CBD for dogs; is it safe, and why pet owners can’t get enough?
by Alexis Morrell
CBD has been rapidly gaining traction in the medical field for treatment of cancer, chronic pain and more; and due to the low to non-existent levels of THC present, it’s starting to see use in the veterinary industry to alleviate canine woes. Seven out of ten millenials own a dog; and of those seven, most are willing to shell out significant portions of their paychecks to keep their pets healthy and happy. From Yoda costumes on Etsy to bath bombs for dogs, there’s no end to the niches manufacturers of pet products will exploit to empty millennial pet owners’ wallets. CBD treatments for dogs are slowly getting approved for mainstream usage as they’ve been known to ease aches, anxiety and more.
Chronic pain in dogs largely remains as much of a mystery as it does in humans. Therapy, exercise routines, diet management and other treatments range from beneficial to inadequate on a varying basis. Currently and prior to CBD, NSAIDs have been the go-to for puppy pain management. Canine arthritis is routinely treated with drugs such as Rimadyl®, Deramaxx®, Previcox™, Metacam®, EtoGesic® Zubrin®, Quellin™ and Novox®. Though veterinarian approved, there has been much commotion made over whether these pharmaceuticals can be safe for pet consumption. The more common side effects tend to be gastrointestinal upset, liver and kidney problems. Though these are reported to have a low rate of incidence with usage of NSAIDs, the risk-benefit analysis for some owners leads to them seeking alternative treatments. NSAIDs also do next to nothing to ameliorate anxiety in pups; SSRIs and antidepressants are commonly prescribed but just as there are concerns for their efficacy and safety in humans, there is speculation that they may not be ideal for treating animal anxiety either.
There is a place in the petcare, treats and luxury pet goods industries for CBD products developed for dogs. Young adults are more eager than ever to pay top dollar for their ‘fur babies’ and the humanization of pets continues to be a cultural trend. In a study conducted by TD Ameritrade, it was found that American pet owners spend $1,285 annually on their dogs. According to Emily Anatole, the insights director at Cassandra, a cultural trends forecasting and insight company, “Over the last year, 14% of millennials bought a luxury item in pet-care category — not far from the 18% of millennials who made luxury purchases on children’s items”. There’s a bevy of products offered online for luxury pet items such as Halloween costumes, crocheted sweaters and boots, cologne, specialized cutlery and more. As young adult pet owners look at pet food brands with a more critical eye than ever and watch countless Animal Planet documentaries and YouTube videos on proper petcare, the CBD treatment field could see a large niche to exploit in the future.
While the effects of CBD treats, oils and other treatments have not been fully verified as undeniably safe for use in animals, the results so far seem promising. However, reports have indicated that some CBD pet products may not actually contain CBD. As research continues and CBD is further tested and confirmed as safe for animal usage, it could become the norm for canine woes.