Over the past few months, countries around the world have been experiencing the serious effects of COVID-19, which has been stressful and full of worry for many. With millions of people retreating to their homes to work and comply with social distancing regulations, many are feeling the effects of isolation. During this time it has been reported by various news outlets that animal shelters across the country are seeing an increase in their adoption rates. Some are even saying this is the first time they have ever seen their shelters empty.
Many may think that empty shelters are a positive effect of the pandemic. While it may be amazing that so many pets are finding their forever homes, it’s important to consider pets may be feeling the effects of the pandemic as well.
Currently, pet owners may be spending almost twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with their new best friends. In a few months when the world begins to spin again and people return to their normal workdays away from their homes, their pet may experience separation anxiety. Some pets will go from almost never being alone and going on several walks per day to possibly being left home alone for long stretches of time during the workweek. No matter how much a pet parent may want to stay home all day and cuddle with their buddies, it’s understandable that they will have to go back to work to give their pets the big window view or backyard it deserves!
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) unusual disruptive behaviors is a common complaint of pet owners and it’s reported that some pets may just need some more training and house manners. However, separation anxiety could be the real issue the dog or cat is experiencing. It may show their distress by excessive barking, howling, chewing, digging, scratching, urinating, or defecating in the house. If these issues are accompanied by drooling/panting, pacing, and anxious abnormal behavior for their particular pet when the pet owner is leaving the house, this is most likely separation anxiety and not bad manners.
“When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the goal is to resolve the dog’s underlying anxiety by teaching him to enjoy, or at least tolerate, being left alone. This is accomplished by setting things up so that the dog experiences the situation that provokes his anxiety, namely being alone, without experiencing fear or anxiety.” – The ASPCA
There are many treatment options for pet owners to consider and pet owners should always do extensive research and/or consult their veterinarians if they have questions or concerns. One option to consider is CBD oil. CBD or cannabidiol is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. It’s important to note that CBD -only products are usually derived from hemp and not from marijuana leaves, which is why CBD is not psychoactive.
While CBD oil is new to the market for dogs and the scientific data is still currently in the works by universities and scientists, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), their Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein, explains that pet owners have reported improvements in their pets after the use of CBD oil. Dr. Klein reports that
While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures. CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.