Pet product sales continue to rise year over year. Spending figures reached $69.51 billion for pet products in 2017, up from $66.75 billion the year before, according to the American Pet Products Association.
Of that, supplies and OTC medicine represented the third-largest sector for sales, totaling $15.11 billion.
Cannabidiol — CBD — edible sales stand to become a growing presence in the pet market. Products already range from traditional oil droppers to infused treats.
August 2018 figures from New Frontier Data found that hemp-derived pet supplies generated $13 million in 2017. By 2022, it's expected that this number will reach $125 million.
While dogs and cats are the focus today, horses and other mammals are potential beneficiaries of CBD as well, expanding the potential for the market.
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Why Owners Consider CBD For Their Pets
Pet owner Maddie Rogers started giving CBD to her 8-year-old German shepherd, Tonx, when she noted trouble with her dog's hyperactivity, especially when playing with her children.
After reading an article on CBD hemp bone bacon apple products, she decided to see if her dog could benefit from CBD.
"We've seen such a drastic change in her. Our kids love going out back to play with her now, and she's a much happier, healthier dog than at any other time in her life," Rogers said of the substance's effect.
Other owners claim to prefer CBD as a a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals. They say it helps with an array of pet conditions from joint pain to cancer suppression.
Kat Donatello, CEO of Austin and Kat, a CBD oil and dog biscuit company, said the reasoning for CBD consumption in humans applies to pets too.
"Pets have the same cannabinoid system as humans, and humans have taken cannabis extracts for thousands of years. If you just read through any of the testimonials online you will understand why anyone would try it.” Donatello said. “Hemp heals."
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A Wealth of Options
The rising interest in CBD petcare has prompted a growing number of companies to enter the space.
Christina O'Reilly, co-founder of CBD nut butter brand Rowley's, said the sector has seen a "massive influx" of new products claiming or alluding to some CBD connection.
"Unfortunately, with this flood of new products, we see a lot of misleading practices being utilized to sell a variety of hemp base concoctions as genuine CBD."
O'Reilly recommended that pet owners buy from local pet retailers who source from reputable brands. Another suggestion: purchase from providers who list certificates of authenticity or lab tests on their website.
The Farm Bill And Veterinarian Reception
Austin and Kat's Donatello said the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill did little to change her business from a legal perspective. Yet consumers seem more comfortable purchasing CBD now, she said.
"People didn’t know if it was legal or not and it was too confusing. The hemp bill kind of opened this door and said 'go ahead and step in, it’s safe now.'"
Rowley's co-founder O'Reilly said the bill's passage led to an rise in lab testing.
"We look forward to the results and hope to see its effectiveness proven across a wide variety of our animal friends," she said.
Veterinarians are now more open to discussing hemp-based options with pet owners, O'Reilly said.
Donatello said vets are on board, but are bound by certain limitations.
"The rules for traditional vets are a little tricky, though, and laws prevent them from prescribing CBD to pets as a treatment. It really just depends on their own experience and knowledge of the products."
Holistic vets have generally been supportive of CBD, while others have been slower to pick up the new products.
Related Link: Paws Up: The First Pets ETF Is Here
As mentioned above, the CBD pet market is expected to grow in the coming years. This is a sentiment both Donatello and O’Reilly share.
Donatello expects more growth as market awareness increases.
"The more people learn about the amazing, natural benefits of CBD for pets, the more the market will grow."
O’Reilly sees the edible CBD pet space moving in a similar path as other sectors: namely, providing further transparency around its products.
“We expect market forces will soon dictate that CBD companies provide transparent means to validate the quality, source and potency of their CBD extracts — resulting in a clear division between reputable companies and those merely capitalizing on the hype.”
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