Sage* is our canine friend. When Tarun and I heard she is on CBD for anxiety, our heads tilted and our ears perked up.
Sage is an anxious pooch. Everything freaks her out. Thunderstorms and fireworks are on top of her list. I have no doubt that if dogs ruled the world, they would outlaw these evils. But Sage's fears are way outside the bell curve.
For instance, she cannot handle the Amazon delivery truck but she doesn't mind the UPS truck. The Amazon truck's beep lights up the fear center in her brain. To make matters worse, the house next to Sage's has a narrow and uphill driveway on which Amazon trucks slowly back into, beeping the offending sound the whole time. This totally does her in.
In the throes of an anxiety attack, Sage loses connection with reality. She shakes violently, her eyes glaze over and she doesn't respond to commands. Her family got her a thundershirt, a tight jacket that goes around her midriff to help her feel safe.
Sage's mom googled for ways to combat anxiety in dogs and came across canine CBD pills. She got a sixty-day supply and pops a pill into Sage when there is a meltdown. I know nothing about CBD except that it has roots in cannabis.
When Sage's family was narrating these details, Tarun and I were alternately feeling sad for Sage and rolling on our deck laughing. We thought of the many times we've seen Sage tearing through her yard at light speed. We attributed her behavior to superb guard-dog genes and lamented the lack of the same in our skittish dog, Hershey (RIP), who would run upstairs at the sound of the garage door opening.
Then, we had an aha moment. Sage isn't being a great guard dog in her yard, she's high and chasing invisible intruders!!
I found a website called theanxiouspet.com that waxes poetic about CBD for dogs: "Inside an anxious pet is a calm one waiting to come out" and "Wag more, worry less" it says. Just reading the website calmed me down. I was tempted to order CBD pills...for myself!
Back to the dogs.
Hershey was the queen of the Nervous Nellies. I asked Tarun if Hershey would have benefitted from THC, the ingredient in cannabis that renders its psychoactive effects. He said, Hershey was psychoactive enough and didn't need any extra help.
So, why give cannabis to dogs, especially to ones like Sage and Hershey who live on the edge as it is?!
The American Kennel Club shed light on my confusion. Turns out CBD or cannabidiol does not contain THC. I may be the last one on the planet to know this! Pet CBD is derived from hemp not marijuana and it is a safe way to treat pain and anxiety in pets. That's a good thing when our pets look at us dolefully or when they are shivering uncontrollably because of beeping trucks.
It's good to know that Sage isn't high. She's just chillin' like all cool dogs should do when the world around them is on fire :)
*Sage is not the dog's real name. Tarun and I had a serious discussion about canine privacy and he influenced me to change the name. Also, neither of us wanted to tick off our friendly neighbors or have Sage break through her invisible fence in case there's a bit of THC in those pills!