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Can Dogs Eat Coconut and Coconut Oil?

Dachshund biting a green coconut on a beach next to the ocean

We all know and have heard about the wonders of the coconut – after all, it is a superfood, packed with nutrients and good fats. It’s got plenty of antioxidants too, touted for looking after your cardiovascular health, regulating your blood pressure and protecting against diabetes and kidney stones. This is all due to its high concentrations of lauric acid and potassium, not even getting started on the wonders it can do for your skin, hair, and energy levels. But OK, that’s for humans, but what about our beloved pets? Can dogs eat coconut? Does a coconut offer the same benefits for our best friend?

Yes! coconut is a wonderful natural remedy to add to your dog’s diet; to protect him from future expensive vet bills. But still, check it out when trying anything new with your vet – it is imperative to have your dog’s best interests at heart.

Dogs need plenty of nutrients in their diets, 6 in fact. These are:

  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Carbs
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Water

Which Brings Us to the Question - Will Coconut Benefit Your Dog?

Small short haired black dog with big brown eyes running on a pebble pathway next to a stream

Whenyou look at all the pet food commercials, you will probably notice a lot of emphases put on protein in a dogs food, but fats are crucial too; in fact, fats can offer your dog twice as much protein and energy as proteins and carbs do.

For proper hormone function in your dog and to keep his or her skin healthy and glossy, coconut can do wonders for these things, offering your dog unique health benefits.

There are reasons why it’s a good idea to incorporate coconut oil in your dog’s routine even though it is true to say that the full effects of using coconut oil for dogs are not fully researched.However, the health benefits listed below are supported by anecdotal evidence. Vets such as Dr. Colleen Smith, a pet expert, (DVM, CVA, CVCP) from the Chattanooga Holistic Animal Institute says, that coconut oil increases energy levels in dogs; improving their skin and coat, improving digestion and reducing allergic reactions. The fatty acids which are so helpful in cognitive function, have been medically proven to present these benefits – so vital for our wonderful dog friends.

Not Convinced? Here Are Even More Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs!

Small brown and white dog jumping through a grass field
  • Produces a shiny coat because if your dog’s coat is unnaturally rough, it could be a sign your dog has worms. Coconut oil is noted to be effective in treating tapeworms, giardia, and other parasites,keeping all pests away such as mites and lice.
  • Relieves dry and itching skin because of the anti-inflammatory properties which can help decrease infections, hot spots, flea allergies, and itchy and dry skin.
  • It fights yeast infections.
  • It prevents cognitive decline.
  • Promotes fast wound healing.
  • Promotes faster recovery from kennel cough.
  • Boosts the immune system because it fights infections, parasites, fungi, and bad bacteria.
  • Eases inflammation and is, therefore, a great supplement for older dogs suffering from arthritis.

How Do You Give Your Dog Coconut Oil?

Golden dog standing on a large mossy tree branch in a forest

You can apply it topically by rubbing a small amount in your hands and massaging it into the dog’s skin and fur.

You can also give it to your dog to consume internally by mixing the right amount into the dog’s food. Here is a good guideline:

  • Start with a small amount, only about ¼-teaspoon each day. Then work your way up in the month. If your dog is a large breed, the dosage shouldn’t exceed a tablespoon. For small dogs, the dose should not exceed one teaspoon. If your dog is overweight though, no matter the size, keep the dose at ¼-teaspoon.

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Remember that for your dog, as well as people, there is always the potential for an allergic reaction – test with a small amount of coconut oil first, watching for adverse reactions in your dog over 24-48 hours before you continue dosing. If your dog shows side effects, don’t just think it will pass over - you need to take your dog immediately to the vet.

Because coconut contains medium chain triglycerides, it can cause a gastrointestinal upset as well as bloating, so you need to be careful not to feed your dog too much and monitor him carefully. It is also recommended that you don’t feed your dog or any of your pets for that matter with any human foods on a regular basis, because this can cause them unnecessary weight gain, allergies, and then on top of that, the high-fat content in coconut can make it even more dangerous.

Dogs are omnivores, eating and digesting a variety of foods such as fiber-filled veggies and plenty of red meat too. But because they are well equipped to digest many foods, does not mean the dog should eat it – there are some foods that can turn out to be toxic for your dog. It is imperative that you knowwhat to feed your dog.

Holistic Supplements For Your Dog

Norwegian Elk Hound in a park with its tongue out

Remember that coconut oil should never replace omega 3's. Coconut oil is not a source of this important fat. Coconut meat, coconut oil, and coconut water are all healthy for your dog – just be careful to remove all shell parts before feeding because they can cause intestinal obstruction in your dog’s stomach.

Coconut water is also perfectly safe for your dog to drink, not in place of water, but in addition to water. It is packed with minerals,vitamins, and electrolytes to keep your dog in health, hydration, and happiness.

Holistic veterinarians, as well as animal nutritionists, claim that including coconut oil in a dog’s diet can have positive effects, primarily for the health of the skin and coat. Check out other holistic supplements like CBD oil, turmeric, and fantastic herbs to work wonders on your dog.

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Looking for an Easy, Healthy, and Tasty Coconut Oil Treat?

Yorkie with a blue collar looking happy on a mountain hiking trail

There are just 3 ingredients and it includes coconut oil, cinnamon, and peanut butter. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties in it and also has the ability to slow down or stop bacterial growth. It also helps with insulin resistance and regulates blood sugar – an all-rounder for your dog!

Just melt the coconut oil (1 cup) and the peanut butter (1 cup) on the stove in a double boiler, and then add the cinnamon (1 teaspoon). Mix up everything together until smooth and all combined. Then pour into some silicone trays and freeze them until they are set, storing in a covered dish in your refrigerator. Just takes 10 minutes to produce about 36 delicious bites.

Your dog is worth all his weight in diamonds and whoever said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend never was the owner of a dog – invest in your investment with the best quality foods and the richest of oils, for PAWS-itive results!

Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.

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