Coconut Oil has many health benefits. It is a delicious and multi-purpose staple in any health-conscious household. You may be using it yourself to moisturize your skin, as heat-tolerant cooking oil, as homemade toothpaste, as a hair conditioner or even as a weight-loss supplement.
So can you use coconut oil on your dog? – Yes!
Coconut Oil Health Benefits – The Good Stuff
Coconut oil is liquid goodness! It’s considered a ‘good fat’ that has some amazing health benefits for your dog, both inside and out.
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- Freshens your pet's breath and helps support oral and digestive health
- Supports your pet's healthy immune system, metabolism, and bone health
- Applied topically, soothes and supports the skin with cuts, wounds, hot spots, bites...
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Here are some Coconut Oil Health Benefits For Dogs
External Benefits (Topical Applications)
- Soothes the skin: the lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid in coconut oil make it a great antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral salve for irritated skin
- Disinfects cuts and promotes healing of wounds, hot spots, rashes, bites and stings
- Helps heal skin conditions including eczema, dry/itchy skin, and contact dermatitis
- Improves the condition of the dog’s skin and coat
- Gets rid of a strong “doggy” smell on the coat
- Soothes and heals dry, irritated or cracked foot pads and elbow calluses
- Repels and kills fleas, ticks and mites (with no toxic side effects)
- Gets rid of dog breath when ingested and when used as a toothpaste
Internal Benefits (Ingested)
- Balances the thyroid and elevates the metabolism, which helps boost energy and reduce weight
- Is a great source of fuel that’s easily digestible
- Reduces allergic reactions
- Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
- Regulates and balances insulin and can be used to control diabetes
- Improves the absorption of nutrients and improves digestion
- Helps heal digestive disorders including irritated bowel syndrome
- Expels or kills internal parasites
- Helps heal eye and ear infections (please consult your vet before using coconut oil!)
- Helps with hydration and electrolyte replacement when your dog is sick or has diarrhea
- Boosts the immune system, and may even reduce the risk of cancer
- Eases inflammation and can help minimize arthritis discomfort
- Promotes healthy brain function (the brain is mostly fatty tissue, and fat is required for healthy brain function in mammals)
Now that you know how this superfood can help your dog live healthier – and yes, coconut oil is safe for dogs – here’s how to use it:
Choose the Right Coconut Oil
Not all coconut oil is created equal.
- Choose “Virgin or Extra Virgin” (same thing) in a glass jar.
- In general, avoid “RBD” or refined and deodorized oil because the heating and filtering process destroys certain nutrients. However, it’s a good option if you or your dog hates the taste or smell of coconut oil.
Coconut oil turns solid quickly but that’s okay. It’s less messy when it’s solid so if you prefer you can store it in the fridge. It can be stored in a cool dark pantry or in the fridge. Coconut oil in glass jars has an unrefrigerated shelf life of about 2 years.
How Much to Feed, and When?
As with any dietary change or supplement, work up to the optimal amount to let your dog’s digestive system adjust to the extra oil. Work up to 1 tsp for 10 lbs of body weight per day.
For toy dogs, you can start with just a few drops with one meal per day, gradually working up to a quarter or half a teaspoon per meal per day.
Coconut oil does not contain Omega-3 fatty acids so for balanced healthy fat intake, you can rotate coconut oil with fish oil in different meals or on alternate days.
Other Ways to Give Your Dog Coconut
Aside from the oil, you can give your dog unsweetened coconut meat, coconut milk, or coconut water. Use the meat (not the shell) as a treat; the milk to soften kibble; and the water as a great rehydration drink.
Make a rehydration drink on scorching hot summer days or if your dog is sick or has diarrhea (please consult your vet if your dog is sick). Mix the following ingredients and offer the drink in a bowl or via an oral syringe :
- 1 C coconut water (unsweetened)
- ¼ tsp good quality sea salt (Celtic or Himalayan)
- ½ C natural sparkling mineral water (San Pellegrino, Perrier, etc.)
As fabulous as coconut oil is for your dog’s skin and coat, if your dog loves the taste, he’ll eat a lot of it off. Not that that’s all bad, but the oil needs a chance to work.
- Skin and coat: apply the oil liberally to the affected area (or all-over) and go for a nice long walk with your dog. Keep them busy for an hour or three to let the oil absorb into the skin and work its magic. Afterward, you can gently rub them with a towel to absorb the excess, give them a bath, or let them lick it off.
- Paws: apply liberally and cover with dog booties – and keep your dog distracted with something to chew on.
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Moderation Is Key
As with anything, too much of a good thing can turn bad. When feeding coconut oil, start with very small amounts for a month before adjusting the dosage. You may notice some effects immediately while others may take a while to manifest, which is why a 30-day trial is a good way to start: it gives the oil a chance to work, gives your dog’s system time to adjust, and for any adverse reactions to show up.
If your dog hates coconut oil or suffers any adverse reactions, stop using immediately.
While coconut oil is an amazing home remedy for many ailments, traditional medicine can sometimes be more effective at easing your dog’s symptoms. Talk to your vet before using coconut oil as a remedy or nutritional supplement.
I hope you enjoy these Top Coconut Oil Health Benefits For Dogs. Have you tried it?