Cannabis For Geriatric Dogs – Can I Give My Old Dog CBD Oil?

Medical review by K9 Healthcare Council of America (K9HCA). Intended for educational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your veterinarian.

Cannabis For Elderly Dogs

Home care for an older, senior dog inevitably comes with inherent challenges and difficult decisions. Can cannabis for geriatric dogs be the answer?

With geriatric K9 patients, co-morbidity exists with multiple conditions and symptoms needing attention & treatment. However, attempting to treat all of them at once can be both emotionally draining & financially exhausting.

But CBD, an all-natural oil extract from the hemp plant, offers a way to address these multiple issues with just one product!

Cannabinoid Therapy is Natural Medicine for Dogs

The focus of palliative care for senior dogs with joint pain & mobility issues, or metabolic disorders like diabetes or cancer, is to provide the best Quality of Life for your beloved pet.

However, for the majority of pet owners, caring for an aging dog with multiple conditions is frustrating and heartbreaking. But cannabinoid therapy with CBD oil holds immense promise as a way to address and alleviate some of these major impediments to your dog living the best life possible–at any age!

For millennia people have used the cannabis plant as a source of medicine not only for themselves, but for their animals as well. Today, there is a resurgence of interest in applying this natural plant-based remedy to dogs with age-related degenerative diseases.

This re-awakening is a point of convergence of traditional medicine with the natural, holistic pet care provided by CBD therapy.

What You Should Expect from Giving Your Dog CBD?

While no cannabis-based products have been approved for animal use–that has not stopped pet owners from seeking out and administering CBD derived from hemp as a home care to their own pets.

Considering its wide range of potential beneficial effects through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in the dog’s body, CBD is a promising treatment for numerous K9 conditions that would traditionally be treated with an assortment of prescription drugs or invasive surgery.

cbd dog health
Because of its increased absorption & higher bioavailability, sublingual oral delivery is the preferred method to administer hemp CBD oil products for senior dogs.

CBD, on the other hand, provides an effective alternative to addictive pain medications, allergy shots or chemical pharmaceuticals for canine anxiety related behaviors.

By extrapolating from recent clinical research on CBD for dogs, treating common geriatric conditions like osteoarthritis and epileptic seizures, you as a dog owner should reasonably expect similarly positive results–without the negative side effects of prescription drugs.

Benefits Of CBD Oil Elderly Dogs

The primary application of CBD (and CBDA) for senior dogs is for chronic pain syndromes, particularly pain from osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia or degenerative joint disease. But CBD is also effective for pain associated with acute injuries like minor strains & sprains dogs experience while growing up.

Clinical studies have shown CBD-based products can reduce pain and improve mobility. But what makes Cannabidiol so unique to so many other routine treatments are its potential to address arthritic pain through multiple mechanisms, including analgesic, anti-inflammatory & chondroprotection action.

Arthritis Treatment for Dogs

  • CBD As Analgesic – CBD is a trifecta of analgesic pain relief. It can reduce pain at multiple levels of pain processing, including peripheral, spinal and supraspinal pathways. In other words, cannabinoid therapy can reduce the inflammation that triggers a pain “response”, diminish the signal being sent to the brain and once in the brain, alter the brain’s perception of that pain.
  • CBD As Anti Inflammatory – CBD modulates the cellular activation on immune cells to reduce the release of Pro-inflammatory molecules, thereby lessening the inflammatory response cascade–which is the direct cause of pain. Additionally, a number of other minor cannabinoids (including CBDA) have been found to reduce COX-2 activity by 30 percent–a similar action to NSAIDs but without the adverse side effects.
  • CBD As Chondroprotection – Studies of CBD show chondrocytes from osteoarthritic joints were found to have a wide range of cannabinoid receptors, indicating these joint tissue cells could respond positively to cannabinoid therapy.
Cannabis for geriatric dogs
Dog owners are rejoicing! There is a growing perception among pet owners of the positive potential of cannabis for geriatric dogs as a natural anti-anxiety, pain-relieving agent.

Can CBD Help My Dog with Anxiety?

Anxiety, Cognitive dysfunction and dementia in senior pets can be due to numerous causes; including pain, reduction in vision or hearing and cognitive changes that effect your aging dog’s brain.

Pet owners using CBD-rich hemp oil for their elderly dogs’ report that general anxiety or age-related behavioral changes (e.g., ‘sun-downer syndrome’, etc.), have shown marked improvements–some dogs even reverting back to their youthful, vibrant puppy behavior. CBD can revitalize your dog, naturally.

Other properties found in full spectrum hemp oil, including terpenes limonene and linalool, are known anxiolytics.

CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety through a number of different pathways. First, CBD activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor in your dog’s brain. Activation of these receptors leads to a boost in both serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitter levels. Effectively compared to prescription Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), CBD has potential as a natural alternative to anti-depressant drugs for our canine companions.

OCD in dogs treatment
For dogs that have arthritis pain or anxiety behaviors, CBD therapy that can calm your dog’s stress, help balance serotonin levels and reduce joint pain, naturally.

Second, CBD has shown to promote neurogenesis (growth of new neurons). Studies in humans indicate the hippocampus is smaller in size in patients with depression and anxiety. Successful treatment of depression is associated with the growth of new neurons within the hippocampus region.

So, plant-based therapy with hemp CBD oil is both a structural repair and functional improvement for dogs with cognitive decline, depression or fear-based anxiety behaviors like phobias associated with loud noises (e.g., thunder, fireworks).

Additionally, the anxiolytic/anti depression properties of hemp oil extend beyond the CBD and plant terpenes, as small amounts of THC found in full spectrum hemp oil also facilitate changes in fear behavior similarly found in stress disorders (e.g., PTSD).

The Future of Natural Pet Medicine

While it’s clear more study and clinical research is necessary to further our understanding of the various botanical components and phytonutrient effects of the hemp plant to help heal our furry home companions, nonetheless, the use of CBD has shown to have extremely beneficial effects for a wide range of age related K9 medical conditions.

The expectation as we move forward is to remember the therapeutic role of cannabis for geriatric dogs is to improve their overall Quality of Life–And CBD can be considered at the core of a safe and effective natural medicine to give your dog the Best Life Possible.

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