Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies from Kitchen Toke.
Paul Lowe / Kitchen Toke

Our life in Colorado began together. While I was stuck in a New York cubicle planning my escape, and before I even found an apartment in Denver, I put my name on a waiting list for a Goldendoodle puppy with Aspen Hill Doodles (Kismet for where we’re going to end up permanently would).

Gittel, which lives up to its name (it means “good” in Hebrew), celebrated its 13th birthday earlier this month. When she reaches her age, she surprises most people we meet in the city or on the road with her youthful perseverance. In addition to being well educated and trained, I believe that Gittel, who took CBD regularly, improved her health during her golden years.

As CBD continues to corner the wellness industry, companies have also introduced formulas for pets – a recent introduction by Martha Stewart. The pet CBD category alone grew 946% in 2019, according to cannabis research firm Brightfield Group.

Personally, I started experimenting with CBD as a daily supplement to Gittel in their food and through store-bought treats three years ago. Like humans, dogs (and almost all animals) have a naturally occurring endocannabinoid system (ECS) in their body, making CBD a natural and effective method for treating pain, cancer, neurological disorders, stress, anxiety, and inflammatory problems.

Gittel the Goldendoodle on her 13th birthday in Herron Park
Craig Turpin / Photography of the Rising Sun

With FDA approval pending and a lack of research, veterinarians work in a gray area when it comes to officially prescribing CBD in practice. In the latest issue of Kitchen Toke magazine, Caroline Coile reports:

“In the first controlled study of the effectiveness of CBD in dogs, researchers at Colorado State University enrolled 16 dogs with epilepsy to receive either CBD or a placebo for 12 weeks. Then the dogs went without receiving for a month and then received the opposite drug for the next 12 weeks. Neither the researchers nor the owners knew what drug the dogs were receiving. The dogs given CBD had significantly fewer seizures (a mean decrease of 33 percent), with greater reductions in seizures correlating with higher levels of CBD in blood plasma. It didn’t work for every dog, however. These researchers are currently working on a larger study using higher doses of CBD. “

Our vet and owner of Aspen Animal Hospital, Dr. Anne Cooley, who is incorporating CBD into patient care, agrees with its effectiveness in dogs with epilepsy, but sees the greatest success in using cannabis oil for anxiety, nausea, and neuropathic pain – especially in dogs allergic to traditional drugs.

Canines, like humans, have an ECS
Channarong Pheangjanda / Kitchenette

“We encourage our patient pet owners to give it a try – add it to your multimodal therapy or yourself. It is a product that we are achieving as a safer, natural alternative for liver and kidney problems and overall pet health, ”said Cooley. “Obviously [animals] I can’t tell us how you might feel about it, so all of this is very difficult to judge. But I’ve never had a negative answer – just a no answer. And every animal reacts differently. “

Cooley cautions against buying CBD oil that is not specifically made for pets (and especially from a pharmacy) as it often contains the industry-standard trace amount of 0.03% THC, which is toxic to animals. Instead, always check with your veterinarian before using CBD as a treatment or supplement, and for weight-based dosage recommendations.

Once you’ve got the OK from your doctor, here are two CBD Infused Dog Food Recipes for High Country’s Quarterly Kitchen Toke Spotlight to try at home.

Katie Shapiro can be reached at and followed on Twitter @bykatieshapiro.



• 1 cup of whole wheat flour

• ½ cup of wheat germ

• ½ cup of peanut butter plus extra for serving

• 3 tablespoons of coconut oil

• CBD oil as discussed with your veterinarian



• Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

• Mix the flour, wheat germ, peanut butter and oil in a small bowl. Add tincture and then water, a teaspoon or so at a time, until a smooth batter forms.

• Roll into small balls; Arrange on a baking sheet. Make a small notch in the middle of each.

• Bake until golden brown and dry for 20 to 23 minutes.

• Place on a wire rack to cool down.

• Before serving, fill the wells with peanut butter. Unfilled cookies can be stored in airtight containers or frozen for 5 to 6 days.


• Makes about 20 cookies.



• 8 ounces of fresh tuna, thinly sliced

• CBD oil as discussed with your veterinarian

• 2 cups of cooked brown rice


• Line a small loaf pan with plastic wrap.

• Gently mix the tuna with the CBD oil.

• Line the bottom of the pan with tuna. Cover with rice and press lightly to form an even layer.

• Continue to layer and finish with rice. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours until everything is well chilled.

• Turn over on board; Cut into 1 to 1½ inch squares or as desired.

• wrap individually; Freeze for up to 1 month.


• Makes about 12 treats.


• This recipe is also cat-friendly.