With its fruity aroma, gorgeous golden hue, and long list of health benefits, it’s no wonder olive oil was called “liquid gold” by the ancient Greek poet Homer and deemed “the great healer” by Hippocrates (1). In those times, people used olive oil as a perfume, a soap, and even to anoint the dead. Today we’re mostly just interested in putting it on our plates, as new studies continue to extend the list of health benefits from eating olive oil—a potent source of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
But humans aren’t the only ones getting in on the liquid gold action these days. Just as people have been paying closer attention to exactly what we are eating, more pet food products are also launching with a focus on healthy, all-natural ingredients (2). And in quite a few cases, one of those is “the great healer” itself: olive oil.
Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Good for Dogs?
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Scientific studies on dogs and olive oil are limited, but there are plenty of human findings on its powers. Over the years, researchers have discovered that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that’s good for our cardiovascular health (3). Studies have also linked eating extra virgin olive oil to preserving memory and protecting the brain against Alzheimer’s (4). Olive oil has been shown to keep skin looking younger and healthier (5), lower blood pressure (6), reduce the risk of having a stroke (7), and even help people suffering from joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis (8).
It’s no wonder that pet parents are giving this superfood to their dogs, too—sometimes without even realizing it. If you look closely at ingredient lists, you’ll see that a number of pet foods and treats on the market today contain olive oil. While research on dogs and olive oil still remains elusive, here’s what we do know: Some holistic veterinarians use oleuropein, a component of EVOO, to treat skin and ear infections in dogs or to manage inflammation (9, 10). Other veterinarians have noted that supplementing your dog’s diet with healthy oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, may support skin and coat, thanks to those essential fatty acids (11). (And as we humans know, it tastes great, too!)
The key is knowing the right amount to give your dog, since too much olive oil can lead to stomach upset or cause weight gain. Veterinarians also recommend sticking with extra virgin varieties, which tend to be less acidic and retain more vitamins and minerals. Emerging brands, like Meaningful Tree, are working to address both of these by taking the guesswork out of olive oil serving size, sourcing the best-quality EVOO, and eliminating the mess of DIY-drizzling.
What Is Meaningful Tree?
Meaningful Tree is a U.S.-based small business that was born, at least in part, because of Kevin—a rescue dog who arrived at his forever home malnourished and infested with fleas and worms. Kevin’s owner (now the founder of Meaningful Tree) began feeding him whole foods and high-quality extra virgin olive oil, and quickly saw an improvement in his skin, coat, energy, and alertness. Even his breath smelled fresher.
Today Meaningful Tree is serving up high-quality EVOO to Kevin and many other dogs with its Super Pet Total Health herbal supplement powder. The product also includes acacia fiber—a natural dietary fiber and prebiotic derived from acacia trees. Dietary fiber and prebiotics are key to good health, with studies in humans showing their link to reducing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, while also promoting better gut health and a stronger immune system (12).Plus, the company says, it makes for “really awesome poops.”
Meaningful Tree claims that by combining EVOO and acacia powder through a proprietary approach, its supplement will benefit dogs’ skin and coat, promote brain health, improve joint health, boost gut health, and promote overall wellness.
Super Pet Total Health is made in the U.S. from high-quality EVOO that comes straight from olive groves in California. Each oil lot can be traced back to the exact tree it grew on. “This extra virgin olive oil is beyond simply ‘sustainable,’ in that we grow trees that give the earth oxygen and eat up more CO2 than [our company] could ever produce,” says Meaningful Tree’s founder.
The supplement is third-party tested and manufactured in Good Manufacturing Practice-certified facilities. “It is produced alongside some of the top human supplements,” adds the founder, and contains just two ingredients: extra virgin olive oil and acacia fiber.
Super Pet Total Health comes in a canister filled with 160 grams of supplement powder and a provided scoop for portioning. Each container holds 30 servings.
How to Use Meaningful Tree Dog Supplement Powder
Meaningful Tree suggests scooping out its Super Pet Total Health supplement powder and sprinkling it over your dog’s food once a day. A single scoop contains 31 calories, 2.6 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. The company recommends half a scoop daily for dogs under 30 pounds and a full scoop for dogs above that weight.
“We do not modify our own dog’s diet while using Super Pet Total Health, given the supplement facts,” says the founder, “but feel free to modify accordingly based on your dog’s needs.”
In fact, as with any change to your dog’s diet or new herbal supplement, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before introducing anything new.
Things We Like
We love this company’s commitment to sustainability and its focus on sourcing the best-quality (and ultra-traceable) ingredients. We also like how easy it is to use, with both the portion-size scoop and powder form taking the mess and guesswork out of giving extra virgin olive oil to dogs.
Things to Consider
Scientific studies on the benefits of olive oil for dogs are still lacking. But if even half of its human health claims also apply to the canine population, more pups would be well-served eating it. Just be careful not to overdo it, and always talk with your veterinarian first before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Meaningful Tree: Our Verdict
Given in the right amounts, extra virgin olive oil may offer some health benefits for dogs. Meaningful Tree simplifies the process of feeding that oil to your dog—and adds in a slew of gut health benefits thanks to its acacia fiber—by putting it into a high-quality, easy-to-use powder form.