Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness for Pets
Thousands of pet owners are turning to the cannabis industry for the health and wellness of their animal companions. For centuries, humans have sought relief from the plant by ingesting it – and now – so can pets.
Pets are one of the industry’s newest clientele, thanks to companies such as Treatibles, which offers infused edibles for animals. The Oakland-based business was founded in 2013, and is a branch of the (human) edible brand, Auntie Dolores. Their lineup currently includes blueberry and pumpkin flavored treats, dropper bottles, and gel caps intended exclusively for pets. This April, the company will introduce its grain free line of goods.
Treatibles’ pet products are made from hemp-derived phytocannabinoids, contain CBD and are therefore non psychoactive. Other ingredients include: peanut butter, organic coconut and hemp seed oils, applesauce, and turmeric.
Ingredients such as turmeric have long been used as both a food and medication. The spice is known for giving curries its yellow color, and for it’s use in Ayurvedic medicine. Several studies, including an M.D. Anderson Cancer Center review published in the “Journal of Phytotherapy Research,” have shown curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) to help regulate inflammation and improve cardiovascular health. Other research suggests that in humans, curcumin could have the potential to slow down chronic illnesses and neurodegenerative disorders.
As for the coconut oil, dogs love the taste, said founder and CEO, Julianna Ceralla. In initial test phases, blueberry also showed to be a favorite among animals.
A variety of animals – such as cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, horses, pigs, and more — have proven to enjoy and find relief from Treatibles. According to pet owner testimonials, the products have successfully helped with behavior, shinier coats and pain management, among more.
Carella, who also founded Auntie Dolores, said the idea to launch a pet care line was the result of an accident. “I actually had some friends whose dog got high.” An Auntie Dolores Chili Lime Peanut had fallen onto the ground, and was eaten by the family dog. “The poor dog got super high from one peanut.”
The dog was ok, and although it was very scary, it sparked Carella’s interest.
The realization of the existence of an endocannabinoid system in animals caused Carella to question whether – in the right dosage – pets could benefit from the non-psychoactive chemical compounds of cannabis. So, she began experimenting. After successful trials, she launched the Treatibles line.
The company goes to great lengths to ensure their high quality products are reliable, safe and consistent, explained Carella. Each of the company’s products is gluten free, and lab tested.
“We take a lot of [the] same process and know how [to] from our other product line, Auntie Dolores, including the cannabinoid infusion process,” she added, “There are a million ways to do it wrong, and only [a] few ways to do [it] right.” The expertise gained since launching Auntie Dolores in 2008 has been transferred to the Treatibles line.
The Oakland-based lab, CW Analytics, tests ingredients such as hemp seed oil and CBD, before they are added to recipes to make sure they are free of heavy metals, molds, and pesticides or contaminants. Finished batches are then tested again, said Carella, to ensure that cannabinoids levels are accurate, and that there is virtually no THC. All results are then posted on the company’s website.
Transparency is an important part of the process, said Carella, who added that Treatibles and its partners are committed to education and understanding.
Raising awareness starts with training staff at pet stores to successfully understand how products work, said Carella. In turn, staff members can guide customers through their curiosity and confusion.
Due to stigma, and a lack of information on the topic, Treatibles feels a responsibility to share what they’ve learned with the public. Carella said that in addition to being one of the only companies to share their lab results online, they also publish information on the science of cannabis, and are actively engaged with their customers through their website and on social media.
“Pet owners should be able to access this information and make choices for their animals,” she said.
The company also works with veterinarians. “We’ve got over 40 vets using our products in practices right now,” she added, “We’ve been able to bring them to the table to help us.” For example, Treatibles works with vets to answer any questions about recommended dosages or the effects of a particular ingredient on a specific species. Additionally, the company works to connect customers with vets via their store locator.
Customer feedback and engagement is engrained in Treatibles’ business model. Upon selling their first 2,500 products, Carella said, the company attached feedback cards. The response was surprising; approximately 70 percent of customers responded to the survey.
Survey results and customer testimonials have proven valuable. Ceralla said that the company has been able to create a database of information, such as at what age, for what condition, and what other animals are seeking relief from infused products. By soliciting information from customers, she added, Treatibles is working to fill the information gap.
Carella said that learning just how many ailing animals there are out there is one of the biggest surprises she has encountered so far. In fact, the rate of chronic illnesses (such as arthritis and cancer) in dogs and cats has dramatically increased, according to a study conducted by the Banfield Pet Hospital.
“The rate of cancer and epilepsy in dogs is shocking,” she said, “It’s a real eye opener. There is a huge need for alternative [forms of nutrition and medicine].”
“Sadly, there are a lot of sick animals that need to restore harmony.”
Customers seek Treatibles for a myriad of reasons. “Many express dissatisfaction [with vet-recommended pharmaceuticals] because of the side effects, or because it wasn’t effective at all,” she said. Others are looking for more affordable, and naturally nutritious, options that are void of fillers.
“Pet owners, once they find out that there’s a non-psychoactive option, it is kind of no brainer,” said Carella.
Visit their website for more information, such as testimonials, lab results, ingredients, proper dosages or store locators at Treatibles.com. The company welcomes all questions and concerns, and encourages those who are interested to reach out. Treatibles are available for purchase in all 50 states.