It seems like every day there are new products on the market or an idea that is floating around as to what can be done to enhance the health and wellbeing of our rabbit dogs. Though it can be hard to weed through and determine what is a legitimate care option versus a fad, there are some things that are worth a try. One example of this is coconut oil, a product making rounds in both human and dog circles in recent years that has been met with rave reviews and testimonials regarding its usefulness.
Coconut oil is an extract that comes from the mature coconuts of the coconut palm. It is edible, which has made it popular in cooking, but it is also used in personal care products and for oral care via a process known as oil pulling. Beyond that, however, it has also been embraced in the canine community for the number of benefits it is said to have when it comes to metabolic function, skin, immune system, and more.
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If you're on the fence about giving coconut oil to your rabbit dogs, here are some of the potential reasons to give it a try:
1. Dogs with allergies or dry skin that itch frequently can be helped by coconut oil's ability to improve the overall health of skin, hydrating skin and brightening dull coats. Additionally, it can speed up the healing of insect bites, hot spots, and other minor wounds. If yeast is a problem, coconut oil can help with that as well.
2. Coconut oil has digestive benefits in that the digestive process becomes more streamlined, allowing for better absorption of nutrients. This equates to getting the most bang for your buck in terms of the food you give your dog having a greater nutritional impact.
3. Dogs that are overweight can benefit from the addition of coconut oil to their diet as it eases joint issues and arthritis, resulting in a more active, mobile dog that is able to move more freely and comfortably both at home and while hunting rabbit.
4. Coconut oil has antiviral agents which go a long way towards helping dogs get over illness such as kennel cough. This is important as even if your own dogs are vaccinated, you may at some point encounter other dogs which are not, exposing your dogs to illness. Ideally the vaccine will be enough to protect your rabbit dogs, but if not, coconut oil can help.
5. Prevention of heart disease and diabetes as said to be aided by coconut oil as is maintaining thyroid function. It is also said to aid in keeping senior minds sharp both in the case of canines and their human companions.
To be on the safe side, it is always best to seek advice from your vet before making major changes to your dog's diet. However, if the coconut oil testimonials prove true, it is something certainly worth trying. Even if you opt to use it in a shampoo instead of feeding, it is still possible to see benefits in dogs with problem skin. Feeding helps with breath but may cause loose stools although this can be fixed by adding canned pumpkin to food. If you wish to feed it, the suggested amount is 1/4 tablespoon per 10 pounds of body weight given twice daily.
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When purchasing coconut oil, the organic virgin variety is the way to go. This product is high in saturated fat and shelf stable for up to six months at room temperature. The temperature at which it is stored will determine consistency and thickness with cooler temps making it thicker whereas warming it can cause it to liquefy, making it easier to add to and evenly distribute within a bowl of dog food.
Is coconut oil something you currently feed to your rabbit dogs? Have you seen any health benefits thus far? Let us know in the comments!