Car anxiety, car sickness, car trauma; no matter what you call it, it can be devastating to both dogs and their owners. If you're one of the many pet parents whose dog suffers from car anxiety, you know how difficult it can be to take your pup anywhere in the car. There's barking and whining, jumping around and even vomiting.
One of the triggers for dog anxiety in car rides is motion sickness which is caused by conflicts between visual and balance information. Another reason involves stress, current or prior, that is not allowing your dog to relax while riding in a vehicle. It's one of the most common issues many dog parents face.
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in the hemp plant. It's one of the most well-known cannabinoids, and it has been used for centuries for its medicinal value. Now scientists think CBD could be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, and has been shown to have numerous health benefits that can benefit dogs suffering from anxiety or stress disorders.
What are the signs of car anxiety in dogs?
While there are many ways to tell if your dog is experiencing car anxiety, here are some of the most common signs:
- Excessive drooling
- Whining or barking
- Trying to hide under the seat or in another part of the car (such as in a crate)
These behaviors can also be accompanied by attention-seeking behavior and excessive panting. If you notice that your dog is panting and drooling while riding in the car, make sure he has plenty of water on hand. In addition to this, keep an eye out for vomiting after being in the car. This can indicate gastrointestinal upset related to anxiety. Finally, also keep an eye out for when your dog becomes unable to settle during a ride; this too could be related to anxiety caused by travel.
Why does my dog get car sick?
Why do dogs get stressed out in cars? Dogs are highly sensitive to the emotions of their owners. They can sense when we're stressed or upset and will respond with anxiety of their own, especially if they are not used to traveling in cars.
In addition, dogs may develop car anxiety after having an unpleasant experience while riding in a vehicle. A dog might become afraid of riding in cars if he's been hit by one or has had a frightening ride with another driver that caused him physical or emotional harm.
Dogs can also get motion sickness just like people can. In fact, some dog breeds are more prone to it than others. Smaller dogs, such as Chihuahuas, are particularly susceptible.
CBD helps dogs with car anxiety due to motion sickness by calming the canine nervous system, reducing their stress level, and making them less reactive around other stimuli. This allows them to relax and enjoy the ride instead of being anxious about it all the time.
How does CBD in dogs work to relieve anxiety?
CBD is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. It affects the endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in regulating mood, anxiety responses and inflammation.
Cannabinoids interact with receptors throughout the body, including the brain, to produce changes in our dog’s (and our own) bodies and minds. When your dog consumes CBD, it interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
This may help relieve your pup's stress-related symptoms like panic attacks or separation anxiety as well as general anxiety issues (like excessive barking).
CBD can help dogs with car anxiety
CBD acts as a natural anti-anxiety supplement for dogs. The calming effects of CBD help to reduce stress, which is the primary cause of dog anxiety in car rides. CBD can also help calm your dog down before going in the car and lessen the severity of symptoms like shaking, panting and whining.
CBD eases anxiety by interacting with receptors in your pet’s brain that control feelings of pleasure and relaxation. This causes them to feel relaxed WITHOUT any of the psychoactive effects associated with THC (the compound in marijuana).
CBD is safe for dogs with car anxiety
While there are no known adverse effects of CBD, it is important to consider that the dosage and method you choose mean everything. If you give your dog too much CBD, the body will flush the excess out of their system, although they may experience some diarrhea.
CBD is a safe alternative to medications like Xanax and Valium that could cause adverse effects in your dog.
Be sure to do your research before giving your dog any type of medication or supplement. The best way to determine if CBD will help your anxious pup is by trying it out with small doses in combination with other products, such as calming aids like a Thundershirt.
Your 4 step plan to easing stress, anxiety and dog car sickness
The most serious risk with car anxiety in dogs involves cardiovascular problems. Stress can trigger changes in a dog's heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature that could negatively impact the animal's health. The same goes for dogs who are hyperactive or overly anxious in their cars; they're more likely to overheat than their relaxed counterparts.
Preventing car anxiety is also important for older dogs who may not handle travel well due to health problems such as arthritis or heart disease.
A few simple changes can help reduce your dog's stress level while you're driving together:
- Keep your dog calm before going on a trip by taking time to exercise and play with him so he's tired out before you set off.
- Don't make trips longer than necessary, and be sure to take breaks during long drives to allow your dog to stretch his legs and use the bathroom.
- Make sure your dog is comfortable in his crate or carrier before starting out; give him water and food if appropriate (and safe), and make sure he has fresh air if possible.
- If you love to travel on road trips with your dog, but hate the stress that comes with it, CBD may be the way to reduce any anxiety, while leaving your dog feeling happy and comfortable. CBD products can be found in many forms, including tinctures and tasty treats, like Canine Cush. Although it may be tempting to grab a tincture, some dogs don’t appreciate the flavor of the oil. If you have one of these dogs, adding the oil to their food or purchasing treats that already contain CBD may be the way to go.