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Barbecues, fireworks, vacation… all of the things that make up the ultimate summer. While the summer season is a favorite for most of us humans, it might be the least favorite for our furry loved ones. Unfortunately, there are many factors that play into your pet’s stress during the warmer weather. With fireworks season just around the corner, the loud booms and colors in the sky may bring us joy, but leave our pets feeling nervous. As pet parents, it’s important to be prepared for the inevitable by providing our pets with a safe space so they can feel secure when their stress levels escalate. We’re highlighting how you can identify when your pet is stressed along with how you can prepare for each nerve-racking scenario so you can feel equipped for when your dog feels anxious.
What are the first signs of stress in a dog?
It’s vital to be able to recognize when your dog is experiencing signs of anxiety so you know exactly what steps to take to keep your pet calm and relaxed. What are the symptoms of dog nervousness you may ask? Some of the most common signs of dog anxiety are having accidents in the house, pacing around and feeling restless, depression, trembling, hiding, and whining . If you start to notice your dog doing any of the above, it may be time to create a dog anxiety preparedness plan, so you know what to do for future occurrences.
Why does the summer season matter for dog stress?
The summer season often has many dog anxiety triggers, such as fireworks, thunderstorms, traveling, and more. Whatever it is that your dog may be afraid of, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to combat these stressors so your pets can feel safe when the unexpected happens.
Is CBD good for dogs with stress?
CBD can be an excellent way to support your pet’s nervousness. CBD may promote calmness and relaxation, so your pet can feel restful and undisturbed during a chaotic situation like fireworks or thunderstorms. At Pet Releaf, every single one of our products contains our full spectrum hemp extract with naturally occurring CBD, so your pets can receive the beneficial soothing properties of cannabidiol.
From our USDA Organic Hemp Oils to our Edibites, we offer CBD products that can help support your pet’s occasional stress. Our Peanut Butter & Carob (Calming) Edibites include additional functional ingredients like chamomile and baobab to further promote your pet’s serenity.
What should go into a dog anxiety preparedness plan?
We want to make sure you’re fully prepared for when your pet starts experiencing high levels of stress. Check out the items below, so you can practice with your dog. As pet parents, you know your pet the very best, which is why this is just a starting list—feel free to add more that you see fit for your dog’s specific needs!
Pet Releaf CBD products: Whether your pet loves our Hemp Oils, Edibites, or both—these are great calming CBD supplements to have on hand in case anything goes awry. We recommend administering your pet’s recommended usage amount about an hour before a stressful situation occurs, such as fireworks and traveling so it has time to kick in.
A comfortable space: If your dog associates their crate with their safe space, then you may already have a great starting point! Make this space the coziest possible with their bed and favorite blankets to snuggle up with. If your pet likes to hide under your bed during times of stress, try to set up their favorite dog bed under yours so they can feel comfortable and have a sense of protection.
A long-lasting chew or puzzle toy: It’s all about distraction! Keep a pack of long-lasting chews on hand so your dog has something to chew on to keep them distracted from the loud noises or being home alone. Puzzle toys can also make for a great distraction while also stimulating your dog’s brain! Try some puzzle toys from Outward Hound and fill them with their favorite treats or broken up CBD-infused Edibites for extra calming support.
Play music or TV: Play some soothing music as another way to distract your pets from potential stress. Or if you’re home with them, turn up the television volume while you’re watching your favorite show to keep your dog from noticing any loud booms outside.
Unfortunately, more pets go missing on 4th of July than any other time of year. With loud noises sounding off in the neighborhood, it most likely will freak out your pet. It’s extremely important to ensure that your dog has a dog ID tag and that it’s completely up to date. It’s also vital to make sure your pet is inside and in a safe space to prevent any running away.
Make sure your pet has access and knows where their comfortable space is before any fireworks start sounding off. For example, if their safe space is their crate, make sure it’s open and prepped with their favorite puzzle toy and blanket. If you need any inspiration for what to put in your dog’s puzzle toy, check out our Kong recipes featuring our Liposome Hemp Oil for additional CBD support.
If you’re aware of when the fireworks are scheduled to start, try to administer CBD about an hour or so before they’re scheduled so it has time to kick in. Or it can be best to just administer about an hour before the sun is about to set since many people start setting off fireworks when it’s completely dark out. Although 4th of July is only one day, there could be multiple fireworks throughout the entire week or month, make sure to be prepared each night for your pet’s firework anxiety.
Like fireworks, the loud booms of thunderstorms can also cause your pet to experience stress. When you are home with your pet during a thunderstorm, try to comfort your dog as much as possible. There are never enough cuddles to share, so it’s time to get the snuggles on with your pet and watch movies. Having the television volume up is key to block out the alarming noises from outside. You could also initiate playtime with your best pet companion by bringing out their most treasured toys for the ultimate distraction.
Another way to potentially keep your dog undisturbed is to give them a much-needed massage with our Canna Care Topical. Our Canna Care Topical contains our full spectrum CBD along with other beneficial ingredients to support a normal inflammatory response and promote calmness. Massage some of the topical on your dog’s ears to help them relax. As thunderstorms can often be unpredictable, make sure to pay attention to the weather forecast each day so you know which days you should be administering your pet’s CBD. At Pet Releaf, we recommend administering your dog’s CBD daily to boost their immune system and to use as a preventative measure when stressful situations occur.
If you’re planning on bringing your dog along on your next big vacation this summer, you may want to consider taking some steps to ensure your pet is more comfortable than stressed during the ride. Administering CBD about an hour or so before you’re about to take off is ideal for the oil to start to kick in. CBD also has a half-life of 9 hours, so if your road trip is longer than that, make sure to administer the CBD again around 8 hours to guarantee that your pet is covered for the whole trip. As CBD can promote calmness and relaxation, the CBD may help them relax enough so that they can sleep for a majority of the trip.
If you’re traveling by plane, it’s important to make sure the plane is pet-friendly and that your pet is up to date on any necessary vaccines. If your dog must be in a crate during a road trip or plane ride, make sure that they’re crate trained so they can view their crate as their happy place and not an unpleasant cage.
If your pet can’t come along for the ride, make sure to have a trusty dog sitter that your pet feels comfortable around. Sit & Stay Pet Care is a great option for reputable dog sitters that will provide your pet with the utmost care. Another option could be doggy daycare or boarding. Whichever you choose, be sure to provide the sitter with a list of how to care for your pet along with the supplements they need; for example, their CBD supplements from Pet Releaf!
Trips to Groomer or Vet
Scheduled grooming or veterinary visits can often make your pets feel betrayed, but that shouldn’t be the case. Many veterinarians recommend “happy visits” which are like meet and greets with the veterinarians and their team so they can meet them and receive yummy treats without a veterinary check-up. Hopefully your dog will start to associate your local veterinary office with positive energy instead of negative. If your dog also stresses about the groomer, ask your groomer if you can set up a happy visit there too!
Again, try administering CBD about an hour or so before your scheduled visit at the vet or groomer to help aid in a calming, positive experience.
Being Home Alone
During the global pandemic, many people were and still are working from home. When your dog gets used to you being around almost 24/7, it can be tough for your pet to start experiencing you not being there. It’s time to start preparing your pet for when you head back to work! Whether you’re going to work or a summer day trip to the beach, it’s important to set your pet up for a relaxing day at home. For a calm pup, don’t forget to administer their CBD daily, so if you’re leaving right in the morning, try incorporating it in a supplement rich breakfast bowl recipe!
Again, make sure they’re comfortable in their crate and if not, it may be time to reintroduce them to their safe space. Providing their bed with an item of clothing that smells like you just may help them feel calm as well. Let’s face it, sometimes you can do everything in your power to make sure your pet is safe and things can still go wrong. That’s why it’s important to be ready in the event your cat or dog actually ends up going missing on the 4th of July. You should always keep your pet's microchip and collar ID information updated – and for high-risk situations like the Fourth of July, it's especially important. Nothing can delay the return of a pet like an outdated contact number, or worse, no owner info on record. Having your cat or dog chipped by a qualified vet can make sure they get back to you quickly in the event they turn up at an animal shelter. Also, be sure you have recent pictures of your pet ready. These will come in handy for lost posters or for sending around to local animal shelters and law enforcement agencies. It isn’t fun to think about, but taking these precautions can mean the difference between getting your pet back and having someone be unable to find you and keeping your loved one as their own. Don’t become another statistic! Do what you can to make sure your pet is calm, safe, and secure this 4th of July, and you and your friends and family will be able to enjoy the festivities knowing you have done everything you can to make sure your pet is home and calm when you return. References: