Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs? We’ll Find Out.

May 25, 2018 in Articles

Pretty dog

 

If you are a pet parent, you may have been thinking, “Is coconut oil good for dogs?” and wondering if you should incorporate it into your dog’s diet or maybe apply it to your pet’s coat. 

I am the proud pet parent of two dogs, so I wanted to make this information available to you since I always look for the most natural and safe products for my pets!

Coconut oil has gained much popularity in recent years and is being used in many households as a natural ingredient in homemade toothpaste, deodorant, skin care products and, even as a hair moisturizer.

Research has revealed that coconut oil contains several nutrients which are of great benefit to humans.  Though some dog owners are already applying coconut oil as a holistic approach to pet care, most owners still have their doubts over it.  After all, not everything that works well for humans is the same for dogs.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Although coconut oil has been successfully used in various ways with humans, pet owners still raise this question, “Is coconut oil good for dogs?”

Benefits of using coconut oil

Coconut oil contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial to the skin and coat of dogs.  The application of coconut oil on their skin and coat can help protect dogs against tick and flea infestation and give your dog’s coat a healthy shine!

So, if your dog is bitten by a pest, the use of coconut oil can facilitate in the treatment of the bite because of the antibacterial properties found in this natural oil.

It can also help clear up skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, eczema, and itchy skin.  It is used in the treatment and prevention of yeast and fungal infections, wounds and cuts, dry skin and hair, mosquito bites, bee stings, and hot spots.

In addition, it helps reduce allergic reactions and doggy odor.  And, its lauric acid content (which is the main fatty acid in this oil) helps in improving the health of your pet’s skin, making their fur sleek and glossy.

The addition of coconut oil to a dog’s diet can aid in improving digestion and nutrients’ absorption, reduction and elimination of parasites, and bad breath.  Coconut oil contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that are capable of preventing infections and diseases; treating colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome and may reduce the risk of cancer.  This should help to clear up any doubts pet owners may have had as to whether coconut oil is beneficial for dogs to ingest.

Coconut oil aids in balancing the dog’s insulin level and promoting normal thyroid function, which helps to prevent or control diabetes.  It can be used in the treatment of arthritis and ligament problems.  It also aids in increasing energy and the reduction in weight.  What’s really neat is that you can give coconut oil to your dog right from a spoon and they just lap it up!  My dogs love the taste and, I have to admit, I really like the flavor, too.  The highest quality and most effective would be an organic coconut oil.

This is tasty!

It can be incorporated as eye or ear drops to clear up eye and ear infections since it has antibiotic properties.  Coconut oil is also useful in improving a dog’s oral health.  Though the benefits I’ve mentioned have provided you with a partial answer to the question “is coconut oil good for dogs,?” there are still some other reasons that need to be given to fully ascertain that coconut oil is actually good for dogs.  

 

Is it Safe for Dogs to Consume Coconut Oil?

Yes.  Coconut oil can be safely ingested, not only by humans but also by animals such as hamsters, horses, cats, birds, and dogs included.  Even when ingested in large amounts, coconut oil cannot cause any serious health problem for the dog.

The worst health problem it can undergo is loose stool or diarrhea.  Also, there is the risk of allergic reaction if the
coconut oil is suddenly introduced into the dog’s diet or grooming regimen.  A gradual transition is always advised and, if an allergic reaction is experienced, the use of coconut oil should be stopped.

Even though it is quite safe for dogs to consume coconut oil, it is best to take precautions and consult with a holistic vet before introducing this to your dog’s diet in the event that your dog already has high cholesterol.  In some cases, it has been shown that the dog’s cholesterol level rose when given large amounts on a regular basis.

Here is a high-quality Organic, Virgin Coconut Oil for Dog’s coat.  To purchase, click on the image below.

Click Image to purchase

 

 

Various Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Your Dog

Coconut oil can be safely introduced into your dog’s diet and applied to its skin and coat.  When choosing a variant of coconut oil, virgin oil is usually recommended, as it contains most of the benefits associated with coconut oil. There is also the refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) variants which should be avoided due to the fact that they have lost some essential nutrients — which can be of benefit — during their processing of this product, i.e., using heat to process the oil.

As an added supplement, begin with giving 1/4 teaspoon per day for small dogs and puppies, and 1/2 tablespoon per day for medium to large dog breeds.  Take notice if any diarrhea results after incorporating coconut oil; if so, reduce the amount by half and then gradually increase to the recommended amounts.  There is no science to this, as it is a food, so you can experiment and see what works best for your pet!

Then, if the dog has adjusted well after two weeks, the dosage can be increased to 1/4 tablespoon per 10 pounds of body weight or 1 tablespoon per 40 pounds daily.  (If you feel comfortable with halving the amount mentioned above, that is fine.)

Dogs should not be fed on coconut oil solely; this would be an unhealthy practice.  Instead, it should be added to their meals to maintain a balanced diet.

It is of the utmost importance to gradually introduce the supplement to the dog’s diet so as to avoid any issues such as weight gain, diarrhea, loose stool, which may indicate intolerance.

 

Applying Coconut Oil to a Dog’s Skin

Coconut oil can be used topically on your dog’s skin and coat.  The lauric acid in coconut oil contains unique chemical compounds that can help improve skin health and the appearance of their fur.

Beautiful Black Lab with a Shiny Coat

 

Bathe your dog by using a Natural Dog Shampoo and rinsing the coat with warm water.  Massage the fur down to the skin with an organic, virgin coconut oil after shampooing the dog.  

After applying the coconut oil, let it sit for 10-15 minutes so that the oil can be absorbed into the skin, at which time the coat should be rinsed properly with warm water.  The coat can be washed, again, with a very light application of shampoo and another quick rinse of warm water if you find your dog’s coat is too oily.

For therapeutic purposes, concentrate on the areas that are causing discomfort to the dog.  Coconut oil can also be applied to the dog’s teeth for improving its oral health.

If your dog has fungal infections of the skin, below is a natural remedy:

Coconut oil can also be used in the treatment of fungal infections skin, a common inflammatory skin condition in dogs which is caused by the overgrowth of the Malassezia species of yeast.  Mix a melted, virgin coconut oil with 10 drops of lavender and 2 drops of lemon essential oils.

Apply it on the dog’s coat down to the skin about once a week.  The mixture can last for several months, and it should be stored in a cool, dark place.

 

Are There Risks Associated with Coconut Oil?

Although coconut oil has no major negative effect on dogs, research has shown that there are chances of coconut oil increasing the cholesterol level in dogs, which may cause fatty plaques to develop in the arteries, in rare cases and when given excessive amounts each day.  (The amounts outlined above are not at all excessive.) 

The high-calorie content of coconut oil, if used in excess, may cause weight gain.  Research has also shown that diets high in saturated fat may cause a reduction in dogs’ scent-detecting abilities, but again, this is usually the case if excessive amounts are given.  If you have a working dog, then you may want to discuss this further with your vet. 

According to Dr. Colleen Smith of the Chattanooga Holistic Animal Institute, “coconut oil provides many benefits for dogs,” but there is still need to be aware if any underlining risk is involved.

Despite the risks which only occur in rare cases, coconut oil contains so many nutrients which can be of immense benefits to dogs. 

There are a variety of applications that is can be used for, such as a health supplement, therapeutic, and medicinal, for the general overall improvement in the dog’s health.  

 

I can do it!

 

Conclusion

Coconut oil can offer many health benefits for your pet, such as increased energy, a healthy, shiny coat, warding off ticks and fleas, and maybe even clearing up some of the skin conditions mentioned above. 

I have been giving it to my dogs daily and noticed that their coat has a beautiful shine to it! They also seem to have a little more energy.  I’ve not encountered any problem with incorporating this into my dogs’ diet or applying it to their fur when shampooing them. 

What I really like is that it seems to be keeping the ticks and fleas away, which is what every loving pet parent wants. I have not used chemical flea/tick collars for the past 12 years; the natural products worked fine.

The benefits outweigh the risk here (which is not a major one). You may want to give this a try and see how it helps your pet. If you decide to give coconut oil to your dog, I would recommend an organic, virgin coconut oil (in a glass jar) such as the one mentioned in this post.

It is a wise practice to consult with your pet’s vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.  A mainstream vet will, most likely, be unfamiliar with the benefits since they are only taught about what drugs to give when a health problem arises and not about natural products which heal the body and prevent sickness in the first place. Consulting with a holistic vet would be your best bet!

May you and your pet/s enjoy a long, healthy life together!  Please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you!

 

Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs? We’ll Find Out.

10 Comments

    1. Hi
      This is an interesting article about coconut oil being good for dogs! I have been eating, and using coconut oil on my skin and sometimes my hair for a few years. However, I’ve never considered using on my dog who is constantly battling yeast on his skin?

      I will definitely give it a try on his coat, and also to help treat an infected wound on my cat.

      This is great that you took the time to write this article about coconut oil and dogs, ’cause I will be giving it a try immediately.

      • Cathy says:

        Hello Mike,

        I’m glad you found this post interesting, thank you.

        That’s good to hear that you have been consuming and using coconut oil for yourself and that you’ll now be using it for your dog and cat.

        I believe it will help your cat’s wound and also treat your dog’s coat for the issue of yeast on his skin. Please write back, if you can, to let me know how it works out for your pets.

        Hope you will visit again!

        Cathy

    2. Jeff says:

      I am very impressed with your research in this post, I have often considered coconut oil for my dog but I have never given it to him. I just never took the time to research how coconut oil would affect him. I know now to stock up on an extra jar of coconut oil, one for me and one for my dog

      Great Information
      Jeff

      • Cathy says:

        Hello Jeff,

        Thank you for visiting! I’m glad that you have decided to incorporate the coconut oil into your dog’s diet. I believe you will be pleased with the results.

        Hope you will stop by again!

        Cathy

    3. Jeff says:

      Amazing post on coconut oil and dogs, I have considered giving my dog coconut oil but I never have since I never researched if it was a good or bad thing to do.

      I like the idea of being able to use coconut oil for fleas and ticks and eliminate using chemicals on my dog which I only use during the summer months when he spends most of his time outdoors.

      I truly appreciate this information and so does my dog
      Jeff

      • Cathy says:

        Hi there, Jeff!

        Thank you for reading the post! I am glad you liked it.

        Yes, that is a huge plus in that it has been deterring the pests (ticks/fleas) on my dogs.

        Glad you found the article to be of value.

        Cathy

    4. Hey Cathy. Thank you. I am so surprised at how many natural remedies people are coming up with for our pets. I know we are coming along further and further on the natural ideas for humans, but I really think it is important to do this for our pets as well. The fewer chemicals, the better.
      I have a dog that has a couple of very itchy patches, I think I might give this a try and see if it helps gives her some relief.
      And now that I know it can help her health wise I will see about giving it to her orally as well.
      Of course with your precautions, I will introduce it slowly first, make sure she doesn’t have an allergic reaction.
      I know you said that most generally the only time this could be a problem is if you give them too much that it could cause their cholesterol to rise, but how much is too much when I go to do this? I don’t want to overdo it. Thank you so much.

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Melissa,

        Thanks for the comments! I would say that it is a good idea to give the coconut oil a try and apply it to your dog’s patches of skin that are itchy and also adding it to her diet! You may be pleasantly surprised.

        Yes, I would introduce it slowly and, then, gradually increasing. I would not be scared since this is a whole food in its most natural state, not a drug. : )

        As far as giving too much, that would be giving more than what I’ve recommended in this article. If she is small, then try with a 1/4 tsp. a day. If she is a medium to large dog, then 1/2 tablespoon a day. After a couple weeks, you can increase it to double the amount. But, overdoing it would mean giving twice or triple the amount that I suggested.

        Honestly, my dog of 15 years of age (who I miss so much!) had suffered from high cholesterol for years. (I never gave meds for this and not sure if there even are any for dogs with high cholesterol.) Then, after I incorporated the organic coconut oil into her diet, daily, the levels went down after six months close to the normal range. So, don’t be scared to give this a try.

        Hope this helps, and if you have any more questions, please write back.

        Cathy

    5. Sheryl Cash says:

      Interesting I have used and cooked with coconut oil for sometime now, never thought about it as beneficial for fur babies good to know.

      • Cathy says:

        Hello, and thank you for leaving a comment!

        That’s good to hear that you are cooking with coconut oil.

        Glad to know that you’re now aware of it being beneficial for our loving pets! : )

        Hope you visit again.

        Cathy

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Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs? We’ll Find Out.

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