The legal market for recreational and medicinal cannabis for human consumption is growing worldwide. At the same time, marketing of cannabis products for use in pets is expanding. Yet, there is little research exploring the effects of cannabis use in veterinary medicine. This study used an anonymous, online survey to assess Canadian pet owners’ reasons for purchasing cannabis products for their dogs, and their perceptions regarding efficacy of these treatments. Owners purchased cannabis products for treatment of pain, inflammation, and anxiety in dogs, and perceived these preparations to be equally or more effective than conventional medications. Most owners reported only minimal side effects in their dogs. Despite indicating comfort in discussing canine cannabis administration with their veterinarian, most owners relied on commercial websites for product information. The main reasons for choosing cannabis products were the ability to use as an adjuvant to other therapies, and the perception of it being a natural substance. Given this information, it is incumbent upon veterinarians to appropriately counsel their clients, and also to advocate for evidence-based studies to evaluate the efficacy of cannabis use in non-human species.
- PMID: 31281193