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cannabinoids for dogsWhen it comes to cannabinoids for dogs and cats, we often ask ourselves “how much should they take?” This is certainly an important question and you can find a quick reference guide to refer to here.

What I want to discuss with you today is a question that I feel gets to the root of why people are learning about cannabinoids. It has to do with:

  1.     Relief
  2.     Correction
  3.     Maintenance

Everyone naturally and intuitively understands the concept of relief. Relief is the moment the pain or the complaint starts to go away. The search for relief is what motivates people or their pets to go to the doctor/veterinarian or seek a means to help them get rid of their pain.

Pain is a huge motivator, so it is natural when we feel enough of it, we will search out a method to help it go away. I’m not going to get into deep explanations of the obvious traits of pain, for I know we’ve all probably experienced it in various forms and fashions. Your pet knows what pain feels like and I’m sure one of the reasons you may be reading this is out of concern for some type of pain or related symptoms your pet is exhibiting.

What I do want to discuss briefly are the additional topics of correction and maintenance. These concepts may initially seem a little foreign, but I think I can make some easy analogies that will help you understand them. The challenge I am up against is the popular belief often held, “If I don’t have any pain, then everything must be fine.”

Think of pain as the tip of the iceberg. We all know that underneath the surface there is a huge portion of the iceberg no one sees. The tip is really just a small part of the iceberg. When pain is removed, it is like removing the tip of the iceberg but leaving the main body of the iceberg intact. It is very easy for it to break the surface again and for the pain to re-emerge.

Correction is therefore geared at addressing the iceberg underneath the surface. Once the tip has been removed and your pet is out of pain, it is important to continue with some form of treatment to maintain progress and chip away at the underlying root cause. If you discontinue treatment as soon as the pain goes away, it is very easy to have a “relapse”.

For anyone who has ever taken antibiotics, you may remember the doctor saying, “Please finish the entire prescription even if you are feeling better in a few days.” Why would the doctor want you to keep taking the medication when you are feeling better? Because the doctor knows that the pain and symptoms are the last thing to show up and the first thing to go away. With antibiotics, when the pain starts to go away, there is still a good likelihood the infection is still present under the surface (much like the iceberg). If you stop taking the prescription at this stage it is very easy for the patient to relapse and the infection to return.

One more example outlining the properties of correction. Have you ever known a patient with heart disease or someone who might have had a heart attack? I hope not, but if you did, I would ask you on the day before they had the heart attack (severe pain that often times, unfortunately, can kill them) would you say they were “well”? Of course not. They may not have known they had problems because they might not have been experiencing pain, but they certainly were not well. Unfortunately, they were sick.

Now when a patient like this goes to the doctor, they, of course, want to stabilize them and get them out of pain. Does the doctor release them as soon as the pain starts to improve? No, the doctor probably puts them on a course of rehabilitative therapy to perhaps include exercise, changing their diet, maybe changing some of their habits if they were a smoker, etc. This is the doctor doing what they can to “correct” and address the underlying problem that created the pain in the first place.

Therefore, think of “correction” as everything you can do to get your endocannabinoid system fully fueled and back to working at its optimal level. Because the endocannabinoid system is a relatively new field of study the amount of time it takes for “correction” to occur undoubtedly varies among different opinions. Also, no two humans or pets are the same or fully heal or respond the same. If I had to generalize, I’d venture to say “correction” is occurring over the 90 days or so following the remission of pain, although we’ll know more about this as more studies are performed and the science develops.

One thing we do know is there does not appear to be any toxicity associated with taking CBD and cannabinoids, which is great news. One can, therefore, err on the side of caution and stay on a correction program without worrying. This time frame is all about getting the cat or dog endocannabinoid system back to functioning at its highest level. It is like giving your car a full tune up and making sure everything is running right.

Now once “correction” is achieved are we cured and can we forget about everything? No. Just like if you had your car tuned up, you still have to do little things to help “maintain” it in good running order. You’ll have the oil changed, keep up on small maintenance, etc. It is not as much work as getting it fixed and repaired, but it still requires a little work.

Maintenance is all about preserving and holding the gains you’ve achieved after tackling the relief and correction phases of care. It is kind of like keeping a clean garden weed-free. As long as you devote a little attention to it and pull the errant weed here and there, the garden should stay in good order. By giving your pet natural dog health products made with CBD on a regular basis, you are doing something proactive (vs. reactive) to keep bad things from taking root, starting to grow, and ultimately expressing themselves in the form of pain or a symptom.

I hope all of this makes sense to you. The challenge we face is that our culture is one of the best at relieving pain and performing emergency procedures. We are educated and confident about how to manage pain. What often times is not emphasized enough is the importance of doing a little work on a consistent basis as cheap insurance against ever encountering pain.

Therefore, once you’ve helped your pet feel better, please consider keeping them on a path of correction. Once correction seems to be achieved, please consider giving them a holistic dog treatment like a dose of CBD regularly to help them maintain and hold onto their wonderful progress. It is very cheap insurance against them having relapses.

If you ask me, can a “healthy” dog/cat benefit from CBD or cannabinoids? I’d ask you to give it some thought based on what we discussed above. What do you think?

Since we know CBD is not toxic, we know there is no harm with it. We also know that many diseases develop slowly over time. Therefore, if you can get a jump start for your pet when they are healthy and before they need relief, you are again giving them a leg up toward a healthy and high-quality life.

It is much like how you would want to feed your dog or cat high quality and nutritious food during the course of their life and also provide them with exercise to help them stay healthy. Adding CBD to your pet’s lifestyle is a very positive thing. It may be one of the bests gifts you could give them outside of your love, time and affection.

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