Is Olive Oil Good for Dogs?

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Moving on to the letter “O” in our dog food ingredient series, today we are writing about the use of olive oil in dog food.


What is Olive Oil?

Olive oil is the oil (fat) obtained by pressing whole olives.

Common names for Olive Oil

In dog food, we have not seen any other names besides olive oil. In human foods, there are several grades including the popular extra-virgin and virgin olive oils.


Why is Olive Oil in Dog Food?

Olive oil provides many health benefits (see below). It is most likely added to dog food to enhance the taste of the food as well as to provide support for healthy skin and coat.


Is Olive Oil Commonly Used in Dog Food?

Olive oil is present in about 4 ¼ % of all dog foods. It is far more common in wet food than in dry. 81% of the dog foods containing olive oil were wet, while only 19% were dry.


Common Benefits or Risks of Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) which are considered a healthy dietary fat, as opposed to saturated fats and trans fats, which are considered unhealthy. MUFAs can help lower cholesterol and control insulin levels in the body.


Olive oil is full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps protect the body’s cells from damage. Certain polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties.  Olive oil is often used to help treat dry itchy skin and can help improve the moisture and shine in a dog’s coat.


Olive oil is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and it is a main component of the Mediterranean Diet.


As reported on CNN, there have been numerous studies examining the health benefits of the polyphenols in olive oil on bone and digestive health as well as cancer prevention. Other research is examining the role olive oil can play in improving cognitive function and memory.


There are no known risks of using olive oil in the food of normally healthy dogs. However, if you decide to supplement your pet’s food with olive oil, watch out for the extra calories (see below).
slimdoggy smiley

Slimdoggy Ingredient Comfort Level

Olive oil is a healthy ingredient to have in a dog food recipe and it gets the SlimDoggy Happy rating.


Miscellaneous facts about Natural Flavor

One tablespoon of olive oil contains about 120 calories and 31.5 grams of fat.


According to Wikipedia, Span and Italy are the highest producers of olive oil in the world, accounting for about 60% of the world’s production as of 2009.


Sources and further reading

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  1. Interesting that it was most commonly found in wet food.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Petplan’s “Eat This, Not That!,” ~ Edible Pet Health Hazards GuideMy Profile

  2. I had no idea olive oil was included in dog foods, particularly wet varieties.
    It\’s Dog or Nothing recently posted…Eat This, Not ThatMy Profile

  3. I switched a couple of times between giving Haley fish oil supplements and olive oil and they both seem to help her coat and skin itchiness. It was hard to find a consistent recommended daily dosage of olive oil, so for now, she’s back on fish oil supplements.
    Elaine recently posted…The Male vs. Female Dog DebateMy Profile

  4. I wasn’t sure if olive oil was healthy for dogs or not. I give my dog coconut oil quite often and of course fish oil, but I just wasn’t sure about olive oil. Now I know. Thanks!
    Lindsay recently posted…Is it time to stop using choke collars for dog training?My Profile

  5. I didn’t realize there even was olive oil in foods!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…A Better Petter?My Profile

  6. Good to know, actually, I think I may have used it in my baking but I can’t remember.
    Emma recently posted…Up To Our Ears In LeavesMy Profile

  7. We use olive oil on our salads, maybe a drop in the boys’ food would be good on occasion.
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…November is Adopt a Senior Dog MonthMy Profile

  8. I cook with olive oil a lot, so this is definitely interesting to me. I thought I had heard it was good for dogs, but still wasn’t sure.
    Jan K recently posted…Tuesday’s Tails – Adopt Senior Kitty SampsonMy Profile

  9. The sardines we get have olive oil in them, but I will only give the dogs the fish and not the oil due to the calorie content. Since all 4 dogs share 1 tin of sardines it’s not to bad. I prefer coconut oil, but Costco doesn’t carry sardines in coconut oil (or water).
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Creating a Raw Feeding App for Dog Lovers @WayFounderMy Profile

  10. Olive oil if awesome. One thing to remember, though, it is a poor source of linoleic acid, which is essential for dogs. So it is important to keep tracks fits levels in the overall diet and if the levels are low opt for a different type of oil.

  11. Good point about paying attention to extra calories in supplements and fats.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Wordless Wednesday–This Whole Field Just For Me?My Profile

  12. I’ve been using camelina oil for the girls — instead of fish oil because the smell of fish/fish oil nauseates me — but had forgotten about substituting a little olive (or coconut) oil when I run low on the camelina oil. Thanks for the reminders!!
    Callie, Shadow, and Ducky’s Mom recently posted…WTF?! Ducky, Part 2My Profile

  13. It is suggested for use with dogs on raw diet (or some type of oil) because a lot of times the dogs are getting a lot of bone and that can sometimes be hard to pass. I don’t do it as often as I should.
    Jodi recently posted…Follow-Up Friday – November 7, 2014My Profile

  14. On those occasions when Harley has scrambled eggs with his breakfast, I cook the eggs in a little olive oil and he loves it!

    • Scrambled eggs! Lucky dog.
      mkob recently posted…SlimDoggy Happy ThanksgivingMy Profile

      • It’s a rare treat here in Doodleville – so when Doodle Dad decides to make some (only once or twice a week), Harley can hear that egg crack and he’s right there in the kitchen to supervise the scrambling!

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