Digging through recent comments: olive oil and chihuahua pankreatitis attack, dogs and alpha-linolenic acid.

By | July 22, 2012

I must admit, to my shame, I did not look through comments pending for approval for some time. Mainly I neglected reading through because waves and waves of comment spam I get daily.

There has been a couple of valuable comments, however. I appreciate when you leave your feedback and provide input, so thanks! I have left replies to the comments under respective posts, but I’ll expand them here as well.

Stacy writes in one of the olive oil posts:

Advising people to add a tablespoon of olive oil to a dog’s food for constipation could be harmful and even FATAL by triggering a pancreatitis attack from all that FAT! *** USE 1-3 TEASPOONS OF PURE PUMPKIN PUREE for constipation OR diarrhea, and it will cure either.*** Dogs 10lbs and under, 1 tsp … up to 3 tsp for large dogs. Pumpkin has NO FAT and is 100% SAFE for ANY dog of any size, with any condition. This is the PURE PUMPKIN PUREE without sugar or spices.

A tablespoon of olive oil contains 14g of fat! The average dog (not a working dog) should get about 7-8% fat in their diet. That translates to 1.5 – 2g of fat PER DAY for my 10lb chihuahua. If I gave him a tbls of olive oil — 14g of fat — it would definitely trigger a pancreatitis attack. This article should be corrected before someone sadly takes the advice!!

Thanks for the comment Stacy! You are right about one thing for sure: olive oil is not a dog food supplement in any case. Do not give olive oil to your dog regularly, and I stress that in the post.

However, many dog owners report that they give olive oil to improve the state of their pets’ fur and skin. Here’s just a couple of cases when people claim that olive oil works for these purposes:


So if you think a tablespoon of olive oil won’t hurt your dog (it’s not a small-sized dog and leads an active lifestyle) — you can feel free to try give it olive oil at your own risk. But no supplementing olive oil regularly, Stacy’s right here, it’s boosting fat in your dog’s diet.

As for the pumpkin puree — great advice Stacy! Thanks a lot for the info, sounds very valuable and safe. I’m definitely going to add pumpkin to my dog’s meals if she gets a diarrhea.

In the post on flax seed oil Lillian Peterson writes that dogs actually can process alpha-linolenic acid and extract omega-3 fatty acids from it, although not to a very good degree:

Dogs can convert ALA to lcPUFA (more effectively to EPA than to DHA, but typically DHA is under tight control and conversion may only occur if DHA levels are deficient).
Cats on the other hand lack an enzyme and cannot.

Bauer JE, Dunbar BL, Bigley KE. Dietary flaxseed in dogs results in differential transport and metabolism of (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids. J Nutr 1998;128:2641S-2644S.

Lillian, thanks a lot for stopping by ad taking your time to comment! I took the fact from either Wikipedia or other publicly accessible information source, so I must have been misguided. Does that actually mean we can use flaxseed oil as an omega-3 food supplement for dogs?

I love to hear your opinions! Free exchange of information will make the world better, I firmly believe that.


Do you give this to your dog?