For many of us, our dog is like a best friend. Unfortunately, unlike our human best friends who age with us, dogs grow old much faster than we do. With age comes many conditions, and this article looks at one such problem and a possible solution: Does CBD Help Dogs with Dementia?
When it comes to doggie dementia, there is a lot of information you’ll want to know, including what it looks like and how to spot its onset, causes and prevention, and traditional treatment options. After that, we’ll dig into the benefits of treating your dog with CBD Oil and how to do it.
What is Doggie Dementia?
The medical term for doggie dementia is canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), but it is often referred to as doggie dementia or canine senility.
Unfortunately, CCD is something senior dogs often will suffer from along with arthritis and other joint and muscle degenerative diseases.
CCD is very similar to Alzheimer’s Disease in humans and tends to effect dogs at older ages as their brain function deteriorates with natural aging. While Alzheimer’s can be very apparent in humans, it is often harder to spot and diagnose in canines.
Signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
Dementia in dogs manifests itself in a wide range of different ways. Just like Alzheimer’s in humans, parts of your pet’s personality will change, but the piece, or pieces effected can take on a wide range of behavior changes.
We’ve listed some of the most common below, but if you’re concerned we recommend you consult your local Vet to double check or get a specialized opinion.
Disorientation or forgetfulness
A common sign to watch for, this can show up as your dog wondering around your home, staring at walls or forgetting common things like dog doors, the location of their food and water, or other pets.
Often dogs with CCD will bump into things or get stuck behind furniture. They seem to lose understanding of both their size and the shape of things surrounding them.
Accidents in the Home
For some dogs, anxiety, stress, and a change in environment can cause them to have accidents in the home, even after proper training.
This can be a tell-tale sign, especially in a canine who is normally calm and relaxed. This could be full on barking, whining, or growling that is out of the norm for your pet.
This covers many different facets of your furry friend’s personality. If your dog suddenly becomes aggressive when he or she was friendly and passive in the past you may be dealing with CCD. Another common sign is a dog who becomes withdrawn from social situations and lazy, not responding to food or even their own name.
With animals many things can cause anxiousness, so this is not always a great indication. But if your pet shows anxiety towards common toys, objects, people or actions they may be developing CCD.
Reduced Learning Ability
Due to the degenerative nature of doggie dementia it is common for a dog to be unable to process new tricks, environments, or people.
As we said earlier, these signs are so widespread and manifest themselves is so many ways you will need to consult a professional if you think your dog is developing CCD.
Traditional Treatment options for Dogs with Dementia
Right now, there is no cure for doggie dementia. Similar to Alzheimer’s, doctors have yet to find a way to reverse or stop the disease before it causes permanent damage.
The traditional treatment for dogs with dementia depends largely on how advanced the disease is, but include things like lifestyle changes, routines, medication and reducing anxiety can all help.
Dogtime.com put a great article out with 8 things you can do to help a dog with dementia.
How Does CBD Help Dogs With Dementia?
Cannabis has been used for it’s medicinal properties for quite a while now, but CBD, and other specific cannabinoids found in the plant, are newer to the scene.
Early research shows that CBD might be really effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease and due to the similarities between CCD and Alzheimer’s many veterinarians are excited about its potential.
So, how does CBD help dogs with dementia? Let’s look through the research.
A Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Dementia shows up in your dog just like it would develop for you. Just like you, your dog has an endocannabinoid system that is full of receptors that manage pain, hormones and normal bodily functions.
These receptors, that are sensitive to cannabinoids such as CBD, are found in extremely high concentrations in parts of the brain affected by Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
When CBD is used to stimulate the receptors in your brain, studies have shown a decrease in neurotoxicity, inflammation, and oxidative stress in the brain.
The increase in the firing of neutrons and higher levels of cannabinoids in the brain may help fight a wide range of brain disease, not just Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
In a paper published in December of 2019, a team looked at all the studies that had been done to that point on CBD, THC, and cannabis to treat and slow down Alzheimer’s. The results from various studies showed that CBD could suppress the main casual factors of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
As with many topics concerning CBD, more research needs to be done but the early studies are showing promising results for both dogs and humans battling Dementia.
How to give CBD to your Dog
Now that we’ve answered the question “does CBD help dogs with dementia?” it’s time to look at how the best way to give your pet CBD.
There are basically two ways to give your pets CBD, both of which are easy to add to your dog’s daily routine.
The first, is in CBD Oil form. Using a dropper given to you with the product, you’ll just need to mix in the correct number of drops to get the desired dose with whatever the dog currently eats.
This is a great method if your dog regularly eats food as soon as it is given to them.
If your dog tends to eat throughout the day, or inconsistently, this may not be the best method since they won’t get the full dose. In this situation we’d recommend the 2nd option, dog treats.
This might be the easiest, fastest, and surest way to get your dog to consume the CBD you want him or her to take. Anytime you’d regularly give your dog treats you can substitute these in instead.
The exact dose of each treat is clearly labeled on the package too, so as long as your pet eats the full treat you’ll know precisely how much CBD they are consuming!
Final Thoughts on CBD for Dogs with Dementia
All the research and studies point to CBD being both a preventative measure and a treatment option for dogs with dementia. Canine cognitive dysfunction can either be slowed down or prevented with normal CBD use for pets.
CBD Oil or CBD treats, given to your pet daily should be considered for part of their daily routine. As always, consult your veterinarian for more details and help selecting the correct dosing.