To the average Bay Area human, the Fourth of July presents an exciting conundrum: where to watch fireworks? Pondering whether to head to the Berkeley Marina with a picnic; hike up Joaquin Miller for a birds’-eye spread of miniature shows spanning the entire East Bay; or BART into the city to see the ubiquitous fog fill with flashes of bright colors, any option is likely to be cool. For our pets, though, the hallmark of this holiday is typically one singular emotion: anxiety.
The Fourth of July is “really scary” for many pets, says Jodi Ziskin, the Communications Director for Treatibles, a San Francisco-based company producing phytocannabinoid-rich products for dogs and cats. But cannabis can help. While you might take it to increase the earnestness of your “oohs” and “aahs” this July, your dog or cat can use it to help ease the anxiety of loud noises and unsettling flashes of light.
Completely non-psychoactive and made from medicinal-grade hemp sourced in the USA, Treatibles’ phytocannabinoid-infused products include dropper-bottle oils and grain-free biscuits in pumpkin, blueberry, turkey, and “tater’s sweet potato tots” flavors. (“Turkey is our only non-vegan flavor,” Ziskin says.)
In addition to helping ease anxiety, phytocannabinoids have been shown to help animals with issues ranging from joint pain to digestive issues, inflammation, loss of appetite, nausea, seizures, end of life comfort, and more.
All Treatibles products include CBD and other plant-based cannabinoids, but no THC, which can do more harm than good when it comes to anxiety in dogs and cats—a realization many consumers have come to on their own after trying to dose pets with edibles made for humans. (Don’t do this.) Dogs, according to Ziskin, have the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains and bodies of any animal, including humans.
Current laws prohibit veterinarians in California from writing prescriptions for cannabis-based pet products, but many vets are in support. Oakland-based holistic veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter, for example, consults pet owners by phone about advice and treatment recommendations for cannabis products.
If you are thinking about incorporating phytocannabinoid products into your pet’s life, whether to relieve anxiety or treat a physical ailment, Ziskin recommends starting with 1mg for every 10 pounds of body weight. Observe how your pet responds and make adjustments accordingly, and trust your instincts. “When you’re in tune with your pet, you know when something’s off,” says Ziskin.
Georgia Perry is a freelance writer currently based in Denver, Colorado. She has been published in The Atlantic, CityLab, Vice, and other magazines. Follow her on Twitter @georguhperry.