The Power of the Coconut!
Coconuts are amazing and they have many uses!
Almost every part of the coconut can be used – the oil and the milk being the most popular. Coconut oil is particular has a myriad of benefits associated with it. Such claims include improving health of skin and hair, improving digestion, strengthening the immune system, boosting metabolism and its antibacterial action.
Particularly for dogs, rubbing it into their coats once a week can help to maintain shine and condition. It also smells great! If your dog suffer from eczema, coconut oil can help. The moisturising properties of coconut oil alleviates the symptoms of common skin rashes. A spoonful mixed in with your dog’s food helps to maintain healthy digestion.
It also provides immunological benefits such as antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral action. A spoonful of coconut oil atop a Stuffed Kong provides a great nutritional stopper. For an even trickier treat, pop it into the freezer! It will keep your dog occupied for hours and, the best thing is that it’s great for them too!
The science behind why coconut oil is great for dogs:
- Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) is good fat, the kind that provides an many benefits which include digestion improvement, immune system support, metabolic function that assists with weight loss, skin and coat health and thyroid health.
- Lauric acid (a component of MCT) has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid also have similar properties as lauric acid and are best known for their anti-fungal effects.
- MCTs are metabolized efficiently to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil help to balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic.
Although the benefits of coconut oil are plentiful – be careful not to go overboard with it! Introduce it into your dog’s diet slowly to allow their digestive systems to adjust. Once adjusted, a rough guideline is 1 teaspoon per 4.5kg body weight or 1 tablespoon per 14 kg.