Marge Says, "Yum! Coconut oil."
My cat Marge was “thumbing” through a health book and discovered her new favorite treat – organic, virgin coconut oil. This isn’t the villainous hydrogenated coconut oil that contains trans-fats. Organic, virgin coconut oil has been the darling of health conscious people for several years and now Marge has discovered it. Not only is it good for people, but pets too. She’s so excited she wanted to share the news with her friends.
Why is it that humans keep all the good stuff to themselves? When is the last time your person shared a fish sandwich or allowed you to use the couch as a scratching post? Allen tells me these things aren’t good for me, but I’m suspicious that he’s just greedy. Well, I discovered a tasty treat that he can’t hog, because it is good for both of us – organic, virgin coconut oil.
Before you begin your campaign to have coconut oil added to your menu there are a few things you should know.
- Do the research. Before adding anything new to your diet educate yourself on the pluses and minus. It’s a good idea to have your person check with your vet too, especially if you have special conditions or take medications. I was able to find good info from Whole Dog Journal, and an article called ‘Crazy About Coconut Oil’ by CJ Puotinen author of The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care.
- Be sure your person buys organic VIRGIN (unrefined) coconut oil. It should say this right on the label. Some coconut oils have been refined, bleached and deodorized. This process can remove all the good stuff and leave behind chemicals. There are several companies that produce organic virgin coconut oil. Allen bought a jar for about $10 at a local health food store.
- There is a long list of potential benefits to adding coconut oil to our diets. I like it because it makes my hair silky. My best attribute some might say. The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral. Coconut oil is purported to help with arthritis, digestion and put a little pep in your step. Although we cats never have this problem, dogs will be happy to know that it is said to improve those oily, stinky coats that often prevent the belly scratching you deserve. It can be used topically to treat minor scrapes and dry itchy skin. Allen puts it on his cuticles after he’s been digging in the dirt.
- Coconut oil tastes great. I like to lick it right off the spoon or it can be melted and poured over dried food.
- The recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. I weigh 15 pounds and take 1.5 teaspoons per day.
- It is important to build up to the maximum dosage. If you are an 80 pound dog, don’t eat 8 teaspoons right off the bat. That can lead to fatigue, headaches and some unpleasant trips to the bathroom. Allen started out giving me just a little taste. I thought he was being stingy, but he increased the amount every few days. Now I eat a teaspoon in the morning and another half teaspoon late in the day.