As more people opt to improve their health through natural supplementation instead of with pharmaceutical products, one question surfaces in the minds of pet owners. Is coconut oil good for dogs too?
Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?
Many holistic veterinarians have embraced the health properties that coconut oil has to offer. Likewise, traditional western veterinarians who emphasize health through nutrition are also promoting its benefits. More veterinarians are now recommending coconut oil for dogs to provide natural relief from arthritis symptoms, to regulate bowel movements, to stave off canine cognitive dysfunction in senior dogs and to relieve the symptoms of allergies.
The primary components of coconut oil’s therapeutic properties are known as medium chain triglycerides. Many people balk when they learn that these medium chain triglycerides are derived from the coconut oil’s saturated fats. However, medium chain triglycerides contain lauric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid and palmitic acid, each of which play a different role in promoting better health for humans and for their dogs.
Coconut Oil and Dogs: The Benefits
Many of the benefits that humans derive from coconut oil are also healthful benefits for dogs, inside and out. When combining coconut oil and dogs, the results include the following:
• Improves digestion and the absorption of nutrients
• Promotes healthy thyroid function
• Aids in regulating healthy insulin levels
• Improves cognitive function
• Improves skin and coat health
• Boosts immunity and helps to fight viral, yeast and bacterial infections
• Promotes healing of minor skin lacerations
• Improves bone and joint health, which in turn promotes mobility
• Increases metabolism for greater energy levels and healthy weight loss
Coconut Oil for Dogs
Coconut oil for dogs can be administered orally, in which case the beneficial fatty acids of the coconut oil go to work to provide the systemic internal benefits. The daily dose of coconut oil can be spooned right onto a dog’s food, and most dogs enjoy the flavor. Your veterinarian will advise a starting dose for your dog. A coconut oil regimen is usually started at a low dose, and gradually increased to a maintenance dose as the dog’s system acclimates to its effects. Be sure to inform your veterinarian of all medications and supplements that your dog is currently taking. Since coconut oil is a source of fat, you should also inform your veterinarian if your dog has experienced pancreatitis in the past.
Coconut oil can also be applied topically to wounds and lacerations. When purchasing coconut oil for your dog, be sure to select the virgin version. Virgin coconut oil is unrefined, which means that it has not been bleached and processed. Unrefined coconut oil does not contain added chemicals, and it retains a higher concentration of the beneficial nutrients than the refined variations. Before you approach the checkout register, consider adding a bottle of coconut dog shampoo to your shopping cart. You can then treat your dog’s skin and coat to a spa bath that will leave your canine pal feeling pampered and smelling like tropical paradise.
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