Considering the ongoing buzz about how wonderful coconut oil is, I'm sure many of us have incorporated it into our daily routines, whether in the kitchen or the shower. Our family has been cooking with coconut oil for a couple of years. We use it on our skin as a moisturizer, and I use it as a natural makeup remover. I've even tried oil pulling. It may seem like I live and breathe coconut oil, but I've only just scratched the surface. There are hundreds of uses for the stuff.
Did you know that coconut oil is also great for your pets?
Every part of the coconut is nutritious, but the oil is thought to be most so. Most pets enjoy the taste when mixed with their food, and it can also be used topically.
What are some of the benefits?
• aids in absorption of vitamins and minerals
• supports skin and fur health
• supports healthy digestion
• immune support
• improves metabolic function
• fats support a healthy brain
• supports bone health
• anti-inflammatory, reducing arthritis
• helps reduce allergic reactions
• thyroid support
• parasite prevention
• weight management
• first aid: infections, wounds and rashes heal faster
• thought to be a preventative against some cancers
There's really no downside.
So what's the deal? Doggington Post explains:
When all forms of diet remedies have failed, then it is time to try out this miracle natural medicine for your (pet). Virgin coconut oil means that it is unrefined, and it can be used for both dogs and humans. Lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid, can help prevent bacterial and viral infections. This is most commonly found in a mother's milk and builds the immune system.
Dogs Naturally Magazine gets down to the nitty-gritty to help us understand why something so simple can offer so many benefits:
Coconut oil consists of more than 90% saturated fats, with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). The main component (more than 40%) of MCTs is auric acid, followed by caprice acid, caprylic acid, merits acid and palmitic. Coconut oil also contains about 2% linoleum acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and about 6% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acids).
Most of the coconut oil benefits come from the MCTs. For example, the auric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Caprice and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their anti-fungal effects.
In addition, MCTs are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic.
How much should I give my pet?
Topically, coconut oil can be used liberally and as needed. When given internally, the standard recommended dose is one teaspoon of coconut oil per ten pounds of pet. As with any new food or supplement, it's best to start slowly and work up to the full dose over a period of about a month.
Have you used coconut oil topically or as a supplement for your pet? How about for yourself?
• Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs, Doggington Post
• Benefits of Coconut Oil for Pets, Wellness Mama
• Coconut Oil and Your Dogs, Hybrid Rasta Mama
• The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs, Dogs Naturally Magazine
Coconut photo source: macrobiotics.co.uk.