Cannabinoids in Pet Products

With a general idea about the benefits these products can provide, retailers can capitalize on the increased demand.




Even though consumers might still be somewhat confused about cannabinoids for pets, it’s not stopping pet parents from buying these products. With a general knowledge about the benefits these supplements can provide, pet owners are looking for further clarity. One of the main hesitations about these products stems from the fact that it’s derived from the same plant as THC.


“There still seems to be this misconception that CBD will get your pet high,” says Min S. Lee, president, brand development and co-founder of League City, Texas-based Honest Paws. “If anything, this should be good news for retailers because, as much growth as they have been seeing in this category, there is so much more demand that still hasn’t developed yet.”


Essentially, the allure of CBD products and their benefits are outweighing the skepticism. Currently, there’s a large demand for innovative ways to administer CBD.


“We’re seeing flavored CBD tinctures, uniquely flavored chews, etc.,” Lee says. “It’s an exciting time for CBD brands in the pet space.”


He explains that the newest product from Honest Paws is CBD Peanut Butter, which is made from premium, human-grade peanut butter that’s mixed with CBD oil. The product has become Honest Paws’ fastest growing SKU because, “What dog doesn’t like peanut butter?”


Driving Sales

Pet owners look for products that have the words hemp, CBD or cannabinoids on the labels because they understand that the products offer various benefits to their dogs or cats. They also look for “full spectrum” or “isolate,” which refers to whether other compounds, such as terpenes (oils), were included in the process of extracting the CBD from the plant.


“We’re continuing to see consumers looking for unique and ailment-related solutions involving CBD for their pets,” says Anthony Santarsiero, chief operating officer of Oldsmar, Fla.-based TruDog. “CBD products coming on the market for pets are an attractive alternative or additional supplement to pet parents looking to help promote joint support, utilize them as calming aids as well as looking at heart health and seizure support.”


Santarsiero explains that it’s important to educate consumers on where the product comes from, where it’s manufactured, and to have validated data on each shipment, via a certificate of analysis.


TruDog plans to launch several CBD products under various brands within the Better Choice Company umbrella. Two new brands, TruGold and Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog, will debut this year with CBD products.


Temecula, Calif.-based NaturVet’s Hemp for Health product line for dogs and cats provides solutions for allergy, calming, immune, joint and skin and coat. The newest Hemp for Health products include Hemp Seed Oil, Krill & Salmon; Hemp Joint Topical Spray; Hemp Hot Spot Spray; and three hemp-based shampoos: Hemp Deodorizing Shampoo, Hemp Hypoallergenic Shampoo, and Hemp Shampoo & Conditioner 2-in-1. The company’s top selling hemp products are Hemp Allergy Aid, Hemp Aches & Discomfort, Hemp Immune Health, Hemp Joint Health, and Hemp Quiet Moments.


“NaturVet’s new Hemp for Health product line was developed specifically for pet parents looking for the additional health benefits from hemp,” says Scott Garmon, president of NaturVet.


Education Helps

However, there is a downside to the growth of CBD products.


“Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of products that are trending in this category that are lacking serious scientific support, especially in regards to absorption,” says Chad J. Tillman, national sales manager for Woodinville, Wash.-based Grizzly Pet Products. “Even worse are the fly-by-night brands that are just slapping the word ‘hemp’ on anything they can, hoping to deceive consumers that their products actually contain any beneficial levels of natural occurring cannabidiol, even though they do not.”


There are other misconceptions about CBD products and what they can do.


“We hear all of the time, ‘Oh, your dog has bad joints? Go get CBDs for them,’” Tillman says, adding that CBD does not provide effective relief for joints. Instead, CBD has been found to help with pain management and inflammation.


Grizzly Pet Products, which makes supplements and treats, recently added Grizzly Hemp Aid, a line of hemp-enhanced products with naturally-occurring high levels of CBD that’s focused on easier dosing and absorption. Among the products is Grizzly Hemp-Enhanced Hip and Joint Product for Dogs and Cats, with beneficial phytocannabinoids from organically-grown hemp.


“So many tinctures are so concentrated that consumers end up being wasteful with these very pricey products,” Tillman explains.


Grizzly Hemp Aid provides a stronger milligrams dose of CBD, while being better dispersed in Grizzly’s proprietary Krill Oil Liquid Emulsion. The products are also easier to dose to much smaller animals, has a taste that pets love and lasts longer.


As time has passed, so has the message of CBD.


“When we first started we spent all our time explaining what CBD is,” says Jon Neveloff, partner at Plantation, Fla.-based King Kanine. “Now we explain what makes us different.”


The company tries to be as transparent as possible, with measures such as adding QR codes to its boxes so consumers can scan it and view lab results and certificates of analysis.


The company offers King Kalm CBD products and pet grooming products. New this year is King Kalm CBD 600 milligram oil in DHA and copaiba, a South American tree oil.


“We’re constantly coming up with new ways to suspend the CBD,” Neveloff says. “We don’t use coconut oil, which has no benefit and is not doing anything for the pets. The DHA and the copaiba are phenomenal.”


Neveloff thinks the category will continue to grow as more pet owners learn about CBD.


“They want to help their pets,” he says. “Their love and passion for their pets keeps increasing.”  PB


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