This year I came across a company called True Leaf Pet. They make Hemp based products for pets, out of British Columbia, Canada. I was quite intrigued by the different functional treats that were available for both cats and dogs, from calming to joint care.
Given the rise popularity of cannabis derived products for people I thought I would have a look at some of the potential benefits and the differences between cannabis and hemp.
Although often confused and conflated, Cannabis and Hemp are Not the same. They are part of the same plant family, relatively small, is it made up of 11 groups that overall contains around 170 different species of flowering plant (and I thought I had a big family!).
This family called, Cannabaceae, are upright or climbing plants, with one seed fruits and flowers that have no petals. This plant family also contains another commercially important plant – Hops!
Family aside, the important differences; the mind-altering substance found in cannabis, THC (the part that gets people high) is almost nonexistent in hemp, less than 0.02%.
Humans have been growing and cultivating hemp for centuries and yet few people seem to know very much about an amazing plant it is! It has a huge number of properties and applications including but not limited to: paper making, textiles, fireworks and nutrition.
Hemp production requires very little maintenance, watering or fertilizer, producing a very high yield with less input than conventional crops. So, hemp is far better for the environment.
What your dog benefits from is found in the seeds of the hemp plant. These are packed with omega 6 omega 3 fatty acids. Your dog can not produce these essential fatty acids themselves; they need to have them in their diet. These fatty acids form parts of hormones in the dog’s body that aid the process of smoothing out muscle contractions, additionally the control of swelling and even the regulation of body temperature.
By helping your dog to maintain a good supply of omega 3 and 6 hemp treats can contribute to better joint health and reduce the risk of skin problems. It’s great to know that there are treats available that can contribute to the health and well being of your pets and be environmentally positive. I haven’t started using these products yet, as my jack Russell, Ella has pancreatitis, but more on that at another time.
I have started, just one of the True Leaf Pet products at the moment, Calming support for dogs with hemp, green tea and calming herbs: lemon balm and chamomile.
They are grain free but also quite pricey, with an RRP of £4.49 for a 50g bag. It is important to remember however that this is not some “throw away treat” and it does serve a beneficial function to your pets health.
It is also worth noting that the calming treat contain chicken and turkey, so would NOT be suitable for any dogs who are sensitive to poultry. Additionally due to the high content of omega 3 and 6 content in the hemp seed that makes them so useful, the crude fat content is high and therefore may not be the right treat for some pets.
I’m looking into whether the product packet is recyclable, which would be a great win if they are!