From hemp seed oil to cannabidiol (CBD) soft-baked chews—the pet wellness industry has witnessed some interesting innovations in the past year. The latest addition to this came recently with lifestyle guru Martha Stewart’s new line of cannabis-infused oil drops and chews for dogs. “Stewart is banking on a nearly one-year partnership with Canada's Canopy Growth Corp , the world's top pot producer by market value, and now wants to reach pet owners and tap into a meteoric rise in demand for pot-based products,” mentioned a Reuters report from January 26, 2021.
There seems to be a rise in popularity of hemp-based products for pets, which are believed to improve the quality of life for them. “CBD, a non-psychoactive compound derived mainly from hemp, is being researched for various medical applications and is widely advertised to have relaxing properties,” further stated the report. “Stewart wants to bring those benefits to dogs, [with her products], which she claims can help with mental and physical well-being, reduce stress and maintain joint health and movement.”
In India too, pet parents are turning to such offerings, be it hemp seed oil, treats or hemp-induced pet food. Manisha Sonnathi, a 23-year-old student from Telangana pursuing a post graduate diploma in management, first started using hemp seed oil when the team from Wiggles.in, an organisation ‘for pets by vets’, first suggested it for her 9-month-old Golden Retriever, Bruno. “He was facing excessive hair fall. And it was so extreme that I could see bald patches on him,” she says. After extensive consultation, when she started using the hemp seed oil on Bruno a month ago, there was significant improvement. “His fur is growing back,” adds Sonnathi.
According to Dr Sonal Rane, the veterinary officer at Wiggles, though hemp has been around for centuries, it is only recently that people have been able to use it effectively for both pets and humans. She believes that hemp is a wonderful source of essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6, and shehas been recommending it for topical use as well as for oral consumption. “It has been scientifically proven that it improves pets’ skin conditions, when applied topically. It is also beneficial when consumed orally or mixed with their food,” says Rane. “It has benefitted pets in known cases of body pain, arthritis, anxiety (like separation anxiety), and even seizures. It works effectively for both cats and dogs. When used in an optimum quantity, it can have positive long term benefits.”