18 Reasons This Super Food Should Be Your Pet’s New Best Friend
That’s my little guy, although he’s much bigger now. 🙂
By Jenna Barrington
If you’ve been on the internet the past few months, you know that coconut oil is all the rage these days. The team here at FitLife use it all the time in our cooking, smoothies, granola snacks, skin care and even as a cleaning product around the house.
Turns out the benefits of coconut oil reach not only people but all of our furry friends, too. For example my pup developed a nasty kennel cough; a sort of doggy bronchitis that can take 2-3 weeks to clear up. I started putting coconut oil and apple cider vinegar in his food and within a few days the cough was gone!
Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic and antifungal and contains vitamins and minerals that are vital to the health of your AND your pet. Here are just a few ways to get started:
#1 Dry Skin
Coconut oil is just as effective on your pet’s skin as it is on yours. It is also very safe and chemical/mystery ingredient free. You can apply topically to dry areas or even cover a brush with coconut oil and brush it over their whole body. If they have a lot of fur it may be more effective to use your fingertips to get it down to the skin.
Coconut oil is a safe and natural antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral. Apply it daily to wounds or infections on the skin. If the pet licks it off it won’t hurt them but you can cover or wrap the area if needed. The oil will put a protective layer over the skin from outside germs and threats.
#3 Bug Bites and Stings
Apply coconut oil directly to bug bites and stings to provide cooling relief to the skin as well as lessen itchiness. Coconut oil is full of healing properties and may help your pet recover faster.
Papillomavirus is a very contagious condition that can cause warts on the inside and outside of your pet’s mouth. The warts look like cauliflower and, if large enough can make it difficult for your pet to eat and drink. Coconut oil has natural antiviral and pain-relieving properties that may help the body get rid of the warts and soothe any pain. Apply coconut oil topically to the warts or simple mix a spoonful in with your pets foods. Most animals will eat it right up.
#5 Shiny Coat
Add a spoonful (depending on the size of your pet) of coconut oil to your pet’s daily diet to help their coat look shiny, soft and bright. Coconut oil is a healthy fat and will nourish your pet’s skin and fur. You can also use it to remove tear stains.
#6 Joint Pain
Feeding your pet coconut oil may help with joint pain. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties and also provides the body with healthy fats. Eating coconut oil has been shown to help speed the metabolism and may help your dog maintain a healthy weight, which is also important when dealing with arthritic pain.
#7 Brain Boost
Coconut oil has brain boosting properties. These apply to your pet too! Healthy fats are vital to brain development and to maintaining brain health and function. Dr. Karen Becker, a well known veterinarian, says that the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil help brain metabolism and are important for decreasing amyloid protein buildup that can result in brain lesions in senior dogs.
#8 Heart Health
Heart health is a concern for many owners of older pets. Adding coconut oil to their diet can help promote healthy thyroid function and may help prevent heart disease. The fats in coconut oil raise GOOD cholesterol levels and also help to prevent insulin spikes.
#9 Mouth Health
Rub coconut oil on the teeth and gums to help your animal have a healthy mouth. Doing this regularly can help prevent bacteria and fungus as well as protect
#10 Upset Stomach
If your pet throws up or seems to have lost their appetite, try feeding them a spoonful of coconut oil. Most pets will readily eat it up and it may help to sooth their stomach while also providing them with needed nutrients and fats after being sick. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties will help rid the body of whatever may be upsetting their digestive system.
#11 Lice/ Fleas
Mix coconut oil and apple cider vinegar to effectively treat lice and fleas. Melt some coconut oil and mix 50/50 with vinegar in a spray bottle and apply to your pets fur daily, as well as their bed and anywhere that they spend a lot of time.
Because coconut oil is beneficial to the thyroid it can help your pet maintain healthy weight. The structure of coconut oil makes it a quick energy source and also very nourishing to the thyroid and other glands in the adrenal system. Feed a spoonful with their food daily for boosted thyroid health.
#13 Immune System Boost
The lauric acid in coconut oil combined with oregano essential oil has been shown to be even more effective in helping rid the body of staph bacteria than antibiotics. Coconut oil is 40% lauric- making it the richest source available. There is also some evidence pointing to lauric acid as an aid in fighting cancer. Feed your pet a little coconut oil daily to help keep their immune system healthy and strong.
#14 Energy Boost
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are absorbed quickly by the body and converted to energy. When you are about to go out with your dog for a run or a long hike give them a spoonful of coconut oil to help them feel ready for adventure. This may also help dogs who are feeling lethargic or sluggish.
#15 Hairballs and Coughing
There are few things less revolting and gag-inducing as a hairball in the middle of the floor. Although many people believe that hairballs are a normal part of a cat’s life, they actually are not. Indoor cats tend to hack up hairballs due to over grooming themselves or because of a weak or moisture-deficient digestive system. Coconut oil will help condition their coat, strengthen their digestive system and provide needed moisture. For cats 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil a day should be sufficient.
#16 Bad Breath
Many pet owners claim that a daily dose of coconut oil in their dog’s food helps eliminate bad breath.
#17 Digestive Disorders
Many vets are beginning to recommend giving coconut oil to pets daily for digestive system health. Coconut oil provides healthy fats, may speed metabolism, and has antibacterial and antiviral properties to help rid the system of unwanted bugs. It can also help to soothe an upset stomach and provides moisture to help the digestive process run smoothly.
#18 Fungus and Yeast Infections
Coconut oil has a lot of beneficial properties to help with yeast and fungal infections. The most potent being lauric acid and caprylic acid. These are both powerful in killing fungus and yeast infections inside the digestive tract or outside of the body. Feed your pet coconut oil daily and if applicable apply topically to affected areas.
How else have you used coconut oil with your pets? Do you have any other great natural remedies we should know about? I’d love to hear from you.
Jenna Barrington is studying Therapeutic Nutrition and Holistic Medicine and aspires to be a practitioner, teacher and writer. She is passionate about education and helping others take control of their health.
Jenna lives with her husband in Utah and loves writing, cooking, green smoothies, training her dog, Japanese, spending time at the ocean, bungee jumping, walking barefoot in the grass and being with her family.
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