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Coconut Oil for Dogs & Cats

aceite-de-coco


More and more research is proving that coconut oil for pets is awesome and totally healthful. 

It's classed as a super food as it's a rich source of natural energy, medium chain fatty acids for health, low in sugar and is delicious. 

It has so many applications and benefits such as aiding digestion, helping the immune system, has antibacterial properties and helps your pet's skin and coat. It can also be applied as a topical aid for cuts, the list goes on. If you're after specific applications, for your cat or dog see below. 

Here we've given you the low down on coconut oil for pets as we get tonnes of questions on this.

Get yourself familiar with the different types of coconut oil and be cautious when using coconut oil for your cat or dog. 

Remember they're far more sensitive to smells so it's vital you buy a good quality oil that is close to it's natural state. Stay away from using or giving refined coconut oil to your cat or dog as it can be toxic.

The "creme de la creme" of coconut oil for both you and your pet is raw, fair trade, organic and eco-friendly produced coconut oil.


Different types of Coconut Oils

There are four main types you need to get familiar with and know the difference in terms of how they are made, processed and what to use them for.

Firstly, let's separate out organic versus non-organic

Simply put it's the difference between coconuts being grown and treated with pesticides and those grown naturally without the aid of chemicals. 

Generally "coconut farming" is more often than not a "sustainable production" than an "organic production", in that coconuts don't really require a lot of pesticides or herbicides to naturally grow and they're often hand picked not machine farmed so the overall impact on the environment is low.

However, as demand for coconut oil increases so is the opening of large industrial sized coconut farms that require an enormous amount of land, use machines and use chemical fertilizers that leach back into the soil that then impact the surrounding eco-systems. 

There is a lot of organically grown coconut oil on the market that should come from sources "certified organic". The difficulty is a lot of products claim to be "organically grown" but don't necessarily have the certification to back up the claim. Also organically grown coconut oil can come from large industrial run organic farms that waste resources such as water and use non-renewable energy sources that impact local eco-systems, as organic farming doesn't have to follow "eco-farming practices".

The best source of coconut oil you could buy is from farmers that farm both "sustainably" and "organically". 

Aim to buy your oil sourced from small local, rural producers that farm traditionally. Try to select a coconut oil that is labeled for both "organic certified" and "eco-friendly" as this is action that protects the environment and your local farmer.

If your country doesn't grow coconuts then chose coconut oils that come from the nearest country to your location such as Brazil and Columbia for Argentina as opposed to buying in coconut oils from places like Indonesia and Thailand. This helps reduce the amount of fossil fuel used to ship the product, lowers the impact on the environment and reduces the amount of time needed for the oil to go "from farm to store".

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil versus Virgin Coconut Oil

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as an extraction process doesn't really exist, you can have "virgin coconut oil" but not "extra-virgin". 

The difference between extra virgin and virgin is a hangover from Olive Oil whereby when coconut oil was first becoming commercialised it was to try to define the better quality oils from just the normal run of the mill oils. As virgin oils are much closer to nature and purity.

However, the processes and extraction of Olive Oil and Coconut Oil are different and extra virgin is not a process for coconut oil. 

Nowadays if you come across a jar labeled "Extra Virgin Coconut Oil", know that you're paying extra money for quiet literally the word "extra" on the label.

The more important element of coconut oil is to define whether it is "refined" or "unrefined". See below for more of a description but you're looking for an oil that is naturally extracted from the coconut without using heat or chemicals. That the oil retains it's natural anti-oxidants and vitamins and basically has zero flaws. This would be the superfood that Coconut oil is famous for.

Virgin oils can be great for hot and cold uses. You can use it equally well for both cooking and pouring over your salads.

Refined verses Unrefined

This is probably the most important feature to understand about your coconut oil and any oil really.

Refined generally means a low grade oil and has very little nutrition.

Refined is classed as a low grade oil as it's been bleached or heated to a high degree and mechanically extracted. It's basically trying to squeeze out the last drop from whatever is left over from the virgin extractions. 

In most cases It's normally produced from the copra, rather than the meat and liquid inside and has had to have bad flavours and smells removed hence why it is flavourless and has no natural smell. When its first produced it's a brown colour so it has to be chemically bleached to make it white for selling. 

If you're buying refined coconut oil you're losing all the benefits of using coconut oil and you're more likely buying a refined coconut oil that has been "refined" with chemicals. The only thing it would be good for in our opinion is cooking but really, we wouldn't even use it for that. 

The differences between virgin coconut oil and refined are vast, especially if you're looking to apply this both topically and internally. Refined coconut oil has very little if any benefits of real coconut oil as there are virtually no anti-oxidants or vitamins left in the oil itself. 



Raw versus Pressed

There are number of ways coconut oil can be made/extracted. The main types are cold, expeller, centrifuge or raw.

Cold pressed coconut oil is your most common method used by most commercial oils on the market. The oil is made by drying and heating the flakes at a low temperature, before pressing them to extract the oil.  Cold pressed coconut oil will have a strong coconut flavour and has a good to high nutritional value due to it's restricted heat extraction. This oil is good for both eating, cooking and applying topically as it retains a lot of the nutritional benefits of the oil.

Expeller-pressed is made by using a mechanical process and generally uses a higher temperature to extract the coconut oil and this can be done with or without using chemicals or solvents. It has a much milder flavour than the cold pressed oil, is less dense and generally has less nutrition than cold pressed oil due to the higher temperatures used in the extraction process. This method is often used for making refined oils.

Centrifuge coconut oil is made from coconut milk. Basically the meat from the coconut is extracted and soaked in hot water to make coconut milk. Any cream that is produced is skimmed off and any remaining liquid is squeezed through a cheesecloth to produce the milk. The milk is then passed through a centrifuge at high speeds to separate the milk from the oil, which is then filtered to produce "virgin coconut oil".(1) It has a strong coconut taste and high nutrition as it doesn't need to go through any other process of extraction.

Raw extraction is the optimal extraction process a it uses little to no heat, or chemicals throughout the process to produce the oil. Raw coconut oil is pressed from the fresh mature white meat kernel which is why it has such a rich natural white colour and flavour. To consider the oil as raw, the heating process used to help extract the oil is limited to just a few hours and can't exceed temperatures of 45°C. (2)

The main difference between raw and all the other forms of coconut oils, is that "raw coconut oil" is never really exposed to heat, is generally pressed from fresh coconuts or the coconuts are limited to the amount of time they're sitting in a factory before they're processed and the actual number of steps it goes through to get the final product are limited.

Raw coconut oil is better for your health as it retains most of it's natural taste and scent of coconut. It's full of anti-oxidants, nutrients, lauric acid, enzymes that coconut oil is famous for. Anything less than raw means you're losing some of the benefits of the oil whether you're using it to eat, apply to your skin or hair etc.


Choosing a Coconut Oil  

As mentioned at the start the "creme de la creme" of coconut oil is raw, fair trade, organic and eco-friendly produced.

Go for diversity with you oils and everything really, as we all need to live sustainably and transporting coconut oil thousands of miles has a huge impact on our carbon footprint.

It's reported that coconut farmers in Indonesia and the Philippines on average earn US$1 a day. They are considered the poorest of the poor and oftentimes their livelihood is threatened as they try to grow just one-crop rather than diversifying their crops. 

Now consider that by the end of 2019 the world market for just "organic virgin coconut oil" alone, will be worth just over US$1 billion(3) and the average jar of coconut oil in Argentina is AR$600.00 for 500ml. (US$15.00 a jar). How much of that profit do you think is passed onto to the workers and their rights maintained?

Try to avoid products that are mass produced by large companies as they tend to negatively impact local communities through deforestation, industrial farming, low wages for the workers etc. This doesn't just apply to coconut oil, but to everything you buy. Try to consume with mindfulness.


30 Overall Health Benefits of Coconut Oil 

1. Rich in healthy saturated fats or medium chain triglycerides which can help reduce cholesterol.

2. Can be used as a natural energy source that can easily be used by the brain and body so reduces the likelihood of being stored as fat.

3. Helps reduce blood sugar levels.

4. Improves the absorption of calcium and magnesium.

5. It's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so can be applied to cuts and burns.

6. Is a natural anti-oxidant so can help protect from early aging.

7. It's a natural anti-inflammatory so can be taken orally or applied topically to help reduce inflammation

8. Can help with weight loss. Start with simply replacing the milk in your coffee with a spoonful of coconut oil.

9. Can be used to help reduce itchy dry skin and scalps. 

10. Can help condition not only the hair on your head, but beard hair and eyelashes and eyebrows. Works great if you're looking to thicken up your eyelashes or eyebrows. Gently rub a small amount either onto the tips or through to the base. For those pets that suffer from patchy hair loss, it works great for them too.

11. Acts great as a moisturizer. Simple apply directly onto the skin after a shower or before bedtime.

12. You can use it as a natural body scrub by either applying it directly to a natural sponge or exfoliator or combining it with your used ground coffee to help fully exfoliate and nourish the skin.

13. Helps with digestive health so begin adding it to your food or eating it directly like a butter.

14. Helps boost the immune system.

15. Helps increase muscle mass and strength.

16. Can help and prevent yeast infections, growth such as candida.

17. Contains vitamin E which helps in the formation of red blood cells and the body use vitamin K.

19. It can be used directly by the liver to create ketones which is energy directly used by the brain

20. It helps promote heart health as the saturated fats in coconut oil are treated differently by the body than saturated fats from foods such as diary and meat etc.

21. It's create for improving teeth health. Begin by using it like a mouth wash.

22. Can be used as a natural alternative for treating dry chapped lips and the hard skin on the bottom of your feet.

23. Increases the body's absorption of essential vitamins and minerals.

24. Helps with acne due to it's anti-bacterial properties. It can be applied as a light layer directly to the skin.

25. Great for using for cooking, either adding it for baking, applying as a salad dressing or using it as a replacement for olive oil.

26. Can be used to help reduce and clean up UTI's as it acts as a natural antibiotic.

27. Acts as a great natural make-up remover that is totally chemical and toxic free.

28. Can be applied directly under the eyes to help reduce the appearance of bags and fine lines.

29. Can be used as a alternative for shaving cream.

30. Can be applied directly stings and bites.


Please only use a coconut oil that is as close to it's natural state as possible on your pet, for example, Raw or Virgin. Avoid using "refined coconut oil" altogether. This has no health benefit to your pet and in fact can be potentially toxic.


The Top 10 ways to use coconut oil with your cat and dog

1. Depending on the size of your cat or dog, pour a small amount of coconut oil into your hands and then massage this into your pet's fur. It acts as a natural conditioner, reduces odor and helps prevent fleas. You want to aim to do this monthly or bi-monthly depending on your environment. 

2. Feed it to your pets. Raw coconut oil is a great natural anti-inflammatory so works well for your pet for issues such as arthritis, rehabilitation after surgery and even to lose weight or add weight in both cats and dogs. 

Dr. Nick Thompson, our in-house holistic veterinarian in Europe, recommends ¼-½ teaspoon for every 5 kilos of dog's body weight each day. He recommends to start out giving a small amount and building up to their requirement. If your pet's happy to receive it directly, they can lick it from the spoon, your hand or simply mix it with their food.

3. Helps clear up ear mites in your pet. Simply wipe a small amount around the outside line of the ear and put a small amount inside the ear to help clear up the mites or infection. Do this daily until the mites are gone.

4. Can be directly applied topically to bites or small cuts to help reduce itching and inflammation as coconut oil is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

5. Apply a small amount to the pads of your pet's feet (especially dogs) to help keep them smooth and in tip top condition. Dry pads on the bottom of your pet's feet can be extremely painful and once cracked can be prone to infection or make your pet lame. Apply the oil at night so it has time to soak in. If you're pet licks it, leave him to it, it's fine.

6. Apply a small amount of raw coconut oil directly onto your pet's nose to help prevent cracking and prevent all seasons weather damage. Apply at night so there is no chance of your pet burning it's beautiful little nose whilst out in the sun.

7. Apply it to your cat or dog if they have skin issues such as itchiness, dry skin and other skin allergies. It's also great to apply if your pet is scratching a lot as it helps reduce the stress and unease from scratching. 

You can apply a light layer of coconut oil and massage it into the fur and skin, place it directly onto the most sensitive areas or put a small amount of oil onto your pet's grooming brush or comb and comb through their fur . We've found one of the best ways to apply it is to gently comb it through the fur the wrong way first (do this very very lightly if your pet has scabs) and then comb the fur the right way. This allows the oil to penetrate deeper into the skin and hair follicles. You can do this daily until the itching begins to ease. 

8.  If you're not feeding your dog or cat raw bones which are essential to maintaining your pet's oral hygiene, one way to help them have healthy teeth is to mix a small amount of raw coconut oil with a small amount of baking soda to make a natural non-toxic toothpaste to clean their teeth. You'll probably have more luck cleaning your dog's teeth than your cats but it's worth ensuring your pet's oral hygiene to stop infection, reduce plaque and reduce bad breath.

9. If you feed it to your cat or apply it directly to your cat's coat it can help improve the fur of your cat and helps reduce shedding so your cat will be less prone to suffer with coughing up hairballs. It can be mixed into your cat's food or given directly. See number 2 for quantities.

10. Due to the high lauric acid in raw coconut oil it can help kill parasites and harmful bacteria in your cat or dogs gut, help reduce inflammation in the gut and digestive tract. It can also help your pet if they're suffering from liver or pancreatic disease due to it's high Medium Chain Triglycerides. These saturated fats don't need to be processed through the pancreas or gall bladder and are easily converted by the liver into energy. Work directly with you vet to ensure you're giving the correct quantities for poorly pets and that it's monitored.


Coconut oil has so many great benefits but as with everything, don't go overboard with using this for your pet. It's ultimately high in saturated fats so should be included in small amounts as part of a healthy balanced diet.  Check with your vet especially if your pet is poorly and more importantly go for a good quality coconut oil that is as close to it's natural state as possible and never used refined coconut oil for your pet.

NOW, we'd love to hear your feedback so LEAVE A COMMENT and feel free to share this with people you think will love it.


Natural lifestyle, naturally health, naturally thriving!!

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website and articles are based on the opinions of the people at Authentica. The information contained within is not intended to replace that of your qualified vets or intended as medical advice. We are sharing knowledge and information but in no way should this pertain you from seeking proper professional medical/veterinary advice. We encourage you to do your own research and make your own decisions on your pet's health in conjunction with your vet. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of information. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors. Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements and those of your pet. If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to info@authenticapets.com so we can immediately rectify the issue.

Resources

https://ecocult.com/is-coconut-oil-eco-friendly
http://www.cocovit.co/cocovitblog/coconut-oil-101
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=39&v=9Mcgi5Q_J4w
http://www.cocovit.co/cocovitblog
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-101#section8
https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/coconut-oil-on-the-rise-will-this-latest-fad-oil-be-better-for-us/
https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/food-drink/shopping-guide/coconut-oil
https://www.thankyourbody.com/different-types-of-coconut-oil-explained/
https://blog.lucybee.com/coconut-oil/lucy-bee-how-coconut-oil-is-made/ (1, 2)
https://www.statista.com/statistics/875977/organic-virgin-coconut-oil-market-value-worldwide/(3)
https://pandagossips.com/posts/2812
https://www.kimbertonwholefoods.com/decoding-coconut-oil/#.XIUlusD7Spo
https://koko.ph/why-cold-pressed-centrifuged-raw-virgin-coconut-oil/

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Tuesday, July 05 2022

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website and articles are based on the opinions of the people at Authentica. The information contained within is not intended to replace that of your qualified vets or intended as medical advice. We are sharing knowledge and information but in no way should this pertain you from seeking proper professional medical/veterinary advice. We encourage you to do your own research and make your own decisions on your pet's health in conjunction with your vet. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of information. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors. Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements and those of your pet. If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to info@authenticapets.com so we can immediately rectify the issue.

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