• Dog allergies are caused by the dog’s immune system reacting to foreign substances (allergens) that enter the system. Allergies may cause symptoms like itchiness, inflamed skin, constant licking, and sneezing(1).
  • CBD (cannabidiol) possesses pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties(2). These benefits may help pet owners manage their dogs’ allergic reactions and allergy symptoms.
  • However, no clinical studies have determined CBD’s efficacy on canine allergies. For concerns about their pet’s health and wellness, dog owners are encouraged to seek the advice of a veterinarian before purchasing CBD oil for dogs.

Why Dog Owners Are Turning to CBD Oil for Dog Allergies

Dog allergies are common illnesses in canines caused by several external factors that may act as potential allergens or cause an allergic reaction(3).

Fleas, dust mites, and food allergies are some examples of allergens(4)

Atopic dermatitis is the most prevalent type of dog allergy(5). Meanwhile, a seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction caused by pollen. This condition may cause symptoms like sneezing and itchy skin(6).

The immune system releases antibodies to fight foreign substances, like allergens, that enter the body during an allergic reaction(7).

According to a canine study in 2020, CBD may contain anti-pain (analgesic) and anti-inflammatory properties(8)

These therapeutic benefits may help with a dog’s skin conditions, such as allergies. 

Should Pet Owners Use CBD Oil to Treat Dog Allergies?

Studies on the effects of CBD on canines or how CBD oil helps with itchy skin are lacking. 

There is insufficient evidence on CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects and how it may help relieve dog allergies

However, a study found that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may be a potential target in reducing the effects of allergic inflammatory diseases in dogs(9).

The ECS is a biological system that modulates essential bodily functions.

Researchers utilized skin samples from five dogs with healthy skin and five dogs with atopic dermatitis.

Results showed that targeting the ECS may protect dogs’ bodies against the effects of inflammation caused by skin allergies.

Moreover, the American Kennel Club (AKC) states that CBD may be used to treat pain and inflammation(10). However, there is no conclusive information on these effects. 

Still, pet owners must talk with a veterinarian before administering CBD oil to their dogs.

How CBD Oil Works to Help With Dog Allergies

CBD works by interacting with the ECS. This system plays a role in maintaining homeostasis or balance(11) and is present in humans and mammals, including canines(12).

The ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2)(13).

CB1 receptors are mainly found in the central nervous system. Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are present in the immune system.

CBD’s interaction with the ECS and its cannabinoid receptors may produce the therapeutic effects of CBD that may be helpful to people’s furry friends(14).

The Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs With Allergies

CBD’s purported health benefits may help reduce symptoms of skin conditions in dogs, like allergies and itching sensations. 

What Studies Say About CBD

Cannabidiol, more commonly called CBD, is a phytocannabinoid (plant-based cannabinoid) derived from cannabis plants(15).

Animal studies, self-reports, and clinical research on human subjects suggest that CBD may help with anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and inflammation(16)

Is CBD Good for Allergies?

A 2018 study noted that CBD’s activation of the CB2 receptors may decrease the effects of allergic contact dermatitis(17).

Canine dermatitis symptoms include severe itchy skin and rashes(18).

Moreover, a study discussed that atopic dermatitis, an allergic skin disease, may cause continuous itching in a dog’s skin(19).

Meanwhile, clinical studies showed that cannabinoids may reduce symptoms of scratching and itching caused by skin conditions like atopic dermatitis(20)

CBD is one of the various cannabinoids present in cannabis plants and cannabis products. 

Anti-inflammatory steroids are used to reduce dogs’ allergy symptoms like itchy skin. However, these drugs may cause side effects like excessive thirst and hunger(21).

On the other hand, research states that CBD is generally safe and absorbed well by healthy dogs(22).

Still, pet owners are highly encouraged to consult with their veterinarian before using CBD to treat or relieve their dogs’ allergies.

Usage of CBD Oil for Dogs With Allergies

Various CBD oils and products that may best help with dogs’ allergies exist in the market, such as(23):

  • Topicals
  • Edibles
  • CBD tinctures

CBD topical products like creams and balms can be directly applied to pets’ skin to relieve skin conditions or itchiness(24).  

Edibles like CBD dog treats, soft chews, and supplements are an easy way to give canines CBD, particularly picky eaters(25).

Meanwhile, dog owners may directly administer CBD oil tinctures under their pet’s tongue or mix the compound into dog food

Usually, tinctures are infused with carrier oils like coconut oil or hempseed oil to dilute the CBD extract concentration. 

Hempseed oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects on skin issues and help dogs’ overall skin health(26).

Choosing CBD for Dogs

When selecting the best CBD oil for dogs with allergies, pet owners should consider the following factors:

  • It is suggested that broad-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate is a better option than full-spectrum CBD oil(27)

Full-spectrum CBD oil or full-spectrum hemp oil contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which may be toxic for dogs(28).

  • Pet owners should inspect the quality of CBD oil products and hemp extracts. It is best to choose high-quality CBD products made from natural ingredients and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms).

    CBD pet products should also be free from additives like pesticides that may be harmful to dogs.

CBD Dosage for Dogs

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of the United States of America (USA) has not approved CBD for veterinary use(29).  

Hence, there is no standard CBD dosage for dog allergies

However, a study in 2019 examined the effect of CBD chews on canines after 12 weeks(30).

Results noted that CBD is safe and absorbed well by healthy dogs.

How CBD Compares to Alternative Dog Allergy Treatments

According to Karen Moriello, a doctor of veterinary medicine stated that dogs suffering from itchy skin are usually prescribed antihistamines. However, these drugs’ effectiveness is highly inconsistent(31).

 Anti-inflammatory steroids may be considered the most effective or best medication for allergic itching. However, they may cause adverse side effects like intense hunger and thirst(32)

In contrast, oral doses of CBD may not induce any detrimental side effects in healthy dogs(33).

The Pros and Cons of Using CBD Oil for Dog Allergies


  • CBD contains therapeutic benefits for pets, such as anti-inflammation and pain relief(34). Moreover, the compound may help manage allergies and skin irritation.
  • According to a report on the adverse effects of CBD administration, CBD oil is well tolerated by adult dogs(35).


  • Dogs have a high THC sensitivity as they have more cannabinoid receptors in their brains than humans. THC may cause detrimental side effects in canines(36). Thus, it is recommended to give dogs CBD products with minimal to no THC content.
  • There are no official studies on the effects of CBD in dogs suffering from allergies. For this reason, it is best to consult a veterinarian on the canine’s medical condition before administering CBD to the pet. 

CBD vs. THC: Which Is Right for Dogs’ Skin Allergies?

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the major cannabinoids in cannabis plants or hemp plants.

CBD is a nonpsychoactive compound(37), unlike THC. Thus, when ingested, THC causes a euphoric high. 

Dogs are more sensitive to THC. If ingested, the psychoactive compound may produce dangerous side effects in dogs(38)

Therefore, dog owners should opt for CBD products with little-to-no THC content.

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

The endocannabinoid system or ECS is pervasive in humans and animals. This system maintains the body’s homeostatis or balance in the nervous and immune systems and other organ systems(39).

The ECS contains the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily situated in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are mostly present in the immune system.

What Are Dog Allergies?

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system attacks foreign substances. Dogs can suffer from different types of allergies. Food, skin, and environmental allergens can all pose risks for dogs(40).

Types of Dog Allergies 

Allergic dermatitis or skin allergies are the most prevalent allergic reactions in dogs. These skin allergies may be caused by flea bites, food, and environmental allergens(41)

Dogs can experience itchiness, inflammation, and scabbed skin if bitten by fleas. 

Meanwhile, food allergies may cause itchy skin and gastrointestinal issues in dogs. 

Lastly, environmental allergens like pollen and dust may cause environmental allergies like atopic dermatitis


Various foreign substances may act as allergens. Insects, plants, animal proteins, and tiny chemical molecules may induce allergies. Other allergens are pollen, mold spores, flea saliva, and certain medications(42).

Signs and Symptoms 

Allergy symptoms may differ depending on the cause. Generally, allergic reactions may induce conditions like(43):

  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Sneezing

What Can Dog Allergies Lead to?

Dog allergies may cause intense itching, leading to worse issues if left untreated. Infected areas that dogs scratched or licked may induce hot spots(44)

Hot spots are characterized as inflamed, painful, and red skin. This condition may require immediate treatment from a veterinarian(45)

Treatment Options for Dogs With Allergies

The best treatment for allergies is to address the condition’s root cause. For instance, flea allergy can be treated using topical products and shampoos to kill fleas, while food allergies may require diet changes(46).


1. What are the most common dog allergies?

Skin allergies are common in dogs. This condition may cause various symptoms like itchiness, swelling of the face, lips, persistent licking, and inflamed skin(47).

2. Is CBD oil safe for dogs?

High doses of CBD may cause cannabis intoxication in dogs(48)

Therefore, pet owners should be careful when giving their dogs CBD products with high concentrations of THC.

Signs of cannabis intoxication are disorientation, hyperactivity, excessive drooling, and vomiting(49).

Individuals should ask for a veterinarian’s medical advice and diagnose before giving their dogs any CBD products.

  1. Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment
  2. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
  4. Atopic Dermatitis in Domestic Animals: What Our Current Understanding Is and How This Applies to Clinical Practice
  5. Canine Atopic Dermatitis
  6. Pollen Allergies in Humans and their Dogs, Cats and Horses: Differences and Similarities
  7. Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment
  8. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain
  9. Cannabinoid receptor type 1 and 2 expression in the skin of healthy dogs and dogs with atopic dermatitis
  10. CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know
  11. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals
  12. Ibid.
  13. Evolutionary origins of the endocannabinoid system
  14. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals
  15. Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids
  16. Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don’t
  17. Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Cannabinoid, in Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis
  18. What is dermatitis in dogs?
  19. Behavioural Differences in Dogs with Atopic Dermatitis Suggest Stress Could Be a Significant Problem Associated with Chronic Pruritus
  20. Cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pruritus: A review
  21. Itching (Pruritus) in Dogs
  22. Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats
  23. Page 182 of Healing With CBD
  24. Healing With CBD. page 210.
  25. Page 182 of Healing With CBD
  26. Hemp Seed Cake as a Novel Ingredient for Dog’s Diet
  27. Does CBD Work for Dogs?
  28. Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs
  29. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
  30. Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats
  31. Itching (Pruritus) in Dogs
  32. Ibid.
  33. Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats
  34. Healing with CBD page 181 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  35. A Report of Adverse Effects Associated With the Administration of Cannabidiol in Healthy Dogs
  36. Healing with CBD page 180 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  37. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals
  38. Patient’s Guide to Medical Cannabis page 308. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MILU_6ZjYkII-XMUPHLFPiPQbrz__5Sh/view
  39. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals
  40. Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment
  41. Ibid.
  42. Allergies in Dogs
  43. Ibid.
  44. Why Is My Dog So Itchy? Possible Causes & Treatment
  45. Treating and Preventing Hot Spots on Dogs
  46. Allergies in Dogs
  47. Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment
  48. Cannabis (Marijuana) Intoxication in Cats and Dogs
  49. Ibid.
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