Coconut Crazy

 What you and your dog need to know about amazing coconut oil.

COCO DOGWe use coconut oil at home for a myriad of things. It has excellent uses both internally and topically. But did you know how beneficial coconut oil can be for your dog?

BENEFITS

For you and your dog, coconut oil when taken internally can:

• Reduces the risk of cancer and other degenerative conditions
• Improves cholesterol levels and helps fight heart disease
• Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
• Heals digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and colitis
• Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and a ntifungal agents that prevent infection and disease
• Relieves arthritis
• Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including thrush and candidiasis
• Prevents and treats viral infections, including herpes, measles, and the flu
• Helps balance the body’s metabolism and hormones
• Promotes normal thyroid function
• Helps prevent or control diabetes
• Rejuvenates the skin and protects against skin cancer, age spots, acne, and other blemishes
• Helps prevent osteoporosis
• Reduces allergic reactions
• Supplies fewer calories than other fats.

When topically applied, coconut oil also does the following:
• Disinfects cuts
• Promotes wound healing
• Improves skin health and hair condition
• Deodorizes whatever it touches (some people brush their teeth with it or use it as an underarm deodorant)
• Clears up warts, moles, psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, precancerous lesions.

All of this is excellent news for people and their dogs, for most of coconut oils human benefits are shared by canines. BONUS! – Dogs love the taste, which makes feeding coconut oil easy and pleasant.

OK, OK you say, you sold me, but what kind should I buy?

If you can, pass on refined coconut oil (often labeled RBD for Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized) is made from copra, or dried coconut meat, then treated to remove impurities. Most RBD coconut oil is inexpensive, bland, and odorless. It doesn’t contain all of the nutrients found in unrefined coconut oil, its fragrance and flavor are different, and in most cases the coconuts used to produce it are of low quality and chemicals like chorine and hexane are used in the refining process.

Instead opt for unrefined or “virgin” coconut oil, which is made from fresh coconuts, has culinary and health experts excited. Pressed by hand using traditional methods or manufactured in state-of-the-art factories, virgin coconut oil retains most of the nutrients found in fresh coconut.

Medium-chain fatty acids Most of coconut oil’s health benefits come from medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also known as medium-chain
triglycerides (MCTs). The lauric acid in coconut oil is used by the body to make the same disease-fighting fatty acid derivative monolaurin that babies make from the lauric acid they get from their mothers’ milk. The monoglyceride monolaurin is the substance that keeps infants from getting viral , bacterial, or protozoal infections.” Coconut oil’s capric and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their antifungal effects. Like lauric acid, capric acid helps balance insulin
levels In addition to protecting the body against infection, medium-chain fatty acids are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In fact, several coconut diet books are now in print. “The energy boost you get from coconut oil is not like the kick you get from caffeine,” says Dr. Fife. “It gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects you from illness, and speeds
healing.

In dogs, the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic. As a bonus, coconut oil improves any dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.” Extensive research on medium-chain fatty acids has documented their health benefits.

So where do I start you say?

Dosing dogs

1 teaspoon (5ml) per 10 pounds (5kg) of body weight, or 1 tablespoon (15ml) per 30 pounds (13.6 kg) of body weight. Start slowly, for example, start at a quarter of this and build up slowly. Use similarly for cats and other animals. Simply heat and place on their food or place a tsp or so in the cupped palm of your hand and let the warmth of your hand melt the oil. Then let your pet lick the oil directly from your hand!  As with all new supplements, start with small amounts, such as 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon per day for small dogs, puppies, cats and kittens and 1 teaspoon for large dogs. Gradually increase the amount every few days.

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