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News Link • Animals and Pets

Dogs are turning to weed to cope with fireworks

• https://nypost.com/2018/07/03/dogs-are-turning-to-

The Fourth of July is good fun for fireworks-loving humans. But for Stella, a 5-year-old pit bull mix, it feels like the end of the world.

Stella finds the noise of the fireworks so terrifying that "she pretty much spends the whole week in the bathtub," her owner, Vlad, who declined to share his last name, tells The Post.

So this year, the Bushwick resident is trying a natural chill pill for his pup: CBD-infused dog treats.

"We bought them out of desperation, really," he says.

His girlfriend ordered the chicken-flavored treats, which contain a calming, non-psychoactive hemp extract, from Bark Shop, and began feeding them to Stella as early celebrations kicked off in their neighborhood.

Already they've noticed a huge difference: Instead of cowering in the tub, Stella can be found hanging out around her family, sometimes rolled over on her back, tail wagging.

Vlad's been pleasantly surprised. "I was skeptical at first, but she's way less intensely scared after she's had the treats," he says. "It's not like she seems drugged. I can just tell that the anxiety doesn't take hold like it usually does this time of year."

CBD for pups has been a trend on the rise for some time now. Owners are looking to it to abate their pooches' anxiety, arthritis, nausea, inflammation and pain. BarkShop, where Vlad bought Stella's treats, began selling CBD products for pups back in March — and tells The Post that all of its CBD offerings have sold out within 24 hours of becoming available. Meanwhile, Lou Sagar, who owns the über-hip East Village apothecary Alchemist's Kitchen, says his company has seen double-digit growth every quarter on the CBD dog treats they started selling three years ago.

Some owners, like publicist Rachel Van Dolsen, appreciate that CBD treats offer a less "severe" option than, say, puppy Xanax. That's what her vet initially prescribed for her rescue dog, Sal, to help her cope with trauma from her pre-adoption life. "I didn't like the idea of a dog on those kinds of meds for a long period of time," the Williamsburg resident tells The Post. So, with her vet's blessing, she starting using Alchemist's Kitchen's treats — and it's made all the difference. "Sal just seems calmer and more collected," she says. "It just takes the edge off a little."

That explains why the Fourth of July marks an uptick for interest in the natural remedy. Dog lovers tell The Post that CBD keeps dogs calm enough to not tear up the house, or worse, run away. (July 5 is typically the busiest day of the year for animal shelters, as they deal with runaway dogs spooked by the fireworks, according to animal welfare organization American Humane.)

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