Does your dog have trouble running up and down the stairs? Do they need more time to get up after taking a nap? Or maybe they sleep on the floor to avoid jumping on the bed? As you may have assumed, the most probable culprit is arthritis.

Affecting one in every five adult dogs in the US, arthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain. Although modern veterinary medicine offers conventional therapies for arthritis, CBD oil is becoming a predominantly popular choice among pet owners.

In this article, we will take a look at the best CBD oils for dogs with arthritis. We will also give you a short lesson on canine arthritis and explain why CBD oil is a preferential management option.

Top 5 CBD Oils For Dogs With Arthritis

How CBD For Dog Arthritis Works

CBD works by boosting the performance of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS system is a regulatory system present in all mammals. It manages various vital body functions and processes like appetite, pain, immunity, inflammation, sleep, mood, memory, etc.

The goal of the ECS is to maintain a state of health and balance or homeostasis. Despite the complexity of its goal, the ECS consists of three components:

  • Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring cannabinoids synthesized in the body.
  • Cannabinoid receptors (two types: CB1 and CB2) that bind with the endocannabinoids.
  • Enzymes break down the endocannabinoid after they have fulfilled their roles.

CBD replaces the endocannabinoids and binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, thus interacting with the ECS and promoting homeostasis.

By definition, arthritis is a “painful inflammation” of the joints. As mentioned above, the ECS plays an important role in both pain and inflammation. Since CBD interacts with the ECS, it is easy to see how CBD works for dogs with arthritis.

Summary: From 5-star ratings to countless happy customers, it is no wonder that Honest Paws is the number #1 CBD oil brand in the US. Founded by a proud and dedicated dog mom, the brand is envisioned and founded on quality and trustworthiness.

The Honest Paws CBD oil is rated as number #1 for dogs with arthritis. The oil is loaded with cannabinoids, mobility-enhancing terpenes, and natural anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric. The Honest Paws Mobility CBD oil is available in four different potencies.

Pros

  • Rich selection of CBD products for dogs with arthritis
  • Full-spectrum CBD oil
  • Different CBD potencies
  • 100% organic hemp, vegan, and gluten-free
  • Highly palatable flavors
  • Sourced and manufactured in the US
  • Certificate of analysis

Cons

  • High-demand and occasional low stock

Review: The Honest Paws CBD products are condition-specific and offer different options for dogs with arthritis – CBD oil, CBD Mobility soft chews, and CBD Relief bites. Plus, we are amazed that all CBD options are made from human-grade ingredients with premium quality. We dislike that sometimes the CBD products are sold out.

Honest Paws Mobility CBD Oil for Dogs
  • Full Spectrum CBD Oil 
  • Third-Party Tested 
  • Formulated to Relieve Joint Pain and Inflammation

Summary: Founded to honor the unconditional love of dogs, Simple Wag aims towards returning the happy tail wag in all dogs. The brand believes that the best way of achieving this is through using high-quality CBD products.

The Simple Wag CBD oil is a full-spectrum formula made from 100% pure hemp. It is efficient in reducing pain and managing inflammation. This CBD oil is an excellent choice for dogs with arthritis because it enhances bone and joint health.

Pros

  • Full-spectrum oil
  • Non-GMO and completely organic
  • Rich in antioxidants, omegas, and vitamin B and D
  • Made in the US
  • Lab-tested and USDA certified
  • Eco-friendly packaging.

Cons

  • Limited choice of CBD products

Review: We love that Simple Wag offers supreme quality CBD oil in an eco-friendly bottle for a budget-friendly price. We dislike that the brand does not have CBD alternatives for dogs that dislike oils.

Summary: NuLeaf Naturals is a pioneering CBD company offering a range of CBD oils formulated for humans and pets. Its cannabis wellness products are safe and efficient in promoting healthy minds and bodies.

The Dogs Naturally brand believes in changing the dog world by offering high-quality CBD products and actively educating pet owners on popular topics. Its products are made of natural and premium-quality ingredients.

The Four Leaf Rover CBD oil by Dogs Naturally is a full-spectrum CBD oil with human-grade MCT as a carrier. The CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties make it a suitable choice for dogs with arthritis.

Pros

  • Rich selection of CBD products
  • Full-spectrum CBD oil
  • Many CBD oil potencies
  • Organic and free from harmful chemicals
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Certificate of Analysis available

Cons

  • No CBD dog treats option
  • Occasional low stock

Review: We love the careful selection of natural ingredients in the Four Leaf Rover CBD oil by Dogs Naturally. We do not love the lack of CBD treats and the occasional low stock due to high CBD oil demand.

Summary: The CBD pet oil from NuLeaf Naturals is of supreme potency. It contains high levels of CBD as well as trace amounts of other cannabinoids helpful for dogs with arthritis. Plus, the bottle dropper is well-designed and easy to use.

Pros

  • Full-spectrum CBD oil
  • Organic hemp
  • CO2 extraction
  • Lab-tested formula
  • Subscription pricing available

Cons

  • Limited CBD product choice
  • No flavor options

Review: The NuLeaf Natural oil potency is remarkable. We also like the fact that the formula uses organic hemp seed oil as a carrier. What we do not like is the lack of tinctures featuring dog-friendly flavors.

Summary: Petly CBD is a one-year-old brand working under the premise that health starts from within. It was founded by two devoted dog dads who decided to take the science behind CBD use for dogs on a whole new level by creating high-quality CBD products.

The top-tier CBD formula makes Petly CBD worthy of a spot on our list of top 5 CBD oils for dogs. Its CBD dog treats and CBD food toppers are also high-quality and a good alternative for dogs that dislike CBD tinctures (considering they are non-flavored).

Pros

  • Rich palette of CBD products
  • 100% organic, vegan, and gluten-free
  • Free form additives and preservatives
  • Excellent customer service and policies
  • Donates funds for pets in need.

Cons

  • Not a full-spectrum option
  • Relatively new brand
  • No flavor options for the tinctures

Review: We like Petly CBD because it offers different options for dogs with arthritis. We do not like that there are no flavored oil options and that the formula uses broad instead of full-spectrum oil.

The Benefits of CBD Oil For Dogs With Arthritis

The first-ever study on CBD oil use in dogs was conducted in 2017 at Cornell University and involved dogs with osteoarthritis. The study showed that CBD oil decreases pain symptoms and increases activity levels in canine arthritis patients.

These positive results have challenged the current knowledge on the topic and inspired a plethora of research and studies. Based on current knowledge, these are the benefits of CBD oil for dogs with arthritis.

CBD can Decrease Joint Inflammation

CBD has strong anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, modern studies often describe cannabinoids as “novel anti-inflammatory drugs.”

This is of paramount importance for arthritis patients because inflammation is the culprit fueling progressive arthritic changes.

CBD Helps Alleviate Joint Pain

Studies show that CBD can block osteoarthritic pain, thus serving as a reliable tool for managing arthritis. Interestingly, even topical application of CBD has the potential to relieve arthritis-related pain.

CBD Helps Maintain Healthy Joints and Connective Tissue

CBD oil supports healthy joints and provides connective tissue support. Plus, full-spectrum CBD oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Essential omega-3 fatty acids support normal joint function and have chondroprotective features. A study showed that dogs with arthritis receiving fish oil supplements (as an omega-3 source) need lower NSAID doses to experience pain relief.

CBD Supports Healthy Joints and Flexibility

As mentioned, CBD manages the two main issues associated with arthritis – pain, and inflammation. Once the two pillars of arthritis are under control, the dog’s joint flexibility and range of motion increase. As a result, the overall mobility improves significantly.

How CBD Compares to Alternative Dog Arthritis Treatments

The typical standard for managing pain is non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs (usually carprofen and meloxicam) are also the treatment of choice for managing canine osteoarthritis. However, when it comes to osteoarthritic pain, studies suggest that NSAIDs are not 100% efficient.

Plus, long-term use of NSAIDs is associated with several side effects, mostly affecting the gastrointestinal tract. The most common GI side effects are vomiting, and diarrhea and the most concerning one is gastrointestinal ulcerations.

For dogs that do not respond to NSAIDs, the alternative would be opioids. Opioids are a more efficient pain managing option, but sadly, based on current evidence, the most popular opioid choice – oral tramadol “does not appear to be effective in managing arthritis pain in dogs.”

Additionally, same as with NSAIDs, there is a significant risk of side effects with severity ranging from panting and vocalization to CNS depression and sedation.

On the other hand, cannabinoids work similarly to NSAIDs and opioids but without the risk of severe side effects. Plus, patients receiving CBD oil are unlikely to build up a tolerance. In other terms, as a natural and herbal remedy, CBD is both safe and efficient.

Dog Arthritis: Signs & Symptoms

Arthritis is medically defined as painful joint inflammation. It occurs when the joint cartilage starts to deteriorate due to repetitive stress, natural wear, and tear, trauma, or disease.

The inflammation damages the cartilage, and the more damaged the cartilage is, the more it supports the inflammatory processes in the joint, thus creating a magic circle.

In theory, large dogs (especially ones with elbow and hip dysplasia) are more likely to develop arthritis. However, in practice, small dogs are also frequent osteoarthritis patients.

Canine arthritis is an insidious disease – it progresses slowly and gradually. Therefore, it is hard for dog owners to spot the clinical signs and symptoms, especially in the early phases. Plus, some of the red flags are not exclusive to arthritis and can often be misinterpreted.

Specific Arthritis Signs & Symptoms

These changes are considered arthritis red flags and require further attention:

  • Stiff walk
  • Limping or lameness
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Reluctance to climb stairs
  • Trouble jumping on couches
  • Difficulty squatting and house soiling accidents
  • Yelping on touch
  • Muscle mass loss over hips and spine

Non-specific arthritis signs & symptoms

The following observations can be contributed to many underlying issues:

  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss
  • Disinterest in everyday activities
  • Increased body weight
  • Increased irritability and anxiety
  • Unprovoked aggression

CBD Oil Dosage For Dogs With Arthritis

When it comes to the right CBD oil dose for dogs, there are no specific rules. In general, dogs can receive between 1 and 5 mg of CBD per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight per day.

However, finding which end of this dosing specter best suits your dog’s needs will take some experimentation. Always start with a smaller CBD amount and then gradually increase the dosage or CBD administration frequency.

If you are not sure where to start, check this CBD oil for dogs dose calculator. The good news is even if you give a higher dose, dogs cannot overdose on CBD.

Like any other food, supplement, or medication, CBD has the potential to trigger some side effects. But once again, there is a piece of good news – the side effects are rare, mild, and can be managed with simple dosage modification.

Side effects usually include dry mouth, increased thirst, slight lethargy, diarrhea, and lowered blood pressure.

Finally, we should note that CBD can inhibit liver enzymes, thus affecting how certain prescription medications are metabolized. Therefore, before using a dog CBD product, talk to your veterinarian.

How to Shop for the Best CBD Oil for Dog Arthritis

Shopping for dog CBD oil can be a challenging task. Today, many brands offer different CBD products, but sadly, not all of them meet the high-quality standards you want in a pet supplement.

To make the shopping experience easier and ensure you buy the best CBD oil for arthritis, we have compiled a shortlist of the basic must-haves.

  • Full-spectrum CBD oil. This form has more potent benefits than CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD oil because it contains various cannabinoids and additional compounds (flavonoids, terpenes, omega fatty acids) with entourage effects.
  • CBD hemp extract. CBD oil will only be safe for your dog or cat if it comes from the hemp plant and contains less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana extracts are toxic to pets because they contain more than 0.3% THC.
  • Hemp CBD oil. The hemp oil should be extracted from the whole hemp plant (leaves, flowers, and stalks) and not just the seeds (hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids).
  • CO2 extraction. The carbon dioxide extraction method ensures a pure CBD oil free from questionable chemicals while retaining all health-boosting cannabinoids.
  • Organic hemp. Natural and organic hemp farming practices are ideal for a high-quality CBD product. This is because commercially grown hemp is heavily treated with pesticides and other chemicals. Even the carrier (usually coconut oil) should be organic.
  • No GMO, allergen, and filler ingredients. GMO ingredients, dairy, corn, soy, and gluten, are of questionable quality and should not be present in a high-quality, human-grade CBD oil for pets.
  • Certificate of Analysis. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a third-party lab confirmation of the CBD product’s chemical makeup. The COA will prove its purity, presence of cannabinoids, and exclusion (or low percentage) of THC.
  • Reputable brand. Always choose a trustworthy brand that has a right-standing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a good rating on Better Business Bureau. Also, take a quick look at the brand’s reviews before making the purchase.

Our Final Thoughts

For many dogs, canine osteoarthritis is an inevitable diagnosis. Although not life-threatening, this chronic condition adversely affects the quality of life, thus warranting a strategic managing approach and close collaboration with vets.

Pet CBD products are an integral component of the modern arthritis management strategy. CBD is a natural, safe, and efficient option. In addition to helping with arthritis symptoms, CBD promotes long-term health and emotional wellbeing.

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