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Pet Health: What Kind Of Oils Are Good For Your Dog?

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By Anna Grace

The composition of food is very crucial for your dog. While the basic ingredients of dog food are almost the same, including proteins, fats, minerals, and carbohydrates, some useful additions can help improve the effectiveness of the food.

Oils are one good example of such additions. Food supplements are gaining popularity in dog foods. These supplements contain essential oils for dogs and other nutritional ingredients such as herbs and spices. It is a common perception that fats and oils are harmful to dogs. But the fact is quite different.

The latest research supports adding fats and oils to dog food. These are necessary for the growth and health of a dog. However, care should be exercised while choosing what oils to be added to the dog food. Moreover, the quantity and frequency of feeding oil ingredients to your dog also play a vital role.

According to, many types of oils are fine and often variety is best for your pet. Good solutions are Olive oil, rapeseed oil, safflower oil or linseed oil. The main thing is that it is cold pressed, because in this process the important fatty acids and vitamins are preserved!


Role Of Essential Oils In A Dog’s Health

Contrary to the old thinking, fats and oils are not harmful to dogs but quite beneficial. Let’s see how essential Oils are helpful for dogs.

Role Of Oils In A Dog's Health
  • Fats are suitable for the digestive system of dogs. Bile acid is known for improving the digestion and absorption of nutrients in dogs. Fats facilitate the production of this important acid in the stomach of dogs.
  • Oils help maintain the health and shine of the coat and skin of the dogs.
  • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are the best for dogs’ skin, especially against dullness and skin flaking.
  • Oils also help prevent and cure different types of allergies in dogs.  
  • Fats and oil are also known for their anti-inflammatory effects.
  • They are also beneficial for the production of hormones in dogs.
  • They are helpful in the formation of cell membranes.
  • Above all, oils are a good source of energy for the dogs.

It is, however, advisable to consult a qualified veterinarian before adding a new oil supplement to your dogs, as some oils may not be suitable. It is often asked if castor oil is safe for dogs. No, it is not recommended for dogs and should be avoided. It is highly toxic if given orally. It can cause vomiting, weakness, and bloody diarrhea in your dog. So, you must consult your vet to determine which oils can be added to dog foods.

Healthy Essential Oils for The Dogs

There are so many essential oils for dogs that can be supplemented with dog foods. Here are some essential oils for dogs that can be used in dog foods.

1. Fish Oil

fish oil for dogs

In large quantities, fish oil contains two types of Omega 3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA. These are considered helpful in reducing joint pain in dogs. Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, muscle disorders, and abnormal heartbeat in dogs suffering from heart disease.

Fish oil is also beneficial for dogs in case of kidney disease. Medical tests confirm that Omega 3, present in fish oil, reduces protein content in dogs’ urine, which indicates that kidney functions improve with fish oil supplements.

The Nutritional Composition Of Fish Oil

One teaspoon (4.5 g) of fish oil contains:

  • Calories: 41
  • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: 34.5 grams

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil for dogs

The utility of coconut oil for human health is beyond any doubt. Though sufficient research is lacking for its usefulness in dogs, it positively impacts the dogs, especially their skin.

Here are some well-known benefits of coconut oil for dogs:

  • It gives extra shine to the coat of the dogs
  • It is good at reducing bad breath in dogs
  • It improves their immune system
  • It improves the digestive system of the dogs
  • Coconut oil is a good source of energy
  • It also has anti-fungal characteristics

Coconut oil is quite rich in nutrients and can safely be used in dog foods in small quantities. It can also be applied to the dogs’ skin to improve their shininess.

The Nutritional Composition Of Coconut Oil

  • Saturated fats: 90%, which are different from animal saturated fats
  • Unsaturated fats: 9%
  • 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids
  • Coconut oil is rich in Lauric acid

3. Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed Oil for dog

Flaxseed or Linseed Oil is another useful oil that can be supplemented with dog food. It contains a plant-based triglyceride, scientifically known as ALA, Alph Linolenic Acid. Though less effective than the DHA and EPA, available in fish oil, ALA can reduce joint pain in dogs.

So, it can be a good treatment for dogs suffering from arthritis. It helps improve their mobility. Additionally, Flaxseed Oil is also helpful in kidney diseases and blood pressure issues in dogs. Flaxseed Oil can be an alternative to Fish Oil for dogs with allergies to fish.

However, like all other oils, Flaxseed Oil should be used in minimum quantities in dog food supplements. Otherwise, it can harm the overall health of the dog.

The Nutritional Composition Of Flaxseed Oil

  • Flaxseed contains around 40% oil
  • Flaxseed Oil contains 10% saturated fats
  • It contains 20% monounsaturated fatty acids
  • It contains 70% Alpha Linolenic Acid

4. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil for dogs

Sunflower oil is another good source of Omega 6 fatty acids, known for their usefulness in giving a shiny coat to dogs. It helps to moisturize the skin and keep it healthy. It is beneficial for maintaining the desired level of energy in the dogs.

Sunflower Oil is also good for a healthy heart. The dog food supplement needs to be given in very small quantities.

The Nutritional Composition Of Sunflower Oil

  • Sunflower oil contains 85% unsaturated fatty acids.
  • It contains 15% saturated fatty acids.
  • The unsaturated fatty acids of sunflower contain around 20-40% oleic acid and 50-70% of linoleic acid.

5. Olive Oil

Olive Oil for dog

Many varieties of Olive Oil can be found in the market, mostly for human consumption. The same can be used in small quantities as a dog food supplement. It is, however, better to select pure olive oil (100% olive oil) instead of a mixed variety.

Olive oil is quite beneficial for dogs as an overall health booster. It improves their immune system. It helps to maintain and improve the shininess of the skin and coat. It keeps the coat and skin moisturized. It also reduces the chances of heart disease in dogs. It is a good substitute for omega-6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.

The Nutritional Composition Of Olive Oil

  • The major component of Olive Oil is triacylglycerols; around 99% of the Olive Oil
  • It contains minor quantities of monoacylglycerols and diacylglycerols
  • Olive oil also contains traces of lipids

6. COD Liver Oil

COD Liver Oil for dog

Unlike normal fish oil, it contains fewer Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. COD liver oil is, however, rich in Vitamin A and D. Hence to get the benefits of these fatty acids, you may need to add a large quantity of COD Liver Oil, which may not be a good option for the dogs.  

7. CBD oil


CBD oil for dogs is touted for potential benefits like anxiety and pain relief. Derived from hemp, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. While some positive results have been reported anecdotally, scientific research is limited. Consult a vet before use.

Choose high-quality CBD products made for pets, tested for purity and CBD-to-THC ratios. Start with a low dose and monitor closely for effects like drowsiness or appetite changes. Individual responses vary, so veterinary guidance is crucial for your dog’s well-being.


Like humans, dogs also need value-added foods and food supplements. It is necessary for their health and growth. It is also necessary for maintaining their energy level. So, adding small quantities of good and healthy oils to the dog’s daily routine food servings can get you the desired results regarding the dog’s health, growth, and energy.

It is, however, equally important to know which oil can be given to the dogs safely. The best way is to consult a qualified veterinarian. Not all the oils are suitable for your dog. Even some oils are highly toxic to them.

Hence it is a sensitive matter that needs proper consultation and advice. A basic rule that needs to be followed is to use oils in very small quantities and don’t give oils to your dog orally. Use it as an additive or a supplement in dog foods.