Posted by Pet Honesty on

Is Palm Oil Safe for Dogs?

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We all want our dogs to be happy and healthy, and for many pet owners this means reading the list of ingredients on the product label and doing the research to make sure they’re all canine-friendly. When it comes to palm oil in dog treats and supplements, dog owners have grown increasingly concerned—and understandably so. 

Chances are, a quick internet search on palm oil results in articles warning of its toxicity to dogs, and urging pet owners to avoid it. If this is the case, why is palm oil still being used in so many products? The fact of the matter is that it all depends on context. 

What is Palm Oil? 

Palm oil is an edible, colorless, odourless vegetable oil which comes from the fruit of oil palm trees. It’s an extremely versatile ingredient commonly found in dog treats and supplements; in fact, it’s so versatile that it’s also used in processed foods, toiletries, as biofuel, and even as a cleaning agent in large ships. 

The palm oil that pet owners are being warned against is the palm oil discarded by these ships. It ends up on the beach in a semi-solid, gelatinous form which attracts the curiosity of dogs who then sniff and consume the oil. These lumps of white oil, contaminated by bacteria and waste, are extremely toxic to dogs and should absolutely be avoided at all costs. 

As word spreads about the dangers of palm oil found on the beach, many have come to the conclusion that palm oil itself is the dangerous factor. However, this is not the case. It’s not the palm oil causing the toxicity, but the other waste contaminating the oil. Due to its semi-solid form, palm oil may also cause blockages in the digestive system. If your dog does happen to ingest contaminated palm oil, contact your vet immediately. 

Now for the good news: palm oil in its pure form, which is used in products such as Pet Honesty’s supplemental chews, is perfectly fine for pups. In fact, Harvard Health describes palm fruit oil as having a better fatty acid composition than coconut oil.  

Can Palm Oil Make My Dog Sick? 

While we have established that pure palm oil safe, this doesn’t mean you should get your pooch started on a palm oil diet. It may be easier for your pup to digest than sesame, corn, or sunflower oils, but too much of any oil (or any food, really) can cause an upset stomach with symptoms such as diarrhea, dehydration, and even pancreatitis in extreme cases. It may not be poisonous, but no one wants their dog to feel sick. 

One product that commonly contains palm oil is peanut butter… which also happens to be a popular canine treat. While there is generally not enough palm oil in a jar of peanut butter to be a cause for concern, peanut butter should still be used in moderation due to its high fat and sugar content. Peanut butter containing artificial sweeteners such as xylitol should also be avoided, as it is extremely toxic for dogs. 


Palm Oil in Pet Honesty Products

All Pet Honesty products are manufactured in FDA-registered, SQF (Safe Quality Food)-certified, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis)-approved facilities; palm oil is used in very minimal amounts to act as a binding agent in our chews.

Additionally, the palm oil used in these products is sustainably sourced and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)-certified, in order to ensure that our environment is being protected.

Basically, when it comes to our products, your biggest concern should only be whether you’ve picked out your dog’s favorite flavor!