If you’re like many folks confused about hemp-based products for pets—or if you’ve never heard of such a thing—you’re not alone. Rumors about hemp travel through the pet community, and it’s important to get the facts. Veterinarian Dr. David Bressman spoke with me about hemp and how giving hemp-based products to pets can help them in a number of ways.
Davi: What is hemp and why is it safe for many pets?
Dr. Bressman: Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, but there are no psychoactive reactors. In other words, hemp is NOT marijuana. This means you can safely give pets hemp without getting them high, and they’re able to take advantage of its many medical benefits.
What conditions can be treated with hemp-based products?
Hemp-based products are now being used to treat pets who suffer from pain, anxiety and seizure disorders.
What are the risks?
In general, as long as the hemp is from a good source with no contaminants or pesticides, it’s considered safe.
What are the benefits?
Some pet owners claim it controls pain, arthritis, anxiety and seizures without affecting kidney and liver function.
Are there side effects to hemp dog treats?
The only side effect I’ve seen from hemp treats is occasional gastrointestinal upset.
How quickly does hemp work once it’s in the animal’s system?
I use hemp primarily for pain control and typically see a response within the first week.
What is the recommended dosage?
The recommended dosage determined by a study at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is 2mg, [depending on the animal’s size, weight, and other factors. Check with your vet for details].
Is hemp good for every pet?
It’s not a cure-all for every pet, but it has many health promoting properties most pets could use.
Do veterinarians recommend these products?
Whether veterinarians can legally prescribe hemp for patients remains to be determined in many states, but I do think in time there will be more hemp products used to treat pets. Several companies are already manufacturing these products and promoting them at veterinary conferences. I believe the value will rise in the future and we’ll find more purposes for hemp products in veterinary medicine.
Why is hemp oil so popular now?
Hemp oil is getting attention from veterinarians and pet owners due to its nutritional value. It’s loaded with fatty acids, antioxidants and proteins. When I discuss hemp products with clients, I get very little pushback—many are pleasantly surprised by the results.
Hemp is a remarkable substance, but it’s not a mystery. There’s hard science behind how hemp works, and why it works for. It’s also known to be one of the most nutritious superfoods in the world; not just people, but pets, too, can reap hemp’s many benefits. Another plus? Hemp has a natural ability to calm animals, ideal for supporting pets in stressful situations, like fireworks or car trips.
As research continues to discover the benefits, people are learning hemp is a safe, natural and effective alternative to drugs or surgery in treating health issues, to maintain quality of life for pets.
Please consult with your vet.
Davi the dachshund always carefully researches any health treatment his mom uses.