Olive oil is a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. And, it has many health benefits. However, many people don’t know that it’s not just beneficial for humans, but also for pets. And: especially for dogs!
The benefits of olive oil for dogs
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants. So, it nourishes the cells that make up your dog’s body. What’s more, it’s also rich in vitamin E and Omega 3. And, these have strong skin-nourishing properties.
One of the great advantages of olive oil is that it’s rich in mono-unsaturated fats, meaning it helps to strengthen your pet’s immune system and increase its chances of living a long and healthy life, without contributing to weight gain.
However, be sure to bear in mind that this is an ingredient that should be used in moderation, since when taken in excess it can have a laxative effect (which does make it a great solution for dogs suffering from constipation.)
Studies have shown that olive oil is great at encouraging good cholesterol, as well as strengthening the joints and muscles. Because of these properties, it’s a great ingredient to give to older dogs suffering from the aches and pains that come hand in hand with advancing age.
How to add olive oil to your dog’s diet
The size and weight of your dog are the two major factors to take into account when calculating the dose of olive oil to give it. When working out the dose, take the following guidelines into account.
- Give small dogs (10 kg) no more than 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil per day.
- Medium dogs (from 11 to 30 kg) should be given no more than 1 teaspoon of olive oil per day.
- Large dogs (over 30 kg) can benefit from up to a tablespoon and a half of olive oil each day.
Olive oil can be mixed in with dry food or kibble, added to the dog’s usual homemade food or mixed with moist shop-bought food.
Another option is to spread the olive oil on the surface of a piece of toast made of rice flour, or some other cereal-based dog snack. Make sure you stick to the quantities set out above, as giving your dog anything beyond the amount appropriate for its size and weight can give it a nasty case of diarrhea.
The benefits of olive oil will be noticeable relatively quickly in the shine of its fur. Little by little, though, you’ll notice it looking brighter and healthier in general.
Olive oil is a great dermal regenerator for the areas of your dog’s skin that tend to get dry, as well as having powerful antioxidant effects that nourish the cells of your dog’s skin. The only headache is that applying olive oil to external areas of the dog’s skin can mean we end up with nasty oil stains on our furniture, floors and so on.
What type of oil should you go for?
Is your dog suffering from skin problems? The best type of oil to plump for is rosehip oil. This is absorbed more easily by your dog’s skin, and leaves less nasty external residue.
Rosehip oil has some very strong regenerating and healing properties. However, make sure your dog doesn’t ingest it. Only use it externally.
Sure, olive oil in general is one of the healthiest vegetable oils around. However, pay attention to what type you’re using. Without a doubt, the best one is extra virgin oil.
Extra virgin olive oil comes from olives that manufacturers put through a mechanical processes. So, the technique doesn’t rely on chemicals. In turn, it retains all its natural benefits intact.
Help your dog do its business
Healthy dogs usually relieve themselves once or twice a day. If we notice that our dog has gone two days or more without relieving itself, olive oil can be a good remedy.
Olive helps to “grease” the dog’s intestines, and so helps any stagnant feces to slide out more easily, without causing the dog any pain and without the need for any medication.
The pads of dogs’ paws are like their built-in shoes. They have to be tough, but there are times when they can become cracked or too rough.
When this happens, a good way to nurse them back to health is to use our fingers to spread a bit of olive oil over the affected area, once a day, for about a week.