12 Surprising Benefits & Uses Of Olive Oil For Dogs (2023)

Olive oil is a must-have ingredient in every kitchen. It brings out the best flavor in your salad and nourishes your body. As a dog owner, you might also be wondering if olive oil for dogs shares the same benefits. The most straightforward answer is yes, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Let’s learn about everything olive oil does for your pet:

  • Benefits of Olive Oil for Dogs
  • What Kind of Olive Oil Is Best for Dogs?
  • How Much Olive Oil for Dogs Is Optimal?
  • How to Give Olive Oil to Your Dog
  • Potential Side Effects
  • Olive Oil vs Coconut Oil for Dogs

Benefits of Olive Oil for Dogs

We can safely say that olive oil supports your dog’s overall health, both physical and mental. But how does it do that?

1. Olive Oil for Dogs’ Joints

25% of dogs in the US suffer from some type of arthritis. Most susceptible are:

  • older, obese, or malnourished dogs
  • some large dog breeds
  • dogs that have suffered injuries

At least that’s what statistics say. But in reality, any dog can develop the symptoms.

Even if the issue worsens over time, proper treatment can help your pet live a long and comfortable life. For instance, joint supplements for dogs are the most common therapy that slows the progression of arthritis.

But can dogs have olive oil to ease the symptoms? They can. Olive oil contains oleic acid and antioxidants that have an anti-inflammatory effect, similar to pain medications. Also, the Omega-3 fatty acids provide joint lubrication. So regular doses of olive oil will reduce the pain, swelling, and stiffness in arthritic joints. That can work wonders in combination with glucosamine for dogs.

Suppose you give anti-inflammatory drugs to your dog long-term. That can cause significant side effects on the liver and kidneys. That’s why olive oil is an excellent natural alternative.

2. Olive Oil for Dogs’ Skin

A healthy dog’s skin should be soft and smooth, without any bumps, dry flakes, pimples, or itchiness. These could be symptoms of medical issues, so you should take them seriously. If you notice any changes in your dog’s skin, it’s best to consult a vet.

Before treating your dog, you’ll need to find out the underlying problem. For example, if your dog has an allergic reaction to food, adding olive oil to its diet won’t do it any good. Veterinarians recommend olive oil for itchy dogs only after ruling out allergies, parasites, and infections.

Hopefully, your dog’s skin condition is a mere reaction to cold weather or low humidity. In this case, the Omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil will moisturize the skin and clear the flakes.

3. Olive Oil for Dogs’ Coat

While regular grooming and a sensitive shampoo improve the look of a dog’s coat, real health comes from within. So, it’s essential to feed your dog a nutritionally rich diet.

To keep your puppy’s coat healthy, consider adding supplements with vitamin E and Omega fatty acids to its diet. And guess what! Olive oil is full of them.

We highly recommend olive oil for dogs with dull or damaged coats. It could take up to a month to see the results, but it will definitely make your dog’s hair stronger and shinier.

4. Olive Oil for Dogs’ Shedding

Shedding is a natural and healthy process that promotes new hair growth, and you cannot eliminate it. But it wouldn’t hurt to reduce the amount of hair that ends up on your furniture.

Regular baths and a proper brush usually do the trick. They help you remove the loose or brittle hair before it falls on its own.

But when a skin or hair condition leads to excessive dog shedding, it’s much wiser to address the underlying health issue rather than the symptoms. And that’s where olive oil comes in.

Using olive oil for dogs with skin problems will ultimately make shedding more manageable. After all, firm, healthy, supple skin means stronger hair follicles and less shedding.

5. Olive Oil for Dogs’ Ears

Did you know that dogs with floppy ears are more susceptible to ear infections? That’s because long ears trap dirt and moisture, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to grow.

But there’s no need to worry too much. Ear infections are usually mild, and you can treat them yourself. If you don’t have any dog ear cleaner, olive oil for ear infection in dogs is your second-best option. It will reduce the swelling and help fight the bacteria.

Here’s how you can use olive oil to ease your dog’s ear discomfort:

  • Gently warm a dropper of olive oil in a bowl of hot water.
  • Check the temperature of the oil. It shouldn’t be too hot.
  • Pour a few drops into your dog’s ear.
  • Rub it to make sure the oil goes deep inside.
  • Dab the inside of the ear with a cotton ball to remove debris or excess oil.

If your dog is in great pain and refuses to eat, or its ear is particularly red or smelly, it’s better to go to the vet. Severe ear infections can damage a dog’s hearing and balance.

6. Olive Oil for Dogs’ Constipation

Olive oil is a handy home remedy if your dog has constipation and you’re wondering how to make your dog poop. It lubricates the digestive tract and enables easier passage. Just a spoonful of olive oil in a dog’s meal can help clear mild constipation.

In contrast, olive oil for dogs that are severely constipated isn’t as effective since food takes at least one day to reach the intestines. If that’s the issue, contact your veterinarian and consider administering an enema.

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7. Olive Oil on Dogs for Fleas

Unlike other insect repellents, olive oil doesn’t contain lauric acid that kills fleas. Still, its high-fat content might suffocate the fleas. Here’s what you can do to free your dog from these annoying and gross pests:

  • Mix a few drops of lavender into a handful of olive oil.
  • Massage your dog with the mixture.
  • The smell of lavender can be overwhelming, so don’t overdo it.
  • Avoid the eyes and the face.
  • Leave the oil for three to four hours and rinse it off.

You can use the same mixture of lavender and olive oil for dogs as prevention during flea season. Just spray it on your dog’s collar or around the fleas’ favorite hangouts, like the armpits and groins.

8. Olive Oil for Weight Control

With 120 calories per teaspoon, olive oil is a calorie-dense substance, meaning too much of it in your dog’s diet will result in weight gain. If so, can dogs have olive oil and reap all its benefits without gaining pounds? Yes, and the answer lies in moderation.

Paradoxically, moderate amounts of olive oil can even help your dog lose some weight. Like in humans, the monounsaturated fats in olive oil break down the fat cells in the canine body. What’s more, the fat will curb your dog’s appetite by keeping it satiated longer.

9. Olive Oil for Cardiovascular Health

Research shows that a daily intake of half a tablespoon of olive oil lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 15%. Then, can dogs have olive oil for the same purpose? Science says yes.

The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil reduce cholesterol to a heart-healthy level and increase blood flow. Plus, the antioxidants neutralize the effect of free radicals and prevent over-oxidation, which can damage your dog’s cell membranes and lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Dietary supplements can get expensive. But using olive oil is a low-cost way to protect your dog’s heart.

10. Olive Oil for Brain Boost

Olive oil offers a significant supply of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your dog’s mental development. They can improve attention, memory, and learning ability.

We highly recommend using olive oil for older dogs. Thanks to its richness in oleocanthal, it can prevent or delay the onset of CCD (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) — a cognitive disorder similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

11. Olive Oil for Stronger Immunity

Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, such as vitamin E, polyphenols, carotenoids, and chlorophyll. These ingredients improve your dog’s immune system and help it fight off viruses and diseases.

12. Olive Oil for Longevity

It’s fair to say that olive oil can help your dog live longer by warding off certain diseases. Let’s go through some life-prolonging effects of olive oil for dogs:

  • Its monounsaturated fats prevent and decrease the impact of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • The oleic acid, alongside squalene and terpenoids, could protect against cancer, which kills half the dogs over the age of ten.
  • By preventing free radical cell oxidation, olive oil could also fight premature aging.

What Kind of Olive Oil Is Best for Dogs?

For the best results, you should use extra virgin oil. It’s made from cold-pressed, high-quality olives, which help it preserve most of its precious nutrients.

In contrast, pure and light olive oils come from low-quality olives processed with heat or chemicals, which destroys their beneficial properties.

Plus, extra virgin olive oil has lower acid levels, so it’s gentler on the canine digestive system.

How Much Olive Oil for Dogs Is Optimal?

More doesn’t always mean better, and too much olive oil can have some side effects, too.

The olive oil dosage for dogs depends on their size. The recommended daily intake is one teaspoon for every 20 pounds of your pup’s body weight.

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How to Give Olive Oil to Your Dog

Dogs like the flavor of olive oil, so don’t hesitate to add a splash to their tasty wet dog food. Also, it’s a clever way to change the consistency of dog food and cover-up dry or stale meals. You could also use olive oil to make homemade dog biscuits.

Potential Side Effects

Is olive oil safe for dogs? Let’s find out the possible side effects and how to avoid them:

  • Weight gain

Olive oil can reduce your puppy’s weight only if you give it a moderate amount. It’s a highly caloric ingredient. So too much of it can have the opposite result. If you decide to add olive oil to your dog’s diet, make sure to reduce calories from other sources.

  • Vomiting

Some pet owners report that their dogs vomit after consuming olive oil. To avoid irritating your dog’s stomach, introduce olive oil in smaller doses and work your way up.

  • Diarrhea

Can dogs have olive oil again after such a reaction? Certainly, but first, allow your dog’s stomach to rest. You can reintroduce olive oil with a smaller dose and do it gradually.

Olive Oil vs Coconut Oil for Dogs

Both are healthy for your dog and have similar positive effects:

  • They moisturize your dog’s skin and make its coat shinier. Also, coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. So you can apply it topically to soothe cuts and wounds.
  • Both improve cognitive function and prevent dementia.
  • You can use them to repel and kill fleas. The lauric acid in coconut oil does the job in 20 seconds.
  • These oils contain ingredients that could reverse arthritis symptoms, relieve pain and improve your dog’s mobility.
  • Using coconut or olive oil for dogs will boost the immune system.

Although they contain the same amount of fat per tablespoon, these oils have different fat profiles. Olive oil is much higher in polyunsaturated fats, which are healthier by far than the saturated fats prevailing in coconut oil.

In terms of antioxidant power, olive oil is also a clear winner. While extra virgin coconut oil has antioxidants, the benefits are outweighed by the high-fat content.

It seems like olive oil is the better choice. But can dogs have olive oil for bad breath? No, that’s where coconut oil shows off its versatility. You can use it to clean your dog’s teeth, eliminate the harmful bacteria in the mouth, and prevent dental disease.


The benefits of olive oil for your dog are impressive. They range from repelling fleas to preventing severe diseases and serving as a natural substitute for heavy medications.

But why wait for a health issue to emerge? Take preventive measures and give olive oil for dogs a try today.


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Author: Reed Wilderman

Last Updated: 09/17/2023

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