Chill Out With the Zen Pen

Zen Pen (dog)

Chill Out With the Zen Pen

My older dog Maisie just went through her second ACL repair — a major bone-cutting surgery with hardware screwed into the bones. Lots of pain (for which she gets compounded tramadol and gabapentin), as well as anxiety about the whole procedure. Now, two and a half weeks later, she has anxiety about her sister Wanda going everywhere with me in the car while Maisie has to stay home. All their lives they’ve both always been onboard my “dog mobile” (car outfitted for the total comfort of canines) whenever I go out. Now, leaving Maisie behind will be the routine for weeks. I would feel even more guilty if I didn’t have a way to ease her emotional discomfort.

Boy am I glad to have a Zen-Pen filled with CBD oil from Earth Animal, which is one of the terrific sponsors of my website and NPR show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!). I know it is properly produced and I can dose it for her weight. I can squirt the right dose right into her mouth from the handy-dandy Zen Pen dispenser five or ten minutes before we go out and Maisie sort of gives a doggy shrug of her shoulders and says, “Oh, well. See ya…”

There can be so many reasons you want to take the edge off of canine (or feline) anxiety — going to the vet or groomer, being in the car, changes in the household, medical issues, thunderstorms or fireworks (or hunting season where I live in Vermont). However, you don’t want to resort to using tranquilizing medications. We’ve all heard about the mellowing effects of CBD oil, but not all CBD is created equal. It really matters what company is making the products and the origin of the CBD itself.

Earth Animal Zen Pen Products
Earth Animal Zen Pen Products

I’ve written before about the importance of using CBD products that are carefully sourced, and now that is even more true with CBD having become so trendy — both for pets and people. We want the hemp from which the CBD is extracted to be organic and preferably grown in the USA, it’s also important that the THC levels be infinitesimal. THC is the ingredient in marijuana that makes you high, and it’s specifically not supposed to be present in CBD products. For example, CBD gummies for people that are formulated properly are extracted from hemp and supposed to contain less than 0.3% of THC, which is what makes them legal in all 50 states because they cannot make you high. In theory, CBD products should not have any such effect on you or your pets. THC is deleterious (or seriously dangerous) to the health of pets. Even if that were not the case, your intention in using CBD would never be to make your dog or cat disoriented or high — but to bring them down and mellow them out

As far as I understand it for human use, if you want a “drug high” then use drugs and get actual marijuana products where they are legal. CBD is for pain and its emotionally calming effect. In fact, a misunderstanding about the effect of CBD was evident in a recent New York Times article a celebrity’s new line of CBD fruit gummies, with various comments from her about how “high” her friends reported getting after eating two of these gummies, whereas she could eat many of them before feeling that effect. In any case, CBD products for pets need to be made for pets. Don’t presume that CBD products for humans are safe for use in pets — or even that they are within the legal limit of THC content!

Maise is so grateful I have a Zen Pen. Instead of showing you Maisie sleeping (kind of like watching paint dry) above is a much cuter photo of my friend’s little dog, Amber, soon after she was Zen Pen-ned during a thunderstorm, which usually makes her tremble and try to hide.

—Tracie Hotchner

(Have a comment? Share it on Facebook.)

Earth Animal is a sponsor on Radio Pet Lady Network, by our invitation.