You’ve probably read about the abundant helpful uses of coconut oil that range from nutritional benefits to household remedies and body care. But, did you know that coconut oil can also benefit your pets?
When I was trying to put extra weight on my labs, Sanchez and Gina, I frequently fed them a tablespoon of coconut oil. They loved licking it right off a spoon. But, that’s only where the benefits start. It turns out that coconut oil can be used for shampoo, toothpaste, paw protection and more.
1. Fur Conditioner
In addition to coconut oil being a deep hair conditioner for people, it can do the same for pets, due to it’s natural disinfecting and healing properties. Coconut-Oil-Tips.com says, “medium chain triglycerides are effective antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral compounds.”
2. Paw Protection
Gina, my Lab pictured in the main photo, started limping last week. Luckily, she’s running at full speed today due to some coconut oil I used to nurse the sore on her paw. And no worries about toxic chemicals if she chooses to lick it off.
3. Flea Repellent
I live in California with my pups. The flea problem seems worse than ever this year. Traditional flea treatment can often be toxic and it’s effect frequently diminishes over time. No worries about either of those problems with coconut oil. Simply mix 1 part coconut oil with 2 parts water. Boil and then pour into a transporting to a spritzer bottle to lightly spray your pup.
4. Ear Mite Remedy
Does your pet have itchy ears? How simple does it get? Coconut oil has been used as a natural treatment of ear mites in kittens and other pets.
5. Pet Toothpaste
Sanchez recently had three teeth extracted. His entire energy has picked up since the removal of his molars. As pleased as I am about the results, he’s 13 and I’m determined that he won’t have to have another oral surgery. So, I recently increased the frequency of his teeth brushing. I just put some coconut oil on a doggie toothbrush and brush away. The best part is that he now loves having his teeth brushed because the flavor is so yummy.
6. Dog Shampoo
A lot of commercial dog shampoos now include coconut oil. But, you can also make your own. FirstHomeLoveLife.com has an easy recipe here. While the coconut oil helps moisturize your pup’s skin, it can also make it greasy until it gets fully absorbed into the fur and skin. You’ll only need a little bit, depending on your dog’s size. It should have the consistency of thick milk or a light cream.
7. Prevent Hairballs
Adding a bit of coconut oil to your kitty’s diet will not only prevent the hairballs, but it can also help her digestive tract. Coconut-oil-tips.com suggests working up to a teaspoon per day per 10 pounds, so that Kitty’s stomach bacteria stays in balance.
8. Soothes Hotspots and Dry Skin
Whether Buster has a dry nose or a hot spot, coconut oil used topically moisturizes the skin for a variety of pet skin ailments. It can even help disinfect minor injuries. And, again, no problem when Kitty or Buster wants to lick it off.
Dosage for Dogs and Cats:
1 tsp per 10 lbs or 1 Tbsp per 30 lbs
Best Choice of Coconut Oil:
Unrefined virgin coconut oil
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If weather is your mood, climate is your personality. That's an analogy some scientists use to help explain the difference between two words people often get mixed up.
Size Matters<p>Climates are a bit like woven tapestries. The big picture is important, no question. But so are all the seemingly minor details found inside the larger whole.</p><p><a href="https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/en/persons/tommaso-jucker" target="_blank">Tommaso Jucker</a> is an environmental scientist at the University of Bristol. In an email, Jucker says he'd define the term microclimate as "the suite of climatic conditions (temperature, rainfall, humidity, solar radiation) measured in localized areas, typically near the ground and at spatial scales that are directly relevant to ecological processes."</p><p>We'll talk about that last bit in a minute. But first, there's another criteria to discuss. According to some researchers, a microclimate — by definition — must differ from the larger area that surrounds it.</p><p><a href="https://www.cfc.umt.edu/research/paleoecologylab/publications/Davis_et_al_2019_Ecography.pdf" target="_blank">Forests</a> provide us with some great examples. "The climate near the ground in a tropical rainforest is dramatically different from the climate in the canopy 50 meters [164 feet] above," says University of Montana ecologist <a href="https://www.cfc.umt.edu/personnel/details.php?ID=1110" target="_blank">Solomon Dobrowski</a> in an email. "This vertical gradient among other factors allows for the staggering biodiversity we see in the tropics."</p><p>Likewise, scientists observed that a 2015 partial <a href="https://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/bees-stopped-buzzing-during-2017-solar-eclipse.htm" target="_blank">solar eclipse</a> caused the air temperature of an Eastern European meadow to <a href="https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wea.2802" target="_blank">change more dramatically</a> than it did in a nearby forest. That's because trees provide not only shade, but their leaves also reflect solar radiation. At the same time, forests tend to reduce wind speeds.</p><p>All those factors add up. A 2019 review of 98 wooded places — spread out across five continents — found that forests are 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) <a href="https://natureecoevocommunity.nature.com/posts/47363-forests-protect-animals-and-plants-against-warming" target="_blank">cooler on average</a> than the areas outside them.</p><p>Now if you hate the cold, don't worry; there's a cozy exception to the rule. According to that same study, forests are usually 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) warmer than the external environment during the wintertime. Pretty cool.</p>
A Bug's Life<p>When does a microclimate stop being, well, micro? In other words, is there a maximum size we should be aware of when discussing them?</p><p>Depends on who you ask. "In terms of horizontal scale, some have defined 'microclimate' as anything that is less than 100 meters [328 feet] in range," Jucker says. "I'm personally less prescriptive about this."</p><p>Instead, he says the "scale at which we want to measure [a particular] microclimate" ought to be "dictated" by the questions we're trying to answer.</p><p>"If I want to know how temperature affects the photosynthesis of a leaf, I should be measuring temperature at centimeter scale," Jucker explains. "If I want to know if and how temperature affects the habitat preference of a large, mobile mammal, it's probably more relevant to capture temperature variation across [tens to hundreds] of meters."</p><p>For instance, solitary plants have the power to generate itty-bitty microclimates. Just ask <a href="https://www.colorado.edu/geography/peter-blanken-0" target="_blank">Peter Blanken</a>, a geography professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the co-author of the 2016 book, "<a href="https://amzn.to/2XN6FT8" target="_blank">Microclimate and Local Climate</a>."</p>
The urban heat island effect is a good example of how microclimates work. NOAA
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