In the United Kingdom it is currently not legal to advertise and promote CBD products directly to pet owners, or as a supplement for pets. Any company doing this should be avoided. Nonetheless, the majority of these products are simply the same CBD product offered to humans, but usually in lower doses (based on the size of the animal).
Using CBD oil for dogs has been growing in popularity in recent years.
Since more humans have been using it to attain overall wellness and restore balance, people are wondering if our furry friends can enjoy the same benefits.
In this guide, we will cover:
- Can CBD oil help dogs?
- Is CBD oil for dogs legal in the UK?
- How does CBD oil for dogs work?
- How do you use CBD oil for dogs?
Let’s take a look at CBD for dogs UK.
In this guide:
Can dogs have CBD oil?
Dogs are complex animals that can experience a wide range of emotions, a lack of well-being, and other human traits. So many wonder if dogs could benefit from a cannabinoid supplement, just like humans.
Since the human body can take CBD and reap its effects due to the cannabinoids interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), that is the question you will want to ask here.
As opposed to asking “can dogs have CBD oil?”, you need to ask “do dogs have an endocannabinoid system?”.
The simple answer is yes.
Dogs also have their own endocannabinoid system responsible for many of the same things it controls in human bodies.
How does CBD oil work for dogs?
CBD oil for dogs works similarly to humans.
It works with the endocannabinoid system, also referred to as ECS, where the cannabinoids from the CBD interact with the body’s receptors.
The two main receptors within the ECS are CB1 and CB2, which are responsible for:
- Restoring balance
- Controlling bodily functions
- Maintaining homeostasis.
When CBD is consumed orally via drops under the tongue, the product bypasses the digestive system and directly enters the bloodstream. When CBD enters the bloodstream, it interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to transmit signals to the brain, which can impact the body’s biological and physiological processes.
Then, it can restore balance, achieve better wellness, and function properly.
How can CBD oil help dogs?
A dog’s endocannabinoid system does not work in the same way as a human’s. There are a lot more CB1 receptors in the brain of a dog than in a human brain, which is why THC can be toxic to them.
However, since dogs’ CB1 and CB2 receptors act in slightly different ways to humans and there is a possibility that THC can be toxic to them. For this reason, you should avoid using full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs, because you may accidentally give them traces of THC found in the CBD product.
Although a dog’s ECS works differently, it still carries out the same functions and works to promote balance and maintain homeostasis.
So, it might seem that if a dog takes CBD oil it can reap the same restorative and balancing properties that a human does. According to the Blue Cross, there has been no evidence that CBD oil for dogs is toxic, but they believe that more research is needed.
Even though CBD can benefit dogs, you should remember that CBD isn’t medicine and should not be taken as a treatment for dogs. No CBD product should be used for treating any particular ailment.
More research will be carried out in coming years about the potential benefits of CBD for dogs.
Facts about CBD oil for dogs
Potential health benefits
CBD interacts with a dog’s ECS for restorative and balancing properties.
THC is toxic
While CBD is perfectly safe to use, THC is toxic for dog.
It's not a medicine
CBD should not be used as a medicine or to treat any particular ailment.
CBD for dogs is illegal in the UK
It’s illegal to advertise or sell CBD for dogs specifically in the UK.
Will CBD get my dog high?
CBD products contain either none or a minimal amount of THC, known as Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that results in the “high” effect.
For CBD oil to be legal, it has to contain less than 0.2% THC, which isn’t enough for any psychoactive effects. Seeing as minimal or no THC is present in CBD oil products, you’ll be glad to hear that the answer is no, dogs cannot get high from CBD.
Since CBD and the other cannabinoids are not psychoactive, your dog isn’t going to be laying on your sofa eating all of your snacks after you give it a drop of CBD tincture!
However, buying from brands that are not reputable and do not share their lab test results puts your dog at risk of ingesting THC levels which may be toxic.
Do vets recommend CBD oil for dogs?
Since CBD products are not approved for use in pets by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate or the Food Standards Agency, it is difficult for the veterinary community to unite on the issue.
While some individual vets may be willing to prescribe CBD for pets, others will not be so quick to recommend it. If you are thinking about giving CBD to your pet, it would be a good idea to discuss this with your vet.
Is CBD oil for dogs safe?
There is nothing to suggest that a CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD product would be dangerous to pets. The exception is with CBD edibles, as they may contain artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, which is deadly to pets.
THC can be dangerous for pets, so it’s important to select a product that does not contain any THC. A CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD should eliminate this risk.
We also don’t know if CBD will interact with other medications your dog may be taking. It could slow down or speed up the rate at which your pet metabolises their medication, making it more or less effective. You should never stop a pet’s other medication in order to give them CBD.
If you have doubts about giving CBD products to your pet, always consult with a vet. Your vet may advise against it.
Is CBD oil for dogs legal in the UK?
In the United States, CBD products suitable for pets are widely available. However, this approach hasn’t reached across the Atlantic just yet.
At present, it is illegal to advertise and promote CBD products for pets in the UK and it is not widely available as a supplement for pets. There are no CBD products approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate or Food Standards Agency to be used for pets.
If you are thinking about giving CBD products intended for human consumption to your pets, you would need to speak to a vet first. Only a vet can prescribe CBD products intended for human consumption to animals.
However, there is still a lack of education and awareness around CBD products for humans and animals. This means that your vet might not be aware of CBD and its potential benefits.
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Why should you be wary of companies selling CBD oil for dogs UK?
At the end of the day, CBD has not been cleared in the UK for animal use.
Some places in the USA and other countries have cleared it, meaning approval may be on the way in the UK, but as of right now any company selling CBD oil for dogs isn’t adhering to regulations.
Companies like this are not trustworthy, and there is no shortage of CBD scams preying on good-natured pet owners who just want to help their animals.
Whilst it’s true that CBD may influence your dog in the same way it works for you because of the shared endocannabinoid system, brands that are selling specific CBD for dog use are most likely unreliable companies.
If you are willing to take the risk to give CBD to your dog, you must ensure that the company reaches high standards.
Furthermore, you should always ensure if you or your dog uses CBD oil, you should use it as a supplement and not as a medicine. It works to promote wellness as opposed to treating conditions. This should always be kept in mind as well as purchasing products from legitimate and verified sellers.
CBD dosage for dogs
Just like in humans, there is no set dosage for CBD oils for dogs. Since it is not an approved supplement, there are no guidelines on how much CBD is safe and effective for animals.
Working with your vet should help you to determine a safe dosing schedule for your animal.
Humans are typically advised to gradually increase their dose over time to find the ideal dosage. Once you find this dosage, you don’t have to continually increase, as CBD tolerance does not change over time.
As with a human dosing schedule, you should always stay low and increase slowly to determine the correct CBD dosage for pets.
There is no known lethal dose of CBD for humans or animals, but the side effects of a high dose could be dangerous if your pet is left alone.
Pets can’t speak to us to tell us what is wrong, so it is down to owners to be able to identify problems with their pets. Pay close attention to your pet and look out for signs they might have been given too much CBD. This could include increased lethargy, vomiting, change in appetite and loss of coordination.
If your pet is stumbling, you may need to keep a close eye on them near stairs and be vigilant when taking them for a walk as they might need extra support.
How do you use CBD oil for dogs?
There are many different ways to use CBD oil for dogs. This includes topical CBD products (which do not enter the bloodstream) and oral CBD products such as CBD oil.
Some of the products available on the market include:
It is possible to offer CBD to dogs through tincture products.
These can be dropped directly on their tongue or in the food and drink. If your furry friend is fussy, adding it to their food may be the easiest option.
CBD treats for dogs
Speaking of food, dogs love treats. There are a few CBD dog treats and snacks available created and sold in the USA and other countries that contain CBD. These include chews and small snacks and typically include broad-spectrum CBD.
We wouldn’t recommend these products, because they do not adhere to UK standards, and you may have issues having them shipped to the UK.
CBD edibles intended for humans are not suitable for pets as they could contain other ingredients that are harmful to animals. CBD gummies and similar could be potentially deadly to dogs and other animals.
To restore any issues that involve the skin or areas under the skin, topical balms may be used. Topical simply means that it is applied to the skin.
This type of product could be perfect for sore paws or dry noses, which often need a little bit of TLC during the winter months. These can be applied in the same way as a human would, directly to the affected area.
Topical products are great because they are often made with CBD isolate, which is safer to use than a full-spectrum CBD product as it will not contain any THC.
Best CBD oil for dogs
Published lab results
Look for lab results that confirm the THC content of the CBD.
Not the cheap option
Low price CBD often indicated lower quality CBD.
Organic & sustainable
Free from pesticides and chemicals that can harm your dog.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil
This ensures that it contains no THC and is non-toxic for your dog.
What is the best CBD oil for dogs?
The trending nature of CBD oil and its restorative and balancing effects has led many brands to get involved in the industry.
Some of them do their due diligence and provide high-quality products, others do not.
As a result, your strategy in looking for the best CBD oil for dogs in the UK (or elsewhere) shouldn’t be to find a specific CBD for dogs.
Instead, it should rather be to find a brand you can trust to provide high-quality CBD oil.
Things to look out for include:
Published lab results
A company that publishes its lab results online is confident in its product and has nothing to hide. If you are unsure about how to read CBD lab results, we have produced a handy guide.
You’ll also want to use these results to ensure that the product contains either zero THC or less than 0.2%. Any more than that is both illegal and can be toxic for your dog.
Not the cheap option
Never go for the cheap option.
Yes, we know, this is always tempting to do.
Unfortunately, most cheaper forms of CBD oil are poor quality or don’t contain CBD at all. Even if it does, it may be full of herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals or other dangerous ingredients.
This doesn’t mean all expensive CBD products are good, but if you’re willing to do your research and pay a little more, you’ll usually be rewarded.
Organic, ethical and sustainable
Other beneficial factors include looking for a product that’s organic and sustainably produced.
These are free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals, are good for the planet and are safer to use.
Looking for UK-based brands (if you’re based in the UK) is a great way to combat the carbon footprint of deliveries.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil
There are several types of CBD oil on the market.
All can promote wellness and wellbeing.
The key difference is the range of cannabinoids used and whether or not they contain other ingredients.
- Full-spectrum CBD: contains a large amount of naturally occurring compounds from the plant itself, and a small, legal level of THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD: you get the full benefit of the hemp plant, with no added THC.
- CBD isolate: leaves behind the purest form of CBD with no other cannabinoids or flavonoids.
As long as you follow these rules and do your research, there should be nothing to stop you from finding high-quality CBD oil for dogs in the UK.
Unfortunately, buying local if you’re in the UK will be difficult because CBD shouldn’t be marketed for dogs.
Wrapping up on CBD for dogs UK
Dogs have an endocannabinoid system as humans do, meaning they can attain the same restorative and balancing properties. The CBD bioavailability and efficacy may be different, but they still should witness similar effects with small and safe doses.
Giving CBD oil to your dog may one day be approved in the UK, as it is in the US and other countries. It’s not yet, though, so you should only use CBD oil for your dog at your own risk – and after checking with your vet.
It is important to take extreme caution when giving anything new to your pets, including CBD oil. Ensuring you choose a high-quality brand can limit the risk you’re taking by giving your dog CBD.
If you do give your dog CBD, ensure to monitor them after consumption and take good care of them.