Our dogs are our best friends, so it’s important we make sure they get the best care possible, especially when they aren’t feeling their best.
Dogs may not show they are in discomfort the same way we humans do, and this is partly because of their origins as hunters and predators. In the wild, showing they are in discomfort would be a sign of weakness which could potentially lead to being preyed upon by a larger animal. As such, even our tame, cuddly dogs are experts at concealing discomfort when they are experiencing it.
Because dogs don’t necessarily show they are in discomfort like humans, it can lead us to believe they aren’t hurting when they are. Research shows dogs do experience discomfort, they’re just a little better at not whining about it! Your dog may exhibit symptoms of being in discomfort which may be unfamiliar to you unless you are paying close attention or already suspect they aren’t feeling well.
Some common symptoms of dogs that are in discomfort are:
- Limping, favoring a paw or foot, or resisting being petted or touched when they would normally love a back scratch or belly rub
- Whining or whimpering
- Appearing lethargic, tired, or sedentary
- Changes in gait and stride, or moving less or less quickly than normal
- Changes in appetite; lack of eating or refusing food and treats altogether
- Assuming awkward, unnatural postures when they stand or sit
If you suspect your dog is in discomfort, it’s best to contact your veterinarian. The vet can help determine the source of your dog’s discomfort and work with you to develop a plan for care that may involve the use of prescribed anti-inflammatory medications.
If your vet suggests anti-inflammatories for your dog, discuss the side effects of these medications, and also the ramifications of long term usage, if that is to be considered as well.
It’s of extreme importance to note that anti-inflammatories given to humans are almost never safe to give your dog. You should never attempt to give your dog a human-grade anti-inflammatory medication as it can be toxic to them and sometimes lethal. Always refer to your veterinarian’s advice and only administer anti-inflammatories to your dog that your vet has prescribed or approved for use.
Why Might Your Dog Need Inflammation Support?
Your dog will likely need anti-inflammatory medications from time to time just like you do. A dog’s body creates inflammation as part of its response to some kind of irritant. That irritant can be related to numerous causes.
Some of the most common reasons a dog might be prescribed an anti-inflammatory are:
- Joint discomfort. Dogs with joint discomfort may be prescribed anti-inflammatories to help them manage their discomfort. When dogs are given anti-inflammatories for joint discomfort, they will likely be taking them long term. Whether they take the medication on occasion or on an as-needed basis, they’ll likely be using this medication for years to come, so determining long-term use implications and side effects is key to making sure your dog stays healthy.
- After surgery. If your dog needs surgery, she may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication to take during recovery. Anti-inflammatories will help keep swelling down around the incision site and will also aid in keeping your dog comfortable while she heals.
- Muscle sprains/bone injuries. Be it a bone fracture or a muscle sprain, our active dogs can have injuries akin to ours. Just like we take medication to help alleviate discomfort when we’ve injured ourselves, your veterinarian may prescribe a medication for your dog to give her some comfort from an injury she has sustained through play, a long walk or run, or something else.
- Stiffness/loss of agility. While these symptoms may be signs of a bigger issue, they may be unrelated. Anti-inflammatory medication may be given to your dog to help keep her mobile, active, and discomfort free.
What Options Are There to Naturally Soothe Our Dogs?
Just like humans, dogs can benefit from the use of all-natural supplements when it comes to their overall health. A dog’s bone and cartilage health is no exception. There are some great holistic supplements that you can give your dog to be proactive in caring for her bone health, muscle health, and overall agility.
Some of the most popular supplements that provide support to your dog’s musculoskeletal system are:
- Chondroitin. This is a naturally occurring compound that is found in the connective tissue of humans and animals. This supplement is usually given congruently with glucosamine, which is another naturally occurring substance found in humans and animals but located in joint tissue.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (“MSM”). This long-named compound is a chemical found in plants, humans, and animals, that is thought to help with inflammation support and alleviate discomfort associated with joints and muscles.
- CBD oil. A relative “new kid on the block” in terms of treatment for animals, CBD oil is an all-natural, plant-based substance called a cannabinoid, that can support your dog’s joint and cartilage health. The compounds found in CBD oil have a host of general holistic benefits making it a great addition to your dog’s overall wellness routine.
CBD oil is available in three types of extractions for dogs: isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum. Full-spectrum is always the best option, as it contains the full range of CBD benefits that can be extracted from the hemp plant. Isolate contains only CBD, with no other phytonutrients, and broad-spectrum has phytonutrients but eliminates the cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC” , and therefore, does not net your dog as much benefit as a full-spectrum CBD oil.
CBD oil is non-intoxicating to your dog. This means it won’t get your dog “high” or make them feel uncomfortable or disoriented. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains less than .03% of THC, which is the cannabinoid in marijuana that makes a user feel “high,” and this is not enough to produce any kind of mind-altering side effect in your dog.
What Are the Benefits of Using Natural Solutions For Your Dogs?
You may discuss your dog’s treatment plan with her veterinarian and determine that supporting your dog’s bone health with an all-natural supplement is a viable option that would net her some real, quantifiable benefits. Many supplements are able to be administered alongside prescription medications to better care for your dog’s overall health.
Especially when considering bone and joint health, CBD oil tinctures for pets are a great option for providing support and aiding in keeping your dog healthy and mobile. CBD can also provide supportive benefits for brain health, GI health, and emotional wellness.
CBD oil is generally very well tolerated by dogs and can be given to them daily. It’s important to speak to your veterinarian to ensure there will be no interference with any other portion of her treatment plan if she is given CBD oil.
VETCBD’s full-spectrum CBD oil is easy to administer to your dog. You can give your dog CBD directly from the tincture’s syringe, as many dogs enjoy the taste and will gladly lick it from the syringe with ease. If your dog seems resistant, you can always add your dog’s CBD to her food or to a special treat, which should remedy the issue and get the CBD oil treatment into your dog’s system quickly and efficiently.
Why Should You Consider Natural Solutions for Dogs?
We all want to give our dogs the very best care, and sometimes this can mean giving our dogs all-natural supplements that can help them stay comfortable without the use of harsh artificial ingredients or medication that’s too strong for long term use. If there’s any way to keep your dog comfortable and protect their bone and joint health naturally, we want to explore that option.
If you’re concerned with side effects from prescription anti-inflammatory medications, you have a right to be. No medication is without side effects, and when determining your pet’s care you and her veterinarian will need to weigh the options of side effects versus discomfort level to develop the appropriate plan to manage her discomfort.
Some common side effects of anti-inflammatory medications can be:
- Gastrointestinal discomfort. Vomiting and diarrhea can be common side effects from anti-inflammatory usage in dogs. It’s important to let your dog’s veterinarian know if she isn’t tolerating her medication.
- Kidney and liver issues. Long term usage of anti-inflammatory medications can cause damage to your dog’s kidneys and liver, because anti-inflammatory medications are filtered through these organs.
- Lethargy, weakness, sleepiness. Your dog may appear more tired or lethargic when anti-inflammatory medications are being used.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are strong and should only be used as prescribed by your dog’s veterinarian. You can also offer your dog natural supplements to help support her joint and cartilage health holistically in the long term.
VETCBD offers a high-quality, animal-specific CBD oil tincture designed by a board-certified veterinarian, so you can be certain that when you choose VETCBD, you are getting quality that you can trust for your dog in the long term.