Olive Oil Increasingly Common in Pet Foods

When consumed in the right amount, extra virgin olive oil has a range of benefits for both cats and dogs.

By Lisa Anderson
Jul. 19, 2021 13:46 UTC

With the health ben­e­fits of olive oil for pets becom­ing appar­ent, com­mer­cial dog food brands cen­ter­ing on the Mediterranean diet sta­ple are more read­ily avail­able than ever before.

Mediterranean Diet, Tuscan Natural and OlviPet, all of which are based in the United States, and United Kingdom-based Salter’s Dog Food are among the brands pro­duc­ing pet food with extra vir­gin olive oil as one of the main ingre­di­ents.

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These emerg­ing brands make it eas­ier for con­sumers to feed their dogs the cor­rect amounts of extra vir­gin olive oil. Consumed in the right quan­ti­ties, extra vir­gin olive oil has a range of ben­e­fits for pets.

Previous stud­ies have shown that extra vir­gin olive oil poten­tially pre­vents dry skin, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, can­cer, dia­betes and obe­sity in dogs. It can also pro­mote brain and joint health, and longevity.

According to Innovative Veterinary Care Journal, extra vir­gin olive oil is rec­om­mended above non-vir­gin olive oils because the for­mer retains a higher nutri­ent as a result of being cold extracted.

Moreover, the jour­nal noted extra vir­gin olive oil low­ers low-den­sity lipopro­tein (HDL) lev­els that can cause a buildup of plaque in the arter­ies. Extra vir­gin olive oil also boosts high-den­sity lipopro­tein (LDL) lev­els, pro­tect­ing dogs and other ani­mals from oxida­tive stress and blood clot­ting dis­or­ders.

Furthermore, extra vir­gin olive oil adds an essen­tial nutri­ent that the body can­not pro­duce – dihomo-gamma linolenic acid – to the diet.

Innovative Veterinary Care Journal fur­ther reported that palm oil is at times added to extra vir­gin olive oil to cut costs, but warned against this due to the impact of palm oil pro­duc­tion on forests and the habi­tats of endan­gered species.

However, dogs are not the only pets that can ben­e­fit from food sup­ple­mented with olive oil.

Cats can also ben­e­fit from mod­er­ate amounts of extra vir­gin olive oil, which assists in main­tain­ing a healthy weight and low­er­ing the risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and dia­betes. It is also help­ful for pre­vent­ing hair­balls.


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