Coconut oil has proven to be very useful to us humans. It has become quite trendy in recent years and can be found on the shelves in almost every food store. A number of us use this edible oil for culinary purposes. For some others, it is the secret to their radiant skin.
In similar manner, coconut oil can benefit dogs. If you're one person that is on about the health and welfare of his dog, then you should know how coconut oil can be beneficial to your dog and which oil to use. Coconut oil generally comes in two forms- the refined and the unrefined or virgin oil. Both are extracted from the meat of the coconut but one is healthier.
The unrefined coconut oil holds the benefits
The unrefined oil, also known as virgin oil, is the healthiest for your dog. It is made without chemicals or heat through the quick dry or wet mill methods. Both methods end up with almost identical looking and tasting oil. This oil, which is extracted from fresh coconut meat, has a higher nutritional value and more coconut flavor than the refined version.
The refined coconut oil usually tagged 'RBD' is extracted from dried coconut meat as opposed to fresh. It is usually neutral tasting and looking because it has been deodorized and bleached. The refining process brings about a loss in some of its good nutrients. It usually involves chemicals like hexane and chlorine which tamper with its organic property.
Coconut oil of good quality should have a colorless, liquid appearance. Sometimes, the oil can appear solid when it is below a temperature of 75oF. In this solid state, good unrefined oil should not have any residue or color. It should be whitish and may be referred to as coconut butter.
Below are the surprising ways coconut oil benefits your dog:
1. Treat and improve skin condition
The use of coconut oil as a remedy for skin condition is a very common practice. When good quality oil is used as a topical rub, it can reduce symptoms of conditions like eczema, chronic itching and contact dermatitis and flea allergy. Coconut oil versatility makes it ideal for inflammatory related irritation. So, instead of watching your dog scratch her body all day, use this oil to soothe her itchiness.
Even when your dog doesn't have a skin condition, try to give her a special spa treatment with this oil and watch as her skin transforms. This is especially good for dogs with little fur and dry skin. Coconut oil is a good moisturizer and helps keep the skin hydrated.
Because of the natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of coconut oil, it can serve as a good antibiotic and even disinfectant. Use this oil on wounds to improve healing conditions.
In cold areas and times, you will notice your dog's paw pads all cracked up and rough. Don't hesitate to use coconut oil to improve her condition.
2. Improve dog's coat or fur
Coconut oil specially contains lauric acid. This enables it to specifically penetrate and lubricate hair shaft.
Using coconut oil topically will definitely improve your dog's skin quality but when you feed her regularly with good quality coconut oil, you sort of upgrade the look of her coat and skin from the inside. A skin that was once itchy and dry suddenly becomes soft, shiny and less prone to damage.
So, you can put this edible oil on your dog's food and watch her coat transform from cracked and dry to sleek and glossy. You can also use the oil to massage your dog's fur.
3. Get rid of doggy odor and breath
Coconut oil gets rid of doggy odor so that your dog smells nice or neutral. This is especially good for indoor dogs, so that you don't have to worry about their smell.
One teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pound of dog is the recommended dose for dog’s oral care. Coconut oil can serve as a mouthwash to combat offensive mouth odor that escapes from your dog's mouth sometimes. All you need to do is get it into her diet.
Feeding your dog this oil shouldn't be difficult. Most dogs like the taste, so it can be used as a dog’s toothpaste. Apart from helping to keep your dog's breath fresh, it will also reduce microbial activity in her mouth.
4. Coconut oil improves immunity
Since immunity is all about fighting and preventing disease and infection, coconut oil works effectively for this purpose. Caprylic acid and lauric acid in coconut oil helps to fight off bacteria and fungi.
When you add this oil on tour dog’s diet, it helps to improve her overall health and boosts her immunity. You'd just notice she has stayed healthy for a long time.
Take note that as a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent, coconut oil can be used against measles and flu. It also helps to reduce fungal overgrowth like candidiasis and thrush. More so, you can use this oil to improve arthritic conditions in dogs. If you notice your dog with signs of kennel cough, you can use this essential oil to pacify the symptoms.
5. Control and manage diabetes
Coconut oil can help manage a diabetic dog in different ways. First, this oil helps to balance and normalize insulin metabolism so that sugar is normally metabolized. It also helps with weight control as it has normalizing effect on thyroid hormones, which is beneficial for diabetes. While it is high in calories, it is important to allow your dog sufficient playtime to ensure weight control.
6. Improve digestion and reduce inflammatory bowel syndrome
Coconut oil contains high levels of medium chain fatty acids or MCTs. This type of fat is considered to be healthy; they are easily metabolized; and would rather be used up than stored. This helps in reducing occurrence of colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. Because this type of fat aids digestion and helps in the absorption of other food substances and vitamins, it enhances the overall health of your dog's gastrointestinal tract.
7. Repels ectoparasites
A lot of outdoor dogs suffer from infestation by fleas and ticks when they have cuts and wounds. Use coconut oil as a topical rub and also include in your dog's diet to repel parasitic insects that may infect his skin.
If your dog refuses pills, coating it with coconut oil will help him take it with ease. It almost seems like you can use this oil for anything, to improve your dog's health. Nevertheless, it will always be a good idea to contact your vet first before including a supplement to your dog's diet.