Maximizing the Benefits of Coconut Oil Against Your Dog’s Fleas
Dogs are man’s best friends and any pet owner knows only too well that their cuddle and touch can give you comfort. However, you do not always want to hug your dog if the odor it gives off isn’t great, or worse, if your dog has fleas.
This is even more annoying if you have done your best to groom your dog by bathing it regularly, visiting grooming salons, buying the best grooming products, and placing it in a clean environment. However sometimes even these efforts are not enough to save your dog from unwanted parasites. You may have even tried different remedies and medicines to cure your dog as well, only too see these not work either.
You may be be shocked to know that the best cure for fleas is just around the corner, in grocery stores, or in your kitchen’s drawer. You do not need to splash out for expensive medicines because all you need is virgin coconut oil.
What Can Coconut Oil Be Used for?
Coconut has a variety of uses, from the tree, to its leaves, fruit, juice, meat, and its oil. However, many of its uses are only beginning to become widely used having grown from a product that was often only used in villages for cooking or medicinal purposes, mostly for the skin and hair. Currently, the many uses of coconut oil have received acceptance because of the discoveries within tropical countries in Asia which has spread quickly across the world.
What makes coconut oil an effective remedy against fleas? You are probably asking, well coconut oil has many health benefits. But first, you have to take note of the many kinds of coconut oil sold today. The kind of coconut oil you use for your dogs must be suitable, edible, and safe.
Generally, coconut oils have physical, chemical, and medicinal properties. Coconut oils, like other oils, are colorless. Coconut oils are made up of different saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Acids with saturated fats include Lauric acid (45% to 52%), Myristic acid (16% to 21%), Caprylic acid (5% to 10%), Capric acid (4% to 8%), Caproic acid (0.5% to 1%), Palmitic acid (7% to 10%), traces of Palmitoleic acid, and Stearic acid (2% to 4%). Acids with unsaturated fats include Oleic acid (5% to 8%), Linoleic acid (1% to 3%), and Linolenic acid (up to 0.2%). They also contain vitamin E for healthy skin and silky, smooth hair. Their moisture depends on the extraction and refining process it underwent.
Coconut oils contain acids which become antioxidants. These antioxidants have health benefits and medicinal functions. Internally, coconut oils increase your body’s metabolism leading to faster weight loss, increase good cholesterol levels, decrease bad cholesterol levels, cure digestive disorders such as ulcer and renal infections, improve blood circulation, prevent tumors, protect bodies from cancer, help combat HIV infection, aid in insulin secretion, and help in the body absorption of glucose and fat-soluble vitamins.
Externally, coconut oils help the skin by preventing dandruff, curing bruises, healing small cuts, reducing inflammation from rashes, and slowing down the effects of ageing such as hair whitening and loss, skin sagging, skin cracking, and macular degeneration. They also contain anti-fungal and antimicrobial agents against diseases such as rashes, Athlete’s foot, itches, dermatitis, ring worms, round worms, tape worms, and Candida. Their saturated fats are also sources of energy.
Coconut oils vary based on the quality of coconuts used, extraction methods, kind and amount of heat used, and processing methods. These factors affect their composition of vitamins, moisture, nutrients and fatty acids. This brings down to coconut oil’s two classifications: refined coconut oil and virgin coconut oil.
Refined coconut oils are more known as RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized) coconut oils. RBD coconut oils start from copra, where coconuts are being dried through smoking or sun drying. After drying, coconuts are removed from their shell. These dried coconuts are still inedible, so bleaching is done to remove impurities, while steaming is used to get rid of the odor of the oils. RBD coconut oils are still beneficial since they maintain all their medium chain fatty acids, even if they underwent refining process. These oils usually contain other organic particles and suspensions of protein.
RBD coconut oils are also classified in different types. First are the expeller-pressed coconut oils or the ones refined without the use of solvent extracts. These coconut oils are usually made in tropical countries. Second are the massed produced coconut oils which used solvent extracts. Third are the coconut oils with hydrogenated unsaturated fatty acids, which are not edible oils. Fourth are the liquid coconut oils, where Lauric acid is removed. Lauric acid, which is considered to be essential in coconut oils, contains the anti-microbial components of coconut oils and also aids in preservation.
Virgin coconut oils are the lesser refined oils, or processed at a minimum level compared to RBD coconut oils. Unlike RBD coconut oils, virgin coconut oils are not produced from copra, but from fresh coconuts. They also contain more antioxidants than RBD coconut oils. The first method of producing virgin coconut oils is by extracting the oils from dried coconut meat. This method is used for mass production, where products are usually sold in the market. The second method is called the wet-milling process, which extracts oils from fresh coconut meat and then separated from water. Fermentation, which uses heat, is seen as the best method of separating oil from water because antioxidant levels in oils become higher. Therefore, virgin coconut oils sold as “raw” or “cold-pressed” contain lower levels of antioxidants.
Coconut Oil for Fleas
Since you already know the processing and health benefits of coconut oils, you need to choose the best one for your dog. Here is the ranking of coconut oils from the best to the least: (1) wet-milled fermented virgin coconut oil, (2) wet-milled no-heat virgin coconut oil, (3) fresh pressed virgin coconut oil, (4) expeller pressed coconut oil, (5) refined solvent extract coconut oil, (6) liquid coconut oil, and (7) hydrogenated coconut oil.
In grooming your dog, wet-milled fermented virgin coconut oil is the best option to combat fleas. Virgin coconut oils act as the organic, safest, most effective, and the most natural repellant and flea killer. Virgin coconut oils cure sores and skin problems such as bites from ticks, fleas, and other pests. They also serve as moisturizers to dog’s skin, adding glow and shine to it. These can be found in your nearest grocery stores or pharmacies.
Virgin coconut oils can be used daily, with an ample amount of 1 tablespoon per area. After taking 1 tablespoon of oil, rub it with your hands until it looks like lard. Using your hands with rubbed coconut oil, massage your dog’s coats gently down to their skins until the fleas stick to the oil and die. This usually takes 5 minutes per area. Another way is to spray a mixture of small amount of coconut oil with water. Once you have massaged or sprayed their whole body with oil (do not forget their bellies), comb their fur using a flea comb to ensure the removal of fleas.
When applying oil, it is recommended to do this outside your house to prevent the spreading of fleas once they got off your dog’s fur.
It is normal for dogs to lick the oil around their bodies. To prevent them from doing this, dress your dog with an old t-shirt or sweater. Let them wear this overnight to let the oil set down to their skins and maximize the benefit.
Coconut oils can also be mixed with wet food to hasten the healing of your dog. It is recommended to have a proportion of 1 teaspoon to 40 lbs body weight of your dog.
Do this daily and religiously until fleas are gone, skin is rejuvenated, and furs have grown back.
After reaping the healing benefits of coconut oil, it is best to always groom your dog with regular bathing and brushing. With this practice, you will be able to prevent, monitor, and give proper action if they once again have fleas in their bodies.