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How to Ease a Dog’s Colitis with Coconut

A reader found that she could control her dog's colitis with coconut, just a little sprinkled on top of the kibble.
How to Ease a Dog’s Colitis with Coconut
A jogger takes his dog for a run

Usually we don’t advocate letting dogs eat the foods their humans enjoy. Too many common people treats could do real damage to a dog.

Did you know that grapes and raisins can damage canine kidneys (The Veterinary Record, Apr. 8, 2006)? Currants are also risky (The Canadian Veterinary Journal, Jan., 2008).

Apples, apricots and cherries have cyanide in their seeds, and a dog who eats too many could become poisoned. Garlic and onions can cause a reaction that harms red blood cells. Perhaps the most famous no-no is chocolate, which can be poisonous to dogs. The sugar substitute xylitol can also do enormous harm.

Coconut is not toxic to dogs, although they can have difficulty digesting large amounts of the fat. One reader found a small amount of coconut solved her pet’s problem.

Controlling Colitis with Coconut:

Q. My dog gets colitis when she is under stress. The veterinarian prescribed medicines that help, but she can’t stay on them all of the time.

Knowing my mother’s success with coconut macaroons to ease diarrhea after cancer treatments, I thought of giving some to our dog. I didn’t want to give her cookies with sugar, so I just sprinkle unsweetened coconut (about 1/2 tsp.) on her two meals a day and all is well! She accepts it and the diarrhea problem is kept under control.

Coconut for Chronic Diarrhea:

A. Coconut has a reputation for combatting chronic diarrhea. We first heard about this remedy (two Archway brand coconut macaroon cookies daily) from Donald Agar in 1998. He suffered from diarrhea due to long-standing Crohn’s disease and found that the coconut macaroons were more helpful than over-the-counter diarrhea medicine.

His discovery was serendipity, but there is some actual research to support his experience. A study in the Journal of Medicinal Food (Dec. 2013) found that virgin coconut oil and its component fatty acids discourage Clostridium difficile (C. diff) overgrowth.

Another reader noted,

“I assume it’s the coconut in the macaroons that does the trick. If so, rather than buying cookies, I would like to make them myself, gluten and dairy free. Am I missing the point of the cookies or will my homemade ones work just as well?”

She’s not missing the point. The coconut macaroon recipe we offer in our book, Recipes & Remedies From the People’s Pharmacy, contains no gluten or dairy.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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