Coconut Oil is Good for Dogs? You may be wondering, “Good for dogs to eat?” Or “Good to rub on dogs?” Turns out, it’s BOTH. Let’s find out just how good coconut oil is for our canine companions, why it’s good for them and how we can help them benefit from this remarkable gift of nature.
The Colossally Cool Coconut
Is a coconut actually a nut? A fruit? A seed? Strictly speaking, this amazing tropical food qualifies as all three. The coconut palm tree is a prehistoric plant that researchers believe originated in the South Pacific around Australia and what is now New Guinea.
But coconuts themselves are incredibly water resistant and many of these fabulous fruits floated across oceans before landing on distant shores and taking root in the sand. Lucky for us, today coconut palms grow on tropical beaches everywhere, all over the world.
We humans ingest coconut oil for its healing and medicinal properties. We use it to ease acid reflux, stabilize insulin production and blood sugar levels, reduce arthritis inflammation, and even to relieve the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Topically (which means applied to the body’s surface), we use it as a natural skin softener and anti-wrinkle cream, to heal itchy skin and relieve the burning sensation from biting insects, and even to treat dry, flaky, dandruffy scalp.
Is it any wonder we’ve finally discovered that the healthy benefits of this natural oil also extend to our precious pets?
What Does Coconut Oil Consist Of?
Organic coconut oil is approximately 90% saturated fats. All fats are composed of lipids called triglycerides. The good news is that coconut oil is mainly made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). Think of MCT as ‘good fat’.
Medium chain triglycerides differ from long-chain and short-chain triglycerides in that they go straight from the gut to the liver where they are used immediately as a source of energy, or else converted into ketones. Ketones are produced when the liver breaks down lots of fat and can be used for energy instead of glucose.
Since the calories (energy) in MCT are used right away, they are less likely to be stored as fat. (By the way, this much simplified version of the bodily processes involved is the basis for the Keto Diet.)
Coconut oil contains several essential acids with healing capabilities, as well as antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. These include lauric acid, palmitic acid, capric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid.
O.K., hopefully your eyes haven’t glazed over too much during this scientifically technical (and somewhat boring) explanation of how a substance that is 90% saturated fat can actually be quite healthy for you and your dog. Onto a more interesting topic….
Ways that Coconut Oil is Good for Dogs
Check out these clinically proven ways that coconut oil can be beneficial to your canine kid.
When given orally or added to the food bowl:
- Improves daily digestion and helps with your dog’s efficient absorption of nutrients
- Helps heal digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Can rid your pet of certain intestinal parasites
- Improves the health of the animal’s skin and reduces allergic reactions
- Nourishes the haircoat to restore shine and strength
- Supports the immune system and prevents disease and infection with powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents
- Balances and regulates insulin levels to control or help prevent diabetes
- Increases your dog’s energy level and helps maintain a healthy weight
- Supports a normal functioning thyroid gland
- Helps build strong bones when given to younger dogs
- Eases arthritis and joint inflammation in older dogs
- Promotes good brain and nerve function and helps prevent dementia
Topical application of coconut oil:
- Coconut oil is great for treating hotspots on your dog. For this particular skin condition, it’s best if you treat your pet both internally (orally) and externally (topically). You may have heard your veterinarian use the term “acute moist dermatitis” when referring to a dog’s hotspots and oftentimes, hotspots can warrant a trip to the vet. But you may very well be able to treat this skin infection on your dog at home with coconut oil, both by adding it to his food, and by gently applying it to the affected skin area.
- You can use coconut oil directly on your dog’s scratches, superficial wounds, bee stings or insect bites. This will take the “sting” out of these irritations and help speed up the healing process by aiding in cell regeneration.
- One of the most effective and safest moisturizers found in nature, coconut oil can be used to soften and heal your dog’s dry cracked paw pads, elbow calluses, or chapped dry nose.
- Freshen up your dog’s coat and moisturize his skin by rubbing a small amount onto your hands, then run your fingers through the fur and gently pat down his coat. Massage your fingers soothingly down into his skin.
- As long as you use organic, extra virgin coconut oil, you can safely treat ear and eye infections in your pet with coconut oil. And it’s also great for removing those rust colored tear stains that are common to certain breeds.
What Coconut Oil is Best to Give My Dog?
I’m glad you asked. Anyone who is a regular visitor to my site knows that a very favorite pet company of mine, whose products I have used extensively and often promote, is Zesty Paws.
So I am recommending Zesty Paws 100% Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
If you are convinced after reading this article, that coconut oil is good for dogs (really really good), and if you think you want to get your canine kid in on all the healthy, nourishing and healing benefits of this amazing gift of our natural world, you can’t go wrong with Zesty Paws. It’s highly rated in customer satisfaction, highly rated by me and especially by my cuddly canines.Be sure to follow the label directions on the back because if your pet is new to coconut oil, you should start at a fraction of the recommended amount and gradually work your dog up to his dosage by weight over a period of two to three weeks. This is to avoid digestive issues such as diarrhea.
Thanks you for visiting My Geriatric Dog and reading my post about how coconut oil is good for dogs. I hope you have enjoyed it and learned a thing or two. If you have any questions or comments please leave them for me in the comment section below. Happy Trails!