Pet owners turn to CBD to ease furry friends’ fears of fireworks
Ruff Haus Pets in Lincoln Square has had to double — even triple — orders for CBD pet products this month.
“Dogs are really reacting to fireworks, so [owners are] buying [CBD products] up,” store employee Castor Santee said. “We try to keep it in stock as much as possible.”
CBD, short for cannabidiol, comes from hemp. It largely lacks the component of marijuana that triggers a euphoric “high” — it isn’t regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration — but it does seem to soothe pets’ nerves.
And with complaints about fireworks surging this season, many pet owners are turning to CBD products to calm anxious and fearful pets spooked by the loud booms.
Dr. John Howe, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, opposes giving dogs CBD products, citing the lack of regulation.
But Dr. David Gonsky, medical director and founder of West Loop Veterinary Care, said some clients say the products reduce pets’ stress, though the effects haven’t been confirmed scientifically.
“The good news is that well-manufactured CBD by reliable companies is unlikely to cause any harm,” he said.
Still, not all pets respond well to oils, chewy treats and other products containing CBD, said Dr. Priya Bhatt, a former president of the Chicago Veterinary Medicine Association. Some owners reported pets suffering side effects, including vomiting, diarrhea and severe lethargy, she said.
Bhatt said it’s critical that owners survey CBD products closely and search for reputable brands sold consistently across stores.
At Urban Pooch Canine Life Center in Ravenswood, sales have nearly doubled, operations manager Dylan Feulner said.
“We've had people coming in this week who have never used CBD products before,” Feulner said. “We’re seeing more customers trying to stay away from prescriptions, looking for something more natural.”