Many of us have had our dogs since they were freshly weaned puppies, or youngsters just rescued from a shelter. One of the hardest parts of raising and caring for a dog is that they out-age us so quickly. A dog that seemed so youthful just a few years ago can begin to experience age-related conditions that cause them to lose some of their spunk.
One such condition is joint discomfort. The most common form of joint discomfort in dogs is age-related joint discomfort, though immune dysfunction can also less commonly be the cause of discomfort.
Joint discomfort occurs when the cartilage between your dog’s bones begins to wear away because of use over time. Cartilage is the cushiony material between the bones (located at the joints). Much like in humans, your dog depends on this cartilage to keep him moving comfortably. When this cartilage begins to wear away, there’s less cushion between the joints, which can cause your dog to move stiffly and experience discomfort with movement. Over time, this results in decreased mobility.
If you suspect your dog may be experiencing joint discomfort, you should make an appointment for him to see his veterinarian. The vet can properly diagnose the cause of his discomfort and help you develop a treatment plan that is suitable for helping him retain his mobility and stay comfortable.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of dogs with joint discomfort to help give you an idea about what to look out for:
- Joints that appear swollen. In some dogs, you may be able to see visual indications that the joint is swollen or appears enlarged or misshapen, especially around high use areas like the hips and knees.
- Favoring legs or paws. If your dog is experiencing joint discomfort in only one area, they may favor this leg or paw, or drag the leg or paw as though they are lame.
- Biting or licking joints. Your dog may bite, lick, or chew on areas of discomfort (like joints) in an attempt to get some alleviation from their discomfort.
- Disinterest in usual activities. A dog that once loved to play catch or jump on and off the sofa and no longer shows interest in these activities may be experiencing joint discomfort.
- Changes in social behavior. Your once friendly and loving dog now seems grumpy and irritable; he may even show aggressive behavior toward you, other people, or animals.
If your dog is suffering from joint discomfort, you and her veterinarian can develop a plan to give him some ease. Depending on how far your dog’s joint discomfort has progressed, you may be able to provide temporary soothing by changing things in his environment (i.e. providing small stairs for her to use to get on and off furniture, moving her bed to the lower level of your home, etc.).
The most important thing we want to do for our dogs when they are suffering is to provide some alleviation to them for discomfort. Depending on your dog’s level of discomfort, their veterinarian may prescribe some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help manage discomfort. As prevention, there are other things we can do to be proactive about keeping our dog’s bodies in good repair and helping them retain as much mobility as possible. As always, we want to speak with our dog’s veterinarian before beginning any kind of supplement or activity to make sure they are a good candidate and that it will not interfere with their current treatment plan.
What Can Hemp Oil Do For Your Dog’s Joint Health?
A great way to help keep our dogs as healthy as possible for as long as possible is to support their overall wellbeing with exercise, a good diet, and supplements if needed.
Hemp oil, or “CBD” oil, is an all-natural, plant-based extract derived from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the cannabis-sativa plant. This plant is rich in cannabinoids (like CBD), flavonoids, terpenes, and other beneficial elements that can all be extracted and used in oil form.
Hemp oil can be extracted as an isolate (which contains only CBD), a broad-spectrum (only CBD), or as a full-spectrum oil (CBD and other cannabinoids). A full-spectrum oil is capable of providing your dog with more benefit because it contains all usable cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes--the different parts of the cannabis-sativa plant work together concurrently which allows them to give your dog the maximum benefit the plant has to offer.
Hemp oil can help maintain your dog’s normal joint mobility, and can even ease occasional stiffness from everyday activities.
Does Hemp Oil Have Soothing Benefits?
Hemp oil supports your dog’s joint and cartilage health, which is essential in helping keep them as young and agile as possible for as long as possible. Hemp oil can also give your dog comfort emotionally, too. Hemp oil provides temporary soothing for dogs who may be agitated due to environmental stressors and promotes calmness to help them to relax.
How Do You Give Hemp Oil to Dogs?Hemp oil can be given to dogs in several different ways:
- Edibles (bites, chews, bones)
- Tinctures (liquid formulations)
- Topicals (creams or gels applied directly to the skin)
If you want to support your dog’s joint mobility and other internal systems, he will benefit most from hemp oil delivered in the form of a tincture. A tincture is a liquid that consists of hemp oil which has been dissolved into a carrier oil, which can then be administered directly to your dog.
VETCBD’s cannabidiol-rich hemp oil tincture has been specially formulated for your dog by a board certified veterinarian. This means you can trust that the ingredients in our tinctures are pure and contain the highest level of CBD benefit for your dog. Plus, all of our batches are triple-tested by third party labs to check not only for potency, but for safety, including checking for pesticides, mold, yeast, bacteria, and other substances that don’t belong in something being given to your beloved pet.
A tincture can be given directly to your dog from the tincture dropper; in fact, many dogs will gladly take it in this manner.
NSAIDS for Joint DiscomfortYour dog’s veterinarian will likely prescribe your pet a course of NSAIDs to help mitigate their joint discomfort. NSAIDs are great at helping alleviate your dog’s discomfort, but they can come with side effects such as:
- Gastrointestinal discomfort. GI discomfort like vomiting and diarrhea can be common in dogs who are given NSAIDs, especially long term.
- Kidney and liver issues. Long term use of NSAIDs can cause issues with your dog’s kidneys and liver because these are the organs that filter these medications. It’s important to discuss these possible side effects with your veterinarian, especially if your dog is going to be on a medication long term.
- Decreased appetite. NSAIDs may cause your dog to lose his appetite. While this may not seem like a big deal, it’s really a very urgent matter. Because dogs only eat once or twice a day, it’s crucial they get in their calories during their feedings. Dogs that refuse their food are at risk of losing weight.
Your dog doesn’t have to suffer from joint discomfort without any help or support. Your veterinarian can help diagnose your dog’s joint discomfort and help determine a course of treatment. It’s important to discuss treatment options with your dog’s veterinarian including long-term side effects of any prescription or supplement that are given to your dog.
You can support your dog’s joint and cartilage health by giving them a cannabidiol-rich hemp oil tincture. Hemp oil helps keep your dog comfortable and helps them maintain their current level of mobility.
Speak to your dog’s veterinarian about whether or not your dog is a candidate for hemp oil products and how they can benefit your dog’s overall health and wellness for years to come.