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Industry Insights: Compassionate Owners Behind Growing CBD for Pets Market

In the U.S., pet care products accounted for nearly 3% of the overall revenue of the legal cannabis industry in 2018.




North America’s humanization outlook on pets has owners seeking gentler, natural medicines for their aging cats and dogs. The current focus on cannabis wellness has many exploring CBD as an alternative to pain relief for their faithful companions. PHOTO GCT

As Faithful Fido and Princess Kitty see their animals years catch up to them, more pet owners are turning to natural supplements and CBD products to treat their old best friend’s pain and anxiety. According to a new report from, the shift toward customers seeking organic wellness products and natural supplements — with cannabis along for the ride — CBD pet products are expect to achieve a CAGR of 12%  over the next five years.

A study conducted by the American Pet Products Association in 2019 revealed that nearly 11% of dog owners and 8% of cat owners are using CBD supplements or treats for their pets. U.S. pet owners spent about $95.5 billion in 2020 on pet supplies, treatments and veterinary care. In the U.S., pet care products accounted for nearly 3% of the overall revenue of the legal cannabis industry in 2018.

Premium products to pamper pals

The rise in the compassionate adoption of pets and increasing demand for premium care pet products are seen by Research and Markets as the prime factors driving industry growth. Sales of hemp-health products are also being fueled by consumer interest in natural pet supplements and the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. For older pets, the chief alternative for animal companions in their golden years has been veterinarian-prescribed opioid medications. The mounting case for CBD as an all-natural anti-inflammatory agent has North American animal lovers dominating world-wide sales in the pet CBD market.

According to the report, sales of CBD for pets spiked online during the COVID-19 pandemic. As health and safety were forced into focus world-wide over profits, there were no new entrants into the CBD-for-pets market. The existing players enjoyed the oligopoly on e-commerce platforms. HempMy Pet, Canna-Pet, Fomo Bones, Wet Noses, Honest Paws, Green Roads of Florida, Joy Organics, Holista Pet, and Pet Relief were the key players selling CBD-based pet products online in the US market.

Pet ReLeaf’s Stress Releaf Travel Size Edibites contain 3mg of CBD per soft chew. PHOTO COURTESY PET RELEAF

Leading pet hemp-health brand Pet Releaf saw their online presence flourish. The Denver, CO-based company’s products now account for about 45% of pet CBD sales. Founded by Steve and Alina Smith and Chelsea Gennings in the early 2000’s, Pet Releaf will be among the first to take pet CBD to Europe. Pet Releaf has partnered with London-based Alphagreen to bring its products to Europe via Alphagreen’s CBD health and wellness e-commerce platform.


Make way for the big dogs

While many boutique brands are currently taking home the ribbons in the niche market, the report sees them soon rolling over to the big dogs. As CBD pet products are becoming more readily available and accepted, well-positioned suppliers and distributors will be able to exploit the tremendous opportunities.  Nestle Purina, for example, is considering making CBD dog food. Smaller brands are likely to be taken over by pet food giants like Nestle, Mars, General Mills Inc. and JM Smucker. Research and Markets sees this consolidated market further accelerating the sales of CBD pet products over the next five years.

Brad Cheng is the digital editor of Global Cannabis Times, produced by SmartWork Media. Brad's journalism career spans working as an editor for PR Newswire, The Nation and The Santa Barbara News Press, and as Managing Editor of The Katy Courier, and publisher of Now This in Princeton. His career as a screenwriter took him into entertainment advertising, writing major film campaigns for studios and for HBO.



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