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CBD Oil for Pets: What Can I Feed My Dog to Boost Immunity?

CBD oil for pets -what you need to know.

CBD oil has immune suppressive and anti-inflammatory effects according to a study recently published in the National Library of Medicine.

 Consequently, using CBD oil for pets may keep a dog’s immune system from attacking body tissue, and CBD’s inflammation control is beneficial for multiple inflammatory ailments.

However, maintaining healthy immunity requires more than immune suppressants and anti-inflammatory agents.

To boost a dog’s immunity the dog must;

  • Have healthy stress and anxiety levels.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Be parasite-free.
  • Consume a healthy diet.

Hemp extracts can deliver all the nutrients, antioxidants, omega acids, and cannabinoids the dog needs. Said components are associated with better sleep, parasite management, nutrition, and stress management.

The effects can be enhanced with vitamins A, C, E, and minerals such as zinc and selenium, as explained below.

In general, the importance of a strong immune system is; a lower frequency of infection, more energy, and improved quality of life.

Below is everything you need to know about CBD oil for pets and immunity.

Table of Contents

CBD Oil for Pets: What Can I Feed My Dog to Boost Immunity?

Understanding the Canine Immune System and Interactions with CBD Oil.

Can CBD Oil Prevent a Dog’s Immune System from Overreacting?

How do you Know if your Dog is Immunocompromised?

CBD oil for Pets: Incorporating Hemp Extracts into Dog’s Diet for Immune Support.

CBD oil for Pet Immune Function: Conclusion.

Understanding the Canine Immune System and Interactions with CBD Oil.

The function of a canine’s immune system is to protect the body from invaders and abnormal cells.

It does that by identifying and destroying or removing viruses, toxins, chemicals, or other substances that may enter the body.

When attacked, the immune system reacts by sending immune cells. Inflammation may occur depending on the nature of the perceived threat.

In general, what you need to remember is:

  • The body trains immune cells to identify good and bad bacteria.
  • A disruption in the microbiota – if the dog has more “bad bacteria” than “good bacteria”- is associated with gastrointestinal disorders, weight gain, and bowel ailments.
  • The body learns to fight invaders through adaptation or innate immunity. Vaccinations are thus useful as they prepare the dog’s body for bacteria and viruses it may encounter.

However, a dog’s immune system does not always work as it should. If that is the case, the dog may react in at least four ways when exposed to a threat.

Can CBD Oil Prevent a Dog’s Immune System from Overreacting?

 Researchers are unsure about CBD oil’s effects on the immune system.

The basics.

CBD is a non-psychoactive extract of hemp or cannabis that does not have an abuse or dependence potential. Additionally, CBD oil may boost the immune system indirectly by improving a dog’s sleep quality and length, pain management, and as a treatment for multiple inflammatory ailments.

CBD oil for pet immunity, this what you need to know.

The connection between CBD oil and immune function is the endocannabinoid system. A system of cells that sends signals throughout the body.

  • The body produces cannabinoids/endocannabinoids (CB1/CB2 receptors).
  • CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids can interact with the endocannabinoid system.

The interaction between cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system plays a role in the management or alteration of mood, sleep, thinking, memory, and digestion.

When exposed to CBD oil, what happens is the cannabinoid prevents the breakdown of endocannabinoids, improving their effects on the body and the functions listed.

CBD Oil for Pets: What are the Potential Benefits?

From research, there is enough evidence to support the following claims about CBD.

Whether or not CBD oil strengthens the immune system is still up for debate.

What we do know is CBD oil is immunosuppressive and thus useful in the management of multiple autoimmune ailments that afflict canines. Examples include inflammatory bowel disease, immune-mediated skin disease, anemia, thrombocytopenia, arthritis, and so on.

That is not to say that you should abandon treatment or medication and rely on CBD oil. If your dog has been diagnosed with an autoimmune ailment, it is best to use CBD oil to complement treatment.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine claims, quote –

“Despite CBD already being used in the treatment of different autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, osteoarthritis, and rheumatic diseases, predominantly preclinical data support the hypothesis that anti-inflammatory effects of the compound are directly involved in its clinical effects.”

Essential Hemp Nutrients for Boosting Dog Immunity.

Hemp produces at least four hundred chemicals and compounds that may boost dog immunity. Consequently, full-spectrum hemp and hemp seed extracts may contain:

  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces free radical damage.
  • Hemp and cannabis plants produce at least one hundred terpenes that exhibit antioxidant effects.
  • Hemp seeds contain vitamin C, iron, and calcium, minerals that support immune function.

In short, you can get vitamin D, C, iron, and selenium -nutrients that are critical for the function and growth of the immune system from hemp.

According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, other foods you should add to your dog’s diet are:

  • Kale.
  • Spinach.
  • Berries.
  • Carrots.

How do you Know if your Dog is Immunocompromised?

If you suspect that your dog has immunity issues, the best course of action is to get it diagnosed by a veterinarian. That way, you will know if the condition is manageable at home or if the dog requires specialized care.

However, look for the following signs or symptoms of canine immune dysfunction.

  • Unexplained aches and pains, usually in the joints.
  • Decreased energy or problems with walking or play.
  • Anemia.
  • Nausea.
  • Fatigue/lethargy.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.
  • Appetite loss.

If a dog is exhibiting the symptoms above, the causes could be bacterial or viral infections, allergic reactions, genetics, fungal infections, phagocytosis deficiency, or other conditions.

CBD oil for Pets: Incorporating Hemp Extracts into Dog’s Diet for Immune Support.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that a mix of CBD oil, spinach, turmeric, blueberries, and other immune-boosting foods is enough to support immune function.

CBD researchers recommend one to five milligrams of CBD oil for every ten pounds of body weight per day.

We recommend starting with low doses and concentrations and working your way up to a comfortable dose. You know that you are administering too much if the dog becomes fatigued, has a dry mouth, or develops gastrointestinal issues such as mild vomiting or diarrhea.

Are there any warnings?

CBD oil has an excellent safety profile when ingested or used topically. But, administering CBD oil in extreme amounts may cause liver damage.

CBD oil for Pet Immune Function: Conclusion.

Researchers are unsure if CBD oil can boost immunity. What we do know is CBD oil can improve sleep, manage stress and anxiety, and provide all the nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants the body needs to maintain healthy immunity.

Does your dog have an autoimmune illness? Share your experiences with CBD oil in the comment section, and do not forget to read more on CBD effects on stress and anxiety here.


  • Martini, S., Gemma, A., Ferrari, M., Cosentino, M., & Marino, F. (2023). Effects of Cannabidiol on Innate Immunity: Experimental Evidence and Clinical Relevance. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043125



David is a hemp and cannabis researcher with five years of experience in the industry.

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