Can CBD Help Pet Allergies? — August 2, 2019

August 2nd, 2019 by Hannah Laing

Dog's Allergies

Quinton with dog
By Op-Ed Blogger Quinton Charles 

Published August 2, 2019

Does your pet have allergies?

Once again, it’s time to talk about our favorite family members: our pets. A lot of people don’t know this (and those who do, wish that they didn’t), but dogs and cats can have allergies as well. Just like humans, they can be sensitive to certain allergens in the air (such as pollen or dust); and, like their masters, they can lose out on a lot of life by constantly being burdened by these allergies.

How do pets display allergies?

Allergies in animals work very similar to allergies in humans; symptoms can include itchiness, runny noses, red or inflamed eyes, and sneezing. However, despite these similarities, animals will often have allergy symptoms manifest themselves in the pet’s skin. This is due to the high prevalence of “mast cells” (a type of white blood cell) in the pet’s skin. Normally, these cells help combat germs and infection, but they can become overwhelmed by allergens at times.

How do I know if my pet has allergies?

KittiesHow can you be expected to know if your animal has allergies if you didn’t even know that they could have them? It’s simple. Here are some common symptoms of allergies to look for in your furry best friend:

  • Is your pet constantly scratching themselves? This is a tell-tale sign of allergies, especially if it seems to get worse after you have been outside.
  • Your pets can chew and lick areas with allergies.  Paws are one of the areas you will see them lick.
  •  Maybe they’re breaking out in rashes and hives? This can occur when they are exposed to an allergen.
  • They can also display inflammation in areas. Look on their belly and feet, particularly in-between the toes, as these are the parts of their body that touch the things like grass or pollen the most. Ears can be another area that gets inflamed due to allergies.
  • Rubbing on furniture, the floor, or any other surface might also be a sign of allergies. Some pets will try and rub their entire body across a surface to alleviate the itchiness caused by an allergy.
  • If your pet’s ears are being bothered by allergies, your animal will shake his head often, due to the irritation. They may also not want you to touch their head.
  • Allergies will also give animals red skin near their mouth, chin and paws. In some circumstances, the anus will also become red and inflamed.
  • Just like humans, pets with allergies often get puffy, red eyes.

So your pet has allergies. Now what?

If your pet displays any or all of the above-listed symptoms, it is likely that he or she has allergies. Now, don’t panic yet. Think of all the times that you had a runny nose in the springtime; this is no different. In fact, you may be experiencing similar symptoms to your animal. Many of the allergens that affect humans are those which cause responses in animals. Since this is the case, the first step in helping your canine companion is exactly like what you would do for yourself: locate the allergen! I acknowledge that this is easier said than done. But think for a moment about what could be causing your pet’s reactions. Is it the indoor cleaners, solvents, or scented oils in the house? What about chemicals used outdoors, like pesticides & herbicides? Animals can even have reactions to medicated pet shampoos and highly concentrated chemicals in flea & tick collars. Are any of these things replaceable at home? Before adding anything to your pet’s diet and life, think about what you could take out that would improve its health.

Are there things that can’t be taken out, or things that are out of your control? No worries, that’s where CBD comes in.

CBD? For my animal?

Yes, CBD can work in animals. Just like humans, animals do have an endocannabinoid system (ECS for short. Check out my prior blog about it). This system helps the cells regulate their function, and can give a boost to the immune system, while also working to reduce inflammation! So if you can’t get rid of an allergen, and your pet is still experiencing the symptoms of allergies, it is a good idea to think about adding some CBD into their daily routine. I know that I wouldn’t want my pet to go on suffering from allergies.

What should I give them?

The other aspect of helping out your pet with CBD is deciding how to give them it. Unfortunately, most animals are unlikely to just swallow a pill or capsule with a glass of water in the morning after breakfast. But capsules and pills aren’t the only way to get CBD into your pet! A very popular option with pets and their owners is, yes, you guessed it, treats. These things are great. Tasty, with plenty of CBD, they make giving your animal what it needs easy. After all, what pet is going to say no to a tasty treat?

Another way to give your animal some CBD is via a tincture. This can be as simple as a treat by just dropping oil in their food.  If your pet is not a good eater and leaves food in their bowl this can be a bit more challenging but can offer something that a treat can’t: isolation. What I mean by this is that tinctures are relatively pure. If your pet turns out to be allergic to an ingredient that is used to make a treat, it will be a bit moot to give them more treats to try to solve the problem. A tincture, with limited ingredient drops in your pets’ mouth, gets around this problem (although, if the treats work fine, no need to stop!)

Mike and Mo

When looking for CBD for your pet, always make sure to look for products that are from hemp and have minimal .3% or less THC content. At high doses, THC can be toxic to pets. But don’t let that scare you away from using potentially helpful CBD; our products for pets are all safe (our own furry family members use them – just ask Molly and Mike on the left).

When do I start?

As I’m no veterinarian, I always advise you to talk to your vet before changing anything up with your pet’s diet or lifestyle. I offered all the information that I could, and hope that it’s helpful. No owner wants to see their pet suffer with allergies, and many have found relief with CBD,  but it isn’t always as easy as adding a new treat or tincture. This is why I  advise first looking at what you can take out of your pet’s life that causes allergies before adding something new. I hope that, in no time, your pet can be out enjoying life without any allergies! And try some CBD treats or drops, they’re delectable!


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