Despite the fact that I’m a dog nutritionist, it never ceases to amaze me the wide variety of foodstuffs that are proven to be not only safe, but actually good for our dogs. Take safflower oil for example. I wonder how many pet parents are aware that safflower oil for dogs is highly beneficial for man’s best friend. It’s one of very few dog-safe foodstuffs rich in the essential fatty acid omega-6 for example, and offers numerous other benefits beside. So what is safflower oil, where does it come from and what does it have to offer our constant canine companions?

About safflower oil

Safflower oil is the vegetable oil commercially cultivated and extracted from the seeds of the safflower plant. An annual, herbaceous, thistle-like plant, safflower is said to be one our oldest cultivated crops. Its seeds have been used for food and for medicines for thousands of years. And there’s even more good news from your dog’s perspective. Safflower oil has recently been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as not only being safe, but actually being beneficial for dogs. So there. The benefits of safflower oil for dogs are official!

Nutrients in safflower oil

Safflower oil is an excellent source of the omega-6 fatty acid known as linoleic acid. It is also a good source of vitamin K, and is particularly rich in vitamin E.

Vitamin E is an important fat soluble oxidant. Safflower oil’s richness in this beneficial nutrient is largely why it’s so highly recommended for dogs. And why, as a canine nutritionist, I regularly add it to my dogs’ homemade dog food.

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Benefits of safflower oil for dogs

Vitamin E helps maintain a dog’s skin and coat and boosts and supports a dog’s immune system. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. These can help with arthritis, strengthen the cardiovascular system and can even help in the fight against cancer.

Aside from its other benefits, safflower oil is ideal for dogs with itchy skin, and, as an ingredient, is being used more and more widely by manufacturers of dog food.

To use, simply drizzle onto your dog’s food as required. I like to give it to my dogs as a dressing on their homemade food a couple of times a week. It has a fairly neutral flavour, so why not try some yourself? You won’t regret it I promise!

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.


  1. Linda FREIMUND

    Hello, I make homemade dog food for my 3 dogs. Recipe calls for safflower oil. I do not eat any seed oils so I’m wondering if there is a better oil for them like Avacado or Olive Oil? Or is Safflower better for some reason ?

    Thank you for any advice you may have.

  2. Ann

    My best friend Echo Poncho Pickles Pants has mega esophagus. He is having a hard go at keeping on weight. Our boy needs a high calorie/low fat diet. Any suggestions are appreciated. Hope to share with others. Thank you.


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