Cannabis, renowned for its recreational and medical uses in humans, has found its way into the pet care arena. While cannabis-based products are gaining popularity for their potential therapeutic benefits in pets, their use is not legally sanctioned for veterinary purposes in countries like Denmark. Consequently, pet owners are turning to these products without the guidance of a prescription.
In a recent study conducted by Pernille Holst and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, a surprising 38% of surveyed dog owners admitted to giving their furry friends cannabinoids, particularly the widely known cannabidiol (CBD). Published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on January 31, the study sheds light on the growing trend of unlicensed cannabinoid use for pets in Denmark, despite the legal restrictions.
Dog owners cited various reasons for resorting to cannabinoids, including pain management, relaxation, addressing behavioral issues, and managing allergies. Additionally, some reported using cannabinoids for their pets’ overall well-being, cancer, seizures, appetite, and other conditions. Strikingly, 77% of respondents believed they observed at least ‘some’ positive effects of the drugs on their dogs.
Notably, current studies on behavioral modification in dogs after CBD treatment do not fully support these claims. The study emphasizes the urgent need for more evidence-based research on cannabinoid use in pets to separate fact from perception.
The study highlights how pet care is changing, and it shows how much pet owners are willing to do to make sure their furry friends are healthy and happy.
As cannabinoid use for pets continues to gain traction, it is crucial for the scientific community to conduct rigorous studies to ensure the safety, efficacy, and proper dosage guidelines for these products. Until then, the debate on the benefits and risks of unlicensed cannabinoid use for dogs in Denmark and beyond is likely to persist.