When many of us think of coconut oil, we may think of suntan lotion and exotic islands. Well, we'd be right, but coconut oil, even though it has been around for as long as there have been coconuts, has been underused for many pet and people ailments by the western world.
Some of the best brands of coconut oil are the ones that are cold pressed by hand, in rural villages far away. The use of coconut oil in those villages is mainly used for cooking, but they also use it for skin, hair and for medicinal purposes.
The United States used to use coconut oil in commercial products until the "saturated" and "unsaturated" war broke out. Coconut oil and butter got the short end of the stick in preference for margarines and vegetable oils. and still does to a large extent. Today, coconut oil is usually not even sold in the grocery store, and to find it, one must either order it online or get it in a health food store. It has many health benefits, and once you begin to use it, you may find that you really appreciate the broad applications it has.
There are different brands of coconut oil, and some of them are better than others. Over processing, the source of the oil (whether it comes from dried or fresh coconuts) and the method of extraction all contribute to the grade of oil. Oil from dried coconut is considered by many to be inferior in taste and texture to fresh, so if you look around for different brands, consider cold pressed and fresh. Some brands won't tell you, so stay with those that do. Extra virgin coconut oil is preferable.
Dogs and cats can benefit from the use of this product on their fur and skin. It will add shine and help resolve sores and skin problems due to fleas, ticks, bites and other issues, and very quickly. It also acts as a repellent to these insects.
See some suggestions below that are definitely worth trying on your pet. Also, look online for other uses as a skin softener/healer, as an energy booster (it doesn't metabolize like a fat), as an aid to fibromyalgia sufferers, and many other applications for people as well as pets.
Coconut oil has an anti-microbial action, and is effective on a variety of bacteria and fungi. It is also very soothing and does not sting.
Add coconut oil directly to a pet's food. If it is a cat, use approximately 1/8 tsp. mixed into one can of wet food. If it is for the cat's skin, warm the oil in your hands first to liquify it, and give your cat an all-over body massage, working it down to the skin and especially where there are eruptions or sores from scratching and chewing.
Put about 1 tsp per 40 lbs of (dog) body weight mixed in wet food, or some dogs will take it right off the spoon. See what works. Spread liquified oil on areas that are sore, but be very gentle. If he (she) licks it off, don't be too concerned, just replace it when that happens. If you give it to the dog on a spoon, perhaps there will not be so much interest in licking it off. Also work it through the dogs coat, down to the skin.
Get a flea comb out and run it through her (his) fur after you put the coconut oil on. The fleas will stick to the comb, giving you time to get rid of them before they jump off. Fleas can't move very well in this oil, and that is undoubtedly one reason fleas don't like an animal who has it in their fur. Cats seem ambivalent to it, and when it is mixed into their food, they seem to accept it fairly well as long as it is mixed well with the food. They will also get a bit just licking their fur with it in it.
Find out more online about skin problems and coconut oil for dogs, as the feedback has been remarkable. Learning more about this is very worthwhile. Just put in your search engine, "coconut oil dogs" and you will find loads of information on this. For cats, you may have to dig a bit harder, but there are testimonials on both from people who have tried it and swear by the rapid healing of skin and the flea/tick repellent action of this oil.