SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- While pyrotechnicians are busy preparing their firework displays, many pet parents are busy worrying about their anxious cats and dogs.
Animals who are afraid of fireworks is nothing new, but the way some people are dealing with their pet's firework fear is new. Many pet owners are turning to cannabis products, that you can buy at Bay Area dispensaries.
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For centuries people have set off firework displays, and likely for just as long, animals have cowered in fear. "She's very scared of fireworks," says Kai Konishi-Gray about his 4-year-old Golden Doodle. "She usually hides behind the couch or under the bed."
Enter cannabis for canines. As the 4th of July approaches, Buddy's dispensary in San Jose has sold a lot of doggy CBD tinctures, which contain cannabis, extra virgin olive oil, and wild Alaskan fish oil.
"CBD is one of several hundred different compounds in the cannabis plant," says Matt Lucero, the owner of Buddy's who explains that CBD is "not psychotropic, so in other words, it doesn't give you that high effect, but it does have some calming properties to it. So, folks do give it to their pets, cats, and dogs."
"Ever since legalization, we have had clients every day, we have questions about it," says Robert Brandvold, a registered veterinary technician at Arguello Pet Hospital in San Francisco.
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While the pet parent demand exists, vets can not prescribe cannabis products, because the drug is still illegal under federal law. Brandvold says more research is needed. "There's a lot of discussion about it. Some veterinarians do believe in the efficacy of CBD products, some don't. And a lot of it is, we just don't have enough information."
One fact about cannabis is clear: THC is toxic to cats and dogs. Only CBD products are potentially animal-safe.
Pet parents are divided.
"I just don't believe you need to give a drug to a dog, it's still a drug, it's CBD, it's still a cannabinoid," says San Francisco dog owner, Adrian Balan.
But Ivy Maxwell, a dog walker and trainer in San Francisco says she has recommended CBD products to her client's for their dogs and has recently thought about using it for one of her own dogs. "I would consider it for Bennett.... I think that it might help him because he still gets triggered sometimes at the dog park. "
Veterinarians say the best solution to anxiety surrounding fireworks, is to remove your pet from the stressful situation by bringing them inside or putting them in a quiet room. You should always consult your veterinarian before treating your pet with any new product.
For more on the 4th of July holiday, visit this page.
Cannabis products popular for pet firework anxiety in the Bay Area