Although coconut oil has proven to be a healthy and valuable addition to our food and in our medicine cabinets, what about our pets? Is it safe to use coconut oil for dogs?
The short answer is YES, why not?
It’s no secret that organic food sales have increased significantly in recent years. Previously, shoppers would see “organic” on a product label and assume it was just an overpriced product, not worthy of the price tag.
Today, consumers are becoming more and more aware of what is actually going into their food, personal care products, and products for their pets.
In addition to the flood of “organic” products on grocery store shelves, “coconut oil” is one ingredient that we are beginning to see a lot more of—and for good reason. Coconut oil is a powerful, natural ingredient that promotes hair and skin health and acts as a treatment method for various diseases and conditions.
Read on for some in-depth information and tips on how coconut oil can help keep your dog healthy.
Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?
Coconut oil is a natural remedy that can be administered orally as a dietary supplement or applied directly to the skin as a topical.
When applied topically, coconut oil can help relieve skin conditions and speed up the process of healing for minor scrapes. Given orally, it can provide digestive, cognitive, metabolic and immune system support for dogs.
Skin Benefits, Diet Benefits, and More: The Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs
So, how can coconut oil for dogs help?
Many studies have shown that coconut oil has been used as an effective dietary supplement and treatment method for a variety of ailments and conditions in humans, so why wouldn’t it help our fur babies?
Additionally, coconut oil can be a preventive and a proactive measure to help protect your dog against troublesome conditions.
Here are some ways coconut oil can help dogs:
Treat Skin Irritations and Issues
One of the best things about coconut oil for dogs is that it contains antioxidants, which have some pretty powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, coconut oil is a great choice for treating dry skin, minor rashes or irritations, and even help heal minor cuts and bug bites.
Many people give coconut oil to their dogs as a daily dietary supplement to help support digestion. Coconut oil is made up of natural chained fatty acids, which have proven to help soothe digestive issues as well as help promote overall gastrointestinal health.
You can easily tell the overall health of your dog by the condition of his or her coat. Coconut oil is also rich in Vitamin C and Lauric Acid, both of which can help nourish your dog’s fur and skin. Simply add a drop or two of coconut oil into your dog’s shampoo to help keep your dog’s fur looking glossy, soft, smooth and healthy.
Immune System Support
When ingested, coconut oil can help prevent bacterial and viral infections. Again, the natural Lauric Acid compound can help protect your dog’s immune system, protecting them against harmful diseases.
Treat Yeast Infections
If you notice your dog is itching persistently, it may just be dry skin; it could be a sign of a more serious condition: a yeast infection. In fact, yeast infections are one of the most common causes of itching and irritation.
Yeast infections are caused by the buildup of bacteria on the skin, ears, eyes and other areas on a dog’s body. The powerful antibacterial and antifungal functions of coconut oil can help treat mild cases of yeast and fungal infections.
Brain, Ears, and Eyes
Coconut oil for dogs can help treat minor ear and eye infections. If you are having trouble getting your dog to swallow coconut oil supplements, then try to add a drop or two of coconut oil to the eyes and ears with an eyedropper. Also, according to PetMD, it can also slow cognitive dysfunction in your pet dog!
Relieve Unpleasant Doggy Odors
Is there anything worse than the smell of a wet dog?
Although we love our furry friends, sometimes we have to do something about the smell of their fur and/ or breath. Coconut oil can help relieve or even eliminate those unpleasant doggy odors.
Coconut oil is recommended as a non-toxic, all-natural treatment for intestinal worms. Some pet owners swear by using coconut oil to treat worms.
What is Coconut Oil?
So, what exactly is coconut oil, and where does it come from?
Coconut oil is extracted from the coconut fruit itself and according to the American Kennel Club, it’s made up of roughly 90% saturated fats!
Wait a minute, but isn’t saturated fat bad? Doesn’t it cause high LDL cholesterol?
Yes it does, however…
Lauric Acid and Caprylic Acid are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are also known as “fatty acids”. These fatty acids are “healthy” fats and are easily absorbed by the body to help aid in digestion, treat infections, and even help weight loss.
Like Fish Oil and Fatty Acids, Coconut Oil for Dogs Does Wonder
Much like humans, dogs cannot biologically produce their own fatty acids, which is why they need to be ingested.
Fish and fish oil are the primary sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, also known as “essential” fatty acids contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Coconut oil is the best source of medium-chain fatty acids. And because dogs aren’t very good with dealing with EPA and DHA directly, coconut oil is the best option for them when compared with other oils, such as flaxseed oil, canola oil or walnut oil.
How Many Types of Coconut Oil Can You Buy?
With coconut oil becoming a top dietary supplement for many people (and their pets), there are a number of different types of coconut oil that you can buy at any department or grocery store. Some of the different types of coconut oil you can purchase include:
- Virgin Coconut Oil/ Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
- Unrefined Coconut Oil
- Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil for dogs is typically available as an oral supplement, lotion, topical or as a superfood. Continue reading for some top-recommended coconut oil for dogs.
Proper Dosage of Coconut Oil for Dogs
Although coconut oil has proven to be a safe and great remedy for dogs, too much of it can have adverse effects and may even cause an allergic reaction in some cases.
To play it safe, the recommended coconut oil dosage for dogs is approximately one teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 lbs per day. When starting out, only give your dog a quarter of the recommended dosage to see how your dog reacts to it.
The Best Way to Give Coconut Oil to Your Dog
As mentioned before, coconut oil can be given to your dog orally or applied directly to the skin, fur, eyes, and ears, but it really depends on your dog’s temperament.
If your dog doesn’t take oral supplements easily, then consider adding the supplement to his or her food, shampoo or apply it with an eyedropper.
Allergic Reaction? Here’s What To Do:
We all know that there really can be “too much of a good thing”.
If you give your dog too much coconut oil, it may cause an allergic reaction on their skin or even cause his or her stool to loosen. Be sure to pay attention and keep track of how much coconut oil you are giving your dog each day to help avoid problems.
If you notice some odd symptoms after giving your dog coconut oil, be sure to call and schedule an appointment with the vet for further advice or diagnosis.
Different Brands, Same Benefits?
There are a few different brands of coconut oil for dogs available on the market. You may be wondering, do different brands provide the same benefits and results?
Like any product for any human or animal, different products cause different reactions for different individuals and pets.
Here are some top brands and products that are worth considering:
Alpha Pet Zone Coconut Oil for Dogs
Alpha Pet Zone Coconut Oil for dogs is another natural and highly effective product to help improve your dog’s skin and fur. It’s is an organic product, free from harmful chemicals to help treat skin conditions and irritations, while also avoiding an allergic reaction.
Alpha Pet Zone Coconut Oil for dogs is vet-recommended to help remove dandruff, reduce itching and scratching, and treat dry skin.
Raw Paws Pet Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Supplement for Dogs and Cats
Raw Paws is another high-quality coconut oil for dogs (and cats!)
The Raw Paws formula is 100 percent USDA-certified organic virgin coconut oil that has proven to help boost immunity, reduce inflammation, improve digestion and also improve metabolic functions for a happy, healthy pet!
There Are Unlimited Uses!
The uses and benefits of coconut oil for dogs are truly endless. Coconut oil has proven to help treat a variety of skin conditions, including rashes, insect bites, dry skin and irritation as well as support digestive health, metabolic functions, weight loss, viral infections and even remove odors. DogsNaturally also provided a few interesting recipes to put that coconut oil to the test for your little pup!
In case you’re more of a fish oil fan, we have a good read waiting for you.