No one likes when their best friend is feeling under the weather. Since your pup isn’t able to tell you exactly what is wrong, it is even more upsetting and often scary. If you’re anything like most of our readers, avoiding harsh medications for your pup is high up on the priority list. Finding holistic alternatives may prove to be less complicated and require fewer trips to the vet than you may think. Therefore, we’d like to introduce you the herb you didn’t know you were missing: Olive Leaf for dogs.
What is Olive Leaf for Dogs?
Olive leaf is a natural supplement that stimulates the protective cells of its consumer’s immune system. Due to the magnitude of ailments that it aids, olive leaf has the well-suited nickname, “Nature’s Antibiotic.”
Olive leaf originates from the subtropical tree, Olea europaea, or in layman’s terms, the olive tree. While primarily found in Mediterranean regions, it also thrives in comparable climates like those of California and Argentina.
As a powerful antimicrobial, the olive leaf contains antibacterial, antifungal, as well as antiviral properties, all which boost the immune system and make olive leaf an incredibly potent antioxidant.
The main active ingredient, Oleuropein, aids in fighting against pathogens and provides olive leaf with its natural, therapeutic abilities. Seeing that we can’t force our dogs to consume leaves, scientists developed a way to reap the health benefits of Oleuropein through the extract of crushed up olive leaves, or simply, olive leaf extract.
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is available for purchase as a liquid, powder, capsule, and dried leaf tea. Making the extract at home is relatively simple if you have access to olive leaves. Assuming you do, simply:
- Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves.
- Next, lay the leaves in the sun until they are extremely dry and brittle.
- Then, blend the leaves in a food processor.
- Additional supplements, such as grape seeds, can be added for an extra boost.
- Once the leaves are thoroughly ground, they can be made into capsule form, used as a powder, or mixed with water.
Olive leaf extract provides your pets with the protection they need to fight off ailments early on making it vital for your fur baby’s health and wellness.
Olive Leaf Extract Benefits
As previously mentioned, Oleuropein, the primary active ingredient of olive leaf extract, has quite an impressive resume. Oleuropein stimulates the immune system of dogs and cats and aids in attacking infections and stoping illnesses before they develop. Let’s take a look at the number of health benefits that come along with Nature’s Antibiotic.
Olive leaf extract treats urinary tract infections, kennel cough, oral infections, among others. This natural extract is capable of deactivating pathogenic strains of bad yeast and bacteria without harming the good strains that your dog needs to fight off future illness.
Inflammation is a significant part of both chronic and degenerate diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb may protect against cancer, heart issues, and nerve damage. Olive leaf for dogs and Oleuropein also help decrease discomfort and swelling in dogs with joint problems. Additionally, it can help reduce symptoms of arthritis as well as chronic pain.
If your dog has ever had smelly breath, skin, or ears, he or she may have an overgrowth of candida yeast. These smells are so common that they are often overlooked, despite the fact that they can lead to serious issues. Olive leaf extract, specifically the Oleuropein agent, acts as an antifungal and helps rid your dog of candida overgrowth.
The immune boosting properties of the extract are also thought to aid in the management and prevention of Lyme Disease. Additionally, olive leaf for dogs serves as natural flea prevention, proving to be much safer than typical chemical-based flea medications.
Olive leaf extracts paired with elenolic acid (an important component of the extract that is considered a marker for the maturation of the olives), help to prevent chronic diseases, including cancer, by blocking free radicals. Also, the extract allows for a natural way for pets to deal with allergies, both airborne and dermatological.
The antiviral properties of the olive leaf, along with calcium elenolate (an antiviral agent that forms from the acid hydrolysis of elenolic acid), enable it to enter the infected cells, repair them, and prevent spreading to other parts of the body as well as easing symptoms of the virus while healing. Some pet owners combine olive leaf for dogs with a colloidal silver supplement to target specific viruses.
Oleuropein olive leaf extract aids in solving digestion issues and preventing infections and irritations. It also helps rid the body of toxins.
Lowers Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure
While the natural extract helps lower both blood sugar and blood pressure, if your dog is currently on medication, please check with your vet before eliminating or adding anything to your pet’s routine.
Demodectic mange and sarcoptic mange are skin conditions that develop when a dog’s immune system is unable to keep mites under control. Oleuropein boosts the immune system and aids in healing and prevention.
Olive Leaf Extract Dosage
Most commonly, olive leaf extract comes in capsules and powder form. It can be added to your pet’s food and has a taste that most dogs tend to enjoy. Be sure always to buy olive leaf extract that is certified organic.
As a general supplement guideline:
Small dog – 1/4 teaspoon daily
Medium dog – 1/2 teaspoon daily
Large dog – 1 teaspoon daily
Olive leaf glycerite is the extract in liquid form and has the same healing qualities as olive leaf for dogs powder, yet it may have a shorter shelf life and be more susceptible to contamination. Regardless, the primary active ingredient Oleuropein continues to support the immune system.
Specific ailments will have different suggested dosages so be sure to do your research depending on the needs of you pup!
For instance, when treating candida yeast, up to 500mg twice a day in capsules or powder form is safe for a 50-pound dog. Smaller or larger dogs will require an appropriately adjusted dosage.
Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects
When treating candida yeast, it is important to start slowly and gradually build up to the full recommended dose. Some dogs may encounter yeast die-off symptoms, known as Herxheimer reaction, which can cause flu-like symptoms. Treating yeast infections with olive leaf extract requires a significantly higher dosage and should be carefully monitored.
In uncommon occurrences, vomiting and diarrhea may develop as a side effect. If your dog begins to vomit or is having digestions issues, it is encouraged to discontinue using the extract.
Pregnant and nursing dogs should also not use the herbs.
Pet owners should always monitor their dog when introducing anything new into their diet. Dogs are highly sensitive and rare reactions can be impossible to predict. However, olive leaf extract is natural and has proven to be incredibly safe, differing greatly from the antibiotics received from a veterinarian clinic.
The Dark Side of Antibiotics
One of the most important and comforting aspects of holistic healing is knowing exactly what you are putting in your body.
Leaving the veterinarian’s office with a bag of pills that you’re unfamiliar with or don’t fully understand doesn’t instill much confidence in caring for your pup. However, perhaps the most unsettling issue is that many of these pills are nothing more than a generic antibiotic which masks the true, underlying problem. Regardless of whether your dog has a urinary tract infection or an ear infection, more often than not, the same antibiotic is prescribed and antibiotics are not harmless.
While antibiotics may quickly help your dog get back to feeling normal again, they can cause irreversible damage including but not limited to:
- Permanent harm to your dog’s gut health.
- Permanently killing off the good bacteria that is necessary for a healthy immune system.
- Permanent digestive health issues that even probiotics cannot resolve.
- A significantly lowered ability to fight off future infections.
Again, this damage is permanent. Lasting forever.
Living Up to its Nickname – Nature’s Antibiotic
Olive leaf extract has one of the longest and arguably most significant historical usages of any herb used today, and it’s no question why. There’s a reason why Oleuropein has kept scientists in awe for over 100 years. The fact that one herb has the potential to combat cancer, prevent arthritis, and lower blood pressure is extremely impressive!
The world of pet antibiotics is a relatively unfamiliar topic for most pet owners, and the unknown is a scary place to live. As we discussed, antibiotics can also have a terrifying array of permanent adverse effects on your four-legged child. So, if we’re able to avoid it, why wouldn’t we? As the expression goes, “When you know better, you do better!”
Every day, more and more information is surfacing on natural forms of health treatment. From coconut oil and neem oil to aromatherapy, trips to the drug store are becoming less necessary for both humans and our pets. The more we open our minds to the world of holistic dog health, the happier and healthier our companions will be.