Coconut oil is one of the most popular food supplements in the world. In fact, it is considered a superfood. It has numerous health benefits for you and your canine family members.
The oil contains high amounts of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and other healthy substances. It is easy to digest and the health benefits can be realized topically or orally.
Let’s investigate the top health benefits of coconut oil for dogs.
- Dogs and Coconut Oil
- Coconut Oil - Health Benefits for Dogs
Dogs and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is mostly known for its high content of fats – monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated. The vast majority of fatty acids in coconut oil belong to the MCFA type.
Some of the most beneficial MCFAs found in coconut include lauric, caprylic, and capric acids. In combination, these three can give your dog’s health a great boost. Linoleic and oleic acids belong to the polyunsaturated family and have a number of beneficial effects as well. Finally, coconut and coconut oil also contain a lot of healthy fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
However, you should be careful not to go overboard when administering coconut oil to your pooch. If you’re feeding the oil once every few days, you can go with one tablespoon of oil per 10lbs. If you’re just starting out, it is recommended to start with ¼ tablespoon and slowly increase the amount.
Coconut Oil - Health Benefits for Dogs
1. Improves the Coat and Skin Quality
If your dog has dry skin or lost the sheen on its coat, you can try to fix that with coconut oil. It is also effective against dandruff. The oil is great for skin; it is rich in nutrients and increases the levels of skin surface lipids. That means it is a great moisturizer.
When the skin becomes properly moisturized, the quality of the hair and coat will drastically improve. Coconut oil can also remove dandruff and itch.
2. Helps with Stomach Health
Some dogs are allergic and if it’s gut-related, yeast is among the most common culprits. Coconut oil can help to fight off gut allergies and has a tremendous effect in stopping and preventing yeast growth in the gut of dogs.
A study published in the American Society for Microbiology Sphere journal compared several types of oils and found that coconut oil is the most effective against gut yeast.
Additionally, coconut oil can boost digestion and the absorption of important nutrients. It also helps reduce and stave off inflammation in the digestive system. Finally, it can reduce the symptoms of colitis, IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome), and other digestive disorders.
3. Boosts Brain Function
Like humans, dogs age with the years and their brain function starts diminishing when they reach a certain age. In advanced years, your dog’s brain might need some additional stimulation to remain healthy and active.
Coconut oil can help with that. The oil introduces additional power to the dog’s brain by way of ketones. Ketones can significantly improve your aging dog’s cognitive functions. They can also help prevent dementia and boost nerve function.
4. Helps with Weight Loss
Obesity is among the most frequent problems in modern dogs. If left unattended, it can cause some serious long-term damages. Common complications of obesity include, but are not limited to, liver failure and liver disease, joint problems, insulin resistance, respiratory problems, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and hypertension.
If you add coconut oil to your dog’s diet, you can help it regulate thyroid function and lose weight in a healthy way. Potentially, MCFAs can reduce your dog’s fat depots. A study published in 2002 examined the role of MCFAs in weight loss in dogs and found them to be very helpful.
5. Can Disinfect Small Wounds and Cuts
Thanks to its natural antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, you can use coconut oil to treat small wounds and cuts on your beloved canine. You can also use it to treat cracks in the paws. It is a great substitute if you’re worried about the chemicals in OTC medications and topical creams.
Along with treating wounds and cuts, you can also use coconut oil to treat scratches behind ears and on paws as a result of allergies. Since coconut oil is completely safe to ingest, you need not worry about your dog licking it off.
6. Boosts Energy
If your buddy is lacking energy for day-to-day activities, such as obedience training, jogging, and playing around the house, you should consider introducing coconut oil into its diet. The oil can provide a significant energy boost thanks to the MCFA content.
However, you should take care and not give the dog too much. Start with small amounts and increase the dosage over time.
7. Fights off Ticks and Fleas
Some humans have elected to apply coconut oils in lieu of commercial insect repellants to their skin in the summer months to repel insects of both airborne and ground species. Coconut oil is completely harmless to the human skin, smells nice, and does a terrific job.
You can extend this benefit to your pooch as well for tick and flea control and prevention. You can also use it to stave off mites and mange.
8. Regulates Diabetes and Insulin Levels
Coconut oil is great at balancing and controlling insulin levels in both humans and dogs. If your dog has insulin resistance or diabetes, you may want to incorporate coconut oil into its diet. Since diabetes is a serious condition, don’t introduce the oil without consulting your veterinarian.
There shouldn’t be any problems with ingestion. However, if your dog is picky and refuses to eat the oil alone, you can try and mix it into the food. The smell and taste of meat should be sufficient to mask the coconut oil.
9. Helps with Kennel Cough
Coconut has strong antiviral properties, so it can potentially be used to treat kennel cough in dogs. As with diabetes and other diseases, make sure to consult your veterinarian before administering coconut oil as a medical treatment.
10. Helps with Odors
Finally, coconut oil can help to neutralize dog odor that’s otherwise hard to get rid of. Also, it can help with bad breath when administered orally.
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods on earth and rightfully considered a superfood. It has abundant MCFAs, vitamins, and other important nutrients. It has strong antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties and can help with many health problems and diseases, even for your furry pets.
Patrice has been an animal lover, right from her childhood. She’s currently enjoying the company of her cat, dog, aquarium fishes, and a few small furry companions.