Our beloved canines have a seemingly endless amount of energy, which is especially true when they’re young. So, it’s not surprising that our precious companions need a good deal of exercise each day, for both their mental and physical well-being. One of the most enjoyable things that we dog owners can do is take our pups with us on hikes and other types of workouts, which allows us to bond with them while knowing that we and our dogs are getting in a beneficial amount of exercise to maintain good health.
But, just like our own bodies, our dogs need proper care after exercise to ensure that their bodies recover properly. Like us, dogs may experience strain and stress on the muscles and joints after physical exertion, and beyond that, their bodies need proper rest to heal from the impact of hiking and other forms of heavy fitness.
Why You Should Hike or Workout with Your Dog
All of us know of the benefits of regular exercise, and those benefits apply to canines as well. Exercising on a regular basis can prevent serious ailments like diabetes, heart disease, depression and arthritis, while preventing obesity and helping stabilize mood.
As it turns out, our dogs can actually become depressed or anxious if they’re not exercising on a regular basis. Canines are built for a lot of physical activity, which helps them catch prey and run away from danger in the wild. This means that exercise is a deep biological need regardless of breed or size. Depriving them of exercise can backfire, as they’ll simply find other ways to utilize all of that pent-up energy, whether it be destroying your couch or playing aggressively.
Hiking is a particularly great form of exercise for any dog, since it brings dogs into an environment filled with exciting sounds, smells and sights. Wooded areas allow your dog to explore like they would in the wild, which can simultaneously invigorate and calm them. However, it’s important that you keep them leashed at all times, as dogs are prone to chasing small prey that they may encounter along the way.
Why Give a Dog CBD After a Hike or Heavy Workout?
While exercise is profusely beneficial to canines, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t taxing on their bodies to one extent or another. After working out, the muscles and joints are vulnerable, and therefore require rest so that the body can repair them. Further, exercise can wear a dog out, which can throw their systems temporarily out of balance as they need to rest off the fatigue. The need for recovery increases as a dog ages, and their bodies don’t “snap back” as easily. And, as we all know, a dog can’t tell you if they feel sore, exhausted or generally out of whack after a particularly grueling workout session.
More dog owners are giving their furry friends CBD following exercise, and it’s easy to see why. The hemp plant is a holistic, nontoxic and non-intoxicating source of compounds called cannabinoids that work with the endocannabinoid system in all mammals, including your beloved canine. The role of cannabinoids is to attach to cannabinoid receptors found in every system of the body, to regulate how these systems function in a way that’s ultimately conducive to homeostasis. This process helps regulate functions of your dog’s body that are impacted by heavy exercise, to potentially aid in the recovery to affect their muscles, joints, nervous system and more.
In fact, we know from a study performed by Cornell University that cannabidiol, hemp’s dominant chemical compound, may have a role in aiding canines who suffer from osteoarthritis, a condition in which the joints of the body become inflamed and painful. This is useful if you have an arthritic dog, but the study also confirms that the plant possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties that can generally improve the condition of their muscles and joints that are prone to becoming sore and stiff following a hike or other type of workout.
What to Know About Administering CBD to Your Dog After a Hike or Workout Session
Now that you know what CBD can provide to your active dog, you’re probably interested in looking for a hemp product to add to their daily routine. But before you do, there are some critical things to bear in mind.
#1: Always Consult Your Dog’s Veterinarian
It’s extremely important that you speak with your vet prior to starting your dog on a CBD routine. Only your vet can help you make decisions that affect your dog’s health. Make sure the vet is aware of any medications your dog may take, as this can impact whether or not CBD is an appropriate addition to their regimen.
#2: Only Use CBD Products Intended for Dogs
CBD products marketed toward humans should not be given to dogs, for two reasons. One is that their milligram strengths (potency levels) are often too high for most breeds. Secondly, they may contain ingredients that are safe for human consumption, but not for canines. Instead, choose a formula that is made specifically for dogs, as portrayed on the label.
#3: Choose the Right Dog Formula
There are three primary types of CBD products made for dogs, which each affect how the cannabidiol is used in their body.
- Treats: Are very popular as they make administration easy since they appeal to a dog’s senses. Any time a dog ingests the compounds of hemp, the effects can last for several hours at a time.
- Oils: Versatile products consisting of hemp extract diluted in a carrier oil. They can be administered below the dog’s tongue as a tincture, offering relatively fast-acting effects, or added to their food which allows them to behave like treats, with long-lasting activation times.
#4: Consider Giving CBD Daily
Due to the nature of the endocannabinoid system, it’s widely believed that daily administration of CBD is ideal. This allows the CBD to accumulate in the body, which can make it more effective over time.
CBD and Recovery: Not Just for Humans
Anyone with an active dog should explore the CBD products developed specially for canines, which can offer plant-based properties that work gently with your dog’s body in a way that’s particularly useful following hikes and other forms of exercise. If you and your veterinarian have decided that it is time to start giving your canine cannabidiol, make sure that you find a company that performs third-party testing on all of their hemp products, and uses only the cleanest, highest-quality ingredients to give your dog the absolute best that they deserve.