Can you use olive oil for dogs? Is it safe for their digestion, can you incorporate it into their diet, and what other uses does it have? First thing first: Yes, olive oil for dogs is a great idea! It has a bunch of health benefits for yourself and your pup. Don’t hesitate to add it to your dog’s food bowl. But there is much more to it. More and more dog owners feed olive oil to their dog and there are more than a few great reasons behind it. Let’s look into them together (+ all the best ways to use olive oil for dogs).
Spice Up Their Meal
One of the most common concerns for dog moms and dads around the world is: Will my dog actually like this? Yes, olive oil may be great for your pup but it is no use if they refuse to try it. Well, that is not an issue! Dogs love the taste of olive oil. It’s actually a great way to improve their meal, especially if the kibbles are a few weeks old already. Owners regularly add a spoonful of extra-virgin oil to their pet’s bowl and the dogs really enjoy the taste! Extra tip: there are so many reasons to pick extra virgin olive oil over other olive oil types. It’s the type of olive oil that retains most of the benefits because it doesn’t go through harsh processing. However, if you need yet another argument in extra virgin olive oil’s favour – it does taste better! Extra virgin olive oil is the lowest in acidic content. Dogs have an even better taste for that sort of thing, meaning that lower grade olive oils will actually taste less fresh to them!
Olive Oil Is The Energy Boost That Your Dog Needs
Some breeds of dogs are brachycephalic and they can sometimes struggle to breathe. If you own one you know how difficult things can get for them, especially in summer. By adding olive oil to their diet, you are helping your pup get the extra energy they need. Olive oil is also very beneficial for senior dogs. It will give them some extra calories and it’s also great at preventing common ailments. Yes, you heard it right:
It Prevents Disease
Yes, just like in humans! Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E. This makes it an excellent heart disease preventing food for canines and humans alike! These superhero fats promote optimal cardiovascular health and they can even help your pet maintain a healthy weight by satiating their hunger and cravings. And to make things even better, some compounds in olive oil have been shown to prevent cancer. Considering malignant tumours kill 50% of dogs over the age of 10, it is of paramount importance that you take the steps to prevent the disease.
It Can Even Help Your Dog Live Longer
There are many mechanisms behind ageing. One of the most important ones is free radical damage. Free radicals are highly reactive and they can damage your dog’s system on a cellular level. Fortunately, olive oil contains some compounds that are great at picking free radicals up and neutralizing them. Olive oil is a wonderful antioxidant for dogs in particular. It is one of the foods that are richest in vitamin E. Since this is the most important antioxidant in canines, feeding them olive oil might turn out to be the key to a longer and healthier life. Because olive oil is such a potent antioxidant, it can effectively slow down ageing in dogs and humans alike!
Olive Oil For Dogs Makes Them Smarter
All species that age experience a decline in brain function. While this is completely normal and expected, you can take steps to slow it down. Healthy fats directly feed your dog’s brain! What is more, they also improve the brain circulation so their effect on cognition is two-fold. Human studies have definitely proved this. It has been shown that regular consumption of olive oil can protect memory and learning ability, and reduce the formation of plaques involved in dementia. Considering the pathophysiology behind the cognitive decline, there is a serious reason to think it will have the same effect in dogs. This is yet another reason why owners of senior dogs should seriously consider adding extra virgin olive oil to their diet. Just a spoonful of olive oil can all but stop the cognitive decline in them, while also providing a bunch of additional benefits.
Flu Be Gone
Just like humans, a dog’s immune system has to combat the flu, different viruses and bacteria on a daily basis. Come flu season, your pup is as susceptible to colds as you are. This is where they need their immunity to be at its’ highest. Some veterinarians recommend that you start adding a tablespoon of olive oil to your dog’s food bowl for a month before flu season. This way you can strengthen their immune system and keep it in shape to ward off the nasty viruses. But is there any scientific reason behind this? Yes, and a very strong one, too. Olive oil is rich in carotenoids – coloured chemicals that play a key role in supporting immunity. Research has specifically proven that the carotenoid lutein stimulates immune responses. Other foods rich in this compound are carrots, tomatoes, and pumpkins.
Olive oil has a slight laxative effect so be careful not to overdo it. As long as you use the correct dose, you are not risking diarrhoea. As a constipation remedy, olive oil is surprisingly effective in canines. Much like us, taking medications on a regular basis is not a great thing for a dog. All pharmaceuticals come with side effects and unwanted liver damage. This is why you should aim to use home remedies as often as possible – this is true of your pup as much as it is true about you! The cool thing about olive oil is it does not actually affect the digestive tract walls or cause changes in bowel movement speed. It is a lubricant laxative, which helps stool pass through easier, not faster. When you use olive oil for dogs constipation remedy you are not affecting digestion – this way your pup can get all the nutrients to recover from their illness!
Olive Oil For Dogs: A Beauty Treatment
Olive oil has some amazing skin benefits for humans. But did you know it can also be a beauty treatment for your pet? Whether your pup has a dry coat, flaky skin, or even some irritations, you can use olive oil to get them in top shape. There are many reasons for these skin and coat issues. It could just be the cold weather or some nutrition deficiency. In both of those cases, supplementing olive oil will surely improve the condition. If, however, there is some underlying condition or an irritant in the dog's environment, you would have to find the primary reason. As a rule of thumb, if the skin problems don't subside in a couple of weeks after using olive oil, talk to a veterinarian. You can use olive oil directly on your pup's fur, too. Mix a tablespoon with a cup of warm water and massage that in your dog's fur. This is the fastest way to provide comfort and relief. It's best to do it after a bath - otherwise, you will be rubbing dirt and bacteria deep into your pet's skin. After the treatment use a paper towel to wipe the excess oil off. Don't skip that step. First, it will prevent the olive oil getting all over your apartment/house. Secondly, it prevents the oil from clogging your dog's pores and causing further issues.
Feeding Olive Oil To Your Pet
Giving your dog more of a good thing won't produce even better results. Olive oil is high in calories and it can also cause diarrhoea. What is more, some dogs might turn out to be allergic. If you notice that your pup is throwing up the olive oil or that even small amounts produce diarrhoea, consult your vet. It is likely that the dog is allergic. While allergies are fairly rare, too much olive oil is still not a good thing for your pet. The recommended amount depends on the size and weight of your dog. For daily supplementation, vets recommend one teaspoon with his solid or wet food for a dog around 30 to 40 pounds. For larger dogs (over 90 pounds), the recommended amount is a tablespoon. It's best to distribute that and give them half a tablespoon twice a day. Avoid adding more than that or using olive oil as a treat. Going over the safe amount will cause trouble both for you and the dog! If the pup needs extra supplementation, for instance, if he has dry skin, talk to your vet before increasing the amount. It might turn out that your dog needs additional vitamins - vitamin E is often prescribed. As usual - if in doubt, ask the doc!
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