Heart-healthy, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing – it’s no wonder there’s been a coconut oil craze, with fans toting benefits that have taken the health and wellness industry by storm!
If you’re as mesmerized as we are by the multifaceted use cases for coconut oil on humans, you’ll be pleased to know that this magical oil can have equal effects on your pup! How, exactly? Keep reading as the Happy Puppy Tips team shares our favorite ways to use coconut oil on canines.
From trail walks in the woods to the asphalt streets of your city, dogs’ paws endure a lot. Offer them some lubrication and protection (especially important to do pre-walk in the winter!) by rubbing in a small amount of coconut oil. Don’t worry if your dog starts to lick the oil off – small amounts of oil are perfectly healthy to consume, and the moisturizing effect will help prevent flaking and irritation of the paws.
Soothe Scrapes and Stings
Cuts and scrapes can be painful, especially for a pup! However, thanks to its natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, coconut oil can be applied as a natural topical antibiotic that can offer some relief while healing and soothing your dog’s wounds.
Additionally, if your dog has the misfortune of being stung by a bee, applying coconut oil to the sting can soothe the pain and offer anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce any associated swelling.
Boost Brain Function
Brain function is especially important for senior dogs, and coconut oil may offer the boost they need to stay spry. Administering one tsp of coconut oil per ten lbs of body weight a day (mix it in with meals) can help improve cognitive function in senior dogs by providing the brain with energy in the form of ketones, which promote good nerve and brain function, along with preventing dementia.
Improve Itchy Skin
Whether it’s allergy season or a case of dermatitis, seeing your dog in a constant state of “itch” is ruff – but coconut oil can help offer some relief.
Coconut oil isn’t just packed with antiviral and antibacterial properties, but also essential vitamins and minerals that, when applied topically, aid in treating skin conditions like allergic reactions, eczema, dermatitis, and irritations.
Keep a jar on hand during allergy season and apply the oil directly to itchy or irritated skin, blotting any excess off with a towel. Keep in mind that coconut oil is a slow-drying oil, so, although harmless, your dog may appear a bit greasy for a few days.
Tastier Teeth Cleaning
With antimicrobial properties, coconut oil serves as natural teeth cleaner for both humans and dogs! When brushing with a teaspoon of coconut oil, the amount of harmful bacteria living in your dog’s mouth is reduced.
Whatsmore, coconut oil helps prevent plaque buildup, which can otherwise lead to painful dental disease. Plus, with a flavor reminiscent of a piña colada on a hot summer’s day, the taste is equally as enjoyable so your pup won’t mind the cleaning as much.
Now, before you head to the pantry and begin slathering your dog in oil, keep in mind that not all coconut oils are created equal. Take the time to research the manufacturer before buying, and only purchase virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil, which guarantees it’s in its most organic state and doesn’t contain any additional (potentially harmful) additives or ingredients.
And, as always, consult with your veterinarian before administering anything new to determine if it’s a good idea for your dog.