Coconut oil has been in the press a lot lately - Sarah Wilson I’m looking at you! And with good reason, coconut oil has lots of amazing health benefits for people.
But did you know it’s also great for your dog?
That's because coconut oil is nature’s richest source of medium chain triglycerides (MCT). These are found in lauric acid, which are naturally abundant in coconut oil.
Lauric acid is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which means it's amazing for your dogs immune system. Coconut oil is also easy to digest, even for dogs with gut issues.
Coconut Oil Helps With:
Most commercial coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat (called copra), which is then refined, bleached and deodorised for human consumption. Obviously you want to avoid this if you can! Worse still, coconut oil is sometimes hydrogenated (treated with hydrogen) to make it solid at a higher temperature. This creates trans fats - please, avoid at all costs.
We recommend using organic virgin coconut oil (VCO), which is made from the first pressing of fresh raw coconut without chemicals. The “virgin” part means that it is unrefined.
Using For Skin
A useful way to use coconut oil is as a topical ointment. Coconut oil is great for helping to heal cuts and abrasions, as well as dry noses, feet or elbows. It can also be rubbed into the coat to give relief to skin issues.
A recent study showed that using a commercial soap containing VCO to be an effective treatment against mange. The study concluded that the soap needs to be at least 70% VCO to maximise efficacy. Why not just use coconut oil instead?
If your dog's skin or coat needs help, just rub some coconut oil into it and leave it for 5 minutes or so. Then wash it off - whatever hasn’t already been licked off anyway!
The other way to use coconut oil therapeutically is to include it in your dogs diet, either daily in their food or as a treat. This is how you get the immune boosting benefits, as well as improving your dogs digestion and skin. You can also use it to hide any pills or medication.
How To Feed
The recommended feeding amount is 1 teaspoon per 5kg bodyweight daily. Start feeding smaller amounts initially to avoid stomach upset, try half and work your way up.
As always, please consult your vet before introducing any new foods their the diet.
When buying coconut oil, it really is worth getting organic and minimally processed VCO. While it’s not cheap, it is shelf stable so you can buy in bulk and store in the cupboard until you finish it.
And be sure to eat some yourself, it’s great for dogs and their humans alike!