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Coconut oil is one of the most popular products in many homes today. Many people use coconut oil for its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties among other nutritional values. Some people even use the oil as a deodorant ingredient, homemade toothpaste, and for skin and hair care. While highly beneficial to humans, coconut oil is equally useful to dogs and other pets as well. This is thanks to the medicinal and nutritional properties that the oil packs. The oil can be used topically to promote the dog’s skin health and hair growth, or added to the dog’s diet for medicinal purposes. Outlined below are some of the health benefits of coconut oil for dogs.
1. Improved Skin Health
Coconut oil has an almost similar effect on the dog’s skin as it does to the human skin. Packed with moisturizing agents, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, coconut oil can help improve a dog’s skin tone and health significantly. Applying the coconut oil on the dog’s coat helps clear out flea allergies, eczema, and clear up itchy skin. Flea bites can be itchy causing the dog to scratch all over, which again leads to loss of fur. Rubbing just a small amount of coconut oil on the affected area, or even adding a few drops of the oil to the pet’s bathing water helps take care of the itchiness for good. In addition to this, the rich hydrating agents leave cells healthy and well moisturized, hence fewer cases of flaking and dryness.
2. Promotes Digestion
Dogs too suffer from indigestion, flatulence, and parasite infestation, especially in the guts. Rich in antimicrobial properties, coconut oil can be used to treat most digestive problems in dogs. One of the main advantages of adding coconut oil to the dog’s food is that it promotes better digestion of foods, as well as boost the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. This is particularly essential if your dog seems thinner than it should. In addition to this, coconut oil helps treat digestive conditions ranging from colitis to irritable bowel syndrome, as well as kick out worms and parasites from the gut. You can also administer coconut oil orally to help freshen its breath as well.
3. Parasite Control
Unknown to many, coconut oil is a handy home remedy for controlling parasites, especially on your pets. While entirely non-toxic, coconut oil helps repel parasites such as ticks, fleas, mites. You can, therefore, rub a small amount of coconut oil on the dog’s coat to help get rid of, and well as repelling parasites. It would, however, be advisable to apply the coconut oil, then take the dog for a walk in the pack. This way, the repelled parasites won’t fall off on your carpets or the house. The oil also repels parasites from other pets in the park from attacking your dog as well. Adding coconut oil to the dog’s bath would also be a great way to control these parasites as well.
4. Promotes the Dog’s Oral Health
Oral health is important for dogs too. While you need to brush your dog’s teeth every once in a while, it is important to ensure its oral health is in top condition to avoid infections. While there are plenty of different types of dog toothpaste out there, coconut oil comes as the perfect home remedy for just that. Coconut oil is rich in antibacterial properties that help kill harmful bacteria in the mouth. Getting rid of bad bacterial plays a huge role in eliminating the risk of oral plaque and other dental diseases. Dogs love the taste of coconut oil too. Scrubbing their teeth with the oil won’t be met with resistance by the dog.
5. Promotes Weight Loss
Obesity is a common issue with pet dogs. Although most people choose to overlook this, obesity is one of the leading causes of stress in dogs. Obese dogs are at a higher risk of developing insulin resistance, diabetes, respiratory difficulties, liver disease, joint problems, and high blood pressure. Coconut oil can, however, be used to help induce weight loss, as well as inhibit weight gain in healthy dogs. This is because coconut oil is rich in nutrients and properties that help balance the thyroid, thus helping with weight loss. Giving the dog some coconut oil is therefore recommended if looking to help it shed some weight.
6. Promotes Brain Functions
Coconut oil packs some of the essential nutrients that support healthy brain cells. Although most dogs are naturally active, most of them need extra stimulation as they get older. Administering coconut oil (orally) to your dog can, however, help keep your dog feeling energetic and responsive for longer. Researchers believe coconut oil promotes increased circulation of blood to the brain cells thus boosting good nerve and brain functions. This is also beneficial for it reduces the risk of dementia in dogs.
7. Gives Your Dog an Energy Boost
As mentioned earlier, coconut oil packs plenty of nutrients and healthy fats that play various purposes in the body. Some of these oils are broken down to produce energy, which the dog can use in challenging activities. In addition to this, coconut oil promotes weight loss by inducing respiration of body fats stored around organs. The process of respiring these fats releases glucose and energy in the bloodstream, making it available for the dog to use whenever needed. This is one of the reasons most people add coconut oil to dog food and especially when they plan walking their dog, or even go for training, field work, herding, or hiking.
From the benefits outlined above, it is evident that coconut oil is a handy remedy for both humans and your pets. Having a bottle of coconut oil somewhere in the kitchen, and using it on your dog will not only promote good health but also make it more agile to even the most strenuous activities and exercises.