Our mailbag is always full of questions from our friends about how to best care for their pups. And one of the biggest is what to do when their hips and joints get creaky and painful. So let’s talk a little bit about how we can help.
What Causes Hip & Joint Pain?
Hip and joint troubles come in two unhappy packages: degenerative and developmental.
Degenerative joint pain appears over time as aging joints slowly stop working as well as they used to. It usually shows up as osteoarthritis, which is different from rheumatoid arthritis, a condition where the immune system goes a little haywire and actually attacks the joints.
Arthritis often occurs when dogs hit their senior years (that means age 7 and up). As they age, the cartilage (or the soft cushion between bones) begins to thin and cause rubbing of the bones. Inflammation and stiffness in those joints then make it difficult for dogs to get up and go.
Developmental issues, on the other hand, are usually genetic and happen when hips or joints don’t grow the way they’re supposed to. The most common type here is hip dysplasia, which strikes when the hip joint’s ball doesn’t quite fit into its socket and the two grind against each other whenever the leg moves.
Hip dysplasia is more common in dwarf, large and purebred dogs. Certain breeds are also at a higher risk than others. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals brachiocephalic dogs like Bulldogs and Pugs have the highest rates of hip dysplasia.
Other breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia include:
- French Bulldogs
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- Saint Bernards
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Neopolitan Mastiffs
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Basset Hounds
- Catahoula Hounds
- Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
- Norwegian Elkhounds
- Chow Chows
- Old English Sheepdogs
What are the Symptoms?
With both degenerative or developmental, the symptoms tend to look the same—lameness, low energy, restricted movement, trouble with stairs and furniture, difficulty walking or rising, etc.
Unfortunately, our furry companions can't tell us what's hurting, but if they lose interest in some of their favorite activities like going for walks and getting up to greet you at the door, hip & joint issues are often the culprit.
But to be completely sure, be sure to visit your vet and they will let you know what's at the root of their issues.
Can CBD help with Hip & Joint Pain?
In the meantime, there are lots we can do to make life less painful for our puppers. Our recent blog post on arthritis has some ideas, including giving them CBD.
CBD is generating a lot of well-deserved interest as a possibly powerful treatment for hip and joint pain, and scientists are finally starting to understand why.
It turns out that the body’s own endocannabinoid system—the very system that CBD acts on—plays a key role in our joints’ ability to function. That’s probably why research is finding that not only does CBD apparently reduce inflammation and ease chronic pain, the two main symptoms of hip and joint problems, it also might even fight arthritis itself.
How do you use CBD for Joint Issues?
Serving size: 2mg CBD per 10 pounds of weight to start. So if your pup is 50 pounds, 10mg of CBD per serving is a great starting point.
When: Try giving your dog CBD in the morning and evening. CBD also works best when taken on an empty stomach so avoid giving them their treat and hour before and after they get their meals. CBD lasts between 4-8 hours, longer for older pups with slower digestion. So we recommend a treat in the morning and evening.
Consistency: Make sure to give CBD to your dog every day, at the same time, to see the best results. If, after a few days, the amount you gave is not enough, feel free to double the amount you give until you see them feeling more mobile and happier.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CBD PRODUCT?
Make sure the product you buy is of high quality and from a reputable brand. Your best friend deserves the best and there's nothing worse than spending your money on products that don't work.
Broad/Full Spectrum CBD from Hemp Oil
Full spectrum means the oil has the added benefit of the entourage effect, meaning the CBD works in tandem with the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and lipids to make the CBD more effective. Broad-spectrum is the same as full-spectrum, except all traces of THC have been removed.
3rd Party Lab Tested
3rd party just means a laboratory that isn't associated with the company tested the CBD to ensures the amount of CBD on the label matches what's in the product. To guarantee the efficacy of the CBD that you buy, check the 3rd party test results. All reputable companies have it listed online or will happily give it to you if you ask.
Organically Grown Hemp
Hemp is a natural bioaccumulator, meaning it absorbs nutrients as well as contaminants from the soil as it grows. Make sure the CBD you buy is from a farm that uses organic practices to ensure there are no pesticides or metals in your CBD.
Which is the Best CBD for Dogs with Hip & Joint Pain?
Bakko’s Get Up & Go formula blends 10mg of CBD with botanicals like: green mussels, glucosamine, chondroitin, and L-Carnitine which are all super healthy for canine joints. Over time these nutrients will help your dog’s hips and joints move better so they can lead a healthier, happier life.