One of the biggest trends in health today is the use of coconut oil. Many people have come to believe that it has a tremendous amount of health benefits for people who consume it regularly. For this reason, it is now also being explored for use in pets. Our dogs are often seen as just another member of the family and so it makes perfect sense that we would want to give them some of this wholesome goodness. The question is if coconut oil is good or bad for dogs.
Are There Any Risks Of Using Coconut Oil For Dogs?
Fortunately, there is little risk with the one exception of allergies. It’s a very small percentage but there are a few dogs as well as people that have an allergy to coconut. If you know or discover that your dog has an allergy to coconut then you should not give them coconut oil. If you find that they do have this allergy then it could mean that they experience diarrhea.
It should be noted that not all vets feel the same about this product. There are some veterinarians that believe it could raise the bad type of cholesterol and lead to other health issues. It also means that a single tablespoon increases the dogs daily caloric intake by 120 calories. The vets that are against the use of this as a healthy product for dogs say that it adds no nutritional value while adding significantly to the dog’s calories.
What Are Some Of The Potential Benefits Of Giving A Dog Coconut Oil?
Antimicrobial Factors May Fight Ticks And Fleas
There is evidence to suggest that this oil has antimicrobial properties that are capable of stopping ectoparasites from infecting them. Things like mites, fleas, and ticks are a problem for some dogs and using coconut oil could be a natural way to help protect them. A couple of studies demonstrated that when this oil was used in a shampoo for the puppies that their wounds healed faster and they were less likely to have ticks and fleas on them. This is believed to be a result of coconuts ability to stop bacterial growth.
Improves The Health Of Your Dog’s Skin
Coconut oil has long been used for improving people’s skin health. In much the same way as it can enhance our own skin it can do similarly for our dogs. It reduces bacteria that can damage the skin as well as reducing inflammation. This can make your dog’s skin healthy and vibrant and keep it youthful looking. It also reduces itchy and dry skin. Coconut oil is very good for helping the skin maintain moisture and this improves elasticity and reduces skin irritation. There’s even some evidence to suggest that it reduces eczema when used topically.
Other solutions for this type of situation are difficult to use because your dog may lick off whatever you applied topically to their skin. With coconut oil, this is not a problem because it’s completely edible for your dog. Using this topically and internally both have its health benefits.
Make Your Dog’s Fur Glow
There are a number of dog owners that swear by coconut oil for making the fur of their dog shinier. It can be applied directly to their skin and fur and in addition to it becoming shinier, it will also be less prone to damage. This protective mechanism that coconut oil has is believed to be from the lauric acid that is in the oil. This fatty acid has a special chemical that makes it very effective at penetrating the shaft of your dog’s hair. The majority of other types of fat are less effective at doing this.
For both humans and their pets, lauric acid in the coconut oil can help hair remain healthier and shinier. You can help to prevent damage to the hair and improve its overall health. If you’re looking for a natural product that will significantly impact your dog’s appearance and particularly its fur, then the use of this oil will be ideal.
How To Give It To Your Dog
In addition to being applied directly to your dog’s skin and fur, it can also be given to your dog in their food up to twice a day. The amount that you’ll want to give is based on the size and weight of your dog but a common recommendation would be one teaspoon per day for small dogs and up to a tablespoon per day for large dogs. Some say that if your dog is overweight you should reduce what you give them but others feel that the fat helps the dog not feel as hungry and may, therefore, reduce their overall appetite.
The most important thing is to start your dog off gently by using smaller amounts. Pay attention to see if you can notice any improvements or at the very least no negative effects. If you find that there’s a rash or diarrhea then you should stop its use until you can speak to a veterinarian. Not all vets will be on board with the use of this oil for your dog but more and more are starting to come around.