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Image: Kiki Kita

Pets on Pot

Sorry, Nancy Reagan. First Washington went from “Just Say No” to legal recreational marijuana, and now dogs and cats across the state are on weed too—there are more pooches on pot these days than on a gluten-free kibble diet.

But call off the D.A.R.E. lectures: Animals aren’t actually getting high. (They might if Fido gorges on human edibles, but vets know the signs when they see them.) Over-the-counter cannabis pet products are used to treat anxiety, arthritis, seizures, and more.

“There’s such limited research,” says Urban Animal veterinarian Cherri Trusheim. The lack of rigorous science means that owners generally dose on their own, though Dr. Trusheim notes that it’s “probably pretty safe.”

Even Sarah Brandon, a vet herself and cofounder of Sultan-based Canna Companion, notes their products are considered “off-label supplemental use.” They make capsules from hemp, meaning they have THC and CBD but aren’t marijuana—and the pills are not psychotropic, so Kitty won’t raid the pantry or fire up the Doobie Brothers.

Posh Pet Travel

“My dog doesn’t do massage,” I say doubtfully to animal massage practitioner Marta Banat. Pets, scratches, belly rubs? Sure. But my wiggly border collie would never remain still for real muscle work. On the floor of my Opus Hotel room in Vancouver, BC, however, Banat proves me wrong. With one maneuver, my dog is splayed on his back, barely twitching as she applies deliberate pressure to his front armpits.

Opus is one of British Columbia’s animal-friendliest accommodations, a boutique hotel in Yaletown where the rooms are decked in jewel tones and modern appointments. Pet stays include beds and bowls, grain-free local pet snacks, and a new beaded collar, plus rides to the city’s dog-friendly Sunset Beach and the included doggie massage.

My dog has melted into submission as Banat, owner of a local massage practice, explains her repertoire: reiki to myofascial release, on everything from pigs to horses. The service is more therapeutic than pampering, but my pooch lolls on the floor in total bliss. He doesn’t understand that he’s in another country, but he definitely knows he’s on vacation. 

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