As more and more people in the UK are experiencing the profound benefits of CBD for their health and wellbeing, it makes sense many are also now giving CBD to their beloved pets in order to support their health.
Ours is a country of animal lovers. And we love our pets so much that we often treat them better than we treat themselves, at least when it comes to exercise and diet or when they get sick.
So it’s no surprise that CBD, the cannabis-derived compound that is currently exploding in popularity in the UK and across the world, is being used to boost the wellbeing of our furry friends.
But it’s not just dogs; any animal with a backbone has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) – an internal system of receptors that respond to cannabinoids such as CBD. That means reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and mammals, including common house pets such cats, dogs and rabbits all respond to CBD.
This article, however, will focus on giving CBD to dogs as part of a holistic approach to animal medicine. We will cover the science behind how CBD benefits dog, the best methods of giving CBD to dogs, and the best CBD products for dogs in the UK.
How CBD affects dogs
Let us begin this section by stating that there is little research on CBD, or cannabis in general, on dogs. However, we briefly mentioned above, dogs do have an endocannabinoid system which responds to CBD and there is an overwhelming amount of case reports and anecdotal evidence showing the efficacy of CBD for dogs.
In humans, we know that the ECS is a system with far-reaching influence. It has been found to regulate a number of bodily processes, including energy levels, sleep, pain perception, appetite, bone density, mood, digestion, and more.
It is widely thought that the ECS acts in a way that promotes balance and harmony (or homeostasis) within the body.
And a dog’s endocannabinoid system is, overall, pretty similar. One notable difference, however, is that there are more cannabinoid receptors in a dog’s brain than most other animals. The significance of this is not quite understood just yet, but it does suggest dogs could be particularly responsive to cannabis and CBD.
Just like in humans, the ECS of an animal plays a role in so many physiological processes that it can have a positive influence on a wide range of medical conditions.
Some of the ailments that CBD seems to be the most effective for include:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Anxiety disorders
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Lack of appetite
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Sleep disorders
How to administer CBD to dogs
There are a few ways to give CBD to your dog. You can give them drops of CBD oil or paste directly into their mouth, you can mix CBD in with their food, or you can give them CBD-infused food.
Sublingual application (through the tissue in your dog’s mouth) is an effective method of giving CBD to dogs as it is absorbed straight into the bloodstream. It’s safe to assume that not all the CBD given in this manner will make it that far, however, given a dog’s ability to salivate so heavily.
The best method of giving CBD to your dog is probably by mixing it food or using CBD-infused food.
Many people who want to give CBD to their dogs are reluctant to as there are no official guidelines as to how much you should be giving them. Getting the dose right is important when dealing with CBD and dogs.
It’s best to start Low. Try 0.05mg per kg to begin with. Stick to this dose for about a week and, if symptoms remain, increase the dose slightly and as you see fit. Avoid large doses until you have experimented with lower and medium doses.
Also, be aware that CBD is completely non-toxic and is extremely well handled at very high doses in humans. It also seems to be well tolerated by dogs, based on anecdotal examples.
The best CBD products for dogs
The animal market is becoming a substantial part of the CBD industry. In the U.S. there are a wide number of brands offering CBD products specifically for animals such as dogs. Over here in the UK, however, there are only a couple of companies focusing on the niche.
The good thing about these companies, though, is that they are all small, independent, often family-run companies with a real dedication to helping animals.
Hempine is one of such companies. Founded by Jo Cathcart, an animal-lover since young, Hempine is a new company that aims to provide high-quality CBD products for dogs and horses.
Their new product range for dogs includes a CBD supplement for dogs made from hemp flowers infused with coconut oil. Available in 150g and 300g packages, you simply add a pinch or two to your pooch’s dinner each day. The coconut oil helps the CBD to be absorbed into your dog’s bloodstream.
America-based brand Austin and Kat launched their CBD Dog Biscuits in the UK just a few months ago.
The biscuits themselves are gluten-free, vegan and completely free of preservatives and other nasties. Each one is infused with CBD, coconut oil, oats, apples, peanut butter, cinnamon and turmeric.
This CBD product is not specifically aimed at dogs, but Simply CBD does also run a dog rescue centre where 100% of profits from their CBD sales go.
Their product, Entourage Aqua, is unique in that it is water soluble, meaning it binds to water and, therefore, has an enhanced absorption rate. A host of other beneficial ingredients help to boost the power of this CBD oil.