Skip to main content

Times of the Islands Magazine

The CBDs of Pet Wellness: Alternative Treatments May Help Your Furry Friend

Aug 17, 2022 08:58AM ● By Noelani Mathews

Pet owners will try almost anything to keep their furry companions healthy and happy, like sniffing out natural alternatives such as CBD to ease pet discomfort. 

Ongoing studies on CBD for dogs suggest it can help in managing a variety of ailments. While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, that hasn’t prevented pet parents from reaching for the product in hopes of finding a viable treatment for Fido. 

“The current research on CBD is promising,” says Dr. Stan Headley, natural-health consultant at Cypress Pharmacy in Fort Myers. “Cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid receptors in the body, a communication system that’s also known to be in animals. It’s crucial for regulating things such as anxiety, pain, mood, and motor control.” 

Cypress Pharmacy has an entire section devoted to high-quality CBD products, available in different forms and flavors for people, as well as their canine counterparts. 

“From peanut butter treats to bacon-flavored drops, higher awareness of CBD’s benefits has led to pet owners’ greater interest in natural pet products,” Headley says. 

The pleasant-tasting experience is an added bonus for Katie Taylor’s 7-year-old Catahoula, Doak. Two years ago, she noticed him having difficulty walking with his left back leg. 

“My husband and I decided to take him to the vet because he started limping at night and getting defensive anytime we went near his leg,” Taylor says. “The vet ended up telling us Doak had a torn ACL that was also affecting his hip. The only thing they could do was surgery, but it wouldn’t prevent him from tearing it again.”  

Friends recommended Taylor try the CBD oil for pets carried by Cypress Pharmacy. After doing some of her own research, she visited the local pharmacy and bought a dropper bottle to sprinkle in Doak’s food every night. In a matter of months, Taylor noticed a significant change.  

Taylor and her husband decided to stop using the medication prescribed by their vet, which only seemed to make Doak drowsy and disoriented, and still limping from the pain. Trusting the CBD alone, they watched his limping and irritation slowly get better. 

“It was amazing to see his limp completely go away after about a year,” Taylor says. “We started throwing the ball and having fun with him again. He also got a lot calmer, which was a nice surprise, especially around unfamiliar guests.” 

Taylor isn’t alone in seeking relief for her dog from CBD products. Many dog owners have turned to cannabidiol instead of refilling their pet’s traditional medication. 

A study by Cornell University found that veterinary-approved NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may not be enough to alleviate a dog’s pain. CBD, on the other hand, was shown to decrease pain and increase activity with conditions such as arthritis.  

Other studies have also shown it can help with treating seizures, decreasing inflammation, easing anxiety, mitigating cancer symptoms, and alleviating digestive issues. 

For those interested in CBD for their pet, Headley offers these tips: 

1. Do your research to understand the ins and outs of CBD for pets. Weigh all the options and speak with a professional to determine if this is the best approach. 

2. Look for products designed specifically for pets. These should be from a reputable manufacturer, made from organic hemp and nontoxic ingredients.  

3. Purchase your products in person from a trustworthy business or pharmacy that can help recommend the best product for your pet’s needs. 

4. Understand the correct dosage of CBD for your pet. Ask your pharmacist or vet about the appropriate dosage based on the pet’s weight and potency of the product. 

5. Run it by your vet first. Always consult your veterinarian to determine any possible drug interactions or side effects based on current medications. 

“For your pet’s safety, make sure your CBD comes from a credible source,” Headley emphasizes. “A knowledgeable veterinarian or pharmacist can provide guidance on product quality and safety, as well as formulation selection, usage, and application.” 


Noelani Mathews is a writer, creator, and storyteller raised in the Peach State, who now calls the Sunshine State home.