We hear a lot about the benefits of coconut oil from the human holistic community. They share tips like: a tablespoon of coconut oil ingested regularly (or rubbed into our skin or hair) bring a variety of benefits; everything from healthy, supple skin and glowing hair to raising the natural insulin levels of diabetics and improving overall metabolism.
But can coconut oil have the same effects for our dogs?
Many holistic veterinarians are studying the human research and saying "yes" to recommending coconut oil for our pets.
Coconut oil is almost exclusively (more than 90%) saturated fat and is one of the few foods that can be classified as a "superfood". A medium chain triglyceride (MCT), coconut oil consists of a series of fatty acid molecule chains that are easily digested and absorbed, without causing the pancreas to go into overdrive producing digestive enzymes that absorb saturated oils.
This is of particular importance to dogs suffering from digestive disorders (Irritable Bowel Disease, Pancreatitis) and metabolic disorders (Diabetes Mellitus, Cushing's Disease) as it puts less strain on the animal's digestive system.
Additionally, coconut oil gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects your dog from illness, and speeds healing. As a bonus, coconut oil can improve dog's skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.
Giving coconut to your dog is easy! You can either buy dried coconut and sprinkle it on your dog's food. They might not even know it's there. Alternatively,dog butter, an all natural peanut butter for dogs, is infused with coconut oil which makes it really easy. Not all dogs love coconut but most dogs adore peanut butter!
Some of the other benefits of giving your pup coconut oil with a meal include
For healthy skin and coat:
- Clears up eczema.
- Aids flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin.
- Minimizes doggy odor.
- Reduces allergic reactions.
- Creates sleek and glossy coats
- Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections.
- When applied topically, coconut oil promotes wound healing.
- Also can help with hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings.
To improve digestion:
- Improves digestion.
- Increases nutrient absorption.
- Helps with colitis and inflammatory bowl syndrome.
- Reduces or eliminates bad breath.
- Helps with coughing.
- Assists with weight loss.
- Provides powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agents.
- Balances insulin and promotes normal thyroid function.
- Helps prevent or control diabetes.
- Aids arthritis and ligament problems.
- Helps prevent infection and disease.
- Increases energy.
Veterinarian Karen Becker, known for her holistic wellness veterinary practice, recommends administering ¼ tsp. of coconut oil for every 10 lbs. of body weight twice a day for optimal effect.