Coconut oil’s benefits come from the good fats it contains. It is more than 90 percent saturated fat, and it’s the good kind of fat known as medium-chain triglycerides. These are metabolized to provide immediate energy and fuel, helping dogs who are overweight to shed some weight and giving sedentary pets a much-needed burst of energy. It also balances insulin and helps to promote normal thyroid function in dogs, thereby keeping diabetes under control.
Coconut oil has been found to boost human brain function by supplying the brain with a clean source of energy that can help prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, and these same benefits are extended to dogs. Brooklyn veterinarian Dr. Katie Gryzb says that the oil is a great way to help avoid cognitive decline in dogs.
If you want to keep your dog’s skin in optimal condition, coconut oil is your one-stop shop. It can help clear up common pet skin problems like flea allergies, itchiness, contact dermatitis and eczema. Its antifungal properties enable it to treat yeast and fungal infections like candida, while its antibacterial abilities help it to disinfect cuts and promote the healing of wounds. It can also help to protect your beloved canine from ticks, fleas and mites.
Coconut oil can also help keep your dog’s digestive system healthy by improving digestion and the ability to absorb nutrients from food. It can curb bad canine breath, kill parasites, and help heal problems like colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Experts say that coconut oil is safe not only for dogs but also cats, rabbits, birds, and horses. However, you should proceed with caution if your dog has health conditions. Just like people, a small percentage of dogs could be allergic to coconut oil, so start out with a very small amount and wait for 24 to 48 hours to see if any side effects emerge.
If you’re giving it to your dog orally, you should start out with no more than ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil per day and slowly work your way up to around 1 teaspoon for smaller dogs and 1 tablespoon for bigger dogs over the course of a month or so.
You’ll always want to stick with organic coconut oil. Your dog might love to lick the oil off of a spoon, or you might find it is better received when you mix it into your pet’s food. If you make your own pet food, you can substitute it for other types of oil when baking treats or add it to raw meat or vegetables before dehydrating them for your pet. Be careful not to replace Omega-3 sources in your dog’s diet entirely with coconut oil because it does not contain any of this important fat.
The most common side effect is loose stool. If this happens to your dog, you’ve probably given too much and should reduce the quantity.
To apply coconut oil to your dog topically, just rub some into your hands and then massage it into the problem area if you’re using it to treat dry skin, a wound, or inflammation. If you’re going to use it to repel insects, rub some into your pet’s coat before you head out for a walk. Not only will it leave your dog’s coat looking sleek and shiny, but it will also smell terrific!