If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know the misery they can bring. Itchy, watery eyes, runny noses, sore throats, and even skin irritation and inflammation can make you miserable if your particular environmental allergen is “blooming.” Thankfully, we can reach for any number of over-the-counter medications to lessen the effects of our allergies, but many of us have begun to turn to all-natural remedies to deal with these seasonal irritations.
Likewise, our dogs can suffer from allergies and allergic reactions too. Dogs with eyes that continually water, that have overly wet noses, and that seem to scratch more than normal may be suffering from allergies, either seasonal or related to any number of food or environmental causes.
Allergies can make a pup miserable, and there are definitely ways you can help your dog mitigate the effects of their allergies using all natural remedies.
You should always speak to your dog’s veterinary professional prior to starting any course of holistic remedy and/or supplementation to ensure they are a good candidate, and that it won’t interfere with any other current medications or courses of treatment they may have been previously prescribed.
That being said, let’s take a look into how CBD oil may be a useful aid to your pup’s allergies.
What is CBD Oil?
One of the best holistic resources for pet allergies is cannabidiol, or “CBD.” Cannabidiol is one of over one hundred chemical compounds called cannabinoids that can be extracted from a species of the cannabis-sativa plant and used for medicinal purposes. The cannabis-sativa plant has numerous species, but the species from which CBD oil is typically extracted is the hemp plant.
The hemp plant produces a high volume of CBD, and a low volume of tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC,” which is the cannabinoid found in large quantities in marijuana. It is a psychoactive cannabinoid that gives a marijuana user the “high” they feel when using. CBD is non-psychoactive and cannot get your dog “high” or make them feel otherwise compromised.
CBD is extracted from the hemp plant in three different ways:
- CBD isolate oil. This is CBD oil that contains only CBD, no other plant parts.
- Broad spectrum CBD oil. This oil contains CBD and some other plant parts, but no THC.
- Full spectrum CBD oil. This oil contains CBD along with portions of all other usable hemp plant parts, including a trace amount of THC (less than .3% by federal law). This amount of THC is not enough to get your dog “high,” but it is enough to produce the “entourage effect,” which refers to all parts of the hemp plant working together to bring your dog maximum CBD benefit.
CBD is thought to interact with your dog’s own internal endocannabinoid system. This system controls things like mood, stress, pain response, and appetite. CBD interacts with receptors in this system and may be able to deliver relief to occasional aches and pain as well as irritations throughout the body.
CBD oil is not hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is extracted by cold-pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. This oil is rich in fatty acids which can provide some health benefit, but essentially, it is no better than a healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil. It does not have the ability to interact with your dog’s endocannabinoid system, and is better used as a dietary supplement if your dog has need for more fatty acids in their diet.
Causes of Allergies
Dogs can have allergies that are akin to the kinds we experience as humans. A dog’s system is extremely complex, and is subject to allergies that are inherited from their biological parents as well as allergies from environmental triggers. Most dogs will show signs of an allergy within about six months of age, although it is possible that dogs can develop allergies as they get older. Here are some of the most common types of allergies affecting dogs:
- Seasonal allergies. Allergies from pollinating plants can disrupt your dog’s life and make them incredibly uncomfortable. The most common seasonal allergens that can trigger a response from your dog’s immune system are cedar, ash, and oak trees, as well as plants like ragweed.
- Pests/insects. Dogs can also be allergic to common pests and insects. Your dog may have an allergic reaction to fleas, bees, horseflies, ants, and even dust mites.
- Mold/mildew. Occasionally, a dog may have an allergy to mold, mildew, or dust. This can be especially difficult to treat without an allergen test, and the source of the mold or mildew will need to be found and removed.
- Food allergies. Dogs can develop food allergies (or be born with them) just like humans. Allergic reactions to different proteins, gluten, dairy, and soy are all food allergens that can cause your dog to have gastrointestinal issues or other irritations like itching.
- Medication allergies. Sometimes a dog will have an allergy to a particular drug, or simply not be able to tolerate it well, which can make it a non-viable option for treatment use. This can be true of certain NSAID pain relievers which are notorious for causing stomach distress.
Signs of Allergies
If something is wrong with your dog and you suspect they may be suffering from allergies, here are some signs that might indicate you’re on the right track.
- Itching. The biggest sign something could be causing your dog to have an allergic reaction is the presence of excessive itching and scratching. Whether your dog is scratching a localized area that is affected by a bite or other contact with the allergen, or is experiencing all over itchiness, a dog that can’t stop scratching may be suffering from an allergic reaction.
- Runny eyes/nose. Just like humans, dogs can get itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose when exposed to allergens. These symptoms are usually present when a dog is suffering from a seasonal allergy, but may be present in other allergic reactions also.
- Vomiting/diarrhea. If your dog has been exposed to a food or medication allergy, they could experience gastrointestinal distress like vomiting, nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
How Can CBD Help Your Dog’s Allergies?
A quick visit with your dog’s veterinarian can help you determine the extent of their allergies and rule out anything more serious. Once you’ve gotten a diagnosis, you’ll want to do everything you can to eliminate your dog’s exposure to their known allergens. Understandably, some allergens are not easily avoided. If your dog has seasonal pollen-related allergies, you probably won’t decide to keep them indoors all spring.
A great way to help give relief to a dog with allergies is by using CBD oil. CBD oil has excellent soothing properties, which make it a great go-to for dealing with all types of irritation and allergic responses in our pets.
Because allergens elicit a response in our dogs’ bodies that typically involves some type of swelling or irritation, CBD oil can help ease discomfort by soothing your pup both internally and externally. Additionally, CBD can help alleviate swelling if an allergen has made a point of contact with your dog’s skin (such as a bug bite). If your dog is experiencing pain at any of these sites, CBD oil can also help relieve pain associated with allergic reactions.
Is CBD Safe For Dogs?
CBD is widely accepted as safe for your dog. In fact, studies have shown that it is virtually impossible to “overdose” your dog with a cannabinoid, which includes CBD oil. It should go without saying that you’ll still want to exercise caution when administering CBD oil to your dog, but the most common side effect of giving your dog too much CBD is mild diarrhea. You can feel confident your dog will be safe when giving them CBD oil for their allergies.
Can Dogs Have An Allergic Reaction to CBD?
While there have been no reported cases to date of dogs having allergic reactions to CBD, there are always outliers and isolated incidents. While your dog will likely not have an actual allergic reaction to CBD, there is a chance they may not tolerate it as well as another dog. A sign that your dog isn’t tolerating CBD treatment can be gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and/or diarrhea, excessive lethargy, and excessive sleepiness.
Other Benefits of CBD
CBD is beneficial to your dog for more than just allergy relief. CBD can be administered to dogs to help temporarily relieve joint pain as well as everyday aches and pains. CBD also helps your dog’s overall mobility in soothing aching joints.
CBD can also help relieve mild GI upset such as nausea and vomiting. CBD oil is also able to settle upset stomachs, and can even help dogs who have weak appetites eat more of their food. Dogs who have GI issues are at risk of weight loss, which can be extremely harmful for dogs who are already at an ideal weight or who are underweight.
CBD oil is also a great way to promote a healthy mood in your pup. The same receptors in their endocannabinoid system that are responsible for stress response can be affected by CBD oil, which may bring about a sense of calm that gives them relief from stressful situations.
Lastly, studies are currently underway to find out if CBD oil is a viable option for treatment in dogs with epilepsy that is drug resistant. CBD is currently in use for treatment of seizures in canines, and additional studies are being done to explore CBD oil as a supplementation to traditional seizure medications.
CBD oil is a great standalone treatment for your dog’s allergies, and can also be used concurrently with other allergy medications. You should speak to your dog’s veterinarian before determining a course of treatment for your dog’s allergies to ensure they are a good candidate for CBD oil treatment.
When you’re ready to explore your CBD options, make sure to check out what VETCBD has to offer. We independently test our expert-formulated product batches for quality and safety to ensure your pet only gets the very best, to not only help provide relief and holistic support, but to help your pet thrive in their wellness!