Americans love their pets, and in 2020, pet ownership grew significantly. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of four-legged furry friends capturing our hearts increased dramatically, with shelters, adoption agencies, shops, and breeders struggling to keep up with demand. And, taking care of pets is serious business. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans were projected to spend $100 billion on their pets last year.
On April 11, 2021 many recognized National Pet Day across the country. And as consumers and pet owners, it’s important we learn more about our animals health and safety. This includes understanding the risks associated with CBD – cannabidiol – often found in pet foods, treats, and treatments. Unfortunately, many pet owners are unaware that CBD is risky for animals as well as humans.
The FDA does not regulate the CBD retail products on the shelves today, including pet products, which means these products are not scientifically tested and can cause health risks to humans and animals. The FDA has stated that the agency does not classify CBD as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for human or animal consumption and has sent warning letters to pet product manufacturers marketing their CBD products as approved drugs for pets.
As pet owners, it is up to us to be diligent when shopping for our pets. ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) strongly suggests consulting your veterinarian before giving any products to your pets that contain CBD. There is little known about the interaction of CBD and other medicines, especially if your pet is being treated for a liver alignment where there is increased risk for serious side effects. To complicate things further, not all CBD products are labeled correctly and may contain dangerous amounts of THC --tetrahydrocannabinol -- the psychoactive component of marijuana. Large amount of THC could be poisonous to pets and cause vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, restlessness, and trouble standing.
We want the very best for our furry companions, and that includes what’s best for our pets’ health and wellness. Help raise awareness about the risks related to CBD pet products and help keep our four-legged friends safe.