Senior pet care for dogs and cats, including hemp derived CBD administration.

ECS Series: Joint Support

When it comes to the health of your pets, you want them to have the best food, medical care, toys, bed, treats, supplements … the best, period. We believe the only way for you to determine what exactly is ‘the best’ is through education. How can you choose from all the products on the market; which one is best for your beloved furry friend?

These questions are especially true when considering hemp supplements. In an exploding market during uncertain times, everyone seems to have an opinion, but those opinions, while well intended, may not be rooted in fact. In our Endocannabinoid System series, we’ll provide the facts about how hemp can support the body in a variety of ways, beginning with the system’s normal functions and how that relates to mobility during injury (short term support) and the normal aging process (long term support). 

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

By now you’ve probably heard cats and dogs, like humans, have a receptor system which responds to cannabis administration, called the endocannabinoid system. That response can be positive (reduced anxiety during times of high stress) or negative (overdose of single compounds like CBD and THC), and the difference is sometimes a complex thing incorporating individual response, relationships between compounds, health status, route of administration, dose of compounds, and more. But at its core, the ECS is a simplistic receptor system whose sole purpose is to maintain healthful homeostasis within the body.  

Researchers have known for some time the ECS is integral to normal development of nervous tissues from embryo to adulthood, and it performs such actions via DNA-directed chemical release at key times during cell differentiation, division and migration. In short, genes signal protein development within cells, essentially waiving chemical ‘flags’ in front of cannabis receptors to get their attention. Depending on the type of flag being waived, the cannabis receptor responds in a number of ways, all with the express goal of normalising that one cell. Applied all over the body, the ECS helps the body develop a normally functioning nervous system, including nerves which integrate with muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joint tissues. 

 

The Normal Joint

Joints develop during embryonic stages and continue until physical maturity, about 2 yrs of age for most cats and dogs. The structure of joints is made up of a variety of tissues including bone, cartilage, joint fluid, ligaments, tendons, and the connective and muscular tissues surrounding them. Each tissue has specific uses and limitations. For example, ligaments are designed to be somewhat flexible for normal range of motion, but are limited in that capacity so they can support the heavy bones on either side of the joint capsule. Inside the protective joint capsule are compounds (synovia) and tissues (cartilage) which provide lubrication for normal range of motion. Via the same chemical messaging system as above, the ECS helps direct and is directed by the cells within these tissues so that joints grow and develop normally, including changes found in healthy senior dogs and cats. 

The Normal Senior Joint

Nothing can stop the aging process, but having an understanding of what’s going on can allow you to better support your pets’ aging joints, allowing your older cat or dog to maintain healthy range of motion during all stages of life. Normal daily activities, which differ greatly among species, place stress on all aspects of the joint. Twisting motions of chasing agile prey (toys) test the limits of ligament flexibility, and jumping onto / off of surfaces places significant impact on bones, cartilage and joint fluid. Over time, and as genes are less able to instruct bodily repairs, ligaments become less flexible, cartilage thins and joint fluid lessens, making the joint overall less mobile. Does this mean no more feather toys for your small lioness or that you should forgo agility classes for your Border Collie? Definitely not! The benefits of gentle and sustained exercise over a lifetime far outweigh any negative impacts on aging joints; this is especially true when combined with a healthy diet and ideal body condition score

 

The ECS & Normal Aging Joints

Let’s recap what we’ve learned today: the ECS is vital to normal development; the ECS responds to the body via chemical signals; normal joints have tissues supporting flexibility and strength; and older joints have less flexibility and less cushioning ability during impact. In order to respond to the body’s ever-changing needs, the ECS must remain highly adaptable and has developed the ability to make and activate receptors within a short period of time (< 72 hr in most cases). Up/down regulation is not a new concept in veterinary medicine as many receptor systems do this. However, what is especially adaptive regarding the ECS is its ability to up and down regulate using both internal signaling and externally administered compounds. 

We know there are cannabis receptors within joint tissues, not just from current research, but from a developmental perspective as well. Because the ECS is required for normal nervous tissue, and nerves integrate with other tissues like bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, there must be cannabis receptors within those tissues. Receptors listen and respond to chemical signaling from cells found within and around joints, helping it maintain normal flexion and extension motions. Whenever an imbalance is found within the joint, like a temporary knee sprain, the ECS will upregulate receptors until balance is restored, then downregulate so it doesn’t waste resources. Long term, however, the ECS simply cannot keep up with upregulation signals without external support. 

It’s all about balance.

Supplements providing multiple compounds from which the ECS can choose, are often more beneficial than single only ones. This is due to the complex nature of the ECS and how it serves as a homeostatic receptor system in the body. Simply put, its job is to maintain balance, and it cannot do so unless it too is balanced. In this case, cannabis receptors appear balanced when the primary endocannabinoids (anandamide & 2-AG) or their external phytocannabinoid counterparts (THC & CBD), are also in balance.  Currently it appears ratios of 1:1 – 10:1 provide the ECS with compounds which allow maintenance of normal functions without unbalancing itself. Furthermore, because we want to avoid dysphoria (“high” from THC) and liver value elevation (from excess CBD), ratios CBD:THC 3:1-7:1 are preferable in cats and dogs. Using small amounts of both compounds also allows for lower doses, lessening the risk of minor adverse effects like mild sedation and soft stool. 

How does this apply to long term ECS support and normal aging joints? If we want to offer the best support possible so that it can better maintain joint homeostasis, we need to provide compounds in ratios and amounts the ECS can use without unbalancing itself. Signaling from normal older joints occurs more frequently and with more “oomph” than in normal adult joints, putting more strain on the ECS internal reserves. Less flexible ligaments send signals indicating a less balanced state and the ECS responds, encouraging more normal joint mobility as a result. The same happens with worn cartilage and the signals it sends out, and with all other joint-related tissues. When you administer a low dose, multicompound, CBD-rich external source of phytocannabinoids, the ECS can more quickly respond to joints, and you can rest assured your beloved senior friend can chase her prey and run his trial in comfort for a bit longer. 

 

We look forward to continuing your ECS education in our next segment: GI Tract and Immune System Support.

Winterize Your Home for Senior Cats

The days are growing shorter and the nights are growing colder. And as many of us know that can mean more aches and pains. Not just for ourselves, but for our elderly feline companions as well. Fortunately, there are options that can help us make the chilly weather more comfortable for our dear ones. Supplements, including Canna Companion, that help your cat maintain both joint and overall health are just one of many ways you can ease their discomfort.

One of the most obvious options, clothing, also seems like it may be the least likely to work. After all, cats are notoriously fussy about what they will or will not tolerate. Believe it or not, there are some cats who have to wear sweaters year round in cooler climates. There are plenty of others who won’t mind, especially those snuggler cats who burrow under every blanket.  Senior pets are often more slender and need that extra warmth the most. Choose soft material that won’t inhibit movement.  

Another excellent option is to offer a heated cat bed. There are many different options here, but the most important thing is going to be taking your cat’s own preferences into account. If they like to hide themselves when they sleep, try to get something that has a cover so that they may do so. Always look for heating pads designed specifically for animals. There are a number of different varieties available from ones that go in the microwave to electric ones that only heat up when they have weight on them. 

Additionally, even without a heat pad, there are ways to make their rest more comfortable. Elevate their beds so that they are away from cold floors, using stairs and ramps for older cats where needed so they can readily access favorite sleeping spots. Make sure they have access to what sunny spaces are still available. And double check their favorite perches to ensure that any nearby windows aren’t drafty. Doing this can also help your heating costs.

A few final precautions include keeping litter boxes out of cold basements or garages. In fact, there are a number of other good reasons to restrict access to garages. Antifreeze and deicers are both very toxic to cats. A little work and a lot of love can help your feline friend have a safe and comfortable winter.

8 Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog 

 

The month of November is “Adopt a Senior Dog Month” and the Canna Companion family would like to make sure that our fellow pet parents know some of the benefits to look forward to when adding a furry friend to the family.  We all know that puppies are very cute, fun and may be around a lot longer than an older dog. However, there are several reasons why you should look for a senior dog to adopt rather than a rambunctious energy filled puppy.  An older dog has its own special characteristics and there are benefits in adopting an older pet that we cannot overlook.

 

  1. Temperament: Senior dogs already have established their personality and are less energetic than a puppy. By adopting an older dog you have a good idea of the type of dog you welcome into the family.  Whether you adopt a purebred pup or a mixed breed friend, make sure you consider how well that dog will fit into your family.  

 

  1. Training: Many senior dogs already have some basic training behind them, so very little training is required to get them on the right track and adjust to your home.  Adopting an already-trained dog will save you a lot of time and energy that you’d normally have to dedicate towards training a young dog the basics.

 

  1. Older dogs make instant companions: Unlike a puppy, which requires leash training and time to bond with a human pack, an older dog is ready to accompany you on a long walk and already knows how to integrate with humans.  An adult dog will make a great workout partner, a loyal companion, and a great snuggle buddy.

 

  1. You can teach an old dog new tricks: Dogs can be trained at any age and older dogs are just as smart as younger ones. Older dogs have a greater attention span than a puppy, which make them easier to train, especially with fun tricks.

 

  1. You become an instant hero.  Adopting an older dog may save its life: Many people are quick to adopt puppies and younger dogs, often overlooking dogs over the age of five. Shelters are overcrowded and unfortunately, older dogs are among the first to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted in a timely manner. By adopting a senior dog, you are not only providing it with a better life but are also saving it from being put down.

 

  1. They are independent: Senior dogs love to be by their humans’ sides, but they have also mastered the art of amusing themselves. Unlike puppies, you can trust older dogs to play safely on their own when you are occupied, especially once acclimated to their new home. While puppies get into the trash or shred your newspapers, senior dogs happily chew a bone or find a nice cozy spot for a nap.

 

  1. They Have Lots of Love to Give: Senior dogs may bear a few scars – both physical and emotional – but they don’t let their pasts keep them down, no matter how dark they may have been. Dogs have a way of forgiving, forgetting and living in the present. If you give your love to an old dog, you can be sure he will devote the rest of his life to loving you back.

 

  1. They Never Stop Expressing their Gratitude: When you gaze into the wise and worldly eyes of a rescued senior dog, you will see an animal who knows they have been saved. They don’t care where you live, what you look like or what you do for a living; they will dedicate the remainder of their lives to thanking you. 

 

If you’ve been considering adding a new member to your family, let that member be a senior dog.  Adopt one from your local shelter this month to celebrate national Adopt a Senior Dog Month.  And if that new friend needs a little help adjusting to their forever home, consider Canna Companion CBD pet supplements.  Contact us today for more information — or to just tell us how wonderful your newly adopted senior dog is getting along!

Winterize Your Home for Senior Dogs

Slowly, the autumn breezes are turning to a winter chill. Every day brings a greater risk of waking up to frozen car door locks. With the colder weather comes discomfort for elderly joints, including in those of our canine companions. There are many options for keeping our senior dogs comfortable and at ease during cold weather, including supplements like Canna Companion which support joint mobility. 

Keeping them warm is one of the best things you can do for your senior dog, so providing some blankets for them in their beds is always nice. Additionally, there are heated beds made specifically for pets. There are both microwavable heating pads or electric beds. As long as you make sure you follow the instructions, these are all very safe.

If your dog gets in and out of the car frequently, or if they are allowed on the furniture, they may struggle more with getting to those spaces. We advise providing a ramp or stairs to help them get to those areas a bit easier. Pet slings can help pets who need a little help but don’t need a full set of stairs.  This will help to ease joint strain while also allowing them to get up off the floor, where it is colder.

Some dogs may not like it, but other dogs rather enjoy sweaters, jackets, and other items of clothing that will keep them warm on cold days. Try a number of different fits and textures, because not all dogs will like the same things. Additionally, if you are taking your dog out for a walk, consider a waterproof coat, booties, and a longer warm-up time. This will help your dog acclimate much more quickly.

A few further ideas include keeping dogs out of the garage to protect them from poisons such as antifreeze and deicer, and, perhaps best of all, cuddling with your pups whenever you have a chance. Together, we can help make this winter far more comfortable for your senior dog.

CBD Oil for Senior Pets

Is your beloved family dog going grey in the muzzle? Has your cat stopped leaping up onto the couch beside you? If we had our way, our animal companions would stay young and spry forever, but every senior pet slows down and begins to show natural signs of aging eventually. These signs can include anything from loss of mobility to serious health issues. It’s up to pet parents to consult a veterinarian and provide the right combination of preventative care and specially made products for old cats and dogs in order to keep these precious companions happy and healthy.

At Canna Companion, we’re passionate about providing you with the tools and resources you need to support your pets as they grow older. With the right care and attention, your furry friend can enjoy life well into his or her golden years! Today, we’re looking at the benefits of a hemp-based, supportive complement to your pet’s routine—CBD oil for old dogs and cats.

What is CBD Oil?

Officially known as cannabidiol, CBD is one of over 545 chemical compounds produced in the cannabis plant. These compounds are able to bind with cannabinoid receptors that in turn support the health of the endocannabinoid system. What all this means is that, in the proper form and with the proper administration, CBD supplements for older cats and dogs can allow your furry friends to enjoy the many supportive benefits of the cannabis plant!

Over 20 years of veterinary research into the proper combination of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids led to the creation of Canna Companion and our hemp-based products. Our supplements come in capsule form or as a liquid, allowing you to choose the option that works best for your pet. When it comes to elderly cats and dogs, you may find that CBD oil is the best fit for your pet’s current lifestyle. 

Canna Companion’s Whole Plant Hemp Oil is formulated specially for cats and dogs, delivering the supportive health benefits of cannabis with a carefully controlled ratio of THC to CBD. The oil is particularly helpful for aging pets who may need more immediate endocannabinoid system support, as well as for those senior dogs and cats who have trouble taking pills. 

How Can CBD Oil Help My Elderly Pet?

Unlike the psychotropic compound THC, CBD does not cause the feeling of “highness” commonly associated with marijuana use. Instead, it provides access to a range of supportive benefits that can help your aging pet maintain health and quality of life.

Provides Speedy Support for the Endocannabinoid System

CBD oil is particularly helpful for pets who need more immediate endocannabinoid support than a capsule can provide. That animal might be anything from a geriatric cat that needs end of life comfort, or an increasingly nervous dog that could use some help staying calm. 

Maintains GI Tract Health

Even older cats and dogs sometimes get into things they shouldn’t—and our geriatric furry friends definitely don’t have iron stomachs. While you can’t monitor your pets constantly, you can help to support their normal digestive processes with CBD oil. 

Promotes “End of Life” Comfort

Your pet deserves a high quality of life no matter his age, and we’re dedicated to helping you provide just that. Our hemp oil can promote comfort and care while promoting relaxation as your pet nears the end of his life. 

Encourages a Calm Demeanor

Pets can change as they grow older, and you may notice your cat suffering from nervousness or your dog experiencing separation anxiety that wasn’t evident at a younger age. Canna Companion can help your pet stay calm in the face of situational stressors like fireworks and other loud noises. 

Supports the Immune System

Just as an elderly person’s immune system isn’t as strong as a healthy young person’s, senior pets may have weaker immune systems than their younger counterparts. Coupled with regular visits to the veterinarian to catch any emerging health problems, our hemp oil can help to support your pet’s functioning immune system, maintaining existing health and happiness. 

Helps Maintain Normal Joint Health

We all get creaky and achy as we grow older, and the same is true for pets. At a certain age, normal daily activity may leave them feeling sore and lethargic. Canna Companion’s Whole Plant Hemp Oil supports normal joint health and may ease the discomfort that comes from normal daily activity. 

Supports Healthy Neurological Function

As pets age, their brains can change in both normal and negative ways. Canna Companion works to support the endocannabinoid system, which in turn will help to support normal neurological function in your cat or dog.

Support Your Senior Pet with Canna Companion

Your pet deserves the absolute best. We want her to enjoy as many happy years by your side as possible, which is why we invested years of veterinary research into developing hemp-based pet supplements that support the most important features of your pet’s major bodily systems. If you’re looking for high-quality supplements for old dogs and cats, you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call today—we’re happy to schedule a complimentary consultation with a licensed veterinary professional.

How to Help Your Dog Age Well

As a proud dog parent, you want the absolute best for your lovable four-legged child. Unfortunately, even the most lively and youthful canines aren’t immune to the natural effects of aging. Just like humans, dogs begin to slow down and weaken as they age, resulting in stiffness and reduced mobility. In order to mitigate these age-related symptoms and keep your pup in great condition throughout every stage of his or her life, it’s imperative to understand how a canine’s needs change over time and take steps to meet them.

At Canna Companion, we’re passionate about providing pet parents with all the knowledge and resources they need to support the health and happiness of their dogs and cats through cannabis-based supplementation. That’s why we developed Canna Companion, a unique blend of hemp that is specifically designed to enhance the supportive benefits of the cannabis plant while minimizing the high-inducing concentrations of THC. Today, to help you attain optimal health, comfort and care for your pet, we’ll be teaching you about the best ways to help your dog age well.

What Changes Do Dogs Experience as They Age?

Joint/Mobility Issues

It’s important to remember that a canine’s joints naturally degenerate as they age, making it significantly harder for them to run, jump and play like they used to. In more severe cases, a dog’s joint discomfort can become so debilitating it prevents them from navigating throughout the house or hopping up into your vehicle. If you notice your aging dog is reluctant to participate in daily physical activities, like climbing up steps or getting into your bed for pets, then be sure to take them to your veterinarian for a checkup as soon as possible.  The doctor can assess whether they’re experiencing joint issues and discuss a variety of options to get them on their feet again.

Decreased Immunity

Regrettably, your pup’s immune system begins to weaken with old age as well. As you know, your dog’s natural defense system plays an important role in protecting them from a wide variety of insults.  Older dogs are less able to manage normal daily insults to their immune systems and minor problems become larger ones quickly. Call your veterinarian if your dog seems tired, asks to use the bathroom more often, or injures herself.  Once it is determined your geriatric dog’s immune system is just getting a bit older, it’s time to consider pet-friendly supplements that support a healthy immune system.

Behavioral Problems

According to Vetstreet, geriatric dogs can become more likely to exhibit distress when they experience uncomfortable situations or stimuli, including when they’re left alone or are surprised by loud noises (like fireworks or thunder). And because a canine’s senses dull with old age, their response to these stressful situations becomes less and less predictable. Some older dogs that are startled may even respond with aggressive or destructive behaviors. As a result, we highly encourage you to reach out to your veterinarian if you notice your dog developing behavioral problems in their later years for additional advice and support.  

How Can I Help My Dog Age Better?

  1. Maintain Their Physical Health

Regardless of your dog’s age or condition, it’s imperative to keep their body in excellent shape. Remember, obesity increases the amount of stress your dog’s joints will have to endure each day and subjects them to additional health risks, reducing quality of life. Establishing daily exercise routines and a healthy diet (paired with regular veterinarian visits) is the best way to prevent these problems and ensure your canine stays active and lively.  Just remember your best friend is older and may not be able to run a 5K anymore, but a stroll in the park is a perfect doggy day.

  1. Make Your Home Easier to Traverse

Once again, joint discomfort can make it tough for your dog to navigate around your home effectively, especially when paired with vision loss (another common age-related change in senior dogs). Fortunately, you can safeguard your pet from many of these mobility troubles by making a few small alterations to your home. For example, try to keep all of the supplies your dog needs (including his or her food, water and sleeping space) on one floor of your home to help them avoid strenuous climbs up steps. This will help to prevent daily joint discomfort and potential injuries if your dog stumbles due to vision or coordination issues.  

  1. Talk to Your Vet About Health Supplements for Older Dogs

There are several pet supplements on the market that can be used to help your dog transition smoothly into his or her later years. For example, our Canna Companion supplement offers a number of invaluable benefits for aging canines. Not only does this formulation help to support your pup’s immune system, keeping their natural defenses in top form at any age, but it also mitigates joint discomfort associated with normal daily exercise and activity while supporting general joint health, enabling your dog to move around the house and play without experiencing discomfort. Last but not least, Canna Companion has been proven to encourage a normal calm behavior, preventing temporary and situational anxieties from negatively affecting your canine as he or she grows older. Be sure to chat with your veterinarian to gain a better grasp on which supplements will best suit the needs of your pet.

Contact Canna Companion Today

Interested in learning more about Canna Companion or our industry-leading cannabis products for pets? Then be sure to call or message us! We would love to hear from you and discuss what we can do to help your pet attain a higher level of health and comfort throughout each phase of life. Also, please feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions about dog mobility or helping old dogs with cannabis-based supplements. We look forward to hearing from you soon.