Coconut Oil for Dogs
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Although supplements can be a confusing topic for many pet owners, most dog owners have heard of the benefits of feeding fish oils. There are however, a variety of oils that you can also use to your dog’s benefit, each with different actions and benefits.
COCONOIL, COLD PRESSED VIRGIN Coconut oil consists of more than 90% saturated fats, with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).
The main component (more than 40%) of MCTs is lauric acid, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. Coconut oil also contains about 2% linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and about 6% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acids).
Most of the coconut oil benefits come from the MCTs. For example, the lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their anti-fungal effects. In addition, MCTs are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic.
According to Dr. Bruce Fife, certified nutritionist and naturopathic doctor, coconut oil gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects you from illness, and speeds healing. As a bonus, coconut oil improves any dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.
Directions for Use....How Much?
When beginning to supplement your pet’s diet with Coconoil start slowly and increase gradually – giving too much may cause digestive and detox issues. Start with ¼ teaspoon per day with small dogs and ½ teaspoon for larger dogs, working up to 1 teaspoon per day.
Fed regularly to pets, coconut oil may have multiple benefits
Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis,and itchy skin
Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
Immune System, Metabolic Function & Bone Health
Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection and disease
Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
Helps prevent or control diabetes
Helps reduce weight, increases energy
Aids in arthritis or ligament problems
Integrative Veterinarian and Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Karen Becker, says...... “Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older dogs. Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs. I recommend 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily for basic MCT support.”
Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
Aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
Aids in elimination of hairballs and coughing
Teeth and Coat
A recent study 1 has shown that fats found in coconut oil have a powerful ability to kill the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Researchers compared applying either these fats or a known dental product to canine teeth, and found they were equally as effective at killing 70% of pathogens.
The oil’s anti-microbial benefits are also effective against mange. And this has not just been proven by scientists 2 – Kim Hodge, owner of 20 month oil Rhodesian Ridgeback Kamba, Crufts 2015 Reserve Dog Challenge Certificate Winner explains:
‘Adding coconut oil to Kamba’s diet is an essential part of his overall well-being and my piece of mind for his health and condition. With anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties I know it’s naturally assisting his immune system, and keeping him fit for function. The quality and shine of his coat is magnificent – he’s one happy, healthy dog!’
There have been several studies3,4 that have shown feeding the fats found in coconut oil to dogs can be hugely beneficial to their brains and cognitive function. Researchers in one of the studies showed that animals fed the fats performed better in learning and attention tasks than those that weren’t and that this appeared to be because the fats were converted into a special kind of energy (ketones) used by the brain.
Weight Loss and Exercise
Studies in humans have shown that coconut oil may have an ability to help people lose weight and is used as a preferential source by the body when exercising. There hasn’t been official tests carried out to see if this carries over to dogs, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, with dog owners reporting their pets losing weight and having more energy when coconut oil is added to their feed.
When beginning to supplement your pet’s diet with Coconoil start slowly and increase gradually giving too much may cause digestive and detox issues. Start with ¼ teaspoon per day with small dogs and ½ teaspoon for larger dogs, working up to 1 teaspoon per day. More advice about feeding can be found here, with advice about feeding it to cats too!