Can Dogs Eat Palm Oil?
Palm oil isn't the most environmentally-friendly ingredient in food; you mostly find it in processed food, toiletries and as a biofuel. In terms of toxicity, though, can dogs eat palm oil?
By itself, palm oil isn't bad for dogs; however, it does act as a laxative. Too much palm oil in your dog's food can lead to an upset stomach.
Should dog owners be worried if their dog eats palm oil? It depends on the context. One of the more hazardous issues with palm oil that's washed up on beaches is that fuel waste, ocean waste and other toxins have contaminated it.
Compared to the amount of palm oil in food, there is a much more significant risk of overeating when it's on the beach.
Therefore, if you're walking on beaches that have reports of palm oil, be careful that your dog doesn't accidentally eat some. Your dog will most likely suffer some painful side effects if they do.
- Intestinal blockage
What about in nut butter? Can dogs have peanut butter with palm oil?
Depending on the brand of peanut butter, it's relatively safe for dogs to eat in small amounts.
As long as your dog isn't allergic, the main problems are the high fat and sugar content. Otherwise, you can feed your dog peanut butter as a treat occasionally.
Be careful when selecting peanut butter; some contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is highly toxic for dogs.
The palm oil, though, in peanut butter, isn't significantly dangerous - there isn't enough in a jar to cause health problems. So, if your dog eats peanut butter, you don't need to worry. However, in general, I don't recommend giving your dog peanut butter regularly.
Any human food like nuts, fruits and vegetables should only make up 10% of your dog's diet. No matter how many nutrients a food contains, too much or too frequently will always cause intestinal upset.
- In big chunks, palm oil can cause intestinal blockages, and so if your dog has found lumps of palm oil on the beach, I recommend seeking your vet's advice.
- What does palm oil look like on the beach? Palm oil is semi-solid and appears as white lumps. It smells like diesel, and your dog will most likely eat it if they see it. It can cause digestive upset, vomiting or diarrhoea.
Monitor - If your dog has eaten palm oil or something that contains palm oil, keep an eye on them to see if symptoms develop.
Vet - If you're concerned, take them to your vet. Palm oil is rarely fatal if consumed in food. If they've eaten palm oil that washed up on beaches, there is a higher risk of poisoning, so see your vet immediately. Most dogs fully recover after a few days, and it is rarely fatal, but you should still take caution.
Bland food - If your dog is vomiting, either withhold their food for a few days or feed them very bland food. It will help the stomach settle quicker.
Water - Keep your dog hydrated, especially if they have vomited/had diarrhoea.
If your dog has eaten lots of palm oil, they will be very dehydrated. Your vet might suggest IV fluids in severe cases.