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.
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.