Our dogs are our best friends. As dog owners, we all continually try to find ways to do right by our beloved pets and make their lives that little bit more enjoyable. But have you ever thought about simply adding some olive oil to your dog’s diet? Here, we discover the benefits of olive oil for dogs as well as its topical uses – some will really surprise you. It’s an at-home remedy that can be used to treat all manner of issues.
It is for this reason that the benefits of olive oil should not just be reserved for humans. Some skeptics may wonder if olive oil is good for dogs or if it can help solve a variety of problems. But, without a doubt, it should never ever be underestimated. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants as well as vitamin E, Omega 3 and other healthy fats which help make it super powerful.
Mix olive oil with your dog’s regular food – wet or dry or raw – and start to see the benefits of olive oil for dogs within days.
Given the calorie content of oil though, make sure that you are strict with your dosages. One tablespoon of olive oil can contain 120 calories and almost 32 grams of fat, so the extra calories can cause weight gain. In terms of amounts to give to your specific dog, a recommended dosage would be 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of weight. Be careful not to let them inhale the oil however as this can lead to breathing problems that have been known to develop into lung infections.
Keep on reading to discover the whole spectrum of benefits of olive oil for dogs.
1. Great Taste
If your dog is a fussy eater, adding olive oil to their regular food is the perfect way to get them eating more each and every day.
Kibble and wet food are specially designed for dogs to keep them healthy and at the optimum weight for their size and breed. They need all their daily allowance of food to stay fighting fit. Yet not all dogs have the appetite of a Labrador and need a little more encouragement to eat their daily allowance of food.
By adding olive oil to their food, owners will see an immediate difference in their dog’s approach to eating. The texture and taste of any olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is irresistible to dogs. The result will be a gobbled up bowl of food at every meal.
Olive oil also offers a way of elongating the life of slightly stale dog food. For whatever reason, despite the best intentions, even kibble can go a bit past its best sometimes, so adding olive oil can make it taste better to the more discerning taste buds – dog or otherwise!
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2. Helps Lose Weight
While it is true that dog owners need to be prudent in how much olive oil to give to dogs so they do not gain weight, olive oil has also been known to help promote weight loss in dogs. This is a massive benefit of olive oil for dogs – especially ones that are prone to put on weight easily, or perhaps male dogs that have just been neutered.
Whilst this is perhaps one of the more counter-intuitive benefits of olive oil for dogs, (given olive oil’s fat and calorie content), it has been clinically proven to aid the loss of weight in canines. This is due to the monounsaturated fats that are contained in olive oil. They encourage the breakdown of fat inside fat cells so it can be seen to slim down waistlines as well as helping to decrease a dog’s insulin sensitivity.
3. Promotes all Round Good Health
It is these very monounsaturated fats that also promote all round good health in dogs. In fact, olive oil has been seen to decrease the effects that diabetes and cardiovascular disease have on our pets.
Additionally, another one of the ways olive oil helps further good health in your dog is by boosting his or her immune system. Given that olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, like polyphenols, chlorophyll, and carotenoids, the body becomes more effective at being able to fight off disease and infection. Dogs that are prone to coughs and cold can really see the benefits of olive oil added to their daily kibble, therefore.
Furthermore, olive oil has been known to help boost energy levels in dogs. This is down to the improvement in circulation that comes from ingesting olive oil of any sort. Due to the increased blood flow, the effects of respiratory diseases such as asthma are dramatically reduced.
This is particularly important for dog breeds that are prone to breathing problems. Breeds like a bulldog, part of the brachycephalic family, are all dogs who can struggle to breathe at times – olive oil can help in some instances.
4. Can Increase Life Expectancy
All these health benefits work towards increasing our dogs’ life expectancy too.
However, more specifically, olive oil has been known to help promote good cholesterol in dogs which will help work towards increasing life expectancy in your pet. It also helps keep bad cholesterol in check further promoting general good health.
Olive oil is also known to help improve mobility in both joints and strengthening muscles. This makes olive oil the perfect elixir to give to older dogs that may be suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis. The more exercise they can get as a consequence, the longer they should live.
Lastly, olive oil consumption has even been seen to prevent the beginnings of cancer or, at the very least, it is thought it can help reduce the chance of developing the disease for dogs that consume olive oil on a regular basis. This is thought to be down to some of the compounds within olive oil called squalene and terpenoids that have been seen to prevent cancer.
Given that over 50% of dogs over the age of 10 contracts some sort of cancer, trying out olive oil for the benefits that may be seen in your dog are definitely at least worth a try – even if you are skeptical.
5. Use Olive oil for Dogs Constipation
Using olive oil for dogs constipation has been known to work wonders in the past. While it obviously has other benefits for overall general health, it is also great for the gut so will get your dog’s bowels moving in no time.
Ensure that you visit a vet or an animal healthcare professional if you notice any blood in your dog’s stool if he or she is vomiting or they are listless in conjunction with being constipated. All these can be symptoms of a much bigger and more serious health issue that should be investigated right away.
Additionally, given its laxative causing effects, it’s a good idea to be strict with dosage. Any more than is recommended and your dog’s constipation could go the other way, leading to dehydration. Keep your dosage under control though and you will see that olive oil for dogs constipation is a great home remedy.
6. Relieves Dry Skin Conditions
Olive oil can be used to help relieve dry skin. It works by helping the skin to regenerate due to all the healthy fats that olive oil contains. Plus, the antioxidants olive oil contains help nourish skin cells so that a visible revitalization of the skin can be seen.
For helping to relieve dogs’ dry skin, it can be rubbed into your dog’s fur to help with irritation instead of simply adding it to their food.
However, ingesting it too will also provide relief. In terms of how much olive oil for dogs dry skin is needed, when rubbing it on, as much as the skin or fur can take is best. Plus, it’s quite messy so it’s best to do little and often, if at all possible.
Additionally, watch if your dog simply licks the oil off once you have applied it to their coats. If he or she does attempt to lick it off, it is best to stick to the ingestion method – licking will not only increase their calorie intake, it will also make them prone to infection, especially if they lick cracked and irritated skin.
If you are only left with the option of adding it to their food, do not panic. By consistently adding the correct amount allowed to your pet’s meals, you will still slowly see a difference too. As a happy side effect, your dog’s coat will become shinier and more healthy looking. Plus it can help prevent flaky skin from ever returning when used regularly.
7. Reduces Shedding
One of the major benefits of olive for dogs is that it reduces shedding of their fur – which is perhaps the only drawback to having a pet in your home. Every owner has spent time hoovering up after their dog’s never-ending malting season that is only made worse by the effects of modern-day central heating and air conditioning systems.
While over shedding can be the result of more serious factors like skin infections, fleas or illness, it is more often than not just a characteristic of furry animals.
You can help your dog by brushing him or her regularly with a specialist brush for dogs. Specially made shampoos can help too when giving your dog a bath, but it is the ingestion of olive oil that has been seen to have the most effective results.
If you are now wondering “how much olive oil should I give to my dog to help with shedding”, then look to your dog’s weight to ascertain how much he or she can have as a daily allowance. As per our previous instructions, 1 teaspoon to every 10 pounds of weight is the recommended amount.
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8. It Oils the Brain and Helps them Think
Olive oil does not just help the physical side of things within our dogs. Indeed, it has been seen to help improve how the brain functions which is particularly important if you own a brainier breed like a collie or poodle.
Additionally, olive oil has been known to help reduce the speed at which brains deteriorate with old age. It is a great idea to add olive oil to the dog bowls of older canines therefore so they can reap all the benefits that of olive oil for dogs has to offer.
It is thought that it is the oleocanthal that olive oil contains that is meant to be helpful to the brain. It has been seen, granted in humans, to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease – plus Mediterranean style diets have also been known to diminish the risk of dementia too.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of olive oil to dogs are therefore far-reaching. Given the success of the Mediterranean diet that is heavily laden in olive oil as well as other healthy fats, it is easy to see why its benefits can be translated into a dog’s good health. Plus, it is incredibly easy to buy too. It is readily available in all supermarkets so no specialized shopping for your pet is required.
Ultimately, if your dog’s weight is continually monitored, dog owners have nothing to lose by adding the recommended amounts to their dog’s daily meals. With the benefits of olive oil like increasing life expectancy by reducing the risk of painful illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, it would be short-sighted not to try it at the very least.
As with anything canine-related, if you are unsure, make certain to talk to your pet’s vet first.