Since Jennifer is ALWAYS talking about all the amazing things that you can do with coconut oil (She has even written awesome books on the many uses!), I thought that it would be appropriate to write about the AMAZING health benefits of coconut oil, for your pets! I am not just a mother of a little boy; I am the mommy to a Pit Bull/Australian Cattle Dog named Sirius (NOT after Sirius Black….I DO love Harry Potter…but seriously people…there is a star out in Canis Major that we like to call the “dog star”. It is named Sirius and it is the brightest star in the sky, though it's actually a binary system with two stars, but that is for a later discussion. Hahahaha, I always get a little miffed that no one ever thinks of the stars before they think of Harry Potter). We adopted Sirius when he was just 8 months old, and already pretty big.
Now, at 2 1/2 years, he is 70 lbs. and TOTALLY healthy.
When my family and I started down the “hippy” path, I also went down a more natural path for our pets too. I learned how to make my own dog food, which Sirius is a BIG fan of. In fact, my parents dog, Tess, went from being obese to a healthy weight when she switched from dry bagged dog food to my homemade dog food. Both dogs have benefited from my homemade sprays using essential oils (usually a combination of eucalyptus essential oil and orange oil, with water and witch hazel) to combat fleas and other itchy biting type bugs.
One thing I didn't exactly think about, was using coconut oil for our dogs. I have been adding Nordic Naturals fish oil to Sirius' food bowl every evening (sustainable source of fish oil that doesn't contain any of those worrisome contaminants) but buying an eco-friendly/healthy fish oil can be really expensive. It turns out, I don't have to spend a ton of money on fish oil to give my dog the healthy dose of medium chain fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals the he needs!
Is Coconut Oil Good For Dogs?
As readers of Hybrid Rasta Mama, you guys should be practically experts in the many MANY health benefits that coconut oil provides for us Humans, but did you know that most of those same health benefits pertain to your dog too?
Just as you have been trying to get more coconut oil into your own diet, you should also be feeding it to your dog as well! The many benefits of coconut oil for dogs is still being investigated. There haven't been any trials for it, and most of the evidence lies in the hands of actual loving dog owners and veterinarians who already knew the amazing health benefits that coconut oil gives them personally. When fed regularly, coconut oil has been known to be helpful for
- dog's skin and hair
- digestive tract
- immune systems
- metabolic function
- brain and bone health
The Hippy Homemaker's Top 10 Uses For Coconut Oil and Your Dogs
As always, make sure to check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's diet. For internal uses, it is recommended to start out giving a 1/4 tsp per 10 pounds of dog. You should slowly (over two weeks) transition your dog up to the normal daily recommended amount of 1 tsp. per 10 pounds of dog (or 1 Tbsp. per 30 pounds of dog). If you don't slowly transition your dog up to the normal amount, he/she may experience flu like symptoms for a few days as their body detoxes too fast. There are many uses of coconut oil for your dog, but here are my top 10:
- Skin Allergies, Rashes, Flea Allergies, Candida, and Fungal Infections – By taking internally, daily, and even using externally you can rid your dog of many skin problems such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, fungal infections, and even yeast infections.
- Healthy Great Smelling Coat of Fur – Coconut oil makes dog's coat become sleek and glossy, as well as to help deodorize them from that common doggy odor.
- Improves Digestion and Nutrient Absorption – Coconut oil helps aid in healing digestive disorders (such as inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis), reduces bad breath, and aids in hairballs elimination and coughs.
- Immune System, Metabolic Function – Coconut oil is antibacterial/anti-fungal/antiviral, allowing it to help prevent infection and disease. It also helps to regulate and balance insulin and to help promote normal thyroid function.
- Healing Cuts, Wounds, Bites, Stings, and Hot Spots – When applied topically, coconut oil acts as an amazing antiseptic owie cream! Rub it over any cut, wound, bite, sting, or hot spot 2-3 times a day and watch as it heals much quicker!
- Brain Function and Health – Helps to reduce the amount of brain lesions in older dogs and increases brain function for quicker thinking. Coconut oil is a great source of omega-6 fatty acids, which help to increase fluidity of cell membranes and improve communication between brains cells which in turn helps to support proper brain function.
- Helps Reduce Weight and Increase Energy – This also helps to prevent and control diabetes.
- Helps Moisturize Skin and Rough Paw Pads – If you're pup's paw pads are really dry, cracked, and rough, just massage a bit of coconut onto your dog's paw pads in the evenings before bed!
- Reduces Inflammation and Helps to Reduce Arthritis and Ligament Pain – New research has shown that the causes of arthritis are actually because of bacterial infections that spread to muscles and joints. The bacteria invades the joint tissue and arthritis develops, even after the bacterial infection itself is gone. Taking a normal dosage of coconut oil daily can aid in reducing the pain of arthritis greatly (in humans too!)
- Helps Prevent Parasitic Infestations – Coconut oil has been proven to help aid in defense against many parasites including giardia. Studies have confirmed that the effectiveness of MCFA (Medium Chain Fatty Acids) in demolishing giardia and other protozoa.
Using coconut oil daily in your dog's diet can help to destroy any parasites before they can even establish a hold over the dog's body.
Coconut Oil is Beneficial for Your Kitties too!
Many of our pets at home can benefit from coconut oil, our kitties included! My soul kitty Toki, has bad allergies in one of his eyes, during the spring/summer seasons. His left eye always starts leaking and sometimes after too much of that, it gets a little bit raw and looks painful. Now that I am aware of the benefits of coconut oil, I usually just rub a small dab around his eye and the ENTIRE ALLERGY DISAPPEARS!
The feeding guidelines for cats is the same as dogs, start slowly and gradually increase (1/4 tsp. per 10 pounds of animal at first and increase up to 1 tsp. per pounds of animal) until you have reached the normal recommended daily dosage.