When it comes to natural remedies for dogs, there are a variety of “people foods” that can provide some valuable benefits. Just one is olive oil – a wonderful source of monounsaturated fatty acids (which are considered a healthy fat). We know that it’s great for humans, but what can olive oil do for dogs? Here are four fabulous benefits of olive oil for dogs.
Olive Oil for a Healthy Coat
If your dog has dry, flaky skin you don’t necessarily need to shell out a small fortune to pay for fancy shampoos and conditioners. The solution may be as simple as adding some olive oil to your dog’s diet. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants including vitamin E, and it is a good source of phytonutrients as well. When added to your dog’s diet, olive oil can help to repair dry, flaky skin in as little as three days. The omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil help to moisturize your dog’s skin and, if you keep giving it to your dog, it can prevent the flaky skin from returning. All you have to do is add about a ½ tablespoon of olive oil to your dog’s food twice a day for several days. Once your dog’s skin improves you can reduce the amount to a few drops a day to keep his skin moisturized.
Olive Oil for Immune System Health
In addition to moisturizing your dog’s skin and coat, olive oil can also be beneficial for his immune system. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols and carotenoids which help to improve immune system health. With a strong immune system your dog will be better able to fight off infection if it is exposed to harmful pathogens. Having a healthy immune system is also important in helping your dog to transition from one season to the next. Just like people, dogs can get sick when the weather changes so adding a little olive oil to your dog’s food can boost his immune system to prepare him for the change.
Olive Oil for Brain Health
You’ve already learned that olive oil is rich in antioxidants, but you may not realize just how important antioxidants are for your dog’s health. A number of animal research studies have confirmed a link between olive oil and brain health. In one study oleocanthal, a type of polyphenol found in olives (and extra-virgin olive oil), was linked to a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Several human studies have linked Mediterranean-style diets that are rich in olive oil to lowered risk for dementia. Given the results of these studies, it would seem that adding olive oil to your dog’s diet can help to protect his brain from cognitive decline. This is especially important for senior dogs and for extra intelligent breeds like Poodles and Border Collies.
Olive Oil for General Health
In addition to providing specific benefits for your dog’s brain and immune system, olive oil can help to increase his overall health as well. Olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats which can reduce your dog’s risk for heart disease and diabetes. It’s also rich in oleic acid, a compound that has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer.
Who knew that this pantry staple could do so much good for your furry BFF? Do you use olive oil in your dog’s diet? What changes have you noticed?
Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified health care from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.