Dog Owners Turning To Alternative Therapies To Prolong Pet Lives – CBS Local

(CBS) – Dogs — they’re part of the family. Some owners will go to any lengths to make sure their furry family members live long and healthy lives.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot takes a look at some of the treatments — including using hemp and a drug for humans – people are turning to.

Harvey, a Goldendoodle, is 13 years old. When owner Robert Montgomery noticed it was harder for his furry family member to move around, he decided to have his pet try cannabinoids.

“It’s been like a miracle drug. The first time I gave it to him, about six hours later his mobility was greatly increased,” Montgomery recalls.

Angie DeMars owns Noah’s Ark Pet Supply in Winnetka. She says cannabinoids help with inflation and anxiety.

“Cannabinoids is a newer product that we’ve been selling this year. It’s derived from CBD, it’s from the hemp seed,” she says.

A lot of pet owners are going the holistic approach when it comes to taking care of their pets, DeMars says.

“We’re selling a lot of raw food now. In fact, it’s about a third of our sales,” she says.

Dr. Barbara Royal from The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center says diet is key to longevity.

“I have seen an animal come in here, say they’re 14 years old, and people say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to change the diet.’ The number one thing that you can do to make this animal healthier is going to be change the diet.”

Patti Carpenter, owner of 9 ½-year-old Priscilla, feeds the pet raw pellets, fish oil and probiotics.

Packaged Facts, a market research group, says pet owners in 2015 spent nearly $3.8 billion on specialty foods and supplements.

Pet owners like Michael Caplan are also using acupuncture on Mugsy, his 16-year-old dog.

“Acupuncture has made a huge difference for him and the supplements as well,” he says.

There’s even hydrotherapy.

And, researchers —  testing a human drug called Rapamycin —  found it can add nearly three years to a dog’s life.

“This drug has pretty incredible effects, in terms of increasing life span and improving life in aging in every laboratory where it’s been tested,” says Dr. Matt Kaeberlein from the University of Washington. He is a researcher at The Dog Aging Project.

Karolina Przegienda isn’t waiting for age to set in, when it comes to her 3 ½-year-old Owen.

The Cockapoo uses a fitness tracking tool called The Whistle.  Her goal for Owen is one hour of exercise each day.

“I think physical fitness and activity and health are just so paramount to extending his life as long as it can be,” Przegienda says.

Alternative therapies can be expensive.


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