Coconut, Collies and You

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Coconut Oil isn’t necessarily a new thing when it comes to health benefits for us humans, however, there are a slew of reasons you may want to begin considering squeezing in a daily serving or two of it for your beloved pet.

An edible oil extracted from, surprise, a mature coconut from the coconut palm tree, there are several accepted cosmetic and dietary applications thanks to the high saturated fat content. On the plus side, it’s also resistant to going rancid thanks, due in part, to the fact that it is exceptionally slow to oxidize. Really, you could pick some up today and as long as you store it at around 75° F, it’ll keep for a good six months.

But why would you ever consider the benefits it might have for your pooch?

Coconut oil contains a really fantastic type of fat called medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs for short. It is one of those good fats that’s replete with benefits for dogs up to and including assisting metabolic functions that contribute to weight loss, support for their immune systems, helping with digestion, contributing to a healthy thyroid as well as healthy skin and coat.

Dogster, a great resource for dog lovers, has ten solid reasons as well:
1. Coconut oil improves overall skin health, and clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin.
2. Incredibly emollient, coconut oil helps moisturize the driest skin and makes a dog’s coat gleam with health — whether you add it to her diet, her shampoo, or both!
3. Applied topically to the skin, coconut oil promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, bites, and stings.
4. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil help reduce doggy odor, and its pleasantly tropical aroma imparts a delightful scent to a dog’s skin and coat.
5. Coconut oil prevents and treats yeast infections, including candida. Its antiviral agents also help dogs recover quickly from kennel cough.
6. Digestion and nutrient absorption are improved by the addition of coconut oil to a dog’s diet. It can, however, cause stool to loosen; if that happens, just add a few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin to your dog’s diet.
7. Coconut oil reduces — and sometimes eliminates — doggy breath. Some dog lovers even brush their pets’ teeth with the stuff! Which makes sense, as dogs love the taste of coconut oil, and that makes the chore less arduous for brusher and brushee.
8. Like cinnamon, coconut oil helps prevent diabetes by regulating and balancing insulin. It also promotes normal thyroid function, and helps prevent infection and heart disease.
9. Helping to reduce weight and increase energy, coconut oil also promotes mobility in dogs with arthritis and other joint issues.
10. Again like cinnamon, coconut oil is excellent for brain health; it’s being used to stave off dementia in humans, and it’s a must to keep senior dogs’ minds from becoming cloudy.

But how much should you be giving your pet? Well, as with anything, you should aim to start small. Remember, you can always give little Fido or Rex more!
When introducing small dogs or puppies, aim for about ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil per day.
For larger dogs, you can try for 1 teaspoon. But if your pet has a sensitive tummy, use your best judgement and limit it down to what you feel is appropriate.

As always, common sense is going to be the best way to go. If you notice your dog is having a negative reaction in the form of greasy stool or diarrhea, it’s probably a good bet to limit the amount of oil. Hopefully, your canine companion has a great reaction and is able to reap the benefits!

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