If you are a crazy dog person like me you probably use the phrase “people foods” when talking about food items that are not for your dog. Did you know that there are some “people foods” that can provide valuable benefits for your dog?
One such “people food” is olive oil, a wonderful source of monounsaturated fatty acids (which are considered a healthy fat). We have heard extensively that it’s great for humans, but what can olive oil do for our dogs?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, happens to make an excellent, healthful addition to your dogs food. Rich in monounsaturated fats, olive oil prevents and lessens the effects of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
Olive oil can help with weight-loss. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil encourage weight loss by breaking down the fat inside fat cells, getting rid of belly fat and reducing insulin sensitivity.
With high levels of antioxidants including polyphenols, vitamin E, chlorophyll, and carotenoids olive oil is very effective at arming the body’s immune system.
Olive oil prevents free radical cell oxidation, which can lead to premature aging, so it works to help keep your dog looking vibrant and youthful as well. It has been found to also help prevent the cognitive decline associated with aging, so be sure to serve it to senior dogs at least once daily, to keep their minds healthy.
Circulation improves and breathing comes more easily with a daily dose of olive oil. It also helps increase blood flow and, lessens the effects of asthma.
Olive oil has been used for years to beautify human hair and skin, it can do the same for canines. Condition your dog’s coat from the inside out with a daily serving, which helps to impart moisture and shine to even the driest, dullest fur, and helps eliminate dandruff. While as human we usually moisturize with lotions and oils on the outside of our skin, our fur babies get the best moisturizing treatment when we add oils to their diet.
Unfortunately, there can be a potential downside to olive oil; its fat and calorie content. One tablespoon of olive oil contains about 120 calories and 31.5 grams of fat. Although it is considered a healthy fat, it could increase the risk of a flare-up in animals prone to pancreatitis, and the extra calories could possibly cause weight gain. Moderation is key!
If you decide to add olive oil to your dogs diet, make sure to use an unflavored extra virgin olive oil. Add a quarter teaspoon for a small dog and up to a teaspoon for a large dog. Use a light sprinkling two or three times a week in their food. If you like to cook for your pooch you can most definitely put it in your recipes 🙂
Please ALWAYS consult with your Veterinarian before adding something new to your dogs diet.
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