Many pet parents already use CBD for their furry friend. 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. 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 for pets!
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.
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.
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 CBD oil
- Make sure it is unflavoured
- Select a high strength product, too. You will need only a few drops of oil on your pooch’s food. This way, it’s less likely your pet will taste the hemp flavour and you avoid the risk he or she goes off the food!
Find a product that works for you and your pet. You can find human CBD products that meet the above standards on the GreenBox store.
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.