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Does CBD Help Dogs With Fireworks?

dog afraid of fireworks, hiding under curtain

As Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve approach, fireworks displays become increasingly common in the UK. While these displays are enjoyable for humans, they can be frightening for dogs, with  41% of dog owners stating that their dog is afraid of fireworks — that’s around 4.1 million dogs across the UK. This can lead to your dog showing signs of fear, anxiety and stress, such as: 

  • whining, whimpering, growling or barking
  • trembling and shaking
  • pacing or restlessness 
  • hiding or trying to escape
  • excessive panting or drooling 
  • unexpected urination or defecation
  • loss of appetite.

Traditional methods for helping your dog manage fireworks include keeping them inside, staying with them for the duration of the displays, blocking out flashes and bangs, creating a safe space, and providing them with a long-lasting chew. In more extreme cases, medicinal treatment and a behaviour management plan may be recommended by your vet. However, many pet owners are exploring alternative solutions, such as Cannabidiol (CBD), to help their dogs cope during fireworks.

What is CBD? 

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and does not induce the “high” often associated with cannabis. In humans, CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate several of our cognitive and physical functions, including stress, anxiety and pain. Dogs also have an endocannabinoid system, which is thought to behave similar to humans.

CBD companies are not allowed to sell CBD products designed specifically for pets, or indicate or recommend their human CBD products for use on animals. However, under the guidelines of the UK Government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate, vets can prescribe “human” CBD products to be given to animals. This requires a professional assessment from a vet, who will then recommend a dosage. This is also important if your pets take medication, as CBD could interfere with anything that is currently prescribed.

Vets tend to recommend using THC free products, as THC can have adverse effects on dogs, including THC poisoning. For this reason, broad-spectrum CBD — which contains all occurring compounds found in the hemp plant, apart from THC — is often used. 

If your dog shows signs of fear in response to fireworks or loud noises, you should speak to your vet as soon as possible, and can broach the topic of using CBD for your pet then. 

Can CBD Help Dogs With Fireworks?

One of CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits is its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties, with initial research showing promising results for dogs.

In a 2023 study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, a single oral dose (4 mgs per kg of body weight) of THC-free CBD significantly relieved dogs’ stress caused by car travel or being left alone.

The researchers conducted a blinded, randomised, and placebo-controlled study to investigate how CBD influenced the experiences of 20 dogs engaging in two common activities known to induce stress: car journeys and being left alone. The scientists collected a variety of physical data (such as cortisol levels in the blood, ear temperature, and heart rate) as well as observed behavioural indicators (such as whining, trembling, and panting) at various time points. Their findings indicated a noticeable improvement in these parameters after administering CBD. Overall, dogs that received CBD treatment were scored as significantly less “sad”, had reduced cortisol levels, exhibited less whining, and demonstrated a more relaxed emotional state compared to dogs given a placebo. 

In another Cornell study, dogs were given CBD chews prior to a stressful event, and 83% showed a decrease in stress or anxiety-related behaviours. Anecdotal reports further suggest that CBD can help reduce stress levels and calm anxious pets.

CBD’s anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties could therefore help to calm down dogs before, during and after fireworks, and reduce their stress and anxiety levels.

Safety and Legal Considerations

The legal status and safety of using CBD for dogs should be considered by pet owners.

  • Legal: Companies are not allowed to sell CBD products designed specifically for pets, but vets can prescribe “human” CBD products to be given to animals, such as flavoured CBD oils.

  • THC Content: CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC to comply with UK regulations.

  • Source and Quality: CBD derived from organically grown hemp ensures minimal exposure to harmful chemicals. Third-party laboratory reports should verify how pure and potent your product is, and demonstrate that there are no contaminants.

  • Dosage: Follow the recommended dosage guidelines provided on the product label or as advised by your veterinarian. 

  • Administration: Administering CBD to dogs can be done in various ways, depending on the type of product you use. CBD oil can be put into your dog’s food or placed directly in their mouth. Alternatively, some companies offer CBD-infused dog treats that can be easier to give to your pet.

  • Side Effects: Some dogs may experience mild side effects after consuming CBD. If you notice any adverse reactions, discontinue use and consult your vet.

You might also want to consider hemp products for pets, which are legal in the UK. Hemp seed is extracted from the same cannabis plant, but from the seeds instead of the stem and leaves. It doesn’t contain cannabinoids, but is thought to offer some of the same therapeutic benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, improved skin and coat health, and anxiety and stress relief.

Conclusion

When used responsibly and under the guidance of a veterinarian, CBD is a promising option for UK pet owners looking to alleviate their dogs’ stress and anxiety during fireworks season. However, it’s important to choose high-quality products and stay informed about the legal regulations surrounding CBD for pets in the UK. Indeed, although initial research shows promising results, more research is required to fully understand the efficacy of CBD on our furry friends.


We are Purity Hemp, the UK’s #1 Online CBD provider. Backed by science, and built on the principles of traceability, transparency & trust, we are dedicated to improving the health & wellness of people and pets around the world.

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Directions for Use:

  • Shake well before use
  • Add dose directly to your pet’s food, stirring it in if necessary
  • Use up to twice daily – (See dosage table for guidelines)
  • Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight

Weight of Pet Regular Dosage Strong Dosage
Up to 20lbs/9kg 1 to 4 drops 4 to 8 drops
20 to 40lbs/9-18kg 2 to 8 drops 8 to 16 drops
Over 40lbs/18kg 4 to 20 drops 16 to 40 drops

Contains Zero THC, chlorophyll free

*This product is sold for use by pets only, as it contains CBD Isolate.

We recommend discussing the use of CBD with a qualified vet, especially if your pet is pregnant or nursing a litter.

Keep out of sight or reach of children.