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Benefits of Adding Coconut Oil to Your Pet’s Diet

Updated on July 11, 2015

Adding a few tablespoons of coconut oil to your dog or cat’s daily diet can improve their health tremendously. The oil is great for their skin and will help build their immune system and brain health. Below are just a few benefits of adding this oil into your baby’s food.

Skin Health

Coconut oil improves overall skin health of animals. Adding the oil to their diet will clear up preexisting skin conditions such as eczema, contact dermatitis, rashes, allergies, and itchy skin, as well as prevent conditions from reappearing. Brushing the oil into their fur will ward off fleas. It will sooth dry skin and add a shine to your pet’s coat. Coconut oil reduces and prevents yeast infections and fungal infections, including candida. The antibacterial and antifungal properties in the oil can help reduce pet odors. Applied topically, coconut oil can help heal and prevent infection in cuts, bites, stings, hot spots, and other wounds.

Oral Health

Never use a human toothpaste for your pet as commercial toothpastes will often contain harmful ingredients such as xylitol, which is deadly to dogs. Toothpastes designed for animals will also sometimes contain harmful ingredients such as artificial preservatives, inflammatory substances, carcinogens, and artificial sweeteners. Dogs love the taste of coconut oil and it works well as a healthy, all natural toothpaste that will reduce (and sometimes eliminate!) bad breath. The oil will also promote gum health and reduce harmful bacteria.

Digestion

Coconut oil improves digestion and nutrient absorption. It assists in healing digestion disorders such as inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis. Improved digestion helps to eliminate bad breath in dogs and get rid of hairballs and coughing in cats.

Overall Health

Because coconut oil contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, the oil helps build the immune system, and prevent infection and disease. Its antiviral agents treat yeast infection and help your pup recover quickly from kennel cough. It helps to regulate and balance insulin, which helps to prevent and control diabetes. Adding coconut oil to your pet’s diet can promote joint health and aid in arthritis or ligament problems. It also works as a natural pain killer. Because coconut oil is high in medium chain triglycerides, it assists in weight loss which in turn can increase energy. It promotes normal thyroid function, prevents heart disease, and it promotes overall brain health.

So How Much Oil Should You Give Your Pet?

The general consensus is that you should be feeding pets about one teaspoon for every ten pounds your pet weighs, or one tablespoon for every thirty pounds. Mix the oil into your puppy’s food and they will eat it up. However, don’t start with a full dose of coconut oil on the first day. Begin with a small amount and work your way up to one or two tablespoons a day to let your pet’s body become used to the stuff. Because of the impact coconut oil has on your pet’s digestion, it can sometimes cause stool to loosen. If this happens simply add a few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin to your pet’s diet. Cats sometimes won’t eat the oil straight from their food. Instead, simply dab some oil onto your cat’s paw before or after meals and let her lick it off.

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    • S R Gibby-Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sckylar Gibby-Brown 

      3 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      That's a great idea. Even if she can't ingest it, it is still really good for her skin and coat.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Thanks for the info in this article. While my dog (an aging and ill mini schnauzer) must be on a low-fat diet to prevent reoccurrence of hyperlipidemia and pancreatitis, I'm going to try using it on her skin.

      Voted Up++

      Jaye

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