Coconut Oil For Dogs: Yay or Nay?

In recent years, coconut oil has become tremendously popular due to its incredible versatility and seemingly endless applications. However, most people are only aware of its use in cooking and beauty applications. But did you know that it might be good for your dog?

What is Coconut Oil?

When coconuts mature, they are harvested and oil is extracted from the “meat.” This oil is high in natural saturated fats– which increase healthy cholesterol (HDL), in addition to turning bad cholesterol (LDL) into good cholesterol– and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

According to WebMD, MCTs may help in treating a range of food absorption disorders including liver disease, diarrhea, and steatorrhea (fat indigestion), just to name a few. Coconut oil is generally shelf stable and should last for several months or longer if it is stored and handled properly.

Coconut Oil For Dogs –┬áBenefits For Your Pet

Coconut oil has a variety of benefits for dogs, just like it does for humans. The applications and advantages are diverse and significant, making coconut oil an excellent dietary supplement for most dogs. Here’s a list of the many ways coconut oil can help your pet:

Digestive System

  • Aids in digestion and improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients
  • Kills and gets rid of parasites
  • Eliminates or improves bad breath
  • Improves symptoms of digestive disorders like colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome

Musculoskeletal System

  • Reduces inflammation that may contribute to arthritis
  • Facilitates the growth of strong bones

Skin and Coat

  • Relieves dry, cracked elbows and pads on the bottom of the paws
  • Defends against ticks, mites, and fleas
  • Eliminates bad odors
  • Speeds up healing of wounds, cuts, bites, stings, hot spots and dry skin when applied topically
  • Reduces the severity of allergic reactions
  • Improves skin conditions like contact dermatitis, flea allergies, eczema, and itchy skin
  • Treats and protects against fungal and yeast infections, like candida
  • Helps wounds heal quicker and disinfects scrapes and cuts
  • Improves the appearance of coats by making them glossy and sleek

Eyes, Ears, Mouth, and Brain

  • Can be melted and used as eye drops or applied topically inside the ears in order to treat eye or ear infections
  • May be used to clean teeth
  • Promotes good oral health
  • Improves brain and nerve function and may prevent dementia

Metabolism and Endocrine System

  • Boosts energy levels to promote weight loss
  • Can prevent or manage diabetes by balancing insulin and regulating blood sugar levels
  • Improves thyroid function

Immune System

  • Can reduce the risk of developing cancer
  • Includes powerful antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties that can protect against disease and infections

Coconut Oil For Dogs: How To Use It?

Oral Use

Feeding your pet coconut oil can be great for their health!As a general rule of thumb, coconut oil should be served once or twice per day with meals. However, the amount will depend on your dog’s size.

Puppies and small breeds should start off with servings no more than 1/4 teaspoon per day, while large dogs can begin with as much as 1 teaspoon per serving. Gradually, you can work up to giving your dog as much as 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.

It is very important that you slowly increase the amount of coconut oil over time so your dog’s body has time to adjust to the supplement. Starting out with too much can cause unpleasant side effects like greasy stools or diarrhea. Additionally, if your dog is overweight or obese, the coconut oil should be offered just once a day due to its high fat content.

Topical Use

To moisturize your dog’s fur and skin, rub a small amount of coconut oil in your hands to warm it up, pat it onto the fur, and massage it into the skin. If your dog has long fur, you may need to work it into their coat a little at a time. Don’t worry if your dog starts licking it off after it’s applied; whatever he licks off his fur isn’t likely to exceed the recommended daily dosage.

Proper Storage of Coconut Oil

Remember to keep your coconut oil is a proper place for storage.If you choose to give your dog coconut oil supplements, it’s very important that you know how to store it properly so you get the most usage out of it and to prevent it from going bad. Ideally, coconut oil should be stored in a glass jar in a cool, dark, dry place.

If you notice that your oil tends to be in its liquid state when stored in the cabinet, it should probably be moved to a different location. Always use a clean spoon or other utensil when scooping out coconut oil to prevent the addition of contaminants to the jar. Food particles or other substances can cause the oil to go rancid quickly.

Please be aware that coconut oil does not typically change color, texture, or smell over time. If you notice any of these undesirable changes in your oil, don’t take a risk on your dog’s health; throw it out!

 

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