Dr. Karen Becker, leading holistic veterinarian, on CBD for pets
Dr. Karen Beckerholistic veterinarian, author, and speaker
Date Published: 2020-01-15
Date Updated: 2020-01-15
Dr. Karen Becker is one of the most well-known, well-loved, and respected holistic veterinarians in the world. Over the years, she’s gained a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable veterinarians when it comes to proactive health – that is, taking preventative measures to care for animals before they become ill. Her passion for animal wellness and natural, holistic veterinary approaches has inspired her to teach others about what she has learned.
Dr. Becker’s love for animals started at an early age. Even as a toddler, she showed a great deal of empathy for insects and pets. This compassion stuck with her throughout her life and informed the course of her career. She started volunteering with a humane society when she was 13, became a state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator at 14, and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator at age 16.
She then went on to study to become a veterinarian at the Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. She completed certifications in animal acupuncture, canine rehabilitation, and veterinary homeopathy. She also became licensed to rehabilitate injured and orphaned endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In that time, she learned a great deal about holistic veterinary medicine. Her personal experiences with her own pets, particularly her dogs Sooty and Gemini, taught her a great deal about animal wellness. Sooty taught her the value of exercise and limiting an animal’s exposure to toxic chemicals. Gemini was the first pet that Dr. Becker put onto a fresh, high-quality diet. After Gemini fell gravely ill, Dr. Becker researched fresh canine diets and made Gemini her own home-cooked food. Thankfully, Gemini made a rapid recovery.
After qualifying as a veterinarian, Dr. Becker interned at various veterinary practices and completed further certifications relating to holistic veterinary practices. She later founded the first proactive animal hospital in the Midwest in 1999, focusing on preventing disease and opting for more natural approaches to veterinary medicine. She went on to open an exotic animal clinic in 2006 and a veterinary rehabilitation and pain management clinic in 2011.
Nowadays, Dr. Becker encourages her clients to make fresh, healthy, human-grade foods for their animals and to use natural, holistic approaches to their diet. While she still practices medicine, she is passionate about teaching pet parents and other veterinarians about her philosophy and approach to animal wellness.
Dr. Becker lectures and speaks on proactive veterinary medicine worldwide. She also co-authored a book that won the Whole Dog Journal’s Best Homemade Diet Book of All Time award, called “Real Food for Healthy Pets.” She writes and consults for numerous pet wellness companies, and spends her free time creating species-appropriate pet food and animal wellness products.
As if that isn’t impressive enough, she also created her own line of organic, human-grade pet treats called Dr. Becker’s Bites, a meat-based, filler-free treat for pets. Dr. Becker’s Bites were first made in 1996 by Dr. Becker’s mother, who whipped up some treats for her daughter’s patients in her kitchen. These bites were an instant hit with her pets and her patients.
What does Dr. Karen Becker think of CBD, a trending treatment for pets? Dr. Becker writes that there’s a lot of confusion surrounding CBD because of all the myths and misinformation surrounding it. Dr. Becker writes, “As an integrative practitioner, I feel it’s extremely important to clarify the confusion surrounding the CBD issue because I’ve found this herbal remedy to be incredibly beneficial for a multitude of different medical and behavioral issues in veterinary medicine.”
Dr. Becker notes that CBD has been shown to help with epileptic conditions in dogs, as well as pain in dogs with osteoarthritis. She also acknowledges that plenty of veterinarians and pet parents alike have had remarkable results after using CBD for their pets. “Much more research is needed to determine other veterinary conditions CBD may benefit, as well as the most effective delivery methods and dosing ranges,” she notes, adding that there’s very little research on the benefits of CBD for cats, although that will soon change.
She emphasizes that it’s important to remember that cannabis itself is toxic to dogs and cats, and that you want THC-free CBD products for your pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested cannabis or edibles, take them to the vet immediately as it can make them very ill. If you want to give your pet CBD, it’s best to research it thoroughly beforehand, talk to a holistic veterinarian about it, and stick to the right dosage.
Dr. Becker clearly believes that CBD has numerous health benefits for pets – and that is evident in the fact that Dr. Becker’s Bites range includes a CBD-infused version. These are appropriate for both cats and dogs, according to the website.
Dr. Becker has interviewed Dr. Robert Silver, one of the world’s leading experts in veterinary CBD, on the use of CBD for pets. In these interviews, they discuss the benefits of CBD for pets (including pain management, anxiety disorders, and seizure-related conditions), the research on the topic, as well as the safest way to use CBD on pets and the legality of using CBD for pets. You can learn more about Dr. Silver here.
Dr. Becker has also interviewed Dr. Celeste Yarnell, another veterinarian who uses CBD for patients. Dr. Yarnell has also written books about holistic veterinary medicine for cats, and attempts to educate more people about CBD and animals. Dr. Becker talked to Dr. Yarnell about using CBD-rich hemp oil for cats for behavioral issues as well as acute and chronic physical conditions. You can read their discussion on the Mercola site.
If Dr. Karen Becker, one of the world’s most beloved veterinarians, uses CBD in her homemade pet treats, why don’t you try it on your pet for yourself? You can learn more about the benefits of CBD for dogs on our site – and be sure to check out our handy dosage chart. Remember to consult with your veterinarian before using any supplements, including CBD, on your animal.