Our pets' emotions are closely tied to ours, and vice-versa. It hurts to see your dog in pain. Of course, you want to do everything you can to help them. One option at your disposal is natural pain relief for dogs, which we'll focus on today.
We are here to add to your options, not replace them. If a vet prescribes pharmaceutical medicine to your dog, don't be too quick to dismiss them, but ask about natural remedies as well. Many natural compounds have benefits beyond relieving pain, and they make strong additions to your dog's overall wellness routine. You can even pair them with medications for extra support! Now let's get into some natural remedies, their potential, and when they might be called for.
How to Tell if Your Dog Is In Pain
The earlier you recognize your dog's pain, the more effective any remedy will be. Tune into your dog's behavior and watch for the following signs:
- Muscle twitches
- Increase in vocalization
- Resisting touch
- Aggressive behavior
Finding the Reason for Your Dog's Pain
You can't choose a remedy for your dog unless you understand the cause of its pain. It starts by recognizing the difference between acute and chronic pain. Acute pain occurs suddenly, typically as the result of an injury. Chronic pain develops gradually over time, often related to health issues or the aging process. Causes of acute pain include:
- Broken bones
- Sprained ligaments or tendons
- Flesh wounds
- Allergic reactions
Causes of chronic pain include:
- Long-term illness
- Bacterial infection
- Joint deterioration
- Age-related aches and mobility issues
External injuries are easy to spot, but the causes of chronic pain are harder to pin down. In any case, call your vet and describe your dog's symptoms. They may ask you to bring the dog to their clinic, where they can diagnose the issue. Give your the holistapet's joint mobility treats for their better joint health,
Why You Should Avoid Giving Pain Killers to Dogs
Some pain killers can have serious side effects, and the risk increases the longer your dog takes them. Some side effects are mild, like an upset stomach, but some, like kidney disease, can be fatal.
Can I Give My Dog Human Medicine?
This is a big no. Dogs are so expressive and affectionate, they seem almost human at times. Many dog owners come to regard their pet like a fellow person, but you have to draw the line at pain medications. It might be your instinct to reach for the aspirin, but you should never give your dog medications made for humans before consulting a vet.
What Are Pain Medications for Dogs?
Many pharmaceutical companies make pain medications specifically intended for dogs. The most common are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Most are available over-the-counter or online, but it's best to get veterinary advice before giving any medicine to your dog. Examples of canine NSAIDs are:
- Rimadyl (carprofen)
- Deramaxx (deracoxib)
- Previcox (firocoxib)
- Metacam (meloxicam)
NSAIDs are good for short-term pain relief but not as much for chronic pain. The more often your dog takes NSAIDs, the more likely they are to experience side effects. Long-term use of pain medication may lead to:
- Stomach aches and ulcers
- Increased blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure by toxicosis
What Can I Give My Dog for Natural Pain Relief?
Now we'll look at some popular natural remedies. These remedies are not exclusive to dogs - many people employ natural pain relief supplements to boost their own wellbeing. We'll also talk about a few changes you can make to your dog's routine to support their overall wellness.
Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids, which offer natural relief. Research has shown that omega 3 in fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, achieving similar results to NSAIDs. Healthy oils have the added benefit of enriching your dog's skin and coat. Try adding a few drops to your dog's food each day to encourage long-term wellness.
Boswellia, better known as frankincense, is made of resin from the Boswellia Serrata tree. Taking boswellia inhibits the production of leukotrienes, molecules that contribute to inflammation. It is well-tolerated by dogs and humans alike. Who needs gold and myrrh, right?
If anything can claim supremacy in the world of natural remedies, it's turmeric. Indians used it in the Vedic age, over 3,500 years ago! The staying power of turmeric speaks to its potential, but what causes its effects? Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Though it's a popular spice in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, you should avoid giving your dog turmeric from the spice aisle at a grocery store. For your dog to efficiently absorb the curcumin, you must combine the turmeric with an oil. Look for turmeric-infused dog treats or pure curcumin supplements instead.
You can make a big difference in your dog's condition with nothing more than a hot water bottle or heating pad. Heat therapy increases blood flow to the muscle tissues, carrying oxygen and other nutrients to injured areas. It also relaxes stiff muscles, ligaments, and tendons. To administer heat therapy, follow these simple steps.
- Fill a hot water bottle or turn on a heating pad and let it warm up completely.
- You don't want to put the bottle or pad directly on your dog's skin because it can be too hot for their comfort. Put a thin cloth, like a dishtowel, between your dog's skin and the heat source.
- Apply the heat source for 10-15 minutes.
Hot therapy doesn't work for all aches. If your dog has swelling, you need to reduce their blood flow, not increase it. Cold therapy does exactly that. It is most helpful for quick relief from recent injuries. To administer cold therapy, follow these simple steps.
- Get an ice pack, or make one by putting ice in a plastic bag. A bag of frozen peas is a great impromptu cold pack.
- Just like with heat therapy, you should put a thin cloth between the cold pack and your dog's skin.
- Apply the cold pack for 10-15 minutes. During the first 48 hours after an injury, you can repeat the cold therapy every hour or so. If your dog starts whining, or their skin becomes ice-cold to the touch, stop cold therapy for the day.
Physical therapy can help your dog recover mobility after losing it to an injury or chronic discomfort. Veterinarians often recommend physical therapy, so ask your vet for a referral. Professional canine physical therapists know tons of exercises for dogs to try to loosen up their joints and improve their fitness level. They can even recommend a specific routine tailored to your dog's needs!
Can I Use CBD As Natural Pain Relief for Dogs?
Due to its soothing and therapeutic effects, CBD can be used to help with discomfort relief. CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that many pet owners give their pets to help better manage their wellness.
CBD works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in a dog's body, thus supporting the endocannabinoid system (ECS). A feature of all mammals, the ECS regulates mood, memory, sleep, appetite, digestive function, and crucially, pain sensitivity and immune response. A balanced ECS is important for you and your dog's overall wellbeing.
What Are the Benefits & Effects of CBD For Dogs?
CBD offers more than relief. It has a wide array of wellness benefits because the ECS regulates so many of the body's processes. Here are some key benefits of CBD:
- Full-body relief
- A calm state of mind
- Better sleep
- Improved digestion
- Mood boost
CBD has very few potential side effects. That's one of its main draws as an alternative therapy. In rare cases, side effects pop up, but they are usually mild and pass quickly. Potential effects are:
- Dry mouth
- Change in appetite
- Stomach upset
- Temporary diarrhea
How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?
There are no official amounts for CBD dosing, but we have general guidelines to get you started. As a standard dose, we recommend 0.25 mg of CBD for each pound your dog weighs. For a strong dose, try 0.50 mg per pound.
If your dog is new to CBD, start even lower, around 0.10 mg per pound. Monitor your dog's condition and gradually increase the dose as needed. For the most accurate guidance, check out our Dosing Chart and take the quiz!
Which CBD Products for Dogs Are Best for Natural Relief?
CBD products are incredibly versatile. Try them all and discover which is best for your dog! To help you get started, here's a breakdown of HolistaPet's CBD products for dogs that are all great for natural relief!
All HolistaPet products begin with our clean, CO2 extraction process, which derives CBD from hemp plants without the use of harmful solvents. To create our CBD oil for pets, we combine CBD extract with hemp seed oil.
Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are a great source of plant-based protein and contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids. Add a few drops directly into your dog's mouth or mix the oil tincture into their food.
These plant-based capsules have a precisely measured amount of CBD, so dosing is a breeze. They have a vegan casing, meaning no animal gelatin was used in the production process. For extra benefits, we add hemp seed powder to these capsules along with CBD. You already know how incredible they are.
CBD Dog Treats
We combined the benefits of CBD with the joy of a delicious treat. All of our CBD dog treats are 100% organic, plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, THC-free, and non-GMO. We never use artificial flavors or colors. HolistaPet offers three distinct treats, targeting different issues:
- Mobility Treats: Remember our old pals turmeric and boswellia? We added them to our treats, along with CBD, of course, for maximum relief. Plus, you can treat your dog to a tasty pumpkin spice-flavored goody.
- Calming Treats: We've combined CBD with the natural soothing powers of l-theanine and chamomile to relax your dog. The tempting taste of peanut butter and apple is too much to resist.
- Wellness Treats: For a holistic wellness approach, try these sweet potato and blueberry flavored treats. The addition of flaxseed oil helps your dog maintain a healthy coat and skin.
CBD Soft Chews
Treats are an ultra-easy way to give your dog CBD. Why? Because dogs love treats! They'll be begging you for more, and you'll earn major gratitude points for each tasty morsel you treat them to. But not all dogs can have our regular treats. Their crunchy texture can be too much for dogs with dental issues, so we cooked up a solution.
HolistaPet believes every dog deserves delicious access to CBD. That's why we created our CBD soft chews. We carry Mobility Chews and Calming chews. They have the same, all-natural ingredients as our regular treats but a new tender texture.
Final Thoughts - Natural Pain Relief for Dogs
Natural remedies can be a terrific way to help your dog through difficult times. It's a great way for dog owners to provide treatment at home and save time and money before going to the vet. However, we want to stress that it's always good to talk to a vet, especially if symptoms persist. Sometimes dogs need certain medicines to feel better. Even in these cases, though, natural remedies can be an aid, supporting pharmaceutical treatment.
We've covered the most popular natural pain relievers, but there are many more out there. Discover what each one can do for your dog today! Better yet, try products that combine natural aids, like HolistaPet's dog treats. And if you're more dog care tips check out these resources!