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Limping and pain can make daily life hard for our dogs and, in some cases, make walks impossible.
As four out of every five dogs suffer from osteoarthritis, most pet parents understand the anguish it can cause.
Finding the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis could dramatically change your dogs' life and yours.
In this article we help you find the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, based on the research.
THE ROLE OF INFLAMMATION IN DOG ARTHRITIS
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that often occurs in a dog's legs or lower back. In a healthy dog, cartilage serves as a lubricant for the joints.
Unfortunately, over the years, it deteriorates due to factors including age, nutrition, breed size, genetics, infections, injuries, obesity, and activity. The result is inflamed joints that cannot move freely; the friction causes pain, swelling, IVDD, and even bone spurs.
There's no cure for arthritis, so veterinarians usually focus on managing the symptoms.
Arthritis will worsen over time, so your goal as pet parents is to slow that deterioration down as much as possible.
One way to do that is to reduce the strain on your dog's joints. Low-impact exercise like walking or swimming may help strengthen the surrounding muscles, reducing pressure on the joints.
You can add supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid to your dog's diet to promote lubrication of the joints.
If your dog's arthritis is more severe, surgery is a course of action vets may recommend. But this can be very tough on dogs due to the effects of anesthesia and runs a 5-10% risk of serious complications. The high cost also makes it unavailable to many pet parents.
For these reasons, vets most often turn to NSAIDs like Carprofen, Previcox, Meloxicam, or Galliprant. These drugs can help reduce pain and inflammation in arthritic dogs and are a relatively low-cost option, but there are risks. When used long-term, they may cause ulcers, liver damage, and kidney damage. They are often used to treat arthritis in dogs for years, yet the most extended safety study is only six months.
For this reason, you must have bloodwork done at the vet periodically to monitor your dog's health when using them. Unfortunately, NSAIDs are no longer an option for your dog if organ damage occurs.
As NSAIDs are risky for long-term use, many pet parents seek natural alternatives to help their dogs live more comfortably.
IS CBD GOOD FOR DOGS WITH ARTHRITIS?
Experiences of pet parents and many small studies provide more than a hint at the possibilities of CBD oil for dogs with arthritis.
A 2020 study showed that dogs diagnosed with arthritis significantly improved their quality of life with CBD treatments.
According to a 2018 clinical trial, giving dogs with osteoarthritis 2 mg/kg of CBD twice a day can improve their comfort and activity .
We found further scientific evidence of CBD's therapeutic effects in a study of blood samples from 6 healthy German Shepherds. The researchers added chemicals to get an inflammatory response in the blood. The CBD was able to reduce inflammation .
Because CBD functions similarly in dogs and people, we can look at human scientific studies to gain more understanding.
A 2015 study on inflammation found that topical application of CBD has therapeutic potential to relieve arthritis pain and inflammation with zero evidence of side effects .
These findings are all very promising, but are there any downsides to CBD for dogs, and what do you need to know before using it?
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
CBD can have some side effects. Dizziness, dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and an upset stomach are the most common ones. Recent studies indicate an increase in certain enzymes and proteins in the liver is possible after CBD treatment.
These side effects are relatively harmless to your dog and usually disappear with use over time. They are also reversible by lowering the dose or discontinuing the product's use. If you have doubt, consult with your veterinarian, and ask if CBD is an option for your best friend's condition.
HOW DO YOU GIVE CBD TO A DOG?
There are several ways to give CBD to a dog with arthritis, including drops, chews, or treats. The best option will depend on your dog and how cooperative they may or may not be.
CBD oil, placed in your dog's mouth, has been shown in research to have the best absorption rate, as it bypasses the first-pass effect. However, this isn't always possible as some dogs are anxious or apprehensive, so many parents turn to chews or treats.
The first-pass effect happens when CBD is eaten in chew or treat form or placed on your dog's food and swallowed. The liver processes CBD before reaching the bloodstream, and quite a bit is lost.
Look first to CBD oil for your dog, but if that isn't an option, look to treats with a dosage that considers the first-pass effect.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CBD OIL FOR DOGS WITH ARTHRITIS
Finding the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis can seem daunting as there are so many options available. Every newspaper and magazine is suddenly an expert on animal health, and unsurprisingly, every company claims to be the best.
If you talk to veterinarians studying CBD for dogs and pharmacists who understand how it compares to current arthritis dog medications, you quickly realize that very few products are likely to help your dog. New research has shown that some products can have more adverse side effects too.
Here are some of the initial things to look for to give your dog a better chance of safely attaining relief.
Quality ingredients are the starting point of a good CBD product for dogs. Ensure the CBD comes from hemp grown organically in the USA and is traceable to the seed. With treats and chews, make sure they contain only human-grade ingredients. You wouldn't want to eat cheap fillers and meals, and your dog shouldn't either.
It's tempting for companies to save money by automating the customer service process or outsource it to a foreign country. When buying a CBD product for dogs with arthritis, you may need expert advice. So pick a company you can contact quickly by phone, with US-based knowledgeable customer service.
Third-party lab testing is when a company sends its products off to have them independently verified for potency by an accredited lab. The results show you how much CBD is in the product and helps you ensure there isn't anything that shouldn't be. Informed consumers can also check when it was made to ensure its freshness.
CBD isn't cheap, so we suggest not to shop based on price alone. More affordable products will generally contain less CBD, which science has shown to be less effective than more concentrated products. Often the cheapest products don't even contain CBD, like hemp seed oils.
An excellent way to make sure your dog benefits from CBD is to buy from a reputable company with a rock-solid guarantee. A guarantee will ensure they aren't just in it for a quick buck and believe in their products.
WHERE TO BUY CBD OIL FOR DOGS WITH ARTHRITIS
When deciding where to buy CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, you generally have two choices; online or in-store. They both have benefits and disadvantages.
With an online purchase, you benefit from being able to research the company and its products. However, you will have to wait a few days for shipping, which can be difficult if your dog is suffering.
In-store is more convenient and immediate, but you risk making a less informed purchase. If you can't easily check the lab results, you won't know how much CBD is in the product, if any.