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Types of Joint Discomfort in Dogs

Aug 13, 2021

One of the greatest joys of owning pets is the pleasure that comes from watching them run, wiggle, stretch, and play. Whether it is throwing a ball for your dog to run after, or playing hunt and pounce with your kitty cat, the sublime ways our pets move is wonderful. Watching our dogs wag their tails so hard their entire bodies move, and a cat stretching luxuriously in a downward dog up through an arched back is pure joy. Also, is there anything more hilarious and thrilling than a kitten’s focus and butt wiggle as he prepares to attack a toy? (Or your feet under a blanket?)

Dogs and cats are natural hunters with wild animal ancestors, so they were born to move freely, quickly, and often. Whether it is the ability to run, chase, stretch, or just curling up in a tight ball next to you on the couch, ease of movement is integral to our pets’ very being and our relationship with them. Playtime is an important way to connect with our pet  and is important to their overall mental and physical well-being. If you are a dog owner, daily walks or runs are likely as important to you as they are to your fur baby.

This is why it can be very devastating to watch your pet’s movement slow down due hip or joint pain. Aging or other health issues can bring about occasional joint discomfort that can slow down fido’s ability to fetch and kitty’s pouncing prowess. Just like with humans, as pets age, they can start moving slower, or even with more difficulty because of joint discomfort. As they wince from getting up off the floor or chase after a toy more slowly, we wince with them.

There are two main types of joint discomfort in dogs, developmental and degenerative.

Arthritis 

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of degenerative joint pain in pets. Degenerative arthritis affects the ligaments. Ligaments connect muscles to bones, and as they deteriorate this causes instability and can make movement incredibly uncomfortable. According to Texas A&M’s Department of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, arthritis is common for dogs to experience as they age. This may manifest in a variety of ways from difficulty getting up in the morning to lameness. There may be a lack of interest in regular activities, or a reduced capacity to do them, such as walking, playing, or jumping up to greet you. This can be incredibly sad for you as well as your pet, as they are less able to do the things they love, like walking and playing with you, or their furry buddies.

Developmental Joint Discomfort

Developmental joint problems occur when a joint does not develop properly, leading to conditions such as hip or elbow dysplasia. These are the result of genetics and have to do with a hereditary disposition to poor development of certain joints. These disorders are common with certain breeds, such as purebred German Shepherds. There are a variety of treatment options, and it is always good to talk to your friendly neighborhood vet. Your vet may recommend medication or surgery. While veterinary care may be necessary for your pet, before trying medications and surgery, many pet owners are turning to CBD to address their pet’s occasional joint discomfort.

What causes joint discomfort in dogs?

While some joint discomfort is caused by genetics or hereditary dispositions, others are caused by degenerative issues, such as age and overuse. Dogs and cats use their bodies fully and are generally jumping and running around a lot. Certain breeds of dogs, such as Dachshunds need to be incredibly careful about jumping from heights (relative to their small size of course) because of their long spines. However careful you are with your pet; age comes for us all and many degenerative joint conditions in your pet are simply due to age.

Can joint discomfort be prevented?

Many factors play a role in joint discomfort. The first one is a nutritious diet and weight management. Making sure your pet is getting the nutrition it needs from quality food gives their   the ability to heal and maintain itself. Replacing high-calorie treats with vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and sweet potato is a great way to help your pet maintain a healthy weight. Giving them the proper amount of food and enough exercise to keep a healthy weight reduces stress and wear and tear on the joints, ligaments, and muscles that factor into occasional joint discomfort.

The second way to keep your pet’s joints healthy and strong is to give them plenty of healthy exercise. For dogs, this means regular walks and runs and for kitties, this means lots of playtime. For both cats and dogs playing with toys is an excellent physical activity that keeps the joints strong. Regular exercise also keeps bones healthy, which allows them to properly support the muscles and ligaments. Do some research and use your common sense when it comes to regular exercise. For example, taking your dog to run at a dog park alleviates stress to the joints caused by walking the hard street.

The third way to keep your pet’s joints healthy is to have regular checkups with your friendly neighborhood vet. Your vet can determine if any issues have not popped up yet. Two visits a year can allow for a timely diagnosis of any health issues that arise. Vets can help you come up with a plan for preventing joint discomfort, and a treatment plan for joint discomfort if it starts to happen.

Pet Releaf also offers peanut butter and banana flavored Hip and Joint chews, which in addition to full-spectrum CBD, also contain other supplements that may support healthy joints and mobility like glucosamine, chondroitin, and noni. These Hip and Joint chews are an easy way to add CBD and its health benefits to your pet’s daily routine.

What kind of CBD should I give my pet with occasional joint discomfort?

There are two general ways of giving pets CBD. The first is orally through products such a CBD oil, CBD oil capsule. The second is through a topical application, such as a cream or topical that is applied directly to the skin.

CBD oil or capsules can be given directly by mouth or depending on   type of oil, can be administered during or after mealtime.

How do I give my pet CBD orally?

Giving your pet their  of CBD oil orally might be a little messy, but it is the most effective way to give them the health benefits of CBD. This may be challenging, especially if your pet is finicky. It can be administered by the dropper, on a spoon, or in their empty food bowl to make for a more seamless administration process.

If you find the straight oil too challenging to give your pet, there are oil capsules that might be easier to administer, especially if hidden in a tiny bit of all-natural, xylitol-free peanut butter.

For dogs, using a Kong to administer their recommended usage of CBD Oil might be the way to go. Some ideas for Kong stuffing include peanut butter and dry dog food, and goat milk yogurt mixed with chopped banana. For cats, try placing the CBD oil on their paws, allowing them to lick it off.

Pet Releaf also has a whole line of CBD chews for dogs of all sizes. Their peanut butter and carob swirl Edibites are especially popular, and a great way to give your pet their recommended usage of CBD.

How do I use CBD cream on my pet?

One of the great things about topical CBD is that the cream can be applied as needed directly to the area, or areas where your pet is experiencing occasional joint discomfort. Topical creams are easy to use and are good to use for pets who cannot or will not take CBD orally. When applied to the skin, CBD bypasses the digestive system and bloodstream and instead go directly to the nerves. According to Discover Magazine, topical CBD is efficiently delivered to the nerves this way because “CBD cream bypasses the CB1 and CB2 receptors and heads straight for a neurotransmitter middleman…”. Using a cream also offers your pet the benefits of your  . Pet Releaf’s Canna Care Topical was designed with sensitive skin in mind, and to help with skin irritations like allergies and bug bites, in addition to helping support healthy joints. Canna Care may also help relieve occasional joint stiffness. Along with CBD, Canna Care Topical also incorporates soothing ingredients like Ucuuba butter and Blue Mallee Eucalyptus essential oil to further support your dog’s skin irritants. Canna Care Topical is a great way to administer CBD, support healthy skin and joints, and give your pet the whole body benefits of CBD.

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