the house well and maps out new places we visit pretty easily. She is fun, playful, loving, and social, but she is also afraid of new noises or sudden movements. It totally freaks her out and she’ll go into a panic attack frenzy sometimes. She has done this for as long as I can remember, and I adopted her about four and a half years ago, and until I started giving her CBD dog treats, her anxiety was a real struggle.
Her panic attacks are mostly triggered by noises or movements, but sometimes I have no idea what causes them. I honestly think she even has them when she wakes up from a bad dream. She likes to nap a lot and will occasionally wake up whining and barking. Her “puppy panic attacks” are spurts of running back and forth down the hallway, barking, and whining frantically. It breaks my heart to see her like this when it happens, but I have not found a single thing that works to prevent it. These attacks of hers usually only last about a minute or two but she is inconsolable when it happens, then she’ll have at least two or three more throughout the day after the first one. It’s never been one and done – they’re always followed my more panic attacks in the afternoon and into the evening.
I’ve consulted with veterinarians, dog ophthalmologists (yes that’s a thing), and other pet specialists, but no one seems to know what to do for her. We’ve tried everything from eyes drops to lower her eye pressure (taking care of a blind puppy is fascinating sometimes) to calming thunder vests, and nothing seems to work. Finally, I was encouraged by a friend to try doggy CBD for my dear Penny. Willing to try anything, I eagerly began to seek out more information on CBD for dogs like Penny, who suffer from anxiety.
Of course, I had heard of CBD pet treats before now, but I wasn’t sure what to think for quite a while. There’s a lot of information about CBD out there, but it’s hard to know what to believe when there’s so many different publications, products and providers of CBD. I personally started using CBD for my own anxiety, muscle relief, and as part of my wind-down routine from work about a year ago, and it had amazing effects. CBD has helped my mood and sleep become better and more consistent. I find that my mind is calmer, and my muscles are soothed after my daily exercise regime. My own experiences led me to research the effects on pets about two months ago, and after seeing some pretty amazing stories of dogs being calmer in the most difficult situations – even the dreaded thunderstorms – I decided it was time to give CBD a try for my own anxious pup.
I chose Seabedee Bark Bites for Penny because that’s I shop for my own CBD from that brand I use for myself, and I loved the list of natural ingredients. I would personally consume any of the ingredients in these dog treats (sweet potato, chickpea flour, coconut oil, etc) and know them to be safe for pets, so I felt good about giving them to my dog. I am a millennial, so obviously my dog is my baby and no harm will ever come to her under my watch! The bag of treats also had straightforward directions for dosage and weight of the dog. Let’s face it, I work in a stressful hospital job and I need easy decisions and clear directions after a long shift.
I woke up one weekend and Penny had a panic attack in the morning, so I immediately gave her half of the CBD Bark Bite as directed. Let me tell you, she scarfed that treat down in a matter of milliseconds, so she must have liked the taste. I gave her that first treat on a day that I knew I could be home all day and monitor her, but she was totally cool as a cucumber the rest of the afternoon. Day one – no other panic attacks. She took her regular naps and was maybe more cuddly than usual, or maybe I was, but either way it went extraordinarily smoothly. And just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I jotted down some notes about the experience and watched her closely. Like I said, I work in a hospital so monitoring health is kind of my thing.
I kept a close eye on Penny the rest of the week, just waiting for the next anxiety attack so we could try another CBD treat. And there it was, just two days later – the next panic attack. She had one in the morning again, I gave her half of the treat again, she scarfed it down again, and to my astonishment not another attack came for the rest of the day. Now this was twice that the CBD treat stopped her anxiety attacks! Typically, she has at least a few during the week, usually in the morning, but recently her anxiety has become less and less frequent! Penny and I both are starting to swear by these CBD treats by now.
It’s been a little over a month using the CBD treats for her panic attacks, and it has worked wonders. Nothing I’ve ever tried in the past has been able to keep Penny calm or prevent more panic attacks during the day until now. It hurts me so much to see her in panic, and we’ve finally found a way to lessen those panic attacks. She is still her usual self with a big personality, but with less anxiety when she has a CBD treat. Sometimes I question myself and ask if I’m just projecting my own feelings onto her, but between the notes and mood monitoring I’ve been doing at home I can truly say that it’s working. Not just a placebo or projecting my own thoughts, but it’s actually improving her mood and anxiety.
I think in the future I might use the treats more consistently, but for now Penny and I have found a great balance of less panic and more room for playfulness. We’re just your average little millennial family with anxiety and CBD, living the dream with a backyard. I’ll keep this balanced, calm version of both myself and my puppy thank you very much. And I don’t think Penny is unhappy one bit about eating those special little sweet potato treats either.