Article by Andrea from Mai Co!
Find out more about Mai Co here: www.shoporganic.co.za/mai-co. Mai Co is also on the Hermanus market every Saturday, pop in and say ‘Hi!’.
Coconut oil is growing a wonderful reputation of being a natural healer and healthy addition to the food we eat. The health benefits are becoming widely recognized for both humans and our beloved pets as it is much healthier than vegetable and animal fats. Research has shown how it reduces the symptoms of many diseases – the results are astounding.
Is it safe for all pets?
Coconut oil is made up of 90% saturated fats, yet most of the fats are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). MCT are an excellent source of energy and are extremely easy for the body to digest and process as they do not require lipase or gall bladder bile to digest. This fact therefore makes it safe for all pets and farm animals to enjoy and use. I have found testimonials where it has been successfully administered to dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats, birds and even pet snakes thank you very much!!
How can coconut oil benefit my pet?
Let’s just say the only thing that coconut oil doesn’t do is make tea! Here is a list of some of the benefits:
• Dry skin
• Hot Spots
• Bites, stings
• Disinfects cuts and wounds while promoting quick healing
• Mange and Ear mites – both do not survive in oily conditions
Skin & Fur:
• Flea Allergies (flea comb dipped in oil and brushed through hair causes flea eggs to bind to comb)
• Itchy skin (Fatty acids remove layers of dry skin causing itchiness and dryness, while strengthening connective tissue that make up the skin)
• Ring Worm
• Improves health and appearance of skin and fur
• Prevents and treats fungal and yeast infection (candida overgrowth)
• Mange and Ear mites – both do not survive in oily conditions (internally & externally)
• Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
• Healing of digestive problems – IBS, constipation
• Bad breath
• Eliminates hairballs in cats and related coughing
• Soothes scratchy throat as a result of grooming
• Expulsion of worms
Immune System, Metabolism and Bones:
• Antioxidant (these attributes help fight against very serious conditions eg: cancer, diabetes)
• Balances and regulates insulin
• Helps reduce weight by assisting normal regulation of thyroid (diabetes control)
• Increases energy
• Aids in health of ligaments
• Helps with Arthritis relief
• Improves brain energy metabolism
• Reduces risk of brain lesions in older animals
How do I administer Coconut Oil to my pet?
I find that dogs love the taste of Coconut Oil which makes it easy to mix in with a little plain yoghurt, or in their food. You may even find that they lick it straight off a spoon. If you have a very busy dog that does not like to be left home alone – a good idea is to fill a “Kong-toy” with treats and plug it closed with coconut oil. This will not only ensure that your dog gets their coconut oil dosage for the day, but will keep them amused for quite a while, as they try to figure out how to get the treats out of the toy!
Cats generally enjoy the taste too – although they have been known to be fussy and maybe less than enthralled with your great new health find. In this case a good idea would be to smear some of the coconut oil on the paws, thereby forcing them to ingest it as they lick it off! However if your Boss (Cats have slaves, dogs have owners) enjoys the taste of the coconut oil – it is simple to add to it their food as well.
For topical applications – it may be a good idea to apply the oil to the wound and then wrap it up with a towel or cloth for a few minutes to allow the oil to absorb into the skin. If you do not do this – your pet may decide to lick it straight off!
How much do I need to give my pet?
Start slow and increase gradually!
Too much too soon may cause digestive and detox issues like lethargy, headaches, flu-like symptoms, fatigue and diarrhea.
Start with: ¼ tsp/day for small dog/puppies and 1tsp for large dogs
If your dog has a sensitive constitution – a dab will do.
(Cut back if your pet seems uncomfortable, tired or has diarrhea.)
Gradually increase amount every few days.
Optimum dose for dogs: 1 tsp / 10 pound body weight (5kg)
1tbls/ 30 pound (15kg)
Optimum dose for cats: 1/2tsp / 5 pound body weight (2.5kg)
(Solid coconut oil is easily melted in a little hot water.)
There is a coconut oil available that does not have any taste or smell, I do not recommend this for pets as the taste and smell is what attracts the pet – and what encourages them to eat it.
If your pet is suffering from a skin or general health issue, or you would like to prevent a problem from occurring later on, I highly recommend Organic Virgin Coconut oil for your whole family….two-legged and four-legged members.