Marijuana is becoming legal in more and more states, but few people are talking about whether pet owners should be allowed to feed it to their furry friends. Fireworks and pets don’t always go along, with dogs especially frightened by the booming loud sounds of the Fourth of July favorite. While most pet owners keep their dogs inside during the festivities, it’s not usually far enough removed from the terrifying sounds. Some pet lovers are considering a different approach to help ease pet anxiety: marijuana.
For 5-year-old pit bull mix Stella, noisy fireworks were, according to her owner Vlad, a very scary proposition. Vlad told the New York Post that “she pretty much spends the whole week in the bathtub” following fireworks.
This year, however, he tried a new approach, buying CBD-infused dog treats for Stella. He admitted, “We bought them out of desperation, really.” Where do you find edibles for pooches? His girlfriend bought the chicken-flavored treats laced with non-psychoactive hemp extract, from Bark Shop, and they gave Stella the calming snacks prior to the neighborhood celebrations.
Stella’s owners found that the dog was much more relaxed, ditching her usual hiding spot in the tub, to be around family, all the while wagging her tail.
Vlad found the Bark Shop treats a huge win, saying, “I was skeptical at first, but she’s way less intensely scared after she’s had the treats. It’s not like she seems drugged. I can just tell that the anxiety doesn’t take hold like it usually does this time of year.”
CBD for dogs isn’t new, according to the New York Post, with Bark Shop selling the products since March. Owners find that the dog snack not only soothes anxiety, but is effective for arthritis, nausea, inflammation and pain. Bark Shop told The Post that they quicky sell out of the CBD items, so they’re very popular.
The Post also notes that Lou Sagar, who owns the East Village apothecary Alchemist’s Kitchen, saw huge company growth on the CBD dog treats they started selling three years ago.
Publicist Rachel Van Dolsen told the paper that she finds the CBD treats a less “severe” option over Xanax, which she said her vet had prescribed for her rescue dog Sal to cope with trauma from her pre-adoption life.
Van Dolsen noted: “I didn’t like the idea of a dog on those kinds of meds for a long period of time,” so she turned to the CBD offerings from Alchemist’s Kitchen (with her vet’s approval) and found her dog to be “calmer and more collected,” adding, “It just takes the edge off a little.”
Veterinarian Yasmine Mortsakis noted: “We’ve definitely had an increase in owners asking about it around the Fourth of July,” while Joe Caruso, owner of the LA-based CBD company Green Helix, notes that sales of his CBD tinctures “Fur Baby Fix” saw an uptick around the July holiday.
Mortsakis does urge pet owners to use caution with the CBD treats as there are currently no long-term studies done and the treats aren’t regulated, which means there may be lower quality products containing trace amounts of THC, which can be toxic to dogs. Understanding the correct dosage is also challenging, she explained.
Mortsakis added, “Right now, it’s one of those things where most vets think there are a lot of therapeutic benefits, but there’s not enough research to recommend it.”