CAÑON CITY — Adopting a stray dog running loose on the streets led one Colorado woman down the path to a new business.
Beth Black of Cotopaxi, founder of Happy Dogs, saw a red hound running along U.S. Highway 50 about 10 years ago.
She caught him and took him in. When Douggie got older, he started having seizures.
“He would have a seizure every other day and we were going to put him down because we couldn’t stand to see him go through that,” she recalled.
She started doing some research and learned about CBD, which is the acronym for cannabidiol. It is derived from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant.
When she began treating Douggie with CBD, it drastically reduced his seizures to the point where he only has one or two a month and “he is still alive, we still have Douggie,” she said.
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Black started developing her own CBD dog treats and Happy Dogs was born. The products have varying impacts depending on the dog but are said to help reduce aches and pain, improve mood, lessen muscle tension and anxiety, enhance mobility and increase stamina.
Black designed the business’s logo and labels and launched a website. The business sells about 70 to 80 percent of its orders online to customers across the country.
She also offers the products at the antique and collectible store Autumn’s Attic at 428 Main St. in downtown Cañon City.
Black has since become a dog mom again to 1-year-old Molly, a Boston terrier. Molly gets one CBD treat a day to help with her allergy to grasses.
Some customers also use the CBD treats for their cats. Each treat has 2 milligrams of pure CBD so they can be cut in half for smaller animals such as cats and Chihuahuas.
Black then expanded into CBD offerings for humans, including a tincture (that can also be given instead of the treats for larger pets), gummies and a pain cream. The cream was inspired by someone close to Black who was having trouble managing neurogenic pain caused by a crushing injury.
“It got her up and out of her wheelchair,” Black said.
The CBD oil used in the products is “locally sourced and is tested at zero THC,” the psychoactive compound in marijuana, Black said.
The CBD oil comes from Folium Biosciences, which recently opened a CBD extraction center at 717 E. Industrial in Pueblo West. Folium Biosciences Chief Veterinary Officer Robert Silver helped formulate the CBD products.
Black also created a CBD soap for humans, but she only sells that at Autumn’s Attic so that she can keep up with demand and continue to make it in small batches.
The most recent product she added is a CBD-free dog treat, “for people who want to give constant treats. They’ve told me they would love to give their dogs more treats,” Black said.
The new treats are grain-free and contain chicken, chickpea flour, flaxseed, cane molasses, tomato, carrot and turmeric. Turmeric is said to help with joint pain and inflammation and “tastes good,” she said.
“I wanted healthy treats as clean as we can possibly make them,” Black said. “They should be as healthy as possible and since lots of dogs have the grain allergy, they are grain free,” Black said.
“I just love dogs — they are fun and a lot of fun to work with,” she said.
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Customer stories are shared on the business website at pbjdogs.com. The “pbj” in the web address is a nod to Douggie’s favorite edible combination of peanut butter and jelly.