Health

Olive Oil for Dogs and Cats

Adding olive oil to your pet's diet could help them feel better, live longer and more.
Jun 14, 2018 10:47 AM EDT
Cristabelle Tumola

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Olive oil does­n’t only ben­e­fits humans, it can help your cat or dog stay healthy, too. From healthy coats to hair­ball man­age­ment and more, it can be a super­food for our furry friends, but too much can have a neg­a­tive effect. Here’s how to incor­po­rate olive oil into your dog’s or cat’s diet and all its advan­tages.

Those monoun­sat­u­rated fats will not only keep your heart healthy but could also keep your dog liv­ing longer. Potential ben­e­fits include the pre­ven­tion of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, dia­betes, can­cer and excess weight gain, and a health­ier immune sys­tem, accord­ing to Rover.com.

Studies have also found olive oil’s link to brain health and joint health. Both are impor­tant for senior dogs, who can suf­fer from hip dys­pla­sia, elbow dys­pla­sia, arthri­tis and osteoarthri­tis.

Olive oil doesn’t just keep dogs feel­ing good, it helps them look good too. It’s a rem­edy for dry skin, but be care­ful of floor and fur­ni­ture stains. A less messy way to help your dog’s skin and coat is to add the oil to his diet. The omega‑3 fatty acids help mois­tur­ize the skin and pre­vent flakes from return­ing, accord­ing to PetGuide.com.

Vets rec­om­mend one tea­spoon of olive oil per 20 pounds of body weight per meal, mixed in with your dog’s reg­u­lar wet or dry food, accord­ing to PawCulture.com.

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Extra vir­gin olive, which has a lower acid con­tent, is best. Though olive oil has many health ben­e­fits for dogs, too much can cause diges­tive issues and weight gain. Always watch out for signs of diar­rhea or vom­it­ing, and cut it out if you notice any issues.

Cats

Like their canine coun­ter­parts, cats can enjoy many health ben­e­fits related to olive oil and its monoun­sat­u­rated fat, accord­ing to AnimalWised.com. It can also reduce their risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases and dia­betes, boost the immune sys­tem, and help them lose weight. This reduc­tion in weight also cuts their risk of hav­ing a stroke.

Constipation can be a big prob­lem in cats, and even lead to death. Olive oil is a nat­ural rem­edy for the issue, as it has a lax­a­tive effect. It’s not sur­pris­ing that olive oil is also a cure for hair­balls.

On aver­age, cats cough up three to four hair­balls a month, accord­ing to Hartz. The pet sup­ply com­pany sug­gests mix­ing one tea­spoon of olive oil into your cat’s food for three days as a hair­ball cure.

Adding olive oil to your cat’s diet on a reg­u­lar basis will even keep fur shiny and soft. It’s rec­om­mended to add a spoon­ful of oil in your cat’s food at least 3 times a week; mix it well until the oil is absorbed by the food.

Outside of your cat’s diet, pet own­ers can use olive oil to pre­vent ear infec­tions, accord­ing to VetInfo.com. To clean a cat’s ears with olive oil, use a plas­tic ear drop­per or a syringe, cot­ton balls, towel and bowl of warm water. Warm the olive oil to the cat’s body tem­per by plac­ing the olive oil con­tainer inside the warm water bowl. Fill the ear drop­per or the syringe with a lit­tle olive oil. Add one to two drops in the cat’s ear canal open­ing. Massage the ear area with cir­cu­lar motions to make sure that the liq­uid enters the ear canal. Repeat the motions five times for each ear. When done, allow the cat to shake his head for about 5 min­utes, and then clean the outer part of the ear using cot­ton balls or a clean towel.




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