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One of the essential ingredients to add to your dog foods or treats is oil.
While most dog owners don’t add oils in their dog foods for fear of weight gain, failing to add oils can prevent your dog from getting vital nutrients.
Oils are necessary for your dog to maintain good health.
However, not all fats are good for your pup. So, you should always be careful when choosing oils for dog food.
To assist you in making the right choice, this post will highlight the best oils to add to your dog food(as well as those to avoid).
Healthiest Types of Oils for Dog Food
So, what kind of oil is good for dogs?
Generally, the best oils to use when making dog food or treats should contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
While these fatty acids are essential for good health, they are not produced naturally in your dog’s body.
So, your dog has to get them from the diet that you feed him.
Fortunately, Omega-3 and 6 fats can be found in most oils that are safe for dogs.
Without further ado, the following are some of the best oils you can add to your dog food or treats.
A. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil’s secret weapon is the widely-celebrated medium-chain triglyceride (MCT).
MCTs are good fats and can provide several benefits to your dog, including improved metabolism, better digestion, immune system support, and enhanced dog skin and coat health.
MCTs can also be easily metabolized to provide immediate sources of energy to your dog, enhancing his athletic performance and aiding weight loss.
Coconut oil is also rich in lauric acid, which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties.
B. Fish Oil
Fish oil is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which contains the therapeutic components, EPA(eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid).
These acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which means they can improve your dog’s kidney functions, immune system, and cognitive functions as well as give your dog a fabulous coat and skin.
C. Olive Oil
Olive oil has potent antioxidant properties, thanks to its high chlorophyll, polyphenols, carotenoids, and vitamin E content.
It is known to break down fats inside the body’s fat cells, making it the best oil if your dog is on a weight-loss plan.
It is great for your dog’s overall health because it boosts the immunes system, keeps your dog’s skin shiny and moisturized, and can lower risks of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in dogs.
It is also recommended for dogs that don’t digest Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids due to GI upset and related issues.
D. Flaxseed Oil
They contain both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
The omega 3 is delivered in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is converted by your dog’s body to EPA and DHA.
Some of the benefits your dog can get from consuming flaxseed oil include strong joints, healthy coat and hair, a healthy immune system, healthy kidneys, and improved digestion.
E. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, so it will ensure that your canine friend has healthy skin and coat, improved immune function, and optimum organ functions.
Sunflower oil is also known to contain low saturated fat, so you can add it to foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs without any issue.
F. Primrose Oil
Primrose has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for dogs with dry skin and coat, hair loss issues, and allergies.
It is also known to restore hormone imbalances and can be given orally or added to shampoos and conditioners during bath time to moisturize your dog’s skin and coat.
G. Krill Oil
Krill oil is often derived from krill, which are small crustaceans consumed by penguins, whales, and other sea creatures.
It is rich in EPA and DHA and will give your four-legged friend healthier joints and skin, improved immune function, and other benefits.
Unlike fish oil whose omega-3 fats are often stored in the form of triglycerides, Omega-3 fats in Krill oil are in the form of small molecules called phospholipids, making it easier to be absorbed in your dog’s bloodstream.
Oils to Avoid
Certain oils are anything but safe for dog consumptions. Adding such oils to your dog food or treat can cause adverse effects on your pet’s health.
- Canola Oil: Canola oil is believed to cause Vitamin E deficiency, retarded growth, and shortened life span in animals. There are also concerns that Canola oil is registered as an approved pesticide with EPA, which makes it unfit for pet consumption.
- Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil may contain soybean, corn, and corn products, which are may cause allergies in some dogs.
- Peanut oil: Can cause digestive issues in some dogs.
- Cooked fats (like grease from bacon): Contains a lot of sodium, which may be toxic to your dog.
The Best oils for Dog Food Products
Having understood the oils to avoid and those to include in your dog food, here is a review of some of the best products available in the market.
This Grizzly Salmon Dog oil is made from wild-caught Alaskan salmon that feeds only on natural, nutrient-filled diets.
The Omega 3 EPA and DHA fatty acids in this fish oil are, therefore, well blended with vitamins and antioxidants that occur naturally.
Formulated from only a single source of fish oil, it won’t cause adverse reactions for dogs with allergies.
For the safety of your dog, the product is tested and verified by independent quality testing labs.
The packaging also comes with a medical-grade pump to help you squirt the oil into your dog food easily.
The product also comes with a user’s instruction manual to ensure that you use the exact quantity of oil for your dog.
If your pup has shedding and skin scratching problems, this is the best fish oil you should add to his food.
Rich in Omega-3 & 6, this fish oil formulation will soothe dry, itchy skin and help your pooch fight allergy symptoms.
It is also recommended for dogs with joint issues.
It is free of preservatives and additives, making it the go-to oil for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
For convenience, it comes with a pump to allow you to squirt the oil seamlessly into your dog’s food.
Unlike most fish oils that are made from Salmon, this Grizzly fish oil is crafted from wild-caught Alaskan Pollock fish with a high ratio of natural nutrients.
For starters, Pollock packs 443 mg of Omega-3 fats (more than 177% DV) and about 9 mg of Omega-6 fats, so rest assured that it will deliver the right EPA and DHA that gets easily absorbed by your pooch’s system.
With zero carbs and low saturated fat profile (of just 0.053 g), Pollock is also known to be a low cholesterol protein, making this fish oil suitable for dogs with weight issues.
Like other fish oils we have reviewed, this fish oil formulation is also beneficial for healthy joints, skin and coat, nervous system, and cardio health.
Formulated for both internal and external use, this is the oil you need to relieve your dog of itching from flea bites, dry skin issues, cracked paw problems, dandruff, and irritations from red spots.
Applying this oil on your dog can also restore the shine and strength of his coat as well as reduce his shedding troubles.
As aforementioned, it is also designed for internal use, which means that you can add it to your dog food for improved digestive health, immune system, and cognitive functions.
The oil can also help keep the breath of your pooch fresh.
Formulated with only wild-caught Alaskan fish, this is the fish oil you need if you want your dog to get natural sources of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fats.
Like other fish oils, it works to reduce inflammation in dogs as well as strengthening cell membranes, making your pooch less susceptible to itching and dry skin.
It comes in liquefied form and thus recommended for dogs that struggle with capsules or pills. It is also Non-GMO and 100% made in the US.
If you are looking for a natural source of EPA and DHA that is not easily oxidized, Krill oil is the best bet, thanks to its Phospholipids and Astaxanthin content.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in Krill are also water dispersible, making it easier for your dog to digest than typical fish oil.
This particular krill oil is also safe for your dog since it is approved by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Another great fish oil product that we had to include in our list is this fish oil from Vetoquinol.
It comes both in liquid capsule form, allowing you to choose what works best for your dog.
You can give your dog a whole capsule or puncture it and squeeze its content into your dog food.
It is also designed for dogs of all sizes—supplying a minimum of 183 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids in small breed capsules.
It is free of heavy metals such as lead and mercury and boasts USP* ingredient verification.
Quick Tips for Getting the Most of Oils for Dog Food
- If you adding oils to your dog food for the first time, start slowly—preferably with a few drops—to see how your dog reacts to the oils.
- Consult your vet before including any kind of oil to your dog’s diet. A vet will help you figure out your dog’s dietary needs, overall health, and the nutrients that he is probably not getting in his current diet.
- Like supplements and dog treats, moderation is key when it comes to adding oils to your dog food. Excess oil can cause weight gain, stomach upsets, and vitamin E deficiency.
- Too much fish oil may prolong the time your dog’s blood takes to clot, so it is best to stop using it for a few days if your dog is going to have surgery.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are prone to oxidation and can become rancid fast. So, go for options that are dispensed in airless pumps or those that come in capsules as they can easily be squeezed onto dog food just before meals. Alternatively, add antioxidants like astaxanthin to boost the fish oil’s resistance to oxidation.
- When you decide to integrate oils for dog food in your pooch’s diet, add them to the food at mealtime to ensure that the oils remain fresh (and not rancid) by the time your dog consumes it.
When choosing oils for your homemade dog treat, it is essential to choose oils that contain the necessary nutrients.
Most fish oils are fine but strive to choose those with natural ingredients and with no odor.
This way, your dog will enjoy the dog treat and get most nutrients that may not be available in the daily dog food.
Related: Is Thieves Oil Safe for Dogs?
Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.