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Vegetable Oil for Dogs: Good, Bad, or Dangerous Hazard?


Vegetable oil is something most of us have in our homes.

We all probably know it’s not the healthiest oil, but it seems to be okay for us in moderation.

Is the same true for our dogs? Or is vegetable oil bad for dogs?

You may be wondering if you can slip some inside her kibble to make her coat shinier. Or if you can rub some on her skin to help moisturize.

In this guide, we’re talking about vegetable oil for dogs and what you need to know before using it.

(Of course, as any site would advise you, you should talk to your vet before introducing anything new into your dog’s diet. These are general recommendations)


Can Dogs Eat Vegetable Oil?

Vegetable Oil for Dogs

When you’re asking if vegetable oil is bad for dogs, what are you really asking? Are you wondering whether it’s the healthiest choice or are you questioning whether it could kill your dog?

Vegetable oil isn’t the healthiest choice for anyone; dogs and humans alike. With that being said, if your dog eats a small amount of vegetable oil or a product containing it, she’s unlikely to get sick. That doesn’t mean you should feed your dog vegetable oil, but that it doesn’t act as a toxin in moderation for most canines.

Out of all the cooking oik choices, vegetable oil is hovers at the bottom of the list because it contains lower quality fats, contributing less to your dog’s diet and possibly speeding up weight gain.


Another thing to consider is whether your dog has any allergies. Vegetable oils may contain corn or soybean products, which can trigger allergies for some dogs.

If you’re considering making a dog treat recipe with vegetable oil, you can consider other, healthier vegetable oil options. For example:

  • Olive
  • Coconut oil
  • Flaxseed oil

If you decide to go with vegetable oil and she’s never had it before, the safest idea is to give her a small amount first to test it out and ensure she doesn’t have any negative reactions like allergies.

Also, the rule of moderation applies to any oil, even the “healthy” ones.

Some dog parents also mix some vegetable oil into their dog’s food to:

  • Smooth coat
  • Soften skin
  • Help itching
  • Soften stools
  • Help pass a blockage

If you want to try mixing oil into your dog’s food, 1 teaspoon may be a good idea for small breeds and about 1 tablespoon for larger ones.

If you’re considering giving your dog vegetable oil to help them poop and pass a blockage, you should contact your vet first to see if it’s the best course of action.

Although giving your dog vegetable oil to help ease constipation can help, be careful with this remedy. It’s a short-term solution. If she has a long-term constipation problem, you need to look for long-term solutions, such as the reason why she’s becoming constipated. This could be as simple as a dog food change, or it may require the help of your vet. In any case, unless your vet recommends it, you shouldn’t use vegetable oil as a constant laxative medication.


Is Vegetable Oil Bad for Dogs?

Although most dogs can eat a small amount of vegetable oil and be ok, larger amounts can lead to problems. Feeding your dog too much of any oil and loosen their stools too much, leading to diarrhea. This is likely the case if your canine gets ahold of bottle and drinks all she can. It may also lead to vomiting and stinky farts.


If your dog accidently drinks more than a little vegetable oil, contact your vet for next steps. In general, you can expect a mess. On one Reddit thread, a poster commented about what happened after their canine got into vegetable oil: “He shit on the ceiling. I’m not joking, I’m not exaggerating. Shit on the ceiling. So… yeah. Get ready for that.”

So, it goes without saying… be very careful how much you give your dog because vegetable oil can be bad for dogs.

Another thing to watch out for is oils that have been overheated, such as in a deep fryer. Eating heated fats and oils can expose your canine to acrolein, a toxic liquid created when heating oils at high temperatures. In a sad 1992 study, researchers studied the effects of orally administered acrolein on beagles. One dog died, many frequently vomited and calcium and total protein levels were depressed. While some dog parents may mix oil into kibble, you should not do so with oils you’ve already heated or used.

You should also be particularly careful when using vegetable oil for dogs if she’s obese or has a history of pancreatitis, since it could cause it to reoccur. Even if your dog doesn’t have pancreatitis, feeding too much vegetable oil could cause it.


Is Vegetable Oil Good for Dogs’ Skin?

Another way you can use vegetable oil with your dog is by rubbing it into her skin. Although there’s health benefits to eating healthier oils, vegetable oil will moisturize similarly compared to more expensive options.

Vegetable oil is good for dog’s skin to:

  • Reduce itching
  • Make coat softer
  • Make coat shinier

As with any oil, be careful not to over apply it. Too much can mean a greasy mess that’s hard to wash out. Try to apply just enough for it to sink into the skin and moisturize the coat.


Summary of Vegetable Oil for Dogs

If you’re considering vegetable oil for dogs, you should know that you should only feed your dog a small amount in his dog food. The benefits are that it can help reduce itching by moisturizing skin. It can also help make for a shiny coat and loosen stools for constipated canines.


There’s some things you need to be careful about though because vegetable oil can be bad for dogs. Too much can lead to a poopy, vomiting mess. You should also never feed your dog fat or oil that’s already been heated. That’s because overheated oil contains a liquid that can be toxic, especially for small pups.

In summary, vegetable oil in moderation is unlikely to harm your dog. Adding a bit to your dog’s diet or making a treat recipe that calls for vegetable is usually okay. If you see that a recipe that calls for a lot of vegetable oil, you may question whether it’s okay for your dog. However, consider that you’re usually not giving your dog the entire baked good in one setting. For example, if a dog cake recipe needs 1/4 vegetable oil, it’s a lot of oil, but you won’t feed your dog even a quarter of that in one setting. With that being said, there are healthier options if you want to make a substitution.

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