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Frequently Asked Questions

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Company FAQ

Dr. Fossum’s Pet Care is a company founded and managed by veterinarians. We employ numerous veterinarians and veterinary technicians. The 5 pillars of our company are to: 1) develop products based on science and perform research on those products to ascertain safety and efficacy, 2) educate veterinarians regarding the appropriate use of hemp-derived products in companion animals, 3) be compliant with all regulations and to go above and beyond current requirements for hemp-derived products, 4) always be transparent with pet owners and animal health workers regarding our products, and 5) be sustainable. We believe in One Health and recognize the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

SCIENCE and RESEARCH – As veterinarians, we strive to ensure that our products are based on science and animal welfare. Dr. Fossum has many years of designing and executing clinical trials and we have devised our products to be reproducible and consistent from batch to batch.

EDUCATION – Dr. Fossum has given over 1000 global lectures on veterinary surgery and the use of hemp-derived products in companion animals. Education is part of what we do – it’s in our DNA. We will continue to work with the veterinary community to discover the bounty that the hemp plant offers.

COMPLIANCE – Another pillar of our company is compliance. We are currently being audited by the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) in order to become NASC certified. The NASC seal assures consumers that our product manufacturing facility has been audited and that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are being followed. NASC also interacts with the FDA to ensure that companies they certify remain compliant. NASC requires real-time adverse event monitoring by it’s certified companies. Obtaining NASC certification is a rigorous, lengthy process that requires truth in labeling, third-party independent laboratory testing, and stability and shelf-life studies. We have contracted for stability and shelf-life studies by internationally recognized UL Laboratories. Stability and shelf-life studies are not required to sell our products, but we want you to be assured that our products remain stable and efficacious. UL Laboratories analyzes products for taste; smell; appearance; potency of active ingredients; chemical degradation; and chemical, biological, and microbial characteristics.

TRANSPARENCY – Our fourth pillar is transparency. You will notice on the box and label that we have a QR code. When you scan the code using your smartphone you will be taken to a page on our website that contains the Certificate of Analysis (COA) for that batch. Our raw materials are tested for potency and purity and are sourced from US companies. If you have questions about the science of hemp or how to use our products it is as easy as picking up the phone to speak to our support staff of veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

SUSTAINABILITY – The essence of the hemp plant is sustainability. Hemp plants can help mitigate our monoculture farming of wheat, corn, and soybeans. Our farmlands are becoming drier, which leads to soil erosion. The hemp plant is very fast growing and has a tap root that helps with soil stabilization. It uses 25% of the water that it takes to grow alfalfa. It can accumulate heavy metals like selenium, herbicides, and pesticides in its stalk and stems thereby cleaning the soil of these toxins. Hemp cultivation could be the best and most effective way to decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide. Plastic made from hemp is strong, non-toxic, and biodegradable. To produce the same amount of paper it takes four acres of timber as long as 20 years to grow, compared to one acre of hemp that takes 100 days to grow. Thus, in addition to benefiting from all of the medicinal bounties we can obtain from this amazing plant, we are also helping the environment!

Theresa (Terry) W. Fossum is the co-founder and CEO of Dr. Fossum’s Pet Care. She is a world-renowned board-certified veterinary surgeon, author of the best-selling textbook Small Animal Surgery (in its 5th edition), and a serial entrepreneur. Her background includes over 30 years of academic veterinary medicine. Terry grew up on a ranch in northern Idaho, where she developed her love of animals. She has won numerous awards for her teaching and research. Dr. Fossum has served as the principal investigator for millions of dollars in research funding from industry and the federal government. She has served as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Energy and is the founder and former Director and Executive Director of the Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS), a 60-million-dollar venture at Texas A&M University which promotes public-private partnerships to speed the development of medical devices and drugs. She has over 100 publications, 5 books, and numerous book chapters to her credit and has been invited to lecture at over 1000 international veterinary meetings.

The medicinal properties of hemp have been known for thousands of years. While there is a paucity of clinical research on CBD and CBG in animals, there is a tremendous amount of anecdotal information about the benefits of using hemp extract in companion animals. Whenever you are considering giving a product to your pet you must weigh the risks with the benefits. From 2010 to 2019 there were 46 million doses of hemp extract given to animals, with only 11 minor adverse events.  Thus, there appears to be very minimal risk with hemp extract, particularly considering the tremendous potential benefit.

National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) certification assures the consumer that the product manufacturing facility has been audited and that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are in place. Obtaining NASC certification is a rigorous, lengthy process that requires truth in labeling, third party independent laboratory testing, and stability and shelf-life studies. NASC also interacts with the FDA to ensure that companies they certify remain compliant. NASC requires real-time adverse event monitoring by its certified companies.

UL, an internationally recognized safety science leader,  is conducing our stability and shelf-life testing. The FDA in their GMP guidance does not require that supplements have an expiration date. Some supplements may have “best if used by date” on their product. To support this statement, they must have stability and shelf-life studies. This is not required to sell our products, but we want the consumer to be assured that our products remain stable and efficacious. UL analyzes products for taste, smell, appearance, potency of active ingredients, chemical degradation and chemical, biological, and microbial characteristics.  We are seeking this information so that you may rest assured that our active ingredients remain active when you purchase and use our products.

Product FAQ

The medicinal properties of hemp have been known for thousands of years. While there is a paucity of clinical research on CBD and CBG in animals, there is a tremendous amount of anecdotal information about the benefits of using hemp extract in companion animals. Whenever you are considering giving a product to your pet you must weigh the risks with the benefits. From 2010 to 2019 there were 46 million doses of hemp extract given to animals, with only 11 minor adverse events.  Thus, there appears to be very minimal risk with hemp extract, particularly considering the tremendous potential benefit.

The cannabis plant has been used for phytoremediation (meaning it pulls heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and even radiation from the soil). The hemp plant does this because it has an extensive and deep root system. When the hemp plant pulls these toxic components from the soil they may accumulate and concentrate in the roots and stems of the plant. A certificate of analysis (COA) from a third-party laboratory is critical in that it will show if there are any toxins in the product you purchase.

The cannabis market is highly unregulated with new manufacturers entering the space daily. Not all manufacturers are honest and reputable. There was a study of online CBD companies in 2017 that showed 70% of these products are mislabeled and don’t contain the concentrations that are advertised. A COA from a third-party laboratory verifies the validity of what is being marketed. You should be able to access the report for the specific batch you purchased, not only from the manufacturer but also from the independent third-party laboratory. These laboratory reports will show the concentrations of the phytocannabinoids, such as the concentration of CBD and CBG. It will also verify that there is less than 0.3% THC which makes it legal federally (see the farm bill of 2018). When using a nutraceutical with specific dosing by species and bodyweight it is imperative that the concentration of the bioactive (CBD) substance is accurate. Dr. Fossum’s Pet Care provides a QR code on our package that allows you to access third-party laboratory verification of the specific product that you are administering to your pet.

COA’s also provides an analysis of the terpenes present in the extract. In addition to showing if there is are contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides, the COA also verifies that the product is free of biological contaminants, such as bacteria, molds, and fungi.

A full-spectrum extract contains all the compounds from the plant that naturally occur in it. This includes the cannabinoids (including CBD), terpenes, flavonoids, and essential oils. All these compounds work in concert to produce the “entourage effect”. Be aware that THC has not been removed from full-spectrum hemp extracts and could cause a positive drug test if enough oil is consumed,
Broad-spectrum is all the above except the THC has been removed to the extent that it is undetectable; thus, there is no psychoactive component to a broad spectrum extract that would get your pet “high”.

An isolate is the most refined product from the hemp plant. It is 99.5% pure single phytocannabinoid (CBD, CBG, CBN, or any of the hundred plus cannabinoids). Because it does not have the other cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids in it, your pet won’t benefit from the “entourage effect”. While an isolate costs less than a full or broad-spectrum hemp extract, there is less demand for isolates because they are generally not as efficacious.

The entourage effect occurs when all the phytochemicals in the hemp plant are working together in concert to produce the desired effect. That means the cannabinoids, minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and lignans act synergistically to provide a greater benefit than they would on their own.

The bell-shaped dose response curve for CBD isolate diminishes its clinical usefulness. In the image below from Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z., and Hanuš, L.O. Overcoming the Bell‐Shaped Dose‐Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol. Pharmacology & Pharmacy; 2015; 6, 75‐85 the top of the bell curve (green) is the efficacious dose. Because each individual is unique in its ability to absorb and process cannabinoids it is difficult to know the proper amount to administer. Importantly, giving too little or too much decreases its efficacy. For example in one study (Zuardi AW, Rodrigues NP, Silva AL: Inverted U-Shaped Dose-Response Curve of the Anxiolytic Effect of Cannabidiol during Public Speaking in Real Life, Front Pharmacol 2017: 8 , 259) the acute administration of CBD reduced anxiety during public speaking when 300 mg was given but did not do so when 100 mg or 900 mg was given. In contrast, when a full or broad-spectrum hemp extract is given, a plateau is reached where giving more doesn’t create a greater benefit, but it also doesn’t reduce the benefit of the efficacious dose.

THC (alpha 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the phytocannabinoid that produces the “high” or the psychoactive effect of marijuana. It is found in high concentrations in the marijuana plant but by law the hemp cultivar of Cannabis sativa L has less than 0.3% THC.

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol which is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa L plant. CBD is one of over 80 known cannabinoids in the hemp plant and it is non-psychoactive, so it won’t get your pet high. Other cannabinoids, such as cannabigerol or CBG, are found in lesser amounts in the hemp plant; however, there is some evidence that CBD and CBG act synergistically to provide enhanced neuroprotection. Cannabinoids interact with your pet’s innate endocannabinoid system receptors (CB2 and TRPV1) to elicit their beneficial effects.

Our products are THC-free broad spectrum extracts with CBD, CBG, terpenes, and flavonoids. THC is the psychoactive component in cannabis products.

CBD that comes from hemp plants that contain less than 0.3% THC is federally legal; however, some states such as Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota do not allow CBD products to be sold. State regulations regarding CBD are changing rapidly so check back in on a regular basis

No, there is no detectable THC in our products. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that causes humans and animals to feel “high”.

Terpenes and terpenoids are aromatic hydrocarbons, which are the building blocks for plants’ essential oils and resins. They produce cannabis plants of unique color, smell, and flavor. There are ~120 terpenes in the cannabis plant. Terpenes also produce their own beneficial effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

A myriad of health-related benefits have been ascribed to terpenes including reducing discomfort and anxiousness and supporting a healthy inflammatory response.

Flavonoids are chemicals that impart color to plants. They are relatively non-toxic and can be consumed in large quantities.  Flavonoids are very potent antioxidants that help promote and support a strong immune system and a normal inflammatory response, including supporting the body’s natural ability to combat viruses.

Hemp oil, or hemp seed oil, is made from hemp seeds, while CBD oil is made primarily from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. We add hemp oil to our CBD/CBG to dilute it so that our product is less concentrated and can be easily administered at the proper amount. Hemp seed oil has many health benefits and is full of flavonoids.

A tincture is an extract that is initially dissolved in ethanol, but during processing, the ethanol is removed. A tincture is more consistently and rapidly absorbed by the oral mucous membranes than other forms of hemp, such as chews or biscuits. Importantly, liquid formulations can be more accurately measured so that a consistent and appropriate amount is given to the pet. We provide oral syringes to assist you in accurately measuring the amount that you are giving, but also so that you can more easily administer it into your pet’s buccal pouch (the area between the teeth and the lip). 

An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are not soluble. For instance, hemp extract, which is oil, mixes poorly with water. There are three types of oil and water mixtures that can create a homogenous mixture. Macro, Micro, and Nano are the three sizes based on the size of the oil droplets. Macro-emulsions readily separate from an oil layer, micro-emulsions have added surfactants to disperse the oil and can taste like soap, while nano-emulsions (which is the preferred choice) create a translucent, low viscosity mixture with a large interfacial surface area and long term stability. Nano-emulsions can be water-compatible and can be readily mixed into beverages. Production of a nano-emulsion is typically mechanical (ultrasonic cavitation) and thus less dependent on chemical surfactants. Importantly, nano-emulsions are more completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. As Dr. Fossum’s Pet Care continues to add products, we will be using nano-emulsions in some of our topical products and in our chews.

This is the portion of a substance (drug or compound), which is absorbed from the body and that enters the circulation and has the ability to produce an effect. A compound given intravenously can have 100% bioavailability, whereas one absorbed from the intestinal tract may have only 5%. The greater the bioavailability of a drug, the less concentrated the product needs to be. If it is not absorbed, it is typically wasted. Broad-spectrum hemp extracts absorption from the intestinal tract ranges from 5-30% but can vary dramatically depending on how it is administered. Some authors have suggested that absorption may be better when a tincture is given with a fatty meal; however, like in humans, if the tincture is given into the mouth (between the teeth and lip in dogs and sublingual in people) it is absorbed directly from the mucous membranes and thus is likely absorbed in higher concentrations and bypasses the first pass effect. The first pass effect means that less drug is active than you actually took because some is lost as it passes through the gastrointestinal system and the liver before reaching the blood stream.

  • Our products have an expected shelf life of 24 months.
  • For best quality keep products in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Our 5 oil tincture products are currently being analyzed for stability and shelf life at UL Laboratories.

Hemp extract with naturally occurring CBD/CBG is not a drug and does not require a prescription from a veterinarian. Keep in mind that this is an unregulated market with little oversight. Therefore, it is extremely important that you purchase hemp products from a reputable company.

Yes, our product is made from the same raw materials as premium-grade human CBD products. Our goal is to make our product as good as, or better, than products being sold for human use; however, we recommend that our products be used only in the species specifically recommended on the label.

Administration FAQ

You can use these supplements for specific health concerns, or for just for your pet’s general well-being. It can be used in young and old animals, large or small animals, and in a variety of species. It is an excellent and bountiful supplement that can actually show benefit to help with a myriad of health conditions with virtually no downside (NASC has logged 46 million servings with only 11 minor adverse events). Our first products are tinctures that provide enhanced absorption and a quick onset of action when absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth (the buccal cavity is the region between the teeth and the cheek), bypassing the first-pass metabolism. You will notice we use a syringe to better measure the proper serving size and the syringe makes it easier to administer into the pet’s buccal cavity.

There is some clinical evidence in dogs that suggests that giving hemp extract may alter the dose of some compounds. There are some drugs that should not be given with hemp extract so please see your veterinarian before starting your pet on hemp extract or changing current doses of other compunds. If using hemp extract in conjunction with other drugs, you may want to start at a lower than suggested dose of hemp extract initially to see how your pet reacts to it.

The safe use of our product in pregnant animals or those intended for breeding has not been proven. We recommend consulting your veterinarian before using our products or any CBD product.

We hear stories like this often:

My dog is getting older and she is suffering from arthritis. My veterinarian recommended that I put her on a NSAID. I was very concerned about the side effects that these medications might have. My dog (Rose) is getting old and is a family member. We did some research on the side effects of NSAIDs and I found a laundry list of issues. Reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy are all common side effects.

In addition, NSAIDs can cause erosion of the stomach lining in dogs which could lead to bleeding, pain, and nausea. If these are the side effects, I am even more nervous about the long-term impact of these products.

Rose is on carprofen (Rimadyl) but other NSAIDs that I found on-line are deracoxib [Deramaxx], firocoxib [Previcox], and meloxicam [Metacam].

I want to make sure that Rose is not in pain and I will do whatever it takes. I think NSAIDs are valuable once you have exhausted other options. For me, it made sense to look into natural therapies such as hemp extract to lower or reduce the amount of NSAID that I am giving Rose.

We have based our recommendations on how much to give your pet on the information in the peer-reviewed veterinary literature; however, every animal is different so you will have to adjust the amount to get the desired effect. Our initial loading dose of 2 mg/kg administered twice daily was taken from a clinical study that showed efficacy for improving joint discomfort in dogs. This serving amount should provide relief for postoperative discomfort. If you are using our product to calm your pet, a lower dose may be needed than if you are giving it to improve their mobility. Some conditions may require a higher serving amount than the initial loading amount. Please see our USAGE GUIDE for additional information on how to administer our products.

Using a loading serving amount based on clinical trials allows your pet to obtain a therapeutic blood level quickly. Normally you should start seeing clinical effects within the seven-day loading period. Frequently you can see an effect within the first 2-3 hours after administration which may make it an ideal compound to use to mitigate postoperative discomfort.

Many pets will see an effect within 2-3 hours; however, some may require a week of the loading serving size. Some large dogs may require up to 2 weeks before you see beneficial effects.

Just resume the same serving size as previously administered. If you miss a serving in the first week, continue with the initial loading amount until you have given that amount for seven days. If the maintenance serving was missed, continue with the same amount that was given at the last serving. If you are restarting your pet on the product after not giving it for several days, you may wish to give the loading dose again for a week.

Yes, if you aren’t seeing a benefit or or you are only seeing a partial benefit, you may wish to increase the serving amount. Also, if your pet is on a maintenance level but there is an anticipation that they may have increased anxiety (for example, a thunderstorm is approaching or fireworks are anticipated) or if your pet is going to be more active than usual, you may wish to give an increased serving. The final amount that you will find benefits your pet may vary from the recommended dose because each animal is different. Don’t be afraid to reduce or increase the dose. If you have any reservations, please discuss the use of this product with your veterinarian, or call us. We are here to help.

The recommended frequency is twice daily. Generally, the effect will last 4-8 hours. Some pets do well with once a day administration. Others may do better with 3 times a day administration.

It is always important to understand if there are any side effects when administering any compound including supplements and prescription medications. the most common side effect associated with CBD administration is sedation or drowsiness (see also “Ca