By now, we all know the health benefits that come from incorporating coconut oil into our daily lives. Using this healthy fat in our cooking is better than vegetable oils, it works wonders in our beauty routine, and you can even using it to make your own homemade soap! But little did we know that this trendy oil can be just as beneficial for our four-legged friends as it can for us.
That’s right, your dog can have coconut oil, and they can benefit from it, too. But most pet owners probably have a few question when it comes to feeding your dog something new, especially something you probably wouldn’t usually give to your pet.
When feeding your dog coconut oil, the general rule of thumb is one teaspoon per 10 pounds of dog, or one tablespoon for a 30-pound dog. Always start by adding less coconut oil than the recommended dose and build up over the course of a week or two.
The best kind of coconut oil is unrefined, virgin, organic coconut oil. It’s light on taste and smell, typically made from fresh coconuts, and not overly processed; it is important to study the amount of processing that goes into the coconut oil you purchase and go for the less processed option.
But, as always, check with your veterinarian about adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet. Since the safety of coconut oil is undisputed, there is no reason why your vet shouldn’t encourage you to give the right kind to your dog! Here’s nine ways coconut oil can help your pooch inside and out.
1. Healthy Coat
Just like coconut oil makes our hair shiny and beautiful, a potential benefit of coconut oil for your four-legged friend is a sleek and glossy coat! This is especially helpful for older dogs, whose coats may have started to dull with age, or during the winter when the dry weather has forced their hair to lose its sheen.
2. Healthy Skin
Coconut oil doesn’t just make your dog’s hair glossy and healthy, it also helps their skin stay strong and healthy. Rubbing coconut oil on your pets’ skin can help with a variety of skin conditions such as eczema, hot spots, dry skin, yeast and fungal infections, bites, and stings.
The consistency of coconut oil is best for a dogs’ skin when softer, so heating it to 78 °F (which you can do by just rubbing the oil your hands together) will create a luxurious treatment for you to apply to your dog’s irritated skin.Use it a few times a day for the best results.
3. Doggy Odor
As much as we love our pets, we’d be lying if we said they don’t smell from time to time! Whether it’s their mouth, their fur, or their general body odor, coconut oil is a quick fix to get rid of pretty much any four-legged funk.
By adding small amounts of coconut oil to a dog’s diet or to their coat, you’re basically giving them a deodorant and mouthwash all at once! The recommended dose for oral care is one teaspoon per 10 pounds of dog, or one tablespoon for a 30-pound dog.
4. Treating Small Wounds And Cuts
Coconut oil on your dog’s skin doesn’t just keep it healthy and fend off rashes, it can also help to treat small wounds and cuts. The oil has natural antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties, making it a good choice for treating superficial wounds. An easy way to do this is to put some oil in your dog in a doggy sweater and supervise them until the coconut oil fully absorbs into their skin, which takes about five minutes.
While lain coconut oil is excellent for treating small wounds and cuts, Dogs Naturally Magazine shared a recipe for an alternative topical antibiotic for your dog:
- Put four tablespoons of coconut oil in a glass jar or bottle.
- Let it sit in the sun in a warm spot until it reaches room temperature.
- Add 12 drops of oregano oil (be sure you don’t apply oregano oil directly to your dog).
- Mix the coconut oil and oregano oil together with a spoon.
- Use the cream as a topical antibiotic (it’s OK if your dog licks it, too).
- Place a lid on the jar, and it will last several months.
5. Treating an Aging Brain
Watching your dogs’ cognitive ability decline is a really terrible thing to see. Some dogs become confused, pace around the house, and start to have accidents in their home. Another benefit of coconut oil for dogs is treating the aging brain of your dog; coconut oil is said to stave off dementia in humans, and some studies have made the link that it could do the same for our pets.
6. Weight Loss
If you’re dog’s a bit on the pudgy side, they may need to lose some weight. While a healthier, all-natural dog food and exercise is crucial to making this happen for your pet, some experts believe that adding coconut oil to their diet will also help them slim down over time.
Of course, check with your vet about what’s the right plan for your dog.
7. Boosting The Immune System
One of the ways coconut oil helps your pet lose weight is by boosting their immune system. Coconut oil contains two unique ingredients that make it an excellent alternative to boost immunity, lauric and caprylic acid, which contribute to fighting off yeast overgrowth and bacterial infections. They are also antivirals, so adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet is good for their overall health.
8. Treating Diabetes
Yes, dogs can have diabetes, and it has the same negative health problems that can be found in humans. However, coconut oil regulates and balances insulin, so adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet might help to control your dog’s diabetes. As we’ve already mentioned, coconut oil also increases energy and helps reduce weight, which can be beneficial for a diabetic dog. Check with your vet before using coconut oil for your diabetic dog.
9. Helping Digestion
Dogs can have digestion problems, too! But coconut oil helps dogs absorb nutrients easier, leading to a faster metabolism, but also helping them with colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Do you feed your dog coconut oil for a different reason? Share how your pet benefits from coconut oil in the comments section below.