From fish oil and glucosamine to cranberry and probiotics, many dietary supplements that benefit people may also benefit your dog. What about palm oil? Responsibly sourced, non-GMO palm oil, such as Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil, can be a healthy, easily digestible ingredient for your canine best friends. 

Palm oil is used as an ingredient in some dog supplements, treats and foods because it is a natural preservative that is free of trans fats. Plus it is a high-quality source of energizing fat. In fact, Harvard researchers say palm oil’s fatty acid ratio is better than coconut oil. Other experts agree that palm oil may support an older dog’s cognitive health. 

In the proportions that are used in some commercial pet products, Chewy reports that palm fruit oil, “is highly beneficial to heart health, brain health and helps to keep the coat shiny and soft, while also helping with dry or flaking skin.” Red palm oil is also filled with antioxidants, which may help to support joint health in dogs. 

As with many healthy ingredients, be cautious about giving palm oil to your dogs in large, concentrated doses. Limit your dog’s palm oil intake to however much is in the commercially prepared dog products. 

So, when would you want to definitely teach your dog to stay away from palm oil? In some areas, ships discard toxic waste that can wash up on shore. While this gelatinous goop may contain palm oil, it’s not the same as the pure, sustainable palm oil that adds nutritious benefits to dog and human foods. It’s contaminated with fuel and other chemicals, and it is not safe for consumption. Keep curious dogs away from this yucky stuff on your beach excursions, much as you might keep them away from dead fish and discarded trash. 

Other beach-day toxins that may harm your dog include sunscreen meant for people (especially zinc oxide) and drinking too much salt water. Seawater is filled with bacteria, parasites and, of course, salt! 

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