Understanding Arthritis in Dogs and Cats and how CBD Oils can help
What Is Arthritis in Dogs/Cats?
Arthritis doesn’t just happen with people – it’s also a fact of life when it comes to our pets. Cats and dogs can suffer from arthritis during the latter years of their lives, making it important for pet owners to pay particular care and attention as their pet ages. It doesn’t matter whether you have a Chihuahua or a Siberian Husky – all dogs and cats are prone to arthritis, regardless of the breed. Of course, some breeds are more prone than others. For example, large breeds like the German Shepherd or the Labrador Retriever are genetically predisposed to joint and hip problems. Hence, if you currently have a young large breed dog, it’s important to start him off right with a proper diet to minimize the chances.
Different Types of Arthritis
There are two main types of arthritis that your pet can have during its lifetime.
The typical arthritis pet owners encounter with their dog is the one that comes with age. Once a dog or cat approaches old age, the likelihood of arthritis occurs. But when exactly is a cat or dog old? It varies per breed. For example, a small breed like a Chihuahua is considered senior as it approaches the age of 7 or 8.
Large breeds like the Golden Retriever hits old age around the 5th or 6th year of its existence. Healthy dogs with good weights however, are less likely to show symptoms of arthritis and even if it sets in, this usually occurs later in life.
Arthritis Resulting from a Health Condition
Arthritis can also result from an infection or an immune deficiency. It is also called early on-set arthritis because the problem happens while the dog is of a young age. An underlying condition usually exists with arthritis merely being a symptom of the main problem.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs/Cats
The signs of arthritis are easy enough to note, especially if you have an active dog on your hands. As old age sets in, your dog’s playtime antics will become limited, and agility will start to decrease. Here are some signs to watch out for.
- Limping of the dog, especially during cold weather. The obvious limp occurs for no apparent reason, usually at its most prominent when the dog wakes up or tries to get up.
- Problems with sitting.
- The dog has difficulty jumping or walking up steps.
- Constant licking of paws which is indicative of pain. This is the most common sign for cats since they’re not usually active.
- Less activity and preferring to lie down when they used to follow you around.
Of course, getting the veterinarian’s opinion when arriving at a diagnosis of arthritis is important. More often than not however, arthritis is the reason why your pet suddenly seems lazier than usual.
How to Prevent Arthritis in Dogs/Cats
Since arthritis comes from aging and aging isn’t really something you can stop – there’s no 100% way of preventing the problem from setting in. However, there are ways to significantly decrease the chances of this happening. Following are some tips to help pet owners prevent arthritis or minimize its impact if it eventually catches up to your pet.
Keep the Weight Healthy
As with people, arthritis is more likely to set in if the pet is heavier than what is considered healthy. The added weight puts extra strain on the joints, causing it to become more damaged as time goes – thereby accelerating the arthritis. A good diet is important, as well as proper exercise to burn off the excess energy. But what is a healthy weight? Make sure to visit with your veterinarian at least once a year for your pet’s routine checkup. Your vet will tell you what weight the dog or cat should be kept. Online sites also offer ideal weight ranges for pets, depending on breed, size, and age of the pet.
Supplements and Therapeutic Diets
Supplements and therapeutic diets are also good options and may be used together in order to help pets. Therapeutic diets are typically suggested by veterinarians after considering all the unique health aspects of your pet. Although you can find therapeutic diets straight off the pet store, it’s best to have your veterinarian approve the switch before serving it to your pet. Therapeutic food items specifically for arthritis include pet foods with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These work towards minimizing pain and reducing inflammation.
You can also introduce supplements to your pet’s diet, but note that supplements should also be monitored by the veterinarian. This is especially true if your pet is also overweight as the supplements may have calorie content that goes beyond what is required for your dog or cat’s daily needs. Remember – you want your pet to get the right kind of vitamins and minerals while keeping their weight healthy. Even just a little bit of calorie excess can have a big impact on the pet’s weight because arthritic pets are less likely to move around.
More and more pet owners are utilizing CBD Oil as a way to help with arthritis. It’s an unconventional method since CBD is fairly new in the medical field. However, it’s important to note that CBD is also being used by people today in order to help with various health problems.
How Much CBD Should I Give my Dogs/Cats with Arthritis?
If you decide to use CBD oil to help with your pet’s arthritis, it’s important to determine exactly how the supplement should be given. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
Quality of CBD
CBD comes in different types and forms. You have capsules, treats, and essential oils. All of them are available in the market, and the method of use depends primarily on the kind you’re using. Essential oils are by far the most abundant today so this article will focus on that type. When buying one, make sure to purchase from a known and trusted brand.
Quantity of CBD
This is where things get a little complicated. Basically, here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Find out your dog’s weight
- The rule is that you should administer 1 to 5mg of CBD oil for every 10 pounds of weight
- Distribute the 5mg dosage over 2 to 4 applications
Hence, if you have a 20 pound dog, you’re supposed to administer anywhere between 2mg to 10mg of CBD oil. If you use the minimum of just 2mg, you should administer it at least twice within the day, each application containing 1mg of dosage. Or you can administer 0.5mg 4 times within the day.
In the same vein, you can administer a total of 10mg during the day with each administration containing 2.5mg. It is recommended that you start in the low end and observe your dog to find that CBD dosage sweet spot. You can also check out our CBD Oil Dosage Chart.