Giving coconut oil to dogs is the latest fad among pet lovers. But is coconut oil ok for dogs? Well, studies have shown that coconut oil can benefit dogs in ways similar to the ways it has benefited humans.
Read the following sections to learn some amazing health benefits of coconut oil for dogs.
What is Coconut Oil and What Does it Contain?
Coconut oil is obtained from the meat of mature or old coconuts. It contains saturated fatty acids like lauric acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid, decanoic acid and caprylic acid.
Coconut Oil Composition
Unlike other vegetable oils, coconut oil contains a large percentage of saturated fats making people doubt about its benefits. But, an important point to remember is that the fatty acids of coconut oil are medium chain fatty acids that are actually good for the health.
Coconut oil contains MCT’s i.e., medium chain fatty acids. These acids, unlike long chain acids, are oxidized rapidly thereby increasing the metabolism rate of the body and helping in weight loss.
Hence, the fats in coconut oil are actually good fats and using coconut oil for dogs can help them in various ways.
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Coconut Oil for Dogs – Amazing Benefits
There are two ways in which coconut oil can be given to dogs. You can either give coconut oil to your dog orally or you can apply it to the skin or hair directly.
Since coconut oil is edible and natural, applying it topically will pose no health problems for dog. Even if your dogs licks away the oil applied to his skin and hair it will not cause any side effects unlike other lotions or shampoos.
Here is how it can help.
Coconut Oil for Dogs Having Weight Issue
All dog lovers know obesity can become fatal for a dog as it puts unnecessary strain on the dog’s joints reducing his mobility.
Coconut oil contains MCT’s that help increase the metabolism and improve thyroid function. These fats are also easily converted into energy thereby giving a burst of energy to your four legged friend. Increased energy levels help with your dog’s athletic performance.
Better metabolism and more energy to workout prevents a dog from gaining any unwanted weight.
Helps in Digestion
Coconut oil improves digestion and bowel movement and prevents constipation. In fact, too much of coconut oil can lead to diarrhea and loose stools. Hence, give appropriate quantity to your pet or ask your vet about how much to give.
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal quality of coconut oil helps kill parasites in the stomach which can help to provide your pet relief from inflammatory stomach problems.
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Increases Cognitive Function
As dogs grow old their attention span and memory starts decreasing. Studies have shown that by supplementing a dog’s diet with coconut oil his brain function can improve.
Coconut oil diet provides the brain with an energy source. This energy is in the form of ketones. Thus, better circulation of ketone helps promote brain health and also prevents dementia in dogs.
Coconut oil can help a dog fight many diseases like diabetes and arthritis. It increases bone and joints health and also increases the overall immunity of the animal. It also helps the dog fight common infections and illnesses.
The anti-viral properties of coconut oil can help a dog fight mild cough problems. Untreated cough problems can lead to stress and appetite loss in a dog. By including coconut oil in your dog’s diet you help your dog get relief from cough quickly.
Gives Instant Energy
There are some remarkable benefits of coconut oil for dogs that are lethargic or have sedentary lifestyle. Since, coconut oil gets absorbed by the body quickly and gives instant energy; a dog feels more energetic and performs better at play and other physical activities like running and chasing.
Increased activity levels in turn helps a dog lose excess weight and help him fight obesity.
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Coconut Oil Heals Wounds
Cracked heels, itchy skin and hotspots can be treated by applying coconut oil to the affected area. It provides relief to a dry skin by moisturizing it.
Keeps Ticks and Flies Away
Coconut oil when applied to a dog’s skin and hair can help keep flies and ticks away. The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil can even help your dog fight skin related ailments.
People are now even using coconut oil to manufacture soaps that can fight a terrible skin disease in dogs called mange.
Coconut Oil for Dogs Hair Health
Coconut oil acts as a conditioner when applied to the dog’s skin and coat. Here is how you can use coconut oil for dog’s coat.
Apply the oil with your hands on your dog’s coat. Leave it for a while so that the oil is absorbed properly and evenly. Wash it off with your dog’s shampoo.
With long term use the coat will look glossy, healthy and soft.
Coconut Oil Keeps the Teeth Clean
Coconut oil is famously used for oil pulling. You can get rid of many toxins and bacteria by swishing a small quantity of coconut oil in your mouth. Similarly brushing your dog’s teeth with oil will help keep his teeth clean and even help in getting rid of bad breath.
As you can see there are some wonderful benefits of coconut oil for dogs. But, like any new food coconut oil should also be given with caution.
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How Much Coconut Oil for Dogs?
Start with just one-fourth teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix it with your dog’s food or feed him directly. Whichever way your dog prefers.
Gradually increase this amount. If you observe any signs of discomfort like loose stools then discontinue its use immediately.
Ideally you can give your pet 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of its weight.
Increasing the quantity too soon can result in digestive problems for the dog. Do it gradually and in phases. Always check for signs of discomfort whenever you increase the amount.
Wrapping it up – Coconut Oil for Dogs
Coconut oil provides your pet with a delicious and natural way to heal wounds, clean teeth, grow hair and remain energetic and healthy. Long term use of this oil can also help prevent some diseases.
But a word of caution! Do not overdose your dog. Also, if your dog is suffering from some ailment then it will be better to get his vet’s advice on the dosage.