If you know anything about healthy fats, you may have heard that olive oil is quite useful for humans. Using olive oil in cooking poses some tremendous health benefits that may have you wondering if incorporating some olive oil in your dog’s diet would be a good idea. You have come to the right place to answer those questions. We can tell you right off the bat that dogs can, in fact, eat olive oil, and it is safe. Keep reading to find out why, how to introduce olive oil in your dogs’ diet and how much you should be giving them.
How Can Olive Oil Help My Dog?
There are four main reasons that olive oil is worth including in your dog’s diet. We will break each one down for you so you can better analyze if this is something you want to start giving to your dog.
- Improving Immune System: Olive oil is packed with immune-boosting ingredients that can help your dog prevent and recover from sickness much faster. A great time to boost your dog’s immune system could be when they are exposed to a lot of other dogs or when seasons change, and they are affected by the weather.
- Improving Coat: If your dog has any type of skin issue, you know how difficult it can be to help them. Even after spending tons of money on medicated shampoos and conditioners, you may still be at square one. Sometimes adding a small bit of olive oil to your dog’s food as a supplement can be all they need to get the coat looking great again. Other oils may work in addition to olive oil, fish oil, in particular, can be great for coat health.
- Improving Brain Health: Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and is therefore very good for brain and memory health. If you have an older dog that may already be suffering from a dementia issue, adding some olive oil to the diet could make a difference.
- Improves Taste: If your dog is a picky eater and you are continually struggling to get it to eat, try putting a bit of olive oil in the food. Sometimes olive oil can make dry dog food taste that much better that it gets the dog to eat. Of course, you will need to consult with your vet to make sure that you are not putting too much in your dog’s food.
How Much to Give?
Now that you know olive oil is safe for most dogs and quite beneficial to their diet, how much should you be giving. You should be discussing any change in your dog’s diet with their vet. For smaller dogs, you may only need to add a teaspoon of olive oil a week. For larger dogs, it could be more like a tablespoon. Discuss with your vet your concerns about your dog’s health and how much olive oil you should be giving them.
How Do I Give My Dog Olive Oil?
Some dogs may be perfectly willing to come over and drink some olive oil directly from a spoon, but we all know it won’t be this easy for the majority of dogs. Most of the time, olive oil should just be mixed in with the dog’s food. After discussing with your vet how much olive oil to give your dog, start in small amounts. If your dog should have a poor reaction to the olive oil, you want the effects on them to be a bit less. Always use extra virgin olive oil and take careful precautions to make sure that the olive oil is not flavored and that it has not spoiled.
What Dogs Should Not Have Olive Oil?
Although olive is safe and beneficial for most dogs, there are a few situations where adding olive oil to a diet could be a problem for a dog.
- Weight Gain: If your dog is subject to weight gain, adding olive oil to the diet may be a bad idea. You must remember that olive oil is a fat. Fats have calories. Adding more calories to a meal of a dog that needs to lose weight could cause increased weight gain. Dogs that are overweight for extended periods will be subject to increased heart and health problems. Overseeing your dog’s weight is a large part of being a responsible dog owner.
- Sensitive Stomachs: If you have been through six different dog foods with your dog, and they still have stomach issues, adding olive oil may be a bad idea. For a dog with gastrointestinal issues, olive oil may be too strong and cause the dog to vomit or get sick. We have mentioned that adding olive oil to a dog’s diet should be a discussion with your vet, in the scenario of dogs with sensitive stomachs this is even more important.
Is There A Better Oil to Give My Dog?
Yes, some experts believe that fish oil is more beneficial to a dog than olive oil. Fish oil contains omega-three fatty acids. Omega-3 can be great for reducing inflammation for older dogs as well. If you are going to be talking to your vet about potential natural oils for your dog, it is certainly worth bringing up fish oils as well.
Another popular oil for dogs is coconut oil. Coconut oil can be used both topically and ingested as well. Just like olive oil and fish oil, you must consult with your vet before starting any of these oils in a dog’s diet.
Overall, the majority of dogs can not only eat olive oil, but they will benefit from it as well. For the right dogs, olive oil has some fantastic health benefits. Improving brain and memory development, healing or moisturizing skin and coat health, and an overall boost to the immune system are great reasons to ask your vet today about adding olive oil to your dog’s diet.
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