Virgin coconut oil has been known to be a good supplement for humans. It has been linked to having benefits like boosting the immune system, aiding in weight loss, working as an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, and improving cognitive skills in patients with Alzheimer’s. It also works as an effective moisturizer and lip balm.
Did you know that coconut oil is not only beneficial to humans but to dogs as well? American Kennel Club gives us the science behind this.
Virgin Coconut Oil: Where It’s From
Coconut oil is produced from the meat of coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. This oil consists of at least 90% saturated fats, and not the bad kind but the “good” fat. This fat, called Medium Chain Tryglycerides (MCTs), is also a source of fuel and energy. Its components include lauric acid, which is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. It also has caprylic acid and many other acids that have various benefits.
So how exactly does coconut oil benefit dogs?
- Lauric Acid – as previously mentioned, this is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. It helps fight off viruses in dogs.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides – this is believed to aid in digestion and can help heal digestive disorders, as well as improve brain energy and mental function in older dogs.
- Coconut oil, in general, reduces coughing and helps eliminate hairballs.
- It also helps treat skin conditions like hot spots, bites, stings, or itchy and dry skin. Shampoos made with organic oils can improve damaged skin and reduce allergens.
- It makes a dog’s coat look glossy and sleek.
- It eliminates dog odor.
- It benefits metabolic function, weight loss, arthritis, and bone health, especially for older dogs.
However, despite all these wonderful benefits, it is important to note that there have been no credible studies proving significant effects in a dog’s health. That is why it is considered to be a supplement and not a treatment for dogs. It is still beneficial because of its natural components whereas most of the drugs used in drug stores are filled with chemicals that may have side effects.
If you plan to give your dog coconut oil, it is advisable to consult with your vet on the dosage. You must start with small amounts and gradually build up. You can also apply it on your dog’s skin about once a week. Have it absorbed for a few minutes and then rinse it off.
But always remember, consult your veterinarian.