An awesome addition to your pooch’s diet, olive oil packs a nutritious one-two punch. Ever wonder why? Here are just a few reasons to share with your canine buddy.
When it comes to homeopathic remedies for dogs, there are a variety of “people foods” that can provide some valuable benefits. A superstar in the category is olive oil – a wonderful source of monounsaturated fatty acids (aka healthy fat). We know that it’s great for humans, but what can olive oil do for dogs? Here are a few fabulous benefits.
It Boosts General Health
In addition to providing specific benefits for your dog’s brain and immune system (see below), olive oil can help to boost Fido’s overall health. Olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats which can reduce your dog’s risk for heart disease and diabetes. And it’s loaded with oleic acid, a compound that has been shown to reduce the risk for cancer.
It Defends the Immune System
In addition to moisturizing your dog’s skin and coat, olive oil can be beneficial for his immune system. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols and carotenoids which have been demonstrated to improve immune system health. A strong immune system will give your dog a better chance of fighting off infection. A robust immune system is important in transitioning from one season to the next. Like you, dogs can get sick when the weather changes, so add a little olive oil to prepare him/her for the transition.
It’s a Brain Food
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 (yours, too!). 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 risk reduction for Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve read that Mediterranean-style diets continue to be linked to lower levels of dementia in humans. 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.
It’s a Beauty Treatment
Fancy (aka overpriced) pet shampoos and conditioners are not a sure-cure for dry, flaky skin. The answer may be the addition of a bit of olive oil to your dog’s diet. Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and other antioxidants, and it is a good source of natural chemicals (phytonutrients) that protect against germs. Pet owners have reported seeing improvements in their dogs in as little as one week! And by continuing to add omega-3 fatty acids rich olive oil, you may just keep that flaky skin at bay. Check with the veterinarian to see what the proper amount should be.
Now you know the benefits of this kitchen staple. Just a little bit in your dog’s diet may contribute to your pet’s health, happiness, and mental well-being—a part of your family for many years to come.