Although supplements can be a confusing topic for many pet owners, most dog owners have heard of the benefits of feeding fish oils. There are however, a variety of oils that you can also use to your dog’s benefit, each with different actions and benefits.
Coconut oil consists of more than 90% saturated fats, with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). The main component (more than 40%) of MCTs is lauric acid, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. Coconut oil also contains about 2% linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and about 6% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acids).
Most of the coconut oil benefits come from the MCTs. For example, the lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their anti-fungal effects.
In addition, MCTs are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic.
According to Dr. Bruce Fife, certified nutritionist and naturopathic doctor, coconut oil gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects you from illness, and speeds healing. As a bonus, coconut oil improves any dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.
Fed regularly to pets, coconut oil may have multiple benefits:
- Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis,and itchy skin
- Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
- Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
- Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
- Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
- Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
- Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
- Aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
- Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
- Aids in elimination of hairballs and coughing
Immune System, Metabolic Function, Bone Health
- Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection and disease
- Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
- Helps prevent or control diabetes
- Helps reduce weight, increases energy
- Aids in arthritis or ligament problems
Integrative Veterinarian and Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Karen Becker, says “Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older dogs. Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs. I recommend 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily for basic MCT support.”
Why not give coconut oil a try and introduce it to your dog? It offers many benefits for your dog and is a more sustainable and less toxic source of oils than fish.