Adding coconut oil to your pets food can help improve digestion, reduce coughing, help eliminate hair balls, reduce or eliminate body odor and bad breath, and lessen symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. It can also increase energy and reduce overall inflammation such as allergies. Jake and Maggie love coconut oil and take it directly from the spoon but did you know you can smooth it onto your pet's skin? Yes you can!!! The oil will immediately start to melt in your hands so be careful to avoid a mess.
Rubbing the oil into their skin can help minimize red, itchy, dry skin, help with eczema, reduce skin allergies, prevent yeast and fungal infections, clear up contact dermatitis and aid in healing wounds.
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer. If your pet has dry paw pads or nails, apply it to their paws. You can also use it at bath time. First, wash and rinse your pet well. Next, coat your pets entire body in a generous amount of coconut oil. Let it stand for 5 minutes, then shampoo and rinse again.
As for Jake and Maggie, I just give them a teaspoon in the morning as one of their treats after going outside. They even know the words "coconut oil" and they know exactly what drawer the jar is in! Calling your vet who can tell you how much to give based on your pets weight is the best call to make as you don't want to make them sick.
If your dog is overweight, this can contribute to their weight gain. Adding fats, even healthy fats, to fast can cause digestive upset and soft or runny stools. If your pet has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, do not give them coconut oil. Choose unrefined coconut oil, also known as virgin coconut oil. If you can find a coconut oil that is cold-pressed, that is the best. The oil comes from the fruit of the coconut palm tree and is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Because coconut oil contains Lauric acid, it is a strong immune builder both orally and topically. The components of MCTs include lauric acid, which is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral; capric acid and caprylic acid, which are known for their anti-fungal effects; and other acids that are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
I'm so glad I did this post because A) I get to help my friend and B) I never thought about using it at Jake and Maggie's bath time!! C) Cats can tolerate coconut oil as well. This information was provided by one of our vets, Dr. Brown, Wintersville Animal Hospital, Wintersville, OH.