In the last few years coconut oil has gotten a lot of attention. People have hailed its praises for both humans and animals alike. The health benefit claims range from skin health to cancer prevention. When something gets this must attention, you can't help but wonder is it all true? Can something as simple as coconut oil have all those health benefits? We will try to cover some of the health benefits and let you decide for yourself. We can say we have used coconut oil for various ailments with all types of animals and had success. So let us introduce you to coconut oil and its many benefits.
Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of coconuts which grow on the Coconut Palm (Cocos Nucifera) tree. Coconut palms are found in 80 countries all over the world, mostly in tropical and subtropical areas. Indigenous people have long used coconuts as a source of food as well as for medicinal purposes.
Coconut oil is more than 90% saturated fats with some unsaturated fats thrown in. Most people, when they see the words “saturated fats” think of “bad fats”, so why is coconut oil good for you? Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). According to med.nyu.edu,
“MCTs are fats with an unusual chemical makeup that allows the body to digest them easily. Most fats are broken down in the intestine and remade into a special form that can be transported in the blood. But MCTs are absorbed intact and taken to the liver, where they are used directly for energy. In this sense, they are processed very similarly to carbohydrates.”
This makes the fats in coconut oil easier to process than animal fats and is why it is often used for both weight loss and weight gain. The most abundant component (more than 40
is lauric acid, which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties.
Since most pets like the taste of coconut oil, it's not hard to incorporate it into their diets. We have yet to find a dog that didn't absolutely love the taste of coconut oil. Even finicky cats don't mind it in their food.
Fed to your pets on a regular basis, coconut oil has many benefits:
Skin and Coat
- Can reduce or alleviate allergy symptoms (itching, dry skin etc.)
- Prevents and treats topical yeast and fungal infections
- Improves the health and appearance of the skin and coat
- Supports healing of wounds
Immune System, Bones, Metabolism
- Can alleviate hairballs
- Aids in the absorption of nutrients
- Can eliminate bad breath
- Helps with digestive problems such as colitis, inflammation of the bowels etc.
- Helps with arthritis
- Balances/regulates insulin
- Helps regulate the thyroid
- Increases energy
- Is an antioxidant
- Used to assist with weight loss
- Insect bites/stings
- Dry skin
- Hot spots
Not all coconut oil is created equal. To get the maximum benefits, make sure to get organic, extra virgin, cold pressed and non-GMO coconut oil. We recently were surprised to find coconut oil in Walmart near the other cooking oils. It met the above criteria so that is one place, along with your health food store or online, that you can purchase it.
It's best to give your pet coconut oil with her food, although we have seen dogs and even cats eat it right off the spoon! When introducing coconut oil to your pet, start out slowly and increase to ¼ teaspoon per 10lbs of body weight twice daily. If you prefer once a day the dosage would be ½ teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight once daily.
Introduce coconut oil to your pet today; you will be glad you did.
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