Coconut oil has become very popular in the natural health community for both people and pets. You may have heard of it, but do you know the benefits of this impressive Healthy Addition?
Get Excited About MCT’s!
Coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides or MCT’s. MCTs are low-calorie fatty acids that boost metabolism. Coconut’s MCTs get quickly absorbed by the body, yet provide lasting energy, especially for the brain.
MCT’s contain Lauric acid, a potent antibacterial. Coconut oil is one of the few natural foods that contain large amounts of this powerful bacteria fighter. Here are some other benefits of MCTs in coconut oil:
Healthy fats are vital for your dog’s cognitive abilities. There are studies that show coconut oil can improve cognitive function. Coconut’s MCT oils provide the brain’s preferred fuel which works to protect and energize.
Energy and Digestion
Because coconut oil is mostly medium chain triglycerides, it is easy to digest. MCT’s provide significant energy for your dog’s body. These healthy fats supply twice as much energy as carbohydrates or protein! Therefore, dogs can easily thrive on ample amounts of fat and protein, with relatively low carbs.
The healthy fats of coconut oil also aid digestion of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A and E must be combined with fats to be digested and utilized by the body. One of our favorite spices, turmeric, is best absorbed with healthy fat. Making sure your dog has enough healthy fats in his diet decreases the risk of other deficiencies.
Coconut oil’s antibacterial properties make it excellent for the gums and teeth. If your dog isn’t thrilled with you brushing his teeth, try putting some coconut oil on a toothbrush and just let him lick it off. Soon he’ll love the flavor so much you can teach him to accept having his teeth brushed. You can even make toothpaste for your dog using coconut oil as the main ingredient.
Skin and Coat Benefits
Coconut oil is naturally Antiviral, Antiseptic, Antibacterial, and Antifungal! These benefits make raw, unrefined coconut oil a natural wound cream. Use it on hot spots, rashes, dry skin, cuts, scrapes, and burns. It’s as simple as rubbing it on the surface and hoping your dog doesn’t lick it off. Thankfully, coconut oil is not harmful if he does lick it off.
Unrefined Coconut oil is healing for skin licked raw on the paws, stomach, and legs, as well as hives and hot spots. Use it topically to soothe itchy or inflamed skin and give internally to soothe and heal the digestive tract.
Some More Benefits:
• Aid absorption of amino acids.
• Act as powerful antioxidants
• Accelerate healing
• And lowers blood glucose levels aiding dogs with diabetes!
Any Known Cautions?
Coconut oil is very safe to feed and use. The only concern will be if your dog is allergic to coconut. If you’re not sure whether your dog is allergic or not, give Fido half the recommended amount to start with and watch him. Gradually increase the amount you give if there’s no adverse reaction. Carefully introducing new foods, is a precaution you should take in all circumstances. Even so, an allergy to coconut is rare.
Some of you still may be wary of purposefully feeding fat to your dog. We’ve all heard the warning that feeding lots of fat can cause pancreatitis. It’s important though to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy fats. I certainly don’t recommend letting your dog chow down on potato chips, fried in trans-fats but healthy saturated fats are vital to good health. Yes, anything in excessive amounts can cause problems. Moderation is the key. Stick to the correct dose and your dog will only benefit.
How to Include it in Your Dog’s Diet:
Coconut oil is very easy to give since most dogs enjoy the taste. How you feed, it is up to you. If you want to keep it simple, you can quickly drizzle a little onto his food or offer it to him on a spoon around meal time.
Feed 1/2 tsp. coconut oil per 10 pounds of body weight.
I love to make frozen coconut oil treats. They’re super healthy, simple to make, and your dog will love them! Here’s a basic recipe:
½ c. Unrefined coconut oil
¼ – ½ c pureed dog-safe fruit (some suggestions are berries, cored apples, and pitted mangos)
1 tsp. dog-safe dried herb or spice (my favorites are parsley, turmeric, and cinnamon)
Or 1 tbsp. fresh herbs (basil, oregano, and peppermint are all great options)
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until liquid. Pour into silicone molds and freeze. Once solid let your pup enjoy!
Have fun with this recipe! Make some pumpkin spice treats, or cucumbers and mint to make a breath-freshening treat. Sky’s the limit as long as all ingredients are safe for your furry friend.
– Ivy Alexis and Cassy Kay
Habib, Rodney. “Health Tips of the Week: Coconut Oil” Planet Paws.ca Dec. 4, 2012 Web Aug. 15, 2017, <https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=399504846791070&id=112437898831101&set=a.249776285097261.58478.112437898831101&source=48&refid=13>
Habib, Rodney. “Coconut Oil Makes Your Dog Smarter” Planet Paw.ca Aug. 31, 2015 Web Aug. 15, 2017, <https://m.facebook.com/PlanetPaws.ca/photos/a.249776285097261.58478.112437898831101/1179399765468237/?type=3&__tn__=%2As%2AsH-R>
Scott, Dana. “The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil-Updated” Dogs Naturally Magazine.com <http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/>
Alison, Serene. “Benefits of MCT Oil.” Trim Healthy Mama.com Web. Aug. 15, 2017. <https://trimhealthymama.com/benefits-of-mct-oil/>