We’ve all heard the fantastic health benefits of using olive oil for humans but can dogs eat olive oil too? The answer is YES. There are multiple good reasons why you should add a spoonful of olive oil to your pup’s kibble or canned food once a day. The nutrition in olive oil might fight cardiovascular disease. Restore the luster of a dried out coat. And help your pet lose weight. You can do all of this just by including olive oil in your dog’s diet.
Can Dogs Eat Olive Oil?
It is perfectly safe to feed your dog olive oil. Experts recommend mixing one teaspoon into your dog’s food once a day. It works for dry or wet brands. After one week, you can begin to reduce the amount to a few drops. The exact amount you should use will depend on your dog’s weight. It’s recommended to do one teaspoon for every 20 pounds.
If you’re unsure about how much your dog weighs, call your vet to see if they can help. Many locations will weigh your dog for free or a small fee. While you’re there, you can discuss your decision to use olive oil as part of your pet’s diet and get professional recommendations tailored to your pet’s exact needs.
Olive Oil is Rich in Nutrients
Olive oil can be a good part of your dog’s nutrition, as it is rich in things like fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. It contains nutrients like:
- Saturated fat
- Monounsaturated fat – a good fat that helps your dog lose weight; prevents cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Omega-6 – important for the immune system; reduces chances of arthritis
- Omega-3 fatty acids – good for moisturizing your dog’s skin; minimize the risk of heart disease, dementia, and arthritis
- Vitamin E – strengthens the immune system, heart health, and skin and coat
- Vitamin K – improves blood clotting
Olive oil is rich with antioxidants like:
- Oleocanthal – anti-inflammatory
- Oleuropein – protects LDL cholesterol (see if this is important for dogs)
- Vitamin E – gives a shiny coat and boosts the immune system
- Polyphenols – boosts the immune system
- Chlorophyll – helps with digestion, replenishes red blood cells
- Carotenoids – boosts the immune system
Use Olive Oil to Keep Your Dog Looking Young
Olive oil is a great supplement to keep your pet’s coat shiny and soft. As dogs (and people) age, they often end up with gray hair. This could happen much sooner than you expected, as it often does for the best of us. Prevent your fury baby from prematurely being gray-headed by feeding them olive oil.
If your pet has dry, flaky skin, no worries; olive oil will treat that too. No rubbing or washing is needed. By simply adding it to their daily meal, they get all the benefits -including healthy skin and a gorgeous coat that will be the talk of the dog park.
Olive Oil Might help to Prevent Cancer in Dogs
Cancer kills 50% of dogs over the age of 10. Whether your pet has celebrated her decade birthday or if he’s fast approaching, you can reduce her chances of getting cancer by adding olive oil into her food.
Olive oil contains oleic acid, as well as squalene and terpenoids, which scientists believe might be one answer to preventing cancer. This applies to humans and dogs. So don’t just save that EVOO for only your pets. Use it for your meals too. She needs you around as much as you do her.
Olive Oil Keeps Your Dog Smart
You may not think about your pet losing his memory, but dogs can suffer from cognitive decline like humans. They can even suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Olive oil is a smart, easy way to reduce the rate at which their brains deteriorate effectively. EVOO contains a polyphenol called oleocanthal. Many studies have been done to prove that this nutrient lowers the chances of Alzheimer’s.
If you have an extra smart dog, especially in breeds like Mensa mutt, Poodles, or Border Collie, or if your dog knows some super cool tricks, use olive oil to keep him working at full brain capacity. Don’t forget to dish up some for yourself as well. You both need to stay healthy for each other.
Olive Oil is a Healthy Energy Supplement
Using olive oil in your pet’s food won’t make him run around for hours without stopping. But it will help give him a safe energy boost. Olive oil has been proven to reduce inflammation due to a fatty acid called oleic acid. If you have an arthritic dog prone to swollen joints, using a little EVOO in his meals will have him feeling young again.
Another added benefit is that olive oil improves the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. If the lining gets inflamed, your pet might have difficulties breathing. Some breeds of dogs, like Bulldogs, always have breathing difficulties. Try a little olive oil in their diet to see if these symptoms improve.
Feeding Your Dog Olive Oil Will Reduce Diseases
Reducing any inflammation should be a top priority for you. Not only does it affect your dog’s joints and lungs, but inflammation plays a significant role in heart disease. As do blood clots. To keep your dog’s heart, and blood, healthy, serve up a little EVOO with their daily dinner.
Prevention is essential for senior dogs or dogs who are already experiencing heart problems or problems with strokes. Diabetes and being obese can also lead to heart problems. Mixing the olive oil in your pet’s food will keep your dog shed those extra unwanted pounds and reduce the chances of him becoming diabetic.
So again, can dogs eat olive oil? The answer is YES.
Kassidy Shepperd is the editor in chief for Canine-Prime.com. She is is a dog lover/trainer, a freelance writer and a volunteer at many pet rescue and shelter centers. Kassidy is based in Colorado and regularly writes for dog related magazines and blogs.