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When Cotton, a 3-year-old Maltese, was battling a chronic intestinal disease, her owner, Sabrina, began to consider cannabis as a possible treatment.

Sabrina, a military veteran, was using it for post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues, so she was curious whether it could help her dog. She was getting bits of information online and from other sources but was reluctant to speak to her veterinarian about it, due to the negative stigma that persists.

When Sabrina finally asked her vet about using CBD, the prospect was rejected. These feelings can result in frustration, confusion and worry. Additionally, it’s creating an alarming trend, where pet parents are forced to seek information elsewhere, oftentimes from unreliable sources.

Pet parents need reliable information. Many CBD companies are jumping onto the pet product bandwagon, but not all products are high quality or safe for use in animals.

To ensure positive outcomes, collaboration between the pet parent and the veterinary team is essential. Your pet’s health care team has the knowledge and medical training to guide you through this process while monitoring the health and safety of your pet.

Canine Cannabinoid System

Here are some tips to get the conversation started.

  1. Mention that you want to discuss CBD, either when you make an appointment or when checking in. If you are already using a CBD product, say so when asked about your pet’s medical history and/or supplements.
  2. Work with a veterinarian that is “CBD-knowledgeable.” Not every vet is trained in CBD topics or is comfortable providing guidance about its use in your pet.
  3. Keep a journal. Record simple information such as when and how much you give, any changes you notice or anything you think may be relevant. Documenting changes with photos can also be useful. Bring these materials to the appointment. A journal can be useful in identifying subtle trends, both positive and negative.
  4. Bring the packaging to the CBD product that you’re using for your pet. It can provide essential information about product sourcing and manufacturing, active and inactive ingredients, and concentration and strength.
  5. Bring a list of any other products—herbal supplements, over-the-counter medications and any special diets.
  6. Enlist your pet’s health care team in choosing a product that is safe to use and easy to administer.
  7. Work together to set realistic goals and track the success of your pet’s care. Utilize their knowledge to help avoid any potential drug interactions or adverse effects.
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Realize there may be bumps along the road and expect periodic visits to the clinic for monitoring of your pet’s health and potential adjustments to the treatment.
Icy Watermelon Pups

Icy Watermelon Pups

  • 4 cups seedless cubed watermelon 
  • 2 cups coconut water 
  • Red Belly Honey, as discussed with your vet

Puree watermelon and coconut water. Pour into ice cube trays; add your pet’s regular dosage to each cube and give each a quick stir. Freeze until solid. 

Adapted from Sweet Paul Magazine

Photography & Styling by Paul Lowe

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