The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that our pets are living longer than they ever have before. With the right care and environment, our senior dogs and cats can enjoy these golden years now more than ever but understanding what is best for our pets is the key to keeping them happy and healthy into old age. CBD is fast becoming a tool in the quest to give our four-legged friends a better life. Let’s look at some of the ways it can help!
How old does a dog have to be to be considered part of the senior pack? Experts say it all depends on the dog. Giant breeds typically age faster than smaller breeds of dogs. A Great Dane might be considered a senior by age six, while a Chihuahua most likely wouldn’t begin to fall into the category of senior dog until well past the age of 10. One thing that is consistent is the increase in certain health issues that occur as an animal ages. Mobility, arthritis, hip dysplasia and other inflammation and pain-related problems can all be treated with daily use of both edible and topical CBD.
What is CBD Oil?
The Cannabis sativa plant contains over 100 molecules known with CBD (cannabidiol) being one of the most plentiful. When pressure is applied to the hemp flowers during the extraction process, they release phytocannabinoids which are used to create hemp extract or, as it is more commonly known, CBD oil.
CBD is regulated by law to contain less than .3% of the psychoactive element in cannabis, THC. This amount is far too small to harm your pet and, in certain brands of CBD (like those formulated by Purelix Wellness), the THC is removed. Our broad spectrum pet formulas are indeed safe but also maintain the powerful elements that work with your pet’s endocannabinoid system to create the “Entourage Effect” that provides such high amounts of relief. Let us explain…
The Endocannabinoid System and the “Entourage Effect”
All animals (humans, included) possess an important physiological system that’s vital for establishing and maintaining health. This “Endocannabinoid System”, or ECS, plays a vital role in regulating a range of our functions and processes.
In humans, CBD interacts with the ECS in a way that promotes homeostasis and stability and because we know that pets, too, possess the ECS, it’s suggested that CBD affects animals in a similar manner. In both humans AND pets, the Endocannabinoid System is responsible for, among other things, balance, coordination, appetite, memory and muscle movements. An imbalance in the ECS can manifest itself in a variety of ways causing sleep issues, anxiety, depression, physical pain and digestive problems, especially in senior pets.
The “Entourage Effect” is the combined effect of different elements found in cannabis working together as a whole that produce a greater effect than working separately to produce separate effects. The complexity of these effects differ depending on whether the product you use for your pet contains THC (full-spectrum) or is THC-free (broad spectrum).
First and foremost, rest assured that there really isn’t anything like a damaging “overdose” of THC-free CBD. That doesn’t mean your pet won’t show symptoms of sleepiness or lethargy if given larger-than-normal doses. It just means “more than recommended” won’t harm them. Another thing to be aware of is the fact that although human and pet CBD is essentially the same formulation, the dosage requirements are radically different.
How CBD Can Help Your Senior Pet
Chronic Pain Management
For most disabled and senior dogs pain management is a vital component of maintaining a quality of life. Pain can be caused from chronic and progressive diseases such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. Reducing pain is important for your special needs dog’s or cat’s comfort.
Generally, long-term pain management will include prescription medications that have side effects like chemical dependence, long term liver damage, and the potential for a lethal overdose. On the other hand, the natural alternative of CBD has been demonstrated in multiple studies to offer effective and SAFE relief.
CBD has been shown to greatly and consistently reduce inflammation — a common problem for older people and pets. Many pet owners are discovering the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD taken both internally and topically and often are able to use CBD instead of to relying on traditional prescription meds. In multiple research studies it has been shown that CBD delivers powerful anti-inflammatory effects in both humans AND animals.
Just like their two-legged owners, pet’s joints get sore and grumpy as they age. Joint issues and other
mobility challenges make everyday living difficult and depressing for dogs and cats. A pet who is able to play, exercise and get around comfortably enjoys a healthier and longer lifespan.
Because it can address both pain and inflammation, CBD Oil can address both woes that make movement a struggle and, as proof, a study on dogs showed that 2mg of CBD administered twice daily vastly improved mobility for senior dogs who suffered from Osteoarthritis.
Numerous breeds have a predisposition to skin allergies and eczema-type issues and many older dogs, in particular, suffer from dermatitis caused by anxiety or environmental factors. In many cases, topical CBD products can offer relief when applied directly to a pet’s skin. Our Unscented CBD Salve Stick is soothing and non-toxic, providing both relief outside the body and within. It’s also easy to apply and carry. If your pet has a longer coat or you prefer a cream to a salve, we offer an Unscented CBD Cream that smooths on easily and cleanly. Both of these topical products can be administered in conjunction with tinctures and chews and are the perfect remedy for “hot spots” and itchy patches.
Why won’t my veterinarian prescribe, or even recommend, CBD?
It’s not that he or she WON’T recommend CBD….it’s that they CAN’T. At least not yet. The 2018 Farm Bill
loosened restrictions on hemp-derived CBD and removed it from the “Schedule I Drug” designation BUT….there are still a number of restrictions on the ability of vets to recommend or prescribe CBD. What these restrictions are and how they are enforced is, unfortunately, very confusing and is in no way straight-forward. Laws regarding CBD differ in every state and, until the Federal Government takes the eventual step toward clearing it up, it will remain a gray area for veterinarians.
This doesn’t mean you aren’t free to discuss CBD and its benefits with your animal practitioner but just means they aren’t legally free to formally prescribe it as a remedy for your four-legged friend. Depending on what state you live in, your veterinarian may have more freedom when offering a hemp-derived solution to your pet’s problems.
Best CBD Products for Senior Dogs and Cats
We have a premium line of products formulated specifically with pets in mind and never use additives or elements that are often contained in “human” CBD oils and could be harmful to animals.
- TINCTURES These oil based liquids can be administered either directly under your pet’s tongue for extra-fast sub-lingual delivery to the system or drizzled on food to be ingested orally. Our tinctures are created with an organic, THC-free blend of CBD and extra-virgin olive oil that is both safe and easy to administer.
- CHEWS For our more finicky furry friends we recommend a CBD chew. Our Purelix Wellness Dog Chews contain phytocannabinoid-rich ingredients, are water-soluble, THC-free and offer a popular natural bacon flavor. These treats taste good AND provide the same broad-spectrum, high-quality CBD contained in our other products.
- TOPICALS As mentioned above, some pet owners choose to enhance their pet’s comfort by using CBD topicals. They can be applied directly onto the effected area and have been found to ease the discomfort caused by allergies, “hot spots” and other dermatological issues. Think about how good it feels to get a rub down using a medicated topical salve when your skin itches. Now you can help your pet feel that same relief!
Feel free to reach out to our team of experts with any questions. We ALL love our pets and want to help you give your senior pets the best life possible! Tell us about your #PurelixPet!