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Is your pet experiencing joint pain?

Many pet parents see their four-legged friends moving slower or more carefully as the pet ages. There could be a few reasons but the most common is joint pain. Things like lagging behind in walks, sleeping more, slow to get up, and no longer interested in playing are tell-tale signs of arthritis. Experts say that more than half of older dogs have arthritis. (Be sure to consult your vet if you think it’s something more serious.)

Julie Ruth, a graphic designer in Dallas, says her 12-year-old chocolate lab, Ché, had been very active when he was younger but then things changed.

“About three years ago I noticed his knees starting to give him trouble,” said Ruth.

Like many pet parents, Ruth says she heard that CBD products could help with symptoms. But with few reliable sources, she didn’t know where to begin to find accurate information.

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of 113 cannabinoids (aka chemical compounds) that are found in the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa plant. However, CBD doesn’t contain the more famous cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the stuff that gets you “high.” Researchers are just beginning to understand CBD and its wealth of potential benefits. While it’s still too early to have concrete data, there are countless people who’ve already realized the benefits.

How does CBD affect joint pain?

CBD is known to work in two ways to alleviate joint pain. First, it reduces inflammation in the joint itself, therefore reducing the amount of soreness it produces. Second, it blocks pain receptors in the brain, which stops or lessens the number of pain signals that the brain is receiving.

Ruth said she was willing to try, but after using a few options from her local store, she quickly learned not all CBD products are equal.

“Some were too weak,” said Ruth, “and the ones formulated specifically for pets tended to be both weak and strangely flavored, like with fake bacon or salmon extract.”

Ruth says it took time to find the right dosage for Ché based on his weight and symptoms.

Anyone who’s had personal experience with cannabis for their own ailments – or any other medicinal for that matter – knows that finding the right dose is key to effectiveness. It’s no surprise that it’s the same with our pets, and often not a quick process since they can’t easily communicate subtle changes.

Ruth’s advice: “Buy quality a product and then be patient.”

How to start giving you pet CBD.

Like all medicines, figuring out the correct dosage is key. Oftentimes people think it’s not working, but if you’re not giving them the proper amount, then it’s likely not the product but the lack of product that’s the issue.

That’s similar to what Julie Ruth did and it seems to have worked well for her beloved Ché.

“I finally found a 900mg unflavored CBD oil that I buy religiously for him,” said Ruth. “It calms him down, takes the edge of his hyperactivity, and really helps his knees. I give it to him on his food twice a day.”

It’s always hard to see our fur babies suffering, especially as they enter their golden years. Thankfully there are more options today to help them. It just takes time, patience, and quality products to find the right solution.