The use of coconut oil for dogs has become increasingly popular, which in light of anything that seems like a fad begs the question:
Is coconut oil good for dogs?
Unlike many human foods which are toxic to dogs, the answer to whether coconut oil is good for dogs or even safe at all for our pets is a yes.
Not only is coconut oil good for dogs, but the health benefits are many, ranging from improved digestion to a sleeker, shinier coat.
In this post I’ll talk about the uses and benefits of coconut oil for dogs, the proper dosage for dogs, possible side effects and risks, and finally, give you some easy coconut oil dog treat recipes.
Disclaimer: It’s always best to consult with your vet before adding any new food into your dog’s diet.
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Benefits Coconut Oil For Dogs
With all of the gross byproducts found in many dry pet foods these days, your dog’s gut might not be as healthy as you think.
Adding a made-for-pets coconut oil to your dog’s diet can have a wondrous effect on your pet’s digestion and vitality.
When ingested, coconut oil:
- Improves digestion
- Improves absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream
- Kills and expels parasites
The improved digestion provides increased energy and promotes a healthy, active lifestyle, which can be especially useful for dogs who have become sedentary.
Coconut oil for dogs can also be helpful in healing digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome or colitis.
If your pet is tipping the scales a little on the hefty side, adding coconut oil to his diet can help.
Coconut oil balances the thyroid, which regulates metabolism.
Coconut oil slightly increases the metabolism in dogs, which will help to shed those extra pounds (if only weight loss was that easy for humans!).
Pets that are suffering from diabetes can also benefit from coconut oil.
It balances insulin production (another function of the thyroid), which helps to control or prevent the disease.
Strengthens Immune System
Want your pet to live to be 100 years old (well…in dog years at least)?
Feeding coconut oil to your dog prevents infections and disease due to the antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties within.
It is known to ease arthritis and ligament problems and may even help prevent cancer.
But aside from the potential long term effects, one notable example you can observe on a daily basis due to the disease fighting agents in coconut oil, is a reduction in your dog’s bad breath or even the absence of it.
No more stinky dog breath!
So if your dog loves to give you lots of kisses, having less bacteria in the mouth is a plus.
Improves Cognitive Function
Older dogs may not “roll over” or do all the tricks they once did in their youth.
However, the use of coconut oil for dogs can help them stay mentally sharp as they age and prevent the onset of canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), a form of dementia in dogs.
CCD is characterized by an amyloid protein build up that results in lesions on the brain of older dogs.
The MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) in coconut oil are known to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease this protein build up through daily ingestion.
Can I put coconut oil on my dog’s skin?
Aside from giving your dog coconut oil orally, you can also put it directly on his skin (or do a combination of both) to improve overall skin and coat health.
Coconut Oil For Dogs Itchy Skin
Does your dog suffer from skin allergies?
You can use coconut oil for dogs itchy skin, and to reduce other allergic reactions including:
- Flea bite allergies
- Contact dermatitis
The less pet dandruff, the better!
Other common uses of coconut oil for dogs skin include applying it topically to treat and heal wounds from:
- Hot spots
- Dry skin and hair
- Bites and stings
Whether your dog suffers from any of these skin issues or not, coconut oil for dogs skin is known to make the coat sleeker and shinier.
How do I apply coconut oil to my dog?
To apply coconut oil topically to your dog, just take a small amount in the palm of your hand (a little goes a long way) and rub your hands together to make an even spread.
Next, run your fingers through your dog’s fur and gently massage the oil into skin.
Is coconut oil good for your dog’s teeth?
Not only is coconut oil good for dogs skin health, but it can also be used to brush your dog’s teeth.
Dogs love the irresistible taste of coconut oil, so if you’re dog hates having his teeth brushed, this may just do the trick.
The anti-bacterial properties in the coconut oil will improve your dog’s bad breath.
What is the best type of coconut oil for dogs?
I recommend the Petpost brand of coconut oil because it is made specifically for dogs and is both high quality and organic (you don’t want any of that knock off stuff!).
It can be given to dogs orally or applied topically for the most health benefits.
How much coconut oil should I give my dog a day?
When adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet, it is extremely important that you give your dog the appropriate amount of coconut oil.
Your pet may otherwise experience unwanted side effects, which I’ll talk about in a minute.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Coconut Oil Dosage For Dogs Is Based Upon Weight
When you first introduce coconut oil into your dog’s diet, you’ll want to start with a very small amount –
- 1/4 teaspoon for small dogs or puppies
- Up to 1 teaspoon for large dogs
Your dog’s body needs time to adjust to this dietary addition. After this adjustment period, the optimal daily coconut oil dosage for dogs is:
- 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of weight
- 1 tablespoon per 30 lbs of weight
So if your dog weighs 20 lbs, 2 teaspoons is ideal and if your dog weighs 90 lbs, 3 tablespoons is ideal.
Side Effects Coconut Oil For Dogs
If you give your pet more than the recommended coconut oil dosage, or too much too fast, he or she may experience some side effects including:
- greasy stools
If your dog shows any of these side effects, simply lessen the amount.
You should not, however, give coconut oil to dogs who have kidney problems or are prone to pancreatitis as the fattiness of the oil may worsen these issues.
Be sure to talk to your vet about the side effects coconut oil for dogs may have on your own pet and any other concerns before introducing it into your dog’s diet.
Coconut Oil For Dogs – Favorite Dog Treat Recipes!
One of the easiest ways to feed coconut oil to your dog is to just add it on top of their food.
If you want to make it into a tasty treat for your loved one though, consider the simple 2-4 ingredient coconut oil dog treat recipes below.
Just make sure to adjust the amount of coconut oil in each treat for your dog’s weight if necessary.
To get the best benefits, be sure to use an organic coconut oil for dogs that’s been developed specifically for pets.
Your pup will thank you!
These frozen coconut oil dog treats from hellonatureblog.com can be made in a flash!
You’ll just need coconut oil, blueberries and a small heart-shaped silicone mold.
Get the recipe here.
In this easy recipe from thyme-is-honey.com, a dog’s love of peanut butter is combined with the ultra-rich benefits of coconut oil.
You can make these any shape you like, but the paws are just too cute! Don’t you agree?
I love this paw print silicone mold, which also comes with a free e-book of more dog treat recipes.
Get the recipe here.
This dog treat recipe from DogVills.com uses both coconut oil and shredded coconut.
You don’t even have to bake them!
Plus, this is a recipe that you and your dog will both find equally tasty.
Get the recipe here.