Many pet owners seek for safe and natural remedies for their canine friends. Coconut oil is yet another one example of that –
it has been found that coconut oil helps to relieve joint pain among canine arthritis sufferers,
which is welcome news for many pet owners. Oil is also used widely to improve canine metabolic function and help with weight loss. But is the coconut oil really beneficial for dogs?
The short answer to this question would be “yes”. There are some holistic and naturopathic veterinarians who believe that it has qualities that can aid in many types of canine conditions. Here is some information that will help to understand what it really does to our beloved best friends.
What is Coconut Oil for Dogs?
The coconut oil is made up of a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Together these 3 fats contain an impressive list of fatty acids. Many of these are Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs), including:
- 48% lauric acid, which is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral;
- 8% caprylic acid and 7% capric acid, which are known for their anti-fungal effects;
- plus myristic and palmitic acids.
It also contains about 2% linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and about 6% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acids).
Reasons to Use Coconut Oil
According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, MCFAs, known also as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), are quickly metabolized to provide energy. It’s those MCFAs in coconut oil, especially the lauric acid, that gives it such a powerful punch when it comes to your dog’s health.
So here are a few reasons to use coconut oil for your four-legged friend:
- Lauric Acid: the anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil have been already mentioned. Lauric acid is also supposed to fight off viruses.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides: some vets believe that the MCTs in coconut oil aid in digestion and can help heal digestive disorders, as well as improve brain energy and mental function in older dogs.
- Coconut oil reduces coughing and helps to eliminate hairballs.
- Topical Benefits: it’s been known to help skin conditions like hot spots, bites, stings or itchy, dry skin. Shampoos made with organic oils such as coconut oil can improve the condition of damaged skin and reduce allergic reactions.
- Coconut oil is known for making dogs’ coats glossy and sleek.
- It also can help with eliminating doggy odor.
- And last, but not the least: coconut oil benefits canine metabolic function, weight loss, arthritis and bone health.
How to Choose the Right Oil for My Dog?
Choose unrefined coconut oil, also called virgin coconut oil.
Better yet, look for cold-pressed oil, which uses a method to process the oil quickly after the coconuts are harvested to preserve nutrients.
If you’re feeding it to your dog, be aware that different oils have different smells and tastes. Some have a bold coconut taste, while others are bland. Some are buttery and smooth, while others are nutty. You may have to experiment a bit to find one your dog likes.
How to Use Coconut Oil?
If you plan to give coconut oil to your dog orally, you must start with small amounts and build up the dosage gradually. You should consult with your veterinarian regarding dosage. There can be side effects, such as greasy stools or diarrhea, which usually happens if the dose is too large.
To use coconut oil topically, apply it to the skin about once a week, and let it be absorbed for a few minutes. After five minutes or so, rinse your dog off. If he still feels excessively greasy or oily, you can follow up with a light shampoo and rinse. Alternatively, use a shampoo made with organic coconut oil.
Again, consult your veterinarian. If your dog has a tendency to gain weight, has pancreatitis or he metabolizes fat inefficiently, you’re better off using coconut oil topically or in very small doses.
Using Coconut Oil before and after the Stem Cell Treatment
In case your dog has arthritis, you can improve his or her mobility and lessen pain by feeding your arthritic dog this oil daily. Some of the medium chained acids that oil contains (which include lauric, decanoic, myristic, caprylic, and others) have been suggested to help reverse the ligament damage that aggravates arthritis symptoms, therefore it can be combined with the use of stem cell treatment for even better results of dog arthritis treatment.
We all want to take care of our canine friends as safely, effectively and naturally as possible. And coconut oil is indeed a great thing to add to your dog’s diet and take advantage of its many benefits.
Although coconut oil may be the next great thing, it’s wise to take into account the healthy scepticism that surrounds it.
For instance, according to Dr. Kathy Boehme at the Drake Center for Veterinary Care in California, while coconut oil has beneficial topical uses, it’s not the cure-all some believe it is. Before you make the decision to use it for whatever ails your dog, talk to your vet and take into account that there have been no credible studies proving that coconut oil aids in thyroid dysfunction, weight loss, gum and teeth diseases or cancer prevention.
At the end of the day, you and your veterinarian together should make the decision whether this oil is a beneficial supplement to your dog’s health and what would be the best way to use it.