Now, more than ever, coconut oil has begun making its ways into the pantries and dishes of more and more people across the globe. With a list of benefits ranging from clearing up skin conditions, reducing allergies, improving digestion, and even working as a natural alternative to toothpaste, it’s no wonder humans have begun incorporating into their diets.
But what about coconut oil for our pets? It seems the health benefits don’t stop with us. Including coconut oil into your dog’s diet can yield some incredible benefits, many of the same that we humans see, too.
The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs
With an estimated 525 million pet dogs around the world, owners consider their dogs to be family members, and taking care of their dog’s health has become increasingly important. Adding coconut oil into dog’s daily diets is one simple way to do just that.
According to certified nutritionist and naturopathic doctor, Dr. Bruce Fife, coconut oil in dogs can:
- Gently elevate the metabolism
- Provide higher levels of energy and vitality
- Protect from illness
- Disinfect cuts and promote the healing of wounds
- Improve dog’s skin and coats
- Improve digestion
- Reduce allergic reactions
- Reduce arthritic inflammation or ligament issues
- Aid in the elimination of hairballs and coughing
- Reduce or eliminate bad breath
The list of benefits seems never-ending, which begs the question: “How can such a simple oil be so effective?”
So, how does it work?
Coconut oil’s benefits are derived from the MCTs—or Medium Chain Triglycerides—found within it. Lauric acid, the main component of MCTs, boasts antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, while Capric and Caprylic acids, also found in MCTs, are beneficial for their anti-fungal effects.
Thanks to MCT being easily metabolized, the benefits of the acids work swiftly, resulting in a plethora of benefits. This process happens in dogs just as it does with their owners.
According to Dr. Karen Becker, Integrative Veterinarian and Naturopathic Doctor, “MCTs have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup [found in older dogs].” Dr. Becker recommends ¼ teaspoon, twice a day, for every 10 pounds of body weight for your dog. She also recommends gradually increasing the amount of coconut oil every week until meeting the optimum dosage. The question then becomes: how to incorporate coconut oil into your dog’s diet?
Coconut Oil-based Dog Treats
There are numerous ways to include coconut oil into your dog’s diet, but perhaps the most enjoyable way for your dog is through treats.
The coconut oil dog treats from Wellness Mama combine the beneficial properties of MCTs, with healthy, whole foods.
- 2 medium size organic sweet potatoes, cooked and cooled
- ½ cup organic coconut flour
- ¼ cup organic gelatin powder
- ½ cup room temperature organic coconut oil
- 1 free range organic egg
- 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed for texture.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of your ingredients together, ensuring everything is well mixed. If you’re concerned about the consistency, add more coconut flour. Your dough should roughly resemble the consistency of Play Dough.
Form your dough into golf ball sized balls, and then flatten them. Bake them for 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before storing – make sure you use an air-tight container. They keep in the fridge for a few weeks, and months in the freezer!
What Coconut Oil to Use?
With the health benefits of coconut oil clearly outlined, the only question likely remaining is which coconut oil brand is the best to use? Any organic coconut oil you already have at home or that’s sold at the grocery store will do. However, if you’re looking for a more economical coconut oil option for your pet, consider a less expensive, unrefined oil that they’ll be sure to love.