Britain is a nation of dog lovers, with 26% of people owning a dog. This puts dogs at the number one pet spot in the country. We treat them like children, spending hundreds and thousands of pounds every year to meet their every need. Most people will even buy birthday and Christmas presents for their four-legged pals!
Sometimes, unfortunately, our pets get sick. They can suffer from all sorts of ailments similar to what us humans go through, including nausea, pain, anxiety, and more. What’s even more unfortunate is that they can’t actually tell us what’s wrong. Whereas we can go to a doctor to explain what’s wrong and fix the issue, our dogs have to pretty much suffer in silence.
As a pet owner, all you can do is watch out for signs that your pet is feeling under the weather. You can also take all the preventative measures possible to ensure they remain in good health.
One of the ways to do this could be through using CBD. This might sound scary at first, because you might have a lot of questions about what CBD is, how it might affect your dog, and how you could get them to take it. But worry not! In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about administering CBD to your furry friend.
What is CBD and How Does it Work in Humans?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of the many compounds from the cannabis plant. The active compounds from this plant are known as cannabinoids, and they all have different effects on the body. Most cannabinoids only have a negligible presence in the plant, but others – like CBD and THC – are more abundant.
While THC is notorious for its ability to get people high, CBD is quite different. This is because THC has psychoactive properties, meaning it can make users of recreational marijuana (which has a high THC content) feel intoxicated. CBD, on the other hand, is completely non-intoxicating, meaning that it has no ability whatsoever to cause a high.
Both of these compounds interact with the human body in a similar way. We are equipped with something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps us to regulate a number of bodily functions like appetite, mood, sleep cycles, pain, temperature, and more. The ECS works because of things called cannabinoid receptors, which exist on the surface of cells and watch out for changing conditions in the body.
When something is thrown out of balance, our body can create little ‘messengers’ called endocannabinoids, which communicate the problem around the body via the cannabinoid receptors. As a result of this communication, the body can adjust itself and remain in homeostasis – this ensures that we are always in balance and in tip-top condition.
As with any biological system, the ECS doesn’t always work properly. There may be a problem with our creation of endocannabinoids, in which there is an endocannabinoid deficiency. When this happens, we can’t communicate problems as well and thus we can’t adjust our bodies properly. This leads to us feeling unhealthy, unwell, and things just being off.
Luckily, we can actually fix this by taking phytocannabinoids found in plants. By taking CBD, we can stimulate the creation of our own endocannabinoids and ensure that the ECS is put back into action.
Through CBD, in other words, we can ensure that we maintain our general wellbeing. Knowing we are able to do this, it’s only logical to wonder whether our dogs can benefit from cannabidiol in the same way we can.
Let’s take a look…
Do Dogs Have an Endocannabinoid System?
It turns out that, just like us, dogs have an endocannabinoid system. This means that CBD and other cannabinoids can interact with our pets’ bodies in a similar way to how they interact with our own.
Just as it is in humans, the endocannabinoid system in dogs consists of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids. The CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors are found in organs and the immune system. Each receptor is activated by different endocannabinoids.
The primary difference between dogs and humans is that dogs appear to have a more dense concentration of CB1 receptors in the brain. This is why THC may be more harmful to dogs than it is humans – they are more susceptible to a disorientating and dangerous high than we are.
While this makes THC completely unsafe for dogs, it does not appear that the same can be said for CBD. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), CBD is safe and non-toxic in humans, but it does have some potential benefit for our health. It could be true that CBD could provide the same benefit to our dogs, helping them to create endocannabinoids and thus maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Is it Safe to Give CBD to My Dog?
The short answer to this is that, yes, it is safe to give CBD oil to your dog. There are some things you should keep in mind when administering CBD for your dog, which we will discuss in more detail below.
Make sure that, no matter what you do, you keep an eye on your pet. It might be a good idea to start a CBD journal where you record dosage and how your pet behaves after taking CBD. This way, you will know immediately when anything is wrong.
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to consult a veterinary expert before giving your dog CBD, especially if your pet has a diagnosed condition. Take the vet’s advice and consider all their recommendations before giving your pet CBD, as it might not work for every animal just as it doesn’t work the same in every human.
What Do I Need to Know Before I Give My Dog CBD?
Dosage: The dosage for dogs is different depending on their weight. A good estimate is to give 0.25 mg of CBD per 1 lb of pet.
Side effects: Although CBD is well-tolerated, it does have some side effects that could be unpleasant for your pet. These are much the same as they are in humans, including a dry mouth and a low blood pressure. A change in state may make your pet feel disorientated and light-headed, and they may even start to tremor. If tremors occur, then stop treatment immediately. However, the drowsiness and disorientation likely just means you need to be careful about dosage – it isn’t too large a cause for concern. If your dog experiences diarrhoea, stop giving them CBD, as this can be dangerous for dogs.
Other ingredients in the product: You should never give your dog the same CBD that you would use yourself. Since dosage is completely different for dogs, the products we use and the products they use are also very different. Make sure you buy CBD treats specifically designed for man’s best friend, and make sure to check out the other ingredients. If there is any THC, do not give these treats to your pet.
Be careful not to mix up CBD treats with regular treats: Keep your CBD treats and regular treats separate, otherwise you run the risk of giving your dog way too much CBD. Ideally, keep the CBD treats somewhere completely inaccessible to your dog – preferably locked away.
Where Can I Buy CBD for My Dog in the UK?
If you want to try out CBD for your dog, then there are several places you can get it already. Several American CBD brands sell CBD dog treats or even bacon-flavoured CBD oil, but there are also a couple of manufacturers popping up in Great Britain.
PetWellbeing UK sells some CBD oil for dogs that you can put into their food. Extend Pets UK also sells some doggy CBD products, and there are a few others that you will find just a quick Google search away.
Hopefully, as the benefits of CBD become more widely recognised and its popularity continues to grow, we will see more dog-oriented CBD products springing up. Some people already swear by CBD supplements for their dogs, and it’s possible that it could help your pooch too.
If you have tried out CBD with your dog, let us know what you thought in the comments.