HELP: Mixing Coconut Oil & Food

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health HELP: Mixing Coconut Oil & Food

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  • #125792 Report Abuse

    Amber A
    Member

    I have recently been giving my puppies dog food mixed with coconut oil and i have put it in one of those containers that stores a bunch of food all at once. So i’ve been pre mixing it and storing it in the container i’ve wondered does/can the coconut oil and dog food get moldy in the container or go bad? Can it make my dogs sick if i do this? I tried googling and could not find any answers. I haven’t seen any mold YET and i’ve been doing this for about a month but i wondered if it could be spoiled or bad without me actually seeing it. Please someone let me know and share your thoughts. Thank you!

    #125793 Report Abuse

    pugmomsandy
    Moderator

    Dry food starts to get “old and rancid” as soon as the original bag is opened and the food is exposed to air (even in a container). Adding moisture in the form of fat can speed this process up and the added moisture can be favorable to mold growth. I would add the oil at feeding time instead of mixing it in the kibble and keep the dry food in it’s original bag, with the top rolled down tight and the whole bag kept in the bin instead of pouring the kibble out. The storage bin also needs to be cleaned as fat from the kibble will stick to the container and continue to go rancid and contaminate the rest of the food and future food you pour into the large container. BTW, are you feeding kibble? Couldn’t be sure from your post. I just assumed.

    #125794 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Amber,

    I agree with Pugmomsandy post.
    if you are adding coconut oil to a dry kibble then storing this dry kibble this is not a good idea, best to add the coconut oil when serving their meal…

    Here’s some Coconut treats recipes, these coconut treats can be stored in a container then put in the fridge, then add 1 coconut treat to 1 of their daily meals or give as a treat thru the day when training them….

    https://www.playbarkrun.com/coconut-oil-dog-treat-recipes/

    #125839 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    @ Amber A

    If I may ask, why are you adding coconut oil to your dogs food?
    Hope this helps.
    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2015/04/coconut-oil-for-pets/ (excerpt below, click on link for full article and comments)
    Is It Safe?
    No significant short-term risks have been identified for dietary coconut oil in humans in reasonable quantities, though diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems have been reported. Long-term safety and effect on obesity, CVD< and other health risks hasn’t been determined.
    Similar gastrointestinal symptoms have been reported in dogs, and there are anecdotal reports of more serious problems such as pancreatitis. There is no controlled research evidence investigating the safety of coconut oil in dogs and cats.
    Bottom Line
    There are some theoretical reasons to think the types of fat found in non-hydrogenated coconut oil might have health benefits in humans, but there is no conclusive research to support this. There is virtually no research on coconut oil in dogs and cats, apart from some studies looking at topical use for treatment of parasites. Therefore, the health effects, both risks and benefits, are unknown and supported only by unreliable anecdotal evidence.

    #125868 Report Abuse

    Spy Car
    Member

    SkeptVet is a polemicist with an agenda who abuses the principles of science to support his “opinions.”

    Not a reliable or credible source of info as he skews his arguments with half-truths.

    Beware of this guy.

    Bill

    #125932 Report Abuse

    aimee
    Member

    Hi Amber,

    I too would advise against mixing coconut oil into food and then storing it. And as your feeding a puppy be aware of how many calories you are adding. Guidelines from veterinary nutritionists are that no more then 10% of calories should come from unbalanced sources and meeting your dogs nutrient needs is most important during growth. Personally I wouldn’t be adding coconut oil to my dog’s diet but in small amounts it shouldn’t hurt anything.

    The skeptvet article is really well balanced and well written.
    Perhaps the best to judge skeptvet are his peers, other veterinarians, and in that respect he is highly regarded. He’s served as peer reviewer for multiple journals including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and served as president of the Evidence Based Veterinary Medical Association. His own papers have been accepted for publication in peer reviewed journals. He has also been an invited speaker at veterinary conferences both in the states and the U.K. All in all he’s what I’d call a Rock Star. You don’t get those types of positions if you are not credible and reliable and as unbiased as one can be.

    #125971 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    @ aimee,

    Bravo! I agree 100%

    “The skeptvet article is really well balanced and well written.
    Perhaps the best to judge skeptvet are his peers, other veterinarians, and in that respect he is highly regarded. He’s served as peer reviewer for multiple journals including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and served as president of the Evidence Based Veterinary Medical Association. His own papers have been accepted for publication in peer reviewed journals. He has also been an invited speaker at veterinary conferences both in the states and the U.K. All in all he’s what I’d call a Rock Star. You don’t get those types of positions if you are not credible and reliable and as unbiased as one can be”.

    #125980 Report Abuse

    Spy Car
    Member

    Nah, SkeptVet is a polemicist who engages in argumentation by misleading his reader through the use of half-truths, trying to use a lack-of-evidence as it is itself “evidence,” and he belittles anyone who has an opposing viewpoint as unscientific thinkers and food-faddists in contravention of the truth.

    The article on Coconut Oil is classic “SkeptVet.”

    He begins from sentence one saying “Healthcare and nutrition fads are an unfortunate fact of life,” as his way of denigrating everyone interested in providing better nutrition for their domestic animals that the stuff that comes in bags from the commercial producers (who products are always backed by SkeptVet). Not a good start for someone who has pretenses of “objectivity.”

    And it only gets worse from there in the first paragraph as he standers everyone who seeks better animal nutrition as being prone to media manipulation and adherence to “quick-well-quick schemes and medical bogeymen.” This is an offensive attitude that borders on slander. By inference, he suggests that commercially processed dog foods have “yielded true revolutionary improvements in health,” without substantiation and against the evidence of obesity, dental disease, and food-induced lethargy in kibble fed dogs that is impossible to escape.

    He then tries to link human “fads” to an irrational extension to pets. More insulting polemics, devoid of facts or evidence thus far. Just inflammatory language and insults.

    Then he states a proposition that I agree with in the main (but one that he later goes on to contradict himself), which is :

    “Often, even when there is some real scientific evidence for the benefits or risks of some healthcare practice in people, there is little or no evidence to support claims about these practices applied to our pets. Extrapolation from people to pets is inevitable, but it is also very risky.”

    Dogs are not people. They have different nutritional needs.

    Then Skept Vet goes directly to attacking the use of coconut oil in humans as a fad. Why? He just told his readers that extrapolation from people to pets is very risky, so why is he doing it? Clearly as yet another way to throw shade at others. It is wrong, condescending, and unscientific. Zero evidence presented thus far.

    He then goes onto talk about coconut oil, putting the non-hydrogenated oil in scare-quotes as “virgin” oil. WTF?

    He then goes on to recognize that (in humans) that not all forms of saturated fats are unhealthful (as misinformed nutritionists and the medical-science community believed until recently). And that medium-chain triglycerides (as found in coconut oil) may be protective against cardiovascular disease in humans (after warning of the risks of extrapolation earlier). Has he made a point yet, other than making insults? No.

    He warns that “only about 15-20% of the fats in coconut oil are true MCT,” without suggesting what levels are ideal from a nutritional science perspective (and remembering that he is discussing human needs at this point, not dogs).

    He then goes on to attempt to pejoratively link exuberant health claims for humans with dramatic claims for benefits it pets. More polemics and virtually no science at this juncture (and we are pretty deep in). Just the ongoing tactic of painting those considering coconut oil as a supplement as being in league with food-faddists and medical bogeymen.

    Pretty weak.

    When he asks: Does it work?, he starts off–yet again–with humans (despite his warning not to extrapolate at the top of the article). What gives?

    He seems pained beyond reason to admit that “studies looking at MCTs in the diet show some potential benefits [in humans].” Since that doesn’t fit his agenda, he then quotes a research summary that starts: “Coconut oil is not a cure-all. Well, no kidding! Skept Vet’s tactic here, which is his standard MO, is to attempt to link dietary items that may be beneficial with extremism. That’s not science, but dishonest debate tactics.

    Buried in the quoted summary is that “It is possible to include coconut oil in a healthful [human] diet.”

    To remind ourselves, SkeptVet has to date spoken mostly about human nutrition, despite his anti-extrapolation warnings, and he begrudgingly has to admit possible benefits.

    He then admits there are very few dog food studies and he is not faithful in how he represents the ones that have been done. For example, he makes a claim that dogs fed “coconut oil lost less weight and had more body fat than dogs on diets with other sources of fat.” What he leaves out of the summary is that the dogs in the study found the food with more coconut in the mix (relative to vegetable oils) much more palatable than the dogs with foods high in vegetable oil, and these dogs were allowed to eat their fill. Not honest science here. No mention by Skept Vet that the study lacked portion control. Big suprise that dogs given unlimited access to food ate more of the delicious food. Good grief.

    He mentions, and casts skepticism and insults, on research that shows coconut oil shampoo might be beneficial in treating mange. A topic that is not germane to a discussion of animal nutrition on any level, but seemingly another opportunity for Skept Vet to insult a “research group with a strong bias in favor of such “natural” treatments. This guy clearly has an ax to grind.

    Not much science at this point. But a great deal of shade.

    Then he gets to his classic line: “There is no clinical research of any kind showing a significant benefit from dietary or topical coconut oil in the prevention or treatment of any significant health problem.” By saying this he means to give readers the impression that there has been voluminous research which has demonstrated a lack of benefit. But that isn’t the case.

    All that can be said truthfully is that there have been very few studies of coconut oils and there risks and benefits in dogs. Instead of making the lack of evidence ((one way or another) Skept Vet tires to make the reader believe a lack-of-evidence is itself evidence. This isn’t true and it is the way dishonest people with agenda present information to readers. Skept Vet uses these same tactics constantly.

    He asks “is it safe?” Then talks about human studies (what about that extrapolation warning doc?) that show “no significant short-term risks [for humans].” Long-term safety and effect on obesity, CVD undetermined.

    Then he turns to anecdotal reports of gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs fed too much coconut oil. One needs to remember that Skept Vet howls when those he brands food-faddists bring up anecdotal reports, but it doesn’t stop him.

    The fact that adding additional fats to dogs rations (which is generally a very great positive when fat levels are low) needs to be done slowly, as there are many physiological changes that occur as dogs transition into fat-metabolism (the process they were shaped by evolution to thrive on, and one that is undermined by cereal-based kibble diets). Sudden changes are not good, even if one is improving the rations.

    Again, Skept Vet delivers another of his classic lines: “There is no controlled research evidence investigating the safety of coconut oil in dogs and cats.”

    Thus far Skept Vet has established nothing.

    He concludes that “coconut oil might have health benefits in humans, but there is no conclusive research to support this” (which is semi-irrelevant given dogs are not humans). He then suggests that any benefits to dogs are anecdotal (due to a lack of studies) when the only evidence he gave of potential harms was purely anecdotal (which he fails to recognize).

    So after a long and insult-filled article, what do we get? Not much.

    Almost zero science to support either harm or benefits to dogs. The only anecdotal risks are easily avoided by transitioning to fat supplement slowly and keeping amounts in moderation.

    Typical Skept Vet.

    Bill

    #125983 Report Abuse

    aimee
    Member

    Spycar

    You wrote “… he is not faithful in how he represents the ones that have been done. For example, he makes a claim that dogs fed “coconut oil lost less weight and had more body fat than dogs on diets with other sources of fat.” What he leaves out of the summary is that the dogs in the study found the food with more coconut in the mix (relative to vegetable oils) much more palatable than the dogs with foods high in vegetable oil, and these dogs were allowed to eat their fill. Not honest science here. No mention by Skept Vet that the study lacked portion control. Big suprise that dogs given unlimited access to food ate more of the delicious food. Good grief.”

    I’d encourage you to go back and read the study. It appears that you are not understanding the study and then falsely accusing skeptvet of dishonesty. Why would skeptvet report that “the study lacked portion control” when portion control measures are clearly outlined for the weight loss study? Why are you faulting skeptvet for not reporting something that didn’t occur?

    In a palatability test the dogs had free access to food for a 5 min interval and they ate significantly more of the diets in which coconut oil was used. For the weight loss study it reports that caloric intake was tightly controlled and adjusted every 2 weeks to maintain weight loss of 1-2%. The energy intake table reports that at the 6 week mark all groups were eating ~ 800 kcals a day. From that point onward both coconut oil groups had caloric adjustments downward to maintain weight loss whereas it looks like the soybean/canola group had to have caloric intake slightly increased. This would have been done in response to the dogs losing more than 2% /week. At the end of the study the two coconut oil groups were eating about 725 kcals a day while the soybean/canola group was at 800 kcals.

    To me it appears that you are starting out with a strong bias against skeptvet and then proceed to take things out of context, read into whatever he writes your own skewed interpretation and then call him out. Makes no sense to me.

    As I said if you look to his peer review he has scored some pretty high marks!

    #125984 Report Abuse

    Spy Car
    Member

    Aimee, they free fed the dogs for 16 weeks and it is of little surprise that dogs ate more and got fatter on the more delicious menu option.

    You notably ignored all the other problems with Skept Vet’s methods. If I have a bias against him it is due to reading his materials (coming to them with an open mind) and finding out that he’s very prone to shading the truth and insulting anyone with whom he disagrees. He constantly attempts to make the lack of studies look like proof that there are no benefits to [fill in the box]. He attacks anecdotally reports when they go against his predispositions while embracing anecdotally reports when they support his opinions. The same with conflating the needs of humans and canines. He uses human studies when it suits him while criticizing others for making that “mistake.”

    You allude to his “peer review.” I’d like to check that out. What is the name of Skept Vet?

    Bill

    #126063 Report Abuse

    aimee
    Member

    Hi Spycar,

    It appears that you still are not understanding the study that Skeptvet refers to. There were three separate experiments: Palatability, Digestability and Weight loss

    Let’s look at the weight loss study “Experiment design The experiment was divided into two phases. In the first phase, overweight condition was induced in all dogs by consuming a high‐energy diet (Royal Canin Professional Energy 4800, Aimargues, France) ad libitum for 16 weeks; at the end of this phase, their BW and food intakes were stable. ……The second phase consisted of a 14‐week weight loss period during which dogs were divided into three groups, each receiving one of the experimental diets. ”

    It seems that to do a weight loss study the researchers needed some overweight dogs with which to do it. They allowed the dogs free access to a diet by Royal Canin. NOTE All dogs were on the same diet and not on the experimental diets during the weight gain period. And no mention of coconut oil in the induction phase which is called phase one.

    You wrote “they free fed the dogs for 16 weeks and it is of little surprise that dogs ate more and got fatter on the more delicious menu option” When you write ” on the more delicious menu option” I read that as you saying the dog had multiple food options. They did not. The experimental diets with various levels of coconut oil were not available to them. There was only one diet in phase one, a min 28% fat diet designed to sustain long periods of activity. The high fat diet led to weight gain in the beagles, a breed recognized for becoming overweight, when it was fed free choice. Note no mention of coconut oil in phase one.

    It was after the 16 week free feed when the experimental diets were fed to the dogs for weight loss. This was phase two. The overweight dogs were divided into three groups and each group was fed a different experimental diet in a limited amount. It was this subsequent, phase two portion of the experiment that skeptvet is referring to. He wrote ” One study that added coconut oil to dog food to see if it would help with weight loss found that dogs on the diet with coconut oil lost less weight and had more body fat than dogs on diets with other sources of fat.” The key sections to pay attention to are “added coconut oil to dog food” and “weight loss” The only experiment in which both coconut oil was added to dog food and weight loss was tracked was phase 2 of the weight loss experiment. AND it is clear from the paper that the experimental diets were restricted for this phase of the experiment.

    Skeptvet wrote ” dogs on the diet with coconut oil lost less weight and had more body fat than dogs on diets with other sources of fat.”The authors of the study report “Body weight (BW) reduction was lower (C0: 20.1 ± 2.32%, C20: 14.6 ± 1.43% and C40: 15.7 ± 1.23%, p < 0.05) and FM was higher (FM, 18.7 ± 3.42%, 27.9 ± 3.90% and 28.2 ± 2.88% for C0, C20 and C40, respectively, p < 0.05) for diets C20 and C40 than for C0.” Skeptvet simply restated the results. The authors wrote “Body weight (BW) reduction was lower” and skeptvet wrote “lost less weight” The authors wrote “FM was higher” (FM stands for fat mass ) and skeptvet wrote had more body fat. The diets with added coconut oil are C20 and C40.

    You seem to have the various phases of the weight loss experiment and the palatability experiment, which was a separate experiment, all mixed up in your head. You wrote.” … he makes a claim that dogs fed “coconut oil lost less weight and had more body fat than dogs on diets with other sources of fat.” This statement refers to the author’s conclusion of phase 2 of the weight loss experiment that skeptvet restated. But then you go on to say “What he leaves out of the summary is that the dogs in the study found the food with more coconut in the mix (relative to vegetable oils) much more palatable than the dogs with foods high in vegetable oil, and these dogs were allowed to eat their fill.” This statement that you wrote refers to the results of a palatablilty experiment, a completely separate experiment from the weight loss experiment. It has no bearing on and is irrelevant to the weight loss experiment which is why skeptvet didn’t include information from the palatability experiment. He wasn’t addressing palatability of coconut oil, he is addressing effects of coconut oil on weight loss. Then somehow you conclude that skeptvet is guilty of ” Not honest science here. No mention by Skept Vet that the study lacked portion control.” It is clear that portion control was present for the weight loss experiment phase he is discussing. Very honest science from skeptvet! ! Then you state ” Big suprise that dogs given unlimited access to food ate more of the delicious food. Good grief.” It isn’t clear to which experiment or experiments you are referring to. It looks like you are referring again to the palatability experiment in which the dogs had multiple food options and unlimited access but you could mean the induction phase in which no experimental diets were fed and the dogs had free access to a Royal Canin product.

    I hope you can now see that skeptvet was completely honest in his reporting. He is reporting the author’s conclusions of phase 2 of a weight loss study in which overweight dogs were fed portion controlled amounts of three different diets.

    You wrote “You notably ignored all the other problems with Skept Vet’s methods”

    Well not really as I said “To me it appears that you are starting out with a strong bias against skeptvet and then proceed to take things out of context, read into whatever he writes your own skewed interpretation and then call him out. Makes no sense to me.”

    Bill you can find all kinds of stuff on skeptvet including a recent CV by googling “skeptvet” if you need help let me know!

    #126069 Report Abuse

    Spy Car
    Member

    Aimee,

    Instead of responding to a long and reasoned criticism of SkeptVet’s methods outside the particulars of this one study, you charge me with having a strong bias against SpetVet, which is an ad hominem (personal) attack and one that is purely false, while ignoring all the other problems I outlined.

    I began reading his blog out of an interest in canine nutrition and was attracted by his declaring himself in favor of science-based medicine (a position I hold strongly).

    Instead of finding a person with an affinity to science, as I’ve read his blog over time I’ve discovered that he is a polemicist who skews his reports on scientific studies to his own ends, insults anyone who disagrees with him as anti-science, uses half-truths and untruths to advance his arguments, attacks others for using human nutrition studies as evidence for canine nutrition (yet does the same thing himself), attacks others for using anecdotal reports as evidence (yet does the same thing himself) and is a person who constantly attempts to mislead readers into believing a lack-of-evidence is itself evidence.

    SkeptVet seems to relish his role as a bad-boy and truth-stretcher who deliberately inflames others and who operates as an internet troll, to the point where he gleefully publishes his yearly “hate mail” on his blog. His antics may fit the era we are living through, but they are not the methods of those of us who favor dispassionately weighing the evidence.

    I did figure out his identity and read his review of neutering dogs and cats and the same truth twisting was readily apparent in his conclusions. He has earned my mistrust as a source of good information.

    Bill

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  Spy Car.
    #126227 Report Abuse

    aimee
    Member

    Spycar,

    You wrote “Instead of responding to a long and reasoned criticism of SkeptVet’s methods outside the particulars of this one study, you charge me with having a strong bias against SkeptVet,”

    Actually what I said was ” “To me it appears that you are starting out with a strong bias against skeptvet….” If I was charging you with having a strong bias against skeptvet I would have said “You have a strong bias against skeptvet” : )

    To respond in detail to every accusation you made would take more time and effort than I’m willing to put forth as I don’t think my effort would ever change your opinion. And let’s face it my previous post was quite long and I only responded to one point!

    I don’t see your conclusion as being any different from skept vet. You wrote “All that can be said truthfully is that there have been very few studies of coconut oils and there risks and benefits in dogs.” and “Almost zero science to support either harm or benefits to dogs” Skeptvet wrote ” There is virtually no research on coconut oil in dogs and cats, apart from some studies looking at topical use for treatment of parasites. Therefore, the health effects, both risks and benefits, are unknown and supported only by unreliable anecdotal evidence.”

    He treats the available anecdotal evidence for harm the same way as he does for benefits, unreliable in both cases. Anecdotal/personal reports are a form of evidence just very weak, unreliable, low level evidence. In science you can’t make strong conclusions from weak evidence and skeptvet maintains this stance and will remind people of that tenet.

    I don’t see it as wrong to talk about anecdotal reports They are observations and taken collectively I see their purpose as being a resource from which to form hypothesis for controlled studies.

    As I said before, I think it best to look at how his peers evaluate him. The evidence based veterinary medical group had elected him as their president. If he were to be guilty of all you charge him with I don’t see that this would have ever happened. He is a reviewer for recognized journals, and has himself authored peer reviewed articles published in established journals. He has been judged by his peers and elevated to the position that he holds/has held.

    Can he come off as a bit cocky at times? I could see that people may interpret him that way but from what I’ve seen his science is sound.

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