Olive oil has many benefits. It can improve your health and appearance and add fantastic flavor to your food. Many of us have this excellent oil in our kitchens for these reasons.
But have you ever considered feeding olive oil to your pets, especially your dog? Because it is a natural oil, olive oil can make a great addition to your dog’s diet.
But many dog owners don’t use it because they are unaware of what it can do for their pets. If you are such a pet owner, here are some of the health benefits of olive oil for dogs you should know.
How Can Olive Oil Improve Your Dog’s Health?
The dog in the image is my French bulldog, his name is Simba. He had constant allergies on his paws, and after we started adding olive oil to his diet, those allergies reduced a lot.
Here are some benefits of olive oil for dogs. Once you learn all of them, you’ll realize the importance of regularly adding olive oils to your dog’s food.
1. It keeps their skin and coats healthy
Adding olive oil to your dog’s diet will nourish them from the inside out. Its effect on their bodies will be visible on their skin and coat. Just like olive oil is great for human hair and skin, it’s also great for dogs.
This is because olive oil’s antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins moisturize their skin and make their coats shiny. It also strengthens their hair follicles, preventing unnecessary shedding.
Although it may seem like a good idea to apply olive oil to your dog’s fur, vets advise pet owners to add it to their dog’s food for the best results.
It’s the only way to keep dogs from licking the olive oil off their fur coats, causing irritation or dryness, which can trigger skin problems.
2. It boosts their immunity
Olive oil is one of the natural oils that contain lots of antioxidants. These substances are valued for their ability to fight free radical damage in our bodies. They also have a positive effect on dogs.
A good example of the antioxidants in olive oil is carotenoids, the orange, red, and yellow pigments abundantly present in foods like pumpkins, carrots, and tomatoes.
The carotenoid, Lutein, is especially good for dogs. It has been proven to stimulate immunity in dogs, lowering their risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Studies have also shown that senior dogs can benefit greatly from taking olive oil because its rich antioxidant content prevents the development of cognitive ailments that pop up in their old age, such as dementia.
Olive oil works especially well in intelligent dogs like Mensa Mutts, Border Collies, and Poodles.
Some other health compounds like squalene, oleic acid, and terpenoids in olive oil have also been proven to prevent canine cancer (a disease that kills fifty percent of dogs over the age of ten)
3. It betters their digestion
Olive oil has a laxative effect on a dog’s gut that helps them to digest fats better and have regular bowel movements. It is one of the best home remedies for constipation in dogs.
It also improves their appetite by making their food taste better, especially if added to dry foods.
So if your dog refuses to eat their food, try mixing it with a teaspoon of olive oil and see what happens. You can also add a dash of healthy spices for dogs, such as turmeric and cinnamon, to your olive oil dog food mixture to give them a more tasty treat.
4. It increases their appetite and energy
Giving your dog at least a teaspoon of olive oil daily can boost their circulation and improve their breathing.
You can use this home remedy to reduce the effects of Asthma in a dog that has a weak respiratory system that keeps them from breathing properly.
This is why Brachycephalic dog breeds, such as Bulldogs, can benefit significantly from a regular dose of olive oil in their diet.
5. Lowers the levels of bad cholesterol
The healthy monounsaturated fats in olive oil can reduce the levels of cholesterol in a dog’s blood.
This is because olive oil has a rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids that break down the fats in their blood vessels, which, if not dealt with, can trigger cholesterol issues. These healthy fats also reduce insulin resistance in dogs preventing canine Diabetes.
Olive oil can also lower a dog’s body fat content by stimulating fat burning, especially around the belly region, helping them to lose weight.
Which Type of Olive Oil Is Best For Your Dog?
Now that you know how olive oil can better your dog’s health, you may be interested in adding it to your pup’s diet. The only question is, which olive oil should you buy for your dog?
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the best olive oil for dogs.
Although a bottle of EVOO may cost you a pretty penny, it is the best quality olive oil you can get. This is because EVOO is extracted from olives through physical and mechanical processes that preserve all the goodness you can get from olives.
Therefore, it contains more antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds than other edible oils. Some examples are the antioxidants oleuropein, tyrosol, and oleic acid, which are known to strengthen their immunity.
EVOO also has a fragrant aroma and fantastic flavor that enhances the taste of most foods recommended for dogs. It is also low in unhealthy polyunsaturated fats and contains a rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation in dogs and other pets.
How To Give Olive Oil To Your Dogs?
Now that you know how amazing olive oil is, you may be interested in adding it to your pup’s diet.
Elderly dogs benefit more from olive oil than younger dogs. Those with low immunity or skin problems that give their coats a dull appearance also need olive oil more than healthy pooches with shiny coats.
The question is, how much olive oil should you add to your dog’s food? Well, the amount of olive oil you give to your dog will depend on its size.
Dogs between 20 and 50 pounds can have a teaspoon of olive oil daily in their food. On the other hand, heavy pooches who weigh 90 pounds or more should have a tablespoon of olive oil mixed into their food daily.
You may also space out the days you feed your dog olive oil by adding it to their food every other day or weekly, depending on how much they need it.
What to Avoid When Feeding Your Dog Olive Oil
While olive oil is good for dogs, it can sometimes cause discomfort or health problems.
This may occur because of the type of olive oil you feed your dog, how much of the oil you add to their food, and their reaction to it.
Therefore, you must be aware of the following things when feeding your dog olive oil;
- Extra virgin olive oil is the best oil to add to your dog’s diet. This is the purest form of olive oil with the lowest level of acidity and the most nutrients from olive fruits that you can find for your pet dog.
- Make sure you monitor how your dog reacts to olive oil when you add it to their diet. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may vomit or have diarrhea after taking olive oil. If your dog exhibits such reactions, choose a better option to boost their health.
- Always serve your dog the right amount of olive oil based on its size. You can determine this using the teaspoon of olive oil per thirty pounds of a dog’s body weight measurement.
- Although olive oil is nutritious, it can absorb fat-soluble vitamins from your dog’s diet, causing health problems. So when serving olive oil to your dog, make sure you include foods like fish and vegetables that are rich in fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and E to their diet.
- Adding olive oil to your dog’s diet should be a gradual process. Always start by giving it a small quantity of olive oil and slowly build up to a tablespoon while monitoring its reaction to the oil.
- It is recommended that you spread out the servings of olive oil you add to your dog’s food in a week. With a tablespoon of olive oil containing about 119 calories and 14 grams of fats, adding too much olive oil to your dogs, food can make them overweight.
- Dogs that suffer from pancreatitis can experience flare-ups after taking high-calorie oil, such as olive oil. So, if your dog has this illness, avoid feeding olive oil to them.
Now you know the benefits of olive oil for dogs and how to include it in your dog’s diet.
Remember, extra virgin olive oil is the best type of olive oil to feed your dog. So always go for it whenever you are looking for a healthy oil for your pet’s diet.
If you decide to experiment with olive oil in your dog’s diet, discuss it with your vet first. They will advise you if it’s necessary and how often to serve the olive oil to your pet for optimum health.
But for now, I hope the tips I’ve given you will encourage you to try olive oil as a nutritious addition to your dog’s diet.
If you’d like to buy olive oil for your dogs, here are my recommendations for the best olive oils: