Dogs, Anxiety and the Fourth of July

Dogs, Anxiety and the Fourth of July

CBD has become an increasingly popular remedy for pet owners looking to treat their animal’s anxiety, inflammation, pain, gastrointestinal issues, seizures, and for overall immune support. In fact, sales of CBD pet products quadrupled last year to $32 million from $8 million in 2017, according to the Brightfield Group.

Although always passionate about health and animals, my early career was spent in the corporate world. However, I went back to school to study homeopathy in the ’90s. I always aspired to have my own business and when considering how I wanted to spend the second half of my career and how I could make the greatest impact, I decided to open a holistic pet store. This was a blend of my two greatest passions: animals and holistic healthcare. My mission has always been, and continues to be, to improve the health and wellness of our animal companions through a holistic approach that focuses on nutrition, complementary therapies, and education.

We’ve always offered a wide variety and selection of supplements in my store. In 2014, we were the first in our area to offer CBD supplements. After seeing good results, I learned all I could about the potential healing properties of industrial hemp. We decided to formulate our own line and worked closely with an integrative veterinarian to create Holistic Hound’s line of high-quality, full-spectrum hemp supplements with CBD and medicinal mushrooms, in a variety of potencies, sizes, and product types to fit your pet’s need.

For the 16 years I’ve owned and operated my retail store in Berkeley, California, I’ve had dog owners come in seeking a solution to their pet’s fear and anxiety caused by 4th of July fireworks. It’s a scary holiday for our pets, and it can be a dangerous one too. In fact, July 5th is the busiest time of the year nationwide for animal shelters, filled with dogs that run away trying to escape the scary “boom” of fireworks. Although some pet owners still turn to sometimes toxic, chemical prescriptions to alleviate their dog’s stress, it’s become increasingly more common to seek out all-natural, safe and effective solutions like CBD. 

That said, with the exponential growth of CBD in the pet industry over the last few years comes loads of information for consumers and retailers to absorb. From serving size recommendations, ingredients, hemp, full spectrum and branding, consumers are independently trying to sort through the noise that brands are feeding them. They are often receiving incorrect information. To cut through some of that noise and the excess of information out there, here are my top three tips for choosing a CBD product line suitable for your dog.

1. Know the difference between full-spectrum vs. CBD isolate 

Knowing the difference between full-spectrum hemp and CBD-classified products will help you choose the right product with the most benefits for your pet. Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp products contain CBD, as well as other minor cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals that work synergistically for what is known as the entourage effect. These are believed to be more beneficial than products that contain only CBD. 

Photo and information courtesy of Please consult your veterinarian before introducing CBD to your pet.

Hemp and cannabis provide potential therapeutic health benefits because of the way they work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)—a system of receptors located throughout the bodies of all animals that regulate bodily functions such as mood, sleep and digestion. These receptors interact with the phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant to modulate and restore optimal balance throughout the body and brain, known as homeostasis.

Some of the many reported benefits of full-spectrum hemp include:

  • Immune support
  • Reduced inflammation and pain
  • Calming effects
  • Antioxidant-rich
  • Helps maintain a healthy intestinal tract
  • Enhances physical and mental well-being

2. Know the beneficial and synergistic Ingredients.

Not all CBD products are created equal. A growing trend across the category is adding supplemental ingredients to help benefit other health areas when it comes to your dog’s health. Ingredients such as medicinal mushrooms, ashwagandha, and other herbs are key differentiators that set brands apart from each other. Plus, our pets have a range of wellness needs as they age, and they may benefit from additional support provided by these ingredients.

3. Look for transparency. 

Know and trust your brand. Retailers and consumers should do their research and understand the mission, people and differentiators of a chosen brand. Take advantage of training and education provided by the manufacturer. Also consider whether the hemp is organically grown in the U.S., third-party tested for potency and purity and whether they provide third-party testing. Transparency is key in this increasingly crowded market. These are great places to start your research, and to better understand the category as a whole.

The author is involved with the sale and marketing of CBD products. Any views and opinions represented within the article are those of the author alone and don’t reflect the views and opinions of Please consult your veterinarian before introducing CBD to your pet.

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