olive oil for dogs

Olive Oil for Dogs: Is It Safe? Benefits & Dosage Guide

Olive oil, long hailed for bolstering human health, now emerges as a promising supplement for dogs. Packed with monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamins, it not only champions heart health but also wards off chronic ailments. For dogs, this golden elixir could mean a leap in well-being. 

Researchers are scrutinizing its safety and pinpointing the right dosage to maximize benefits for our four-legged friends. Ensuring dogs thrive, olive oil’s potential unfolds as a dietary source of health benefits without risks. This guide sheds light on how our pets might enjoy the same vitality-boosting perks we do.


Is Olive Oil Safe for Dogs?

Let’s answer the most important question: Is giving your dog olive oil actually safe? 

Dr. Kathryn Dench, a veterinarian doctor, and Chief Scientific Advisor at Paw Origins, says olive oil is generally safe for dogs when used appropriately. 

Olive oil offers a safe enhancement to your dog’s diet, boasting a blend of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. “It can be a great source of monounsaturated fats, which can improve skin health and enhance your dog’s coat, making it shinier and healthier,” according to Dr. Dench.

It’s not toxic, and the right quantity of olive oil can bolster your dog’s health

Yet, it’s essential to tailor the amount to your dog’s specific needs and always get a vet’s nod before you introduce it to their meals. 

Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM and Staff Veterinary Writer at WeLoveDoodles, recommends adding olive oil to your dog’s diet over time, “It’s important to introduce olive oil gradually to avoid digestive upset.”

While it’s a good supplement for their well-being, overdoing it can backfire, causing weight gain or even pancreatitis, courtesy of its high-fat profile. So, keep it balanced—your dog’s health hinges on it. 


What Do Veterinarians Say?

Veterinarians recognize olive oil’s perks for dogs, especially for maintaining a lustrous coat and healthy skin. They advocate for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for its abundance of beneficial compounds and lower acidity. However, they do caution against viewing it as a panacea.

Consulting your pups vet is crucial—they’ll advise on the optimal amount and frequency tailored to your dog’s unique health profile, preventing any inflammatory responses thanks to the anti-inflammatory benefits of oleocanthal in EVOO. Olive oil can be a valuable addition to your pet’s regimen, but balance and professional guidance are the keys to its success. 

It’s vital to integrate olive oil judiciously, ensuring it enhances, not substitutes, your pet dog’s well-rounded diet. 

Health Benefits of Olive Oil for Dogs

What does science say about the benefits of olive oil to our canine friends? Here’s what we found out with our research:


Skin and Coat Health

Olive oil, packed with vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, directly nourishes your dog’s skin and coat when added to their food. Dr. Dench says in her clinical experience “about 30% of the dogs that are brought in for skin and coat issues have shown improvement with the integration of a small amount of olive oil in their diet.”

Dr. Paola Cuevas, a Veterinarian and veterinary consultant at Dogster, has seen similar positive results of olive oil for dogs skin health. “Dogs supplemented with olive oil have reported better coats and skin, especially beneficial for those suffering from dry, itchy, or flaky skin.”

Even a modest dose can work wonders, moisturizing the skin and giving their coat that sought-after shine. It’s not just cosmetic; regular use can soothe dry or itchy skin, making your furry friend comfortable and happy. 


Digestive Health

Olive oil’s monounsaturated fats are key players in digesting internal fat cells, which can be instrumental in managing your dog’s weight and promoting digestive health. It’s a natural laxative that eases constipation and keeps bowel movements regular. 

Beyond that, it can kickstart the appetite of dogs who’ve lost interest in their meals. A healthy digestive system is at the core of your dog’s overall health, and olive oil can be a part of that.

Immunity and Risks of Disease

Olive oil, rich in antioxidants like Oleacein, serves as a cellular shield against free radical damage, bolstering your dog’s immune defenses. It’s linked to a lower incidence of chronic diseases, keeping conditions like dementia and heart issues at bay. 

For senior dogs, it’s especially beneficial for potentially reducing risks of cognitive decline and managing cholesterol levels. 


Joint Health

Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory properties may offer indirect support for joint health by dialing down bodily inflammation. It’s particularly helpful for dogs with arthritis or joint discomfort, as the oleic acid and antioxidants in olive oil work to alleviate inflammation and stiffness. It’s a subtle yet effective way to ease joint issues, contributing to your dog’s mobility and comfort. 


How to Add Olive Oil into Your Dog’s Diet

To introduce olive oil into your dog’s diet, first, get a vet’s approval, considering your pet’s health specifics. 

Begin with a small dose—a teaspoon for medium dogs, mixed into their usual food, as advised by your vet. Aim for high-phenolic extra virgin olive oil for its nutrient richness. It’s not for cooking their food but as a dietary supplement.

For dry food eaters, olive oil can make meals more enticing. If your dog is picky, a drizzle of olive oil could be the trick to pique their interest. 

Here’s an easy dosage guide to follow:


Monitoring Your Dog’s Response to Olive Oil

As with every new supplement or drug, it’s critical to keep a watchful eye on your dog after adding olive oil to their diet. Positive signs to look for include a shinier coat, healthier skin, and improved digestion. 

However, be alert for any digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting. Dr. Dench says “Excessive olive oil can lead to diarrhea or fat-induced pancreatitis, especially in dogs that are prone to gastrointestinal upset or have a history of pancreatitis.”

Moreover, since olive oil is high in calories, monitor your dog’s weight to prevent any excess gain. For an average-sized dog, Dr. Dench recommends “no more than a teaspoon of olive oil a few times a week.”

If you notice any negative reactions, stop using olive oil and seek veterinary advice. Regular vet visits are essential to ensure the olive oil is benefiting your dog without causing harm.

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Observe Digestion: Be on the lookout for digestive troubles
  • Check Weight: Keep an eye on your dog’s weight to control it
  • Skin and Coat: Notice any enhancements in skin and coat health
  • Consult Vet: Maintain ongoing communication with your vet for dietary adjustments


Potential Risks to Consider

Olive oil is generally safe for dogs, but it’s not risk-free. 

Overindulgence can cause obesity and digestive problems. It’s calorie-rich, so it’s crucial to factor this into your dog’s daily calorie count to prevent weight gain, and choose an olive oil that delivers more antioxidants and more anti-inflammatory polyphenols per tablespoon than a run of the mill “extra virgin” oil. 

Despite its health advantages, olive oil should be introduced slowly and with a vet’s oversight to sidestep any negative outcomes. Keep portions in check to harness the benefits without the drawbacks.


Choosing The Right Olive Oil for Dogs

Choosing the right olive oil for your dog is crucial. Opt for high phenolic extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), which is pure, additive-free, and ideally organic. Its lower acidity and richer nutrient profile make it a superior choice. Introduce it gradually to your dog’s diet and keep an eye out for any negative reactions. 

The aim is to supplement their diet, not to substitute key dietary elements or prescribed treatments. Quality and purity matter, so cold-pressed, high-phenolic options are your best bet. Remember, it’s about enhancing, not replacing.



During our research, we discovered your most asked questions online about olive oil for dogs and answered all of them below.


Can Dogs Have Olive Oil?

Yes, olive oil is a safe and advantageous supplement to your dog’s diet when used judiciously. It’s laden with wholesome fats and antioxidants that bolster their health, particularly benefiting their skin, coat, and immune system.

Olive oil, especially high-phenolic one, is brimming with monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamins E and K, all contributing to your dog’s health.


Should I Add Oil to Homemade Dog Food?

Absolutely. Incorporating olive oil into homemade dog food is a smart choice for many reasons. First, olive oil enriches the food with essential fatty acids, which are key to a healthy skin and coat. Not only does it nourish, but it also adds a flavor that might just win over those picky eaters. 

Olive oil doesn’t just serve as a nutritional boost; it also helps in keeping a balanced weight and acts as a natural flavor enhancer, making it a multifaceted addition to your dog’s homemade meals. 

Just be sure to add it in moderation and observe how your dog responds to this new ingredient in their diet.


How Much Olive Oil To Give My Dog for Constipation?

For easing constipation in your dog, a dose of olive oil can be effective. For dogs weighing between 30-40 pounds a teaspoon of olive oil per 10 lbs is recommended. It’s a gentle natural laxative that supports digestive health. 

Always start with a small amount and observe your dog’s response, adjusting the quantity if necessary. This approach ensures you provide just enough to aid their digestion without overdoing it. 


Does Olive Oil Help With Dog Fleas and Itchy Ears?

Olive oil can soothe itchy ears in dogs by providing moisture from omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, its ability to coat and suffocate mites and eggs may deter fleas, creating an unwelcoming environment for them.

While olive oil can be a supportive measure, it’s not a substitute for professional veterinary care when dealing with fleas or ear discomfort. It’s important to use it as part of a broader approach to your dog’s health, and always consult with a veterinarian for primary treatment options. 


Does Olive Oil Work for Dog Arthritis?

Olive oil, because of oleocanthal's anti-inflammatory properties, might support joint pains in dogs and may result in improved mobility. However, it’s important to remember that it should be used as a supplement within a larger treatment strategy, not as the sole remedy. 

Moderation is essential, and professional guidance will help you use olive oil effectively to support your dog’s joint health.



To end our article, incorporating olive oil into a dog’s diet can offer numerous health benefits. It can improve skin and coat health, aid in weight management, enhance food palatability, and boost the immune system. However, it’s crucial to use olive oil in moderation and consult with a veterinarian to tailor it to your pet’s specific needs. 

Ultimately, olive oil can be a valuable addition to a balanced canine diet when used responsibly.

Beyond Extra Virgin. Backed by Science.

Founded by Dr. Limor Goren, a cancer researcher and molecular biologist, our mission is to provide high-phenolic olive oils that are scientifically backed to promote your health. 

Our premium olive oils contain up to 10x more polyphenols than your average EVOO, making them some of the most nourishing olive oils in the world.