Alleviate allergies in dogs with CBD oil

Dogs' Allergy Alleviation: CBD Oil's Soothing Effects

Written by: Dr. Athena Gaffud



Time to read 7 min

Dog allergies are one of the top reasons for veterinary visits. Allergies limit the dogs options for food to eat, places to visit, and certain activities to prevent health complications.

Traditional treatments often involve medicines such as antihistamines or steroids, but may not be suitable for long-term use due to unwanted side effects. This dilemma led pet owners to seek alternative, natural remedies, with CBD oil emerging as a popular choice.

As our understanding of alternative therapies for pets continues to evolve, one promising avenue for addressing dogs' allergies is the use of CBD oil. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant known for its potential therapeutic benefits.

The use of CBD oil among pet owners has increased in recent years to alleviate various health issues in their pets, including allergies. This article explores the soothing effects of CBD oil on dogs experiencing allergy-related discomfort.

Understanding Dog Allergies

Allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction of the dog’s immune system to particular substances called “allergens”. There are several allergens for dogs, mostly proteins. When these allergens enter the dog’s body, histamine and other substances that cause inflammation are produced. Allergic reactions are usually observed as itching, reddening of the skin, swelling, gastrointestinal or respiratory issues.

Types of Dog Allergies

Food Allergies

Dogs can develop adverse food reactions to certain substances in the food . The most common allergen in food is protein in chicken, eggs, pork, lamb, or beef. Nonetheless, dogs could also be allergic to grains, such as wheat, soya, corn, or other ingredients.

Food allergies are usually observed with gastrointestinal signs accompanied by some skin reactions. It is important to note that food allergy is different from food intolerance. The former involves immune reaction whereas the latter does not.

A common example of food intolerance is diarrhea due to lactose intolerance which is not triggered by an immune response but the absence of an enzyme in the dog’s body needed to digest lactose. The effect is diarrhea without signs of dermatologic reaction.

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies are also called Canine Atopic Dermatitis (CAD), airborne or seasonal allergies triggered by allergens found in places where your dog spends time.

Common triggers include pollen, mold spores, dust mites, certain plants or animal fibers. Allergic reactions would cause respiratory symptoms and skin issues such as itching, licking, and face rubbing.

Reddening of the skin and fur loss are seen on the dog’s face, ears, armpits, belly, lower legs, and paws. Immunotherapy is the treatment of choice of most veterinarians wherein the dog will be given shots of allergy vaccine that would increase the dog’s tolerance to environmental allergens.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)

FAD is the most common skin disease in dogs. In some dogs, a single flea bite in a week is enough to trigger an intense allergic reaction, resulting in severe itching, redness, and skin irritation particularly at the tail base, although other body parts could also be affected.

Contact Allergies

Dogs can develop allergic reactions to certain materials they come into contact with, such as certain fabrics, cleaning products, or grooming supplies.

Acute Allergic reaction (Anaphylactic Shock)

Anaphylactic shock is a rare but the most alarming type of allergy in dogs. This is a severe reaction to an allergen such as bee sting or a wasp sting, or vaccine reaction.

Signs of anaphylactic shock can appear within minutes of exposure and may include difficulty breathing, drooling, vomiting, seizures, and sometimes even a loss of consciousness. Contact your vet immediately. This could lead to a drop in blood pressure resulting in shock and could be fatal.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dog Allergies?

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dog Allergies?

The type and severity of allergic signs depend partly on the type of allergy your dog is suffering from. You will see one or more of these signs in a dog suffering from an allergic reaction.

Itching and Scratching

The most common signs of dog allergies are persistent itching, scratching, and biting are common signs of allergies in dogs. Constant licking, particularly of the paws, as well as excessive biting and scratching lead to hair loss, redness, and skin irritation.

Skin Redness and Irritation

Dog allergies could cause redness, inflammation, and skin irritation. Dogs may develop hot spots or experience changes in coat texture. Allergies often manifest as skin rashes, seen as painful or itchy raised bumps or red patches on the skin.

Paw chewing or licking

Inflammation between pads will encourage the dogs to excessively lick and chew their paws leading to secondary bacterial infection. 

Ear Infections

Dogs with allergies may be prone to ear infections. Persistent ear scratching, head shaking, and a foul odor from the ears can indicate an allergic reaction.

Digestive Issues

Food allergies can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, excessive gas, and frequent bowel movement. Changes in stool consistency may also be observed.

Respiratory Symptoms

Respiratory issues, including sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge are often seen in dogs with environmental allergies. Dgs may also exhibit wheezing or difficulty breathing in severe cases.

How Do Veterinarians Diagnose Allergies in Dogs?

How Do Veterinarians Diagnose Allergies in Dogs?

If you suspect your dog has allergies, it's crucial to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. After a thorough history taking and physical examination, veterinarians conduct a series of tests to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms observed on your dog. 

In cases of seasonal or environmental allergies, saliva and hair testing do not give accurate results. A board-certified veterinary dermatologist may conduct allergy tests through skin or blood testing in dogs.

In cases of food allergy, veterinarians recommend an elimination diet to identify the specific allergens affecting your dog. This process involves hydrolysed, hypoallergenic diet, definitely nothing else, for at least three weeks and looking for signs of improvement.

The dog’s body is re-challenge by adding in additional ingredients to observe for possible allergic reaction.

Flea bite allergies are diagnosed if fleas or flea dirt is visible in the dog’s coat.

What are the Treatment Options for Dog Allergies?

What are the Treatment Options for Dog Allergies?

Treatment would depend on the final diagnosis of your veterinarian. It could be symptomatic, supportive, or specific treatment or a combination of the following:

Allergen Avoidance

Identifying and minimizing exposure to the allergens causing the reaction is a key component of managing allergies.


In some cases, allergen-specific immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be considered to desensitize the dog's immune system over time.


Veterinarians may prescribe antihistamines, corticosteroids, or other medications to alleviate allergy symptoms. It's important to follow the vet's recommendations for dosage and duration.

Topical Treatments

Shampoos, creams, or sprays may be recommended to soothe irritated skin and manage allergy-related dermatitis.


Over-the-counter products such as anti-itch chews, oils, vitamins and more enhance immunity and support overall wellness could also alleviate suffering of dogs from allergic reactions. It is highly recommended to discuss these options with your veterinarian before giving them to your dogs.

Understanding and addressing dog allergies require patience, careful observation, and collaboration with a veterinary professional. By identifying and managing the triggers, pet owners can significantly improve the quality of life for their allergic canine companions.

What is CBD Oil?

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, a natural phytocannabinoid. This is a non-psychoactive component of hemp plants with many proven healthy benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (Jastrząb, Gęgotek, and Skrzydlewska, 2019).

CBD oil is produced by extracting the CBD from the hemp plant through different processes of extraction before it undergoes decarboxylation. Depending on the type of extract, CBD undergoes further process to obtain a pure isolate.

The final CBD oil is then packed in bottles and tested in a third party laboratory before it is made available commercially.

Extract Types

Extract type of CBD oil has different features and benefits.


Full spectrum CBD oil also contains other cannabinoids and other plant substances because they are the least processed extract type. Paw Origins CBD FULL-SPECTRUM (1,000MG) HAPPY-FUREVER™ OIL takes advantage of the benefits of the “entourage effect”.


Broad-spectrum CBD oil has undergone further process to remove the THC content but the other cannabinoids are still retained. 


CBD Oil isolate is the purest form of CBD oil. It underwent further processes to remove all the other cannabinoids.

Dog's endocannabinoid system (ECS)

How Does CBD Work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in both humans and dogs. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including immune response, inflammation, and overall homeostasis. By modulating the ECS, CBD can help alleviate allergic reactions and promote a sense of balance within the body.

How Does CBD Oil Help Dogs' Allergies?

How Does CBD Oil Help Dogs' Allergies?

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

CBD is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. When dogs experience allergies, inflammation is a common response.

The ex vivo canine study of Gugliandolo et al in 2021 provided evidence that CBD was able to modulate the cytokine production stimulated by LPS and thus reduced the inflammatory response when applied with 50 and 100 μg/mL CBD. CBD interacts with receptors in the ECS to reduce inflammation, providing relief from itching and redness associated with allergic reactions.

Immunomodulatory Effects

CBD has immunomodulatory effects, meaning it helps regulate the immune system's response. In the case of allergies, an overactive immune system can lead to exaggerated responses. CBD may help balance the immune response, preventing excessive reactions to allergens.

Itch Relief

One of the most challenging aspects of allergies in dogs is the constant itching. CBD can help alleviate this symptom by calming the nerves associated with the itching sensation, providing much-needed relief for the affected pets.

A retrospective study of Mogi et al (2022) found that CBD-containing hemp oil without THC effectively reduces pruritic behavior in dogs with canine atopic dermatitis when ingested twice a day.

Stress Reduction

Allergic reactions can cause stress and anxiety in dogs. CBD has anxiolytic properties, meaning it can reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. By addressing the emotional component of allergies, CBD may contribute to a more comprehensive approach to relief.

Gastrointestinal Support

Some dogs may experience gastrointestinal issues as part of their allergic response. CBD's anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties can provide relief for dogs dealing with digestive discomfort associated with allergies.

CBD oil's soothing effects on dogs' allergies make it a great option for pet owners seeking natural remedies. While research on CBD for pets is still in its early stages, anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies suggest its potential benefits.

Pet owners should choose high-quality CBD products specifically formulated for pets such as Paw Origins CBD Full-Spectrum (1,000MG) Happy-Furever™ Oil and follow recommended dosage guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of their furry companions. As with any supplement or treatment, it's crucial to consult with a veterinarian before introducing CBD oil to your dog's routine.