Chronic joint pain and inflammation can seriously affect your dog's quality of life. Anti-inflammatory medications have short-term benefits but can cause serious long-term side effects. Fortunately, long-term, natural anti-inflammatories for dogs, such as CBD, can alleviate joint pain and inflammation without harmful side effects.
Your Dog’s Life With Chronic Pain
Dogs can experience pain and inflammation just like humans. Inflammation is a response to injury or irritation. It's normal and natural, but can also be harmful if left untreated. Inflammation is caused by many different things, including infection and trauma, such as an injury or surgery. The swelling that results from inflammation can make it difficult for your dog to move around comfortably, and may cause pain as well.
The signs of these problems are often hard to identify, but here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- Vocalization (barking or whining)
- Stiffness or difficulty moving around
When your dog experiences inflammation, his immune system sends white blood cells to the site of injury. The white blood cells release chemicals that cause swelling and redness at the injury site. This is called edema.
The swelling and redness are caused by tiny blood vessels leaking fluid into surrounding tissues. This causes more pain for your dog than if there were no swelling at all because it makes it hard for him to move around normally and puts extra pressure on his joints and bones, which is uncomfortable for them and painful for you to watch.
Don’t Trade Short-Term Benefits for Long Term Effects
The main side effects of anti-inflammatory medications are stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting. However, there are more serious side effects long-term when using pain relievers for pets.
The most common side effects from using NSAIDs for dogs include:
- Gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea
- Renal damage
- Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Lethargy (tiredness)
Another common concern when using NSAIDs in dogs is the risk of kidney failure. This can happen with all brands, but it's especially problematic with Rimadyl (carprofen). You should have your dog's kidney function tested regularly while taking this medication as well as switch drugs if you see signs the kidneys are declining such as increased thirst and urination.
It's also important to note that switching to another brand doesn't necessarily mean a better outcome for your pet; there are several other NSAIDs on the market that can cause similar problems with long-term use.
Use CBD as a Long-Term, Natural Anti-Inflammatory for Dogs
CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in your dog by acting on their endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates many physiological processes, including sleep cycles and immune function.
By supplementing with CBD, you can improve the function of your dog's ECS and decrease inflammation throughout their body. This will help them feel better physically while also improving their mental health by reducing anxiety and stress levels.
Long-term anti-inflammatories like CBD can alleviate joint pain and inflammation without harmful side effects. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory that is safe for dogs of all sizes, even puppies!
It is also known to help with arthritis and other chronic pain issues, making it an ideal choice for your aging pooch. CBD comes in many forms: tinctures (liquid), capsules or edibles (food), topical gels and more.
Each form of CBD has its own benefits and drawbacks:
- Tinctures are easy to administer, but they have a very bitter taste that most dogs don't enjoy.
- Capsules can be hard for some dogs to swallow, while edibles can take hours to kick in, making them less effective if your dog needs relief right away.
- CBD treats, like Canine Cush, offer your dog a tasty CBD snack to help relieve inflammation.
Reduce Pain and Increase Mobility
CBD oil is a natural and safe alternative to pharmaceutical pain relievers such as NSAIDS. It can be used long-term without side effects, making it the perfect long-term anti-inflammatory treatment for your dog.
Other Options for a Natural, ‘Over the Counter’ Anti-Inflammatory for Dogs
Besides CBD oil, there are other anti-inflammatory supplements that can help your dog. These include:
- Glucosamine and chondroitin. These compounds help to build cartilage and reduce inflammation in the joints. Look for formulas in which these two ingredients are present in equal amounts or slightly more glucosamine than chondroitin.
Probiotics. These live microorganisms have been shown to benefit gastrointestinal health by keeping bad bacteria from taking over the gut, increasing intestinal barrier function, and helping with food digestion, among other things.
Dog probiotic products are available online and at pet stores; they come either as liquid drops or freeze-dried powder that you mix into food, which can be beneficial if your dog has a sensitive stomach.
Fish oil. Fish oil is an omega-3 fatty acid found naturally in fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines—but it can also be extracted from algae sources such as krill oil supplement powders.
Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve pain associated with arthritis or other joint conditions. Be sure not to give too much at one time since it can cause diarrhea if taken too fast. Start out slowly until you know how much is safe for each individual pooch!
- Turmeric. Turmeric, which is a root and rhizome, has long been used as an anti-inflammatory in both humans and animals. It's often used in Ayurvedic medicine, where it's known as "the spice of life." Turmeric is also shown to reduce inflammation in humans with arthritis. You can give turmeric to your dog by adding it to his food or giving him a capsule containing powdered turmeric.
- Ginger. Ginger is another natural anti-inflammatory that can help with pain relief in dogs. Ginger contains gingerols and shogaols, which are chemicals that inhibit prostaglandin production—a process that causes swelling and pain. You can give your dog ginger by adding it to his food or giving him capsules containing powdered or crystallized ginger root.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon bark contains cinnamaldehyde, which has been shown to reduce inflammation in humans with arthritis. You can give cinnamon bark to your dog by adding it to his food or giving him capsules containing powdered cinnamon bark.
Consult Your Holistic Veterinarian
After reading this article, you should have a good understanding of how CBD can be used to treat chronic pain and inflammation in dogs. We hope that our research has helped you understand the benefits of using CBD to treat your pet’s pain and inflammation—but most importantly, we want to remind you not to trade short-term benefits for long-term health defects! So if your dog suffers from chronic joint pain or inflammation, it’s best to talk with your holistic vet about what treatment option is right for them.