As you already know, a dog’s diet is a lot more different than ours. They are capable of eating food that seems awful and weird to us, as well as the food that doesn’t have any nutritional benefit at all. A pup will primarily eat products made by particular dog food brands – kibble, meat, or wet food. Those who create this food do it with safety measures and with specific guidelines, ensuring that it has nutritional value for the dogs and that it tastes good to them.
In addition to food and treats, the pets also like to eat alternative snacks from time to time. Even though these snacks might seem weird and unappealing to humans, they look like something extravagant and very delicious to our canine friends. Many people will offer their pooch veggies while preparing a salad or some meat from their plates, but are there any other options? What about olive oil, for example? Is it suitable for dogs? The short answer is – yes, it is, but read on…
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How Much Olive Oil for Dogs
Before we kick off this section, we should make clear that our four-legged friends don’t need olive oil at all. Your beloved pooch is getting everything he needs from his dog food, especially if you tend to buy high-quality food. As we said, the companies that create this food make sure that it has all the necessary nutrients and that it’s safe and tasty enough for your pup.
Supplementing this food with things like olive oil isn’t really necessary, but it can certainly make a welcome addition on some occasions. Let’s take a quick look at the benefits that it can offer to your pooch:
- Weight loss
Olive oil is well-known for its weight-loss capabilities. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, and these are bound to help one’s body to break down the fat cells in a lot more efficient and quicker way. If your pup is struggling with a couple of extra pounds, some of this fluid will certainly do him good.
- Health effects
Olive oil comes with a number of positive health effects for both pet and man alike. Consuming it lowers the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and it also improves one’s immunity system and thus helps the body fight off various illnesses.
- Anti-asthma effects
As it can increase the blood flow, this fluid also has a capability to lessen the effects of asthma. This, in turn, makes this food great for the brachycephalic breeds (like Bulldog or Pekingese) that often struggle with breathing.
- Circulation & brain function
This food can also improve the overall oxygen circulation and the blood flow in the pup’s body. Another benefit is that it can improve the brain functions of your furry companion. It can keep them well-sustained as your pooch is aging.
If you decide to give your pooch some of this food, go with the extra virgin olive oil. Due to the fact that it’s made from the first pressing of the olives, it has a lower acid content, and this gives it a fresher taste. However, the extra virgin kind can also go rancid a lot quicker than the other kinds of olive oil, so we advise storing it in dark-colored bottles and away from the heat.
When it comes to dosage, the experts agree that an owner shouldn’t give more than one teaspoon per 20 pounds of the dog’s body weight. It can, of course, be mixed with the pup’s regular food.
Olive Oil for Dogs Skin
The upcoming summer heat can be as dangerous to pups as it is to us, humans. Dry air, hot surfaces, and the searing sun exposure can be quite harmful to your pet’s skin. Fortunately, there’s a solution in the form of olive oil, which can be used both internally and externally. Let’s take a look at a few ways of treating your pooch with it:
- Massaging the pet
An owner can also make his own massage ointment by combining the olive oil with some calendula flowers. Calendula is a plant that blooms from spring to fall and sports a number of anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial capabilities. Once its flowers are crushed and combined with olive oil, it can heal things like cuts, sores, psoriasis, eczema, and other similar conditions.
The ointment made out of these two ingredients can also be used to heal itchy, irritated, cracked, and dry skin, especially when it comes to areas where the pet has managed to remove some fur by scratching and chewing. Accidentally ingested olive oil and calendula can only have beneficial effects, so there’s nothing to worry about.
- Paws & nose
Walking barefoot on hot pavement or sand is a painful experience – we all know it. Weather extremes can also be very harmful to paws of our furry friends, which is why must protect them in the best way we can. Applying some olive oil is a good solution – pour some of it on Buster’s paws and massage it into his footpads. This will soothe and heal his paws, and he’ll be more than grateful to you for that.
In a similar fashion, you can also treat the dog’s sunburned nose. It is the only part of his body that’s prone to sunburn, so applying some of this fluid oil to it is bound to make things a bit easier. If the pooch licks some of it off, it certainly won’t hurt him.
Potential Side Effects of Olive Oil
While it is considered perfectly safe for our furry companions, some doctors think that olive oil could have a negative effect on the gastrointestinal tracts of the dogs with sensitive stomachs. If your pet is exhibiting signs of vomiting or diarrhea they might also be suffering from allergies (see hypoallergic food recommendations) and avoid giving this fluid to him. Owners who notice symptoms of stomach upset in their pets after introducing olive oil to them should immediately cut off this food from their diets.
Another potential adverse effect is the fat and calorie content of olive oil. A single tablespoon of it contains around 30 grams of fat and 120 calories. It’s the healthy fat, but it can lead to flare-ups in pets that are susceptible to pancreatitis. The experts say that the key is in moderation, and we tend to agree with them.
What about Regular Olives?
While in they’re in their natural state, the olives are considered to be harmless to dogs. A single, plain olive can’t really pose a serious health risk to your pooch. Canned and pickled varieties, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. Due to their high levels of sodium that are unsuitable for dogs, we advise keeping canned and pickled olives out of the pet’s reach.
Another thing we have to mention is the possible dietary disruption. As you probably already know, the consumption of unfamiliar foods can lead to stomach distress in dogs, whether we’re talking about olives, oranges, apples, grapes or any other fruit for that matter. If your pooch starts having digestive troubles after eating a single olive, don’t let him eat this fruit ever again.
As you can see, the oil made from olives can have a number of positive effects on your dog’s health. Not only it boosts the pet’s immune system and protects him from a variety of illnesses, but it also slows down the process of aging and improves his brain functions. It is especially beneficial to his skin and fur, as it helps with healing rashes and irritations and keeps the coat beautiful and shiny.