I have been using coconut oil for myself and for my pets for a few years now. I even use it as a baking oil substitute when baking cakes, buckwheat pancakes, breads, etc.. Since it does not rancid in heat, like most other vegetable oils do. it is much more stable to store and has a much longer shelf life than others. Here are some of the health benefits, specifically for pets:
- Increases energy
- Soothes itchy flakey skin
- Aids in digestion
- Balances the thyroid
- Helps with weight loss
- Boosts Immune system
- Helps build strong bones
- Reduces inflammation
Coconut is naturally an anti-fungi, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial agent. When used internally and topically, it has incredible healing properties.
Personally, I find all of those things useful, for several of my fur-babies. (You should see the benefits it has for us two-legged’s.) It is for all of these reasons that I have used Coconut oil for years. I simply add it to my pets feeding routines. Since it is considered extremely safe, you would have a hard time over doing it, but, if you have ever added any type of oil to your pets food before, you know that too much too fast could cause loose stools or dihreaha. To be safe, I would add this to your feeding routine…slowly. Maybe start with a teaspoon and work your way up to a tablespoon or two, depending on the size of your fur-friend, and go from there. As with most things holistic, consistency is key to overall improvement. It is important to know that trying this, or any other natural remedy, for a few days and then giving up, is not how it works. These things take time as they are rebuilding and repairing things that have taken years to break down. Homeopathic remedies are not a quick fix, like prescription medications…they are meant to help the over all health of the body so that it can perform like it was created to perform. Remember, it took years to create theses problems in our bodies, so it only makes sense that it would take time to fix them.
Now, I have to tell you why I choose this subject today; as I shared in a previous post, one of my mares is pregnant, with twins. (You can read all about the complications with horses having twins in that blog.) During a recent visit from my veterinarian, we were able to see the babies through the aid of an ultrasound, which was pretty exciting. We were discussing diet and care when the vet mentioned that I need to add extra fat to Fancy’s diet to increase energy and stamina for her. She recommended corn oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil; personally, I won’t use any of those, so…I asked about coconut oil. She recommended that I look into it to make sure that it is safe for horses, so I did. The two biggest things that I found, besides the fact that it is extremely safe for horses, was that the medium chain trip-glicerides are very close to what “mother milk” has in it, so it is a very suitable addition to feeding infants, baby animals, and growing babies, in utero. The second exciting thing that I found about coconut oil is the fact that it helps to build strong bones, which is why it is so good for pregnant mamas to consume during pregnancy. How exciting is that?! According to one of my vets, one of the biggest problems with twins is that their bones tend to be underdeveloped or they are simply not strong enough. Energy, stamina, and strong bones…YES PLEASE!
For dogs, the benefits that I have personally witnessed, are: reduced shedding, skinnier coats, more energy, less joint stiffness, and a healthier over-all body appearance. The same holds true for my cat, especially the less shedding part. While Esther doesn’t shed quite as much as other cats that I’ve had in the past, I have noticed less shedding when I am giving her coconut oil.
Are all coconut oils made the same? Short answer; no. Some are “blends” and just as the name suggests, they take coconut oil and “blend” it with other oils to make it more “user friendly”. Some of these blends look pretty good until you see the added sugars, gums, etc.. I may be willing to try those for my own consumption, but I wouldn’t give those added ingredients to my pets. Pure coconut oil is definitely my top pick. As far as organic vs. non-organic; several sources claim that since coconuts have such a thick skin, the pesticides used in coconut farming never reaches the meat of the coconut, so buying organic, in this case, is not necessary. Personally, I tend to buy the organic version as it is not that much more expensive and honestly, it is easier to find.
If you have ever used this amazing oil, you may have noticed that it tends to soften and harden quite easily. Since coconut oil is heat sustainable, that is perfectly fine, but for feeding it to out fur-babies, hardened oils can be a bit of a challenge. About half of my dogs will eat chunks of oil in their food, the other half needs it to be melted and mixed in. This is really easy to do, during the warm summer months, but during the winter, it can be a bit of a challenge, especially since I refuse to microwave it, or any of my foods. The hardened state was a challenge when it came to the dogs and cat, but when it came to the horse, who requires about a cup, per feeding, this was a downright issue! So, here’s what I do: every morning, about five minutes before I start my feeding routine, I take my sixteen ounce glass jar of hardened coconut oil, and set it in a pot of water on the stove. I turn it on to boil…now, the water never really gets to the boiling stage as it doesn’t take that long to get everyone’s food ready, but it does melt the coconut oil so that I can measure it, add it, and mix it with in my fur-babies food. (I usually add a teaspoon or two into my coffee too.) I am then also able to take the jar out to the feed shed with me and pour it in Fancy’s grain bucket. She LOVES it!
Where can you get coconut oil? You can get it just about anywhere. I will warn you though that there can be quite a signifiant taste difference between brands. I am not quite sure why this is, but I have tried several different brands and there are some that I simply won’t purchase again. My favorite is my companies coconut oil, which is organic and cold packed…two great things. You can find it here, https://ishoppurium.com/products/tropic-oil-16-oz.(don’t forget to use gift code “LOYALTY” to get $50 off of your first purchase of $75 or more). Not only is this the best tasting coconut oil on the market, but it is certified non-GMO, organic, Kosher, raw, and vegan. My second go-to for coconut oil is Costco; they sell a decent version that is in a large Costco container at a reasonable price. If you have access to Trader Joe’s, they also have a couple of different options. Regardless of where you get it, one thing I know is that you will love the health benefits of this magical fruit, for yourself as well as for your fur-babies.
Many blessings to you and your four-legged-loves ~ Tammy