Arthritis is one of the most common afflictions for dogs; it affects one in five dogs in the United States. Arthritis is a debilitating condition which causes inflammation and pain in a dog’s joints, and usually affects elbows, hips, shoulders, back and neck. It can affect one or more joints and can be present in both young and old dogs alike. Because of their great size and weight large/giant breeds are the most prone to developing arthritis. Below are some ways that can alleviate your dog’s arthritic pain naturally with little gastrointestinal side effects that some common prescription medications may cause.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs
The most common symptoms for arthritis in dogs are:
1. Favoring a limb/limping
2. Difficulty sitting or standing
3. Sleeping more or restless sleep
4. Stiff or sore joints
5. Unwilling to get up, run, jump, or climb stairs
6. Weight gain
7. Less interest in play/not alert
8. Irritable, crying or whimpering
9. Lack of appetite
If one or more of these symptoms are present, make an appointment to see your dog’s veterinarian. Your dog’s veterinarian can perform an arthritis evaluation consisting of a physical exam and x-rays. Additionally, if your vet doesn’t suggest it, request a blood panel. The blood panel might detect a disease such as Lyme disease, which has some arthritis-like symptoms.
If your dog is suffering from arthritis, first evaluate his weight and diet. Fido’s extra pounds are adding to the stress on his joints and many dog foods contain ingredients, which will make the arthritis worse. Start, by cutting back on those table scraps and unnecessary treats and taking a short daily walk. Even just ten minutes a day will shed pounds and improve circulation.
Now let’s take a closer look at what you’re feeding your dog. Are you feeding a high quality chemical-free food? I recommend Canine Caviar. No matter what you feed your dog make certain it doesn’t contain preservatives, food colorings, wheat, corn, or soy products. These ingredients are not good for dogs. Furthermore, avoid feeding your dog grains; grains tend to increase joint inflammation.
While we’re on the subject of food, celery is a vegetable that can help with your dog’s joints. If you give this a try, you’ll probably have to be sneaky. Try using a food processor and chopping it into very small pieces before mixing it with your dog’s food.
Over the counter supplements can also help with a dog’s arthritis. Studies have shown that glucosamine, chondrotin sulfate and omega three fatty acids are all helpful in treating the symptoms of arthritis. Glucosamin and chondrotin sulfate can be purchased in powdered form and fish oil capsules are a good source of omega three fatty acids.
Exercise and Physical therapy have also been shown to alleviate many arthritic symptoms. Swimming is a great exercise for your dog, and it doesn’t put a strain on their joints. If you have a small dog you can use a bath tub as a therapy pool, but be vigilant and for safety don’t leave your small dog unattended. If your dog isn’t fond of water don’t force them to swim, regular walks are still a good source of exercise.
Another effective means to combat canine arthritis is acupuncture. Utilized for centuries in Eastern Medicine, acupuncture is starting to become a widely accepted practice in Western Society. It has been shown to dramatically improve a variety of health concerns in dogs. Talk to your veterinarian to learn if acupuncture is right for your pet.
To help maintain joints and connective tissues add a powdered Vitamin C supplement to your dog’s food. Not only does Vitamin C maintain joints it will also combat further degradation of joints already plagued by arthritis. Avoid plain ascorbic acid, because it can cause your dog to have an upset stomach, instead use sodium ascorbate. If you notice loose stool after starting a regimen of Vitamin C cut back the dosage.
Dosage recommendations based on breed size.
Giant = 2000-4000mg
What About Using CBD Oil to Treat Arthritis in Dogs
Like the increasing popularity of such products as hemp oil, marijuana, hemp seed oil, and medical cannabis, cannabis oil is fast becoming the number one natural remedy for treating almost any issue that you can think of, namely arthritis. During recent years, several studies on the efficacy of CBD oil and the healing benefits of the cannabis plant have been published, as well as hundreds of thousands of testimonials from patients who have been healed through the use of this powerful elixir. As people are waking up to the fact that natural, non-toxic products can be even more potent than pharmaceuticals, CBD products are being legalized all around the world for the use of pain relief and more. More research is being performed and even the notoriously strict FDA has approved the use of CBD-rich products to successfully treat disease and illness.
The most important benefits of using CBD oil for medicinal purposes is the fact that it has been scientifically proven to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints, as well as protecting joints from further damage. Further still, CBD products DO NOT contain THC, the psychoactive element found in cannabis like medical marijuana. The key to overcoming debilitating illnesses such as arthritis in your dog is to ensure that the pain is manageable enough for him to still be able to do light movement and exercise. Not only will this improve his mood, but it will also present your pet from gaining weight through lack of exercise.
How Does It Work?
To explain it in simple terms, CBD for pets works through triggering sensors in the natural endocannabinoid system that is found present in any animals that has a spine. These sensors then convey a message to the brain to relieve pain and activate the other internal systems necessary to combat illness and inflammation.
How to Give CBD Oil to Your Arthritic Dog
You can administer CBD to companion animals in a variety of different ways, with the most popular being CBD tincture or oil. Pet-approved oil will likely have omega-3 present, which is going to give your dog added health benefits. If your dog is relatively relaxed, then you can use a syringe to give him a few drops in his mouth. If he is not so keen on the taste and refuses to take it, then you can mix it into his meals to disguise the taste.
If your dog is smart and most are! And has your medicinal giving tactics figured out before you even open the bottle, then CBD-infused dog treats are equally as effective and they taste good (to your dog, at least!) You could also try rubbing CBD balm onto your dog’s skin, but bear in mind that it will take longer to work, as it needs to be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin.
How Much CBD Oil Should You Give Your Dog?
Dosage will depend on a few factors such as the size and weight of your dog. Obviously, it also depends on how advanced his arthritis is. If you are using CBD as a complementary treatment to pharmaceutical medication, then always run your intention past your vet for approval before getting started.
As a rule of thumb, you should start with a smaller dose of CBD oil and increase if necessary. There is currently no firm decision on the correct dosage of CBD oil, due to the fact that research on the potent drug is still in its early stages. So, you will need to be consistent and vigilant, by increasing the dosage slowly and gradually until you can see a visible improvement in your dog’s symptoms.
While arthritis is classified as a degenerative disease, by using CBD you can stop any further joint damage or additional pain in the future. It also has the added benefit of healing other issues in the body like insomnia, anxiety, and seizures. Basically, there is no downside to giving your dog CBD oil, especially if he is getting old. That said, CBD is a medicine and should be treated as such. Make sure that you are consistent with your timings and dosage and if your dog is improving, then don’t stop giving him the tincture; keep administering the same dosage and watch its goodness manifest!
What to avoid?
Never try to home medicate your dog with medications meant for humans. Certain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be toxic to a dog. If your veterinarian prescribes a prescription medication for your dog strictly follow their dosage suggestion. Remember, that regardless of the treatment option(s) you choose, it could take weeks for any remedy to make a difference. Be diligent and make caring for your dog’s arthritis a habit.
How to make your arthritic dog’s life better?
There are also several environmental changes you can make to your dog’s lifestyle. Here are some things you can do almost immediately to help alleviate arthritis pain. Avoid activities that strain your pet’s joints. Purchase or build a dog ramp to assist your pet in getting access to those difficult to reach places like cars/trucks, beds, and stairs. Help to reduce the strain on your dog’s neck and back when they eat and drink by raising or purchasing a stand to elevate your dog’s food and water dishes.
Keep your dog warm. Cold and damp air aggravates arthritic joints. Purchase a high quality pet bed that will help to keep your dog sleeping warm and comfortable while reducing stiffness, aches, and pains after sleeping. If you usually keep your dog outdoors consider purchasing an insulated dog house or better yet welcome them inside. Even just petting your dog can help your dog to feel better. Be a friend to your best friend.
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