The use of coconut oil could be very versatile. People use it to for skin and hair treatment, medications for fungus on nails, losing weight and battling diabetes. Its beneficial effects are popular all over the world. Surprisingly enough, it has become famous only recently and there are still experiments going on researching everything this oil can do.
Although most of the advantages of coconut oil utilization have been confirmed through tests done on humans, there’s a trend of using it among dog owners in order for the pets’ coat gleam with healthiness and glamor. On the other hand, some dog parents avoid using it in their pet’s diet because its effects are still unknown. In the next few paragraphs we’ll introduce you to the benefits of the coconut oil for your four-legged friend, proper use and possible risks it has should we not abide by the vets’ advice regarding this product.
How does it benefit your pet?
Skin issues: Coconut oil consists of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), or good fats. Lauric, capric and caprylic acids from the oil have strong anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that will fight off every skin disease, itchiness, and redness. It is even stated by some dog owners that coconut oil reduces ailments such as eczema. The oil is also beneficial for your dog’s coat. The lauric acid from it easily penetrates hair shafts and lubricates the fur from the inside and makes it glossy.
Doggy breath: If you are sure your dog likes the taste of coconut oil then you can use it to brush its teeth with it. The oils antibacterial elements will eliminate the bacteria that cause dog’s bad breath and will leave its mouth clean and healthy longer. All the responsible owners want their dogs’ teeth to be strong for as long as possible so they can enjoy all sorts of food even in the older age!
Digestion: Coconut oil can help your dog to digest food with a minimum strain which is essential in their daily routine. A bit of coconut oil added to your dog’s meal will make constipation go away and it will be able to go back to regular activities in no time! Not only will our dog digest food better but its organism will absorb the nutrients from food faster and in greater amounts.
Energy: The MCT from coconut oil is easily metabolized which is why it gives your dog immediate fuel and energy. This will increase your dog’s athletic performance, help it lose weight and make it feel energetic overall.
Cognitive abilities: Some experiments on humans show that coconut oil prevents and slows down dementia. This can also help senior dogs have a clear mind for the longest time possible.
Diabetes: Nutrients from the coconut oil will help control the sugar in our dog’s blood and possibly prevent diabetes by regulating the action of the thyroid gland.
Possible disadvantages of coconut oil for dogs
Coconut oil generally shouldn’t have any serious side effects on your dog. However, there are some measures you should take before deciding to add the oil to your diet. You should start with really small amounts and see if there are some unwanted reactions that your dog displays. The most common bad side-effects of coconut oil on dogs are diarrhea and greasy stool. As much as it is good for your dog’s skin it could also cause allergies, redness, and itching. Also, this oil is high in calories, which means that your dog can gain some weight if it consumes it too much. Obesity usually means high cholesterol and heart problems at the same time so if you don’t want your dog to die of a sudden heart attack, you better watch out for the dosage!
How to use coconut oil safely?
As we have already mentioned, enriching your dog’s regimen with coconut oil is relatively safe. Bear in mind that its benefits are anecdotal. The experiments proving the merits of coconut oil have been done only in humans, rodents and test tubes, which is why we should be very careful with it. Vets emphasize that we should start our pets slowly when it comes to this oil. The amount you’ll give the dog for the first 2 weeks will depend a lot on its size. Small dogs should not take more than ¼ of a teaspoon and the bigger ones are allowed to take a whole tablespoon per day. If your pet tolerates it well than continue feeding it to it twice a day. Overweight dogs should not consume it more than once a day as the oil is high in calories and will add to the problem. Dogs will accept the oil the best if they’re given it along with their meals. This will keep your dog’s diet varied and nutrient dense.