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6 reasons to give your dog coconut oil

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The health and beauty benefits of coconut oil are well-known for humans. But it's also a wonder tonic for your pets.

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.

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 

1. Skin

  • 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
  • Gets rid of doggy odour
  • 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
  • 2. Digestive system

  • Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Aids healing of digestive disorders 
  • Reduces bad breath in dogs
  • 3. Immune system

  • 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

  • Helps build strong bones
  • 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
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