By Emily Woods
Every once in a while, we get an interesting inbound question about olive oil and its uses. “Is olive oil good for my dog?” definitely falls into that category! As the resident dog mom on the team, I dug into the research on the topic and was pleasantly surprised to learn that yes, olive oil isgood for your dog! Dogs stand to gain a lot of the same benefits we humans reap from olive oil, provided it is quality stuff, consumed in moderation, and approved by their veterinarian (note: please ask your vet before incorporating olive oil into your pup’s diet). Here’s what I learned:
Potential EVOO Health Benefits for Dogs
High quality early harvest extra virgin olive oil, like Kosterina, is loaded with powerful polyphenols, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids that have impressive health benefits for humans when consumed regularly. Here’s what that means for your dog:
EVOO aids in the prevention of diseases and excess weight gain
PetGuide.com found that healthy monounsaturated fats in EVOO reduce your dog’s risk for heart disease and diabetes, while oleic acid in EVOO has been shown to reduce the risk for cancer. Rover.com also noted that the monounsaturated fats in EVOO help break down the fat in fat cells and lower cholesterol, all things that help keep weight gain under control.
EVOO promotes an all-around healthier immune system
Vitamin E found in EVOO can protect your dog’s cell membranes from free radical damage. As Rover.com notes, free radicals can lead to the over-oxidation of cells that can lead to illness like dementia, cardiovascular disease and tissue damage.
EVOO is linked to improved brain health and joint health
PetGuide.com cited many of the same studies on the benefits of oleocanthal in preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia that we look to here at Kosterina. The recommend that senior dogs will especially benefit from consuming EVOO.
Consuming EVOO moisturizes dry and flaky skin and creates a shinier coat
According to PetGuide.com, because of the omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil, adding 1 tablespoon of EVOO to your dog’s food daily can help repair dry and flaky skin in as little as 3 days! These same nutrients add shine and strength to your dog’s coat.
How to add EVOO to your dog’s diet
Olive Oil Times says it is best to add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to each of your dog’s meals per 20 pounds of body weight. Always use early harvest extra virgin olive oil, like Kosterina, to get the maximum health benefit. As always, check with your vet before introducing EVOO into your dog’s diet and, if you notice and negative changes after the introduction, stop feeding it to your dog.
EVOO in a Real Life Kosterina Dog’s Diet
You should know, I am one of those wacky dog moms that makes my dog home cooked meals every day. It started when Henrik, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was about 6 months old. We were living in NYC and I was feeding him the kibble from the breeder, followed by 2 months or so of a blend of Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried raw kibble and meal mixers – you know, the fancy stuff. I picked it because of their quality standards and, after researching dog nutrition for hours online, because they had the best balance of proteins and fats that my dog required for optimal health.
I don’t know if it was Henrik’s curiosity for city smells and sludge or his diet – maybe a combination – but for those first few months his digestive system was a mess, as evidenced by consistently runny stools (that I was all too familiar with…) and our frequent trips to the vet for treatment. Our vet suggested switching to plain boiled chicken and rice for a week or two, and presto – my dog was cured! He also loved his new meals and scarfed them down in one sitting. He was happy (and so was I – no more trying to pick up runny doo-doo!), so I decided to stick with home cooking.
Now 4 years old, Henrik’s daily meals consist of a rehydrated, nutrient-rich veggie mixture from Honest Kitchen, cooked rice, and a protein like chicken, beef, or salmon – always cooked in Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil. To be honest, it wasn’t a conscious decision to cook his protein in my beloved Kosterina EVOO – it is always on hand in our household and I would nevercook my food (or any other living creature’s food) in vegetable oil.Knowing what I know now about the benefits of olive oil for dogs, I’m so glad Henrik gets a little Kosterina every day! He’s been consuming it daily for 3 years now, and always gets compliments on his shiny coat, has never had skin problems, very rarely has an upset tummy, and hasn’t been sick or shown any signs of chronic heart illness that are common in his breed. Just one dog mom’s unscientific experience, but I like to think the addition of extra virgin olive oil has had a little something to do with this cute puppy’s happiness and health.
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