Benefits of CBD for Old Dogs

An old dog sits next to a chair looking up at the person taking the photo.

Some say that raising a dog is like a rainbow; the puppies are the joy at one end, and old dogs are the great treasure at the other. Dogs often become a family’s most beloved members, and every devoted owner knows that no matter how old a dog is, they remain our baby until the end of their life. Just like people, as dogs get older, certain diseases or health conditions often appear that can affect the quality of life of our beloved pets. This can become a matter of great concern for many people, which is why many dog owners are constantly looking for ways to help brighten their pups’ days in the twilight of their lives.

Many people already know about the wide range of potential benefits that cannabinoids like CBD offer people. Could CBD help senior dogs the same way? Although science still exploring ways to better understand how CBD might help our canine companions, the findings so far suggest that CBD may offer several benefits to our pets as well. This article will delve into some of these potential benefits and how CBD could help us enliven the last years of our old furry friends lives and make them more enjoyable.

Benefits of CBD for Old Dogs

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of the 113 cannabinoids identified so far in Cannabis plants and is the naturally predominant cannabinoid in hemp plants. Although CBD has a very similar chemical structure to its controversial cousin THC, CBD is not a psychotropic agent and therefore does not produce the psychoactive effects (the high) that people usually associate with cannabis use. Consequently, CBD is generally safe for dogs in moderate doses.

CBD has the peculiarity of providing practically the same benefits associated with the therapeutic use of cannabis, with the additional benefit that it does not generate any high. As with people, as dogs get older different health issues tend to affect them. This is where CBD can be of great help, since this increasingly popular cannabinoid could address several of these symptoms or conditions, thus helping older dogs to achieve a better quality of life. Among the most significant and promising benefits that CBD could provide your old pup, we find the following.

CBD helps to reduce pain

As dogs age, they can often develop pain from arthritis, old injuries, surgery, or chronic or degenerative diseases. This is why having some help with pain management is essential to ensure your old pup has a good quality of life. In this sense, CBD could be a great tool to help with your dog’s pain as it regulates the production of a chemical called anandamide. Increases in anandamide levels are linked to reduced pain sensations in pets’ brains.

CBD oil may also help reduce inflammation in different parts of your aging pet’s body. This can be helpful as inflammation is often a contributing factor to pain in older or disabled dogs. The standard pain treatment is NSAIDs. These drugs, while effective,  can cause unwanted side effects such as liver damage and chemical dependency. By directly targeting endocannabinoid receptors in areas of the body experiencing pain (due to nerve damage, injury, or inflammation), CBD may also help improve your aging dog’s mobility.

CBD increases appetite

A healthy diet is vital to the good health of both people and animals, especially as we age. Finding foods with tastes and scents appealing to dogs can be more challenging than dog owners may think. Giving the body the necessary nutrients can help your dog build strength, which can be crucial in combating severe illness. But, numerous health conditions can reduce appetite, which as a consequence, can cause your dog to lose strength and become even more vulnerable. CBD oil can help improve appetite (as it triggers hunger), helping your dog stay well-nourished and fit. Just add a few drops of CBD oil to your dog’s daily food to start noticing good results.

CBD fights nausea in elderly dogs

CBD oil, in addition to helping increase appetite, may also help reduce symptoms of vomiting and nausea associated with eating as experienced by some aging dogs. Additionally, CBD oil could provide a wide range of potential health benefits for your old pup, similar to the benefits it brings to humans.

CBD may aid with anxiety

By itself, it is common for dogs to suffer from anxiety or stress, especially older dogs. Dogs go through the same phobias and emotions humans go through, the big difference being that they don’t have the same tools to channel them. When stressed, dogs often show signs of aggression, may deficate or urinate in strange places, gnaw their skin or paws, and bark excessively. The most common trigger that causes stress in dogs can be the death of their puppies, separation from their owner, extremely loud noises, and location changes, among others.

The research found that CBD oil may help reduce stress symptoms in older dogs and even help improve their mood. This happens because CBD links with the receptors of their endocannabinoid system, thus helping them to calm their mind and feel rested and relaxed, even in situations of increased stress.

Can Help Relieve joint problems

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may be especially good in helping to reduce inflammation-associated joint pain in aging dogs. There is evidence suggesting that CBD may help to decrease the inflammatory response in dogs. This indicates that CBD oil may help relieve aging dogs suffering from arthritis or joint pain, in turn helping to improve your old pup’s mobility and overall quality of life.

CBD could help improve digestion

Gastrointestinal or indigestion problems are common among senior dogs. These conditions usually appear when dogs suffer from mental shock or severe illness. Consequently, the natural digestive ability of dogs can deteriorate. CBD carries an innate ability to improve digestive health and improve metabolic functions. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory qualities of CBD oil may also help with conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

May reduce gastrointestinal diseases

Other preliminary studies suggest that CBD oil may help to better deal with conditions such as a leaky gut, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome and to reduce stomach bloating. Good digestive health is vital to keeping your pet happy and energetic, especially when your pet is in the twilight of their life.

CBD supports a good night’s sleep

Whether due to chronic pain or inflammation, arthritis, serious illness, injury, or recovery, your senior dog may experience difficulty sleeping. Moreover, the continuous pain and constant lack of sleep could cause your dog to feel upset or agitated. Lack of rest could also make your pet prone to cardiovascular disease and nervous problems. 

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in a way that decreases your dog’s body’s sensation of pain, improves mood, and induces sleep, which can significantly improve your pet’s quality of sleep. It may seem incredible the number of benefits that having a good rest can bring your dog. But optimal sleep can boost your dog’s immune system, reduce the risk of infections, diabetes, and seizures, and lower his blood pressure.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis

With the wide range of benefits that CBD seems to bring, we can conclude that this cannabinoid could help alleviate or reduce some symptoms of arthritis. There is evidence showing that Cannabidiol interacts with the GPR55 receptor of our cannabinoid system. This cannabinoid receptor seems to have a direct implication with joint problems progression of related to arthritis. A 2018 study found that, when administered a daily dose of 2mg of CBD per kg twice a day to dogs with arthritis, they demonstrated a reduction in pain and an increase in activity levels, in addition to no show adverse effects due to treatment. Presumably CBD interacts with a similar receptor site in dogs. 

Different animal studies validate CBD’s possible anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities. However, more studies are still needed to corroborate whether these effects also occur in humans. There is a lot of anecdotal data from people with arthritis who have tried CBD reporting significant pain relief, reduced anxiety, and improved sleep quality. But, although most of the preliminary evidence so far is quite promising, CBD doesn´t work the same way for everyone. The Arthritis Foundation even published a report with instructions on the safe use of CBD for people who have arthritis.

We still need more specific studies on the effectiveness of CBD oil for dogs with arthritis before making any conclusive claims about it. Nonetheless, the evidence found so far is enough to say that, with the correct guidance of a professional, CBD could be an excellent complement to add to traditional treatments and medications for dogs with arthritis.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that causes uneven growth of the hip joints. This condition is a common problem that begins to develop during the puppyhood of dogs and can become more severe as they age. Hip dysplasia causes arthritis-like symptoms, including pain and swelling in the joints. As with arthritis, dogs with hip dysplasia experience joint pain, chronic swelling, and loss of movement. This condition can often cause dogs difficulty using stairs or jumping, reluctance to get up from lying or sitting, reduced range of motion in the hips, loss of muscle mass in the hindlimbs, and lameness in the hind legs.

In this regard, CBD oil could be of great help due to its potential pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory qualities. This is why many veterinarians have started prescribing CBD oil for dogs suffering from hip dysplasia, giving them a tool to achieve better mobility, less pain, and discomfort, and consequently, an improved life quality.

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