Have you been looking for a natural way to improve your pet’s health? Try coconut oil. The oil has been credited with improving a variety of human health problems, ranging from poor digestion to kidney stones. It not only makes your skin look softer and smoother, but can also prevent tooth decay and improve your “good” cholesterol level. Coconut oil offers many of the same types of benefits for your pets.
How Does Coconut Oil Improve Health?
Coconut oil contains saturated fats, called medium chain triglycerides, that provide anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial benefits when taken orally. The oil also improves metabolism, which can be helpful in weight loss, and reduces healing time for infections and injuries.
How Will Coconut Oil Help My Pet?
Coconut oil offers a variety of benefits for pets. It can:
- Treat a variety of fungal and yeast infections
- Decrease brain lesions that develop as pets age
- Improve wound healing and the condition of your pet’s coat when applied to the skin
- Reduce hairballs in cats and constipation in both dogs and cats
- Protect the paws from road salt when applied to paw pads
- Offer a protective barrier to prevent allergens from collecting on your pet’s paws
- Relieve itchy skin caused by flea bites, eczema or contact dermatitis
- Improve thyroid function
- Moisturize the skin
- Relieve discomfort caused by hot spots when applied to the skin
- Decrease digestive problems and improve the absorption of nutrients
- Reduce allergic reactions
- Keeps skin folds free of bacteria
- Improve bad breath
- Relieve the symptoms of arthritis
- Help reduce the painful symptoms of colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Treat gingivitis (gum inflammation) when rubbed on the gums
- Prevent diabetes by balancing insulin
- Increase your pet’s energy level
- Coat pills, making them easier to swallow
How Much Coconut Oil Should I Give My Pet?
Your pet only needs a small amount of coconut oil to enjoy the health benefits. Generally, small dogs should receive 1/4 teaspoon daily, while larger dogs should be given 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on their size. Just 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon is plenty for cats. Many pets like the taste of coconut oil and will gladly eat food coated in the oil. If your cat prefers food without any additives, coax it to lick the oil from your finger instead. Before you decide on a dosage, ask your pet’s veterinarian for a recommendation.
For best results, feed your pet virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil. Since coconut oil is a saturated fat, it can cause weight gain if you give too much to your pet. High amounts of coconut oil can also cause diarrhea. Coconut oil should be avoided if your pet has had pancreatitis in the past, as ingesting the oil could cause a flare up.
Are you interested in learning if coconut oil or other natural supplements are good choices for your pets? Call us and schedule an appointment to discuss the ways you can help your pet enjoy good health.
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PetMD: Coconut Oil
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