MCT Oil For Dogs: Is It Beneficial To Use?
MCT oil is growing increasingly popular as a result of its health benefits for humans. Some people use MCT oil to better absorb fats, while others use it for an extra quick kick of energy.
MCT oil is the best carrier oil due to its low molecular weight, so if you’re using any oil based supplements, food grade essential oils, or high quality CBD products you may have come across MCT oil without even knowing it.
So, how do MCT oil’s benefits transfer over to dogs? Is MCT oil safe for dogs? And is it advantageous to include MCT oil as a part of your dog’s daily regimen?
For all this and more info on how to support your pet’s health, keep reading!
What Are MCTs?
In most foods you eat that contain fats, such as meat, and nuts, you will tend to find LCTs, or long-chain triglycerides. However, certain foods, particularly coconut oil and palm kernel oil, contain large amounts of a different type of fat: MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides. LCTs and MCTs primarily differ when it comes to the length of their fatty acids (molecular weight).
The length of the fatty acids in both MCTs and LCTs are actually in their name: MCTs have “medium” length fatty acids, while LCTs have “long” fatty acids. This difference in length is important because it helps explain how the body responds to and processes these fats.
The shorter fatty acid length of MCTs means the human body can digest them much quicker and more efficiently than it would LCTs. The lower molecular weight of MCTs means they will travel directly to the liver to be processed, where they can be quickly absorbed. Finally, because of the first two points listed, MCTs are more likely to be converted immediately into energy, rather than stored as body fat. Basically MCTs function more like carbs than they do fats when it comes to how the body processes them and ability to be used as energy quickly.
You can find MCTs in coconut oil and palm kernel oil, but the best, most concentrated source of MCTs is MCT oil.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, two rich sources of MCTs. Using a process called fractionation, MCTs are separated from their original source so that you only have MCTs left and none of the LCTs. This creates the product known as MCT oil.
Most MCT oils will contain 100% MCTs: primarily caprylic acid, caproic acid, and capric acid. These three types of MCTs contain anywhere from 6 to 10 carbon atoms per fatty acid, making them “medium” length and easier for the body to break down and absorb. There is a fourth MCT called Lauric Acid which has 12 carbon atoms but it’s higher molecular weight makes it so that it is not absorbed the same as the other MCTs.
Why Do Humans Use MCT Oil?
MCT oil is attractive because of the following benefits:
MCT oil promotes better fat absorption. If for whatever reason your body struggles to digest and absorb the necessary amount of fat, your doctor may recommend that you supplement any dietary fat you consume with MCT oil given it is processed directly by the liver.
MCT oil may be more effective in raising energy levels than other types of fats. This is because it is absorbed quicker and moves directly to the liver, where it can be converted into energy.
MCT oil is a great carrier oil for CBD oil and any oil soluble supplements. MCT oil helps dilute CBD oil so that each dose you take is the proper amount. MCT oil also supports more efficient absorption of the CBD oil, so you can experience all of its benefits.
- MCT oil is popular with people on the keto diet. This is because MCT oil consumption promotes the production of ketones. Your body makes ketones when it is lacking in carbohydrates and starts burning fat stores instead as its source of energy. This is supposed to support weight loss, though you should talk with your doctor before trying the keto diet.
Basically, MCT oil is an enticing alternative to LCT-rich sources of fat.
MCT Oil Benefits For Dogs
Now that we have determined why MCT oil is so beneficial for humans, it is time to move on to dogs.
So, firstly, is it beneficial to feed your dog MCT oil and other foods (like coconut oil) that are high in MCTs?
The simple answer to this is… it’s best left up to your veterinarian as they can give you advice on how MCT Oil fits into your pup’s overall diet. That said we will dive into it a bit more below.
They know your dog’s overall health better than anyone else, and they can determine whether or not MCT oil is suitable for your pet’s needs. If you have a young, healthy pup, they may not have any reason to take MCT oil. On the other hand, if your dog has certain health issues or is getting up there in age, MCT oil could potentially be beneficial to them.
Ultimately, you and your veterinarian should make an educated decision together.
To be quite clear, MCT oil is generally safe for your pup in the sense that it will not worsen any problems they may have or irritate their digestive system (assuming it’s not consumed excessively), and has few reported side effects. When pups consume too much of any oil it may cause runny poop so definitely keep it in moderation. However, you do not want to feed your pup empty calories that neither helps nor hurts them, and MCT oil’s benefits are typically more applicable to the needs of senior dogs.
So, what are these benefits, anyways?
For one, MCT oils are better sources of energy than other types of fats. This is because MCTs are quicker and easier for your pup to metabolize, so they can use MCT oil as energy immediately, as opposed to storing it for later as body fat.
MCT oil is also a fantastic carrier oil which is actually where you see most of the MCT oil being consumed by dogs. This means it can help dilute CBD products (among other supplements) and support their absorption. CBD products are also not just beneficial to humans--it turns out your pet can really benefit from them too!
CBD Benefits For Dogs
CBD promotes better overall wellness and health for your beloved pet. Using CBD oil is a safe, simple, and effective way to get your dog feeling their best, most active, and relaxed self!
For one, CBD supports joint health. Your dog’s mobility naturally declines as they get older, but CBD oil can help ease some of the everyday discomfort they may be feeling.
CBD is also beneficial for your dog’s mental wellness. Using CBD as a supplement can help soothe any feelings of uncertainty (perhaps they have separation issues, for example) and support emotional balance.
There are multiple ways you can give your pup CBD oil. Firstly there are pet tinctures, or “droppers”. The ideal way to use these is by dropping them directly into your pet’s mouth, but you can also add them to their dog bowl during mealtime. Your pup may also enjoy combining CBD oil with its favorite nutritious snack!
Here at Leafwell Botanicals, we use MCT oil as a carrying agent with all of our pet-friendly CBD products, including pet tinctures. This ensures that your pup will be able to best absorb the CBD oil, while also experiencing the benefits of MCT oil as well!
Before giving CBD oil to your dog, it may be worth speaking with your veterinarian to make sure it is right for them though many of them are barred from commenting on CBD. The right dose to use will vary based on the size of your dog and their particular needs. Though most dogs tolerate CBD oil well, you will want to slowly build up to the optimal dose so your pup can get used to the supplement.
It’s also important to note that if your dog experiences an upset stomach it is not necessarily the CBD and can just be consuming too much oil. To combat this, you may opt for a higher potency CBD Oil and give them less of the oil since it’s more concentrated. Call or email us if you have questions!
MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides, are a type of fat that contains relatively shorter fatty acids. As a result, your pup is better able to digest, metabolize, and absorb MCTs. Your pup’s body is also more likely to use them as energy, rather than storing them as body fat for later use.
MCT oil is a pure source of medium-chain triglycerides. We humans can use MCT oil to increase our fat absorption and energy levels. We may also use it as a carrier oil when consuming CBD products.
For dogs, the benefits of MCT oil are quite similar, including better absorption and energy levels. Dogs are able to tolerate MCT oil generally well in moderation and just like humans, dogs can benefit from using MCT oil as a carrier oil for pet-friendly CBD products.
CBD can support your dog’s joint health, help ease any unease they may experience on a regular basis, and promote overall holistic health. MCT oil will help make the CBD oil bearable to consume and it will also help with the absorption of the CBD, so your pup can reap all of CBD’s benefits.
You can find organically grown and manufactured, pet-friendly CBD tinctures here!