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What We Learned From Elephants: Boswellia for Dogs

Published: August 2020 | Updated: July 2022

Remember the story of the three wisemen carrying gifts to the manger? Well, it might surprise you to learn that one of the wisemen actually carried Boswellia! It turns out that the wisemen were very wise indeed.

Boswellia serrata is the formal name for frankincense, and it has been renowned for centuries as a powerful botanical medicine.  

Legend has it that Boswellia was first discovered in ancient India by Ayurvedic healers who observed elephants eating the Boswellia serrata trees that grow in the Indian region. Elephants love to eat the bark and leaves of the Boswellia tree. They also rub against it, which causes them to secrete a thick, sticky substance called "gum." When elephants eat this gum, it helps relieve their arthritis pain.

These healers already knew about elephants’ incredible endurance and vitality, so they began to use Boswellia for its suspected health benefits. 

Boswellia Dogs CBD

Learning from Historic Healers

The wise Ayurvedic healers thousands of years ago were on to something. 

Today, we know that the magic of Boswellia lies in its terpenes, an organic compound with a fragrant aroma. It has been suggested that these terpenes are able to inhibit a specific enzyme which produces leukotrienes.

The cascade of events can get rather complicated, so let's just keep it simple. Leukotrienes are inflammatory mediators in the body, and when left to their own devices, they can create chronic inflammation. We now know that chronic inflammation is at the root of virtually every disease (for humans and dogs!), so we want to keep this under control for the sake of our dogs’ overall health and longevity.

Boswellia Benefits for Dogs

Scientific research has shown that Boswellia use in humans and dogs is incredibly beneficial for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Boswellia can help with joint pain and inflammation by reducing the production of substances called cytokines. 

Cytokines are proteins that cause inflammation, so reducing their production can help reduce swelling and pain.

Boswellia has been used in humans, and dogs, for treating osteoarthritis and joint related issues. OA affects about 10% of all dogs older than 1 year old and 50% of all dogs older than 10 years old. It's a painful condition affecting the joints, especially in older dogs.

Boswellia can reduce coughing or phlegm production in dogs with respiratory issues like kennel cough or bronchitis. If your dog has a persistent cough or problems breathing after being exposed to smoke or other irritants, consider giving them boswellia as an alternative treatment option for their symptoms instead of steroids or antibiotics which may have more side effects than benefits when used long term in dogs with chronic conditions like asthma or bronchitis.

It’s also known to help with asthma, and chronic digestive conditions, such as Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It is even thought to be helpful in treating certain types of cancer! 

In dogs specifically, a study in Switzerland showed that feeding Boswellia reduced clinical symptoms of osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, such as stiffness, lameness, pain, and more, by 71% in only 2 weeks! And improvements only increased with time.

Does Boswellia Have Any Side Effects in Dogs?

Unlike the many conventional anti-inflammatory drugs that your dog might be taking for joint pain, Boswellia has no harmful side effects and is completely safe for dogs. 

There is a very small potential of diarrhea, but keep in mind that diarrhea could occur from any change in diet, schedule, or other life stressor. Some dogs may also experience drowsiness when they take this supplement because it contains caffeine-like compounds called terpenes which act as stimulants in small doses but depressants in large doses (like those found in boswellia).

As a natural pain reliever, your pup will only benefit from Boswellia. Of course, each dog is an individual, so it's important to monitor them closely when you decide to add something new to their routine. But remember, since Boswellia is natural, the likelihood of it causing side effects is much lower than typical medications and drugs.

We do feel like we should warn you...

CAUTION: Feeding Canine Cush may cause an uptick in your dog's energy, joy, and quality of life. This is what happened to Jodie’s pooch after Canine Cush: 

“Our 8 year old female lab mix tore her right rear CCL 2 years ago. We opted to forego surgery and instead chose a conservative pain management plan with bi-weekly acupuncture and laser heat therapy along with an over the counter NSAID and the Canine Cush Joint Chews. The combination has been miraculous! Our pup has been not only walking, but also running and you would never even know she suffered an injury. We recently stopped giving her the NSAIDs and she is doing great! Thank you for this wonderful product.”

Don’t say we didn’t warn you. 

Boswellia Dosage for Dogs

Even though this is a safe healing alternative, at some point anything in excess can be harmful. It's always best to start small and increase if needed. 

Boswellia should not be used in place of veterinary care if your dog is suffering from any serious health issue.

Boswellia dosage varies based on dog size and body weight, which is why the source of Boswellia is so important.

Fortunately, Rocket Animal Health was founded by 2 veterinarians who thoroughly researched optimal Boswellia dosage for dogs.

As per the label on Canine Cush:

  • 1 chew for a dog up to 40 lbs
  • 2 chews for dogs 40-80 lbs
  • 3 chews for dogs over 80 lbs

Combining Boswellia with CBD

CBD works by interacting with receptors in your dog's body called CB1 receptors. These receptors are found in the brain, spinal cord, and throughout the rest of your dog's body. The interaction between these two substances helps your dog to relax and feel better overall.

The most common use for CBD for dogs is as an anti-inflammatory, which can help with everything from arthritis and hip dysplasia to allergies and skin conditions. It's also used to help reduce anxiety, which is especially useful in cases where dogs have separation anxiety or experience other forms of stress.

CBD is also thought to help with pain management, so it may be able to relieve the pain associated with injuries such as broken bones or torn ligaments. It can even be used to treat seizures or epilepsy in dogs.

Boswellia and CBD are both great anti-inflammatory oils, but they can be combined to create a powerful synergy that allows your dog to reap more benefits from each of them.

What is the Best Joint Supplement for Dogs?

By now you have an idea that Boswellia for dogs is the real deal. That's why we incorporated this natural healing powerhouse into our canine joint supplement at Rocket Animal Health.

In combination with the other potent joint supportive nutrients in Canine Cush, there is literally no better option for reducing inflammation in your dog’s joints. 

Check out the best joint supplement for dogs today and let us know what happens! We’re guessing your dog is going to be feeling better than he has in a long time. 

And yes, we’re already smiling. 

Read More: 

Dietary support with Boswellia resin in canine inflammatory joint and spinal disease

Efficacy of a dietary supplement in dogs with osteoarthritis

The safety and efficacy of a novel Boswellia serrata extract in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee

Effectiveness of Boswellia and Boswellia extract for osteoarthritis patients

Frankincense: systematic review

Effect of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Canine Inflammatory Response

The Impact of Feeding Cannabidiol (CBD) Containing Treats on Canine Response to a Noise-Induced Fear Response Test