You may (or may not) have heard of a supplement called ‘Boswellia’ for dogs.
For many pet owners and their canines, boswellia’s anti-inflammatory properties can be a godsend for those that have joint health issues caused by old age or excess body weight.
In this article, I will be discussing the numerous possible health benefits that the compound can provide for dogs that are suffering from pain and inflammation.
Best of all, boswellia has very little in the way of side effects. Unlike harsher pain medications, the worst that can happen with boswellia if too much is given is a temporary bout of stomach troubles!
Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to talk to a vet first before trying any new product on your dog.
The active agent in boswellia, boswellic acid, is an anti-inflammatory that has been used by humans and animals for thousands of years.
Boswellia resin comes from the Boswellia serrata trees. The resin is then concentrated in a robust process to form boswellic acid.
The compounds in boswellia reduce the number of leukotrienes by inhibiting an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase. Leukotrienes are responsible for inflammation in your dog’s muscles.
Other compounds in boswellia help reduce inflammation in other areas of your dog’s body, like their stomach, intestines, or spine.
Studies have shown that boswellia is effective in dogs, primarily when you use it to reduce chronic inflammation in your dog’s joints.
Dogs who have joint pain will also have mobility issues, but by using a natural pain reliever like boswellia, you can help your dog regain their mobility.
Boswellia can also help dogs who suffer from arthritis, cancer, spinal issues, and other painful disorders.
Although you can use boswellia to relieve some of your dog’s pain, the extract is not a cure. Make sure to consult with a veterinarian about your dog’s treatment.
When given at the right dose, boswellia is very safe for your dog.
For dogs, boswellia is usually given as an oral liquid or pills, but you can also find it in creams.
Creams can be an effective way to reduce joint pain in identifiable areas, while liquids and pills can help with full-body ailments.
Using a natural pain reliever like boswellia is safe for long-term use too, and you won’t get the sleepy side effects that plague opioid pain relievers. If you give your dog opioids, there will be long term withdrawal effects, while boswellia for dogs has no known withdrawal effects.
If you give your dog opioids, you may not be able to mix it with other medications, such as diabetes pills or blood pressure medication. Boswellia has no known drug interactions- but as always, consult with a vet before mixing supplements.
One important thing to note about buying boswellia is to buy boswellia specifically made for dogs.
Boswellia has become popular for people wanting to cure pain naturally, but when you’re buying for a pet, always make sure to get supplements designed specifically for dogs. Supplements formulated for dogs will work better than those formulated for humans.
Like almost all medications, the dosage of boswellia for dogs depends on your dog’s weight.
Consulting with a vet can help you determine the exact dosage your dog will need. One study administered 400 milligrams of boswellia extract per 10 kilograms of weight once a day.
This study showed that the administered dose resulted in a reduction in mobility issues and severity of pain. In this study, boswellia for dogs was shown to be effective in six weeks, with a significant increase in quality of life after that time.
Other factors can help make the most of boswellia for dogs. Boswellia is a fat-soluble substance, so you need to feed your dog before or while you are giving them boswellia.
If you give boswellia to your dog when eating, especially if it’s a high-fat meal, your dog will feel the benefits of boswellia faster and with their full effect.
If you don’t feed your dog before giving them boswellia, you don’t need to be concerned about adverse effects- but you won’t relieve your pet’s discomfort either.
Fat-soluble substances can only enter your dog’s system when it has fatty foods in his stomach, so make sure to feed him well before every dosage.
Overdose can be a worry for you when administering remedies for your dog’s pain, but with boswellia, you and your dog can remain at ease.
There have been no known cases of overdose causing serious consequences, but mild side effects can occur when you give your dog too much boswellia.
If you give your dog too much boswellia, some unintended side effects can occur. The side effects of boswellia are almost all mild, and severe side effects have not been reported.
Like human medication, taking too much can cause discomfort. The side effects of boswellia are very similar. The most common side effects are stomach issues.
The most common adverse side effect of boswellia for dogs is an increase in gas. This side effect is a sign that your dosage is a little too high, so you should redo the dose slightly for next time.
An increase in gas is considered normal, but you know your dog best, so if this increase is alarming, take them to the vet.
Another somewhat common side effect of boswellia for dogs is diarrhea. This side effect can be much more severe and requires your attention.
If this side effect occurs, you should either stop using boswellia or significantly reduce your dosage. If your dog has diarrhea, make sure you give them abundant water access to reduce the likelihood of dehydration.
If your dog’s diarrhea persists even after you have stopped using boswellia, take your dog to the vet. Other complications may be worsening your dog’s stomach, so taking them to the veterinarian will resolve the issue.
Another less common side effect is nausea that can result in vomiting and cramping. The cramping usually occurs near the stomach.
Nausea caused by boswellia can also cause vomiting, but this side effect only happens when you give your dog a very high dose. Giving your dog the proper dosage can help mitigate these side effects- if not eliminate them entirely.
Boswellia can be an excellent natural alternative to the usual forms of pain relief given to dogs. Whether your pup is suffering from joint or muscle pain, the compound may be able to help lessen that discomfort.
While it is largely free from major negative side effects, an incorrect dosage can still cause stomach issues in canines. As always, consult a vet first before trying any new treatment on your dog in order to receive the best advice and dosage!
If you have already tried boswellia or other options and they haven’t provided the desired effect, you may find our article on What You Can Give Your Dog For Pain by clicking here.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.