Coconut oil provided many benefits for humans, but did you know it is good for horses too? Coconut oil for horses has both internal and external benefits just like it does for humans. It is easy to find, easy to purchase, is relatively inexpensive (compared to many other horse feeds/supplements) and can be a fantastic addition to your horses feed or used as a topical applicant.
**It is recommended that you use virgin coconut oil for your horse, NOT the extra virgin. Look for 45% lauric acid and cold-pressed coconut oil for horses.** I am not a veterinarian – please read my disclaimer HERE.
Coconut oil is easy to store and has a good shelf life. Here are several reasons to keep some virgin coconut oil around the barn!
#1. It Helps with Bug Bites
During the month of August (when the bugs are terrible here in Arizona,) my chestnut horse always has large bites and welts that appear on his extremely sensitive skin. Applying a bit of coconut oil to the bites helps fight infection and helps the swelling go down. Be sure to spray fly spray as well to help ward off insects.
#2. It Helps Fight Fungus
Coconut oil is known to have anti-fungal/bacterial properties. It can help sooth and heal scratches, welts, mud fever, and rain rot. It also acts as a water barrier which allows the area to heal without it getting completely soaked or wet repeatedly which can be the cause of these bacterial or fungal infections. Test a small area on your horse FIRST to make sure their skin doesn’t react to the coconut oil. It is best to try that NOW so you know if you can use the oil on your horse if an infection does occur later on.
#3. It Gives a Healthy Energy Boost
Coconut oil for horses, particularly older horses, has been shown to give them a good boost in energy. It is a healthy option that provides a good source of energy -in fact, twice that or protein or starch- and is edible and can easily be added to feed. It also helps with horses that are underweight by proving a good source of both fats and energy.
#4. Picky Eaters Like Coconut Oil
Picky horse eaters have a better chance of ingesting the coconut oil willingly. The oil is bland enough that many horses will eat it. Some owners have used it to get their horses to eat their feed or pills (or both) because they like it so much. Try adding very small amounts to see if your horse will eat it. **WARNING** coconut oil can act as a natural laxative. Using too much can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Try adding it as an occasional addition to the feed rather than using it daily.
#5. Mane and Tail Health
Coconut oil for horses can be used to help the health and growth of manes and tails. Many people have reported that they have seen mane and tail growth (this will vary by horse). Applying some oil to the mane and tail help condition it and keep it soft and supple. It also helps with dandruff and fungus on the base of manes and tails and heals and prevents both. Use the oil sparingly – a little goes a long way!
#6. Helps Heal Cuts and Abrasions
In addition to helping fight skin issues like fungus, coconut oil for horses also helps heal cuts and abrasions. It fights off infections and speeds up the recovery process. Dabbing a little of the coconut oil on a cut or proud flesh will help keep excess water out of it and promote faster healing. Keep a jar handy in your barn for minor wounds and cuts!
#7. Equine Gut Health
Coconut oil for horses is not only yummy, it promotes excellent gut health. It creates *good” bacteria in their stomach. It helps with colic and helps prevent ulcers. This oil gives your horses a boost by getting the good bacteria in and helping sooth any ulcers. This is an excellent, affordable addition to your horse’s feed.
**Dosage** Start very small – a couple of tablespoons! I have seen anything from 1/8 of a cup all the way up to 1/2 cup – it will depend on each horse add their condition**
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