People have been touting the miracle of olive oil for some time now, but are there benefits to olive oil for dogs?
Olive oil has been used in human diets for preventative effects, for the most part. Consumption of about 25-50 mL per day of extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO thanks to Rachael Ray, works to help prevent things like coronary artery disease.
Let’s Get Chemical
First, though, we have the chemical components to consider. There are a number of “minor constituents” that have noted and recorded effects on animals. Antioxidant compounds like Vitamin E, squalene and beta carotene are included, as are various chlorophyll derivatives and more than 36 “unsaponifiable phenolic metabolites.”
What does this all mean in English?
It means that there have been quite a few studies examining the benefits and potential benefits of olive oil for dogs. It means that there are some identifiable chemical benefits to olive oil in our canine friends. And it means we can identify those benefits. You can read up a little more on the chemical benefits and components to olive oil here.
Benefits of Olive Oil for Dogs
Some studies reference a positive effect on the digestive system, for instance, while another turns up olive oil as valuable when combined with borage oil in fighting canine atrophy (Harvey, 1999). Unfortunately, it wasn’t as beneficial when it was used by itself (Bond and Lloyd, 1992).
Some have also recommended using olive oil in dog diets for treating dry skin.
But Wait, There’s More…
With all the studies and all the practical applications for olive oil, it is a valuable component to consider include in your dog’s diet. The trouble is that it can be quite costly, which means you’ll want to use is sparingly. You should also be aware of some flavor issues, as some olive oil brands can have a higher concentration of flavor or aroma than others. EVOO is generally the best choice, but it’s also usually the most expensive.
It’s also important to note that olive oil does not provide a good source of omega 3 or omega 6 fatty acids and should not be considered a replacement for those types of things. Olive oil may help with skin and heart conditions to a certain degree, but a good balanced diet requires a reliable source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. One recommendation we can make is salmon oil.
In the end, it should be noted that the links between olive oil and effective treatment of serious health conditions in dogs are tenuous at best. Olive oil for dogs can certainly make a difference, but it’s not a cure-all or a magic bullet.
Because of its high cost, our recommendation would be to use sparingly with other complete fatty acids like salmon oil.
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