CBD Oil for Dogs in the UK

Written by David Ericson

If you are a dog owner in the UK, you may be wondering whether CBD oil for dogs is a passing fad or there is some merit in considering it for your dog. Of course you would like to do what’s best for your dog, but you also don’t want to risk the welfare of your furry friend or even waste money (since the best organic CBD oil for dogs can be quite pricey). 

You may be pleased to learn that there is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of CBD oil by pets, including dogs, as the following guide will show. Read on and discover how CBD oil works, which conditions you can use it for in your dog and the precautions you need to keep in mind should you ever decide to give your dog CBD oil.

Is CBD Oil for Dogs Legal in the UK?

Currently, it is illegal for you to give CBD oil to your dog or any other pet in the UK if you don’t have a prescription issued by a veterinarian. This is because the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) considers any CBD product for animals as a vet medicine and such medicines can only be accessed with a prescription.  CBD oil whose THC content is less than 0.2% is legal in the UK, and the UK Food Standards Agency recently gave industry players up to 31st March, 2021 to submit applications for Novel Foods Authorisation, otherwise the CBD products will be taken off the shelves.

Having said that, no CBD product has specifically been licensed for use by dogs or any other animals in the UK even if you can find CBD products for pets on Amazon UK and other platforms. You therefore have to make the decision on your own if you would like to give your dog CBD oil or any other product containing cannabidiol.

Can CBD Oil Be Beneficial to Dogs?

Research into the use of CBD for dogs is still in its infancy, so all that there is to rely on is the limited information available about the use of CBD in humans, such as CBD for sleep and anxiety. Is it possible to draw parallels between the use of CBD in humans and in dogs?

It turns out, there is a lot in common between how CBD oil works in humans and in dogs. This is because just as human beings have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), so do dogs. The ECS is responsible for maintaining balance (homeostasis) in aspects like immune response, pain management, temperature, among other bodily functions.

Surprisingly, the endocannabinoid system of dogs is more sensitive than that of humans, so any effects that humans get when they consume CBD are likely to be magnified in dogs. This is because dogs have more CB1 and CB2 receptors, so CBD can affect the bodies of dogs in a more pronounced way when compared to humans. For this reason, you have to be very careful when determining CBD dosing for dogs to minimise the likelihood of adverse effects.

Conditions for Which CBD Oil May Be Helpful for Dogs

Basing on the conditions for which the current scientific research shows CBD as a potential remedy, dogs with the following conditions may benefit from CBD oil;

  • Pain management. Injuries, surgery, chronic diseases and other factors can necessitate the use of pain management medication to ensure that dogs have a better quality of life. Studies have shown that CBD has analgesic potential, so it can provide pain relief in your dog.
  • Seizures. In humans, a CBD-based drug called Epidyolex was approved for use in the UK as a treatment for two hard-to-treat pediatric epilepsies that cause seizures. Some research has also been done and the preliminary findings show that CBD can be helpful in treating intractable idiopathic epilepsy in dogs.
  • Arthritis. At least 25 percent of all dogs will be diagnosed with arthritis at some point in their lives, so you may be right to wonder whether CBD may help if this condition afflicts your dog. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, just like all conditions that end in “itis.” The same metabolic pathways through which anti-inflammatory drugs work are the same pathways through which CBD acts, so it no wonder that CBD has been linked to relieving the pain associated with arthritis in dogs.

Other conditions for which CBD is showing promise in dogs are nausea, noise phobia, and loss of appetite.

Side Effects of CBD in Dogs

  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Increase in appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Drooling
  • Unusual behaviour, such as staring at a wall or uncharacteristic aggressiveness.

How to Select CBD Products for Your Dog

  • Buy a product specifically made for dogs so that you are certain that the CBD product doesn’t have any ingredients, such as additives, which may be toxic to your dog.
  • Make sure that the product is THC-free since THC has been known to be toxic to dogs when ingested in large amounts.
  • If possible, buy organic CBD products.
  • Read the certificate of analysis so that you are sure that the CBD product is exactly what is said on the label.

Precautions to Take If You Decide to Give Your Dog CBD

  • Keep the CBD product out of reach of your dog so that it doesn’t accidentally take more than is appropriate.
  • Keep the CBD product separate from other dog treats to avoid a member of your family or a guest accidentally giving your dog more CBD than is safe for your dog to consume.
  • Observe your dog and note down how it responds to the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, for example, and then adjust the dosage accordingly. For instance, if you notice a side effect like vomiting, cut back the dosage or pause for a while.

What is the Right Dosage of CBD Oil for Dogs?

There are no reliable guidelines about CBD oil dosage for dogs, so it might be wise to start by giving only a small fraction of the recommended daily intake indicated on the product label and then work up to the recommended dosage gradually.

It is worth mentioning again that it is a “buyer beware” world when it comes to CBD oil for dogs, so it is best to talk to your vet before you give your beloved pet any CBD product. With the information above, you will be on your way to making an informed decision should you wish to give your dog any CBD product.

Your turn; have you already taken the plunge and administered full spectrum CBD oil for dogs? Which products did you select and what effects (positive or negative) did you observe in your dog? Share your experiences in the comments below!

About the author

David Ericson

I've been interested in CBD research ever since it helped me with my insomnia back in 2014. My goal is to reserach and provide the most accurate information about CBD so that the public can build their own opinion.