CBD (Part 2): Celebrating National Pet Month

CBD (Part 2): Celebrating National Pet Month

Naomi Sleeper
Vice President Continuous Improvement and Strategic Initiatives
Imperial Distributors


In honor of National Pet Month, this month we review one of the biggest trends in the pet category. Last month’s article on CBD serves as a convenient segue to this month’s focus on pets. Attendees of Global Pet Expo in Orlando this past March reported that CBD was “everywhere” and “the #1 trend at Global Pet this year.” Trend Hunter’s “Top 30 Pet Trends in February” reports CBD and hemp products as eight of the top twenty pet trends.

CBD-based products are a key component of “holistic” pet care, along with other alternative pet treatments, like acupuncture and massage, to help relieve pet stress, anxiety and pain. According to Pet Business, 74% of pet owners who have used CBD and hemp products have also used them on their pets. A survey conducted by non-profit Michelson Found Animals revealed that pet owners use CBD-based products for a variety of pet health reasons: general pet health care (45%) and preventative care (39%), relief for older pets (e.g. for arthritis) (45%), treatment of behavioral issues (39%) and temporary pain or anxiety relief following pet surgery or air travel (39%). Supposed overall health benefits for pets include cognitive support, improved immune function, anti-inflammatory properties, appetite and digestion support, and skin benefits.

Like their human counterparts, CBD-based pet products come in a variety of forms, including tinctures or drops to place on s pet’s tongue, powders for sprinkling on pet food, topical sprays and pain-relief balms to be rubbed on paws and snouts, as well as treats and beverages containing CBD as a key therapeutic ingredient. Safety of CBD for pets is based on dosage. Similar to flea and tick drops, most pet products containing CBD provide dosing guidelines based on pet size and weight.

The popularity of pet oil tinctures aligns with a growth in drops as a delivery mechanism for a variety of pet treatments. For example, flea and tick topical drops, a top pet item for this time of year (March through August), represent 57% of total flea and tick dollar sales in the grocery channel, outselling flea and tick collars by 300%.

The growth of CBD in pet products points to another key overarching theme in the pet industry: prioritization of pet health and the humanization of pets. Whether for preventative care, general and behavioral health, or temporary relief, the increased popularity of value and premium CBD-based pet products shows pet owners’ concern for the wellness of their pets. Other top trends in the pet industry—organic pet foods and treats, pet probiotic and digestive supplements, as well as pet technologies and apps to improve pet’s mental well-being (by reducing loneliness through remote entertainment, for example)—all further show the willingness of “pet parents” to spend on their pets’ health and happiness, and the resulting continued growth of pet-related categories in grocery stores.