All of us pet owners know that there comes a time in our furry friends’ lives when they need a little extra help. As our beloved cats and dogs get older, their bodies simply don’t run as smoothly as they used to, and this can manifest in the form of reduced energy, joint stiffness or certain illnesses that cause them pain or some form of dysfunction.
If there’s one thing that all pet owners have in common, it is the desire to keep their precious companions healthy, happy and active for a long time to come. That is why more pet owners are administering CBD to their pets. With the CBD pet market growing at an accelerated rate, a lot of senior pets are taking daily doses of hemp in an effort to regulate their bodies so that they can feel their absolute best on a daily basis.
The Endocannabinoid Systems in Our Pets
The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors placed strategically throughout the body, in every bodily system. Each receptor is in charge of balancing the function of an adjacent process that the body carries out, such as inflammation and immune response, mood, neurological function, digestive function and more. Cannabinoid receptors can only perform these balancing processes if they are given cannabinoids like CBD, which effectively attach themselves to these receptors, giving the receptors what they need to fulfill their important tasks.
The endocannabinoid system performs the same important role in all mammals, and this is why giving cannabinoids to cats and dogs can produce the same results as administering it to ourselves. Cannabinoids are nontoxic to mammals; however, you should NEVER give your pet THC due to its psychoactive effects which can cause dangerous changes in behavior and nervous system function in your pet.
Giving CBD to Older Pets
We know that our precious companions can become more prone to health issues as they age, just like us. The majority of these health issues come from the fact that aging bodies are not as efficient at self-regulation as younger ones. But, knowing that the endocannabinoid system plays a unique role in the management of homeostasis, it makes sense that administering cannabinoids to pets may have an influence on the function of each system in their body.
There have been studies on the effects of giving CBD to pets. In one particularly groundbreaking study, Cornell University researchers administered cannabidiol to arthritic dogs, discovering that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD greatly improved their conditions by decreasing pain, increasing energy and boosting mobility of the joints.
Other studies have found that supporting a pet’s endocannabinoid system through regular CBD administration has the potential to improve a pet’s condition in a systemic, holistic way.
One reason why hemp is such a popular product in the pet industry is due to its natural and gentle nature. Right now, there has been no evidence that CBD produces dangerous effects in pets, or that it’s addictive. It seems to work subtly yet effectively, simply activating the body’s natural self-regulation mechanisms through non-aggressive means.
Why Do Our Senior Cats and Dogs Need to Take More CBD Than Younger Pets?
If you are interested in starting a senior pet on a CBD routine, you may want to consider giving them higher or more frequent doses than you would for a younger pet. Experts believe that the body requires more cannabinoids as we age in order to properly support the endocannabinoid system. We know that the body produces cannabinoids that behave exactly like the ones in the hemp plant. But, as we age, it’s likely that we produce less than we once did, which would mean that to get the same effects, we would theoretically need to take more cannabinoids per day to get the desired results. This same logic applies to senior cats and dogs.
Higher levels of cannabinoids are simply more effective at eliciting specific desirable responses in the body. If your pet is taking cannabidiol for a specific issue, as opposed to general endocannabinoid system support, higher or more frequent doses may be what’s needed to reach the goals you’re aiming for as a pet owner.
How to Give CBD to Aging Cats and Dogs
Remember, senior pets may require more CBD each day than younger ones in order for you to see the effects you’re hoping for.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
Always discuss CBD with your veterinarian thoroughly before starting your pet on a hemp routine. They fully understand your pet’s specific needs and know the medications that they are on which could determine the outcome of taking CBD. Your vet may even be able to help you come up with the perfect dosage schedule based on your pet’s age, coupled with their specific medical circumstances.
Only Buy Pet-Friendly CBD
Make sure that you only buy a CBD product that’s made specifically for pets. These products contain ingredients that are nontoxic to cats and dogs, and have milligram strength amounts that are appropriate for their body weight.
Always keep an eye on your pet after giving them hemp, to make sure that their bodies are responding well to their new routine. If, for whatever reason, you suspect that they are reacting to CBD negatively, make sure to inform your vet. If your pet develops any concerning side effects after their dose, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Follow the Dosing Guidelines
All CBD products made for pets have dosing information on the label, and you should follow this information carefully to give your pet the right amount per day. Some of these labels, however, may not take into account the unique needs of senior pets. Therefore, start out with the suggested amount on the label, and then discuss with your veterinarian the possibility of increasing the dosage amount or dosage frequency to suit your older cat or dog.
Give Your Senior Companion the Support They Deserve
Without a doubt, watching our pets develop various conditions as they age can be a devastating thing for any loving pet owner. But there may be ways to provide your senior cat or dog with the bodily support they need in a way that is natural, gentle and holistic. Knowing what we do about the endocannabinoid system and having read studies on the effects of giving CBD to pets, it is certainly worth it to talk to your veterinarian about giving your senior companion a daily dose of hemp.