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Is CBD Going Mainstream for Pets? Petco Tries a Line of Hemp

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Is CBD Going Mainstream for Pets? Petco Tries a Line of Hemp

Why are CBD and hemp products being marketed to pets? Consumer trends show that, more than ever, today’s dog owners consider their pet to be a family member. While this attitude may not seem earthshaking, the degree to which owners now see their pets as “honorary humans” has increased to the point where an industry has grown to accommodate it. 

With human interest in “wellness,” for example, an ancillary industry now produces supplements containing hemp and CBD to treat four-footed aches, pains and anxieties. It’s a major trend: According to Packaged Facts’ Pet Supplements in the U.S. (7th Edition), “It’s hard to recall anything making more of a splash in human and pet supplements than CBD (cannabidiol), whose explosion onto the market has brought new attention to the supplements business as a whole, with a ‘halo effect’ that seems likely to last for years.”

“Because people are getting used to CBD products for themselves, they are seeking it for pets,” noted Jose Velasquez, general manager of the Petco Store based in Indio, CA. Recently, the pet store giant began distributing Quiet Moments, a line of hemp seed oil supplements produced by Temecula, CA-based pet wellness company, Naturvet. “We sell chewables that look like treats,” said Velasquez. But because people don’t yet know what’s on offer, “in-store, the hemp line is marketed as an end cap on the aisle – a four-foot section with four shelves.”

The number-one reason for requesting hemp supplements is for anxiety, specifically for isolated events like road trips. After that, noisy holidays and celebrations: “Whenever there are fireworks, of course.” 

As with human use of hemp and its derivatives, product research has been slow in reaching the market it serves. Perhaps for this reason, Velasquez reports that dosage has been a matter of trial and error. “I’m hearing from the ‘pet parents’ is that the supplement works, but people feel they have to determine, based on their observation, whether or not to give their pets more.”

Velasquez also cautions owners to consider training before sedation. “Sometimes people can’t control their dogs and just want to sedate them. If your dog isn’t behaving – and never has behaved – I would recommend training.” But if, he adds, “It’s the Fourth of July and you know they’re going to hear fireworks, it may be the time to get something like supplements.” 


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