CBD Pet Product Focus Group Case Study
All you want is for your pets to feel happy and healthy because pets are family, and when a beloved family member feels pain, sadness, or anxiety, so do you. That’s why ALL G Essentials created an amazing new line of CBD pet products to make sure pets live their best lives.
Dogs are like people
We share about an 85% DNA-match to our canine pals. Just like people, pets have fears, stressors, and anxiety. It can be quite noticeable in their behaviors like shaking, excessive chewing or barking, and even a reluctance to play in the pack. And just like we do, our pets experience different moods and sometimes feel depressed. As they age, you might notice changes in your pet’s energy levels, a loss of appetite, and/or arthritic pain–just like with us. Pet owners are attuned to their pets’ normal behaviors and know when something just isn’t quite right.
A pet’s endocannabinoid system
Like the circulatory system, the nervous system, and the limbic system, scientists recently discovered the mammalian endocannabinoid system (ECS). The 1992 discovery of the human endocannabinoid system led scientists to research how CBD affects all mammals–humans and pets alike. The endocannabinoid system helps the body maintain homeostasis–a healthy balance of the body’s functions. The ECS regulates
- The immune system
- And much more
The ECS feeds on cannabinoids which the body sources in two ways. First,
endocannabinoids are naturally present in the bodies of mammals (“endo” meaning “within” + “cannabinoid” = endocannabinoid). Second, ingested from phytocannabinoids found in the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa L).
Here’s how it works.
Endocannabinoid molecules are naturally made by the body and are similar to phytocannabinoids (plant cannabinoids). Whether you ever ingest CBD or not, the ECS still works to maintain homeostasis, and the body makes endocannabinoids when needed to regulate and maintain body function.
Endocannabinoid receptors (a.k.a lipids) are molecules containing hydrocarbons that make up the components of living cells throughout the body. To communicate with the ECS, endocannabinoid molecules bind with these receptors.
As shown in this image, there are two receptors, CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors; both serve the ECS in different ways.
ALL G launches a pet-friendly pet line
ALL G Essentials already produced a robust menu of human cannabinoid products. And while
roughly speaking, humans, canines, and felines can all take the same raw CBD, changes in formulation are required for several reasons:
- Humans and pets are different weight classes for dosing.
- Some additives to formulations are not indicated for pets (e.g., artificial sweeteners, chocolate, etc.)
- People and their pets have different taste buds.
Thus, ALL G created a line of CBD products exclusively designed for our furry friends.
Packaging, products, and flavors, oh my!
While some pets might not mind scarfing down packing peanuts, others have more discerning palates, so we knew that these products had to offer variety, taste scrumptious, and be convenient for owners. Because while our people-products include strawberry, toasted vanilla, and blueberry elixirs, forest mint tinctures, and cinnamon and mint breath sprays, we knew those flavors were never going to bring Fido frolicking toward his food bowl. We needed to start thinking (like a dog, of course).
To please as many pets as possible, we varied the products and flavors to include what dogs would find delicious, like grilled sirloin gravy, grilled salmon tincture, and beef and cheddar potato treats, which are like cookies.
Each package is also uniquely designed for product convenience: the gravy pouch makes it easy to pour the gravy onto a spoon or into a food bowl; the tincture dropper allows for quick, under-the-tongue application; the resealable treat bag keeps cookies fresh.
Next came universal dosing. How much CBD do you give a dog? While the serving amount for CBD people products is pretty straight forward (unless you’re dealing with children), pets’ servings depend on weight.
A serving depends on how many milligrams of CBD are in the product and how much of each product should be given per pound of dog weight. The aim is 10mg per 20 pounds of pet weight. So, we needed to determine how many treats that would be, how much gravy, and how much tincture.
Here’s what we got: each of ALL G’s pet products contains 300mg of CBD. One serving includes 10mg of CBD as calculated for every 20 pounds of pet weight. So, we included 30 servings per product and designed the product and packaging accordingly:
- 1 teaspoon of gravy = 1 serving
- 1 dropper-full of tincture = 1 serving
- 1 biscuit treat = 1 serving
Now for the real challenge: figuring out how dogs and their owners can get their paws on these delicious CBD pet products.
A pitbull and two huskies walk into a bar . . .
Our search led us to Fred Metzer, owner of the Dog Bar in St. Petersburg, Florida, who was really excited to share our products with his customers. The best of both worlds for people and their four-legged friends, the Dog Bar blends a private, off-leash dog park with a full-service bar where you and your furry friend can relax and unleash with a whole community of two-legged and four-legged friends and watch the game, play pool, shoot darts, or just hang. It was the perfect match! Together, ALL G and the Dog Bar organized a Pet Product Focus Group.
Em“barking” on a focus group
Fifty-five lucky pet patrons from the Dog Bar and around the nation joined us on a 30-day CBD intensive! (like Koda, pictured here). We shipped a free month-supply of ALL G’s new line of pet products to each participant: A total of 35 boxes of delicious, powerfully-packed tinctures, gravy, and treats formulated with all-natural ingredients, like vitamins, nutrients, vegetables, and CBD to encourage relief from anxiety and pain and promote their pets’ health and wellbeing.
All the products were so well received, and dogs really loved them! Still, there were a few likes, dislikes, and preferences for both owners and pets:
The treats are a hard cookie with dog-friendly flavor. Most owners said it was their dog’s favorite way to consume CBD. Because they’re the consistency of a traditional biscuit, they can be difficult for older dogs to chew. But several owners simply softened the treat with gravy or water and their pets gobbled it up.
The Organic Gravy
Some pets licked the gravy right from the spoon, while some enjoyed it mixed with their food, and others even liked their food more with the gravy mixed in. No one could resist the flavor.
The Organic Tincture
For best bioavailability, a dropperful of the tincture should be squeezed under the tongue. However, some owners’ dogs were not very cooperative with this method and found better success just adding it to their pet’s food.
We asked each participant to complete three separate questionnaires throughout the month, one at the start of the focus group, one during the course of the focus group, and one at the end. They also joined a private Facebook group where they could ask questions and share stories about how their pets were feeling before, during, and after they had a few weeks to try the products. Here’s some of what they had to say:
- What we are finding excites him the most is softening his dry dog food with some hot water, then stirring in some of the CBD gravy to add flavor. – Elizabeth B.
- Received our treats today. Seymour is a pretty happy camper this evening. – Margaret G.
- Ginger is really, really enjoying the treats! – Madison S.
- Koda has been enjoying the products. – MacKenzie F.
- Tried out the gravy today. Louie was a fan. – Patricia B.
- Freyja can be picky so the fact that she did not recoil from the added gravy is a thumbs up for flavor! – Rachael A.
- I put the tincture right on [Cosmo’s] food and he loves it. – April C.
- Zeus loves the treats! – Jenna W.
- Koa really does love the biscuits. – Marissa B.