One of the worst things for dog owners is the various health issues. It becomes challenging to watch them struggle and suffer aggravating symptoms. Using CBD for senior dogs may just be the solution.

While we'll always consider our dog an eternal puppy that will be with us forever, it's hard to ignore as health conditions begin plaguing our pup and influencing his quality of life.

Once your dog begins showing age-related health issues, the status of senior dog applies regardless of age.

On average, a dog is considered a senior when it reaches seven years of age, although the breed and age of the dog can significantly influence this definition.

Large breeds, unfortunately, age more rapidly than small breeds, although genetics and environmental conditions affect how a dog starts aging.

Watching your companion struggle with basic tasks is heartbreaking and can influence its quality of life overall.

Although relatively new, here are a few common ailments and how CBD might impact their health and wellbeing:

cbd for senior dogs

Understanding CBD Oil for Dogs

Cannabidiol is a compound found within hemp and cannabis. Most CBD oil does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical compound that gives Marijuana the psychoactive properties.

For most applications, CBD products typically use hemp and not Marijuana.

Although there has been no formal study on how CBD affects dogs, scientists understand how cannabinoids interact with endocannabinoid receptors.

These receptors are found within the peripheral and central nervous systems, which maintain overall balance within the body and keep it functioning within a normal state.

There's no definitive data on using CBD to treat canines, but there's plenty of anecdotal evidence from owners.

Cannabidiol also holds anti-inflammatory properties, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety influence, and cardiac benefits, although conclusive data isn't yet available.

To help determine whether CBD is appropriate for your dog, here are a few common senior health conditions and how this medication influences overall health and wellness.

CBD for Dog Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a deformity that occurs during the dog's growth, appearing in the hip's ball and socket joint.

The ball and the socket must grow at equal rates for optimal health during development. With hip, consistent growth fails to occur.

This joint laxity is followed by common degenerative disease (DJD) or osteoarthritis as the dog ages. These conditions occur as the body attempts to stabilize the loose hip joint.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease greatly influenced by the environment, exercise, muscle mass, diet, and hormones.

The condition is commonly found within large breeds, but any breed is possible.

Some dog breeds are more commonly affected than others, including Labrador Retrievers, Bulldogs, German Shepherds, and large mix breeds.

Unfortunately, this disease often causes progressive pain and inflammation. As symptoms progress, owners are likely to notice changes in how a dog sits or walks.

While treatment for hip dysplasia should always involve veterinarian care, dogs presenting with discomfort often stem from inflammation around the joints.

Most vets will put the dog on a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) course. These drugs often affect hormone-like substances called prostaglandins (released in response to infection, injury, or irritation).

CBD affects receptors to mediate inflammation, pain, and overall immune response using the body's endocannabinoid system.

When dogs have side effects with NSAIDs, CBD offers the equivalent pain and inflammation reduction using different biological and pharmacology.

While CBD won't cure dysplasia, it can make a significant difference for dogs with pelvic issues.

CBD for dog with incontinence

Can CBD Oil Help Dogs with Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder control. The severity of the condition can vary from occasional small leaks to large amounts of urine.

This issue is entirely separate from behavior-related urination problems caused by a medical condition. Most of the time, your dog is probably unaware it's happening.

The causes of incontinence may vary but include spinal injuries, hormonal imbalance, prostate disorders, some medications, or urinary stones.

The most visible sign that your dog is incontinent is the involuntary dripping of urine. Occasionally, redness and irritation may also occur.

Always speak with your vet if you notice frequent “accidents” around the house or ongoing daily leaks.

Senior dogs are more likely to face bladder leaks due to weaker urethral muscles. Unfortunately, as your dog ages, it may struggle to hold in urine.

Diagnosing the cause of incontinence is essential; some issues are more accessible to address than other long-term issues. For example, a vet may prescribe antibiotics if your dog has a bacterial infection.

While CBD does hold many beneficial properties, it can make incontinence episodes worse.

Studies show that some dogs experience urinary incontinence with high doses of CBD, and those dogs are administered THC (the psychoactive property of cannabis).

cbd for senior dogs

CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis

When your dog experiences trouble getting up, seems stiff, or tires easily, arthritis may be the cause.

Most commonly, canine arthritis is a degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis. This condition affects one in five adult dogs, making it a severe issue for canines.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between the bones of a joint is damaged and destroyed.

As the joint loses its cushion, friction occurs between the bones. This friction causes pain and decreased mobility of the affected joints.

Inflammation can also stimulate bone spurs to form around the joints. As cartilage has no nerve endings, damage can continue and progress without outward symptoms until severe damage occurs, and any lubricating fluid loses its ability to protect the bone surface.

All joints can be affected by arthritis, but it most commonly occurs in the elbows, hips, lower back, knees, and wrists.

Less commonly, inflammatory joint disease is caused by an infection, most often fungal, bacterial, tick-borne disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

This type can also stem from an underlying defect in the immune system, which may be hereditary.

There are many ways of minimizing arthritic aches and pains, both medicinal and non-medicinal. Weight control is a standard method to reduce stress on joints.

Helping your dog lose weight can reduce further damage and improve lameness and mobility issues.

Other components include introducing the right mix of fatty acids into the diet. Fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, limit damage, and reduce the overall symptoms of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that can influence long-term mobility. Integrating an early treatment plan is essential in limiting damage to the joints.

Traditionally, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed for dogs experiencing pain from inflammation.

Although these medications are helpful, they can hold serious, even fatal, side effects.

CBD oil has been extensively studied in people and, more recently, in dogs. Cannabidiol holds anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving components.

Since osteoarthritis often involves inflammation and pain, CBD is a significant focus on treatment alternatives to NSAIDs.

CBD for Senior Dogs And The Progression of Osteoarthritis In Dogs

The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in the progression of os in canines.

Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout healthy joint tissue and degenerated chondrocytes.

Studies have shown that cannabidiol may play a key role in preventing the further degeneration of joints and the increase in pain associated with OA.

Veterinary research for animals is often behind when it comes to new medications or therapies.

Partly, this relates to the extensive cost of developing new drugs. Secondary problems include concerns with human markets.

CBD oil offers minimal to no notable side effects when dosed at two mg-per-pound. The treatment, however, found that all dogs held improved mobility and activity while taking CBD oil.

cbd for senior dogs

CBD For Senior Dogs' End of Life

Although no one wants to consider the end of a dear companion's life, making sure your senior pup is comfortable throughout the golden years should remain a top priority.

There are a few signs that indicate your dog may be facing ailments, but a few diseases may be treated if caught early.

As your dog ages, the illnesses often progress and worsen. Unfortunately, multiple conditions can tax the body, increasing discomfort and pain levels.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is prevalent for senior dogs, starting well before the end of their life. Much of this weight loss is due to the normal aging process, as his body becomes less efficient at digesting protein.

Feeding a diet with higher levels of digestible protein can slow this process but remains an inevitable part of aging.


Losing mobility is a typical symptom of aging and continues to get worse as they age. Some of this mobility is from the pain of arthritis, while other issues stem from the loss of muscle mass or declining vision.

Most changes in mobility will start subtly, gradually progressing to struggling with an essential function.

Always make sure your dog's food and water bowls are accessible and offer a sling, stairs, or harness for getting around the house.

Cognitive Dysfunction

Canine cognitive dysfunction is similar to dementia in humans, with early signs including irritability, fussiness, and pacing at night.

Progression mimics the human version, with your dog struggling to recognize familiar objects or people.

Approach a dog with CCD with caution. If these dogs are sleeping, they may startle and not identify you, nipping or lunging in waking up.

Lethargy and General Fatigue

Lethargy and general fatigue tend to increase as a dog continues to age, especially when they're facing illness, injury, or malaise.

Senior dogs tend to sleep a fair amount, increasing the duration as they near the end of life. Old dogs often tire more easily, opting to stay home during the day instead of joining outings and adventures.

Easing Symptoms Using CBD for Senior Dogs 

CBD oil for easing symptoms for terminal patients battling separation or generalized anxiety.

Dogs facing hospice care or end-of-life issues often suffer from anxiety and stress due to the increasing frailty of their minds and bodies.

As CBD targets the endocannabinoid system, the treatment helps balance emotions and promotes calmness and tranquility.

Hospice dogs need a nutrient-rich diet to protect their digestive system and maintain their strength.

Many conditions require pharmaceuticals, which can directly influence a dog's appetite. CBD can keep a hospice dog eating, working to fight off any illness or drug-induced nausea they're fighting.

Additionally, CBD minimizes nausea and helps stimulate appetite.

One end-of-life ailment, canine cognitive dysfunction (also known as doggy dementia), can cause a pup to feel confused and restless.

With a regular evening dose of CBD, dogs frequently stop pacing, late-night waking, and panting. The pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing properties encourage better sleep overall.

Using Full-Spectrum CBD Oil for Canine Treatment

Another popular question among dog owners is the safety of full-spectrum CBD oil for their pups.

Full-spectrum oils contain a full range of trace compounds (including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes) found in source hemp.

The full-spectrum oil includes trace amounts of THC (.3 percent or less, by law).

Full-spectrum Marijuana is not safe for canine consumption. While many pet owners believe dogs are exceptionally intolerant to THC, purchasing full-spectrum CBD oil specifically marketed for pets is typically safe.

Many pet owners recognize that CBD oil is often more effective than CBD oils with isolated CBD.

It's important to remember the significant difference between full-spectrum CBD oil derived from hemp and those developed from cannabis (which often holds between 20-30% THC.

CBD for dog with incontinence

CBD for Senior Dog Holds Importance 

CBD oil is highly effective for treating injuries, ailments, or diseases in humans. Research is continuing to understand the importance and effectiveness of CBD in animals, especially dogs.

Although plenty of anecdotal evidence exists from pet owners worldwide, scientific research can't confirm these findings.

Thankfully, efforts to determine efficiency in canines are well underway.

When talking to your veterinarian about your senior dog, speak to them about the benefits of CBD for your dog's health and wellness.

Ask appropriate questions about the quality of life and how increased mobility, appetite, or decreased anxiety might improve your pup's functioning.

Please recognize that you need to do what's best for your dog's health, especially as their body begins struggling with basic functioning.

Although pharmaceuticals can help with many conditions, they're not without long-term side effects or potential health issues.

Learn everything you need to know about CBD for Dogs in our Definitive Guide:

CBD for Dogs