Is The Pandemic Affecting Our Pets?
For this week’s episode of, It’s A Dog’s Life, I sat down with CBD Dog Health’s Director of Education, Carter Easler.
At the beginning of the podcast, we may sound a little ‘muted.’ Carter and I were both wearing masks since we’re still in a pandemic, and it got us thinking.
How do our dogs feel seeing us with these masks on?
Have you ever wore a Halloween mask in-front of your dog? Chances are, they didn’t like it. They probably didn’t even know who you were.
This may have caused your pet stress. Stress can come from,
- Change in routine
- Loud noises
- A PANDEMIC
The list can go on and on. And yes, this pandemic could be causing your pet stress too.
Stress doesn’t seem that serious but stress in times can lead to disease! I know this first hand because stress and anxiety caused my disease, rheumatoid arthritis.
That’s why this week, we’re going to talk about how this pandemic is treating our pet’s stress and what we can do about it!
A pets routine
Just like us, our pets thrive on routine.
Even though there routine may seem easier than ours with,
- Nap again
Routine is something our pets adjust to. These ‘events’ are the building blocks of our pet’s subconscious behavioral patterns.
When all this mess started, our daily routines shifted significantly, with little warning. That abrupt change in routine is enough to really throw our pets off, regardless of how they feel about your presence in the home. Going from being away 8 hours of the day to consistently home. (They probably loved it or hated it). But now, they’re probably used to it.
AND NOW WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO WORK!
Therefore, we’re changing our pets routine again.
Can my pet sense my stress?
Our pets, especially our dogs most profound key sense is their smell. When we’re stressed, our body releases pheromones with a fragrance that our dogs pick up on. Our dogs pick up on our mood and it affects their mood.
Our dogs also have facial and tone recognition. So just like us, our dogs can recognize our mood from our facial expressions and the tone of our voice.
On top of that, our dogs can also pick up on our body language. Even the smallest change, like ignoring our dog because they’re in trouble, they pick up on that!
By helping our own stress, we’re helping out pets in return.
Sleep is good for stress right? Sleep is actually very important to our pet’s health.
Dogs need between 12-14 hours a sleep a day depending on the specific animal. For example, an older dog and a puppy need more sleep than other aged dogs. And when we’re gone most of the day, that is usually what they’re doing – napping.
So, now that most of us are home all day and BORED, we’re taking our pets for lots of walks …
And even though this is great exercise for both of us, it’s new to our pets and also could be stressing them out. (Or, they’re just tired and don’t want to go for 5 walks a day!)
Can CBD help the stress?
Research has continued to show how CBD can help calm our pets and help there stress, anxiety and fear.
Carter mentioned how the CALM Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (CBD) Tincture with CBD Dog Health has skyrocketed in sales over this pandemic. This is very understandable since it is also formulated with Lavender essential oil – another great property to help our pets stay calm in these hard times.
One of our rescue dogs, Odie, has severe thunderstorm anxiety. We make sure to give him CBD every time he gets scared and it works in just about a minute! Watch for yourself.
Since a lot of us are now staying at home, we’re noticing the different ailments are pets have. Maybe anxiety, arthritis, allergies? We’re spending more time with them now and hopefully noticing these issues. Maybe one of the small blessings that came from this pandemic.
Is it time to make the switch?
Maybe another good thing that can come from this pandemic is taking a look at both our health and our dog’s health. And our dogs health starts in the gut!
Most of the dog population is fed kibble. And I get it, it’s fast, easy, cheap, and convenient. But, the number of allergens, fillers, preservatives, and more found in kibble is doing more harm than good in our dogs.
So, maybe now it’s time to consider a more natural diet like raw?
A lot of people don’t want to jump into a raw diet because of the work and the money. Yes, quickly running to the store and grabbing that bag of kibble and throwing it in a bowel can be easier and some say cheaper than a raw diet.
But think about those vet bills for a moment … I have tons of dogs and I don’t even remember the last time I had to visit the vet! My couple secrets to a healthy dog are raw diet, some CBD, colloidal silver, apple cider vinegar, and diatomaceous earth. That’s it!
Even though we may have had the time do switch things up for our pet’s health, for the good – switching up the routine again can cause stress. Another major thing that can happen when we go back to work is separation anxiety!
Knowing our pets may get separation anxiety with this change happening again, Carter talked about a great book he read.
In the book “Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs”, Malena DeMartini-Price, gives some great advice about easing your dogs into being comfortable with your absence. She says: “It’s a gradual process of using small absences that start to teach the dog that absences are safe.”
So, rather than disappearing for a week out of the blue. Start by keeping them in a separate space for a few hours during the day, or crate training them in a different room at night.
Natural ways to help separation anxiety
Like mentioned before, CBD is an amazing way to help Separation Anxiety. One dog who is living proof is Blanche. Blanche has severe separation anxiety where we couldn’t even leave her alone for a couple of minutes. Now because of CBD, she is a changed dog.
Our pets have had a lot of opportunities for mental and physical stimulation over the past few months. We’ve been teaching them new tricks, taking them for lots of walks and making them our own personal emotional support animals. You may have been away from work, but they were working overtime!
In the absence of all this stimulation, it’s a good idea to think of ways to enrich your pet’s environment. This way their minds stay active, they are less prone to separation anxiety and also less likely to get into things that they shouldn’t.
Hide and seek
One of the things I love to do with our dogs is play hide-and-seek.
Here’s how it works…
I take a bag of our Freeze-Dried Salmon treats and hide them all over my house. When I get home, they are nowhere to be found and my dog has had a great time using their nose to search for snacks!
Even though some of us may be going back to work, don’t forget to still spend that extra time with your pet.
Keep up the active walks, play-time and more to help your pet and yourself through these hard times.
If you ever need more help, make sure to check out this amazing Facebook group with pet parents like you: CBD and Holistic Pet Advice. A lot of others may be dealing with the same thing you are. Join a community like this and connect with pet parents just like you.
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.
About Carter Easler
Father of bulldog, Moo, Carter is a life-long animal lover from Toronto, Canada currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in a family of veterinarians, he grew up surrounded by animals. He had dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles — you name it, and Carter probably rescued it.
Carter’s passion for cannabis activism started when he was in high school. After learning about the senseless prohibition and incredible diversity of cannabis’s utility, he was inspired to get involved. When Carter met Angela, he was excited to learn that he could combine his passions: animals and cannabis. Carter now travels North America to educate pet parents, retailers, and veterinarians about CBD. He is excited to bring his passion for pets to CBD Dog Health.