Fish oil isn't the only beneficial oil for your pets. If you're a health conscious person, you've heard about the benefits of coconut oil. Did you know the benefits of coconut oil for dogs are also great? There are so many supplements available to help dog owners keep their pet healthy, but how do you know which ones to use and which ones aren't worth the trouble? You don't have to worry about anything when it comes to coconut oil – it's beneficial for EVERY dog!
Coconut oil is made of more than 90% saturated fats. We're used to hearing that too much fat is a bad thing, but in this case that's not true. Coconut oil is actually one of the few items classified as a “superfood.”
Many science-based websites mention that the secret to coconut oil's health benefits for dogs are medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCTs are a type of good fat, which provide many benefits including:
- immune system support
- digestion improvement
- increase in metabolic function
- skin, coat and thyroid health
MCTs are also made of capric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid, lauric acid and palmitic. Coconut oil contains about 6% oleic acid and about 2% linoleic acid as well. Lauric acid has anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Capric and caprylic acids have similar properties too, and they are best known for their anti-fungal benefits.
It gets even better!
MCTs metabolized extremely efficiently, which provides an instantaneous source of energy and fuel for your dog's body. This can enhance athletic performance and aid in weight loss. In canines, the MCTs in coconut oil help to balance the thyroid, which can help sedentary dogs feel more energetic and help overweight pets shed a few pounds.
What Are the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs?
One thing that isn't mentioned in the video above, is that you'll need to start feeding your dog coconut oil in smaller doses and gradually work your way up to the recommended amount. As with any new addition to your dog's diet, adding too much coconut oil too quickly could upset his stomach causing diarrhea or greasy stool.
Begin by giving 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil per day to a small dog and 1 teaspoon for large breeds. Once your dog's body has adjusted to the addition of coconut oil to his diet, you can increase the daily dose to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. That's about 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds (in case you have large breeds like I do).
The benefits of coconut oil for dogs will be seen within just a few days. I noticed results in both of our dogs by day three, and by day 14 I could not believe the changes in both of our girls.
Although our dogs are very different – one is an 8-month old chocolate lab and the other is a 5-year-old boxer – we saw noticeable changes in both of them after beginning a daily coconut oil supplement.
When fed regularly, the benefits of coconut oil for dogs are numerous. They can include:
- All-natural treatment for eczema
- Helps with contact dermatitis, itchy skin
- Helps with flea allergies
- May reduce allergic reactions
- Promotes a sleek and shiny coat
- Treats and prevents fungal and yeast infections
- Promotes wound healing
- Helps clear up hot spots
- Eases the pain and itchiness of bites and stings
- Increases absorption of nutrients
- Aids in and improves digestion
- Helps with colitis
- Helps with inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Reduces coughing
- Reduces and possibly eliminates bad breath
Overall health and wellness
- Increases energy
- Aids in weight loss
- Helps to prevent disease and infection
- Antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties
- Balances insulin
- Promotes normal thyroid function
- May help control diabetes
- May help prevent the onset of diabetes
- Helps with joint and ligament problems
Topical coconut oil treatments for dogs
You can also use coconut oil as a topical treatment on your pet. Many doggy spas offer coconut oil wraps to promote a strong and healthy skin and coat. Coconut oil doesn't just provide immune support when taken orally, it also aids in immune healthy when applied topically.
As you know, the skin is the largest organ. It is also your dog's first line of defense against the germs and bacteria that are living all around him. Giving your dog a topical coconut oil treatment once a week could greatly improve his overall health and well-being.
To give your pup a topical coconut oil treatment, all you need to do is work the oil through his coat and down onto his skin. Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes and then rinse him off with warm water. If you don't feel that the oil is gone after the rinse, you can use a little bit of shampoo to remove the rest, and then rinse again.
For best results, use an organic virgin 100% coconut oil. You can find it at any health food store, in many pharmacies and you can easily order it from thousands of retailers online. We use Wholistic Pet Organics Coconut Oil, but there are many great options on the market.
Most dogs, including ours will eat coconut oil right off of the spoon. However, if your dog won't, it's not a problem. All you have to do is warm the oil in the microwave for a few seconds until it melts and then pour it over your dog's food. It adds a little flavor, and your pooch will probably gobble it right up.
Now it’s your turn!
Do you supplement your dog's diet with coconut oil? What are the benefits that you've noticed? Do you have any questions about the benefits of coconut oil for dogs? We'd love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below and let's talk!