You'd have to have been living under a rock not to have heard about the many amazing health benefits of coconut oil. And it's all thanks to the fruit's naturally high levels of lauric acid, a fatty acid that kills bacteria - ensuring its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
Virgin coconut oil is just as beneficial to your dog's skin as it is yours. Picture: iStock
also has proven beauty benefits. Medical and science journals have written about how in its raw organic form coconut oil's fatty-acid structure allows it to penetrate the hair shaft, something that few man-made conditioners can do. It's also brilliantly beneficial for soothing dry and compromised skin, specially dermatitis. And just quietly, it's fantastic as an organic lubricant for sex.
So is it little wonder that coconut oil is now being recognised as a wonder supplement for your dog, cats .... even birds and guinea pigs?
And it's as simple as introducing it to your dog's daily diet as a supplement - working up to about 1 tsp per 5kg of body weight per day. Start with ¼ of this amount to avoid loose stools, then increase gradually until you get to the recommended dose.
And be sure to choose virgin or extra-virgin oil, preferably organic and only product sold in glass (not plastic).
6 reasons to give your dog coconut oil
Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, dermatitis and itchy skin
Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
Makes coats sleek and glossy
Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
Protects against fleas, ticks and mites
Soothes and heals dry cracked pads and elbow calluses
Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
Aids healing of digestive disorders
Reduces bad breath in dogs
Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection and disease
4. Endocrine/metabolic system
Regulates and balances insulin and can help prevent or control diabetes
Promotes normal thyroid function
Increases energy and helps reduce weight
5. Musculoskeletal system
Eases inflammation and can help with arthritis discomfort
6. Brain, eyes, ears and mouth
Promotes good nerve and brain function
Helps clear up ear and eye infections (let it melt and then use as eye drops, and also use topically in the ears)
Improves oral health and can be used to clean teeth