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Ask Kolchak: We’ve Gone Coco-nutty at Casa de Kolchak

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Ask Kolchak is a new feature where we will do our best to answer your questions about your kibbles, dog food, dog treats and anything we think we can help with. All names have been changed, mostly for our amusement.  Do you have a question for Kolchak? e-mail us at kolchakpuggle (at) gmail (dot) com

Dear Kolchak,

Say, Mom & Dad started using coconut oil, in place of butter, cooking oil and even hair care.  It smells divine!  She even let me lick the spatula when she put some in a tiny jar to use as lip balm. Mom was reading up on all the benefits of coconut oil…as good as, if not better than say fish oils. She is considering giving us coconut oil as a supplement for the dry winter coat itchies.  What is your take on this?  

– Cuckoo for Coconut 

Great question Cuckoo… and excellent timing! We’ve been doing a lot of reading about coconut oil recently. A couple years ago, Felix was getting coconut oil everyday. The Mama changed us to fish oil because we really, really liked the flavour of it, but now, we’re looking to coconut oil again.

If you’ve been hanging around for a while, you might know that the Mama is having an allergic crisis.

She keeps blowing up like a blowfish and she’s got this really cool polka dot skin going on. I think she looks great but she keeps avoiding leaving the house and muttering something about “scaring the villagers”. She’s working to get it under control and that has meant looking at all the products we use in our house and every single thing she eats.

She’s got her eyes on our fish oil.

She’s treating the stuff like Public Enemy #1. She’s got a vicious shell fish allergy and the organic fish oil we use is made at a plant that also produces krill oil. Though it’s a small chance that the product has been cross-contaminated, she has quit taking it – and she’s taking us off it too, at least for now.

We’re going coco-nutty at Casa de Kolchak.

The Mama has always been a fan of using coconut products. We love to use coconut flour & coconut oil in our baking. The Mama frequently oils her hair with coconut oil and she even uses it as a moisturizer on Felix’s fluffy coat. This yummy oil is actually really good for you as a supplement too! We used to get it everyday, but we switched to fish oil a while back, mostly to appease the Daddy. He thinks fish oil is nature’s miracle cure for pretty much everything. He’s like the Daddy in My Big Fat Greek Wedding – “Put some windex on it.” Now that Mama the Blowfish is here, we’re switching back to coconut oil PDQ.

coconut oil is really tasty.

Cool facts about coconut oil.

  • Coconut oil has more than 90% saturated fat. Now normally, we would say saturated fats are not a good thing, but in the case of coconut – they are actually their most impressive feature. A whole lot of the saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). Most of the benefits of coconut come from MCTs.
  • MCTs contain about 40% lauric acid. Lauric acid is good stuff! The lauric acid is believed to have antimicrobial properties, helping to keep yucky bacteria at bay. It’s also believed to have “a more favorable effect on total:HDL cholesterol than any other fatty acid, either saturated or unsaturated.” (HDL Cholesterol is the good kind.)
  • MCTs are easy to digest. If you have a rescue pup suffering from malnutrition or who has trouble with malabsorption, MCTs is a good choice because it doesn’t require energy for absorption, utilization or storage. It can also help some patients with IBD, colitis or dysbiotic problems.
  • On the flip side, MCTs are also good for weight loss. Some studies have shown that they help to burn excess calories and gently boost the metabolism.
  • MCTs can also help to balance the thyroid. This can help overweight dogs lose weight and tired or lazy pups feel energetic.
  • Help for healthy skin. Coconut oil is known for it’s moisturizing properties, making it good for dry skin and other skin conditions, like eczema, atopic dermatitis, flea allergy rashes, and allergic dermatitis. It’s great for dry doggy noses and dry paw pads.
  • Natural antibiotic properties. Coconut oils has been shown to have antifungal, antibiotic & antiviral properties. In fact, the Coconut Research Center suggests that it can kill many common viruses. It’s believed to kill bacteria causing ulcers & UTIs. It’s also good for yeast overgrowth and fungal infections like ringworm.
  • Good for the bones, good for the teeth. Coconut oil helps the body to absorb mineral, like calcium, helping to make your bones and teeth strong. Some also believe that it can help keep your teeth clean.
The not so good:
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides are not generally recommended for those with liver issues with hypertension/high blood pressure. 
  • Since it can help to regulate blood sugar, dogs with diabetes should consult with their veterinarian to monitor blood sugar when starting to use coconut oil.
We’ve gone cuckoo for coconut oil here at Casa de Kolchak.

Don’t just take our word for it. Respected holistic vet, Dr. Karen Becker is also cuckoo for coconut. Here is what she had to say (Check out 2:53 for dosing recommendations.)

Are any of the pups or their peeps out there using coconut oil?

What do you think? We’d love to hear your bark!

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