We’ve discussed the benefits of coconut oil on Healing Lifestyles & Spas many times (check this out: Miracle of Coconut Oil For Your Beauty Routine) and I’m a big fan. I slather it on my hair and face, swish it in my mouth and ingest it every chance I get!
Since my cat, Desi, has chronic skin and coat issues, I was thrilled to learn that coconut oil could actually be used as natural pet care.
Tropical Traditions’ Coconut Oil for Pets is virtually identical to its Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, except that it has not been completely deodorized and has a “smokey” flavor to it, which pets actually find more appealing. Because of the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties of coconut oil, it is easy to see how coconut oil may be just as beneficial to the fur and skin of cats and dogs as it is to humans. Coconut oil may also help alleviate itchy skin and skin problems associated with fleas, ticks, bites, and other issues, and some believe it can increase your pets metabolism, energy, and vitality.
To use coconut oil on your pets skin, warm it in your hands to liquefy it and give your pet a body massage with it while working it into the skin. You can also put a little liquefied coconut oil on your pets food, or on their favorite treat. Desi tolerated it well both ways and it did seem to improve his coat. His companion, Lucy, however, refused to have anything to do with it regardless of how it was delivered. They don’t call cats finicky for nothing!
So onto man’s best friend. We hopped over to Dog’s Naturally to get the scoop (the dog scoop!) on the health benefits for our furry canines …
Coconut oil consists of more than 90% saturated fats. All fats and oils are composed of triglycerides. Coconut oil is composed primarily of Medium Chain Triglycerides. All triglycerides are made up of individual fat molecules called fatty acids. Coconut oil contains 64% Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs).
Most of coconut oil’s health benefits come from the MCFAs, especially lauric acid.
Lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their antifungal effects.
In addition, the body can efficiently metabolize MCFAs to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss.
In dogs, the MCFAs 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 and president of the Coconut Research Center, 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.
So when you are out stocking up on your coconut oil!