terrier scratching itchy skin

Best CBD For Dogs With Allergies

Nobody likes it when their dog's allergies get in the way of enjoying life.

Unfortunately, some stats indicate that dog allergies have become more prevalent in recent years. Can you give CBD for dog allergies? We don't have enough research to really say for sure yet, but in this article, we'll be looking at several things to consider before giving your dog CBD.

Dog allergies on the rise

A 2020 article in The Guardian confirmed what many pet owners had already been noticing: dog allergies are on the rise. [1]

The most common allergy symptoms include itchy skin, gunky eyes, changes to your dog's mouth, and more. Common types of allergies include seasonal allergies, food allergies, environmental allergies, and skin allergies.

Seasonal Allergies

As you might expect, seasonal allergies can flare up at different times of the year. If your dog seems to become more allergic, inflamed, and irritable every spring or fall, seasonal allergies are a top culprit.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are also pretty self-explanatory; they're triggered if and when your dog eats foods their body doesn't agree with. Many pet owners have successfully transitioned their pets to a mostly carnivorous raw-food diet. Your dog's digestive system is practically tailor-made for meat, after all.

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies occur when either indoor or outdoor irritants - including pollen, mold, dust mites, pollen, and more - become too much for your pet's immune system to bear.

Skin Allergies

Skin allergies are often caused by fleas, though they can also be caused by other types of allergic reactions. They often show up around the same time that seasonal allergies do. Dog skin allergies are marked by itchy skin, scratching, and increased hair shedding.

Other causes of dog allergies

The same Guardian article we referenced above mentions several other causes of dog allergies. 

These causal factors include too much pampering. According to Dan O’Neill from the Royal Veterinary College, dog allergies are becoming more common because we're treating our pets like princesses (or princes). The less your dog has access to the great outdoors, the more likely they may be to develop allergies. It's no coincidence that working dogs (sheepdogs, etc) don't suffer from allergy symptoms nearly as often as indoor dogs do. [1]

O'Neill also explains that some dog breeds are more susceptible to allergies than others. Among the dogs most prone to developing allergies are labradors and Yorkshire terriers. Even this may be more correlation than causation, though. These two breeds are among the most popular breeds out there. Could it be that labradors and terriers suffer more allergies simply because they're more pampered?

Maybe so, and even these breeds may be 'cured' simply by getting outside more. Many owners report that their dogs' allergies clear up on their own with a little more fresh air and sunshine.

If the all-natural, hands-off approach isn't working, however, then a more aggressive approach might be needed.

Any holistic approach to relieving allergy symptoms for your pet should revolve around strengthening your dog's immune system. We're thankful to report that some supplements may help with that!

Could supplemental CBD help your furry friend overcome their allergies, though? More on that in the next section.

The potential benefits of CBD

Naturally occurring CBD has quickly become one of the most popular health/wellness supplements. People of virtually every age, background, and health level have come to know and love CBD for the incredible array of benefits it offers. Even animals can benefit from CBD. As long as it has a backbone, it has an endocannabinoid system that can pick up specialized 'messages' from CBD.

And when the body's endocannabinoid system is activated, good things tend to happen. Activation of the CB2 receptors, which CBD can indirectly accomplish, may lead to: [2]

  • Reduced levels of inflammation
  • Reduced social stress/anxiety
  • Innate immunoregulation
  • Sleep regulation
  • Appetite regulation
  • Positive memory formation
  • Reduced overall stress

In other good news, CBD isn't the only hemp compound to activate the body's endocannabinoid system. CBG, CBC, CBN, THC, THCa, CBDa, and other compounds present in full spectrum CBD oil may be able to do this, too! Even the scent molecules (terpenes) in full spectrum CBD products may trigger the same type of positive effects.

And things get even better when all these compounds synergize. A growing body of research suggests that full-spectrum CBD products are far more effective than CBD alone. These compounds amplify each other, balance each other out, and make each other easier to dose.

And while many believed benefits of full spectrum CBD still need to be verified by clinical research, pet owners are noticing said benefits play out in their pet's lives regardless.

Here are some firsthand CBD accounts from the American Kennel Club: [3]

A 7-year-old Ibizan Hound named Hopper could hardly walk after being diagnosed with severe arthritic. According to his owner Christy, CBD changed that. "Within three days he could walk on all four legs and I was crying tears of joy. It was the miracle we needed.”

A Greyhound named Lady Amelia was so scared of thunderstorms she was destroying her crate in order to escape. According to owner Jenn, "three drops of CBD oil" took her anxiety levels "down to a 5.”

Not every veterinary group has been quite so hopeful about CBD, however. The American veterinary medical association (AVMA) is concerned that CBD products may be mislabeled and poorly marketed.

"Also of concern," the group says, "are recent reports of lab analyses indicating that a substantial portion of products currently available on the market is labeled inaccurately with respect to both the identity and amount of active ingredient found within the product." [4]

How to Choose the Right CBD Oil for Dog Allergies

There are several things to look for when choosing the right CBD oil product. While CBD is great, don't think that all CBD products are created equal! Look for CBD oil that contains a full spectrum of hemp's active ingredients, is independently lab-tested, and has good customer reviews. Here are the details.

What is the Best Type of CBD Oil for Dogs?

CBD products can be grouped into three major categories: full spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD oil, and CBD isolate. Full spectrum hemp oil/CBD oil is thought to be best for several reasons.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil: the best CBD oil for dogs?

Full spectrum CBD oil is a hemp extract that contains large amounts of CBD and trace amounts of THC (generally 0.3% THC or less). Full spectrum CBD oil strikes a near-perfect balance between fast absorption and long-lasting benefits. It kicks in within 30-45 minutes and can power up to 8 hours of gentle upliftment! The best full spectrum hemp oil will contain over 100 active ingredients.

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil for dogs with allergies

Broad spectrum CBD oil is the same as full spectrum CBD oil, with one exception: it contains no THC. This type of CBD oil is processed through a second extraction/filtration to remove its THC while retaining its other trace cannabinoids and terpenes. Some people feel that broad spectrum CBD is even better than the full spectrum stuff for dogs. Why? Because dogs are much more sensitive to THC than humans are.

CBD Isolate for dogs with allergies

CBD isolate is the most purified type of CBD out there. It's been stripped of any and all trace cannabinoids, terpenes, flavones, and pigments. Its only active ingredient is CBD! Many pet owners think CBD isolate's purity makes it the best choice for their canine. In reality, though, broad spectrum CBD is stronger than CBD isolate in almost every way.

CBD Dog Treats

CBD dog treats are another popular option. These CBD treats place their namesake cannabinoid into a format that your dog already loves to eat. No more force-feeding your dog messy CBD oils if you go this route!

Topical CBD

Topical CBD products include salves, balms, creams, lotions, etc. These topicals don't make it into your pet's bloodstream, but they can still be incredibly effective at combatting itchy skin and other skin problems.

Hemp seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is super healthy, but it isn't to be confused with CBD oil. Hemp seed oil contains very little CBD. Instead it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, and antioxidants. While hemp seed oil can still be a great addition to your pet's wellness routine, don't be scammed into thinking this oil is CBD oil when it's not!

CBD for dog allergies: other things to know

Below are a few more things to keep in mind when selecting the right CBD product for your dog.


Is your product you're looking at high-quality, 100% natural, or USDA-certified organic?


Is the brand you're looking at transparent about where its CBD comes from? If not, that's very much a red flag.


Is the product you're looking at tested or certified by third-party labs? Bonus points for brands that make their products' results easily accessible online.

Carrier oils

Also be sure to find a product that uses a premium carrier oil, like MCT oil, organic coconut oil, or organic hemp seed oil. Stay away from cheap products that use grapeseed oil as their carrier — grapeseed oil is toxic to dogs!

Other Ingredients

Does the product you're looking at contain fillers, binders, preservatives, or other additives? These things aren't good for you or your dog.

Possible Side Effects

Just as with humans, CBD products are extraordinarily safe. The vast majority of industry experts and medical professionals agree that CBD is unlikely to cause side effects. And the side effects it may cause are almost always very mild:

Dry Mouth

Giving your pet more CBD than their body needs may cause the mucous membranes in their mouth to momentarily dry out.


Giving your pet high-dose CBD can cause sleepiness. Depending on the timing of said dose, this can either be a very good or very bad thing.

Avoiding CBD's side effects

Avoiding CBD oil's side effects is simple. Just start low and go slow! Your pet may not need as much CBD as you think they do. A good starting dose is 1 milligram of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. If your lab weighs 70 pounds, consider starting them off with a daily dose of 7 milligrams of CBD.

Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

Yes. CBD does not cause harsh side effects, hospitalization, or physical harm of any sort. The state of California has acknowledged that CBD products are appropriate for veterinarian prescription and use - and it's likely only a matter of time until other states follow suit. Just be sure to consult your personal vet before giving CBD products to your dog, of course.

Can I Give My Dog Too Much CBD?

Possibly. The good news is that your dog cannot classically overdose on CBD oil. They can, however, experience unwanted side effects if you give them too much CBD. That's just another reason to be conservative with dosing, especially at first.

Will CBD Help My Dog's Allergies? CBD for dog allergies

It's yet to be seen if CBD will help your dog's allergies. In theory, CBD's anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for dogs who have inflammation-driven allergic reactions. CBD is known to help modulate the canine immune system, after all, particularly at times when it's overactive.

Yet more research still needs to be done before we can be confident about all this. If history is any indication, theoretical science doesn't always pan out in the real world.

How to Administer CBD Oil to Your Dog

Ready to see if CBD helps improve your furry friend's health? Great! Here's how it's done.

  1. Talk to your vet. Before you do anything else, talk to your vet about CBD. It might turn out that your pet is currently taking a prescription that's not compatible with CBD use.
  2. Once you've got the green light, find a premium CBD product using the metrics we mentioned above. CBD oil, CBD topicals, and CBD treats are all great choices.
  3. Practice intentional dosing. Check your product's label to see if it provides any dosing range recommendations, and be sure to start your pet off with a low dose.
  4. Keep consistent with it. CBD's benefits don't always kick in immediately. You may need to stick with your new CBD routine for 2-3 weeks before your pet starts to feel better.

CBD for dog allergies: summing things up

Dog owners, we've got good news! CBD may be able to help both you and your pet reach a higher level of health. Check out our other blog posts if you'd like to learn more about how CBD may affect your pet. Or, if you're feeling ready to buy, feel free to get shopping here!

Back to blog