Coconut has lots of health benefits to us humans, especially coconut oil. But is it alright for our dogs to eat? Does coconut oil have positive benefits for dogs, too?
The short answer is, yes! Dogs can eat coconut. In fact, they can eat coconut oil, coconut meat, coconut milk, and coconut water. Coconut water can be a great beverage to bring along for your dog on long summer walks. Coconut water is high in naturally occurring electrolytes which is helpful if your dog starts to get overheated. Just be sure to get just plain coconut water, no sugar or flavors added.
The main reason you would want to feed most coconut products (other than coconut water) is because of the coconut oil they contain. A 14oz can of coconut milk contains about 5 tablespoons of coconut oil. Or you can get 2 tablespoons of coconut oil from freshly shredded coconut and 3.5 tablespoons from 1 cup dried shredded coconut (be sure it’s unsweetened).
What Makes Coconut Oil So Good For Dogs?
Coconut oil is made mostly of saturated fat, but not just any saturated fat. Coconut oil is mostly made of medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs). You may have heard of MCTs before especially if you have looked into the ketogenic diet at all. This is a very special type of fat that actually helps you lose weight and it can help your dog lose weight too. These MCTs have many other excellent health benefits for your dog.
What Are The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs?
There are loads of health benefits for your dog! Most notably you should know that coconut oil is basically anti-everything! Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-yeast, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, it is some pretty amazing stuff.
Because of coconut oil’s anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, it can be used topically for small cuts and wounds to prevent infection. This also gives coconut oil the ability to help boost your pup’s immune system. You can also use it topically for eye and ear infections. Just melt it down a bit and use it, warm but not hot.
Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties which give it the ability to aid in digestion and help heal the gut. If the gut is healthy then your dog can get all the nutrients out of the food you feed him. The anti-inflammatory nature of coconut oil helps to fight cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease, fight allergic reactions, helps to alleviate arthritis, achy muscles and reduces overall inflammation.
Because it is anti-yeast and anti-fungal coconut oil can also help if your dog suffers from yeast or fungal infections.
Coconut oil is also great for bone health, is a great source of energy, helps with cognitive function, weight loss, coughing, and can even help to balance hormones and metabolism.
Coconut oil can be used to keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy. You can use the coconut oil topically or feed it to your dog for his skin and coat. Both topical and oral supplementing of coconut oil will help your dog’s coat.
If you use coconut oil topically it can also help to repel fleas, ticks, and mange mites as well as treating bites from such pests.
Another fascinating thing is coconut oil has a tendency to be anti-odor. So, it can be great to fight doggie breath or doggie odor. This could be especially helpful if you have a Basset Hound, Boxer, Sher Pei, Cocker Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Yorkie, Blood Hound, Pug, Beagle, or Bulldog. These breeds are all known for their doggie body odor.
What Are The Dangers of Giving Your Dog Coconut?
Well, not really. Unless your dog has an allergic reaction to coconut oil there are very few side effects associated with feeding your dog coconut oil.
The main possibility is introducing your dog to coconut oil too fast. This is likely to result in diarrhea or greasy stool. So, be sure to introduce coconut oil slowly over a few weeks before you get to a full serving for your dog.
Also, if your dog has a history of pancreatitis or an inability to metabolize fat, talk with your vet about whether coconut oil is right for your dog. The addition of a digestive enzyme could be all your dog needs to be able to enjoy the many benefits of coconut oil.
Other than those few things dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages can enjoy this wonderful superfood.
How much Coconut Oil Should I feed My Dog?
Start with giving one 1/4 teaspoon per day to small dogs and 1 teaspoon per day to larger dogs. Work your way up to 1 teaspoon per 10lbs of dog per day, if you see no adverse reactions. You can feed this amount all at once or divide it up throughout the day. It is best to feed coconut oil with a meal.
You can also use coconut oil topically by applying a small amount to your hands and massaging it gently onto your dog’s skin and fur. Let is soak in for a bit and then rinse with warm water.
What Kind of Coconut Oil Should I Give My Dog?
The best kind of coconut oil to buy is organic, extra-virgin or virgin, cold-pressed, and unrefined. Preferably in a glass bottle. This will give you the best coconut oil for the most benefits.
What you do not want is coconut oil that has been refined, bleached, and/or deodorized. This will not be high-quality coconut oil and has the possibility of doing harm and not good.
How Do I feed My Dog Coconut Oil?
There are several products on the market that contain coconut oil and are made especially for dogs. These include treats, oils, and specialty combo oils or oils added with other things. They have coconut oil with CBD oil or raw honey or healing herbs added, all to enhance and add to the power of coconut oil. Of course, you can also just get high-quality coconut oil at the supermarket and give that to your dog too.
You can also use coconut oil to make a natural toothpaste for your dog! It’s great for toothpaste because it is anti-bacterial, anti-odor, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory.
Coconut oil is a great pill coating too. Just in case you need to hide a pill, why not hide it in a beneficial oil like coconut oil?