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The Mediterranean diet not only benefits human health, but it also offers a wide range of advantages for dogs, too.
Olive oil is the primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet, which is associated with benefits for cardiovascular health. Unsurprisingly, it is natural for caring pet owners to want to share the remarkable health benefits of olive oil with their dogs.
“With the numerous health benefits of olive oil for the human diet, you may have wondered, ‘is olive oil good for dogs too?’” Kym Hough, the chief marketing officer of California producer McEvoy Ranch, told Olive Oil Times. “The resounding answer is yes, olive oil offers many benefits for dogs.”
“Olive oil contains phytonutrients, vitamin E and omega‑3 fatty acids which help keep dog’s skin moisturized and well-nourished for a healthy, beautiful coat,” she added. “Additionally, olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which have been shown to fight free radical damage and boost the immune system effectively.”
According to Rover, a pet care services platform, olive oil helps your dog’s health in four ways: skin, weight, taste, and immune system.
Recent studies confirm that extra virgin olive oil prevents dry skin, soothes scaling skin, supports heart health, and reduces inflammation. For senior dogs, these can be life-changing benefits to help dogs stay agile, flexible, and active.
The benefits of extra virgin olive oil include its ability to promote healthy skin, ease itching associated with allergies and reduce inflammation.
Christopher Reeder, a board-certified dermatologist at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Franklin, Tennessee, told Chewy that the luster and shine in dogs’ coats could be observed after about 30 days of dietary olive oil supplementation.
However, experts caution that while putting olive oil directly on the skin may be tempting, dogs tend to lick this off. Rather than get into a sticky mess, they suggest adding a teaspoon of olive oil to their food.
Small amounts of olive oil may be added to dog food to help maintain their ideal body weight. However, vets caution against giving olive oil to dogs suffering from intestinal conditions such as diarrhea or vomiting.
According to the Spanish Olive Oil Interprofessional, a non-profit, olive oil helps prevent heart disease and reduce the risks of diabetes in dogs. Olive oil consumption also boosts dogs’ energy and helps prevent cellular oxidation.
Olive oil can boost immune functioning and help prevent or delay cognitive decline. Key antioxidants such as Vitamin E protect cell membranes from free radical damage. Dogster, a magazine, notes that olive oil is especially beneficial for senior dogs and can help keep their minds vibrant.