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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We're Cuckoo for Coconut Oil: The Benefits, Plus Featuring A FiveSibes Canine Cooking Corner Recipe!

" I love coconut oil," says Harley.
Yes, we are cuckoo for coconut oil here! We love it so much, we are sharing one of our favorite omelette recipes using coconut oil later on in this post!
 
What do I like about coconut oil? It's a healthy choice ~ one that has many benefits not only for your own hu-family, but it is a great addition to your dog's diet as well. What's so great about adding coconut oil to your pet care? Ah, let me count the ways! To quote DOGS NATURALLY MAGAZINE, the possible benefits include: 

SKIN CONDITIONS*:


  • Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis,and itchy skin
  • Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
  • Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
  • Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
  • Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
  • Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites, and stings

DIGESTION*:


  • Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
  • Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
  • Aids in elimination of hairballs and coughing

iMMUNE SYSTEM, METABOLIC FUNCTION & BONE HEALTH*:


  • Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection and disease
  • Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
  • Helps prevent or control diabetes
  • Helps reduce weight, increases energy
  • Aids in arthritis or ligament problems 
*Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine 

HERE is also another great article from WHOLE DOG JOURNAL that covers the topic of the benefits of using coconut oil for our pets.

“Not only coconut oil is good for your canine, fresh and dried coconut are excellent sources of dietary fiber.”  
~Ken Schlegel & Ralf La Belle, Owners/Bakers,  
House Woof All Natural Dog Biscuits


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Ken Schlegel and Ralf La Belle of House Woof  All Natural Dog Biscuits (formerly House Wolf K9 Dog Biscuits), a branch of the Edelweiss Bakery located in Vermont, also sings the praises of adding coconut oil to a canine’s diet and healthcare. “Not only coconut oil is good for your canine, fresh and dried coconut are excellent sources of dietary fiber.” They do caution to watch the amount of coconut oil given to start. As with introducing anything new, always start off in small increments “while the body adjusts.” Schlegel and La Belle also suggest other coconut themed treats for dogs. “They will also enjoy coconut chips, cream, and spread, just be sure they are ALL natural and contain no preservatives in them.”



"The great thing about someone who is trying to clean up their own or their pet's diet by incorporating organic coconut oil, is that it works down to the cellular level and has a positive effect on overall body health. Benefits seen could include weight loss, improved fungal and candida issues, improved skin disorders such as sunburn, eczema, psoriasis, etc., and improved gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colitis."
~Carrie Andress, .M.S., L.Ac.


 Chloe and Harley greet acupuncturist and nutritional counselor Carrie Andress with some Sibe kisses.

I, personally, am a huge proponent for using and/or incorporating holistic and natural ways of healing in combination with traditional medical/veterinary care, all depending on what it is that I and my Huskies need. So, how did I, personally, start thinking about using coconut oil? Well, first let me start by saying that my  own personal acupuncturist and nutritional counselor, Carrie Andress, M.S., L.Ac. of ANDRESS ACUPUNCTURE, who has been recommending the use of coconut oil for more than 15 years and she says has seen the benefits in both humans and canines. 

Carrie Andress, M.S., L.Ac.
 "A lot of people in today's society have compromised immune systems due to toxins that could be from what is in the air and water; and/or toxins that get built up in the body from stress and food choices. Many people are also on acidic diets, which is detrimental to the body as a whole. We need to amp up more on greens, veggies, fruits (and a great way is by making green smoothies) seeds, and fermented foods products (probiotics), such as coconut kefir and coconut yogurt, as well as grain-like seeds such as quinoa and millet. Benefits of using coconut oil can be used for inflammatory problems, gut issues, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc)." Carrie also touts the benefits of coconut oil for canines. "The great thing about someone who is trying to clean up their own or their pet's diet by incorporating organic coconut oil, is that it works down to cellular level and has a positive effect on overall body health. Benefits seen would could include weight loss, improved fungal and candida issues, improved skin disorders, such as sunburn, eezma, psoriasis, etc., and gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colitis." 

As with any new change in a pet's diet and healthcare plan, please always consult your veterinarian first to be sure that what you want to start your dog on does not interfere with any other medications, health concerns, or treatments.

Recently, our alpha queen, Harley, began having new, frequent bouts of bloody raspberry diarrhea. Quite scary. As emergencies always seem to happen after vet hours, as a journalist and pet mom, I took to the Internet and researched possibilities of what it could be, with all info pointing to something called Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE). I immediately stopped her food intake (she already wasn't really eating) and started her on the bland diet I'm sure we all are pretty familiar; boiled rice with boiled chicken or beef, and I add in a little pure pumpkin puree (which also helps with healthy colon and hydration), and small amounts of organic yogurt. After a few days on this, she bounced back, only to have two more bouts within a couple weeks of each other. Once, okay maybe something fluky triggered it. But twice, three times? No, that's not fluky. That's when alarm bells are going off full throttle. A stool sample came back negative for parasites. Further testing showed that (thankfully) she did not have something as extreme as HGE, but our vet confirmed that she she was indeed experiencing some type of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). She was placed on some medication and special gastrointestinal health kibble, prescribed by my vet. I gradually replaced her regular kibble to the GI health one, still adding home-cooked chicken, rice, and pumpkin. I also began researching other natural additives to help heal her lower intestines, which led me to...coconut oil. 

In addition to potentially helping her gastrointestinal issues, Harley
also has arthritis and a slight rotating tear to her CCL (from all her years of spinning in circles trying to catch her tail), I learned that coconut oil can also help aid in those areas as well. Talk about a  trifecta win! With two other Sibes having ligament, CCL issues, and growing arthritis issues (and knowing at the very least they would have even healthier coats than they already do), I decided to give organic virgin coconut oil a try with all of my FiveSibes. And so, I began my journey with coconut oil for my Sibes. 

And just how is Harley now, you ask? She has had another round of severe irritable bowel symptoms on the heels of going on a needed medication. I have taken her off the meds for now and put her back on gentle food and coconut oil. Two days later, her bowels have returned to normal once again. Yay! I will gradually add her medication back in once her tummy has healed. In the meantime, she is getting a little coconut oil in with her food and quite frankly, for Harley, the improvement was obvious. Not to mention that the sweet smelling coconut also encourages even my pickiest of eaters to nibble at their food!

Don't forget to stop back over here tomorrow to check out our review of an organic virgin coconut oil that we love!
 
A lot of our readers have asked for us to share some of our FiveSibes recipes, so here is one of our Canine Cooking Corner house omelettes using coconut oil called, "FiveSibes Cuckoo-for-Coconut Veggie Kibble Omelette." 






So, yes, we are certainly cuckoo for coconut oil here! And, as always, just another reminder that when introducing something new into your dog's diet or healthcare plan, please always check with your veterinarian first.

Bon(e) Appetit!  



We are joining in the "Tasty Tuesday" Blog Hop hosted by Sugar, the Golden Retriever, and Kol's Notes. Please be sure to pop by and visit these other wonderful blogs for recipes, tips, and all things tasty (for pets and humans)!





6 comments:

  1. Thank you for the reminder--our friend at the shelter recommended I try coconut oil for Daria's skin rash, but I forgot and haven't tried it yet. It sounds like a great thing to have around for puppy skin needs!

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  2. Thank you for the tips. I have a jar of coconut oil in the pantry and now I have a good use for it.

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  3. We love coconut oil here too! And someone like coconut water too...though not me nor Ma.

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  4. Mom keeps hearing good things about coconut oil. We will have to get her to find some for all of us.

    Thanks for sharing so much good info.

    Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

    ReplyDelete
  5. We bought out 100% coconut oil from Trader Joes
    Snorts,
    Lily & Edward

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow how interesting. I didn't know coconut oil had so many benefits for pets!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    ReplyDelete