When it comes to buying CBD supplements for your animal companion, quality is one of the most important considerations. Here’s what to look for — and avoid.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the hottest topic in pet health today. Many animal parents who have used CBD themselves are now choosing it for their dogs and cats in the hope of helping their furry family members feel better. CBD’s potential benefits are exciting, but the huge selection of products and claims can be overwhelming, particularly when you see CBD products for sale virtually everywhere: grocery stores, coffee shops, gas stations and even video stores!
If you think CBD may benefit your dog or cat, begin by talking to your veterinarian, particularly if your animal takes any prescription medications. He or she can advise you on potential interactions and side effects, and may have additional information to share. But don’t expect your vet to rattle off a list of studies supporting CBD use in animals; research is limited and most of what is currently known is anecdotal. Depending on where you live in the US, state law may prohibit your vet from recommending or prescribing CBD, but he or she should still feel comfortable discussing it with you.
It is ultimately your responsibility to research the CBD pet products you’re considering. Product labels only tell part of the story. Scrutinize the supplier’s marketing materials, including their company website, to fully understand who is behind the company and how products are advertised. If a company is making direct or implied claims in any of their materials – including product names — that their product will treat, prevent, mitigate or cure any disease, they are breaking the law and misleading consumers. There are far too many opportunistic companies in the CBD space that have a “gold rush” mentality and will say anything to make a sale.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the companies you’re considering. It is in your dog or cat’s best interest to get answers to these important questions:
- Does the supplier have a solid track record of producing animal health supplements?
- Does a veterinarian oversee product formulation?
- Can they provide lab test results that prove the product’s THC content is less than 0.3% as mandated by federal law, the CBD content meets label claims, and the product has been tested for microbial contaminants, heavy metals and pesticides?
Finally, the NASC Quality Seal is an excellent way to identify a product that comes from a responsible supplier. To earn permission to display this seal on their products, a supplier must pass a comprehensive facility audit every two years, maintain ongoing compliance with rigorous NASC quality requirements, and pass random independent product testing to ensure products meet label claims.
Bill Bookout is president and founder of the National Animal Supplement Council. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the animal health industry and holds a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences from the University of Wyoming, and a master’s degree from the Pepperdine University Presidents and Key Executives MBA program.