Many pet parents already use CBD for their dogs and cats. Some think it helps calm their dog in the face of fireworks. Others think it reduces their pet’s stiff joints or improve overall mood. Pet parents often go down the route of CBD because it’s a natural, plant based product. However, until recently it was unclear what the rules are regarding CBD for dogs and cats. The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) weighed in to provide some much needed guidance. The GreenBox experts have gathered the facts for their readers on the topic for you. Read on below!
CBD oil for dogs and cats
In the UK today there is not a single CBD product authorised for use in cats and dogs. A CBD company would need to apply for authorisation via the government’s vet authority, the VMD. So far, no company has done this. Therefore, those CBD brands with paws on the label and pet references are just marketing ploys. None are officially products specifically for pets! They are just normal CBD oils with pet stickers on.
However, you certainly still can use CBD for your pet. A vet is legally allowed to prescribe a human CBD oil for a dog or cat, given there is no permitted animal version today. A pet parent is also within their rights to go it alone without a vet’s consent. After all, some vets might know almost nothing CBD as it is a relatively new supplement to be taking and many of the studies are still on-going.
What the studies says
In the GreenBox CBD Guide, we go into some detail about how CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors across the human body’s central nervous system (CNS). Dogs also have these receptors too but are distributed a little differently across the body. The full BSAVA report summarises the effects of activating these receptors on inflammation and neurotransmitter activity.
It is important to say that there are only a handful of studies on the effect of CBD on dogs. There are no published clinical studies at all on cats. The studies that are available for dogs have their limitations, but at least provide some indication of CBD’s potential.
One study referred to in the BSAVA report studies 16 dogs with osteoarthritis. The dogs received 2 mg CBD per kg of body weight for 28 days. E.g. a 15kg dog received 30 mg of CBD per day. Both the vet and owner scored the dogs. They concluded that “CBD oil resulted in a decrease in pain and an increase in activity but no change in weight bearing capacity”. The study did also note an increase in serum ALP in nine of the dogs.
A second osteoarthritis study also referred to by the BSAVA recorded similar results. Dog groups received either no CBD (placebo), low dose (0.5 mg per kg), or a high dose (1.2 mg per kg). The findings showed the high dose had “significantly decreased pain, increased mobility and improved quality of life scores”. No side effects were recorded.
Is CBD oil safe for my pet?
As mentioned, there are very few studies in the public domain today. The few referred to already suggest minimal concerns. The BSAVA does state that intoxication signs can develop if a dog or cat consumes large quantities of CBD. Also note that intoxication can be complicated if the CBD product is of poor quality; it could contain THC or other compounds. It’s all the more critical to ensure products are of high quality for your pet.
So with that said, there are a few things that need to be checked before giving CBD to your pet – for example, making sure there is 0.0% THC in the product as this is toxic to dogs. Here at GreenBox we only stock 0.0% CBD oils as per the UK regulation!
You also probably don’t want to be giving too much CBD (see our CBD dosage guide for dogs below), meaning you want to buy one of the weaker products so it’s harder to give too much. A 500mg CBD oil or 1000mg CBD oil should suit.
What product to use
We recommend you talk to your vet about prescribing a product. If you are confident in your CBD knowledge, we recommend you follow these tips in selecting a CBD product for your pooch:
- Go for a high quality, lab tested CBD oil
- Make sure it is unflavoured
- Start out with a low strength product. Pets are smaller than humans so they need less CBD than we do
Find a product that works for you and your pet. If you want to buy from the GreenBox store, the Infinity CBD 500mg oil meets all of the recommendations above. It’s a great low strength product to start out with. Plus, it is one of the most cost effective CBD oils on the market and should last around 2-3months depending on the size of your pet!
Infinity CBD 500mg CBD Oil
CBD dosage for dogs
The clinical studies the BSAVA mentions saw the best results when giving at least 1.2 mg of CBD per kg of your dog’s body weight. For simplicity, we have put together a table below to help you figure out how much to give your pet. Please note, these are not recommendations and you administer CBD to your pet under your own responsibility:
|Dog Size||Weight||Good Dose
(1mg per kg)
(2mg per kg)
|Toy||2kg||2 mg||4 mg|
|5kg||5 mg||10 mg|
|Small||7kg||7 mg||14 mg|
|10kg||10 mg||20 mg|
|Medium||13kg||13 mg||26 mg|
|15kg||15 mg||30 mg|
|Large||20kg||20 mg||40 mg|
|25kg||25 mg||50 mg|
|30kg||30 mg||60 mg|
Whether it is humans or pets, we recommend starting low and going slow, when it comes to trying CBD. Bodies are always different, so find the level that works best for your pet over a number of weeks.
For Toy and Small size dogs, the dose is very small. So, we recommend buying a 500 mg CBD oil rather than a 1000 mg. Otherwise it could be difficult to reliably measure out the small dose.
Is CBD oil for Pets Legal in the UK?
In short, yes! As long as CBD has 0.0% THC, it is legal in the UK and EU – however, some providers do still sell CBD products with THC in which is illegal in the UK. The CBD oil provided here is perfect for yourself or your pet should you choose.
What is the best way to give CBD to a dog or pet?
Dogs and cats can be quite picky, that’s why we feel the easiest way to give CBD to a dog or cat is via CBD oil. You can simply put some CBD oil on their food – some pets love it and will lick it straight from the pipette too! Just make sure that what you buy is unflavoured.