Just like humans, pets can suffer from allergies. CBD oil is a natural treatment that is showing positive results for pets who are effected by itchiness and inflammation. Why choose CBD for allergy relief in pets? We explain.
If your dog suffers from allergies you’ll be familiar with the classic symptoms of itchiness, discomfort and inflammation. Allergy symptoms can impact our pets skin health, sleep, anxiety and basic enjoyment of everyday life.
Those of us with allergies know all too well the discomfort of itchy eyes, skin and irritated sinuses. Lucky for us humans we have a plethora of options to help reduce the causes and symptoms – from medications or aromatherapy to soothe symptoms, to addressing the immune system or gut to reduce the causes of allergies.
Our beloved pets however have fewer options to reduce their distressing allergy symptoms.
Vets usually prescribe antihistamines, antiallergics or anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce symptoms of skin irritations, gastrointestinal changes, sneezing or sinus discomfort in our pets.
However recently, CBD is being explored as another potential treatment to reduce seasonal, environmental or food allergies in dogs.
What causes allergies in pets?
Allergies can be caused by a range of different triggers, and just like their human companions, pets can show a wide range of symptoms due to an allergic response.
Environmental factors that can produce allergic reactions include shampoos, conditioners, weather conditions, air conditioner or heaters that dry out indoor environments, pollen and even grass. Environmental allergies usually show themselves on exposed or sensitive areas of skin like the belly, underarms, paws and ears – which can be itchy, swollen, weeping or inflamed.
It is relatively rare, but some pets have food allergies. Some dogs can even develop food allergies to things they’ve been eating their entire lives. Allergic reactions to foods often result in digestive changes, vomiting and skin irritation.
Fleas, mites and fungal infections can disrupt the integrity of the skin causing itchiness, skin changes and discomfort.
Even after the pathogen is cleared with medication, or environmental and food allergens are removed, disruption to the immune system and the skins protective barrier can result in allergic symptoms continuing without the right help to heal.
Is CBD oil helpful for dogs with allergies?
There are a number of ways CBD can help relieve allergy symptoms in dogs .
CBD has potent anti-inflammatory actions which may calm the immune response to allergens as well as relieve inflammation and redness topically.
CBD may help ease the pain and discomfort associated with skin or digestive allergens.
Allergies can also leave dogs feeling stressed, irritable or anxious due to excessive scratching and inability to sleep soundly. Treating dogs with CBD for allergies might have the added bonus of reducing insomnia or anxiety they may be experiencing due to distress from their allergy.
The science behind CBD for allergies
The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is found in nearly all animals, including ourselves and our pets. The ECS is an intricate and complex system of receptors and cannabinoids made by the body, also known as endocannabinoids.
The ECS has a role to play in pretty much every bodily function, from pain sensation to mood, this system modulates the dynamic state of balance our bodies maintain to stay alive.
In relation to allergies, endocannabinoids interact with our immune system and cells in the epidermis where they support skin production and protect against external pathogens.
To treat allergies, research suggests that the stimulation of the endocannabinoid system, particularly receptors in the skin, immune system and gastrointestinal associated lymph tissue (where the immune and digestive systems collide) by CBD may reduce allergic symptoms.
A recently conducted Australian study looked at a proprietary CBD blend and its effects on atopic dermatitis in dogs, a common symptom of allergic reactions. They found CBD reduced dermatitis symptoms by 51% in dogs over 56 days. Two different concentrations of CBD were compared to a placebo, both of the CBD preparations significantly reduced skin lesions compared to the placebo group – who had slightly worsened symptoms at the end of the study.
Is CBD safe for my dog?
A number of research pieces have been conducted on the safety of CBD in dogs. Research data and the clinical experience of vets shows CBD to be safe and well-tolerated in dogs.
Side effects are usually limited to drowsiness and diarrhea however can often be avoided with careful dosing or resolved by adjusting the dose of CBD under the guidance of your vet.
If your pet suffers from allergies or other conditions where CBD might help, reach out to our experienced team at CBD Vets Australia for more information.
By Jessica Kindynis