Loading articles...

Pot holds promise, problems, for pet owners

Last Updated Oct 15, 2018 at 2:39 pm EDT

As we inch closer to legalization, CBD oil, a product made from marijuana, is in high demand among Toronto dog owners, even though it is not regulated and there is little proof it actually works.

CBD oil claims to do wonders for our four-legged friends when it comes to things like chronic pain, cancer and anxiety.

Bark and Meow on Bloor street, which specializes in vegan dog food, recently started selling CBD oil.

“It’s very popular” said store owner Charles Ng.

Even though a small bottle of CBD oil will set you back $90, he says dog owners keep coming back.

“They only say good things. I’ve never heard anything negative. I don’t know how many bags of cookies I’ve had to reorder a couple times”.

CBD oil is not supposed to contain THC, the compound that gets humans high and makes dogs very sick. This has Toronto veterinarian Dr. Ted Morris warning dog owners to be cautious with the unregulated products.

“We had one client who was giving it to her dog for seizures and the dog was displaying signs of THC poisoning. She was using oil but definitely not a pure product,” said Morris.

He offers another warning with legal pot just weeks away — hide you’re stash.

Since recreational pot use became legal in Colorado, the number of overdosing dogs has quadrupled.

“We expect to see more cases of THC poisoning,” Morris added.

Although death is unlikely, he says dogs will become very wobbly and ill and will often lose control of their bladders if they consume pot.

“Some of them just need to go home, eat some Doritos and listen to some Pink Floyd, they’ll be fine. Others need IV fluid and charcoal — basic poison care,” he explained.

The pet cannabis industry could be worth up to $7 billion once it becomes legal, by one estimate. Licensed producers are already preparing to meet that demand.

Though CBD oil isn’t currently regulated for use in pets, that could change. Health Canada recently approved trials for the oil to be used as a therapeutic treatment for animals.