• Jordan Sherman

How Talking to Your Audience About CBD For Pets Builds Brand Protection PR™

The amount of research into the effect of CBD on people is limited compared to other pharmaceuticals. But when pets are drawn into the equation, the conversation gets even more complicated! Is CBD safe for dogs? Cats? Part of being a leader in the CBD space and building Brand Protection PR™ is being able to inform your audience about existing research on your social channels.


Dr. Tim Shu, DVM is the Founder/CEO of VETCBD and offers CBD products to his clients. He joined us on our latest Move the Stairs podcast and explained what we know now, what’s coming and how you can talk about CBD and its impacts on animals without drawing fire from the FDA.

You can listen to Move the Stairs Brand Protection PR™ conversation each week as a podcast! Find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify.


Is CBD Approved for Pets?


CBD is legal to give to your pets, however, the amount of research behind the impacts of CBD and pets is limited. This is in part because of CBD’s classification of a Schedule I narcotic.

However, since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, restrictions have eased enough that higher education institutions are starting to study the impacts of CBD on pets.


In fact, according to Dr. Shu, Colorado State University, Cornell University and Baylor School of Medicine are among some of the institutions studying CBD for pets, while other European countries- particularly Italy- have taken a keen interest in CBD for dogs.


Does CBD Benefit dogs?


Due to the lack of research, this depends on who you ask. Dr. Shu says aging pets could be one of the beneficiaries of CBD. “In terms of what we use it for, one of the big ones is joint mobility. As our pets get older, they tend to have issues with their joints, just like people. We find that CBD can be very beneficial when it comes to supporting healthy joints. Another big one is stress. It’s not just people who experience stress, it’s animals as well.”


WAIT! Isn’t that a medical claim? Can’t Dr. Shu get in trouble for saying that?


The line is thin and it’s taken many businesses a letter from the FDA to learn how to not cross it, however, Dr. Shu draws on experience from the supplement industry when it comes to knowing what CBD brands can and cannot say about their products


“It’s very tricky to navigate. An example is glucosamine and joint supplements. We all know what glucosamine is used for but you won’t find that exact language on the packaging. That’s why when you’re looking at glucosamine products, it’s always [labeled as] hip and joint support. We can look toward the supplement industry that’s already through the ringer with a lot of these claims and what you can and cannot say.”


How does CBD help dogs with stress issues?


According to reports 20-40% of dogs suffer from stress when they become separated from their owners. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, many people adopted dogs who didn’t have dogs before. At the time, the adoption was a win-win. The dogs had a roof over their head, food in their bowls and a human to snuggle with. The humans had a companion to be at their side as they were forced to work from home.


Now, people in the United States are being asked to come back to work in the office! Dr. Shu said the number of dogs who deal with stress from separation will likely increase because they are pack animals and social creatures. Not only that, because they’ve gotten used to being with someone day and night, adjusting to the new normal will be difficult for them.


Add to the stressors the yearly challenge of July 4th and loud fireworks. July 5th is one of the busiest days at animal shelters and veterinary clinics due to dogs running away from the loud, explosive sound of fireworks detonating or thunderstorms.


Can CBD help with this?


“One of my dogs, before she passed away, used to be terrified of loud noises. When I utilized cannabis for her, it was a night and day difference. It was remarkable.“


If you choose to go this route, Dr. Shu says it’s better to start with the lowest dosage option to see what works best for your dog and then go from there.


We sure learned a lot in speaking with Dr. Shu and we encourage you to watch the entire podcast record below! Understanding not only where the science stands with pets and CBD but also what you can say about it is important as you’re working to build Brand Protection PR™ for your business.


If you want to dive even deeper into the conversation, watch the raw video recap below!