Pet food manufacturer Stella & Chewy’s launches canine hemp oil supplements

After talking with pet owners, Oak Creek-based premium pet food manufacturer, Stella & Chewy’s, saw two primary needs that could be combated with CBD-based products, hip and joint relief and anxiety relief. After a little over a year of research and development, Stella & Chewy’s released two new hemp oil supplement chews: Calming and Hip & Joint for dogs.

The new products offer a calming effect on dogs that can help with anxious behavior, Stella & Chewy’s CEO Marc Hill said in a press release.

Calming chews contain chamomile and lavender while Hip & Joint includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint relief and support. Neither of the products contain THC, which can have toxic side effects on pets.

Stella & Chewy’s, which started in 2007, partnered with a hemp supplier to create the new supplement chews.

“We have been exploring and working with our experts and veterinarians to develop one of the best solutions for our pet parents,” vice president of brand marketing Molly Mulcahy said in an email.

The company encourages owners to do their research and talk with their local veterinarians before giving their pets any supplements.

Dr. Mallory Bonstrom of Wauwatosa Veterinary Clinic said in an email that CBD supplements and treats are becoming more and more common, and pet owners have been more frequently asking about their value.

“There are many possible uses that have been suggested for CBD in dogs but conducting research to explore those uses can be tricky for legal reasons,” the veterinarian said in an email. “There have been studies that show that CBD may reduce seizure frequency and severity in epileptic dogs and that CBD may help arthritic pets be more mobile and make them more comfortable.”

Bonstrom said that side effects of CBD are rare with the proper doses but can include light and sound sensitivity, anxiety or excitement, sedation, disorientation and nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Because of canine absorption rates, Bonstrom said that research points to CBD in the form of oil as the best for absorption and is most effective.

“We recommend broad spectrum hemp as this is THC free and is safe for the dogs,” Mulcahy said.

The supplements contain three kilograms of CBD per chew, which the company reported enabled the entourage effect of cannabis, and are THC-free. According to Bonstrom, unlike CBD products for humans, which can contain small amounts of THC, CBD products for dogs have to be THC-free as it is toxic for dogs to consume.

While Bonstrom said she does not feel comfortable recommending CBD and hemp products to pet owners because of the legal grey area of the product, she encourages pet owners to discuss the benefits and side effects to the products with their veterinarians. Stella & Chewy’s also worked with veterinarians and other experts when developing the new CBD canine product.

Stella & Chewy’s, which distributes in all states but Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska and South Dakota, is introducing the product nationally at neighborhood pet stores. The retail price is about $39.99 a bag. Each bag contains about 50 hemp chew supplements.

Margaret Naczek, Milwaukee Business Journal

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