Have you heard the buzz about coconut oil? While its popularity has recently exploded for human use, it may also benefit our pooches! Coconut oil is composed primarily of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), also known as good fats. MCTs are metabolized quickly, so they’re a great source of energy. Keeping in mind that you should always talk to your vet before changing your dog’s diet, here are 7 reasons to give coconut oil to your dog.
#1 – It can improve their skin
Coconut oil, especially when used topically, helps improve your dog’s skin and coat. It can help clear up eczema, flea allergies, and itchy skin. It can moisturize dry skin and make your dog’s coat shiny and smooth.
#2 – You can use it for first aid
It can be put on your dog’s skin to help heal cuts, scrapes, hot spots, stings, and bug bites. It can help treat and prevent yeast infections and it has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It may also have antiviral properties, as well.
#3 – It can improve digestion and nutrient absorption
It is important not to give your dog too much coconut oil, however, as it can cause loose stools. A few tablespoons of canned (plain) pumpkin can help solidify watery stools.
#4 – It can improve your dog’s breath
Some people even brush their dog’s teeth with coconut oil. It’s a tasty treat for your dog and can help freshen their breath while caring for their teeth.
#5 – Coconut oil promotes mobility in arthritic dogs
Since coconut oil can improve your dog’s energy and help him lose weight, it’s a great choice to help get dogs back on their feet.
#6 – It has many overall health benefits
It helps regulate insulin, so it can prevent diabetes. It helps to maintain normal thyroid, heart, and brain health too!
#7 – It can eliminate hairballs
While dogs are not as prone to hairballs as cats are, greasing up their insides with coconut oil can help any hair they ingest slide through their digestive tract more easily, helping to prevent hairballs in dogs who are prone to them.
If you plan to add coconut oil to your dog’s diet, you should start slowly (1/4 teaspoon per day for small dogs and puppies, 1 teaspoon for large dogs) and gradually increase his intake. You also want to make sure you’re accounting for the added calories when considering the rest of your dog’s diet.