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Ingredient Spotlight: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). MCTs are fats that metabolize differently than long or short-chain triglycerides. They are broken down in the liver rather than in the stomach and small intestine. MCT coconut oil can be used as an instant energy source or turned into ketones. This fat can also be used as an energy source for the brain. Since MCTs can more efficiently be turned into energy than other fats, they are less likely to be stored as fat.

Benefits for cats and dogs include:

  • Improving the health of the skin

  • Aiding in the healing of cuts, wounds, bites, and other skin irritations

  • Working to help prevent yeast infections

  • Supporting nutrient absorption and digestion

  • Helping to regulate insulin levels

  • Promoting motility

  • Most animals love the taste!

Coconut oil contains all four types of MCTs (caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid), making it one of the best natural MCT resources. It is also the richest source of lauric acid, which is a powerful antimicrobial agent.

For dogs that cannot tolerate most fats, coconut oil can be helpful in increasing calories and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

MCTs are a form of fat that does not require pancreatic enzymes for digestion, so it is often tolerated by dogs with pancreatitis, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), and other forms of malabsorption. Because each pet is a unique individual, please talk with your veterinarian before adding any nutrient or supplement to the diet of a pet with pancreatitis.

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