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Coconut Oil and No No's for Frenchies!

When we brought Whisky, our French Bulldog home at 8 weeks from his breeder, the Puppy Pack we received had a jar of Extra Virgin Organic Coconut oil. This was to clean and moisturise his ears, nose, wrinkles and paw pads!

I have since done some online research and discovered that Coconut oil is very high in saturated fats, which actually is a healthy fat that helps the immune system, digestive system, keeps the thyroid health and even helps in weight loss. So although it is good for all dogs regardless of breed, this blog is about how I use it for Whisky, who is just about to start his Show Dog Career!

The benefits of using coconut oil are many, but as with all things moderation is the key. Whilst a half to a full teaspoon can be added directly to food, I chose to use it as a grooming aid, which he enjoys licking so gets the benefits both ways.

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Your French Bulldog:

  1. Boosts Immune System: Contains antivirals (Auric Acid and Caprylic Acid) which help the immune system combat infection.

  2. Helps the Digestive System: Frenchies are notorious for digestive issues and difficulty absorbing nutrients, colitis or irritable bowel syndrome - all of which can find relief using coconut oil.

  3. Healthy Skin: Helps avoid skin issues, and is both soothing and healing for fungal infections, yeast infections, eczema, hot spots, crusty noses, dry skin or stings.

  4. Coat Conditioning: You can add it to their diet or apply it directly to their coast to keep fur sleek and glossy. I use a small amount on my palm and warm it to stretch and melt it before rubbing my hands over Whisky’s coat. You can also put some in a spray bottle and apply a light spray over the coat and massage in.

  5. Healthy Weight: Frenchies can be prone to gaining weight easily, due to their love of food and short stints of exercise. Being a small dog avoiding too much weight on the joints is critical. Coconut oil has been proven to help with weight loss in a gradual and healthy way.

  6. Heal Wounds and Cuts: Having both antiviral and antifungal properties it helps heal small wounds and cuts. The only thing is they may want to lick it off (as it is delicious) so you may have to cover the injury site to keep the oil in place.

  7. Brain Health: As they age, French Bulldogs not only change in their physical fitness, but their mental acuity as well - just as we humans do. Studies have shown coconut oil can slow dementia and memory loss in humans, so may have the same beneficial effects for dogs.

No No’s for Frenchies (and most dogs if truth be told)

We want to give our dog things like Coconut Oil that help keep it healthy, but at the same time we need to be mindful of foods that can be toxic for dogs and even lead to death in some cases. Frenchies in particular have sensitive stomachs and digestive systems so it is even more prudent to be careful and not give them things that can make them ill.

1. Chocolate

It’s the Theobromine in it that causes the problem, especially if ingested in large or concentrated quantities. Dogs livers have difficulty cleaning this toxin from the body. Cooking Chocolate and Dark Chocolate are the worst since they contain the highest concentrations. Symptoms can include abnormal heart beat, tremors, seizures and death.

2. Allium Family Foods

Onions, garlic, leeks and chives are all poisonous foods for Frenchies, no matter in what state they are ingested - cooked, dry or raw. They can lead to an upset stomach and if taken in large quantities cause red blood cell damage. They are insidious as the signs of toxicity are nor immediately obvious ad and occur a few days later.

3. Artificial sweetener (xylitol)

Xylitol and is even more poisonous than chocolate - it is an artificial sweetener and used in many everyday products such as peanut butter, mints, sugar free candy, fruit drinks, jams, cereals, jelly, puddings, vitamin supplements, gum, toothpaste and mouthwash. It effects blood sugar levels and can cause severe and irreparable liver damage and could result in death.

4. Cooked bones

Most people think that dogs and bones seem to go hand and hand. What dog doesn’t love a bone - right? Whilst raw bones can be good for dogs and help clean teeth, calcium and entertainment, cooked bones are a whole other story. Cooking causes them to be come brittle and they can splinter when the dog chews them. Frenchie’s have especially strong jaws and a cooked bone could shatter into pieces puncturing something internal and causing injury. So don’t give your dog cooked bones!

5. Avocado

Avocados contain Persin which is toxic, but the poison is in the skin and stone not the actual flesh of the fruit.

6. Grapes, Sultanas and Raisins

Highly toxic and can lead to kidney failure if eaten in any kind of quantity.

7. Macadamia nuts and walnuts

Nuts are not really great for Frenchies due to the high choking risk, but in particular to avoid at all costs, Macadamia and Walnuts are very high in fact and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and canine pancreatitis as well as hyperthermia, tremors and lethargy. It can take several days to recover and in the case of pancreatitis can kill.

8. Stone Fruits

Cherry, Peach, Apricot, Nectarine and Plum stones are all a serious problem for Frenchies digestive systems as any type of pit can get stuck in the small intestine and block them, especially in smaller or younger dogs. Some stones contain cyanide which can potentially poison your Frenchie.

Frenchies can be speedy and are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t, so please be vigilant in what they can get access to in your kitchen and around your home.

When in doubt check with eh Australian Animal Poisons Helpline which provides FREE poisoning advice to pet parents. Call 1300 869 738 in Australia or 0800 869 738 in New Zealand.

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