As the seasons change, lots of us can become susceptible to illnesses such as colds or flu. Upper respiratory infections are common during periods of cold weather, and allergies can also be a problem with different pollens and allergens entering the environment as the seasons shift from winter to spring.
But it's not just humans who suffer the misery of illness or allergies at this time of year – our pets can be affected, too.
So, how can you protect your pet against common illnesses and allergies and help them stay healthy all year round?
By giving their immune system a boost with healthy, natural coconut oil.
In this post we'll explore how coconut oil works to boost the immune system, and give you some tips and advice on using it to protect your pet.
The Immune-Boosting Super Ingredients in Coconut Oil
It turns out that coconut oil contains some very special super ingredients that help boost the immune system. Let's take a look at what they are and how they work.
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. The MCFAs in coconut oil have been shown to effectively kill potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, and parasites.
MCFAs are utilized by the body to support many cellular processes. They are also completely harmless to pets and people, and are actually used by the body as a source of energy.
CocoTherapy Coconut Oil is a human-grade oil with a high percentage of beneficial MCFAs (lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid), containing at least 64%. The most abundant MCFA found in coconut oil is the super ingredient lauric acid. CocoTherapy coconut oil has a minimum lauric acid content of 53.28%.
Lauric acid can benefit your pet's health in a number of ways, these include protecting the skin and coat, and keeping the gastrointestinal tract healthy. It’s also beneficial for boosting the immune system.
Lauric acid is converted into a molecule called monolaurin in the body, which effectively kills disease-causing microorganisms without destroying beneficial bacteria. Monolaurin protects the immune system, helping pets to maintain good health and quickly fight off disease when it strikes. This is especially important for older pets as their immune system naturally weakens with age.
The immune-boosting super ingredients in coconut oil also help protect your pet against allergic reactions caused by an overactive immune system. And the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil promote healing of allergic symptoms such as hives and hotspots.
How to Use Coconut to Boost Your Pet's Immune System
So, now you know a little about how coconut oils work to protect your pet's immune system. But what's the best way to use it with your pet?
Coconut oil can be used both topically and orally to help boost your pet's immune system. Feeding coconut oil to your pet daily is a great way to support their health and boost their immune system.
When first introducing your pet to coconut oil, start with a very small amount and increase gradually. Some pets - especially those not used to much fat in their diets – may need a while for their digestive systems to adapt. Coconut oil is a healthy fat that benefits the body in many ways, but too much too soon could upset your pet's stomach.
For more information on feeding your pet coconut oil please refer to our post, How to Use Coconut Oil With Your Pets.
Applied topically, coconut oil supports the lipid barrier on the skin, making it more resistant to pathogens like yeast and bacteria. Protection against these pathogens helps ensure that your pet's immune system remains uncompromised.
If your pet is suffering from a skin condition, massage a small amount of coconut oil directly on the affected area several times a day. Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer that soothes irritation and heals the skin.
Poor oral health can compromise your pet's immune system, allowing bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream and causing health complications throughout the body.
Because of its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, coconut oil can be used as a natural, organic toothpaste that's effective at maintaining your pet's oral health. Read more about using coconut to maintain your pet's oral health in our recent post, Taking Care of Your Pet's Teeth and Gums.
Keeping your pet's immune system in check can help them fight off minor illnesses and allergies. But a strong immune system can also protect against serious conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer – allowing them to live a longer and healthier life.
To enjoy the immune-boosting benefits of coconut oil, always remember to choose a high quality, therapeutic-grade oil such as CocoTherapy coconut oil. Our oil is sourced from our USDA-certified organic family farm in the Philippines, and carefully manufactured in our own facility. In addition, be sure to always feed your pet coconut oil in moderation as part of a balanced, species-appropriate diet.
Do you have a question for the CocoTherapy team? Let us know in the comments!