What Are The Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Dogs?
Let’s talk about the benefits of coconut oil for dogs
I’ve been a fan of coconut oil for about three years now and incorporate into my daily diet. Once thought of as a “bad fat,” nutritional experts are now saying that’s not the case at all. In fact, coconut oil comes with a boat-load of benefits: it moisturizes your skin, it helps you burn fat and it helps fight infections (just to name a few awesome pluses). And this is just the tip of the iceberg. After a trip to SuperZoo this year, I noticed that coconut oil was also being used in certain dog foods. That got me thinking – what are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs?
What’s So Great About Coconut Oil?
It does more than give a light, mild taste to what you’re cooking with it. Coconut oil contains more than 90% of saturated fats – which was why people were so sure that it was once bad for you. As it turns out, this is the kind of saturated fat that do a body good. Most of the saturated fats found in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs contain lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid… and that’s where coconut oil gets its healthy boost from.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of coconut oil for dogs:
- An overall improvement in digestion and nutrient absorption
- You’ll notice your dog has better smelling breath
- Helps to heal digestive disorders (inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis)
- Helps with coughs and hacking problems
- Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin
- Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
- Coats look sleek and glossy
- No more bad doggy smell, as it neutralizes odors
- Prevents and treats fungal infections
- Disinfects cuts
- Helps wounds and hotspots heals, and takes the sting out of bug bites when applied topically
- Reduces weeping eye stain
- Works as an antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal deterrent
- Boosts energy and metabolism, which helps reduce weight
- Helps regulate and balance insulin
- Promotes normal thyroid function
- Helps prevent or control diabetes
- Helps reduce weight and increase energy
- Aids in arthritis or ligament problems
- Use as an ear rinse once a week to combat ear infections
- Helps fight yeast infections in female dogs
What Kind Of Coconut Oil Should I Use?
To get the best benefits of coconut oil for dogs, you should use virgin coconut oil. The “virgin” part means that it is unrefined. Even better, you and your dog can share a jar!
Coconut Oil in Dog Food
Now this is a trend we’d like to see more of! And one of those dog food companies that use it in their food is Party Animal Pet Food. We asked Shawna Abrams, President of Party Animal Pet Food, why they used coconut oil in their canned Cocolicious line of dog foods. “Coconut oil is a mild flavored and extremely stable oil that has an array of health benefits for pets and humans alike,” says Shawna. “We began using the oil in our products because we feel that pets should be benefiting from this magnificent oil as much as humans are. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, one of those good fats we are always in search of. Additionally the oil does not break down in heat or light and also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.”
As to whether or not there’s much variety in the coconut oil variety dog food, Shawna hasn’t seen many players on the field just yet. “There are not many canned food companies offering an organic complete and balanced meal that is made with coconut oil,” says Shawna. “We have had a great amount of interest and excitement about our new products and are thrilled for this to be available for pets to enjoy.”
How Much Coconut Oil Should I Give My Dog?
As you would with any change or addition in diet, you should start giving your dog coconut oil gradually. You should feed your dog 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds or 1/2 tablespoon per 30 pounds daily. To start off, give your dog about a quarter the recommended dosage and build up to the recommended level over a four-week period. Cut back on the dosage amount if diarrhea or other complications occur.
You can even use coconut oil in your dog’s bath. Melt about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into a cup of hot water. Once you’ve finished the shampooing portion of the bath, refill it with clean lukewarm water and add in the melted oil. Using a cup or jug, pour this oil and water mixture over your dog’s body and rub it into his skin. Not only will with soothe and moisturize your dog’s skin and give him a healthier looking coat, he’ll smell yummy!
Do you give your dog coconut oil? We’d like to hear from you and learn from your experiences. Please leave them in the comment section below.