Can Dogs Eat Palm Oil? Is It Safe for Them?


Palm oil is a common ingredient of many foods right now, whether canned or fresh. It can be found in anything from pasta to sauces, and it is used as a binder and as a way of bulking up the recipe and making it more affordable. But can dogs eat palm oil?

Are there any health complications that your pup is likely to experience if they have had this type of oil? Find out the answers to these questions below!

Is Palm Oil Good for Dogs?

Simply put, no.

Fortunately, very low amounts of palm oil are not likely to cause any unpleasant symptoms, so your dog’s body might be able to process them without developing a condition. 

In general, though, palm oil is not the best ingredient in any type of recipe, whether we are discussing actual kibble or canned dog food or treats or anything else. 

palm oil seeds

Table scraps might be unsafe for this reason, too, since lots of human foods these days contain this ingredient. 

Another note we have to make is that some pet food manufacturers use palm oil as a filler, so you should definitely take the time to have a look at the label to see if there’s any palm oil in your dog’s food.

Also, if you want to supplement your pet’s diet and make sure that they are getting all the nutrients they need, you may want to consider purchasing some dog vitamins without palm fruit oil — also carefully reading the label. 

Is Palm Oil Harmful to Dogs?


While it can’t be considered toxic in the traditional sense of the word simply because no one in their right mind would even want to feed dogs a massive amount of palm oil, it can cause some health issues

Some palm oil dogs symptoms that you can see in your dog if they were unlucky enough to eat something that contained a bit too much of this ingredient are listed below:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • A lack of appetite for either food and water

To make matters worse, palm oil is usually not the single ingredient that can cause a problem. In peanut butter, for example, where it can also be added as a filler and lubricant, palm oil is usually found on the label alongside things such as xylitol, as well as too much salt and sugar. 

If you didn’t know, xylitol is deadly to dogs, and very small quantities can make a pet lose their life. 

Other Ways Your Dog Might Be Exposed to Palm Oil

In case you didn’t know, due to its excellent lubricant properties, palm oil is also now used as a cleaner for ships

The hull of ships is commonly cleaned with products that contain it, but it is also utilized as a cleaning agent for the tanks where diesel and gasoline are usually stored before being burnt. 

Palm oil can also be found in a variety of processed foods. Believe it or not, people now rely on it as biofuel these days, not to mention that you might come across it on the label of your toiletry or personal hygiene products

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Palm Oil

The best piece of advice that we can offer you if this happens is to take your dog to the vet hospital as soon as possible. 

Your vet might be able to get the palm oil out of your pet’s system by flushing out their stomach. Unfortunately, it tends to be absorbed into the blood flow easily and quickly, so veterinary assistance is best in the first 30 to 40 minutes after your dog ingests it. 

Do not try to see how your dog’s body reacts over the course of 24 to 48 hours. Depending on your dog’s health in general and whether they also have other chronic conditions, for example, they could be in serious danger

sad dog

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is palm oil bad for animals?

When ingested, palm oil has a strong laxative effect, so it can cause havoc inside dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems. In severe cases, these pets can develop dehydration in a matter of several hours after having diarrheic stools and vomiting continuously. 

Not only is palm oil bad to feed to pets, but it’s also extremely damaging to the environment. Some species are losing their habitats because of palm oil production, such as Orangutans or Sumatran tigers. 

Can dogs eat palm oil peanut butter?

It depends on how much palm oil can be found in the peanut butter variety

If your dog is particularly large (such as a Newfoundland dog, for example) and you give them half a teaspoon of such a peanut butter product, chances are that they’re only going to experience mild digestive issues, like an upset tummy and maybe a one-time diarrheic stool. 

If your dog is a Pomeranian, the same amount could be riskier. 

Can palm oil kill dogs?

Dogs rarely have access to pure palm oil, meaning the ingredient itself, without it being added to a recipe. Therefore, the possibility of them dying because of it is slim.

However, if you have palm oil in your house that you use for frying or for cleaning your home, make sure you store it in a place to which your pet does not have access


So, can dogs have palm oil? The answer to this question is no

Dogs should not have any palm oil whatsoever, either directly or as an ingredient in foods. Try to read the label of kibble and canned dog food varieties as well as those of treats to ensure that palm oil is not on the list. 


  1. Palm oil ingestion in dogs, Nicola Bates, Veterinary Poisons Information Service, Veterinary Record, 2016 
  2. The Impacts of Oil Palm on Recent Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss, Varsha Vikay et al, 2016

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Cristina Vulpe

Cristina Vulpe

As a veterinarian and a cat guardian, Cristina Vulpe holds a Ph.D. in veterinary oncology. She loves writing about feline pathology, parasitology, and infectious diseases, but she also cares deeply about animal nutrition and welfare. When she isn't writing, you can always find her in the company of her cat and a good book.
Iasi, Romania