A Brief History of Cannabis for Pets

Given the ongoing conversations around legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, it might seem like cannabis just leapt onto the scene in the last few years. Suddenly, everyone is talking about the benefits of cannabis, for both people and pets. But the cannabis plant has actually been used to address various conditions for thousands of years. At Canna Companion, we’ve been exploring its place in veterinary science for decades. Today, we’re taking a quick look at the history of cannabis for pets. 

What Do We Mean by “Cannabis?” 

First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to cannabis. A lot of terms get thrown around—cannabis, marijuana, hemp—and misused or conflated. Here at Canna Companion, we’re interested in the benefits of hemp, the type of cannabis plant which cannot produce a “high.”

It’s important to note that the term “cannabis” is also used to refer to marijuana, another type of cannabis plant which can induce euphoria.  We do not recommend giving your pet marijuana products, as they can cause adverse reactions like low blood pressure and confusion. Possession of marijuana is also illegal in much of the country, while hemp is legal in all 50 states. 

Cannabis Use in Pets Over the Years

Before there were hemp-based products created exclusively for pets, people recognized the potential benefits of CBD oil and other supplements containing CBD for both people and animals. Dogs and cats experience similar issues as we do, after all—short-term anxieties, achy older joints, and more. As the reasoning went, if something works for humans, surely it must work for pets. Go back far enough, and you’ll find multiple stories of pet parents securing a medical marijuana license for the sole purpose of purchasing cannabis products for their ailing pets. The issue here was that those largely unregulated products contain varying ratios of CBD to THC, meaning that it’s impossible to predict the effect they might have on a pet. 

A number of studies have confirmed the incredible supportive potential of the various compounds found in the cannabis plant, such as phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. In light of the possible physiological, immunological, and neurological benefits, it became clear that a formula made exclusively for pets was needed. 

Canna Companion Breaks Into Cannabis Science

After observing the benefits of a well-supported endocannabinoid system, we decided to create a hemp-based supplement formulated just for pets—something that could leverage the vast potential of the cannabis plant without the adverse effects that marijuana has on animals. Our research led us to create a high-quality supplement made from the mature stalks and seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. 

We founded Canna Companion in 2014 with the goal of providing quality hemp supplements for pets and educating pet parents and their veterinarians on the supportive benefits of cannabis. We made sure our formulas support the optimal health of pets, in more ways than one. While single-compound products can throw off the synergistic relationship between chemical compounds, our in-depth research into the endocannabinoid system resulted in “whole plant” products, which preserve the entourage effect and provide comprehensive support to the endocannabinoid system.  

Ongoing Uses of Cannabis for Pets

Although state and federal regulations on cannabis are continuing to shift, hemp-based pet supplements are and will remain legal, provided the company adheres to all relevant regulations, such as any laid down by the FDA or NASC. Veterinarians across the country are now recommending reliable hemp supplements, like hemp-based CBD  oils, to pet parents looking for an additional way to promote their cat or dog’s well-being.

With carefully controlled ratios of CBD to THC, Canna Companion products support the health and happiness of pets while minimizing the adverse reactions associated with marijuana use. 

Here are just a few of the benefits of introducing and regularly administering a hemp supplement for pets:

  • Provides neurological support
  • Promotes a calm demeanor
  • Maintains normal joint health
  • Encourages a healthy GI tract
  • Assists in end of life comfort and care
  • Supports the functioning of the immune system

As with any change to your pet’s supplement routine, be sure to check with your veterinarian before introducing a hemp-based pill or oil. Each animal reacts to hemp-based products differently, so you may find that your pet needs a different dosage than the standard. If you have further questions about whether or not your pet would benefit from a hemp supplement, contact a licensed veterinary professional.

Potential Future Uses of Cannabis for Pets

The future looks promising when it comes to the potential applications of hemp-based pet supplements. As more studies are done, and we continue to advance in our understanding of cannabis science, we look forward to discovering even more about this beneficial plant.

One of the main challenges facing veterinary use of cannabis is the lack of existing industry regulations. Overdoses, incorrect ratios of CBD to THC, and low-quality products can leave pets lethargic and uncoordinated. Fortunately, these effects only last for a few hours, and there are no known long-term effects of hemp usage in pets. Moving forward, Canna Companion will continue to stand out from industry competitors by sticking to our rigorous standards and offering the high-quality hemp supplements we’re known for producing.

Where to Get Hemp-Based Supplements Today

Ongoing advances in veterinary science and our own in-depth research into the endocannabinoid system has revealed the vast potential of the cannabis plant. We’re just scratching the surface! But for now, we’re proud to provide the tools and resources for pet parents to support their cats and dogs. Whether you have a dog suffering from separation anxiety or a cat in need of end of life care, we can help. Reach out today to learn more about how hemp-based supplements can fit into your pet’s daily lifestyle. 

Tips Every Pet Parent Should Know

Our pets are such an important part of our families. We always want to make sure that we’re doing what is best for them to keep them happy and healthy. There is a lot of conflicting information, including older veterinary approaches, and it can be hard to know what the best options are. Here are some things that our veterinary professionals think important for pet parents to know.

 

Nutrition

People often love the look of a chubby cat or dog, but weight maintenance in animals is critical to their health.   That cute layer of fat causes a slew of problems including increased stress hormones, inflammatory compounds, and pressure on joints.  It can constrict breathing — fat will settle into the areas around the lungs — and create pancreatic problems like diabetes.  

To make it worse, food portion recommendations manufacturers include are rarely accurate, encouraging overfeeding for the average pet.  Even when they are accurate, they can be too general to be of use. What do you do? Educate yourself. Talk to your veterinarian about how many calories your pet should be getting for your pet’s species, age, exercise regimen, and health status.  And remember when you are calculating these to include ALL calories they are consuming. Once you have all this information, it’s time to discuss what diet is preferred for your pet’s ideal weight and overall health.

 

Preventative Care

Preventive care is both the healthiest and most cost effective approach to pet care. Gone for most of us are the days when we wait until our pets become sick or hurt before going to the vet. Annual and semi-annual exams are thankfully becoming more common, allowing you to catch imbalances before they create problems for your dog or cat.  

It’s important to note that while procedures like dental cleanings and performing annual lab work may seem costly, they’re much more cost effective than treating a sick pet. And they’re some of the best ways to catch early signs of problems so you can alter your pet’s health regimen.  In the case of dental health, offering raw chicken necks on a regular basis helps massage the gums and scrape plaque from dental surfaces, helping increase the time between anesthetic cleanings.    

Routine Lab Work 

Often times we would hear people say that they were reluctant to do lab work because they didn’t want to do a test when it might not tell us what was wrong. While the frustration is understandable, it’s also important to remember that lab results always give your veterinarian more information to work with. They may end up ruling something out rather than providing a diagnosis, but that is still additional information they didn’t have before. 

Nothing is certain in medicine, and narrowing down the field of potential causes for an issue, usually narrows down the appropriate treatments, too. All of these things make it easier for your veterinarian to help your pet feel better in less time.

 

Vaccines

Yes, your pet needs them, though how frequently is determined by exposure and law.  Like human children, puppies and kittens need a series of core vaccines, as well as a 1 yr booster, then potentially every 1-3 years for their adult life.  If your cat goes outside or your dog visits off-leash dog parks, regular vaccination is best for them.  Increased exposure means increased likelihood of infection, and while vaccinations often do not prevent contraction of an infection, they do help your pet’s immune system get ahead of the infection before it causes serious problems.  

Indoor only cats and those dogs who prefer the home life and walks around the block, have less exposure and may not need ongoing vaccination.  Some pets have negative reactions to vaccinations; these pets should have limited exposure to direct contact with other four-legged friends, even if those friends are vaccinated. 

Be sure to check the laws for your area to see if there are any vaccine requirements; rabies vaccine requirements may change by county, so start with local ordinances.  Also, talk to your veterinarian about which vaccines are appropriate for your pet’s lifestage and lifestyle. Discuss the pros and cons for your pets’ needs. One more tip: keep in mind  

 

Parasite Control 

Flea control is a year-round necessity in many places, and regular deworming helps their GI tract remain healthy, particularly if your pet is one with increased exposure like outside cats and dogs visiting off-leash parks.  Discuss with your pets’ veterinarian whether natural or prescription dewormers are preferred. Feeding raw food diets and offering healthy grasses to gnaw on may help reduce parasite load naturally.  

In more temperate areas where there are no extended freezes, no “flea season” exists where you time to give meds and a time when you don’t. And it is much more difficult to rid yourself of a flea infestation than it is to prevent it in the first place.  Again, natural therapies like diatomaceous earth are excellent for environmental needs, but talk to your veterinarian before using anything on your pet. Essential oils can be very helpful in preventing flea and tick infestations, but make sure to use them under the direction of a veterinarian.  

You want what is best for your pet and our veterinarians want to help support that as part of their care team. Together, we can make sure you and your pet enjoy each other’s companionship for many years to come.

Should I Give My Pet CBD Oil?

If you’re a pet parent, you’ve probably wondered about the efficacy of CBD oil at one point or another. Maybe your litany of questions stopped you from investigating the matter further. Could it have a beneficial effect on your furry friend? Is it safe? Should you give it to a cat or dog, and are there any negative side effects? 

 

If you want the short answer, here it is: a high-quality CBD oil made for pets offers a whole host of supportive benefits that can help maintain optimal health. But if you want a more thorough explanation and answers to the rest of your questions, read on. We’ll take a look at what CBD oil actually is, what it can do for your pet, and what you should know before you choose a cannabis product. 

The Basics of CBD Oil

CBD oil is a liquid derived from the cannabis plant. CBD, or cannabidiol, is just one of over 545 compounds produced by the plant, but it’s quite a significant one. As opposed to the psychotropic compound THC, CBD does not produce the feeling of “highness” commonly associated with marijuana use. 

 

The Cannabis sativa plant contains hundreds of other naturally occurring chemical compounds, including phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. A cannabis product with a carefully controlled formula takes advantage of the benefits that these compounds have to offer, in the form of consistent support to the endocannabinoid system

Can Pets Have CBD Oil?

We do not recommend giving medical or recreational marijuana products to your dog or cat. Unfortunately, CBD products made for humans are largely unregulated, and unless you obtain a third-party certificate of analysis, you can never be fully sure of the concentrations and ratios of cannabinoids in the products you’re getting. Too much CBD or THC could result in an overdose, leaving your pet unable to walk or eat properly until the effects fade. For that reason, you should stick to quality products with clear ratios and dosage instructions.

 

If you’re going to give your pet CBD oil, make sure you choose a hemp-based supplement formulated especially for pets. Our Whole Plant Hemp Oil contains a careful ratio of CBD to THC, allowing pets to enjoy the supportive benefits of the cannabis plant without the psychotropic effects of THC. Ultimately, a high-quality CBD oil made just for pets can act as a wonderful addition to your pet’s daily lifestyle. 

Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets

CBD oil is ideal for pets in need of more immediate endocannabinoid system support, as well as for senior pets and animals who don’t take pills well. If you believe that your dog or cat could benefit from end of life care, help staying calm in the face of stressors, or joint and immune system support, CBD oil could fit your needs.

 

Here are just a few of the benefits of regularly administering a high-quality CBD oil: 

  • Provides quick support to the endocannabinoid system
  • Supports digestive processes
  • Eases joint discomfort associated with normal daily activity
  • Provides immune system support
  • Maintains healthy neurological function
  • Assists in end of life comfort and care
  • Encourages a calm demeanor, helping address temporary anxieties and situational stressors

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog or Cat?

Once you’ve chosen a CBD oil for your pet that contains an appropriate ratio of CBD to THC, be sure to consult a veterinarian before introducing any supplements or diet changes to ensure that you’re doing what’s best for your pet. 

 

The proper CBD oil dosage will vary by weight and species, but the CBD oil you choose should come with dosage instructions. For our Whole Plant Hemp Oil, we recommend giving .1mL for every 10 pounds, two to three times daily. You should also make sure to administer the oil during or after your pet has eaten, to minimize the risk of GI distress.

High-Quality CBD Oil and Other Hemp-Based Supplements 

Here at Canna Companion, we believe wholeheartedly in the power and potential of the cannabis plant. We’ve put our decades of veterinary experience and research into the endocannabinoid system to work developing high-quality CBD oil and other hemp-based pet supplements that can provide much-needed support to your furry friends. 

 

While single-compound or exclusively CBD products can unbalance the endocannabinoid system, our full spectrum formulas preserve the synergistic relationship between chemical compounds, allowing your pet to enjoy a range of supportive benefits. If you’re still not sure whether CBD oil is right for your dog or cat, reach out to us today. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have or schedule a complimentary consultation with a licensed veterinary professional. We look forward to supporting the well-being of your furry friend!

Hemp Derived CBD: Why It’s Legal

The cannabis plant has had a long, strange, and ultimately arbitrary regulatory history. Until 2018, hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act. This was because the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) did not differentiate between strains of Cannabis sativa L. which have less than 0.3%  of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and those with more than 0.3% THC. Such a distinction is important as the 2018 Farm Bill removed any Cannabis sativa L. plant and its derivatives which contain less than 0.3% THC from the CSA, redefining these plants as hemp.  Any Cannabis plant containing >0.3% THC is referred to as marijuana which currently remains as a Schedule 1 drug, those drugs having, “no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse,” according to the DEA.  

Enactment of the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill, resulted in regulation of hemp being relinquished by the DEA, to the FDA, who’s functionality of enforcement is public safety rather than the pursuit of criminal convictions. The explosion of public cannabidiol (CBD) use and pressure from public outcry, resulted in the FDA and US lawmakers being forced into action.  When backed by mounds of anecdotal and scientific evidence, and significant financial and political pressure, regulatory agencies had no choice but to realize hemp and its derivatives are an important crop for American farmers and consumers. 

The 2018 Farm Bill has explicitly preserved the FDA’s authority over hemp products, which is in the best interest of public safety. This part of the regulation is key because, prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, the use and regulation of CBD products and hemp was left up to state legislation. The DEA, however, was still making arrests despite state laws because it was still a federal crime and they had the authority to do so. This left a confusing and contradicting atmosphere within the regulations and hemp farming/manufacturing community.

The FDA has now vowed “…to treat these products just like we do any other.  FDA is committed to advancing hemp products through the Agency’s existing regulatory pathways, and we are further exploring whether it would be appropriate to make additional regulatory pathways available to hemp products such as those containing cannabidiol (CBD). FDA believes taking this approach protects patients and the public health, fosters innovation for safe and appropriate products, and promotes consumer confidence.”  This is a huge and fantastic leap in progress for hemp regulation —  from a schedule 1 narcotic to a FDA regulated consumer product — as it helps ensure a better product for the consumer, which in our case happens to have four legs and lots of fur.

  

Canna Companion is devoted to regulatory compliance and public safety within the new framework of hemp legislation. We believe that transparency and current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) delegated by the FDA are key to the progression of hemp based laws.  Canna Companion works closely with the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) , who maintains open channels with the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) regarding hemp legislation.  This helps ensure we are always up to date with new changes in policy, usually before they reach the general public. 

The NASC continually monitors its members, collecting data from companies who supply hemp products for animals. They released an ingredient risk report for hemp and hemp based compounds from 10 years of data which shows 34 million applications of hemp products to dogs, cats, and horses with only 10 adverse events, and none of them serious enough to prompt a recall. This data is hugely important and is being used as an example of the safety of hemp products when produced under FDA guidelines. Canna Companion is proud to have assisted in their data collection efforts, setting an example of what hemp companies should be doing in order to provide transparent data and a quality product to consumers.     

   

 

First Aid Tips for Cats

We always hope that we won’t face an emergency, but it isn’t something that can ever be guaranteed. In the event that we do, though, a little first aid knowledge can go a long way. It is especially important during times where there is a lot of change, such as the holiday season. There are numerous threats that our feline friends face during this time such as potentially toxic decorative plants, ribbons and other gift wrap, bones from a holiday meal, and burns from candles or Christmas lights.  (Quick tip: keep your cat away from packaging until all ribbons are thrown away in a cat-proof trash bin; bones should go in there too before letting your cat enjoy the festivities.)

The best thing we can do to protect our feline friends in these circumstances is to be prepared

  1. Make sure you always have the number for your regular veterinarian and for the closest emergency vet clinic posted in an easy to find place, as well as affixed to your cat’s carrier.  Consider making this a laminated card or luggage tag, which includes hospital name, regular doctor’s name, hospital phone number and physical & website addresses. On the other side, have your cat’s information: name, age or date of birth, breed, sex, known conditions or special handling needs, and medication/supplement list.   
  2. The Red Cross offers an app which provides first aid information which you can download here. This app provides quick access to first aid information for your cat. 
  3. Have an emergency kit ready to go, and keep it next to your cat’s carrier.  Be sure to include food, water, and other items that they would need in the event that you had to evacuate.  

What to Include in Your Cat’s ER Kit

In addition to medical information, have a minimum of 3 days worth of basic supplies: collapsible food & water dishes, favorite food & treats, unopened bottle of water, security items (soft blanket, toys, catnip), pee pads (accidents happen!) and cat litter box (plus litter).  If your cat eats raw food, always have an unopened package in the freezer which you can quickly grab and place in its own insulated container.  Having a few cans of high quality cat food or favorite freeze dried raw food mix may also be a good idea.

Include a list of what symptoms might indicate ingestion of a commonly found toxic substances like mistletoe, lilies, acetaminophen, and antifreeze.  A cat who has eaten something toxic may exhibit signs such as lethargy, drooling, tremors, vomiting, dilated pupils, and more. Contact your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency hospital immediately in the event that you think they might have ingested a toxin. If you are able, inform them what was consumed, when it was eaten and how much you think they ingested. They may advise you on how to induce vomiting or they may recommend you come straight to the veterinary hospital, depending on how far your pet’s symptoms have advanced.

In a smaller, labeled, container within your kit, include items like medications, supplements, rescue therapies, non-stick bandages, nitrile gloves, and an unopened bottle of artificial tears (great for flushing out eyes and wounds).  Talk with your veterinarian regarding which medications should be on hand for your cat’s specific needs. For older cats, this may include supplies for fluid therapy, preventatives for feline herpes viral flares, and additional support for older joints.  

Multipurpose Supplements 

  • Honey: in the event that your cat experiences a burn, it is important to note what burned them (candle, stove burner, electric cord) and get them veterinary care as soon as possible.  That said, there are a number of steps that one may take on their own first, particularly with thermal burns. It is vital to remember to cool them slowly, as doing so too quickly can cause shock.You can run cool water over the burn or use covered cool compresses.  Never apply cold compresses or ice without wrapping in a towel first. If possible, shave the fur around the burn so it’s easier to treat and monitor progress.  (This may be easier done at the vet’s office after pain medications are administered.) If the wound is not too painful, clean with warm soapy water, pat dry and apply Manuka honey.  Honey has been used for thousands of years in wound care and is safe for cats.  Make sure to cover the burn with a moist cloth when you are transporting your cat to the veterinarian, to keep the area clean and cool.
  • Hemp supplement: the stress of holidays, people coming over or having to travel can be lessened with calming supplements like hemp derived CBD. When supported the endocannabinoid system (ECS) excels at managing temporary stressors.  Your cat’s ECS is in high gear during these times and giving a dose of hemp oil 2-3 times daily should help him feel calmer. If your cat is already taking capsules, you may need to increase the dose or give hemp oil in addition to his maintenance support.  Contact us if you have any questions; we’re happy to help you with your cat’s individual needs. 
  • Essential oil blend or kit: yes, essential oils can be used safely in cats, helping providing another layer of immune system support (for wounds) and calming effect (for anxiety), among other health benefits.  Make sure to choose oil brand which source and extract responsibly. A drop of lavender oil around wounds can assist in microbial control, while blends containing chamomile provide soothing effects.   If you want to learn more, these resources can get you on the right track: First Aid with Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy (great to have in your first aid kit) and Animal Desk Reference II (very detailed).
  • TCVM or other herbal blend supplements: if your cat already takes such supplements, be sure to pack them in the kit.  If not, contact your holistic or integrative veterinarian and ask which first aid herbal blends they recommend. American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s Find a Vet function can help you find a holistic practitioner in your area.  

 

Traveling with Your Cat

Traveling with your feline friend, whether going to the veterinarian or visiting friends or family, can be stressful. It is safest to have them in a kennel or carrier, with soft bedding or a pad to lay on.  Ideally the kennel should be seatbelted in the back seat (like you would a child’s car seat) and many kennels and carriers have a place to secure the seat belt. It is not safe to have your cat roaming freely in your vehicle while you are driving. Your cat could become frightened and dart under the brake pedal or accelerator, possibly causing an accident. In addition, having a free roaming the vehicle is a dangerous distraction. Experienced feline travelers can wear a harness or seat belt harness. It is a good idea to make sure the lead or leash is short enough that if you have to stop, your kitty will remain in the seat.  

Make sure your destination is either cat friendly like these hotels, or that you’ve spoken with your host about your cat’s needs.  In general, keep your cat in the room in which you’ll sleep. Set the room as best as possible to a layout similar to one at home — anything which is familiar will greatly reduce your cat’s stress.  Most of these security items can be included in your ER kit. In addition to providing familiar smells, keeping your cat in one room gives her a place to hide from curious children and pets … and from bolting in an unfamiliar environment.  Just in case, have your cat microchipped prior to travel if this wasn’t done earlier in life.   

Please seek veterinary care as soon as possible following any use of first aid.  They can guide you on next steps and place the whole incident in your cat’s medical records. Take notes regarding what therapies were provided and when they were administered.  This will ensure that your feline friend receives the best care and is able to recover with less risk of additional complications. Emergencies and accidents may be unavoidable, but you can help your cat get through such tough times with a little knowledge and preparedness.

Winter Garden Concerns

Many people don’t think of winter as a time for gardening, but there is plenty of yard work that gets done and plenty of plants that grow well or get planted during those months. A number of these can be hazardous to your pets and it’s important to be sure that you’re checking what they have access to. Additionally, people have a lot of holiday related plants in their homes at this time of year, and there are concerns among those as well.

 

Outdoor Winter Plants

The most common things people grow in a winter vegetable garden are leafy greens and plants in the allium family.  Most greens are safe or will cause, at most, mild GI upset.  Allium family plants, like onions, shallots, garlic, and leeks, are toxic and should be kept out of reach of both dogs and cats. Here are three leafy favorites dogs and cats can both commune with: spinach, lettuce & parsley.  

Flowering plants can also post a problem.  Hellebores are lovely and commonly found in bloom during winter, though pets should not have access to them.  Other winter bloomers to look out for include aconite (monkshood), clematis, and boxwood.  Aconitine is an alkaloid found within monkshood roots, and quite common as Chinese medical ingredient, though is only used after specific processing designed to minimize to toxic principle.  Lastly, the bulbs of showy bloomers are often planted this time of year, and there are a number we need to keep diggers away from:  iris, crocus, daffodils, and snowdrops. These are only toxic when ingested, and can cause a wide variety of ailments from mild (drooling and vomiting) to severe (seizures and death), so consider pet proofing bulb garden beds.  

 

Indoor Winter Plants

If you are growing in a greenhouse, keep in mind some of the most popular tasty treats for humans, like tomatoes , have toxic principles in their leaves and are best kept away from your pets. Instead, grow pet friendly herbs like catnip, basil, cilantro, rosemary (consider avoiding if you have a pet with seizures), and lavender.  Or keep it simple and grow whatever you like, just keep the door locked so curious paws cannot gain entry.  


Decorative and seasonal gift plants typically contain some form of toxic principle.   As previously mentioned, daffodils and amaryllis are toxic, though unlikely to cause serious harm. However, lilies can be found in many houses at Christmas and even a tiny amount can be deadly to a cat. Poinsettia generally causes mild GI upset, but holly and mistletoe are both far more dangerous, so hang the mistletoe with care and leave holly berries outside and away from pets.  

And then, of course, we have the beloved Christmas tree.  Fallen needles pose at best an oral irritant, and at worst a trip to the doctor for emergency surgery as needles can perforate the intestines.  Vacuum regularly or consider a medium sized artificial tree

In addition to the needles, live trees need water which is toxic, so consider this tip if your family owns a tree farm: 

  • Cut a slit into the middle of a plastic lid large enough to cover the opening; 
  • Cut out a circle in the middle of the lid about the size of the tree trunk;
  • Slip this around the tree trunk and lower it so it covers the water container. 
  • You may have to tape it down to keep the pets out.

 


Make sure you are familiar with your closest emergency vet, just in case, and if your cat ingests any part of a lily, please go immediately. If your pet gets into any of the other above plants, bulbs, or vegetables, please call your veterinarian for further advice.  It is generally best to keep all indoor plant decor in areas that pets cannot access, or make sure you grow a pet friendly garden you all can enjoy.

cGMPs: What Are They & Why Do They Matter?

 

cGMPs: What are they?

Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP’s) play a critical role in quality and safety in the manufacturing of consumer products. But what are cGMP’s? They are a set of rules and regulations mandated by the FDA to assure consumers the products they buy are quality products and safe for the intended consumer. The FDA has outlined specific industry standard rules manufacturers must follow in order to sell their products.  Furthermore, FDA officers will audit manufacturing facilities at random to ensure compliance, that facilities are properly following cGMP guidelines.

 

Why do cGMP’s matter in a manufacturing facility? 

cGMP’s are observable practices that establish a baseline for standards within the manufacturing facility.  Basic hygiene is a critical one which requires facilities enforce strict hand washing policies, as well as provide thorough employee training for food handling.  In addition, cGMP’s cover every reasonably foreseeable potential for adulteration within a manufacturing facility from receiving ingredients and packaging to shipping supplements to your home.  Because these regulations encompass all aspects of the manufacturing process, cGMP’s establish rules for manufacturing operations to help ensure a consistent and unadulterated product for consumers is produced.  

One way in which manufacturers are held responsible for cGMP standards is via standard operating procedures (SOP’s).  Employees receive must receive training on SOPs and have access to those documents for reference. Using easy to follow but thorough instructions and checklists provides a quality product and ensures compliance in all cGMP practices.   

 

How does Canna Companion comply with cGMPs?

Canna Companion strives to be a leader in cGMP compliance not only to ensure the quality of our products, but to set an example in the animal health industry. We truly care about our customers and their pets, which means we take these obligations very seriously, and we do so happily. 

The potential for contamination occurrence within a manufacturing facility is easily deterred with the right cGMPs in place.  Canna Companion manufacturing employees work dutifully throughout the day to ensure your product is of the highest quality.  

We utilize many procedures during our daily, weekly, and monthly routines, including cleaning checklists and a specific flow of movement within the facility.  The latter helps limit exposure to sensitive items like ingredients, while providing readily accessible ‘normal’ areas for office needs and employee lockers and breaks. In addition, the facility contains personal protective equipment (PPE) lists and materials at all stations, making it easy for employees to adhere to regulations.   

By testing each ingredient before it comes in, we make sure our ingredients are up to standard before they even enter into the production stream. This includes a barrage of laboratory tests: potency (% of cannabinoids), terpene & microbial analyses, mycotoxin levels, and residual solvent analysis.  We also test for pesticides and heavy metals, all via a third party state-registered facility.  

Before setting foot in Canna Companion’s manufacturing areas, employees and visitors put a protective gown and clean room shoes.  And of course, before work can begin we wash our hands; when employees work with product or equipment, gloves are always worn. 

These are just a few of the cGMPs we have in place here at Canna Companion to help protect your product. We take the time to do these things because we care! We do this enthusiastically in order to reassure our customers that the product they are giving to their furry family member is of the highest quality.   

First Aid Tips for Dogs

 

First Aid is important knowledge for any pet parent to have. It is particularly critical during times where there is a lot going on, such as the holiday season. There are numerous changes to routines animals face during this time: out of town guests, travel, inclimate weather, and more. Any of these can pose a threat to their well-being and emotional state, whether it is via food they shouldn’t eat, stress from air travel, or a paw sliced open on ice. 

The best thing we can do to protect our canine companions in these circumstances is to be prepared. There are really only two steps to canine first aid preparedness: know the basics & consider additional circumstances.  The basics are pretty easy, if a bit detailed.  

 

Medical Information

Have the contact information for your regular veterinarian and for the closest emergency vet clinic posted in an easy to find place, and placed in an outer pocket or luggage tag in your dog’s first aid kit.  Include hospital name, regular doctor’s name, phone number, and physical & website addresses. On the other side of this paper, have your dog’s information.  Be specific and include name, age or date of birth, breed, sex, known conditions or special handling needs, and medication/supplement list.  It’s also a good idea to download the Red Cross’s app, so you have quick access to first aid information for your dog.  

 

First Aid Kit

The main portion of first aid kit should contain a minimum of 3 days worth of basic supplies: collapsible food & water dishes, food & favorite treats, unopened bottle of water, and security item(s) like favorite blanket or toy.  For you preppers, check out doggie bug out bags; you can buy one ready-made though it’s ideal to tailor one for your dog’s specific needs.  

Packed and labeled in a smaller container, include items like medications, supplements, rescue therapies, unopened bottle of artificial tears or small bottle of unopened contact lens solution (both great for gently washing debris from eyes and wounds).  Some medications may harm your dog if stopped without tapering. Examples include anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, and GI or immune-modulation medications. Drugs like antibiotics, antacids, and prescription eye/ear medications should also be in the first aid kit, but a missed dose is unlikely to cause serious problems.  

 

Good supplements to have are those which serve multiple purposes so you don’t have to pack a ton of them.  Here are our favorites and why; remember to pick ones you know historically help you dog, and change them up as her health care needs change.

  • Hemp supplement: the endocannabinoid (ECS) excels at helping manage temporary stressors.  When your dog has need of first aid, her ECS is in high gear and will happily utilize compounds from hemp products.  This is one case where hemp oil is preferred as it absorbs quickly and repeat administration is easy; if your dog is already taking capsules, it is okay to administer hemp oil on top of her normal regimen.  
  • Essential oil blend or kit: terpenes found in many essential oils, like lavender oil, can be quite helpful in calming your dog and assisting her immune system in wound management.  You can place a drop on her collar or bedding for aromatherapy, and around the edges of a wound for immune system support. Warning! Make sure you choose essential oil brands which source responsibly and extract safely.  Here are some resources if you want to learn more: First Aid with Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy (great to have in a first aid kit) and Animal Desk Reference II (very detailed). 
  • TCVM or other herbal blend supplements: if your dog takes such supplements, make sure to pack them.  Contact your holistic or integrative doctor regarding any first aid herbal blends they recommend and have those on hand too. If your dog isn’t seeing an integrative doctor yet, the AHVMA is a place to start the search.     

 

Lastly, and also in a separate labeled container, have all wound care products, including nitrile gloves for you.  Your dog’s veterinarian may have a list of recommended items, or you can create your own. If you make your own, pack just enough to protect open wounds until you reach the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.  Items to consider: no stick pads, cling gauze, and paper tape. You may need someone to assist you during the wound cleaning process, as your dog may be in pain and can lash out.  

The basics of first aid wound care are thankfully simple.  With gloved hands, remove any loose large pieces of debris.  Next, rinse the area with contact lens solution, then apply anything your veterinarian recommends as directed, or lavender essential oil around the wound.  Start with the no stick pad placed over the wound, then bandage as shown here .  For non-limb wounds, you may need to hold a few no-stick pads in place if paper tape is too loose, or fit your dog with a snug (but not too tight!) T-shirt over the bandage.  Remember, your aim is to protect the lesion until you can get to a veterinary hospital.  

 

 

Now, let’s consider additional circumstances, where things like travel, guests and weather come into play.  If you’re traveling, look up nearby emergency veterinary hospitals and add them to the medical professional contact list.  Similarly, prepare for seasonal weather changes specific to the region in which you’ll be traveling. Always be sure that it is warm enough if you are taking your dog out for a walk. Cold winter weather comes with risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and wounds to paw pads among other things. You can help protect against these things by ensuring that your dog has a sweater or jacket if they are a short-haired breed, or one without in insulating double coat if thicker coated. Numerous companies sell booties or other paw pad protectors specially designed for snow and ice. 

Should your dog get too cold (body temperature is below 98.5° via rectal thermometer) or if you find a dog out in the cold weather, the key is to rewarm slowly. First, wrap them in a wool or fleece blanket or equivalent (hoodies work for small dogs), and then place heat packs or water bottles near them. Make sure these items, too, are wrapped in towels to protect from rewarming too quickly or burning their skin. And make sure to get your dog veterinary care as soon as possible.

Of course veterinary care should always follow first aid. Whenever possible, take notes on any care that was provided so you are able to inform your veterinarian of what treatment has been offered. While accidents cannot always be prevented, a little knowledge goes a long way toward keeping our pets safe and healthy.

Thanksgiving Food Safety for Your Pets

As we approach another food-focused holiday, especially one where friends and family are about, it’s important to make sure everyone knows what is and what is not safe for the furry friends who will inevitably be about the table.  While most of the concerns do center around the foods available, there are also concerns of comfort any time there is a major event. 

If you do have many people coming and going, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a space set up where your pets feel comfortable relaxing. Preferably, this will be somewhere that will keep them away from the door while people are coming and going, so you don’t need to worry about any escapees.  If your pet is anxious with a houseful of friends and family, Canna Companion may help alleviate situational anxieties.  And when things move on to the main event, keep in mind the following restrictions, being sure to let your guests know as well.

 

Prohibited Foods

High fat foods: as many Thanksgiving items are, high fat meals can cause numerous problems for pets, especially pancreatitis and GI upset.   Make sure you don’t give them any turkey skin or gravy from the table. If you cook with a lot of butter, keep that in mind when offering tasty treats. 

Bones: be sure to keep bones away from your pets as they’re a serious choking hazard and can even perforate intestines, especially when cooked. 

Onions: onions can garlic can be problematic as well, so no green bean casserole or stuffing either. 

Alcohol: a lot of people go through a fair amount of alcohol in their cooking or on their table, and this all definitely needs to be kept from the four-legged members of the family.

Chocolate: dark chocolate is bad enough on its own, but now with so many people trying low carb diets, it’s even more crucial to keep pets away from all sweets, as many may contain xylitol.

Other hazards:  fruit and spices like raisins and nutmeg often appear at the dinner table and are best left for human consumption.

Healthy Foods
If you’d like to include your dog or cat in the tradition, consider making them their own plate.  Some will want to dine alone in a quiet spot, while others will think having their own place on the dining room floor is just dandy.  (Just don’t let them beg for additional items once their meal is finished.)  

The following items are good options (skip the seasoning as its too salty for pets):

  • White meat turkey, cooked or raw, deboned, deskinned
  • Sweet potatoes, cooked
  • Green beans, cooked
  • Carrots, cooked or raw
  • Pumpkin, cooked
  • Gravy made especially for them

 

Additionally, make sure to be wary of pets moving through the kitchen while cooking as they can serve as fine tripping hazards.  With all these things in mind, you can have a very happy Thanksgiving for yourself and all your friends and family, furry or otherwise.

CBD & Situational Anxiety in Dogs

Any of us who have faced anxiety know that it can have a number of different sources. Situational anxieties arise when certain conditions are met in a short timeframe, and dogs can face a number of circumstances unique to the pack mind.  Every pet will be different, but there are things which can be done to help them be more comfortable during these frustrating times. The first step, of course, is determining the cause of their distress.

 

Common Causes of Canine Anxiety
Some of the more common causes of situational anxieties in dogs include weather, fireworks, moving, and changes to routine. Once can summarize these situations by simply stating either the pack is threatened (or perceived to be) or separated (or the possibility exists of separation).  To a dog, the pack is everything: their family, their friend, their playmate, and their security. Let’s look at how that thought process can lead to anxiety under seemingly innocuous circumstances.  

  • Loud noises: whether fireworks or thunderstorms, loud noises signal a potential threat to the pack.  What often triggers dogs to exhibit anxious symptoms is the lack of seeing the threat — it’s just loud noise which might cause problems with no obvious way to protect the family.  
  • Traveling: some dogs, like some humans, enjoy traveling and all the wonder and awe it can bring.  But to others, leaving the home territory can indicate the need to protect, or be protected from, causing significant anxiety for your pup.  Travel is especially difficult if your dog has a history of negative experiences either during or after travel.  
  • Routine changes: this particular stressor may seem routine to you — leaving for work every day — but your dog may see it as a huge change simply because their alpha human is missing … and how can they protect her if she’s not here?  Add in holiday travel and temporary pack members (holiday company), and your dog’s routine may be sufficiently changed to trigger significant anxiety.  

Symptoms of Situational Anxiety in Dogs

Now that we know what can stress our dogs, let’s talk about how to determine the language your dog uses to let you know he’s anxious.  Just like the large variety of breeds, there are seemingly endless ways a dog can exhibit distress.  The easiest way to tell is simply by changes in his normal behaviors, either by being aloof or clingy – whichever is opposite his normal personality.  If such changes occur around loud noises, travel preparations, or household changes, it’s likely your dog has situational anxiety, though schedule a visit with his veterinarian just to make sure nothing else is amiss.  

In general, dogs show ongoing anxiety via pacing, panting, and vocalizing.  The latter is usually sharp and high-pitched and all usually have facial expressions like wide eyes, elevated but back-ward rotating ears, grimacing (lip corners pulled up), and tail carriage down and to the left (right signals confidence).  

They may be destructive, either towards their own beds, toys and blankets, or to household items like your bed, favorite shoes, luggage or the wall.  It is a sign of frustration and the need to ‘protect,’ which leads to this behavior. While it’s difficult, refrain from punishing your dog after the fact; he simply won’t make the connection and will be confused as to why you’re upset.  

Other dogs prefer to hide under blankets, beds, tables — anything which might shelter them from the potential threat.  And still others act normal but won’t eat or develop transient diarrhea.  

 

How to Help Reduce Your Dog’s Anxiety

One of the best things that can be done to help your dog through these is to prepare in advance. Many situational anxiety triggers are things which can be anticipated. This allows us to make sure that our pets will have a comfortable place where they can go to be more calm.  Include items which smell like you to help them remain calm, and offer chew toys which are hard to destroy. Chewing can ease anxiety as well as serve as an anxiety symptom, with the difference being his overall behavior — destruction usually signals boredom or anxiety, while gnawing methodically indicates healthy endorphin release.   

Additionally, things like white noise machines can mask frightening sounds, and diffusion of essential oils can provide calming aromatherapy to the most high-strung of pooches.  High value treats can also be a part of this, particularly when used to reward desirable calm behaviors.  There are also a number of supplements which could be beneficial, including pheromone sprays and diffusers that can be a useful part of your preparations. Ensuring that this space is always somewhere available and comfortable will be a big benefit, as your pet can seek shelter anytime he needs comfort.

 

Can CBD Help My Dog’s Anxiety?

You bet!  Let’s talk about how … When we administer cannabinoids like CBD, they support your dog’s natural cannabis receptor system, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS for short).  The ECS has one main function: listen to and correct cellular stress signals.  It accomplishes this task by changing the levels of CBD and THC at the receptor level, causing a variety of chemical reactions which lead to your dog feeling calmer.  In short, administration of hemp-based CBD, can have a calming effect on the mind, and is soothing to the body, particularly when situational anxieties arise.  

 

Which Hemp Product is Right for my Dog?

Developed by veterinarians, Canna Companion offers three different canine supportive supplements, all differentiated by CBD:THC and dosed based on your dog’s body weight.  When a whole plant product is administered, CBD helps mitigate the negative effects of THC, while allowing THC’s health benefits to shine — one of which limits the sedative effects CBD can have on your dog.  We want your dog stress-free, not a cute ball of fur on his favorite bed!  

We typically recommend our Regular Strength Canine capsules as the low CBD:THC supports the cannabis receptor system quite well for most conditions.  Start twice daily administration ideally 10-14 days prior to the known stressor, continuing for a few days after the stressor is gone.  There is no need to continue hemp supplementation if your dog is no longer anxious and stopping “cold turkey” is acceptable.  

 

For those dogs with multiple stressors or who need a punch to the ECS for high-stress times, our higher ratioed Extra Strength Canine capsules are preferred.  Begin administration as above, and if your dog needs more during times of extreme stress, it’s okay to give either formulation at twice the labeled dose; for example 2 capsules twice daily on days when a known anxiety trigger will occur. 

What if your dog will not take pills, you’re leaving in a few days, or your dog has extreme responses (running through sliding glass doors)?  Try our Whole Plant Hemp Oil;  with a CBD:THC between the capsule formulations, it’s a great choice for smaller patients and those with strong opinions about capsules — and anxiety triggers.  Oils also offer the option of bypassing GI absorption for ECS support in minutes, when administered orally rather than during or after a meal. This method may result in sedation or a wobbly gait, particularly if labeled doses are exceeded, but it also may be just the thing to help your dog relax.     

 

Whatever your dog’s needs, Canna Companion is here to help. Contact our Customer Service team or schedule a professional Consultation today.  Our passion is helping your pack member feel his best no matter what routine changes come his way!