Animals and the Healing Power of Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut, and especially coconut oil, is gaining a reputation as a health food and natural healer. People are using it to improve digestion, clear up skin problems, boost energy levels, aid in weight loss, fight off infections, balance blood sugar, and bring improvement to numerous other conditions (see Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut, www.piccadillybooks.com).
Having written seven books on the health aspects of coconut, I am often asked if it can be of benefit to animals as well. My answer is a most definite “Yes!” Virtually every health benefit associated with coconut oil in humans is applicable to animals. In fact, much of what we know about the health aspects of coconut oil was first observed in animals.
Like it or not, scientists often use animals in their research. For instance, we know of coconut oil’s anticancer properties because when researchers feed it to lab animals or apply it on their skin in experimental conditions, they don’t get cancer. We know that coconut oil neutralizes a variety of toxins because animals are protected from these poisons if given the oil. Animal studies also demonstrate how and why coconut oil digests more easily than other oils and how it is converted into energy rather than body fat, which increases energy and stimulates metabolism. The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects of coconut oil have been demonstrated in animals. These studies have also shown that coconut oil is well tolerated, causing the animals no harm, unlike many drugs and other treatments.
So it makes sense that coconut oil can be of great benefit to pet owners. Pets, like humans, suffer from a variety of health problems. Coconut oil offers a simple, inexpensive, and easy remedy to many of these problems. Over the years I’ve heard numerous testimonies from pet owners describing how coconut oil, as well as coconut meat, has been helpful. Coconut oil has shown to be of benefit to all types of animals including dogs and cats as well as horses, cows, and other farm animals. Some of the benefits owners have reported include reduced or elimination of body odor and bad breath; healthier skin and elimination of rashes, itchiness, etc.; coats becoming shiny and healthy looking; improved energy; better digestion; reduction of excess weight; relief from arthritic-like symptoms; cleared-up infections; expulsion of worms; and improved overall health. Applied topically it aids in the healing of cuts, bites, stings, and infections. There have also been some reports of healing from very serious conditions such as poisoning, cancer, and diabetes.
It sounds remarkable and maybe even unbelievable, but you don’t need to take my word for it. You can read for yourself what pet owners are saying. Let me share with you a few of the testimonies. Here you can see for yourself what pet owners are experiencing with coconut oil.
Coconut oil has long been known for it healing effect on the skin when applied topically. Dry, rough, itchy skin becomes smooth and soft within a matter of days. Infections, warts, wounds, and such heal remarkably well with the daily application of coconut oil as the following describe. The most common type of coconut oil used by pet owners is virgin coconut oil (VCO), which is the type sold for human consumption at health food and grocery stores.
“I am very pleased with the great benefits of coconut oil. My horse had these ugly warts on her nose that would not go away. I decided to put some coconut oil on them and everyone thought that I was going nutty. Within 6 days they had all cleared up and I am so happy about it. She loves the smell and the taste of the oil too.” ~ Tanya
“I’m no expert, but I can tell you every skin condition I have used the virgin coconut oil for including my dog's very inflamed itchy skin, it has worked wonders on. It is very soothing to the skin. I think it would be beneficial since it has the antifungal, antiviral properties in it.” ~ Valerie
“Apply virgin coconut oil on the skin and rub gently on sores and flea bites. It works wonders and in a few days the sores and fleas are gone. The dog smells good too.” ~ A.R.G.
“A friend’s cat got his tail caught in a door and she wasn’t sure what to put on the wound (broken skin, bleeding, bruising) to keep it from getting infected. I had just read a description of coconut oil’s topical use on serious cuts, and she happened to have some virgin coconut oil in her cupboard, so she applied it generously. The wound healed fast, even though the cat kept trying to lick the oil off.” ~ C.J.
“We have a hairless Chinese Crested dog that developed skin lesions. I have no idea if they are bacterial, viral, or fungal. My understanding is that VCO has abroad spectrum of activity. Here are pictures (below) of the result of topical application of virgin coconut oil, starting with day 1 and the second picture is of day seven. We continue to apply virgin oil on her skin and we expect that the pigmentation will return soon.” ~ Joey Testa
“My dog had very infected ears complete with swelling and the smell of infection. I started putting the coconut oil right in his ears and within a few days they were greatly improved. His ears are completely healed now.” ~ V.A.
“My dog Katie had a tiny pink lump on her chin. It gradually grew larger so we brought her to the vet, who diagnosed it as folliculitis (a skin infection surrounding hair follicles). He said to wait until it got bigger and he would do surgery to remove it. It grew to the size of a pea and became a very angry reddish pink in color. It was really terrible to look at and right on her pretty face! I didn’t want to put her through the surgery so I decided to try coconut oil after reading about other’s success with skin problems.
“I applied coconut oil daily. Gradually the lump reduced in size and the color became normal. After about two weeks I noticed it had broken and become crusty. I kept applying the oil daily and now a month later it is very tiny and a normal skin color. I really had to look to find it! I’m really happy with the coconut oil.” ~ Bernadette
Coconut oil is not limited to just topical applications; it can be added to the animal’s food where it can work its healing magic throughout the body. In fact, for skin problems applying the oil on the skin as well as eating it enhances recovery time.
“I have a 14 year old Lhaso. For about two years now, she’s had a scabby rash and all she did was lick it and itch 24-7. I was at my wits' end with her, as I tried everything and she still itched. Well, this time last week I thought, what the heck if it’s good for people then it’ll be good for my dog Candy. So I put it in her food daily and rubbed it on that spot. It is totally unbelievable but Candy isn’t itching and the spot seems to be going away.” ~ P.S.
“I can’t believe how quickly coconut oil heals skin problems caused by Valley Fever (fungus). Even dogs that are infected with this fungus respond well with this treatment” ~ M. M.
Pet owners find the most dogs and cats relish the taste of coconut and coconut oil and readily eat it. Many dogs love to eat fresh coconut. A coconut shell with meat makes an enjoyable toy. They chew on the shell, scraping out the meat like chewing on a bone. Like bones, the shell is good for cleaning the dog’s teeth and gives them something to chew.
“I was pleasantly surprised to notice the recreational value of a cut-in-half coconut for my dogs. It meant hours of happy gnawing until the last bit of meat was out of it and lots of fun thereafter as a toy.” ~ I. B.
“My little Maltese dog loves the VCO. Whenever I put it on he will run up and lick my leg, or if I am holding him he will lick my hands. Sometimes I put a little in the dog’s food, and their food is gone in seconds!” ~ A.B.
The most noticeable effects reported by pet owners is the improvement in skin, hair, and odor. Coats become silky and shiny. Body odor and kitty litter order dramatically diminish. Bad breath becomes sweet. Body odor and dull coat are signs of poor health. Coconut oil improves digestion, enhances nutrient absorption, aids in eliminating toxic waste, and kills bacteria that often contribute to foul smells. Here are a few examples of comments pet owners make after giving their animals coconut oil.
“Abby is our Labrador puppy. She smelled a bit “doggy” and had a few itches. She loves the coconut oil—I put a spoonful in my hand and she greedily laps it up, and I rub it on her coat. The doggy smell has disappeared, as have most of the itches. Her coat is glossy and beautiful.” ~ M.A.
“My dog and I both have a slice of whole grain bread smeared with coconut oil every morning. He can’t wait for me to sit down and start eating, because he knows there’s one waiting for him, too. I have to discourage him from wanting to give me a courtesy tongue bath when I use coconut oil as moisturizer. He also loves coconut water. He’s a true coconut aficionado. It does keep his coat shiny, helps his dermatitis, keeps his energy level up even here in Central America where it’s a bit warm for a long haired golden retriever. Helps his shedding, maybe because there is less scratching, but I still think there’s less shedding too. I read sometimes animals shed due to deficient diets.” ~ B.B.
“My Labrador puppy has the most beautiful black coat and no puppy smell. She loves the oil. Each morning she takes her place in the kitchen waiting for me to give her a spoonful in my hand, which she eagerly laps up. Even her favorite treats don’t tempt her away from the oil.” ~ M.R.
“Every night I rub some VCO on my dogs’ teeth and they don’t have bad breath anymore. Their coats are glistening.” ~ B.C.
“I have been feeding coconut oil to my husband’s red tabby, Pumpkin. He was climbing into my lap at the table trying to steal it away, so I started putting half a teaspoon in his dinner. I have gradually increased the amount to 1 teaspoon. Almost immediately, we noticed a difference in odor—his cat box used to smell awful whenever he used it, and now there’s no odor at all. His breath has improved as well.” ~ C.J
“I have two German short hair pointers that are constantly shedding. If you pet them your hand ends up full of hair. My wife is constantly vacuuming hair everywhere. About 3 or 4 weeks ago I started feeding them a spoonful of coconut oil every day. Last night I was noticing how their coat shined and the shedding completely stopped.” ~ Jack D.
“My dogs LOVE coconut oil! One is quite overweight even though they all eat the same diet—including treats. Since starting it, their coats are glossy, more energy, and Cinnamon (handsome collie/chow mix) is actually losing some weight!…I started them on about a teaspoon each. Five of them get 1-2 teaspoons a day—just as a supplement—no health issues.” ~ Debbie
Pet owners describe a variety of health problems that are alleviated with the use of coconut oil.
“I do know that coconut oil has done wonders for my golden retriever who has lots of allergies. His entire stomach area cleared up, he has lot more energy, and he has lost weight!” ~ Maureen W.
“I give all my animals virgin coconut oil on their food. The two most dramatic improvement to their health are:
“Casey is a Chihuahua mix given to me as a gift when she was young. Her hind knees are a bit knobby and the vet said we would have to watch them as she has a loose ligament in them and she may eventually need surgery. She was hesitant to jump up on the couch or bed and we often assisted her by picking her up. Even though she was a young dog she acted much older. I began putting virgin coconut oil on her food and it was no time that she began springing up onto everything! The vet was amazed.
“Belkie is a long haired Chihuahua mix and he was in very poor condition when we rescued him. You could feel every bone in his body, he had several bad teeth that needed pulling and his coat was very coarse. He cowered around and was very sad. After having him about a month and having some dental work done his health and attitude improved. However, I still could not get him to stop itching. He did not have one flea on him, but he still itched! I added virgin coconut oil to his food and in no time he stopped itching and his coat is shiny, soft, and bright. He is the happiest little guy you ever saw!” ~ S.F.
“My large bulldog had severe hip problems. I gave him 2 glucosamine and one coconut capsules every day. He is so much better. I took him walking today for the first time in a long time. We have always had him on glucosamine but we have never had this kind of result.” ~ Deborah
“My nine year old Shar Pei senior dog, suffered from severe arthritis with bad hips and almost non-existent front elbows. The vets suggested I put him to sleep for he needed both front and rear wheels to stay mobile. Being an individual that doesn’t take ‘impossible’ for an answer, I did my own research…After only two weeks of organic extra virgin coconut oil with one tablespoon per 50 pounds, Taz was up and running like a puppy on all four legs. After putting one tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil in the dog’s food daily, Taz was better. It has been over a year, and he’s still truckin’.” ~ Beverly
“I had a goat who contracted what in our area is called ‘udder pox,’ which is a herpes simplex infection of the skin of the udder. It has to basically run its 3 to 6 week course, with chicken pox type lesions erupting on the udder. I used coconut oil on the worst case and it was the only thing that eased it…I began using straight chlorahexidine on the next 2 goats that showed symptoms. This product did not halt the progress of the disease at all, only the VCO helped.” ~ Jill
Even very serious health problems are improved with the use of coconut oil, as the following three accounts show.
“My dogs are older; one, my black lab, has diabetes and cataracts. I give him insulin shots 2 times daily and drops to dissolve his cataracts. He was having trouble getting up and trembled when he walked. Since the coconut oil treatment—2 tablespoons daily on his food—he no longer trembles, walks more than he could before and has lost weight. I have cut back on his food as he doesn’t seem to want his past amount.” ~ T.J.
My neighbor has a female Doberman that they adore. She became very ill and could not stand. Their vet said Dobermans often develop “wobblers” and there was not much they could do. It was degenerative and she may have about a month to live. They were, of course, crushed. I, of course, never gave up and told him to add virgin coconut oil to her food. I sent my neighbor home with a small jar of the precious oil. He was willing to try anything. They were having to force feed her a liquid diet at the time. In 24 hours the dog was up! Over the course of the week she continued to improve. He now puts it in her food daily. She no longer wobbles when she walks and all is right with the world! My neighbor was amazed.” ~ S.F.
“My dog Sadie had worms that I had been fighting off and on for two and a half years. I had spent lots of money on de-wormer between the vet and the pet store. That summer I was so sick of worms that I even tried horse de-wormer on my poor dog, and the worms just came back within two weeks! Then my sister said that coconut oil will kill worms, so I tried it on her, the coconut oil, shredded coconut, and cloves, mixed it up with hamburger, and gave it to all my three dogs. It worked better than any de-wormer I have ever used and Sadie’s puppy, Poppy, who was at the time 7 or 8 months old, had the runs almost her whole life, and was constantly puking, was suddenly all better too!” ~ Colleen
In some cases, coconut oil has the ability to restore health even when an animal appears to be a death’s doorstep.
“About a week after we moved into our new home, our eight-year-old dog, Davis got deathly ill. We actually thought he may have broken his back on the stairs. He would not walk and had to be carried everywhere. The vet was certain that he had hurt his back as well, but on the second day, he started having blisters on his feet and on the back of his body. When he stood up on his feet, they would just bleed. (Just lovely in the new house!) After inconclusive tests, as well as even a spinal tap, they decided to call it an immune disease. Still not sure quite the diagnosis, but he was on death’s bed. After $1500 in tests and medications the vet still was unsure of prognosis and suggested to put him out of his misery. Davis was still unable to walk, but now unable to open one eye and had large half-dollar size lesions all over his back and hind legs.
After making the appointment on Friday to put him to sleep on Monday, I decided to try one last thing over the weekend. I read on the net about coconut oil being good for dog’s immune system. Desperately I tried it, and miraculously about four hours after his first dose, he got up and walked. Within a day, his feet stopped bleeding and he was once again walking over to the food bowl! I am convinced—and just amazed! Funny how after $1500 of tests and meds from the vet, a $15 jar of coconut oil healed him! It has now been two weeks and he is back to normal.” ~ L.H.
While some animals love the taste of coconut oil and will eat it “off the spoon,” some don’t take to it as easily. The best way to give it to your pet is to combine it with food. It can be added to food in either solid or liquid form. For cats and dogs about 1 teaspoon of oil for every 10 pounds of body weight daily has proven to be effective. If your pet has a serious health issue you may want to increase this amount until the problem is resolved. For other types of animals you may need to experiment a bit to get the amount that is most effective. Keep in mind that coconut oil is a food and not a drug. It is not harmful, so even if you overdue it, the worst thing that will happen may be runny stools. If this happens, simply back off on the amount given.
If your pet has never eaten coconut oil, start off slow, maybe half a teaspoon or less for every 10 pounds. If your pet is not accustomed to eating fat, too much may result in diarrhea or greasy stools. If there are no problems after a few days, gradually add more oil.
If your pet has a skin problem, apply coconut oil directly to the affected spot and put additional oil in its food. Skin problems respond more quickly when the oil attacks it from both inside the body and out. Apply the oil topically several times a day. Topical application seems to work with all types of animals.
Coconut oil isn’t the only coconut product good for pets. Fresh coconut meat or shredded coconut is rich in dietary fiber and also contains some oil. Coconut milk and coconut water are other products that your pet may enjoy.
What’s really interesting about all of the accounts reported in this article is that they substantiate the reported healing power of coconut oil that people have observed in themselves. In fact, there are far more accounts with people using coconut oil to improve their health then with animals (see Virgin Coconut Oil: Nature’s Miracle Medicine, www.piccadillybooks.com).
Skeptics who don’t want to believe that coconut oil can be as healthy as it appears claim that testimonies are unreliable. Personal experiences don’t prove a thing, they say. People can overcome just about any health problem simply because they believe the treatment they are using will help them. It is the power of the mind that does the healing, not the treatment. While this is a valid argument, there is one major drawback. It doesn’t work with animals. Animals don’t know that coconut oil in their foods or applied on their skin is going to improve their health. Yet, it works. So obviously there is a power in coconut oil that does bring about improved health for both animals and humans.
Dr. Bruce Fife Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd., www.piccadillybooks.com
Healthy Ways Newsletter Email Edition: Volume 4 Number 3