Help! My Dog Ate Vegetable Oil

Dogs eat stuff. All kinds of stuff, and they generally don’t really care whether it’s good for them or not.

If your pup gobbled up some vegetable oil, you’re probably wondering whether he’ll be okay.

Or you’re flat-out panicking and calling every emergency vet you can find. Relax, we’re here to help you figure out what to do. Read on to find out more.

[1] What should I do if my dog just ate vegetable oil?

So, your pooch found that last bit of vegetable oil in the container. The one you left on the kitchen counter. Oh man, now what?

Well, if it’s only a tiny bit and your fur kid is on the big side, he’ll be fine.He might have the runs for a bit, so maybe keep him on the lawn until it blows over. Or, if you can’t put him outside for long enough, get some diapers. You don’t want that mess inside your house.

If your dog ate a lot of vegetable oil relative to his size, you might be in for a tough time. He might start vomiting and, in severe cases, develop pancreatitis. That really sucks. That said, the vomiting helps to get the stuff out of his system. So, if he ate a lot of it and hasn’t vomited yet, induce it by administering hydrogen peroxide – 1 teaspoon for every 10 lbs that your dog weighs. If that doesn’t work or your dog isn’t getting any better, it’s time to call the vet.

If you successfully induced vomiting, your pup is likely to feel pretty out of it, just like we do when we’re under the weather. So, give him plenty of electrolytes and fluids to get him back up again. The poor pup will need all the help he can get.

Help! My dog ate a chocolate donut

[2] Is vegetable oil toxic to dogs?

While vegetable oil isn’t necessarily toxic for dogs, it certainly isn’t healthy. Dogs need healthy oils in their diets to maintain general health, a shiny coat, and all sorts of other things. Vegetable oil is a low-grade oil not suitable for a canine diet.

If your pup ingests too much of this stuff, he could develop pancreatitis and obesity, both of which could have severe complications in the long run.

So, if your dog gobbled up a gallon of the stuff, or feasted on the leftover grease in the frying pan, keep a close eye on him. If he develops severe diarrhea or vomiting, take him to the vet for a check-up. Rather safe than sorry.

[3] Is there a difference between eating fresh vegetable oil and used vegetable oil?

When oil boils, a bunch of chemical reactions happens, including oxidation, hydrolysis, and polymerization.

All of this helps decompose the oil, eventually making it super unhealthy for both humans and dogs. While fresh vegetable oil isn’t great for dogs, it contains fewer nasty stuff than the used variety.

Used cooking oil also contains bits of the food you cooked in it. We all know that human food isn’t always good for dogs, so it would depend on what you cooked in the oil. If you cooked stuff that is safe for dogs, your pup would probably be fine.

However, if you cooked stuff that dogs shouldn’t have, like garlic, your pup’s health will suffer, especially if they regularly get a lick of the used oil. In the short term, eating cooking grease could also exacerbate the runny tummy your pup is likely to develop.

So, if your pup got to your frying pan before you cleaned it out, keep an eye on him and take him to the vet when you notice anything wrong.

[4] Sunflower vs. olive vs. vegetable oil. What are the differences?

Sunflower oil is made of pressed sunflower seeds and olive oil from pressed olives. These are both single-ingredient oils, so the processing (or lack thereof) is really the only factor influencing the product’s quality.

Vegetable oils are a different ball game. These are mixtures of canola, corn, soybean, palm, safflower, and sunflower oils. That’s a mouthful!

Here, you have to look out for the processing as well as the list of ingredients. Some manufacturers take great care to ensure a high-quality end-product. However, some only care about minimizing input costs, so they will chuck in whatever’s cheapest at the time.

Vegetable oils get processed and refined, which removes both flavor and nutrients. Sounds like a raw deal to me. No wonder it’s often the cheapest option available.

Suppose you opt for extra virgin olive oil (olive oil that’s not overly processed and remains pure). In that case, you get the benefit of loads of monounsaturated fats, which are super healthy. It also contains tons of vitamins.

Sunflower oil contains loads of Vitamin E, which is good for your pup’s skin. It also contains omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids – again, generally considered a good thing.

[5] Can I use vegetable oil to stop my dog shedding?

Some vegetable oils, like sunflower oil, contain linoleic acid (LA), the good stuff that keeps your pup’s skin and coat healthy. Healthy skin and coat mean less shedding. Note that we’re saying “less shedding,” not “no shedding.”

Most dogs have a shedding season at least twice a year. In effect, they have two coats, a winter one and a summer one. In winter, you wear thick layers of clothes to keep you warm. Your pup doesn’t have clothes, so he needs to make up for that with his hair. So, he grows it nice and thick, keeping him all nice and toasty in the winter months. Then, summer rolls around, and he’s way too hot. You can put on cool summer clothes, fending off the heat. He can’t, so he sheds that thick winter coat, growing out a thinner, lighter summer coat. And repeat. Makes sense, right?

Now, if your pup has unhealthy hair and skin, he’s likely to shed a lot outside shedding season as well. Just like with us humans, our fur kids lose hair when they’re not healthy. Dry skin also leads to shedding (think dandruff in humans). So, adding some high-quality vegetable oil to your pup’s diet will keep his skin and hair healthy. This minimizes shedding and keeps him looking his best.

[6] Will olive oil make my dog’s coat shiny?

Olive contains lots of healthy fats. You know, monounsaturated fats, omega 3, omega 6, and vitamin E. All of these are essential in keeping your pup’s skin and coat healthy. Basically, these goodies moisturize your pup’s skin from the inside out, keeping the hair follicles healthy. Healthy hair follicles prevent hair from falling out, so it remains healthy and shiny. Sounds good to me.

[7] What kind of oil is good for dogs?

We humans watch what we eat, especially when it comes to fats and oils. Because of cholesterol and heart-related risks, you know? Dogs are different, though, and they don’t get cholesterol. So, we don’t need to add the super expensive coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and safflower oil to their food. In fact, it might add fewer goodies to their diet than we think. Here’s why:

Plant-based oils contain either undifferentiated or preformed omegas (omega 3 and omega 6). The undifferentiated omegas get converted to linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids in our bodies. Human bodies do this very well, but our fur kids have a more challenging time doing this conversion. In dogs, the amount of undifferentiated fats that get converted depends on the dog’s breed, age, activity level, general health, and a whole host of other factors. So, it’s better to just give them preformed omegas instead. That way, you know exactly how much of this your pup gets, and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their diet is balanced and healthy.

So, which oils are best, then? In a word, corn oil. This one contains the highest concentration of preformed linoleic acid. Then there’s canola oil and soybean oil, having the best combination of preformed alpha-linoleic and linoleic acids. Using these oils ensures that you add all the goodies your fur kid needs without loading his diet with excessive fat. Another good source of healthy fat for your pup is fish oil, which contains DHA and EPA, more goodies that go along with the linoleic acids your pup needs. 

Closing Thoughts

Dogs need healthy oils in their diets to maintain healthy skin and coat. That said, all oils weren’t created equal. It’s better to add some corn oil, canola oil, or soybean oil to your pup’s diet rather than whipping out the expensive coconut oil. These oils contain more of the preformed goodies that your dog needs. 

Remember that these oils must be taken in moderation, though. If your pup gobbles up a gallon of oil from the counter or feasts on the grease leftover in the frying pan, he could suffer some severe consequences.