Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes
Summary: In this blog, we ask “what are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs?”. We learn whether coconut oil is good for dogs, if dogs can eat coconut oil, and the many other topical uses of coconut oil on dogs…
Coconut oil - not only does it smell like a holiday in a jar but it’s celebrated across the world for its multiple, beneficial uses. We humans use it for cooking, for masking on hair to rehydrate dry strands, as a substitute for shaving cream and for moisturising our skin. So, we’re already reaping its rewards in our lives, but can it also be beneficial to our dog’s? Is coconut oil good for dogs too?
Coconut oil, in moderated amounts, is good for dogs. Coconut oil is packed with lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids which all have beneficial properties including antibacterial and anti-fungal. In addition, coconut oil can improve the condition of a dog’s skin and coat, improve vitality and boost energy, help aid efficient digestion and may help soothe the symptoms of allergies.
Yes, but as with everything, only when given in moderation. Coconut oil is very high in fat so can cause weight gain if given in excess to your pooch. It can also cause diarrhoea if you overfeed your dog coconut oil.
In limited amounts, the benefits of dogs eating coconut oil include:
Petlab Co. Pro Tip: If you have a dog that has (or a breed that is prone to) pancreatitis, coconut oil is not a suitable item to feed your dog as the fatty acids in it can aggravate the condition or even bring it on.
Always look to give your dog virgin coconut oil (100% coconut oil), which should be clearly marked on the label of the jar. 100% virgin coconut oil is available in most grocery stores and health stores.
Start off with just a teaspoon per 4.5kg of body weight every few days and see how your dog fairs with it. You can give this to them by itself or mix it in with their food. You can up the amount as you see fit, but a sign that you’re giving your pooch too much coconut oil is gastrointestinal upset (loose stools or diarrhoea), so if this occurs, reduce the amount and frequency again.
The other benefits and uses of coconut oil for dogs include:
Coconut oil’s microbial properties can help clean your pup’s teeth and thus help improve their breath! Coconut oil can also help reduce plaque build-up. You can either apply it topically to their gums and teeth using your finger or a doggy toothbrush, or source some doggy dental sticks from a reputable, respected brand (like us!) that contain coconut oil in the formula!
If your dog has cracked, dry paws or nose or has gotten a minor cut, coconut oil has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties so can help soothe the area and promote healing. Dog’s that have allergies and gnaw at themselves, in particular, may benefit from topical application of coconut oil on these areas.
Just like humans, coconut oil when applied topically can help soothe your furry friend’s irritated or dry skin. However, it can also make their fur greasy if you use too much and, if they like the taste of it, they may try to lick it off!
Simply rub a very small amount into your hands and then massage it into the problem area of your dog’s skin. Try to leave it on but if they’re looking a little greasy rather than sleek and shiny, rinse it out after 5-10 minutes.
If coconut oil is present on your dog’s skin and fur, it can act as a parasitic repellent - coconut oil can help put them off embedding themselves into the skin. This shouldn’t replace your regular flea and tick treatment, but it can add an additional layer of deterrent support.
If you want further information on the potential pros and cons of introducing coconut oil to your dog’s diet, have a chat with your vet.