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Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs


Just like humans, dogs can benefit from using food as medicine.  One of the most popular nutritional supplements that can be found in any grocery store is coconut oil.  The benefits of coconut oil for dogs will be discussed here.

What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is derived directly from the coconut through a pressing process.  Coconut meat is pressed to extrude the oil, which contains a high amount of healthy acids, vitamins, and minerals.  Most notably, 90% of the fats in coconut oil are comprised of medium chain triglycerides, which have “superfood” health benefits.

What are the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs?

Shiny Coat
If your dog has a dull coat, coconut oil can be applied directly to your dog’s fur as a natural leave-in conditioner.  Alternatively, coconut oil contains beneficial acids, such as lauric acid, that can naturally improve your dog’s skin and coat condition.

Healthy Skin
Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties.  If your dog is suffering from skin conditions such as eczema, hot spots, rashes, or other disorders, these properties can remedy the ailment.  Apply coconut oil directly to the problem areas or supplement your dog’s food with the oil.

Improved Digestion
Medium chain triglycerides are rapidly metabolized, providing your pet with quick energy (minus the crash).  Not only does coconut oil boost metabolism, but it improves your dog’s digestive processes thanks to the abundance of healthy acids that reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.

Fewer Ear Infections and Allergies
Dogs can be allergic to most anything, from grasses and pollen to ingredients in their food.  These allergies lead to impaired immune function, high levels of inflammation, and secondary symptoms such as itchy skin and ear infections.  Coconut oil can lessen your dog’s allergic response by reducing inflammation.  Ear infections will be less likely to occur thanks to the anti-fungal properties of the oil.  In addition, the medium chain fatty acids contain components that are proven for immune system support.

Improved Mobility
Coconut oil is a common supplement for dogs with arthritis because the medium chain triglycerides reduce joint inflammation, provide additional joint lubricant, and can reduce pain.

How Much Coconut Oil Should I Give my Dog?
As a general rule of thumb, a dog can be given 1 tsp of coconut oil per 10 lbs of body weight.  For a larger dog, this equates to 1 TBSP coconut oil per 30 lbs of body weight.  However, dog owners should start with a smaller dosage and gradually work up to these amounts.  Feeding your dog too much coconut oil too soon can lead to an upset stomach and greasy stools.

What is the Best Type of Coconut Oil for Dogs?
Not all coconut oils are created equally.  The best type of coconut oil for dogs is cold pressed, extra virgin, organic, and unrefined.  Varieties that have been refined or pressed under different conditions may lose some of their beneficial acids and have a lower nutritional content.  Also make sure the oil that you choose is not hydrogenated.

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Anna Weber

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