Coconut oil has been in the media a lot recently so we are frequently asked about it.
First some cautions. Please check with your veterinarian before giving any supplemental oils to your pet if they have: any bleeding disorders or are on medications such as aspirin that can affect bleeding, have diabetes, pancreatitis or problems with diarrhea. As well, be aware that because oils are fat, they are high in calories so you will likely need to reduce the amount of food that you are feeding. Also, high levels of oils can have adverse effects so check with your veterinarian to ensure that you are giving the right amount for your pet and the diet that you are feeding.
Next, in looking at the science, it has been found that within 2-3 months, 25% – 50% of dogs that were given a supplement containing omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA had a significant reduction in their itchiness. Unfortunately coconut oil is not a great source of these, however fish oils are. Even better, adding an antihistamine (ie Benadryl) to the fish oils seemed to be synergistic and improved the results. Therefore, we recommend that you give your dog fish oils instead of coconut oil.
Finally, be aware that supplements are not regulated and independent testing has found that not all supplements contain what they claim to. To be sure that you are getting the supplements that you want, check with your veterinarian or look for products with the Notification Number (or NN) Certification. This is a voluntary certification that companies can undergo with Health Canada that assures you that the manufacturer has met the established standards.
If you have any other questions about supplements or about what is best for your dog, please do not hesitate to stop in or call us at 905-476-5967. 🙂