Guide to CBD for Pets in the UK
The popularity of CBD in the United Kingdom has exploded in the last ten years due to its potential health benefits. However, did you know CBD may also help your furry friends? From dogs and cats to guinea pigs and rabbits, CBD is a natural remedy that researchers have explored to support the physical and mental well-being of animals.¹
In this article, we’ll look at the effectiveness of CBD for animals and how to use it:
Introduction to CBD for Pets
CBD—short for cannabidiol—is a non-intoxicating compound created from the hemp plant. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in humans and animals. As a result, it plays an integral role in maintaining balance in various bodily functions, including mood regulation, pain perception, and immune response.
In animals, the endocannabinoid system functions similarly to humans, consisting of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids that work together to regulate bodily processes. The ECS interacts with these receptors, helping to influence the ECS to promote overall wellness.
Currently, there are no pet products legally for sale in the United Kingdom. According to the UK Government, CBD products are not authorised for veterinary use. The government suggests the uncertainty surrounding the proper dosage for pets is the main concern.²
Nevertheless, CBD products are available for human use subject to marketing restrictions enforced by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Common Health Issues in Pets That CBD May Help With
CBD has shown immense promise in helping pets with various health concerns, including pain, anxiety, seizures, inflammation, etc. Likewise, it could contribute to boosting sleep quality and appetite.⁴
Potential Therapeutic Properties of CBD for Pets
Studies suggest that CBD’s anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and analgesic could possibly help benefit the overall well-being of your pet.³
That said, although CBD could be a potential treatment for some health conditions, it’s not an overall replacement for veterinary care.
Safety and Side Effects Considerations
CBD—as long as the dose is appropriate—is generally considered safe for pets. However, similarly to humans, some animals may experience side effects like dry mouth, drowsiness, and changes in appetite. To avoid these side effects, start with a small dose and work your way up.
Different Types of CBD Products for Pets
– CBD Oil and Tinctures for Pets: The most popular CBD options for pets are CBD oil and tinctures because of their versatility. You can ensure your pets consume these rapidly by mixing them with other food products.
– CBD-Infused Pet Treats and Edibles: If you’re looking for a convenient way to administer CBD to your pets, edibles and pet treats are a superb option. They come in various sizes and flavours, ensuring they’re an enjoyable experience for pets.
– Topical CBD Products for Pets: Topical CBD products—such as creams or balms—can directly be applied to your pet’s skin to target localised conditions.
Factors to Consider When Selecting CBD Products
There are many things to consider when choosing CBD products for your pet, including your pet’s age, size, and overall health conditions. Although it’s wise to select products manufacturers have formulated for pets, these aren’t legal in the United Kingdom.
Understanding CBD Potency and Dosage for Pets
Research on the correct dosage for pets remains limited, so you should determine the correct dose by starting small and working up. As you’re increasing the dosage, ensure you monitor your pet’s response; if they experience any adverse side effects, reduce the dosage immediately.
Consulting with a Veterinarian Before Using CBD for Pets
You should talk to your vet before giving your pet a CBD dosage. They can determine your pet’s overall health, ensuring they’re healthy enough to withstand a more powerful CBD dosage. Also, they can guarantee a safe and effective approach.
CBD for Different Types of Pets
Dogs, due to their diverse sizes and breeds, may experience significant health issues. CBD could be an excellent option to help with these health problems. However, you should always consult with a vet before giving your dog CBD; the correct dosage can also vary depending on your pet’s size and condition
Cats may also benefit from a CBD dosage, especially in managing inflammation, stress, and digestive issues. However, cats are typically more sensitive to compounds like CBD, so begin with a small dose and work your way up.
Research on CBD’s effects on smaller pets—such as rabbits and guinea pigs—remains limited. However, you could try it with other pets if you exercise caution and talk to a vet before introducing them to CBD.
Best Practices for Giving CBD Oil to Pets
Administering CBD oil directly into your pet’s mouth or mixing it with their food can be adequate. That said, provide accurate dosing by using the provided dropper or observing the manufacturer’s instructions.
Incorporating CBD Treats into Their Diet
One of the most popular options is CBD-infused treats; they’re easy to administer and can be a simple reward for your pet. Nevertheless, be sure not to exceed the recommended daily dose of treats. Start with a low amount of treats when you first offer them to your pets.
Tips for Using Topical CBD Products on Pets
If you choose a topical product for your pet, you should apply a small amount and gently massage it into the area. This option could be especially beneficial if your pet has skin conditions or joint inflammation.
Potential Risks and Precautions
While CBD is generally well-accepted, some pets might encounter side effects like lethargy or upset stomach. Observing your pet’s reaction and changing the dosage can help reduce these unwanted side effects.
If your pet is on medication or has pre-existing health conditions, it’s essential to speak with your veterinarian before using CBD. For instance, CBD could interact with certain medications, and a professional can guide you through potential risks.
You should guarantee the CBD products you select for your pets are labelled as THC-free or contain only trace amounts of THC. Unfortunately, THC can be harmful to pets and cause adverse effects. Most CBD products, however, have low amounts of THC.
Overview of CBD Regulations for Pet Products in the UK
The UK has many established regulations for CBD products to guarantee their safety and quality. Therefore, look for products that stick to these regulations and deliver transparency via third-party lab testing.
Ensuring the Safety and Quality of CBD Products for Pets
Reputable manufacturers always prioritise safety with high-quality hemp and rigorous testing methods. As a result, always choose products with a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to verify their potency and purity.
Compliance with Novel Food Regulations
CBD products for humans and pets fall under novel food regulations in the UK. Manufacturers must apply for authorisation to sell CBD as a novel food ingredient. Make sure the products you choose comply with these regulations.
CBD and Veterinary Research
The recent research surrounding CBD and pets is limited. There needs to be more scientific research to understand CBD’s potential benefits and limitations for pets and broader animals around the world.
Reputable Sources for CBD Pet Products
You should look for companies that offer transparency, quality, and compliance with all UK regulations. Reputable sources always provide detailed information about their products, sourcing, and testing procedures. That way, you can ensure your products meet all UK regulatory requirements.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Reliable CBD Supplier
You should consider factors like product variety, third-party testing, customer reviews, and overall reputation when selecting a supplier for CBD pet products. You should conduct research to find the best options.
Online vs. In-Store Purchasing Options
Both online and in-store options offer convenience in the United Kingdom. However, online shopping provides the benefit of comparing products and the chance to read valid reviews before choosing.
Although the current research is limited regarding CBD and pets, the early signs look highly promising for improving the life quality of your furry friend.
That said, always speak with a veterinarian before introducing CBD into your pet’s life. You should also ensure high-quality CBD products that meet all regulatory requirements for maximum safety. If you tick all these boxes, there’s a possibility that CBD will become your pet’s friend.
1. Effect of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Canine Inflammatory Response: An Ex Vivo Study on LPS Stimulated Whole Blood. (2021, September 4). NCBI. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8473042/
2. Haycraft, B., & Drummond, N. (2022, June 28). Can I buy CBD Oil (cannabidiol) for my pet? – Veterinary Medicines Directorate. Veterinary Medicines Directorate. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://vmd.blog.gov.uk/2022/06/28/can-i-buy-cbd-oil-cannabidiol-for-my-pet/
3. Osteoarthritis in Dogs — Signs and Treatment – American Kennel Club. (n.d.). American Kennel Club. Retrieved August 24, 2023, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/osteoarthritis-signs-treatment/
4 Does CBD Work for Dogs? – American Kennel Club (n.d.). American Kennel Club Retrieved September 22,2023, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/does-cbd-work-for-dogs/