Dogs, like humans, can suffer from allergies, which can significantly impact their quality of life. If you’ve been researching natural remedies, you may have come across CBD as a potential solution. In this blog, we’ll explore whether CBD can help dogs with allergies, and what you need to know before considering it as a treatment option for your fur baby.
Understanding Allergies in Dogs
Before diving into the potential benefits of CBD, it’s essential to understand what allergies mean for your best friend.
Allergies in dogs can manifest as skin issues (like itching, rashes, or hives), recurrent ear infections, digestive problems (vomiting or diarrhea), or respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing). Common allergens for dogs include foods (typically animal protein), flea bites, and environmental factors such as pollen and dust mites. Allergic reactions occur when your dog’s immune system overreacts to these triggers.
CBD and Its Potential Benefits
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, another well-known cannabis compound, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get your dog high. CBD, like the natural cannabinoids produced by the body, interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) present in both humans and dogs. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions, including pain perception, immune response, and inflammation.
How can CBD Benefit Dogs with Allergies?
Allergies in dogs can affect the proper functioning of the ECS, and therefore CBD can act to supplement the endocannabinoids in the body and help reduce allergy symptoms.
Here’s how CBD may offer potential benefits for dogs with allergies:
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the inflammation associated with allergic reactions. This can be particularly helpful in alleviating itching and skin irritation, common symptoms of allergies.
- Pain Management: CBD has demonstrated analgesic effects, which means it can help alleviate pain. Dogs with allergies may experience discomfort and pain due to skin irritation or gastrointestinal issues, and CBD may provide relief.
- Anxiety Reduction: Allergies can be stressful for dogs, leading to anxiety and discomfort. CBD has shown promise in reducing anxiety levels, which can help your dog stay calm during allergy flare-ups.
- Skin Health: CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can potentially help soothe irritated skin and reduce itching, a common symptom of allergies.
- Improved Appetite: Dogs with allergies or inflammation may lose their appetite. CBD can help stimulate appetite and improve overall nutrition, aiding in the healing process.
Furthermore, in 2022, a research study aimed to examine the effects of CBD-containing hemp oil as a supplemental treatment for canine atopic dermatitis (CAD), as well as its adverse effects, and effects on concurrent drug use in dogs. It was found that CBD, used as a supplement in combination with other drugs, was well-tolerated over a wide dose range and decreased the occurrence of itching in dogs with CAD when ingested twice a day.1
Choosing the Right CBD Product
Now that you know that CBD could help reduce your dog’s allergy symptoms especially when used in conjunction with other medications, it is important to know which CBD products are best because not all are created equal. Here is how to choose the right CBD product for your dog:
- Consult Your Veterinarian: Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new treatment, including CBD. They can provide guidance tailored to your dog’s specific needs and health conditions.
- Choose High-Quality CBD Products: Look for reputable CBD products specifically designed for pets. These should have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to ensure they are free from harmful additives and contain the claimed amount of CBD. Keep reading to see which CBD brand I recommend.
- Start with a Low Dose: Begin with a low dose of CBD and monitor your dog’s response. Gradually increase the dosage as needed while keeping an eye out for any adverse effects.
- Monitor Your Dog’s Progress: Pay attention to any changes in your dog’s behavior, symptoms, or overall well-being. Regularly communicate with your veterinarian to make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
All in all, it is important to remember that CBD products are not regulated so choosing a CBD brand that self-regulates by using a consistent crop source and testing their finished product is critical. A brand that I trust, as a veterinarian, is Ellevet Sciences.
Always Speak to Your Veterinarian
While research on CBD’s effectiveness for dogs with allergies is ongoing, the data seems promising. CBD has the potential to provide relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, and other symptoms associated with allergies. However, it’s essential to approach CBD use for your dog with care, consulting your veterinarian and choosing high-quality products.
Every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Your veterinarian can help you make informed decisions and tailor a treatment plan that is safe and effective for your four-legged friend.
- Mogi C, Yoshida M, Kawano K, Fukuyama T, Arai T. Effects of cannabidiol without delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on canine atopic dermatitis: A retrospective assessment of 8 cases. Can Vet J. 2022 Apr;63(4):423-426. PMID: 35368394; PMCID: PMC8922375.
Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva, VMD, cVMA
Dr. Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva is the Professional Services Veterinarian here at Wild Earth. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Brown University, and attended veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in general practice, on telehealth platforms, and in animal rehabilitation. She has worked tirelessly to gain expertise in the field of canine nutrition through numerous certifications and coursework, and plans to pursue her Masters in Animal Nutrition.