If you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ll know that coconut oil has taken off as an essential personal hygiene product. But did you know that it is also great for your dog? Coconut oil is a safe, natural product full of saturated fat and medium-chain triglycerides which are responsible for a number of great health benefits.
It isn’t difficult to administer, either, unlike some medications. In some cases you can apply it directly to the skin. and in other cases you’ll find it simple to feed to your dog on a spoon, or to mix in with food. Here are our nine favourite ways to incorporate coconut oil into your pet care.
1) Healthy coat. According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, you can work the coconut oil into your dog’s skin with your fingers for a shiny, glossy coat. It’s a great cleanser and its pleasant scent will combat that doggy odour.
2) Repel insects. An added benefit to having rubbed the coconut oil into your dog’s skin is that it repels fleas and ticks. Dogs Naturally Magazinerecommends it a totally non-toxic way to keep the bugs away.
3) Boost the immune system. For this purpose coconut oil can be used topically and taken with food. According to Dogington Post it contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal properties and promotes the fast healing of wounds.
4) Healthy skin. Coconut oil can clear up eczema, contact dermatitis and itchy skin. PetMD explains that it’s also great for clearing up allergic reactions and treating yeast and fungal infections.
5) Ears, eyes and mouth. Topically applied coconut oil can help to clear up ear and eye infections (Dogs Naturally Magazine recommends heating the coconut oil gently until it is in liquid form, and then dropping it into the eyes). It can also be used like a toothpaste to promote good oral health.
6) Eliminate worms. People have been feeding their dogs coconut meat for a long time as a safe, natural way to clear out intestinal worms, but coconut oil is just as effective and easier to procure all year around, aching to Dogs Naturally Magazine.
7) Reduce inflammation. Coconut oil is great for the musculoskeletal system when added to your dog’s food. It eases the inflammation associated with arthritis, which is one of the most common ailments that dogs suffer.
8) Promote healthy metabolism. Coconut oil regulates and balances insulin, helping to prevent or control diabetes. It also promotes normal thyroid function and helps to maintain healthy weight, according to Dogington Post.
9) Improve digestion. Coconut oil increases nutrient absorption, and its anti-inflammatory properties help with colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome, according to PetMD. This can also result in less bad breath.
Coconut oil has been proven to be totally safe and non-toxic for both humans and animals. Even in huge amounts the side effects are minimal; loose bowel movements are the biggest risk. Make sure you use virgin coconut oil, and if you’re worried about the gastrointestinal effects of adding oil to your dog’s diet then it can be a good idea to gradually increase the amount, and mix it in with food to lessen the initial impact. Give it a go!