Unlocking the Benefits: The Power of MCT Oil for Dogs

June 8, 2023

Written By: Earth Buddy Team

Earth Buddy 1000mg Hemp Extract organic CBD oil for dogs with dropper held above bottle dripping cbd oil with mct oil for dogs.

Medium-chain triglycerides, more commonly known as MCTs, are a type of fatty acid that’s found in certain oils, including coconut oil and palm kernel oil. MCT oil, a concentrated source of these fats, has gained popularity in human health and nutrition circles for its wide range of potential benefits, from weight management to cognitive support. But what about our canine companions? Can dogs have MCT coconut oil or benefit from it? And if so, how? Let’s delve into this topic to learn more.

What is MCT Oil?

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are types of fatty acids found in certain oils, such as coconut oil and palm kernels. Certain dairy products also naturally contain MCTs. MCT oil is a supplement that’s primarily made up of medium-chain fatty acids.

These are named for their chemical structure, which contains between 6 and 12 carbon atoms. Unlike long chain triglycerides, which are more common in our diets, MCTs are more easily absorbed and metabolized by the body. This makes them a fast and efficient source of energy.

There are four types of MCTs:

  • Caproic acid (C6)
  • Caprylic acid (C8)
  • Capric acid (C10)
  • Lauric acid (C12) 

MCT oil typically contains a mixture of these but is often higher in caprylic and capric acids, which are believed to have the most health benefits.

Coconut Oil vs MCT Oil

Coconut oil and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil both originate from the same source, which is coconut. Coconut oil is a natural oil extracted from the meat or kernel of mature coconuts. It’s rich in various types of fat, including both long-chain and medium-chain triglycerides.

Approximately 50-60% of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), primarily lauric acid (C12). The rest consists of long-chain triglycerides and other compounds.

One of the main differences between coconut oil and MCT oil is how they’re processed by the body. MCT oil is more rapidly absorbed and metabolized, providing a quicker source of energy compared to coconut oil. This process results in the production of substances called ketones. Ketones are a type of energy molecule used by the cells in your dog’s body and your own, especially if they or you are on a ketogenic diet.

Benefits of MCT Oil for Dogs

The potential benefits of MCT oil for dogs are largely based on research in humans and laboratory animals, but more and more dog owners and veterinarians are starting to recognize their potential for improving canine health, especially for senior dogs.

  • Energy and Weight Loss: MCTs are processed by the liver, making them a quick source of energy and less likely to be stored as fat. This could help dogs maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, MCTs have been shown to increase feelings of fullness, which could help prevent overeating.
  • Skin and Coat Health: MCT oil promotes skin and coat health in dogs. MCTs provide omega-3 fatty acids to help decrease normal inflammatory pathways which helps dogs achieve a soft, silky, shiny and healthy coat.
  • Brain Health: MCTs produce ketones, which are an alternative energy source for the brain. MCTs enhance your pet’s brain function, promote normal healthy brain activity, and Supports normal brain and nerve function.
  • Digestive Health: MCTs support proper balance of normal intestinal flora which helps support healthy GI function.
  • Immune Support: MCTs have been shown to help maintain a normal inflammatory response, which could potentially support overall health and well-being.
  • Blood sugar levels: MCT oil can help support blood sugar levels within normal ranges by providing a quick source of energy that doesn’t rely on glucose, potentially promoting insulin sensitivity and supporting balanced blood sugar.
  • Insect Repellant: While MCT oil itself isn’t an insect repellant itself, it is often used as a carrier oil in natural insect repellent formulations, aiding in the distribution and absorption of essential oils like citronella, lemongrass, or eucalyptus, which are commonly used to repel insects.
  • Liver health: Unlike long-chain triglycerides, MCTs are directly transported from the gut to the liver after ingestion. Because of this, they don’t require bile for digestion, which lessens the load on the liver when incorporated into your dog’s daily diet.

Using MCT Oil for Dogs

While the potential benefits of MCT oil for dogs are promising, it’s important to remember that more research is needed, particularly in dogs. Also, as with any supplement, MCT oil should be used judiciously and under the guidance of a veterinarian.

When introducing MCT oil to a dog’s diet, it’s recommended to start with a small amount and gradually increase it over time. This allows the dog’s digestive system to adjust and reduces the risk of side effects such as diarrhea or an upset stomach. The recommended dosage varies, but a general guideline is to start by adding MCT oil at 1/4 teaspoon per day to their food for every 10 pounds of body weight.

MCT oil can be added to a dog’s food or given separately. Some dog owners prefer to use coconut oil, which is high in MCTs but also contains other beneficial compounds.

It’s also worth noting that while MCT oil is generally considered safe for most dogs, it may not be suitable for all. For example, dogs with pancreatitis or other conditions that require low-fat foods should avoid MCT oil.

Finding High Quality MCT Oil for Dogs

Image of Earth Buddy Maxx Life and Cellular support on table with mct oil for dogs and coconut flakes. MCT oil for dogs has shown to decrease seizure activity.
When selecting an MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil for your dog, there are several key factors to consider to ensure the product is safe and effective:

  • Source: High-quality MCT oil is usually derived from coconuts, although it can also come from palm oil. Coconut-based MCT oil is generally preferred because it’s more sustainable and carries a lower risk of environmental impact compared to palm-based products.
  • MCT Composition: The two main types of MCTs beneficial for dogs are caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10). Some MCT oils also contain lauric acid (C12), which is metabolized more slowly but has additional health benefits, such as promoting the body’s innate resistance to pathogens.
  • Purity: Look for an MCT oil that contains no fillers, additives, or artificial ingredients. Some MCT oils might have added flavors or other ingredients that aren’t necessary and could potentially be harmful to your dog. A pure MCT oil will provide the most benefits.
  • Packaging: MCT oil should be packaged in a dark, glass bottle to protect it from light and oxidation, which can degrade the oil over time.
  • Extraction Method: Check how the MCT oil is extracted. Cold-pressed oils are typically higher in quality because this method preserves the beneficial properties of the oil without the use of chemical solvents.
  • Reviews and Reputation: Consider the product reviews and the reputation of the company. Companies with positive reviews and a good reputation are more likely to produce high-quality products.

Chocolate lab with mouth open in front of Earth Buddy Hemp Extracts that contain mct oil for dogs along with CBDa, CBD, CBG, and CBN.

MCT Oil in Full Spectrum Hemp Extract

MCT oil, derived from coconuts or palm kernels, is known to be a highly efficient carrier oil for hemp extract. Its structure allows for easy and quick absorption by the body. When CBD is combined with MCT oil, it effectively increases the bioavailability of CBD, meaning the body can absorb and utilize the CBD more efficiently. This efficient absorption allows the CBD to take effect more quickly, which also means you may need less of the product to achieve the desired effect.

The beneficial effects of full spectrum hemp extract, with MCT oil used as a carrier oil, include:

  • Support for the central nervous system
  • Supports skin health
  • Enhances brain function
  • Promotes normal healthy brain activity
  • Provides nutrients necessary for the health of senior dogs
  • Helps keep animals in peak condition

A Versatile Supplement

MCT oil is a versatile supplement with a wide range of potential benefits for dogs, from improved energy and weight management to enhanced brain, skin, and digestive health. While more research is needed, particularly in dogs, early indications from previous studies are promising.

For further reading, we recommend:

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