Coconut oil for a dog's dry skin

Written by nickey ronacher
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Coconut oil for a dog's dry skin
Coconut oil is a natural remedy for a dog's dry skin. (doggy wants to play image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

Coconut oil is an excellent remedy for dogs that suffer from dry and irritated skin. This oil has been praised for centuries by many tropical cultures. Coconut oil has been referred to as a miracle oil because it offers a range of health benefits and treatments for a variety of ailments. The oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and immune boosting properties. Coconut oil will naturally relieve a dog's dry and itchy skin.

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History

The use of coconut oil has been documented dating back to 1500 B.C. Many tropical regions such as Polynesia, Africa, Asia and South and Central America have relied heavily on coconut oil. The coconut fruit offered many culinary uses with its meat, water, milk and oil. Natives also used coconut oil as a natural antibiotic. The coconut palm has been referred to as the "tree which gives all that is necessary for living."

Coconut oil for a dog's dry skin
The benefits of coconut oil have been treasured by many cultures for centuries. (coconut image by citylights from Fotolia.com)

How it Works

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, made up of a medium chain of fatty acids. These fatty acids moisturise the skin and provide it with a barrier of protection. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. The lauric acid is responsible for many of the oil's health benefits. The only other natural source of lauric acid is human breast milk. The lauric acid provides coconut oil with its healing, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Coconut oil for a dog's dry skin
The lauric acid in coconut oil provides many of its benefits. (glass image by Mikhail Olykainen from Fotolia.com)

Coconut Oil as a Dietary Supplement for Dogs

Adding coconut oil to a dog's diet provides an adequate source of healthy saturated fat. The recommended dosage for small dogs that weigh 4.54kg. or less is 1/4 tsp per day for two weeks. The amount may be increased to up to 1 tsp per day, once your dog's stomach has adjusted to the oil. Larger dogs weighing 13.6kg. or more may be administered 1 tbsp per day for two weeks. The dosage may then be gradually increased. Coconut oil will work from the inside out to improve dry skin.

Coconut oil for a dog's dry skin
Feed dogs coconut oil to improve the health of their skin. (dog image by Bube from Fotolia.com)

Coconut Oil Applied Topically

Coconut oil works wonders as a healing salve for a dog's dry skin. When applied directly to the skin, it penetrates into the deeper layers to strengthen and protect the underlying tissues. The oil will reduce skin inflammation, as well as fight infection. To apply topically, start with a handful of the oil and massage it directly into the dry areas of the skin. The rich oil is absorbed quickly. Coconut oil will leave skin soft, healthy and smelling tropical.

Coconut oil for a dog's dry skin
Use coconut oil as a healing and protective topical ointment. (Dog in hands image by yuri4u80 from Fotolia.com)

Tips and Concerns

The highest quality coconut oil is organic extra virgin coconut oil, which has been cold pressed. The cold-pressed method is the best because the oil does not undergo any additional heating. This ensures that all of the vital nutrients and antioxidants are preserved. Coconut oil can be purchased at many vitamin and health food stores. The cost of a 473ml bottle ranges from £3 to £5.

When introducing coconut oil into a dog's diet, it is important to monitor the dog for any signs of discomfort and loose stools.

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