Coconut Oil Benefits for Dogs
Coconut oil is a great thing to add to your dog’s meals. Unfortunately, the fluffies really don’t like anything coconut-y. I want them to get healthy fats other than salmon or krill oil, so I’m having to get creative.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been melting a small amount of coconut oil and adding it to their meals. Every few days, I increase the amount of coconut oil. I’m hoping to have them up to a full serving soon! It will be great to have another healthy fat to rotate in their diet.
Coconut oil is truly an amazing thing and has been unfairly demonized in the past. I have personally used it to relieve extremely dry skin, clean my teeth, moisturize my hair, and cook my meals. As humans, we can receive so many amazing benefits from coconut oil. Turns out – dogs can too!
Why Is Coconut Oil So Healthy?
Coconut oil is more than 90% saturated fat. Before you freak out about the words “saturated fat”, let me explain. Saturated fat has several subcategories and coconut oil has a very unique composition of fatty acids.
Coconut oil consists almost entirely of medium-chain triglycerides which can be used as a quick source of energy. The fatty acids go from the digestive tract, straight to the liver to be turned into ketone bodies. Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid, which when broken down to monolaurin in the body can kill microbes like bacteria and fungi.
Research has shown that populations who eat a large amount of coconut oil (we’re talking over 50% of their calories) are much healthier than Western nations. Both the Tokelauans and the Kitavans ate a large amount of saturated fat, mostly in the form of coconut oil, and had no traces of cardiovascular disease.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
There are many benefits of coconut oil for dogs that range from skin health to overall vitality.
- Clears eczema
- Reduces allergic reactions
- Helps create a glossy coat
- Prevents yeast and fungal infections
- Wound healing (when applied topically)
- Improved digestion and nutrient absorption
- Helps with IBD
- Reduces bad breath
- Promotes normal thyroid function
- Helps control diabetes
- Aids in arthritis and joint problems
- Helps to increase energy
How Much Should I Give My Dog?
When adding anything new to your dog’s diet, ensure that you start slow. You need to give your dog’s body some time to adjust to the new addition. You’ll know if you transitioned too quickly if your dog starts to exhibit flu-like symptoms and has diarrhea or greasy stools. I recommend starting with less than a teaspoon for giant breed dogs – even less if you dog’s tummy is particularly sensitive.
After the initial adjustment, you can slowly work your dog up to the recommended daily amount. Your dog can have approximately a tablespoon for every 30 pounds. That may seem like a lot for your giant breed, so you can split it up over their meals. I’m working toward 2 tablespoons and each meal for Mauja and Atka
Does your dog get coconut oil? Have you seen any benefits from using it?