Updated: Jun 23
Wondering why coconut oil is such a healthy addition to your dog’s diet? For thousands of years many cultures have relied on coconut oil as both a food source and a medical must have. Here are the Top 7 reasons why it is a must have addition to your dog’s diet - and life!
It all starts with the medium chain fatty acids …
Medium Chain Fatty Acids
There are a lot of different fats you can feed your dog. And those fats carry a variety of health benefits.
Coconut oil is a great way to add to your dog’s diet and take advantage of those benefits. Here’s why.
First of all, coconut oil is made up of a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Together these 3 fats contain an impressive list of fatty acids. Many of these are Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs), including 48% lauric acid, 8% caprylic acid and 7% capric acid, plus myristic and palmitic acids.
Coconut oil also contains about 2% linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and about 6% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acids).
It’s the MCFAs in coconut oil, especially the lauric acid, that give it such a powerful punch when it comes to your dog’s health.
But that’s not all it can do …
Here are just a few of the reasons to feed your dog coconut oil:
#1 It helps with weight loss
Obesity in dogs is a common issue, one that can have some long term health effects. If your dog’s overweight, this puts stress on his body and can lead to:
High blood pressure
Joint problems or osteoarthritis
Diabetes or insulin resistance
Liver disease or dysfunction
Adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet can balance the thyroid and help with weight loss.
Studies show feeding a diet featuring MCFAs will help with weight gain and can potentially decrease the size of fat depots.
Your dog’s body can metabolize MCFAs to get an immediate boost of energy, enhancing athletic performance and helping with weight loss. The energy boost can also help with increased stamina.
#2 It can disinfect cuts and wounds and soothe cracked pads
Studies show that coconut oil has natural antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. This makes it ideal as a natural topical antibiotic and the perfect alternative to those chemical based products out there. Use it to help heal cuts and wounds.
If your dog scratches his ears or chews his paws because of allergies, it’s also really good for soothing and healing these sores too. And since it’s safe to eat, you don’t have to worry about your dog licking it off.
#3 It’s great for the skin and coat
Studies show that coconut oil hydrates the skin and increases skin surface lipid levels. This makes it an effective moisturiser if your dog suffers from dry skin or has dandruff.
And, not only does it hydrate dry skin and help your dog beat the annoying itch that comes with it, it will make his coat sleek and glossy and help combat that ‘stinky dog’ smell. I use it to gently wipe out all those deep folds and wrinkles in breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs and the like. Gentle, soothing cleansing helps to protect that delicate skin.
#4 It helps improve brain function
As your dog gets older, his brain may need a little extra simulation to stay young.
Coconut oil is the answer. It can improve cognitive function in older dogs by providing the brain with energy in the form of ketones, promoting good nerve and brain function and preventing dementia.
#5 It can help improve gut health
If your dog has allergies, yeast may be a big concern, especially in the gut. But you can use coconut oil for dogs with allergies!
In a research study comparing several different oils, coconut oil showed the greatest impact on stopping the growth of yeast in the gut.
It also helps the gut in other ways:
Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
Helps heal digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
#6 It can be used to clean teeth
Searching for a natural toothpaste?
Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil makes the perfect natural teeth cleaner. It helps eliminate the harmful bacteria that live in your dog’s mouth. This can help prevent plaque from forming and avoid dental disease. Best of all, most dogs love the taste so it makes this ‘chore’ less of a pain. Just open his mouth wide and scrub some on your dog’s teeth.
#7 It can repel fleas and ticks
One little known use of coconut oil is to repel insects like fleas and ticks. It smells pleasant and is completely non-toxic. Just rub it into your dog’s coat before going for a walk in the bush to help repel ticks.
Research shows that it can even help naturally eliminate mites that cause mange.
Unlike many over-the-counter products, coconut oil is safe, even if fed in larger amounts. It’s also much less likely to oxidize and become rancid than other fats (including fish oil).
Add it to their food on a daily basis, use it as a topical cleaning and soothing balm. Coconut is really one of nature’s superfoods!
Have a look at our Coconut Oil Cookie range. All are made with coconut flour, coconut oil and the added tastiness of apple and cinnamon, chia seeds activated in coconut milk or a dollop of peanut butter - an awesome treat with the added health benefits of this wonder oil.
Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine, Author Dana Scott.