The benefits of coconut oil for dogs and cats
Coconut oil is made from the pulp of the coconut. It is a vegetable fat that is suitable for both internal and external use. Although it has not been scientifically proven, coconut oil could improve the physical health of a dog or cat. Externally, it improves the condition of the skin and coat. It also has an anti-fungal effect and helps in the healing of wounds and infections. In addition, coconut oil promotes good bowel movements and reduces body odors and bad breath. Coconut oil is suitable for dogs and cats, but other animals can also benefit from it.
Where do coconuts come from?
The coconut pulp is used to make coconut oil. Coconuts grow on coconut palms. These trees are found in tropical and subtropical areas such as: Indonesia, India and the Philippines. The palms grow on sandy soil, along the beach. They are resistant to the salty groundwater. Coconut trees like a spot in full sun.
What do coconuts look like?
Coconuts are in green husks, which are removed after harvesting. Then a brown, hairy note emerges. The hard bark on the outside protects the seed in the nut. On the inside of the bark is the fibrous, white pulp, which is used to make coconut oil. Coconut water is inside the coconut. You can drink this. Coconut milk is created when you mix the water with the white flesh.
How is coconut oil made?
Coconut oil is made from copra, the pulp of the coconut. This pulp must dry before it is processed. Then oil is pressed out. There are several ways to make coconut oil, but the most common are refined and virgin coconut oil.
Refined coconut oil
Refined coconut oil is created after processing. First, the pulp is dried at a high temperature. Then oil is pressed out. The oil is refined, bleached and deodorized. The characteristic coconut scent disappears with the help of solvents or steam. Important nutrients are lost through this process. All coconuts are also used, both the good ones and the moldy and rotten nuts. You no longer smell it by deodorizing the oil. Therefore, refined coconut oil is usually of lower quality and cheaper.
Virgin coconut oil
The best coconut oil is cold-pressed and organic. No pesticides have been used with organic coconut oil. It has not been edited and contains no additives. The nutrients are also retained by the cold pressing of coconut fibers.
Liquid or solid coconut oil?
Coconut oil is liquid in its country of origin. In the Netherlands it is usually hard due to the lower temperatures. As soon as the temperature rises above 25 degrees Celsius, the fat becomes liquid. Coconut oil is white in solid form and transparent in liquid form.
Why is coconut oil good for dogs and cats?
Coconut oil is known to be good for your health. It is less known that the beneficial properties of coconut oil also affect animal health. Coconut oil is good for dogs and cats, but horses, pigs and chickens can also benefit from it. The MCTs (medium chain fatty acid chains) in coconut oil have a positive effect on animal health. They stop the growth of many germs.
The saturated fats in coconut oil
Oil and fat consist of fatty acid chains that are short, medium or long. Short and medium (MTC) fatty acid chains digest quickly and easily, long fatty acid chains digest slowly. Many types of fat mainly consist of long fatty acid chains. Coconut oil consists mainly of medium chain fatty acid. In the liver, the MTC fatty acids are converted directly into energy and not into fat. Digestion hardly costs the body any energy. The fatty acids in coconut oil promote metabolism and improve thyroid function.
Lauric acid and caprylic acid
Lauric acid and caprylic acid are the fatty acids in coconut oil that kill parasites, bacteria, fungi and yeast. Parasites are organisms that reproduce at the expense of their host. Examples of parasites are: worms, fleas, lice and ticks. Only pathogens are killed, good bacteria remain alive. This keeps the intestinal flora in balance and improves digestion. This also has a positive effect on the immune system.
The effect of coconut oil when used internally
- It prevents and cures yeast and fungal infections.
- It provides protection against bacteria, viruses, parasites and other pathogens.
- It provides protection against fleas, worms and ticks.
- It reduces bad breath. Coconut oil can be used as a toothpaste.
- It increases resistance.
- It improves digestion.
- It helps with proper bowel movements.
What does coconut oil do for the skin and coat?
- It offers light sun protection, but a factor of four to eight is not enough.
- It makes the coat shine.
- It ensures healthy skin and reduces dry, irritated and itchy skin.
- It reduces body odor in dogs with a smelly coat.
- Dry, cracked soles of the feet soften and heal better if you rub them with coconut oil.
- It disinfects wounds and promotes healing.
Coconut oil for external use
You can also use coconut oil externally to improve the condition of the skin. Then spread a little bit of fat on the affected skin. Coconut oil absorbs quickly into the skin and does not feel greasy, provided you do not use too much. The effect of coconut oil is the same with external use as with internal use.
A dog or cat with coconut oil on its coat is less attractive to fleas and ticks. Coconut oil on the skin is slightly acidic. Fleas and ticks don’t like that. They prefer to choose a different host. Coat the coat before the animal goes outside.
How Much Coconut Oil Can You Give a Pet?
Most animals like coconut oil and eat it that way. You can also do some food. Calculate one teaspoon per ten kilograms of body weight. If you give too much, the dog or cat can develop diarrhea. It is therefore better to start with less in animals with sensitive intestines and increase the amount slowly. Too much coconut oil does not cause any other side effects.
Cardiovascular diseases in animals
People and animals need saturated fats. It transports vitamins in the body, it is necessary for the construction of cells and the proper functioning of the hormones. In animals, the ratio between good and bad cholesterol is better balanced than in humans. Therefore, unlike humans, they have little trouble with clogging veins. Giving coconut oil does not lead to cardiovascular disease in animals. The medium-chain fatty acid chains do not bind to cholesterol.