Can CBD Oil For Dogs & Cats Help With Aggression?
Aggression refers to threatening or damaging behavior that an animal shows towards another animal or person. It refers to a broad spectrum of complex behaviors that are triggered by different factors under various situations.
Practically all animals exhibit aggressive behavior when they are defending their young, guarding their territories, or protecting themselves from attacks. When a pet cat or dog shows aggression, however, it is often a cause for serious concern.
Types of Aggression
There are many types of aggression.
- A pet can turn aggressive from fear.
Your pet will demonstrate this type of aggression if it feels threatened and feels that it can’t escape. Some fears are learned; they are usually a result of past experience. Most of the time, you will find it hard to tell what your pet is afraid of.
- A pet can turn aggressive because of pain.
Aggression can sometimes be a result of pain from some medical condition. Dental disease, arthritis, infections, and trauma can be painful. When you touch your pet (or sometimes even when it simply thinks that you are going to touch it) in a painful area, your pet can react quite aggressively.
- A pet can show territorial aggression.
When your pet feels that somebody is intruding in its territory, it can turn quite aggressive. A pet will usually show this type of aggression when there is a new person or new pet in the house or in the vicinity.
- A pet can turn aggressive to assert itself.
When your pet tries to run your house, it is said to be showing status aggression. When your pet blocks the door, growls when you try to move it, or attempts to bite you when there is another pet around, it is trying to assert itself through its aggressive behaviors.
- A pet can turn from affectionate to aggressive when you pet it.
When you caress your cat or dog, it may initially look like it is enjoying your attention. It can change its mind suddenly and start to hiss or growl at you. It may even try to bite your hand for no apparent reason at all. It is believed that pets can find repetitive motion pleasant and, over time, unpredictably find it irritating.
- A cat, in particular, can show redirected aggression.
Redirected aggression is considered a dangerous and unpredictable form of feline aggression. This is usually triggered by an external stimulus. Your cat sees a dog outside the window or a squirrel that it can’t run after. It notices an alarming noise or smell. The stimulus gets your pet into a hyper-aroused state. When you walk by, your cat redirects its aggression on you and hisses at or bites you.
Symptoms of Aggression in Pets
You will notice subtle changes in how a dog or cat positions its body before it launches a tangible act of aggression. These postures warn you of the forthcoming assault. They also help you determine what has triggered the aggression.
An aggressive cat shows either offensive or defensive postures.
The former includes stances that make a cat look more intimidating and bigger than it actually is. A cat will stiffen its legs and tail, raise its hackles, stare at you, hold its ears in an upright position, growl, and move menacingly toward you to show its offensive attitude.
Defensive stances, on the other hand, make a cat look smaller. The postures demonstrate a self-protective stance. A cat will raise its hackles, flatten its ears, crouch, and tuck its head in. It will either turn away from you or hiss and swipe at you. Anxiety or fear is usually behind such aggression; you may or may not be the one causing the emotion.
A dog shows similar symptoms. It will snarl, growl, and bark ferociously. It will snap and lunge at you. It may even bite you.
How to Handle Aggression
Rule out underlying medical conditions by taking your pet to a veterinarian. If the aggression is not a result of a health condition, try other techniques to deal with the aggression.
- Interrupt the behavior.
Before the aggression becomes full-blown, whistle, shake a bottle filled with coins, or throw a chew toy in your pet’s line of vision. Presenting distractions will interrupt your pet’s behavior and prevent it from turning full scale.
Refrain from touching or picking up your pet to avoid getting hurt.
- Provide stimulating surroundings.
Pets sometimes act aggressively to release energy. Look for means to enable your pet to get rid of some of this energy and prevent it from spiraling into aggressive behavior.
Give your pet adequate time to play. Provide stimulating toys. Give it a climbing perch or a scratching post.
Once you notice your pet starting to act aggressively, leave it. Come back when it seems calm. When your pet plays nicely, encourage the good behavior by rewarding your cat or dog with food or treats.
- Use calming products.
There are products designed to calm pets down. Use these products to make your pet less anxious, less moody, or less aggressive.
- Get the services of an animal behaviorist.
If it seems impossible for you to do anything about your pet’s aggressive behaviors, consult an animal behaviorist. This person has the experience and training in the use of techniques intended to modify animal behavior.
- Use CBD oil.
CBD for Aggression and Other Problems
CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the active ingredients of the hemp plant. Research shows that it has balancing and healing effects on mammals.
Both marijuana and hemp are catalogued as cannabis plant. However, while both have beneficial CBD, recreational marijuana has high levels of THC, the component responsible for producing euphoria, while hemp has practically none. CBD derived from hemp is not psychoactive. Taken at the right dosage, it has virtually no adverse side effects.
An increasing number of pet owners use CBD for a wide spectrum of health and behavioral issues, including aggression in dogs and cats.
How Much CBD Should I Give My Pet with Aggression?
How much CBD oil you administer to a pet that shows signs of aggression will depend on the situation, as well as on your pet’s body weight.
The standard dosage recommended is 1 to 5 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight. You may use our CBD Dosage chart for dogs as a starting point and see how well your dog takes it.
You can probably begin by giving a low to mid-range dose. After 30 minutes, you should notice some changes in your pet’s behavior. If no change occurs, you may have to increase the dose. If you want to break your pet’s aggressive behavior, you may have to give your pet CBD once or twice daily.
Some pets will require more than one treatment before they show improvements in behavior. It is good to know that studies show that CBD for cats does not contain any toxic or harmful ingredients.