A. Coconut Oil For Dogs: Is It Really Good For Them?
Coconut oil has become a popular dietary supplement for humans. It is believed to have benefits such as boosting the immune system, aiding in weight loss, anti-inflammatory and antifungal effects, and improving cognitive abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Topically applied, coconut oil is an effective moisturizer and lip balm. But pet owners wonder: is coconut oil beneficial to dogs? The answer is a qualified yes.” Some holistic veterinarians and naturopaths believe coconut oil has properties that can help with many types of dog ailments.
1. The Science Behind Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is made from coconut pulp, extracted from the coconut tree. Coconut oil is made up of at least 90% saturated fats, most of which are medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). While we’re used to thinking that fats are bad for us, MCTs are “good” fats and can offer many benefits, including a source of fuel and energy. The constituents of MCTs include lauric acid, which is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral; Capric acid and caprylic acid, which are known for their antifungal effects; and other acids that are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. According to Dogs Naturally magazine, MCTs are quickly metabolized to provide energy. For a more in-depth discussion of coconut oil ingredients, see the presentation by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University.
2. What are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs?
- Lauric Acid – We’ve already mentioned the anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties of coconut oil. Lauric acid also wards off viruses.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides – Some veterinarians believe that MCTs in coconut oil can aid digestion and cure indigestion, as well as improve brain energy and mental function in older dogs.
- Reduces coughing and helps clean hairballs.
- Topical Benefits – is known to help with skin conditions such as hot spots, stinging, stinging, or dry, itchy skin.
- Shampoos made with organic oils such as coconut oil can improve damaged skin and reduce allergens. Some pet owners have even made a do-it-yourself paw balm using coconut oil as one of the ingredients.
- Makes a dog’s coat shiny and smooth.
- Eliminates dog odor.
- Promotes metabolic function, weight loss, arthritis and bone health.
But, and this is a big “but”, there is skepticism among scientists and veterinarians about all these claims. According to Dr. Kathy Boehme of the Drake Center for Veterinary Care in California, it may have beneficial topical uses, but it’s not the panacea that some believe. Before deciding to use it for all your dog’s illnesses, talk to your veterinarian and be aware that there are no reliable studies showing that coconut oil helps with thyroid dysfunction, weight loss, gum disease and dental or cancer prevention.
Also, coconut oil does not meet your dog’s daily fat needs. The acids in MCTs are low in omega-6 and omega-3 acids, and what they contain is not processed very efficiently. As for the claim that MCTs protect against bacteria, viruses and fungi, while the lauric acid in MCTs kills germs in laboratory tests, there is no clear evidence that it can be used in sufficient amounts to provide much protection for dogs. However, with so many pet owners suspecting overuse of pharmaceutical antibiotics and antifungals, you and your veterinarian may decide that this natural, holistic approach is worth a try.
3. How do I use coconut oil on my dog?
If you plan to give your dog coconut oil by mouth, start with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage. You should consult your veterinarian about dosage. You may experience side effects, such as oily stools or diarrhea, which usually occur if the dose is too high.
To use coconut oil topically, apply it to the skin about once a week and let it soak for a few minutes. Rinse your dog after about five minutes. If it still feels excessively greasy or oily, apply a light shampoo and rinse. Alternatively, you can use a shampoo with organic coconut oil. Contact your veterinarian again. If your dog tends to gain weight, has pancreatitis, or inefficiently metabolizes fat, it’s best to use coconut oil topically or in very small doses.
4. How do I choose coconut oil for my dog?
Choose unrefined coconut oil, also called virgin coconut oil. It’s even better to look for cold-pressed oil, which uses a method to quickly process the oil after the coconuts are harvested to preserve nutrients. When feeding your dog, be aware that different oils have different smells and tastes. Some have a strong coconut flavor while others are mild. Some are buttery and fluffy, while others are nutty. You may need to experiment a bit to find one your dog likes.
There is no doubt that we all want to take care of our dogs in the safest, most effective and natural way possible. Coconut oil may be the next big thing, but it’s wise to consider the healthy skepticism that surrounds it. It’s up to you and your veterinarian to decide if coconut oil is a useful addition to your dog’s life.
B. Coconut Oil For Dogs: Understanding The Benefits And Risks
Coconut oil may be the newest, hottest and all-natural trend for humans, but pet parents are also discovering it as a useful addition to their four-legged companions. And this is far from being a fad or an overnight craze, but it could turn out to be true. “It offers many benefits to dogs,” says Dr. Colleen Smith, DVM, CVA, CVCP of the Chattanooga Holistic Animal Institute. Coconut oil can help dogs with everything from itchy or patchy skin to digestive problems. But is this oil all it should be and are there any risks that parents of animals should be aware of?
1. What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is made from ripe coconuts and is in the form of an edible oil used in food and beauty products. It’s high in saturated fat and medium-chain triglycerides, factors behind its vaunted health benefits for humans and dogs.
2. How Coconut Oil Helps Dogs
What exactly makes coconut oil so beneficial? “Coconut oil can increase energy levels, improve skin and coat, improve digestion and reduce allergic reactions,” says Smith. Dr. Katie Gryzb, a Brooklyn veterinarian, explains that coconut oil can potentially slow cognitive dysfunction in dogs. “Fatty acids are helpful in cognitive function, which has been clinically proven,” she says.
In addition, Dr. Pema Melu, DVM, of Holistic Veterinary Healing in Germantown, MD, suggested that medium-chain fatty acids, such as coconut oil, help with physical and digestive ailments because they are “absorbed and drained directly from the gastrointestinal tract. “. to the liver, where they are converted into usable energy. ” In addition to its general health benefits, coconut oil can be used as a coating for pills to help dogs swallow and can be applied topically to smooth and refresh a dog’s fur.
3. How to give coconut oil to dogs
Coconut oil can usually be given to dogs with meals, 1 to 2 times a day. How much you should give your dog depends on his size. Many veterinarians recommend starting coconut oil slowly. A good starting dose is ¼ teaspoon per day for small dogs and 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per day for large dogs. However, if you have an obese or overweight dog, it is recommended not to give coconut oil more than once a day due to its high fat content. Any dog receiving coconut oil should be closely monitored for weight gain.
“Coconut oil can also be used as a base for dog treats,” explains Smith. She suggests mixing turmeric and vitamin D with coconut oil for ideal snacks. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, while vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. However, be careful not to give your dog too much vitamin D. Overdose can cause kidney problems. Understanding the labels can make all the difference when finding the best coconut oil. Smith recommends that parents of animals use organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil.
4. Topical use of coconut oil for dogs
Coconut oil can help moisturize your dog’s skin and prevent flaking. It also helps to refresh a dog’s coat when used with a light touch. To use topically, simply rub a small amount into your hands, then gently pat the fur, running your fingers through the fur and massaging a little into the skin. Since coconut oil can be taken orally, there is no need to worry if dogs lick themselves after applying it to their fur.
5. Concerns About Coconut Oil
Although coconut oil is generally safe for dogs, some dogs may have an allergic reaction to the supplement. Also, too much coconut oil in a dog’s diet can cause diarrhea. Smith cautions against giving coconut oil to dogs prone to pancreatitis as it can pose a risk due to its high fat content. And not all veterinarians believe coconut oil is beneficial even for dogs. Dr. Ken Tudor notes that coconut oil can potentially increase “bad cholesterol” in dogs, adding “120 calories per tablespoon without adding any significant nutritional value.”
6. Coconut Oil Alternatives for Dogs
If your dog is allergic to coconut oil or simply no improvement is seen with the addition of coconut oil to your dog’s diet, there are alternatives. Cold-water fish oils such as salmon oil and, to a lesser extent, flaxseed oil are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can provide some of the same benefits as coconut oil. Of course, any supplement should be monitored for a dog’s intake and it is best to consult your veterinarian about any health issues with your pet. Giving dogs coconut oil or similar supplements is not a guaranteed panacea or magic solution.
C. 5 Uses Of Coconut Oil For Dogs
There are many ways people can use coconut oil, from softening the skin to treating eczema, but you may not know that it can also be beneficial for your dog! Extracted from ripe coconuts, coconut oil is an edible oil often found in foods and beauty products due to its high content of saturated fat and medium chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fat with proven health benefits ranging from weight up function enhanced cognitive control.
1. Add coconut oil to meals and treats
After consulting with your pet’s veterinarian, you may want to consider adding coconut oil to your pet’s meals to help balance your thyroid – which means it can help overweight dogs lose weight and even help them. more sedentary dogs to feel more energetic. Studies have also shown that coconut oil can improve nutrient absorption, counteract digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis, and reduce overall body inflammation. Start with no more than 1/4 teaspoon for smaller dogs – larger breeds can handle up to a tablespoon a day – and make sure your pet doesn’t have weight problems or is a breed prone to pancreatitis, because the high fat content of coconut oil can lead to weight gain if used incorrectly.
Would you like to make your own dog treats? Think of coconut oil as a base; When mixed with anti-inflammatory and health-promoting spices like turmeric, it can help Rover turn a tasty treat into an effective way to keep it disease-free. Just be sure to choose organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil, and immediately stop offering it to your dog if you notice any signs of upset stomach, such as diarrhea or allergic reactions. If your dog appears to be allergic to coconut oil, alternatives like salmon oil and flaxseed oil may offer some of the same benefits as coconut oil because of the omega-3 fatty acids.
Coconut oil will likely not only make your pet’s feed irresistible, but because it is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA), the oil is absorbed directly from the gastrointestinal tract and goes straight to the liver, where it is used as energy for that. turns into a mutt and helps alleviate or even prevent physical and digestive problems. Some studies have shown that feeding your pet a diet that contains MCFAs can actually help reduce the size of your fat deposits and possibly even prevent weight gain – while giving your pet a boost in energy to help you improve athletic performance and endurance.
2. Apply coconut oil to your dog’s skin
As with humans, applying coconut oil to your dog’s skin can help moisturize your furry friend’s skin – especially important during the harsh winter months – and prevent flaking or other signs of irritation. 1 If your dog already has dry skin or has dandruff, coconut oil is highly effective in moisturizing and increasing the level of lipids on the skin’s surface. Just rub a small amount into your hands and massage the skin while running your fingers through the fur – coconut oil can also help make your dog’s fur smoother and shinier. However, be aware that your pet may lick itself a little more often that day!
If you live in a wooded area or plan to take your dog for walks, rest assured that coconut oil can also serve as a non-chemical agent to repel fleas and ticks and protect your pet from illness. When applied to your dog’s skin, coconut oil can help prevent unwanted pests from attaching to your dog’s skin. Some research has shown that it can also help get rid of mites.
3. Use coconut oil as a coating for pills.
Anyone who has ever had to give their dog a pill knows that it’s not always the easiest task. If your dog has discovered that the piece of peanut butter you are offering is actually covering up a pill (and therefore refusing to take it), coconut oil can also be used as a useful trick to make your dog. pet taking medication. Used as a coating for pills, not only can it make the medication more attractive and enjoyable for your pet, but it can also help your pet to swallow the pill more easily.
4. Use coconut oil to soothe wounds
Coconut oil has natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. So if your dog suffers from cracked pads or other cuts, it can be safely used as a natural topical antibiotic to heal and soothe wounds. Dogs who suffer from seasonal allergies and therefore tend to chew their paws or scratch their ears more often can also find relief from coconut oil in these types of wounds.
5. Brush your dog’s teeth with coconut oil
Isn’t Fido a fan of brushing his teeth? Coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties make it a natural – and delicious – way to clean your pet’s teeth. The oil can help eliminate harmful bacteria in your dog’s mouth and prevent plaque that can lead to dental disease. You can apply coconut oil to your dog’s teeth like a commercial toothpaste, with a dog toothbrush or even your finger.