Coconut oil, when added to a human’s diet, has undoubtedly many benefits but how can it benefit your pets? Coconut oil can be equally good for both cats and dogs when used as a gentle supplement to a nutritious diet.
Coconut oil (also referred to as copra oil) is derived from the coconut fruit, and consists of more than 90 percent saturated fats. It is used extensively not only in cooking but also in a wide variety of organic cosmetic and health products such as hair conditioners and body moisturizers. As saturated fats are not considered healthy, it’s consumption – both for humans or pets – should be carefully regulated. A modest addition of coconut oil to a balanced diet can have numerous benefits.
The many potential benefits of feeding coconut oil to your pets include the following:-
- The most prominent benefits are improved digestion and absorption of nutrients from food, leading to decrease in feces and relief from constipation. Bad breath may also come down.
- Benefits to the skin and fur coat that include reduced severity of eczema or other skin conditions, shiny healthy fur, less prone to itchiness or scratching, and increased tolerance for skin allergies and reduction in skin odor.
- Strengthened immunity and improved resistance to minor illnesses, as well as preventing infections and faster healing of small injuries, scrapes and stings.
- For pets with joint inflammation from arthritis or other similar conditions, improved mobility resulting in better comfort and energy.
- When used in conjunction with other recommended techniques, helps deal with diabetes and aid weight loss.
- Cats will find it easier to pass fur more safely through their intestinal tract, leading to fewer hairballs and lesser difficulty regurgitating the same.
Many other benefits that coconut oil may have for pets are yet to be thoroughly studied, and pet owners are advised to be careful when using this supplement to treat specific problems.
Cause for Caution
Adjustments to your pet’s diet when including any supplement – even coconut oil – can be troublesome, and a quick shift may give rise to digestive troubles such as diarrhea or nausea. Coconut oil can be potent and should be administered gradually. At first, only a tiny amount – a quarter teaspoon or less – should be used. This can then be increased slowly to no more than a full teaspoon in the diet for smaller pets, and 1-2 tablespoons for larger pets.
In addition to its benefits as a dietary supplement, coconut oil may be applied directly to the skin or fur for relief, but it is best to use a small amount or diluted portion of oil. It is always best to consult a veterinarian before introducing your pet to coconut oil, to ensure you and your pet enjoy the benefits without any risk.
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