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CBD for Your Dog: Your Most Important Questions Answered

dog hemp plant cbd

Introduction to CBD for Your Dog

CBD is one of the most talked-about options in the holistic wellness space, and it’s no surprise why. However, this holistic remedy does bring up its fair share of questions. If you’re currently exploring the world of CBD and how it can help your four-legged friend, you may wonder a lot of things. What is it? How does it work? Is it safe? Is it effective? Part of the journey in getting all your top CBD questions answered is learning all about the many CBD benefits for dogs and how it can help them live happier and healthier lives. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at CBD, the many situations it’s used for, and how it may be the perfect holistic option for your pup!

What is CBD?

dog cbd education Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is CBD, and where does it come from? CBD is short for “cannabidiol,” a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant comes in two varieties: marijuana and hemp. The main difference between the two plants is the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, content. The marijuana plant contains high levels of THC (the psychoactive component that marijuana is known for). The hemp plant, however, contains trace amounts of THC – generally, no more than .3%. CBD can be extracted from both of these plant varieties; however it’s the hemp variety that’s sourced for CBD products made for dogs and other animals.

Is CBD legal?

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal in all 50 states, so you never have to worry about accessibility issues.

Will CBD get your dog high?

As mentioned above, only CBD from the marijuana variety of the cannabis plant contain high levels of THC (the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with “getting high”). Since hemp-derived CBD products only contain trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less), you don’t have to worry about your pet experiencing any kind of high. Another significant CBD fact is that hemp-derived CBD is also non-addictive. Your pet will not develop a dependency to CBD and can instead simply reap its many potential health and wellness benefits.

How does CBD work?

When cannabinoids like CBD are introduced into the body, they interact with something called the endocannabinoid system. You can think of the endocannabinoid system as you would any other regulatory system in the body like the immune system or the central nervous system. The endocannabinoid system in particular plays a role in regulating key physiological processes such as appetite, sleep, pain response, and mood. Both us and our dogs have an endocannabinoid system. In fact, the system is present in all mammalian bodies, where its job is to remedy any imbalances in order to achieve homeostasis, a.k.a. optimal function of and steady equilibrium among our internal processes.

So how does the endocannabinoid system work exactly?

Simply put, the endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. The below picture shows how these receptors are spread all throughout the body, located in important organs like the brain and lungs and in important systems like the immune system and vascular system. cbd dog cannabinoid receptors endocannabinoid system When cannabinoids like CBD enter the body, they interact with the endocannabinoid system either by binding directly to and activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors, or by performing certain actions that influence the endocannabinoid system indirectly. These interactions are what result in the potential health benefits a person (or animal) can experience when using CBD or other cannabinoids. For example, the cannabinoid THC can modulate pain at the spinal cord and brain level when it activates CB1 receptors, while activating the CB2 receptors can help support the body’s normal inflammatory response.

Specifically, How Can My Dog Benefit from CBD?

dog cbd Now that we’ve talked a little bit about how CBD works on the molecular level, let’s discuss the outward signs of CBD’s effect on your dog.

CBD for Mobility

As your dog starts to get up in years, you may notice changes to his mobility as a normal part of aging. Maybe he’s no longer able to enjoy his daily walks the way he used to, or maybe he struggles to climb the stairs in your home. Many pet parents turn to CBD for this very situation. CBD supports healthy joints and flexibility, provides connective tissue support, and can help relieve occasional joint stiffness by maintaining joint mobility and supporting bone health. It’s no wonder so many of our customer success stories revolve around senior dogs who got the spring back in their step thanks to CBD!

CBD for Pain

Do you know how to tell if your dog is in pain? Dogs are notorious for hiding their discomfort, a trait they inherited from their wild ancestors. Usually, by the time a dog has made their pain known, it’s progressed to a very uncomfortable point. Naturally, no pet parent ever wants to see their dog in pain. Whether your dog is recovering from an injury or recent operation, or is experiencing occasional discomfort from normal aging or from normal daily exercise and activity, CBD can help. CBD supports a normal inflammatory response in the body, which helps with occasional stiffness and soreness while also supporting healthy cellular activity and normal muscle recovery.

CBD for Stress

Stress can affect dogs just as much as it can people. There are various reasons why a dog may feel stressed or nervous, including loud noises (like thunderstorms and fireworks), changes in the household (such as bringing a new baby home or having family over for a special gathering), changes to their usual routine (such as traveling, hospitalization, or moving to a new home), and separation from their loved ones at times when they’re left home alone. Other times, you may simply have a dog on your hands who is dealing with hyperactivity. Hyperactivity is often caused by excess energy and can lead to destructive behavior. Fortunately, CBD can help. CBD has a calming effect on the nerves, which automatically promotes relaxation in animals and supports a normal emotional balance. It helps animals cope with external stresses (including environmentally-induced stress) and situations that may cause nervousness and helps them maintain a normal and relaxed disposition.

CBD for Wellness

In the same way that we take vitamins and other supplements in order to support our immune system, dogs can benefit from immune-boosting foods and holistic options as well, especially in their senior years, when added support can make all the difference in improving their quality of life. In addition to assisting and supporting the immune system, CBD also supports normal cardiovascular and neurological function, promotes long-term health, and helps maintain physical and mental wellbeing.

Is CBD safe for pets?

dog cbd CBD products are perfectly safe for your furry friend as long as they’re derived from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant. Products derived from the marijuana variety of cannabis, however, are NOT safe for animal consumption, as they typically contain high levels of THC and can thus be toxic to animals. As for side effects, hemp-derived CBD rarely produces side effects in pets, with most pet parents simply observing slight lethargy in the beginning of the introduction process. That is one of the reasons CBD is such a popular holistic option among pet parents. Below are the most commonly reported side effects, but every dog is different, and you may find that your four-legged friend exhibits none of these side effects at all. The important thing is to closely monitor your dog’s behavior and activity levels when first introducing CBD (and to introduce it slowly), so that you can best determine the perfect dose for your pup.

Most Common Reported Side Effects:

Dry Mouth CBD can lead to a decrease in the production of saliva. This typically presents itself as an increased thirst in your pet. Ensure that your dog always has access to fresh water so that he can satisfy his thirst as needed. Slight Lethargy CBD can promote relaxation in animals, so your four-legged friend might seem a little sleepy when they’re first introduced to CBD. This may be ideal if you’re using CBD to help your dog manage stress or nervousness, but if your dog ever seems too drowsy, you can always adjust their dose accordingly. Lowered Blood Pressure If you administer too high a dose of CBD to your pet, it may cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. The drop itself is small, but it can create a temporary feeling of lightheadedness in your pup. Be sure to stay within the recommended dosage range for your dog’s weight whenever offering them CBD. Diarrhea If you’ve ever introduced a new food or supplement to your dog’s healthcare regimen, you probably already know that diarrhea is almost an expected side effect. In this case, the gastrointestinal upset is not caused by the CBD itself but rather by the carrier oil that’s used in the product. This is why it’s important to slowly introduce CBD to your dog, as it gives his body time to acclimate. It’s also a good rule of thumb to offer CBD at mealtime as opposed to on an empty stomach.
When first introducing CBD to your pet, it’s always best to start with a smaller dose and then gradually work your way up to a full dose over a series of days. And it’s good news that today’s top pet CBD brands have developed creative, functional ways for our canine companions to enjoy CBD in forms that are safe and, in many cases, already familiar to them.

What are the most common CBD products for dogs?

cbd oil for dogs

CBD Oils

CBD oils are commonly referred to as CBD tinctures. CBD tinctures come equipped with a dropper (usually 1mL in size), which takes out the guesswork when it comes to giving your pet CBD. With a tincture, you always know just how much CBD oil your animal friend is receiving and can easily adjust the dose as needed. CBD oils are best administered sublingually (under your pet’s tongue). This allows the CBD to quickly diffuse into the blood through the tissues located underneath your pet’s tongue. Alternatively, with a pet tincture, you can also administer CBD oil at mealtime.

cbd bites and chews for dogs

CBD Bites and Chews

What dog doesn’t love a tasty morsel of goodness? CBD bites and chews make it easier than ever to introduce CBD into your pet’s health regimen. They come in various shapes and sizes and are usually formulated with delicious ingredients that pets already love — like coconut, peanut butter, and turmeric. Some pet CBD companies even manufacture CBD-infused peanut butter and CBD-infused coconut oil. CBD oil products like this are a big hit among animals!

cbd topicals for dogs

CBD Topicals

Not all CBD pet products need to be consumed. Sometimes, animal lovers seek out specific CBD benefits that can be achieved simply through topical application. Since CBD can help support healthy skin, CBD-infused coconut oil for pets is a popular go-to in moisturizing the dry skin of noses or cracked paws. It’s also a great option to turn to for hot spots.

What is the best pet CBD brand?

Not all pet CBD products are created equally. This is one of the biggest reasons why it’s important to know your CBD facts when purchasing a product for you or your pet. This is especially vital considering the CBD space isn’t regulated by any official governing bodies, meaning it’s all too easy to come across low-quality products or even products that contain no CBD whatsoever despite what their labeling says. For that reason, here are seven must-haves to tick off your criteria list when you’re researching a CBD company:

1. Hemp-derived CBD only!

This not only ensures that your CBD is legal in all 50 States, but it also guarantees that your CBD product doesn’t contain high traces of THC, which can be toxic to your pet. (Ultimately, a Certificate of Analysis will give you the most detailed breakdown of your CBD, which we discuss further down this list).

2. Full-spectrum CBD oil is king!

Avoid broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate and go straight for full-spectrum CBD. Again, full-spectrum CBD contains the most cannabinoids, and studies have shown that these cannabinoids work together synergistically in order to produce the most potent results for your health or your pet’s health. In short: the more cannabinoids, the better. Some companies will tout CBD isolate as a purer product since it contains 100% CBD and nothing else. The reality, however, is that CBD isolate is simply cheaper to make since it eliminates all the other cannabinoids in the production process. While it certainly can offer health benefits, full-spectrum CBD is a great deal more robust.

3. CBD products should be natural and all organic.

As with organic food, the cannabis plant’s quality can be altered by the way that it’s grown. Best practices mean plants that haven’t been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals. The method of extraction makes a difference as well, with CO2 extraction being the best option. It produces cleaner, purer, and healthier hemp CBD oil. In addition, CBD pet products should be non-GMO and free of soy, dairy, corn, and gluten as well.

4. Buy from a CBD company that is compliant with The National Animal Supplement Council.

The NASC ensures that retailers practice ethical behavior and that they’re 100% committed to manufacturing only the safest and highest quality of products. NASC-compliant companies undergo rigorous quality audits to ensure their supplements (CBD included) are top-of-the-line. With no formal governing bodies monitoring the CBD space, the NASC seal of approval is a sure way to find premium quality CBD for your pet.

5. A Certificate of Analysis (or COA) will show exactly how much CBD a product contains.

Any reputable company should be able to provide you with a Certificate of Analysis. If they can’t or won’t, that’s a red flag. This important document ensures that your CBD product contains no contaminants that can be toxic to your pet, while also providing a comprehensive breakdown of all the different cannabinoids and terpenes that are present in your CBD. (Terpenes are natural compounds that are also derived from the cannabis plant and added to CBD products to produce certain desired results; some are best for promoting relaxation, for instance, while others can be used to support the body’s inflammatory response). A Certificate of Analysis will also allow you to ensure that the THC levels in your product are at 0.3% or less.

6. Play detective and research any CBD company you’re considering.

Make sure that the company is in right-standing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Simply search online for “FDA dog CBD,” and you’ll find a list of offenders who have made false claims about their products in the past. Reading client reviews will also give you a clear idea of brand reputation and customer service, and you should always check out a company’s rating on Better Business Bureau.

7. Ensure the CBD has been lab-tested by a third party and not a company that the retailer is affiliated with.

The Certificate of Analysis should list the name, address, phone number, and sometimes even website of the lab that tested the CBD, allowing you to contact them and ask any questions you might have. This ensures total transparency in the lab results and guarantees that the Certificate of Analysis is accurate and authentic.

Where can I buy CBD oil?

The internet is full of CBD companies and retailers who sell hemp-derived CBD products. That said, you should never purchase a CBD product without thoroughly investigating the company behind it first. Do your homework, read reviews, and research the company in question as much as you can. Use the 7-step buyer’s guide provided above as you begin to compare different CBD brands and don’t stop searching until you’ve found a company that checks off all the boxes.

How do I know what CBD dosage to give my dog?

dog cbd Your veterinarian or other trusted pet health and wellness expert can best help you determine the optimal CBD dosage to give your dog based on a few determnining factors. Here are some guidelines to help you, as an educated pet parent, best understand CBD dosages. There are different types of CBD products, from CBD dog treats to CBD oil for dogs, so deciding on a dose of CBD can be confusing at first. But, once you know the factors involved, finding a CBD dosage is much easier. As with all things, some dogs may react differently than others. For this reason, you should watch your pet carefully and adjust their dosage accordingly. The amount of hemp oil you give your dog depends on their weight and their particular ailment. A good formula to use when deciding on a dose of CBD for your dog is: 0.25mg of CBD per pound of dog. This means for a 9-pound dog, a good CBD dose to start with is 2.25mg. For therapeutic benefits for stress, CBD can be used as needed. For more serious ailments, pet parents should follow a set schedule to avoid flair ups. Another factor to consider is the age of your pet. This can affect the potency of the CBD dose. A younger dog will not be as affected by a CBD dose as an older, full-grown dog. Because of this, younger pups may need a higher dose to get the desired effect from their CBD oil. Lastly, the type of CBD product that a pet owner uses will affect the dose. A CBD tincture is pure hemp oil and will most likely result in the most fast-acting benefits. A CBD dog treat contains CBD, but also other ingredients. This can affect how quickly the CBD is absorbed in your dog’s system. Regardless of the delivery method, all quality CBD products are very effective depending on your furry friend’s needs. Always be sure to follow the dosage instructions and closely monitor how your dog reacts. Based on your dog’s response, you can increase or decrease the CBD oil dosage to fit your needs.

How Much CBD is in a CBD Dog Treat or CBD Oil?

dog cbd When buying CBD products, the package usually lists the total amount of CBD in the package (like the box of treats or bottle). Because of this, it’s important to read the box or bottle carefully so you don’t assume one is more potent than the other when, in fact, each treat may contain the same amount of CBD. To figure out how much CBD is in each treat or each dose of CBD oil, scan the back of the package and determine how much CBD is in each drop or CBD treat. With CBD oil and tinctures, you may have to do a little math. That depends on if the CBD dose is determined per drop or on how many drops are in the dropper itself. Most products will tell you how many milligrams are in a full dropper and if this is the case you can figure out the CBD dose easily. If the CBD oil or hemp oil says it contains 35 mg of CBD per full dropper, you can fill the dropper yourself and dispense the oil to confirm how many drops are in the dropper. Let’s say there’s an average of 30 drops in each full dropper. You would just divide 35 mg by 30 drops. This would tell me there is about 1.2 mg of CBD in each drop of CBD oil. Now you know how to start your dog’s dose of CBD! As mentioned above, we always recommend consulting with your trusted vet or other pet health expert when starting a new health remedy for your pet.

CBD for Your Dog – Final Thoughts and Next Steps

CBD is taking the holistic world by storm, and it’s easy to see why. People all over the world are turning to this holistic option for a host of reasons, from fighting free radicals and supporting healthy immune function to promoting relaxation and helping with occasional discomfort. Fortunately, these days, our beloved four-legged friends can take part in the exciting world of CBD too, thanks to CBD pet companies that are dedicated to crafting the best CBD products for our dogs and cats to support their health and happiness.
If you’ve been on the fence about giving CBD a try, why not make today the day you take a leap to see the results for yourselves? Best Friends Pet Hotel proudly partnered with Honest Paws in 2020 to offer a superior-quality pet CBD product line (available at all of our locations) that our pet parents can trust.
Honest Paws pet CBD products Honest Paws uses 100% pure full spectrum CBD hemp oil from hemp plants cultivated in Colorado; made in the USA and thoroughly lab tested. Honest Paws pet CBD products are human grade, organic, 100% natural, and completely vegan. Additionally, they’re non-GMO, soy free, dairy free, corn free, and gluten free. Honest Paws is certified with the National Animal Supplement Council for all their products and undergo rigorous quality audits to achieve the highest standards in the CBD space. We invite you to explore our entire collection of Honest Paws pet CBD products, which are available across four unique condition-specific lines: Calm, Mobility, Relief, and Wellness.
To learn more about Honest Paws pet CBD products for your dog, visit our products page, or call your local Best Friends Pet Hotel, and someone will be happy to answer any questions for you.  All of our Honest Paws pet CBD products can be purchased curbside at your local Best Friends Pet Hotel.
Sources: https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/cbd-benefits-for-dogs/ https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/is-cbd-safe-for-dogs/ https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/best-cbd-oil/ https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-and-cbd/ https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/cbd-dosage-for-dogs/ https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/cbd-facts/

Holiday Pet Parent Tips

By Jessica Neal, Nutrition Center Manager, Freely Pet

pets dog cat holidays

The holidays are a time for celebration, decorations, big meals, and temptation galore. This is true not just for humans but for our four-legged family members too.

As you plan this holiday season, the Freely Nutrition Center is here for you with important tips on keeping your pets safe, happy, and healthy.

Freely Nutrition Center

 

What kind of plans should I make for my pets during the holidays?

dog pet parent holidays
This holiday season is likely to look a bit different for everyone this year. When making your plans, be sure to include your favorite furry family member!

If you are planning to travel or expect to be out and about, lock in those boarding or doggy day camp reservations at your Best Friends Pet Hotel location. Those spots can fill up quickly!

If you are staying home this year, plan to include your pets in the celebrations. This may mean adjusting the celebration to stick to your pet’s schedule but having them near will bring you all closer together.

This is also a great time to check the hours of operation for important contacts, like your vet. It’s nice to have some extra peace of mind knowing your pet’s care team is accessible when you already have so much on your plate (quite literally!).

 

We are planning a big holiday meal! Can my pet have some?

dog holidays food

Holiday food is often decadent and full of flavor, so it’s tempting to sneak a little something to your furry family member under the table. But these tasty morsels can cause unintended tummy troubles (and add to their waistline).

Only 10% of your pet’s daily calories should come from treats, toppers, and extras. Yep, even during the holidays.

Don’t leave the turkey or pies unattended on the counter or you might come back to find them missing and your pet with a full belly.

Your pets are not always as trustworthy as they are cute in the face of temptation, especially with the added distractions around your home.

PS: Try one of Freely’s bone broths for a lower calorie alternative treat!

 

I’m not sure how my pet will handle having my family around. What can I do to help?

dog playing brain teaser toy

While the holidays are a time of celebration, they can be taxing on pets and humans alike!

Consider adding a stress-busting play session, especially with a brain-teasing toy, to release some pent-up physical and mental energy before the festivities begin.

Another great idea is to add a few extra training sessions on the morning of the big day.

Puppies will be ready for a nap after a brain workout with obedience lessons or trick training!

Both are great ways to bond with your pet.

Even with some stress reduction measures, your pet might still become overwhelmed. Ensure your pet has a quiet place to relax away from the excitement and keep an eye on doors that an escape artist might use to dart away from the action.

 

My pet is acting really different during the celebration. What is going on?

dog holidays deer antlers

Many of us added new pets to our family in the past year. Even though they have settled in and become comfortable in our homes, the excitement of the holidays is a new, often overwhelming, experience for them.

Don’t worry if your normally outgoing pet becomes more reserved during the holiday season or your extra nervous pets are a bit shy around dinner time. With a little patience, they will be happy to spend the evening recouping with you after a long day of celebration.

 

I want my house to look festive but are the decorations dangerous for my pet?

cat holidays

Think twice about what you use to decorate your house and where you place holiday décor.

Pets observe with their mouths rather than their eyes, and sampling ribbon, tinsel, potpourri, or water in tree stands can be dangerous.

Although poinsettias are not quite as dangerous as previously believed, it is best to keep them, and other more poisonous plants like mistletoe and holly, away from pets.

And remember that other favorite people foods, such as chocolate and eggnog, can also be toxic treats.

Decorations, like trees and candles, can pose more physical dangers to your pet.

Your cat might find climbing your Christmas tree to be a fun activity, but it’s a party-pooper if it falls over and injures someone!

Candles and fireplaces should also be monitored to keep pets at a safe distance away.

 

We adopted a new pet this year! What can we do to really make them part of the family?

dog holiday festivities traditions

The holidays are a time of traditions and spending time together. Why not try making a new tradition with your pet?

An evening walk to check out the neighborhood decorations is a way to incorporate your puppy into the festivities.

A fort-building contest with spare boxes will give your kitty a place to play and a new experience to keep their minds busy.

These can become cherished activities, and you and your pet can look forward to them each year!

 

Still have questions? The Freely Nutrition Center has answers!

The Freely Nutrition Center wants to help you find the right food for your cat or dog and answer any questions you have about your pet’s diet and nutritional needs. Simply call (833-918-1236), email (nutrition@freelypet.com) or live chat (freelypet.com) with their experts.

And as a loyal guest of Best Friends Pet Hotel, when you contact them this Holiday season, they’ll send you a FREE small bag of Freely kibble! Just mention this blog post during your free consultation.

 

 

About the Author:

Jessica Neal is the Nutrition Center Manager at Freely Pet. She has a Master’s Degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in Genomics and Bioinformatics. She’s also a devoted pet parent to Atlas, her outgoing, sweet, and silly dog, Peabody, her loveable rescue cat, and Divine, her beautiful, hardworking quarter horse. While Jessica has studied in several fields, her true passion is small animal nutrition, and she is excited to connect with pet parents like you to help you navigate your pet’s nutritional journey.

Keep Your Pet Memories Alive: The 3 Most Important Things To Do With Them Now

By Christine A. Bournias

dog giving paw to human

Care For Your Pet Like Their Life Depends On It

It’s simple: Give your pets the best life they could ever ask for—NOW, while they’re here with you.

Much like losing a significant human, losing our pets can be devastating. Many people have said that losing a pet is even more intense than human loss. And nobody can compare the degrees of pain felt by an individual person.

woman petting dog

We’re all different.

Fact: If you love your furry friend(s) with all your heart, you will have to say good-bye at some point. Going into this kind of special relationship with your pet—even while knowing this difficult fact—from the get go—is the most unconditional love there can be.

Pet Parents everywhere go into the love affair knowing this reality. Then their love and admiration increases, and the bond between pet and caregiver strengthens. Living in the moment and being as prepared (as you can be) in advance helps ease our mind. But, no matter how much you prepare, loss is never easy.

Pets play a vital role in our daily lives and become a huge part of our families. They lighten up our days and nights during challenging times and keep us healthy. Our pets become our companions, our confidants—our cuddy buddies.

Whether furry, fuzzy, or feathered, the pain of losing a pet is real.

But, let’s first talk about dogs…

dog kissing young girl

There’s Always That One Special Dog

Many of us have felt the pain of losing a precious pal. Your dog becomes a member of the family. Preparation for the inevitable while your pet is still alive is key. Everything that you do for your dog each day adds up to their total quality of life. It’s not just the first week or last week of their life that we remember or think about—it’s all those memories in between.

It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.

Some say that losing your first dog is most difficult, however, we understand that each and every dog you own offers you its very own unique love. Nonetheless, there are just some dogs that make a bigger impact than others.

If this bond is not love, we don’t know what is.

No matter if it’s your first, fourth, or fortieth animal to love and care for, the bond between you two couldn’t be stronger. You love each one of them all in various ways, but as the saying goes, there’s always that one special dog.

Much More Than Love:

  • Admiration
  • Dedication
  • Financial Commitment
  • Medical Attention
  • Patience
  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Socialization
  • Training
  • Trust

Our companions keep us responsible and remind us to play. You as a Pet Parent have a responsibility to protect and care for your furry friend with all your might.

man dog sofa high five

It’s truly unfair that we typically outlive our beloved furry family members.

There are five common stages of grief that occur when we lose humans – and when we lose animals:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

With the loss of any loved one, profound grief is normal. Grief must be met with an abundance of resilience. Look it straight in the eye and conquer its power over you. TODAY.

Bottom line: We never truly “get over it”, we just simply get through it.

little girl sitting with arm around dog

Caregiver Responsibility: Care For Your Dog Like Their Life Depends On It

Our pets look to us to keep them safe and be their #1 health advocate from the beginning to when it’s time to help them cross over the rainbow bridge.

When you decide to care for a furry friend, make sure you’re ready to accept every stage of your dog’s life—from puppy to adulthood. Look to senior pets for loads of surprises and lots of interesting facts. With knowledge as your power, you can offer your precious pal the care they deserve at all times.

Okay, we understand.

These ideas can’t bring your dog back—nor can they keep them (physically) alive forever. However, they may serve as helpful reminders throughout your dog’s life—and when it’s time, through the grieving process.

By supplying the best life possible for your dog now, you can breathe life into your heart forever.

Keep In Mind: Love Is Not Enough

Paying close attention to details about your furry friend are all part of dog ownership. Regular health & wellness exams, spaying or neutering responsibility, grooming appointments, overall body observations, as well as a keen awareness of any changing signs in your pet, are just a fraction of the responsibility.

Caring for a dog is inside and out—nose to tail.

dog bath soap bubbles on head

Owning A Dog Is Much More Than Love. Do You Have What It Takes?

  • Admiration
  • Dedication
  • Financial Commitment
  • Health & Wellness
  • Medical attention
  • Patience
  • Resilience
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • More Patience

dog at vet clinic

1. Make Memories

Take Pictures

Take lots and lots of pictures of your dog.

A photograph speaks volumes. While a photo of your dog is not the real thing, it can help capture magical moments in your life. Even when you think you’re capturing plenty of photographs, one day you’ll look into that family photo album box and wish you took more shots of your puppy.

taking dog's photo with phone camera

Many pet care hotels offer up holiday costume contests, bubble bashes, and fun photo opportunities for your pet. These pet places are known to take lots and lots of pictures of your furry friend too!

Your dog may not know exactly what’s on the menu of the day, nor do they fully understand party themes, but they do know when kind people and fellow dog friends are giving them the favorable attention they so much crave.

You’ll be glad you took your dog to their favorite Pet Hotel.

Silly — yet safe — activities with your dog all contribute to your sacred vault of memories.

dog pink wig funny photo collage
Photo Credit: Breanna Elizabeth, Best Friends Pet Hotel (Willow Grove)

Make Time

Do fun stuff with your dog.

Spend time that you didn’t think you had. Yes, you must make time. From puppies to senior dogs, provide your pet the opportunity to enjoy their life with you.

guy dog playing fetch stick beach

A good dose of physical exercise and mental stimulation for your dog will allow you both the chance to stay active and healthy.

Perhaps it’s time for your dog to enjoy a new experience, training protocol, or change of scenery? Get outdoors, go for a hike, sit by the lake, plan a puppy picnic, or teach your dog a game of basketball. “Shooting hoops” or jumping through hoops will be new and different for your pal.

Go ahead, drop to the floor, get on all fours and have some fun. What better way possible is there to experience life, than to experience life with your dog?

The Moment Comes But Once

When your dog licks your knee or kisses your hand when you give them a yummy extra snack, don’t push them away. This loving gesture from your dog might be their way of showing you trust, acceptance, and affection.

When they bark, validate what they’re barking about. When they’re whining, get to the core of where the behavior is coming from. Don’t just holler at your dog to be quiet. Identify their needs and tell them “Thank You.” (Now that’s a switch. Try it. It works.)

Try your best to have humor in their every shananigan when your dog runs around the house with a choice article of your clothing hanging from their mouth. Maybe they’re zooming around the room and laughing at you.

Maybe you’re unhappy or impatient with your dog. But, these are the trying times to refocus on your dog and giving them their best life. Their behavior might be your dog’s honest attempt at keeping you close to them. Think of it like us keeping a photograph of the person or persons we love by our nightstand—meaningful.

Pay close attention and you’ll discover your answer of what you’re looking for them to do. They aren’t just pestering you to go in and out, more times than not, they just want you to go outside with them!

Remember dogs will be dogs. They just want to please you. You just have to show them how. Demonstrate what behavior you want.

man dog leash before walk

More Fun & Entertainment

Just for fun, you can bake a sticky treat or tuna snack for your cat. Blend up safe dogeritas or make yummy, homemade dog safe ingredient ice cream in warmer weather! Freeze and stuff their favorite dispensing toy each week. And, when they’ve had more exercise time than normal, treat your pal to a spa-like pet massage in order to ease and comfort their tired muscles.

Enjoy the humorous, rambunctious behaviors that your dog does. Make a conscious effort to pause and enjoy your dog—right when the moment happens. We all have a ton on our minds these days, but try to remember that exact moment in time as it occurs.

When your dog jumps up and down to see you when you’re home from a long day at work, remember all the hysterical tries of training the word “off.” The training process is what matters. Don’t strictly strive for success. Encourage desired behavior, but laugh when it doesn’t happen.

Sharpen your dog’s skills for small wins. Nobody’s perfect. Practice is perfection, even for your dog.

2. Live In The Moment

Remember to live like a dog.

Your furry friend only knows what’s happening at that given time. Their attention is now, then it’s gone. They don’t dwell on the past or anticipate the future. They reside in the present—with no expectations. They’re just happy now.

Learn new tricks, even if your dog is unsuccessful. The process is what matters. And timing. Laugh. Make mistakes together. Exercise patience. These moments are part of your forever memories. Dogs learn by conditioning and association. They respond with immediate reward. That’s why timing is critical, especially when they’re learning.

Dogs learn to live in every moment. Every. Single. Precious. Moment.

man dog hugging sofa

Play Games

Nothing is off limits when it comes to having more fun with your pet. Keep your pets occupied and happy with many fun things to do and lots of things to think about.

Constantly look for ways to provide healthy physical activity and mental stimulation. Pet puzzles and games can be effective in keeping your pet’s mind sharp throughout all stages of their life.
The Shell Game video

Homemade tunnels and obstacle courses and hide and seek sessions can be a wonderful way to live in the moment with your pet. Nose tricks and interactive mind games help your dog stay alert.

One on one attention, mental stimulation strategies, and reading books to your pets are just a few activities that you can do with your pet. Several pet care facilities add on “extras” like reading to their guests, blowing bubbles, or taking action videos.

Never, ever wish that your pet will slow down. Because, inevitably, they will.

Create Adventure: Live For Now

Whether it’s a new direction around the block or a curious sniff and walk together. Adding adventure to you and your pet’s life is worth the extra energy you will expend.

“Because of my dog, I started a small business, developing a program that incorporates dog exercise sessions. If I wouldn’t have made the time to exercise with my pup when he was 16 weeks old, I may have never started my dog yoga business.” —Sandy S.

Delight your pets and keep them happy.

No matter what age, you need to be willing to try new things and be innovative in your approach with your furry family member.

cute dog sitting with tongue out

Make A Pact To Try Something New

Socializing your pup early on can provide adequate activity and favorable stimulation that they need. Senior pets can also benefit from new training courses, tips, and tricks.

Dogs need their person(s), but they also benefit from being around other dogs.

Doggy Day Camp

Pet Hotels provide safe and healthy pet care for your furry friends.

From Doggy Day Camp back-to-school parties to cleaning up for doggy prom dates, your dog will appreciate the attention.

Seek out your local and trusted Pet Hotel to watch your pets while you’re out and about. Camp gives your dog a chance to meet new humans and dog pals. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages enjoy carefully monitored playtime with dog pals. These Pet Professionals examine your pet’s age, size and temperament before even entering Camp’s play yard.

According to an article titled, “What You Should Know About The Stages of Grief” by Healthline, fond memories of our companion can fill the empty space left by the loss of a cherished pet. As you remember the pets who’ve passed through your life, please don’t forget the part of the relationship that included the best care you provided to them.

Expert boarding facilities or professional Pet Sitters can offer advice on pet care, socialization, training, play and stay plans too.</a. Discover local experts that know pet behavior and will assist you in finding the ideal play and/or stay environment for ALL your furry family members, including older Guests.

dog on floor with heart toy

3. Acceptance

Take all the time you need to heal. The healing journey is a marathon. Not a sprint. Grieving is an individual experience. It is normal and okay to grieve.

There’s no rush on getting over your dog. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s also never ‘just a dog.’ Your dog was yours. The unique relationship was between you and your dog alone.

You loved your dog in ways you alone understand. You don’t need to justify or explain this affection.

Your dog was important to you, and that’s all that matters.

DID YOU KNOW?
In 1972, the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories established
Pet Memorial Day.

You’ll never really understand this pain until your pet’s quality of life diminishes and you find yourself holding on for dear life. Your dog will tell you when it’s time. As unusual as it sounds, ask your dog to tell you they’re ready. Then give them permission to let go, when it’s time.

“I struggled with the decision even on our ‘Rainbow Bridge’ day. My Veterinarian stood by my side and said, ‘You don’t have to make the decision—I’ll make the decision for you.’ I don’t know what I would’ve done without my Veterinarian’s strength. —Chris B.

Keep Both Past And Present Pets Front Of Mind.

Proactive actions often offer a tangible way to cope with the grief of losing a family member and give you the chance to share your memorials.

If you’re seeking a way to memorialize your pet, here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Don’t try to change your dog. Accept them just the way they are.
  2. Keep a journal of each day with your dog at Doggy Day Camp
  3. In honor of your admiration of your pet, author a book
  4. Devote your mission to helping other Pet Parents
  5. Surround and immerse yourself with animals
  6. Establish a powerful support system with like-minded individuals
  7. Get creative: Design a memorial tattoo or learn how to paint a portrait of your pet
  8. Write a poem, letter, or blog about your pet
  9. Take nothing for granted and organize a keepsake photo album well in advance
  10. Plant a flower, tree, or garden memorial dedicated to your pet
  11. Create a stepping stone with a paw print, and place it in a pet garden.
  12. Donate funds to a local shelter in honor of your pet’s name
  13. Volunteer playtime or foster pets most in need at a rescue organization
  14. Organize a volunteer group to go to local dog parks to clean up debris
  15. Help train new animals for rescue and recovery by donating time to your local police department or fire rescue canine unit in honor of your pet’s name
  16. Plan a fundraiser event for a worthy animal cause
  17. Consider creating your pet’s Social Media page and join relative groups such as “iheartseniordog” for community support and pet topics
  18. Find resources for interesting ways to make memories at home with your dog
  19. Seek out a career that revolves around the pet industry
  20. On September 13, include #NationalPetMemorialDay within your Social Media posts

 

Stay Prepared And Pre-Plan

All pets deserve dignity and respect for the end of their life. A final resting place should be a beautiful celebration of your pet’s life. Your pet’s sensitive needs must be treated with utmost respect and care.

Research beautiful memorial tributes across the nation and in your area. Make certain your selected memorial is a special place to visit your pet on a regular basis. Harperlawn Pet Memorial Gardens in Michigan is just one location that offers you and your pet peace and serenity on lush and sprawling grounds.

dog playing with human in grass

National Pet Memorial Day

National Pet Memorial Day is the second Sunday in September. The holiday offers us an opportunity to remember the pets who’ve passed through our lives. Observe #NationalPetMemorialDay in your own unique ways.

Children And Pets? Write A Letter To Your Children From Their Dog Angel:

  • Describe their first moments together
  • Reiterate that there’s room in their heart to love and care for another fur baby
  • Explain that their special angel dog will bring a new pet to them when they know they’re truly ready, no sooner
  • Let your kids know that their next dog will indeed pick them to love
  • Confirm that there will always be a permanent place in their hearts for your dog

Know When (Or If) You’re Ready For A New Pet

Recognize if you have enough love in your heart for other animals that come after your little buddy.

Try wrapping your arms around a new dog to connect with. However, if you’re not ready to care for another pet—or if there’s not a connection immediately—don’t force the healing process.

dog dad daughter

A new pet can bring a sense of joy and fresh starts to a family. They can’t replace the dog you lost, however, they might provide a hopeful beginning. In addition, this new furry member of your family could possibly give a renewed sense of responsibility for you, your children, and/or other grieving family members.

How To Keep Your Dog In Your Heart Forever

Our pets remain a fabric thread, woven into our heart strings.

While your home may be awfully quiet without the shuffle of paw prints or constant jingle of dog tags from the other room, your little buddy will never leave your heart.

Keep your dog in your heart—always. They would want you to be happy.

 

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog…
You are his life, his love, his leader…
He will be yours faithful & true, to the last beat of his heart…
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion…
My Charlie boy”
💙 —Steve C.

 

When you lose a pet, take all the time you need to heal.

The healing journey is different for everyone. Take care of yourself, your children, and your other pets that you may have in your home. They need you too. Be strong, yet be gentle on yourself during this painful healing journey.

Healing could be about dedicating your life to the pet industry or expressing yourself with the newness of fostering a rescue animal or volunteering time at your local shelter. Please allow yourself permission for a new chapter in your life.

Most notable, while your dog—or dogs—are with you, live large. Celebrate every one of your pet’s birthdays. Capture memories. Laugh with each tail wag. Enjoy each precious moment.

It’s simple: Give your pets the best life they could ever ask for. Don’t wait. Do it now.

dog birthday party balloons party hat

NATIONAL PET MEMORIAL DAY

On the second Sunday in September, National Pet Memorial Day offers a moment to remember pets who have passed.

Would you like to purchase a day of Camp for another dog in honor of their name?

Best Friends Pet Hotel offers themed parties and safe exercise for loads of fun. Camp benefits your dog’s physical and mental well-being. Current vaccinations are required for an interview. Book an appointment today.

Want to know more ways to create memories with your pet? VISIT: Best Friends Pet Hotel or call your local Best Friends Pet Hotel.

 

 

About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.

Fan Share Friday (09) – FINAL EPISODE


Fan Share Friday compiles all of your videos and pictures into a single episode full of fur, floppy ears, and belly rubs. This week’s episode is all of that and more! Watch to see a familiar face 🐶🐱!

This is our final Fan Share Friday episode as part of our “Best Friends at Home” video series. But no worries! – We’re making plans to continue featuring our fans and favorite furry ones into the future! So please continue to share your photos and videos with us. Send them to: marketing@bestfriends.net.

Watch all of our “Best Friends At Home” episodes at: https://bestfriendspetcare.com/best-friends-at-home

Quiz: Famous Dogs & Cats in History

Test your knowledge of some of the most famous and notable dogs and cats in history, and learn some fun and interesting facts along the way! – Courtesy of your friends at Best Friends Pet Hotel.

famous dog

Enjoy, have fun, and be sure to share your quiz results on social media when you’re finished.

 

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Water Play Activities for Dogs


As the weather warms up so does your dog! Engage in water play in your backyard and beyond and help keep things cool. This episode of “Best Friends at Home” provides some fun tips and activities for water play and enjoying the outdoors. Have fun and make a splash!

Planning on getting wet with your dog? Take some pictures and videos and share them with us at marketing@bestfriends.net. 

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Fan Share Friday (08)


This week’s episode of “Fan Share Friday” includes encounters with the outdoors, Livi’s Art Installation of Sleeping Positions, and birthday celebrations.

If you want to share with us what you’ve been doing with your pet at home, please send your pictures or videos to marketing@bestfriends.net. See you next week!

Not on our email list yet?… Click here to subscribe and get all new “Best Friends At Home” episodes delivered to your inbox.

No-Sew Pet Collar Bow Tie


For any crafty people who have leftover material, we would like to show you how you can use it. In this episode of “Best Friends at Home” we teach you a simple no-sew process to make a bow tie for your pet’s collar. While your pet is feeling fabulous with this new look, lean into those extra purrs and tail wags. You deserve it!

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Fan Share Friday (07)


What do you get when you combine a dog dressed for mariachi with a math homeschooling lesson for your furry friend? This week’s Fan Share Friday video! We are getting a little goofy. Or perhaps we always were, and now we just have the pictures and videos to prove it 😉. Whatever the case, enjoy this episode and let the goofiness ensue!

If you want to share with us what you’ve been doing with your pet at home, please send your pictures or videos to marketing@bestfriends.net. See you next week!

Not on our email list yet?… Click here to subscribe and get all new “Best Friends At Home” episodes delivered to your inbox.

Quiz: How much do you really know about cats?

Test your feline comprehension courtesy of your friends at Best Friends Pet Hotel. Are you ready?

cat close-up

Enjoy, have fun, and be sure to share your quiz results on social media when you’re finished.

 

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