TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - As more states legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, some companies are now marketing cannabis products for pets. But experts caution the supplements are not necessarily a good fit for every animal.
One such case is a two and a half year old pup named Kogi, he is very attached to his family and doesn't like it when they leave him all alone.
"It's worse when we both leave together," said Kelly Alto, Kogi's owner.
Alto said after researching online how to help Kogi’s severe separation anxiety, she and her fiance decided to try hemp oil, a cannabis-based supplement for pets.
"Before using it, we would be able to hear him like squealing and barking and jumping up and scratching on the door, and since using it we would be able to get down the hall and not hear him freaking out," said Alto.
Several companies are now making pet products that use CBD, one of the active ingredients found in hemp and cannabis plants that can affect mood, health and bodily functions. The health claims include relieving pain and anxiety and reducing seizures in epileptic animals.
The products do not contain THC, which give marijuana its psychoactive effects.
“An anecdotal story isn’t enough evidence to give it to a lot of animals,” said Dr. Jonathan Salkind, a holistic veterinarian.
Salkind says he does not prescribe cannabis to his clients because he believes more research is needed on its effectiveness. He recommends pet owners keep in mind the FDA has not approved these products for animals.
“As there’s more money in cannabis and marijuana I think we’ll get better studies, which can really show us what the potential is, because there IS potential, but it’s early,” he said.
Alto believes the effects for Kogi have so far been positive.
"The dose that we give him is two to three drops," Alto said.
Pet owners who use the cannabis-based products believe it is a healthy way to help soothe their dog’s distress.