There are not many health products that can hold up to the hype but coconut oil is one of them and both you and your dog or cat can benefit from this tropical super fruit.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat but unlike butter, cream and some animal meats, coconut oil contains about 64% medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides (MCT) and unlike the other saturated fats coconut oil will not raise your heart disease risk.

Actually coconut oil and dark chocolate (another healthy food in the news) both contain steric acid. In addition, Coconut Oil contains lauric acid (the only other abundant source is breast milk) as well as capric and caprylic acid. So it’s been proven to be a healthy saturated fat with numerous health benefits whether it’s ingested or used topically.

Here’s a short list of some of the benefits of coconut oil:

Anti Viral

Anti Bacterial

Anti Parasitic

Anti Fungal

Used Internally:

Supports a healthy immune system

Normalizes the blood lipids and protects the liver from toxins

It plays a role in preventing kidney and gall bladder disease

Used in the prevention and management of diabetes by improving blood sugar levels and aids in insulin control

Counteracts the effects of dementia and supports brain health in senior dogs

Believed to strengthen mineral absorption for healthy teeth and bones

Reduces and sometimes eliminates doggy breath – you can even brush your pet’s teeth with coconut oil

Helps in weight management, energy production and join support

Improve the appearance of the skin and coat – moisturizes and conditions plus eliminates odor, bacteria, yeast infections both internally and applied topically

Can also aid in digestion and in controlling hair balls in cats

Used Topically:

Aids in managing eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy, dry skin

Use as balm for hot spots, cuts, burns and other wounds plus insect bites and stings. It’s also great for helping dry and cracked paw pads

Walnut coconut milkWhat to Use:

Coconut Oil is definitely one of those products that you want to go organic and unrefined. According to the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community Standards, only coconut “obtained from the fresh and mature kernel of coconut by mechanical or natural means with or without the application of heat, which does not lead to the alteration of the oil”. Look for Virgin Coconut Oil in the store. Don’t look necessarily for Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as the “Extra” is just a marketing term and is meaningless to the quality of the oil. Avoid non-organic coconut oil as this is bleached, refined and deodorized and should be avoided at all times.

How to Get Started:

First and foremost, start slowly. Coconut Oil can be rich for your pet’s system. If you give too much too soon then your pet could experience some detox symptoms like lethargy, fatigue and diarrhea.

It’s easiest if you use the liquid coconut oil rather than right out of the jar. It has a very low temperature that it melts at so only a few seconds in the microwave will liquefy it. When it’s cooler, then mix with your pet’s food.

Some pet foods at Four Muddy Paws like the raw Primal Pet Foods and Cocolicious Canned Diets already have the coconut oil in the food.  Now! Fresh Foods from Petcurean Pet Foods uses coconut oil as it’s fat source. Also look for coconut treats and coconut oil from CocoTherapy.

Start with ¼ tsp per 10 lbs body weight per meal (2 meals per day) for basic coconut oil support when taken internally.

Start slowly and you can work up to 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight or 1 tbls for every 30 lbs of body weight.

If you notice loose stools, then you can reduce the amount of coconut oil your giving and add a little pumpkin to their diet.

So give this tropical oil a try both in your own kitchen and bath plus for your pet.  Over time you’ll both appreciate the significant health benefits of coconut oil.