Coconut oil has become incredibly popular in the past few years as a superfood in our own diets. You may take it as a supplement or use it in entrees or desserts. Dogs and cats can enjoy many of the same health benefits from it, including softer skin, cleaner teeth, and increased energy.
Generally, you can give your pet ¼ teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight per day. You could give them a bit more just a few times per week, or add coconut oil to homemade treat recipes.
Oil Up for Softer Skin and Coat
You can add coconut oil to your dog or cat’s dish to help soften their skin and coat, but it’s even more effective when applied topically. You can certainly massage it into their skin and feed it, just make sure to take into account the coconut oil that your pet will ingest as they inevitably lick some of it off.
Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that make it useful for a wide variety of mild ailments. It can be used to help treat and prevent ear infections, prevent wounds from becoming infected, and to help clear up hot spots. Coconut oil can also be used to reduce hairballs by lubricating your cat’s digestive system. However, you should see a veterinarian if you’re not able to resolve very mild issues with coconut oil.
Coconut Oil for Dental Health
The antibacterial properties of coconut oil make it ideal for naturally killing bacteria that causes bad breath and leads to gingivitis. It’s best used when mixed with baking soda to create a pet-friendly toothpaste, which can be applied with a baby toothbrush, pet toothbrush, or a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.
Is Coconut Oil a Good Source of Omega-3s?
Coconut oil is actually not a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids support cognitive function and reduce inflammation, which can relieve itchy skin and achy joints. Fish oil is a good source of omega-3s, as well as whole fish. Try adding raw or canned, low-sodium sardines packed in water to your pet’s diet.
To boost coconut oil’s inflammation-fighting powers, combine it with ground turmeric to make golden paste for your pets.
Will Coconut Oil Make My Pet Fat?
The fat in coconut oil can be utilized as a healthy energy source, but not if your pet is sedentary or already overweight. It can also trigger pancreatitis, especially if your pet is already prone to it. So, yes, coconut oil can cause your pet to gain unhealthy weight. But if you reduce their portions of commercial foods, especially dry kibbles that tend to be high in carbohydrates, and add fresh foods to their diet, you can try adding small amounts of coconut oil to their meals.
Though coconut oil can have many benefits for some pets, it’s not an essential part of every cat and dog’s diet. It’s just one way to enrich your pet’s meals.
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