One of the main questions dog owners always ask when it comes to supplements for dogs, is coconut oil good for dogs?
The short answer is yes! However, it does come with guidelines that must be followed in order to fully reap the benefits for your dog, without causing problems to them.
Although supplements can be a confusing topic for many dog owners, you probably know about the benefits of feeding Omega-3 oils like fish, krill or flaxseed oils to your dog.
These oils contain essential fatty acids, which are essential to your dog’s health. But other oils also support your dog’s health and coconut oil is one of them.
The fats in coconut oil are considered “conditionally essential,” meaning that at under certain circumstances (such as during pregnancy and early growth) they are essential.
In fact, the Medium Chain Fatty Acids found in coconut milk are also in the breast milk of humans and other mammals, and coconut oil is an ingredient in many infant formulas.
Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil can be very beneficial for your dog due to its anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, as well as essential fatty acids properties.
It’s known to increase energy levels, improve skin and coat, improve digestion, and reduce allergic reactions.
It also consists of more than 90% saturated fats. All fats and oils are composed of triglycerides.
Coconut oil is composed primarily of Medium Chain Triglycerides.
All triglycerides are made up of individual fat molecules called fatty acids. Coconut oil contains 64% Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs).
The MCFAs in coconut oil is made up of 48% lauric acid, 8% caprylic acid and 7% capric acid, plus myristicin and palmitic acids.
Most of coconut oil’s health benefits come from the MCFAs, especially lauric acid.
Lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their antifungal effects.
In addition, the body can efficiently metabolize MCFAs to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss.
In dogs, the MCFAs in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic.
According to Dr. Bruce Fife, certified nutritionist and a naturopathic doctor and president of the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects you from illness, and speeds healing.
As a bonus, it improves any dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.
Also Read: Coconut Oil for Skin
Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?
There are numerous benefits of coconut oil for dogs. These coconut oil benefits for dogs are not the only current researched benefits but the most effective uses that we found for dogs.
It has been around for some time now, and most dog owners know some form of use when it comes to their pets.
It’s no surprise that coconut oil for dogs has become so popular, in fact, because of its wide variety of uses, coconut oil is dominating the industry right now.
Coconut Oil Benefits for Dog’s Brain, Eyes, Ears and Mouth
Due to its healthy saturated fats which increase ketones (energy for your brain) coconut oil promotes good nerve and brain function and prevents dementia in dogs.
The strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties help clear up ear and eye infections (let it melt and then use as eye drops, and also use topically in the ears)
When it comes to the mouth, coconut oil improves oral health and can be used to clean teeth and keep the mouth healthy.
Coconut oil for Dog’s Skin
One of the best uses coconut oil has for dogs is how effective it is for the skin. The benefits of all the compounds including the saturated fatty acids can treat a variety of issues that dog might have.
The antifungal and antiviral properties help skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin.
Coconut oil also helps reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health overall for your dog.
The best part about coconut oil for dogs is that it makes coats sleek and glossy, especially great for any weather condition.
The strong antifungal and antibacterial properties also help get rid of doggy odor which can become an annoying for dog owners.
The anti-fungal properties also prevent and treat yeast and fungal infections, including candida!
You can also disinfect cuts and promote wound healing much quicker when you use coconut oil for dogs.
When coconut oil is applied topically to your dog, it promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
Coconut oil also protects against fleas, ticks and mites Soothe and heals dry cracked pads and elbow calluses.
Also Read: Coconut oil Pulling
Coconut oil for Dog’s Metabolism
Coconut oil for your dog can help boost up metabolism and helps control your dog’s energy levels.
The endocrine metabolic system helps regulate and balances insulin and can help prevent or control diabetes in your dog.
The healthy fats and properties like lauric acid help promote normal thyroid function, which can be crucial in the lifespan of a dog.
The healthy fats also increase energy levels and help reduce weight, for those struggling dogs.
Coconut oil for Dog’s Digestive System
The digestive system improves when you add coconut oil to your dog’s diet by allowing for better processing and gut health.
In fact, coconut oil for dogs can help digestion and nutrient absorption. Making it a primary reason pet owners coat pills with coconut oil.
Coconut oil aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis in your dog.
One of the best parts about using coconut oil is that it reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs, while also expelling or killing off parasites.
Coconut oil for Dog’s Muscular System
Due to coconut oils underlying compounds and properties, studies have shown a link to coconut oil use for dogs with an increase in muscularity and skeleton system strength.
Coconut oil helps the musculoskeletal system build strong bones in your dogs.
It also eases inflammation and can help with arthritis discomfort in your dogs.
Also Read: 101 Coconut Oil Uses and Benefits
Coconut oil for Dogs Immune System
Coconut oil contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents that prevent infection and disease, which bolsters the immune system.
Some studies have even shown that coconut oil may reduce the risk of cancer in your dogs.
Coconut oil for Dogs Diet
Coconut oil has always been known to have the qualities and benefits of a “SUPERFOOD.”
In fact, coconut oil helps in assisting with weight loss, while powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties balance insulin and promote normal thyroid function in your dog.
This also Helps prevent or control diabetes as well as aids arthritis and ligament problems.
Coconut oil will also help prevent infection and disease in your dog for the long term.
How Much Coconut Oil for Dogs?
As a daily supplement, work up to about 1 Tsp per 10 lbs of body weight per day.
Start with ¼ of this amount to avoid loose stool from the extra oil going through your dog’s digestive system, then increase gradually until you get to the recommended dose.
It should be noted that because of the essential fatty acids in Omega-3 oils, your dog will still need some Omega-3 oil as well a coconut oil.
It’s also a good idea to rotate coconut oil on alternate days or at different meals with your choice of Omega-3 oil, so that your dog gets the benefits of both types of oils.
For therapeutic or medicinal purposes, you may need to double the above dosage working up gradually until your dog’s system adapts to the extra oil in her diet.
You might want to consult your holistic vet about the optimal dose for your dog’s size and health condition.
Some dogs love licking coconut oil off the spoon but others prefer it mixed into food.
Adding it to food can also help prevent digestive upset when you first start giving coconut oil to your dog.
Coconut Oil Risks for your Dogs
Although adverse effects are rare, there are a few things to consider before using coconut oil on your dog.
There is always the risk of an allergic reaction when introducing something new to your dog’s diet or grooming regimen.
If a reaction occurs, stop using it. Also, some studies have shown that coconut oil can cause high cholesterol in dogs.
In extreme cases, this can cause fatty plaques to develop in the arteries.
Furthermore, due to its high-calorie content, using coconut oil in excess may lead to weight gain.
Also Read: Coconut Oil for Hair
Ultimately make sure to be aware of your dog’s character and any changes when trying out new diets.