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CBD isn’t just for humans. Many pet owners are finding that cannabidiol oil-infused products benefit their pets as well. In 2019, the global CBD pet market was valued at $27.7 millionand is expected to grow substantially year-over-year (1). And pet CBD is said to help with everything from animal anxiety to joint support and assistance with sleep disorders and other health ailments.
Research is showing that our pets are more stressed out than ever. Some medical professionals are even saying that pets are feeling secondhand anxiety from their owners who are coping with things like the uncertainty of the pandemic (2). And per the Clinical Ethology of the Veterinary Faculty Report, an estimated 88 percent of treated pets showed signs of anxiety-related disorders in 2018 (3).
This is where pet CBD may help. Companies like Medterra are making pet treats and tinctures that contain CBD oil that are designed to help your pets feel calmer and to get around easier.
CBD Benefits for Dogs and Cats
Pet CBD has been touted as being able to do everything from calm a stressed out feline to treat neuropathic pain and seizures in dogs. It’s been said to be anti-inflammatory, to contain a variety of cardiac effects and to be an appetite stimulant in pets that may be losing interest in their food. And some people claim it can even help with cancer. Scientific data on the effectiveness of pet CBD is still lacking but there is anecdotal evidence from pet owners that suggest that some pet CBD products have made improvements in things like their pet’s demeanor and joint health.
While the research on pet CBD is evolving, some studies have found that it can be useful for a variety of conditions. One study published in the journal PAIN, found that CBD may be helpful in easing the symptoms of dogs that suffer with osteoarthritis (4). And there are other studies in the works. The AKC Canine Health Foundation recently sponsored a studythough the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to see if CBD is beneficial in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs (5). But at the moment, there are currently no FDA-approved CBD products on the market for pets (6).
What is Medterra?
Medterra makes CBD products for both humans and pets. The company’s CBD is U.S. grown and extracted. It prides itself on crafting clean products that are fully compliant under the Kentucky Dept. of Agricultural Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority. The Medterra pets line features chews, drops, and bundles. It also tests its products to make sure that the THC is filtered out. Per the company’s website:
“Our hemp goes through a C02 extraction process that separates the oil from the rest of the plant. This assures that your Medterra products are made with HEMP Extract.”
Medterra pet CBD is infused with MCT oil (coconut derived) and is legally able to be shipped to all 50 states. The CBD drops come unflavored or in beef or chicken flavor and range in price from $19.99 (150mg) to $39.99 (750mg). The peanut butter-flavored Joint Support Chews are $34.99 for 300mg and the Calming Chews, which are currently sold out on Medterra’s website (hello pandemic stress!) are $29.99 for 300mg. The company also sells a $99 bundle, which includes a 300mg pet tincture, a 1,000mg hemp tincture, and the peanut butter Joint Support soft chews.
Medterra offers a 30-day money back guarantee in the event that you are unsatisfied with one of its products.
Putting Medterra to the Test
Medterra Test #1
My 71-pound Doberman, Lyla, has a ton of energy. She’s a week away from turning 8, but people constantly stop us to ask us if she’s a puppy. She’s generally pretty calm when inside our house but whenever she gets outdoors, especially near other dogs and people, her energy kicks up. She was also raised with a Rat Terrier who taught her to constantly be on backyard squirrel, possum, and bird patrol. So during a walk, she is always on extra alert.
I decided to test out Medterra before walking Lyla to see if she would be any calmer. I gave her three calming chews to start things off. One chew contains 10 grams of CBD. According to the packaging, she falls into the 51- to 100-pound-dog range and should have five chews for a maintenance dose. But since she’s never had CBD, I wanted to ease her in. (NOTE: The website has a Pet Dosage Calculator that suggests 1.5 chews for pets 51-75 pounds and 2 chews for dogs over 75 pounds, so we’re unclear on why there is a discrepancy.)
Lyla was in the backyard when I gave her chews and I did notice that about 15 minutes later, she was lying down. When I brought her inside, she went to her bed, even after she saw me picking up her leash and putting on sunscreen, which is typically her cue that we’re heading out for a walk and when she starts whining and pacing around the house. So there was definitely a calming effect.
Lyla did seem a bit more relaxed at the start of the walk. Instead of immediately pulling on the leash, she stopped and smelled some plants and even paused to look up at a butterfly. We made it to the end of the block and then a squirrel crossed our path and whatever blissfully calm state the chews may have put her into went out the window. Follow up doses of the chews had similar calming effects but still showed that Medterra is definitely not squirrel proof for Lyla.
Medterra Test #2
Lyla doesn’t like to be separated from us. She also loves to swim in our pool. And she gets especially anxious when my husband, Greg, is swimming and she’s stuck inside. So we decided to put the CBD to the test under those conditions. This time, I tried the Medterra drops. For Lyla’s weight, she had one-and-a-half dropperfuls and I gave her the beef flavor. It was a little hard to hold her mouth open and squeeze the dropper into her mouth but once she realized it tasted like beef, she smacked her lips and seemed satisfied.
I started out with Lyla in the house while Greg swam in the pool. She usually paces back and forth and constantly hits the door whining whenever he is in the pool and she is inside. She did this to some degree but was noticeably calmer in her efforts. Instead of pacing, she just sat in front of the door and watched through the window, letting out minimal whines.
When she’s outside and we’re in the pool, Lyla typically runs around the perimeter barking like crazy. I’m always worried that my neighbors are going to get annoyed. This time, Lyla ran a few laps around the pool but not as fast and only let out a few barks. She eventually gave up and went to lie down in her bed. While the CBD drops didn’t completely calm her down, they certainly helped!
Medterra Test #3
My Rat Terrier, Rocky, is almost 12 and lately I have been noticing that he’s going up and down the stairs a little slower. I gave him some of the Medterra joint chews. For his size, his dose was half of one chew. It was a bit difficult to split the chew in half and to give him exactly the right dosing, but I got it close. After he had a chew, he immediately wanted to go outside and flop down in the sun. Then he was in the kitchen hoping to find scraps of food on the floor. So his appetite definitely kicked up! He did that for a while and then went upstairs. He did seem to walk up the stairs with more ease. And once he made it up there, he went right to his bed and took a nap. So the chews appeared to have calming and joint-soothing properties to them.
Things We Like
The Calming CBD Chews were my favorite of the products that I tried. They are grain-free and salmon flavored and I liked that they are non-GMO and contain some natural omega-3 fatty acids. They also are infused with calming ingredients like L-Tryptophan, chamomile, and valerian root. Lyla loved these.
I liked the immediate calming effect that these Medterra treats had on my dogs. And the Joint Support Chews did seem to help Rocky move a bit better after eating them. I also appreciated that the CBD drops are flavored, as I couldn’t imagine trying to squirt something without an appealing flavor into my Doberman’s mouth. And the chews were very easy to administer, as my dogs love every treat they ever encounter.
Things to Consider
Giving your pet CBD for the first time can be overwhelming. The Calming CBD Chews packaging said that a dog that weighs 51 to 100 pounds should take 5 chews as a maintenance dose and 10 chews for advanced dosing. There were no instructions on the label as to how to start your dog off on these for the first time. Each chew contains 10mg of cannabidiol oil and I thought giving Lyla, who was in the 51- to 100-pound range, 50mg to start was a lot. That’s why I started with three. In addition, the recommended serving when using the pet dosage calculator on the Medterra website was less than the one on the back of the package, so that is another reason why I erred on the side of caution.
Both the Calming Chews and the Joint Support CBD chews needed to be broken in half for my Rat Terrier, as Rocky’s weight recommended half a chew for his size. It was difficult to get a clean split with these chews, but I did the best that I could. I would have preferred being able to purchase a bag that came with one chew designated for his size.
The confusing thing was that the Medterra CBD drops said that each dropperful contained 10mg of CBD and that for Lyla’s weight, she should have 1.5 dropperfuls. So I wasn’t sure as to why she would take 15mg in the drops but 50mg in the chews. That seemed like a big difference to me. I played around with the dosing since this was something I was just planning to try with my dogs as a one off. But if you were using this as a consistent product for your pets, I would recommend speaking to your veterinarian or calling the company for proper dosing instructions.
The other thing to keep in mind is if you are using CBD for your pet’s pain, you likely won’t see an improvement overnight. Pets can’t communicate to you if they are hurting or not, so it seems like these products would require more time to see how they work based on how your pet is moving and acting.
Medterra Reviews: What They’re Saying
Medterra’s website features an array of pet owner reviews. One customer proclaimed: “This CBD product has turned my dog’s life around. He was previously limping around and unable to enjoy walks or get comfortable. We started him on 2 servings a day about 2 years ago and have never looked back. He’s got a new lease on life!”
Another customer reported: “My dog loves her Medterra Hemp oil! I add it on top of her food (raw or dry) she licks it all up every time! I believe it’s allowed her to age gracefully and feel healthy!” This made me realize I could have probably added the CBD drops to Lyla’s food instead of squeezing them directly into her mouth!
And one reviewer even noted that their goat “loves it!”
Medterra CBD for Pets: Our Verdict
If you are looking for a mild calming effect, then Medterra pet CBD may be a good fit for you and your pet. My pets certainly seemed calmer after taking them. It wasn’t, however, a magic cure all, as Lyla did still have some degree of anxiety around the pool and still got worked up over a squirrel in the neighborhood. At the end of the day, you can’t stop dog DNA and Lyla was made to guard humans and trained by her Rat Terrier brother to constantly be on the prowl for smaller animals.
The joint support treats seemed to initially help Rocky get around more, although it could have been my imagination. But I’ve heard amazing things from friends that have had older pets and given them CBD, so I believe it did have some sort of a positive effect.
Overall, we had a good experience. Although I don’t think my dogs will need CBD on a regular basis, it will be nice to have these products on hand. I will probably whip them out in high-stress scenarios like the Fourth of July, when the fireworks drive my big bad Doberman absolutely nuts!
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