Dog Skin Irritation: CBD & Natural Remedies

Dog Itchy Skin - Terrier scratching

Dog Skin Irritation: CBD & Natural Remedies


  • Dog skin irritation is common and a leading reason for dogs visiting the vet.
  • Skin problems can negatively impact your dog’s quality of life.
  • Seemingly minor skin irritations can become serious if skin becomes infected.
  • Studies suggest that CBD & CBDA may potentially have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, which could help manage your dog’s skin condition.1


If your dog has sore, irritated skin, it may be uncomfortable, unhappy, and stressed. Dog dry skin, as well as itchy skin, can result in your dog spending their day itching, scratching and grooming themselves which can significantly affect their quality of life.

There are a plethora of underlying reasons why skin irritation on dogs may develop. It’s common, and skin problems are one of the primary reasons why dogs visit the vet.

Dog skin problems can be frustrating. Problems like dog dry skin and itchiness are often associated with conditions such as dog dandruff. Some dog skin conditions can be aggressive and cause excessive dog itchy skin which may lead to open sores that can cause considerable pain and discomfort. These problems are often caused by allergies or environmental factors such as parasites, fleas, mites, and yeast infections. They may also be the result of food sensitivities.

It’s essential that you pay attention if your dog develops a skin condition, as it could indicate an underlying health complaint. Additionally, seemingly minor dog skin problems can quickly escalate into a complicated secondary bacterial or fungal infection if nasty pathogens contaminate open skin. These infections can become severe and could even require hospitalisation. Aside from the health implications, vet bills quickly become expensive.

To minimise the impact, it’s best to act as soon as you notice any dog skin problems. One approach may be to harness the natural power of CBD & CBDA to support your dog’s skin health with problems like dog dandruff, dog itchy or dry skin.

 Continue reading as we explore dog skin irritations and how CBD & CBDA may have the potential to help.


Dog Skin Conditions: How many dogs are affected?

It’s difficult to estimate how many dogs suffer from skin irritation because many are treated at home and don’t receive veterinary attention. However, most research agrees that skin irritation is a common problem amongst our four legged friends.

For example, in a 2006 survey2 from the United Kingdom, researchers found that 21.4% of small animal consultations in general veterinary practices had dermatological issues. Although the figures include various small animals like cats and exotic species, it highlights that skin irritation is widespread. With the most common cited issue was dog itchy skin. Additionally, skin irritation describes various conditions. Experts estimate that around 10%3 of dogs in the developed world have canine atopic dermatitis (CAD), the most common cause of dog itchy skin diseases like dandruff. 


Dog scratchy itchy skin

What are the different kinds of dog skin irritations?

Dog skin conditions may take various forms, including contact dermatitis, bacterial and fungal infections, and parasite allergies. What’s more, when your pet scratches their aggravating skin condition, it can lead to hair loss and chronic alopecia.

Here are some of the causes of dog skin irritation:


Like human hay fever, your dog may become itchy because of allergens like grass, dust mites, and pollen.


Like human hay fever, your dog may become itchy because of allergens like grass, dust mites, and pollen.


Other skin conditions in dogs, such as mange or allergies, can cause the skin follicles to become inflamed and infected, termed folliculitis.


Despite the name, this is a highly contagious fungal infection. It appears as inflamed, circular, crusty patches that are incredibly itchy.


Warm areas such as the ear canal, groin, and toes can develop yeast infections.


These parasites can irritate skin and trigger an allergic response leading to symptoms of itching and inflamed, red skin. Dogs may chew or lick their fur to relieve the itching.


This severe skin infection is caused by mites living in the dog’s skin and hair. It is intensely itchy and contagious. 


This dry skin condition can also lead to open skin wounds and infection if the dog scratches. It may indicate an underlying health problem.


Dog skin irritation in a West Highland Terrier

Which breeds of dogs are most vulnerable to skin irritation?

Certain breeds are more likely to develop issues with dog skin irritation. In a survey of 8643 dogs4,  1585 of the animals had allergic and other skin symptoms. The survey found that dogs with over 50% white colour in their coats and living in extremely clean houses were significantly more likely to have skin irritation.

They found that these five breeds of dog were most likely to have skin irritation: West Highland Terrier, Boxer, English Bulldog, Dalmatian and French Bulldog.  


With CAD, there’s a strong genetic link, although it can occur in any breed of dog. There’s an increased risk reported5 for various terrier breeds and the following:

  • Golden and Labrador Retrievers
  • German Shepherds 
  • Boxers 
  • Pugs 
  • Irish Setters 
  • Dalmatians 
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Shih Tzus


Dog Itchy Skin - Terrier scratching

Can CBD help with dog skin problems?

Dog skin irritations can be nasty and you’ll want to ease their symptoms as soon as possible and help them feel themselves again. In the search for natural products with no side effects, more people are turning to CBD. Early research indicates that combining CBD and CBDA may be beneficial in maintaining your pet’s happy and healthy skin. However, research is still very much in its infancy, and much more work is needed in this area.

CBD and CBDA are all-natural bioactive compounds from the hemp plant, a variety of Cannabis sativa. All animals have a complex network of neurotransmitters and receptors called the endocannabinoid receptor system (ECS).6 Research indicates that cannabinoids and the ECS play an essential role in key bodily processes. Because skin contains cannabinoid receptors,7 CBD may potentially help with skin irritation.

In a 2019 paper,8 researchers noted that CBD might help treat common skin symptoms like dryness and itching. This is because CBD may potentially provide some anti-inflammatory properties.9

CBD may also have some antioxidant properties,10 which could help boost skin health by neutralising free radicals that cause damage. What’s more, the cannabis plant has been used for centuries for its antibacterial and antifungal properties,11 which could potentially help protect the skin against infections.

Unfortunately, there is still a lack of research using CBD to treat canine skin irritation specifically. However, as the ECS is universal, there’s no reason to assume CBD would be less helpful in dogs than humans. Early studies have indicated that CBD & CBDA may be an effective therapy for pruritus (itchy skin)(1).


What CBD products can I try for my dog’s skin problem?

When treating your dog with CBD and CBDA, you can use a two-pronged approach by combining oral and topical products to provide your dog with the best results.

There are specially tailored veterinary CBD oils that you administer orally to your pet to take effect throughout the body. Additionally, you can use topical CBD to apply to the skin wherever there’s irritation. A significant benefit of topical CBD is that it reaches localized clusters of cannabinoid receptors when applied directly to the skin while bypassing the digestive and circulatory systems.



Emily Holloway

%d bloggers like this: