Is Olive Oil Good for Dogs? Olive You More Than You Know

olive oil drizzling into a bowl

Olive oil, that staple of the Mediterranean diet, isn’t just for humans. In recent years, it’s been whispered among the wellness and pet communities that olive oil might offer similar health perks to our four-legged friends. But before you pour it into your pup's bowl, we're going to sniff out the truth—can dogs have (and enjoy) olive oil, and is it as healthy for them as it is for us?

Can Pooches Pawsitively Benefit from Olive Oil?

You bet they can! Olive oil is chock full of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants — components that can be a welcome addition to your dog’s diet. When administered properly, olive oil can aid in your pup's digestive system, skin and coat health, and general overall well-being. The key is moderation and integration — a little oil goes a long way.

The Pour and the Chefs

When kitchen and pet health intersect, it's not just about the benefits but also the culinary acumen. If you’re an aficionado cook or a pet parent looking to enhance Mealtimes with your pooch, olive oil can be an excellent addition. Whether lightly drizzled over a bowl of kibble or incorporated into homemade treats—for the discerning dog or the discerning owner, olive oil opens up a palette of possibilities.

The Oils of Olive – Paws and Passion

Humans don't hold the monopoly on olive oil's goodness. The oil, rich in monounsaturated fats, can actively contribute to your fur baby's well-being. Dogs can benefit from olive oil's robust profile of fatty acids, notably omega-6 and omega-3, which offer anti-inflammatory properties and can promote a healthier coat and skin.

Digestive Ease for Canine Tummies

Just like in people, olive oil can have a soothing effect on a dog's upset stomach. A teaspoon of the golden elixir mixed into their food can help with occasional constipation or other minor digestive issues. It does this by lubricating the digestive tract, making it easier for Fido to 'go' and feel better.

A Silky Soft Coat and Healthy Skin

The same fatty acids that make olive oil an all-star in human skincare can do wonders for your dog’s coat. Regularly incorporating olive oil into your dog's diet can lead to a lustrous and healthy fur coat, which will have them strutting their stuff at the dog park.

Enhanced Overall Health

The antioxidants in olive oil can support dogs in the same way they do for us. They fight free radicals that can cause cellular damage and contribute to aging. This means olive oil can be an ally in promoting your dog's overall health and help in preventing chronic diseases.

Risks and Rations: Being Mindful with Oil and Dogs

While olive oil provides benefits, it’s important to follow portion control. Just as you wouldn’t feast on a bowl of olive oil straight, your canine needs appropriate measurements. Too much oil, no matter how healthy, can lead to problems such as weight gain and pancreatitis.

Oil Moderation is Key

A general guideline is to start with very small amounts, and gradually increase to no more than one teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight, never to exceed one tablespoon for dogs over 50 pounds. And remember, olive oil is calorie-dense, so adjustments to your dog’s meals may be necessary.

Monitoring Your Mutt's Midsection

It’s always good practice when introducing new foods to keep an eye on your dog for changes in their stool or behavior. If you suspect any issues, decrease or eliminate the olive oil from their diet and consult with your vet.

The Flush Factor

An important consideration when adding olive oil to dog food is the fiber content of their diet. Dogs with a high-fiber diet may have less need for oil's lubricating effect in the digestive tract, so make sure your dog fits the bill for this kind of supplementation.

Adding Flair to Doggy Delicacies

How can you include olive oil in your dog’s diet? It’s easier than teaching an old dog new tricks — you can mix it into their regular meals without a fuss.

Kibble and Olive Oil? No Prob-lama!

The simplest way to serve olive oil to your dog is to drizzle it over their food. It mixes easily with kibble and canned diets, giving you and your dog a dose of health in a stress-free serving.

Making Mutt Muffins

For the culinary canines out there, you can bake dog treats with olive oil instead of other fats. This method gives your pets the benefits of olive oil without needing to add it to their regular meals—a tasty and functional solution!

Homemade Olive and Canine Cuisine

If you're feeling particularly gourmet, why not whip up a homemade meal using olive oil as the base? There are plenty of dog-friendly recipes online that can turn feeding time into a bonding experience.

Extra Virgin or Olive Oil Lite?

When it comes to pet nutrition, high-quality ingredients are a priority. The consensus is that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the superior choice for both our dog and human diets. It’s less processed and contains more nutrients than its milder, less pure counterparts.

The Gold Standard for Paws and People

EVOO’s richness in phenolic compounds provides greater health benefits. These compounds can reduce inflammation, just as they do for us, which is especially important for senior or active dogs.

The Aging Dog's Advantage

For older pets, the antioxidants in EVOO can help mitigate the effects of aging and support heart and brain health. Aging gracefully never tasted so good… or healthy!

Quantity Over Quality?

While EVOO is recommended, the most important factor is the amount you're feeding your dog. Whether you choose pure olive oil or extra virgin, remember it's the right dosage that ensures your furry friend reaps the benefits.

The Final Paws

Olive oil can be a fantastic supplement to your dog's diet, offering them an extra boost of health in a way they'll definitely enjoy. Like all aspects of care, the key to success is balance and attention. If you're considering adding olive oil to your dog’s diet, it’s always a good idea to chat with your vet. They can advise you on the best approach for your dog’s individual needs.

So, next time you’re creating a meal fit for canine and human alike, don’t hesitate to drizzle a little olive oil and share the love — in health and cooking, it seems, our two species are not so different after all.


Gaforio, J. et al., (2019). Virgin Olive Oil and Health: Summary of the III International Conference on Virgin Olive Oil and Health Consensus Report, JAEN (Spain) 2018. Nutrients. 11(9), 2039.

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