Pets bring so much joy, hilarity, and love into a home, it’s no wonder that Americans actually spend more money on their pets than on their children. Many parents say their fur-babies sometimes are better than children in some ways. For example, pets rarely talk back (except for Siamese cats and Siberian Husky dogs, that is — breeds that are often vocal and single-minded, a.k.a. stubborn as hell).
Cats can be jerks sometimes
We’ve all heard the stories of the hyperactive Jack Russell “terror”, the beagle who howls incessantly due to separation anxiety, the older German Shepherd with hip dysplasia. Cats, too, can suffer from anxiety and physical ailments. They can manifest it in excessive hairballs, loss of fur, and pooping in our shoes. Cats can be jerks sometimes.
Pet owners with anxious and neurotic pets will try anything from “doggie downers” to calming jackets (tight wraps that remind pooches of the puppy-womb) to comfort them. We leave the radio on, put the television on Animal Planet, and install pet doors allowing them to come and go. Some of us arrange for walks during the day to just spend time with our pets. Some even plug in devices known as Feliway diffusers, which disperse feline pheromones through the air to calm cats.
For pain relief, pet owners try aspirin and other NSAIDs, glucosamine and chondroitin, acupuncture, massage, and many other therapies. Basically, when our animals are in pain, we are likely to try anything to help them.
Sauce for the goose
But what if what’s good for YOU might also be good for your pet?
Word is starting to spread around the globe that a certain herbaceous plant called cannabis can offer relief for a staggering number and variety of physical ailments. The wildly popular social relaxant is now challenging mainstream medicine in half the country. Yes, there are a lot of canna-treats out there designed to relieve your pet’s pain and stress or even just improve their general health and well-being.
Now, to be clear: Getting your furry little critter zonked out of its mind is not the goal, nor should it be the end result. Our pets trust us and would do anything for us. Making them feel uncomfortable or bewildered at what’s going on could frighten them and would be the worst kind of violation of that trust. (Catnip is OK. That’s been approved by veterinarians. And it’s beyond sufficiently hilarious.)
Decarb and dosage: crucial
It’s important to note that, if you decide to take the preparation of your pet’s medication into your own hands, you should try to find cannabis that’s very low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). If you are able to get your hands on a strain such as Charlotte’s Web (low in THC and high in CBD, or cannabidiol), that’s ideal. If not, decarboxylating a regular high-THC strain herb for CBD and its calming, relaxing, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory effects will make it an effective medicine.
When considering dosing, it’s a good idea to exercise caution. First, weigh your pet. Decarb some herb by baking it in a covered dish at 280°F/120°C for 90 minutes. This will activate the desired CBD and greatly reduce the THC in the sample.
Then, using an inexpensive digital scale and the roughly estimated beginning dose of 1 gram of cannabis flower per 100 lbs. of body weight (your mileage may vary) dose and then carefully observe your pet. Remember that ingested cannabis takes longer to kick in and lasts much longer than smoked cannabis. (Smoking cannabis should be an experience unknown to most pets. If your dog happens to roll a joint and light it, when she passes it, gently take it away and remind her that eating the medicine instead will allow for a longer period of therapeutic effectiveness between doses and better control of the cannabinoids and dosage.)
Warning: Lazy dogs and cats might get a tiny bit moreso
Be especially attentive and reassuring as you discover your pet’s response to the therapy. Closely monitor your pet, adjusting dosage up or down as needed. Cannabis is famously non-toxic, so you don’t need to worry if some extra heavy sleepiness is noted. It will gradually wear off.
If your pet happens to dislike the finely ground flower mixed with its food, you can make a cannabis extract and add that to the food instead. MagicalButter.com® manufactures the first-ever countertop machine called the Botanical Extractor™ for this specific purpose. It’s designed to automatically infuse the healing properties of cannabis into butter, oil, or topical creams, any of which can be used to medicate your pet. With cannabutter, you could make homemade treats like Fido’s Cheese Nuggets. (Some dogs can’t handle cheese. If your pup is lactose intolerant, please use lactose-free products.)
And if you prefer to use cooking oil, what dog doesn’t like peanut butter? These Peanut Butter Pupcakes are easy and sure to be a hit with all the canines — and if your cat is anything like mine, he or she will heartily enjoy them as well.
For cat lovers, the Kitty Kibble Recipe is easy to make, as long as you can find canned mackerel. Of course, you could substitute tuna or sardines if necessary, but the discriminating feline will always be able to tell…and may take exception to the indignity of it all.
Of course, as with all medicines, it’s best to start small and work your way up. Better safe than sorry is a maxim that’s especially true when it comes to your fur-babies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amber Boone considers writing the cornerstone of communication. She interviews MMA (mixed martial arts) athletes for CombatPress.com and opines on MMA at FightItOut.com. She’s passionate about helping folks tell their stories and making the world a better place, which includes working to win the freedom of Americans to partake of the herb. When not writing or playing beach volleyball, she can be found at her day job—for now. Follow Amber on Twitter @thruthetrees11.