the Digest
Nutrition

Superfoods in Your Kitchen: Olive Oil for Dogs

olive oil for dogs

From salad dressing to marinades, olive oil is a key player and staple in most modern kitchens. Health conscious humans are well-versed in the benefits of healthy fats, but don’t hog the bottle; your dog is far from immune to the perks.

The Stats:

As you might have guessed, olive oil is extracted from… olives! It’s been used in cooking for thousands of years and is primarily comprised of monounsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants. It contains about 120 calories per tablespoon and 14 grams of fat (the good kind!).

The Benefits:

1. Monounsaturated fatty acids support fat breakdown in the cells, helping to shed stored fat
2. Antioxidant content protects against free-radical damage and oxidation to increase lifespan
3. Natural anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the risk for serious diseases like cancer, heart
disease, and diabetes
4. Supports healthy brain function and helps to prevent cognitive decline, especially in older dogs
5. Oleic acid content works with other beneficial compounds to protect against cancer
6. Healthy monounsaturated fatty acids support heart health by reducing cholesterol
7. Helps to increase blood flow for improved heart health and general health
8. Reduces effects of asthma and supports respiratory health (particularly for brachycephalic breeds)
9. Improves coat condition and moisturizes dry and flaky skin
10. Makes food more palatable and attractive to dogs, especially for picky eaters

How to Feed It:

The simplest way to incorporate olive oil into your dog’s diet is to drizzle it over his food or use it as an ingredient in homemade dog treats. Just don’t serve your dog salad that’s been slathered in dressing. Servings should be limited to one teaspoon per 20 pounds of bodyweight per day.

What to Watch For:

Be careful with what kind of olive oil you choose and how much you feed your pup. Stick to extra virgin olive oil, since it has a lower acid content than other olive oils. Always store your EVOO in a dark colored bottle away from heat sources to prevent it from going bad quickly.

Bone-appetit!

Image: Food52 

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