By Carter Easler
Updated on May 25, 2021
Arthritis and joint pain can wreak havoc on our dog’s quality of life. So what can be done to manage this? CBD for dogs with Arthritis and joint pain can significantly increase mobility, decrease pain, and improve overall quality of life for your pet.
Arthritis in Dogs
Arthritis in dogs can be a challenge to manage. Even in mild cases, normal physical activity like their afternoon walk can be extremely painful. While arthritis can manifest itself in any part of a dog’s skeletal structure, it most frequently develops in the joint tissues of the shoulders and hips.
Arthritis is generally found in older dogs, but can also be triggered by infection, or tissue deterioration due to inflammatory response from immune disorders. This chronic inflammation in the tissue around our pets’ joints can lead to irreversible loss of cartilage and protective tissue.
NSAIDs for Dogs with Arthritis
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the preferred method for conventional veterinarians who treat dogs with arthritis and joint pain. Some of the most common NSAIDs prescribed by veterinarians are Rimady, Dermaxx, and Carprofen. The problem is that they have been shown to cause further joint deterioration as well as some other serious side effects.
The way that NSAIDs alleviate the symptoms of arthritis is by inhibiting the production of enzymes that cause the inflammatory response. The issue is, as is the case with many single-target western pharmaceutical medications, that by totally inhibiting the production of one of the body’s important functional enzymes, you also inhibit all the necessary functions that enzyme controls.
The result is possible toxicity and damage to our pets’ vital organs. Evidence shows long term use of NSAIDs can negatively affect the healthy functioning of a dogs’ liver, kidneys and stomach.
Related: CBD vs NSAIDs: Managing Your Pet’s Pain & Inflammation
CBD for Dogs with Arthritis
Full spectrum hemp extract CBD for dogs with arthritis offers a wide variety of health-boosting benefits. Certain properties make it an excellent option for helping to ease arthritis and the associated pain and mobility issues it can cause.
Benefits of CBD for dogs with arthritis:
Full Spectrum Hemp extract offers a safe, natural alternative to prescription pain medications. Cannabis has been used as an effective analgesic dating back thousands of years. One of the ways it does this is actually by changing the way the central nervous system communicates the sensation of pain to our brains.
CBD and the other compounds found in a full spectrum hemp extract are also known to reduce inflammation through the body. Inflammation is the root cause for a lot of issues. Allergies, chronic pain, autoimmune disease, diabetes, and of course arthritis, are all examples of conditions associated with inflammation in the body.
In most cases, the pain that our arthritic dogs feel is a direct result of the inflammation in their joints. When we soothe that inflammation, we are treating the cause of the problem and also preventing the hurt.
Immune System Modulation
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to modulate the body’s immune response. Using the endocannabinoid system, CBD promotes a more moderate response of the immune system. In cases where arthritis is a result of an auto-immune response, like rheumatoid arthritis, CBD can help by instructing those defenses to stand down.
Research on CBD for Dogs with Arthritis
In recent years we have had the incredible opportunity to learn from world-class studies by reputable scientific institutes. They are now confirming what anecdotal evidence has pointed to for years.
Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine recently conducted a pharmacokinetics study on cannabinoids for dogs. This 8-month double-blind study was the first of its kind for Cornell and studied dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. Dogs in the study saw a significant decrease in pain and an increase in activity, with no side effects. In the study, they found that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily helped increase comfort and activity in dogs with Osteoarthritis.
Another promising study was conducted by the Baylor College of Medicine. Again they found significant improvements in dogs with Osteoarthritis, who received consistent doses of full-spectrum hemp extract.
At the conclusion of the study, Matthew Halpert with the faculty of pathology and immunology had this to say:
Another study published in 2006 in Current Neuropharmacology stated that CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets suffering from chronic pain and acute chronic pain episodes.
Additionally, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is currently conducting clinical trials to better understand the effects of cannabis on osteoarthritic dogs. The study will take 12 months and results are expected to be published in 2020.
Dosing and Administering CBD for Dogs with Arthritis
Full Spectrum Hemp extract can effectively treat the symptoms of arthritis, but full symptom relief occurs over time. Some dogs may experience some relief after just a few days, while others may take a week or two. This is why consistency is so important for conditions like arthritis.
Despite common misconceptions, dosing CBD has very little to do with your dog’s size or weight. Finding the right dose depends on your dog’s specific condition, metabolism, age, pain levels, the sensitivity of their endocannabinoid system and a whole host of other factors.
Recommended Dose of CBD for Dogs with Arthritis
Start with a daily 9-12 mg of CBD for dogs with arthritis. For our Ease tincture, this is about 1mL, a standard eye dropper full. Remember also that CBD remains in the bloodstream for about 6-8 hours. For this reason, we recommend splitting your daily dosage into 2-3 doses.
If you don’t notice a difference in one to two weeks, try increasing the dosage. You can increase by another 9-12 mg, until you see results. You’ll know you found the correct dose when you see your dog run faster, jump higher, and become puppy-like again.
How to Administer CBD for Dogs with Arthritis
For the fastest and most thorough absorption, lift the lip and apply the dose directly onto the gums. This is the most direct way to the bloodstream, bypassing the gastrointestinal system.
You can also add it to their food, however it can take significantly longer (30-45 min) to reach the bloodstream. That’s because it must then work its way through the gastrointestinal system.
Another option if you are unable to get your pet to take a tincture orally, or in their food, try applying your tincture to the soft skin of your dog’s inner ear. This is the least bioavailable option and will also take the longest to reach the bloodstream.
Related: How to Administer CBD to Ears, Gums, and Food
It comes as no surprise that dogs who are experiencing pain, whether due to inflammation or neurological issues, turn to CBD.
Including our own schnauzer, Odie, who began experiencing joint pain and inflammation in 2016. Odie was having a hard time walking due to arthritis, and also suffered from debilitating noise anxiety. Within one week of giving him a daily dose of CBD, he was able to walk without difficulty, even going up and down stairs again.
One customer, Jarrod, using the EASE tincture on his dog, stated: “This helps my 15 year old dog so much. She has a lot of joint pain usually but when she takes EASE she seems so much more comfortable. She is able to walk without pain. I can’t say enough about this product.”
Another customer shared her story about using CBD for her dog with arthritis. She stated “I have an elderly dog that has had neurologic issues, with wasting of leg muscles, along with significant arthritis. It got to the point where I added a vet-recommended non-steroidal anti-inflammatory because I couldn’t stand seeing her so uncomfortable. I decided to try EASE (18-21 mg daily divided into 3 doses) and began noticing more activity and less pain. Ease seems to be better for her and I have reduced her pain meds to minimal times as needed (i.e travel or just a bad day). I am pleased with her progress and hope to see it continue. Our walks are a little longer, and she is enjoying playing with her sister mutt as she may chase a thrown ball every now and then.”
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Preventing Arthritis in Dogs
There comes a time in everybody’s life, whether a person or pet, where time catches up with them. For many, this makes it harder to do things that we used to enjoy and take on with ease. With dogs, we can see this struggle often as they approach 10 years of age and enter their senior years.
My recommendation is to get ahead of the curve. Don’t wait for arthritis and joint pain to affect your dog’s mobility to the point that they can’t walk. If you start seeing early signs that they are slowing down, look for natural alternatives to boost their resilience and reduce the deterioration of their joints.
The great thing about using CBD and full-spectrum hemp extract to treat pain in our pets is the many other health benefits. You will not only be helping their arthritis but boosting their cardiovascular health, improving immune function and helping brain function among many other positive effects.
About Carter Easler
Father of bulldog, Moo, Carter is a life-long animal lover from Toronto, Canada currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in a family of veterinarians, he grew up surrounded by animals. He had dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles — you name it, and Carter probably rescued it.
Carter’s passion for cannabis activism started when he was in high school. After learning about the senseless prohibition and incredible diversity of cannabis’s utility, he was inspired to get involved. When Carter met Angela, he was excited to learn that he could combine his passions: animals and cannabis. Carter now travels North America to educate pet parents, retailers, and veterinarians about CBD. He is excited to bring his passion for pets to CBD Dog Health.
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets.
Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.