Yes, dogs can get allergies, just like their owners, and yes, there is lots of anecdotal evidence to support CBD helping allergies within humans and dogs. Over 50 million Americans experience the unfortunate conditions of allergies, so it's easy to empathize with our fuzzy friends.

The problem is, communication isn’t as easy, so it can be difficult to determine if your pooch is suffering from allergic reactions or something more serious like a bacterial infection or canine influenza. 

So what do Pet Owners do about Allergies in Dogs?

Luckily, CBD has been helping dogs in a variety of ways, including skin allergies, inflammation, irritation, and more. Like with any health trends, there’s lots of hyperbole and different (sometimes conflicting) information out there. Everyone wants to know what’s best for their pup, so now the masses are asking: What should I know about CBD oil for dogs?

What is CBD Oil?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. It’s also crucial to note that CBD oil does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. In reality, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana.

How Does CBD Affect Dogs?

Scientists say cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.

While there’s little official scientific data on CBD treatment for canines, there’s lots of anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.

Some medical professionals and doctors have even admitted they use CBD for themselves and their dogs, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet officially approved for CBD use with dogs (or humans, for that matter) and has not issued dosing recommendations.

Every medication or supplement carries with it the risk of a reaction, so it’s always wise to try very small doses at first to monitor how your dog reacts.

As more states continue to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, consumers far and wide have enjoyed the influx of easily available CBD, including CBD oil for dogs that may help pain, anxiety, allergies in dogs, and more for family pups.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many active compounds found within Cannabis sativa plants. Though tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known ingredient within cannabis plants due to its psychoactive properties and because it’s what gets you “high,” it's not found within most CBD products on the market.

Basically, CBD is non-psychoactive but has a number of the same medical benefits as THC, which means consumers can benefit from the therapeutic effects for your pet without worrying if they are feeling “high” or groggy, or sickly, which are feelings some say accompany THC and would obviously upset canines. 

Symptoms of Dog Allergies

Like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to any number of things, and certain allergens have a greater effect on dogs than others.

Common dog allergies are caused by fleas, environmental allergens such as weed, grass, pollen, and dust mites, as well as food allergies – specifically the additives of pet food in addition to the food itself. Besides the normal runny nose, itchy skin, and watery eyes, dogs can show other symptoms for allergies as well.

If your pup is indeed prone to skin allergies, or is having allergic reactions to something else, you might notice some of the following allergy skin issues and symptoms:

  • Skin redness

  • Skin irritation

  • Swelling

  • Excessive itching

  • Repeated rubbing of face and muzzle

  • Biting of paws or legs

Types of Dog Allergies

Like humans, a dog can react to allergens through ingesting them, contact on skin, or inhaling them. Dogs can have allergic reactions to flea bites, but all types of allergies have their own levels of severity.

The four main types of dog allergies are:

  • Environmental (also called atopy)

  • Food

  • Flea

  • Contact

Not all allergies show signs of a full reaction, you might have even witnessed your dog have a minor reaction and not known it at the time.

Common environmental allergies include:

  • Pollen (grass, weed, tree, or flower pollen)

  • Dust

  • Mold

However, there are many other allergens that can affect your pup, including a number of manufactured ones such as:

  • Plastic and rubber materials

  • Cleaning products

  • Insecticidal shampoo

  • Fabrics

  • Cigarette Smoke

  • Perfumes

The most common seasonal allergies are:

  • Red, moist, or scabbed skin

  • Increased scratching and irritation

  • Itchy, runny eyes

However, seasonal allergies can also include any of the aforementioned general signs of allergies .Just as humans can have food allergies, so can dogs. In fact, dogs' allergies to their foods and the additives within are relatively common.

If your dog has ever gotten sick from its food, it’s possibly an intolerance or allergy to a new ingredient. There is a wide list of allergies in dogs, but common ones are:

  • Grains: rice, wheat, corn

  • Proteins: chicken, beef, eggs, pork, rabbit, fish, lamb

  • Root vegetables, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams

  • Legumes: peanuts, lentils, peas, beans, soy

  • Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese

Food allergies typically affect the digestive system, so signs usually include diarrhea, vomiting, or both.

Diagnosing Dog Allergies

The process of elimination can help determine what is causing allergic reactions, but this can be expensive and time-consuming. However, allergies are nothing to ignore, these reactions can even turn into life-threatening consequences for the dog if changes aren’t made.

Diagnosis is key to ensuring your dog actually has allergies, not some other condition. Depending on what signs your dog has shown, your veterinarian may request blood tests, skin tests, as well as eliminating certain food from your pup’s diet.

How to Help Soothe Dog’s Allergies

Everyday consumers and medical professionals alike have pets, which have issues, and many people are looking for natural or alternative measures to alleviate these issues. 

Thankfully pet owners have options. Besides typical pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter cures, CBD is a great alternative, plus there are also home remedies for dog allergies. The options below have virtually no side effects.

Obviously, the best way to help relieve allergies is to prevent them whenever possible. Of course, not all allergies, particularly seasonal environmental allergies can be prevented. However, there are a few things that pet owners can do on a daily basis to keep their pup as itch-free as possible.

Give Them a Supplement

Pet owners should consider adding an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to their dog's diet. Fatty acid supplements help to keep the skin moisturized and soothe irritation and inflammation.

Speaking of inflammation, if you see that your dog's skin looks red and irritated, aloe can do wonders to provide immediate relief. An oatmeal bath can also be a great, all-natural source of relief.

Switch up Their Food

Hypoallergenic food is a great alternative for pooches who need it. Grain-free food substitutes are also good to try, as many dogs have been proven to be sensitive to grains. As always, it’s wisest to speak with your veterinarian about what’s best for each individual dog’s needs.

Try Coconut Oil

Most dogs will face flea allergies at some point, and even a few bites can leave your dog itching for weeks. Natural ways to ease puppies’ flea nightmares include coconut oil. There’s a number of non-toxic all-natural ways to help prevent flea bites before they happen, like diatomaceous earth for dogs. Coconut oil also helps ease itching for dogs if they are suffering from irritation.

Give Them an Oatmeal Bath

Just like oatmeal baths can help relieve dry skin for humans, it’s the same for dogs. All you need to do is fill a bowl with oatmeal, add water, then apply to the irritated skin.

Alternatively, you could fill a tub with water and add oatmeal in. Regardless of method, allow your canine friend to soak in the mixture for 10 minutes to relieve irritated skin.

How Can CBD Oil Help with Allergies?

CBD may soothe skin-related issues associated with seasonal allergies. With CBD topical creams or oils, CBD may help maintain the normal moisture content of the skin.

How Dogs with Allergies Can Take CBD Oil

It's time. You've got the oil. Now what? Why not try one of these methods for giving CBD to your dog:

  • Oral Application. A CBD oil can be administered sublingually (under the tongue) by drawing the oil into the dropper and squirting it directly into their mouth, near the back. This is the best method for quick results.

  • Use Dog Treats. You can drop the oil onto a porous treat and then give it to your pet. They'll be none the wiser. 

  • Make it Part of Mealtime. Giving your dog CBD oil at mealtime is a great way to add it to their routine. Start with a small dose so that the change of texture and taste isn't too noticeable.

  • Buy Them a CBD Edible. CBD edibles like chews, bites, and peanut butter are also available for pets. These have a set dosage amount, so no measuring is required. Honest Paws edibles contain 5 mg of CBD oil per bite or chew.  

  • Topical Applications. Coconut oil topicals for dogs may assist with dry and cracked paws or sensitive skin. This may be what your furbaby needs. 

Choosing the Right CBD for Dogs

CBD oil products are a popular holistic supplement for pets. We encourage pet owners to do their research, ask questions and make sure they are buying quality CBD oil that has been tested and certified. Sadly, companies are cutting corners to get their product out as quickly as possible with the growing rise in demand.

This makes pet owners vulnerable and in danger of buying substandard CBD products that will be useless (or worse – harmful) to their pet. In light of this, we strongly encourage you to do your homework to be confident that you are giving your dog a premium product. 

Here are just a few things to look out for: 

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

When shopping around, you'll see terms like "full-spectrum", "isolate," or "broad spectrum. While all three can support your pet's health, the full spectrum oil contains the most cannabinoids and has more potent health benefits, whereas isolate oils ONLY contain CBD. You want the full plant benefits, including the terpenes and flavonoids that are present in hemp.

Hemp Oil, Not Hemp SEED Oil

It's essential to make sure that the CBD product you buy is a hemp extract. But more importantly that it contains CBD. Don't be fooled by hemp oils that are only extracted from the seed of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD and will not have the same health benefits.

Made in the USA and Organic

Farming practices will impact the quality of CBD hemp oil. Toxins in the soil, pesticides, and micro-bacteria can make their way into the oil. For that reason, you want an oil that is certified organic and has used the CO2 extraction process that is most effective in clearing the final product of impurities.

Non-GMO, and Free of any Soy, Dairy, or Corn

When supporting your pet's health, the last thing you want is allergens in the CBD product. Make sure the product excludes these common allergens and fillers.

Certificate of Analysis

A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a lab-tested report of the product's chemical make-up. A third-party lab should create the COA showing that they've tested the product for heavy metals, pesticides, and microbes. The COA will also show you the concentration of each cannabinoid in the oil and confirm the less than 0.3% THC.

Reputable Brand

Ensure that the CBD comes from a respected, reputable company in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. The number of reviews on their CBD products and what those reviews say is also an important part of finding the best CBD oil for dogs.

CBD Risks and Side Effects

The World Health Organization report on cannabidiol states that "CBD is generally well-tolerated, with a good safety profile." Very few side effects have been reported, such as:

  • Dry Mouth – A decrease in the production of saliva is a typical response to CBD. Your pup may be thirstier than usual so make sure you provide them with fresh, clean water daily. 

  • Low Blood Pressure – A high dose of CBD may leave your dog slightly nauseous and lightheaded. 

  • Diarrhea – Dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and the wrong carrier oil in your CBD tincture can cause an adverse reaction. 

These side effects also wear off quickly. To avoid complications in the future, try a lower dose for your dog and gradually increase it. Always monitor your pet for adverse reactions and regularly speak to your vet if your dog is on any chronic medication. 

Many pet owners wonder if their dogs can overdose on CBD oil, and luckily the answer is no. CBD oil is safe, and too much will likely cause one of the above side effects, which will eventually pass.

As all loving pet owners must, consult your vet if you are thinking about going ahead with natural aides like CBD or home remedies, or if your dog is showing signs of allergy symptoms, allergic reaction, skin irritation, aches, irritation, inflammation, diarrhea, vomiting, labored breathing, etc. 

Our Final Thoughts

CBD oil is rapidly rising in popularity for many reasons, the help it offers to our furry friends being one of the many reasons for the booming industry. Again, it’s important to make sure your dog does indeed have an actual allergy, and not a different ailment.

However, once allergies have been confirmed, pet parents can cooperate with their vet to effectively treat dog allergies in a variety of safe, natural ways. 

Discover Honest Paw’s collection of CBD products today, including CBD Oil for Dogs, CBD Dog Treats, and CBD for Cats

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD oil help with allergies?

CBD may soothe skin-related issues associated with seasonal allergies. With CBD topical creams or oils, CBD may help maintain the normal moisture content of the skin.

How long does it take for CBD oil to affect dogs?

The best way to start using CBD oil for dogs is by giving them a small dose and increasing it slowly to ensure the best results. How quickly the CBD kicks in depends on the method of CBD being used.

Oral application will ensure the quickest response, but if your hyper dog doesn’t want to cooperate there are also CBD treat options available. CBD treats usually take about 45-90 minutes to start working, where oral application may take as little as 30 minutes.