Have you heard the joke about the dog that limped into the veterinarian’s office? The vet asks, “why are you limping?” And the dog replies “I’ve had a ‘ruff’ life.” Ok, now we all know dogs can’t talk like us, but they can develop pain like us. As a loving owner, you want to do everything you can to relieve your dog of any pain. Prescription pain medications may work well but many come with adverse side effects. Opting for natural medicines can sometimes prove to be an excellent choice because they typically do not have major side effects. One popular alternative is natural Boswellia for dogs.
What is Boswellia?
Boswellia, aka “Indian frankincense”. It has been a prized possession since the ancient days. In fact, it’s been said that the biblical frankincense came from the resin of the Boswellia sacra tree. Egyptians also made use of it by incorporating it into their embalming techniques.
Modern Boswellia is an herbal extract that derives from the Boswellia serrata tree. Boswellia is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to treat chronic inflammatory diseases.
Boswellia can be found in the Red Sea region and in northeastern Africa, as well as in parts of India. Historically, Boswellia was used for treating several ailments, including arthritis, nervous diseases, urinary disorders, diarrhea, and dysmenorrhea. Today, we continue to take advantage of Boswellia as a natural medicine.
What are the Benefits of Boswellia for Dogs?
Boswellia & Arthritis
Dogs are very prone to developing joint problems as they age. Unfortunately, this can often result in arthritis. Arthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease. It’s a condition of chronic inflammation in the joints that ultimately results in the loss of cartilage in the joints.
Since dogs are always on their four legs, they are constantly putting tremendous amounts of force on their joints. Four on the floor, over time, leads to the development of arthritis as they age. Typically, arthritis is also accompanied by pain and tenderness in the joints, making it nearly impossible for dogs to run around and play.
Obesity may also add to the development of arthritis and speed up cartilage degeneration by adding extra force to the joints. Keeping the pounds off your dog might be as important as keeping your dog out of the pound.
Fortunately, Boswellia or Boswellic acids have a high potency for treating inflammation. Many use it for slowing the progression of arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. Research from a Swiss study shows that just two weeks of Boswellia treatment in dogs with osteoarthritis resulted in a 71% improvement in symptoms.
Boswellia & Inflammatory Diseases
The mechanism by which Boswellia works is not entirely clear. However, we know that Boswellia contains certain phytochemicals, called terpenes, which possess highly anti-inflammatory properties. This explains the traditional and contemporary uses of Boswellia for treating inflammatory diseases like arthritis, IDB, and asthma.
Boswellia & Cancer
Boswellic acids may work in various ways to inhibit the growth of cancer. They may have the potential to stop specific enzymes from adversely affecting DNA. There is limited research on Boswellia and cancer for dogs, but many human studies have shown positive results. Research suggests that Boswellia may combat advanced breast cancer cells, and limit malignant leukemia and brain tumor cells from spreading.
Is It Safe For Dogs?
Boswellia is natural and very safe for your dog. Although a few minor side effects are possible, including diarrhea and nausea, it is likely that your dog will not have any issues with appropriate dosing.
The important thing to note about Boswellia is that it is natural, and therefore it does not come with a lot of the risks that prescription medications come with. Choosing a natural alternative like Boswellia can be great for long term use because of the lack of major side effects.
Contrastingly, conventional medications usually cause serious problems when used for treating chronic illness. For that reason, you might want to steer clear from those and instead opt for a natural treatment for your dog.
Boswellia Dosage for Dogs
As you might have guessed, the amount of Boswellia recommended for dogs depends mostly on size and age. Dogs can have very different metabolisms, so each dog will process Boswellia a little bit differently.
Additionally, Boswellia products can vary, always follow the instructions from the manufacturer and remember it’s best to speak to a veterinarian before using any herbal treatments with your dog.
Generally, the recommended starting dose for a 50-pound dog should be around 300 mg of Boswellia given twice a day. Continue this initial dose for about two weeks, after that the dose can be cut in half and given as a maintenance dose for as long as your dog needs it.
How to Use Boswellia for Dogs?
Boswellia is available as a resin, pill, or cream. You can use each of these forms for specific purposes. For example, if you want to relieve joint pain in a localized area, you can use Boswellia cream on that area. On the other hand, as a daily supplement, it might be a lot more convenient to simply take Boswellia pills, or mix in Boswellia resin with a smoothie.
Combining Boswellia with fatty foods
It is important to note that Boswellia is fat-soluble, so it absorbs into the body much better if you consume it with fatty foods. Examples of healthy fatty foods include coconuts, avocados, and hemp seeds, to name a few. Taking Boswellia by itself can still have benefits, but nowhere near as significant as when you combine it with a portion of fatty food.
Boswellia + CBD
While there are many forms of Boswellia available in stores, there are much more convenient options available, such as these Joint and Mobility CBD Dog Treats. This unique blend of Turmeric root and Boswellia is essential for increasing joint strength and reducing inflammation and pain. Additional ingredients include hemp seed powder, which is full of omega fatty acids and protein, and CBD oil.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural extract from hemp plants and may have incredible effects on overall wellness. Its powerful properties can work together with Boswellia and may help reduce pain and help improve joint function and mobility. As a result, CBD working together with Boswellia may be much more effective than Boswellia alone.
Worried about your dog getting high? Not to worry. CBD is 100% non-intoxicating and is completely safe for your dog. In fact, CBD comes with very few side effects that only present themselves when excess CBD is consumed. That being said, it is very difficult to overdose on CBD. And since recommended serving sizes are provided, you should never have to worry about such a problem.
Boswellia can have many uses, but it is most people use it for its anti-inflammatory properties. In dogs, it can be an excellent treatment for arthritis because Boswellia contains powerful terpenes that specifically fight inflammation. The use of Boswellia dates back to millennia ago, so its use today tells us that it is quite an invaluable substance. Being a natural extract, Boswellia is incredibly safe for dogs and comes with very few side effects, if any at all. The next time you are looking for a natural pain medication for your pet, look into Boswellia and give it a try. You might end up using it yourself, too!