Feb 162013

by Tahni Segars

During the winter months, it’s not uncommon to need a little extra lathering with lotion to avoid dry skin. And while my bottle of cocoa butter does wonders for keeping my skin from getting scaly and itchy, my pup, Lola, isn’t so lucky.

In the cooler, drier months, Lola gets dry and flaky. Wintertime usually means a lot of itching and scratching for my poor pet. Lola has a dark coat, and this makes her condition very visible. To make Lola look and feel better, I turn to extra virgin olive oil.

Two to three times a week I add just a bit of extra virgin olive oil to Lola’s dry food. Depending on pet size, use ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon to keep skin healthy. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential to a dog’s diet and extra virgin olive oil is the perfect supplement.  But be careful not to add too much, after all, olive oil is a fat.

Sometimes Lola’s dry skin is persistent. When this happens I apply the extra virgin olive oil directly to her skin. In a container I mix 5-10 tablespoons of olive oil with a bit of water (warmed water is better for mixing) and massage the solution into her skin. Creams and shampoos containing olive oil extracts can be an added benefit.

Extra virgin olive oil provides even more pet benefits. The monounsaturated fats and other acids found in extra virgin olive oil can help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. Evoo is an immune system booster that helps ward off disease. It improves circulation which gives them more energy, and it helps prevent cognitive decline. Extra virgin olive oil also reduces shedding, strengthens claws and improves digestion. In cats a small amount of oil helps treat hairballs and constipation.

Marshall waiting for his evoo massage to soothe his flaky skin.

Olive Crazy’s cat, Marshall, waiting for his evoo massage to soothe his flaky skin.

So the next time you notice your pet scratching a dandruffy coat, having digestion troubles or exhibiting the “hairball hack,” grab a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. With so many pet health benefits, extra virgin olive oil should always be on hand.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Nov 062012
Lola waiting to have her ears cleaned with olive oil.

by Tahni Segars

Any time my dog Lola, a sweet little Dachshund/Beagle mix, shows any signs of distress, I’m quick to jump into action. While she can be boisterous, Lola unfortunately lacks the ability to tell me exactly what ails her, but I’ve learned some clues. When I see her shaking her head and rubbing on furniture, I know I need to head to the kitchen for some olive oil.

Ear care is essential when caring for your pet. Like humans, dogs and cats are susceptible to ear infections. To avoid the pain and agitation of an infection, regular ear cleaning is important. And a good way to keep your feline and canine family members free of ear irritation is to cleanse their ears with olive oil.

The health benefits of olive oil go well beyond dietary uses. Dog and cat ears are very sensitive. Using water to clear your pet’s ears won’t do the trick. Water can make matters worse and bring on an infection.

The good news is the process is quick and easy. And I bet you have the necessities in your home already. All you need is olive oil and cotton balls. Dab the cotton ball in the oil and gently swab the inside of your pet’s ears. Use a clean cotton ball to remove the excess oil and debris. Avoid Q-tips for cleaning — this can push wax farther in the ear canal, push an infection deeper or injure your pet. Regular ear cleaning with olive oil will keep your pet happy and healthy.

If your animal does get an ear infection, olive oil can help then, too.

Ear infections are caused by common bacteria that your pet can come in contact with through water, dirt or from any surface in their environment. If your dog does a lot of swimming, infections can be common and recurring, as bacteria thrive in warm, moist areas. Pets can also get ear infections from allergies, fungus and ear mites.

If you notice your cat or dog with symptoms of an ear infection, reach for the olive oil early and get a head start on alleviating the irritation.
Symptoms of an infection include:

• Excessive head shaking
• Scratching at the ear or rubbing the ear on furniture or other objects
• Cocking the head to one side
• A foul odor

Get started:

1. Surface clean your pet’s ear. Moisten a cotton ball with olive oil and gently swab the inside of the ear.
2. Straighten the ear canal by softly pulling on the ear and pour in a few drops of the olive oil, letting it travel down the ear canal.
3. Massage the base of the ear gently and remove any excess oil with a clean cotton ball.
According to the Veterinary Institute of Integrative Medicine, an organization focused on holistic medicine, placing several drops in each ear daily will kill any mites, and the process will gradually heal an ear infection. Repeat the drops for three to four weeks.

For keeping your four-legged friends in tip-top shape, olive oil is the panacea for ear care. Keep your house stocked with olive oil and cotton swabs, and you and your pet will be set.

May the sun shine through your branches.


Apr 262011

Tick season has arrived. This year, Spring was warm and ticks are here earlier than usual. So how do you keep your pets from being needlessly miserable and, of course, making you suffer as well – olive oil.

Ticks are more dangerous now than they used to be. Decades ago Lyme Disease was rare and limited to a few types of tick, but not so today. Around the world there are several types of tick that carry the disease. Yes, Lyme Disease is global and both pets and people are at risk.

A great solution to keeping the ticks from attaching in the first place is olive oil. If your pet spends time outdoors it is a good precautionary measure to  rub him or her down with olive oil after a bath. The oil is not only great for your pet’s coat but keeps ticks from attaching to your pet’s skin.

If you aren’t lucky enough to keep a tick from attaching to your pet, don’t use the “tick burning” method of removal. The idea of tick burning is to get the tick to release it’s grasp, leaving it’s host unharmed, but this is no longer a recommended method. Why? Because it is dangerous, and for two main reasons: You might burn your pet’s skin; and if the tick is infected with Lyme Disease, the act of burning the tick makes it reflexively vomit into the pet, causing infection. Neither method is a good option.

When removing a tick, don’t take any chances. Once you’ve located the tick, gently pour a bit of olive oil around the tick, not so much that you make it vomit, but just enough that it realizes it’s oxygen supply is getting cut off. Ticks need to breathe too. Place a tweezers under the tick and gently lift up. The lubrication from the olive oil helps completely detach the tick, and that should do the trick.

May the sun shine through your branches.