Coconut oil can be good for dogs, just like it can be good for people. However, the benefits should be carefully weighed against any risks. Coconut oil is an oil that comes from ripe coconuts and is often used in both food and beauty products. This is because it has a lot of saturated fat and medium-chain triglycerides, a type of saturated fatty acid that is good for your health in many ways, from helping you lose weight to making your brain work better. 1 Coconut oil has also been shown to be good for dogs. It can help with stomach problems and irritated skin, as well as prevent infections and lessen allergic reactions. Here are five ways to help dogs with coconut oil. Please talk to your vet and make sure you weigh the pros and cons of giving your pet coconut oil before you do so.
You can Addcoconut oil in food and treats.
After talking to your pet’s vet, you can think about adding coconut oil to their food to bring their thyroid activity back into balance. This can help overweight dogs lose weight and help lazy dogs feel more active. Studies have also shown that coconut oil can make it easier for the body to absorb nutrients, help fight digestive problems like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis, and reduce inflammation in the body as a whole. But because it has a lot of saturated fat, it shouldn’t be used too often.
For small dogs, start with no more than a 1/4 teaspoon. Larger breeds may be able to handle up to a tablespoon. Make sure your pet doesn’t already have a weight problem or come from a breed that is prone to pancreatitis. The high amount of saturated fat in coconut oil can cause weight gain if it isn’t used properly. 3 The ASPCA says that dogs may not be seriously hurt by small amounts of coconut and products made with coconut. The oils in the flesh and milk of fresh coconuts, on the other hand, could cause stomach upset, diarrhoea, or loose stools. So, you should be careful when you use coconut oil.
Like making your own treats for your dog? Before making big changes to your dog’s food, you should talk to your vet (including treats). If a vet who has checked out your dog gives the “green light,” you might want to add a little coconut oil. Mixing a tasty treat for Rover with anti-inflammatory and health-boosting spices like turmeric may help his health in some ways.
Just make sure you get organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil, and stop giving it to your dog right away if you see any signs of stomach trouble, like diarrhoea or allergic reactions. If your dog seems to be allergic to coconut oil, other oils with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon oil and flaxseed oil, can offer some of the same benefits as coconut oil. 5
Coconut oil may make your pet’s kibble taste better, but because it contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), the oil will be absorbed directly into the GI tract and sent straight to the liver, where it will be broken down. Some studies on humans and rodents have shown that a diet with MCFAs can help reduce the size of fat depots and possibly stop weight gain while also giving you more energy.
Coconut oil should be put on your dog’s skin.
As with people, putting coconut oil on your dog’s skin can help keep it lubricated and prevent flaking and other signs of irritation. This is especially important during the cold winter months. If your dog already has dry skin or dandruff, coconut oil can raise the level of lipids on the skin’s surface.
Just rub a small amount into your hands and massage it into your pet’s skin while running your fingers through his fur. The coconut oil may also make your dog’s coat look smoother and glossier. Just know that your pet might lick himself a little more often.
If you live in a wooded area or like to go hiking with your dog, you can rest assured that coconut oil can also protect your pet from fleas and ticks without using chemicals.7
If you put coconut oil on your dog’s fur, it can help keep bugs away.
You can coat pills with coconut oil.
If you’ve ever had to give your dog a pill, you know it isn’t always the easiest thing to do. If your dog has figured out that the glob of peanut butter you’re giving her is actually a pill and won’t eat it, you can also use coconut oil to get her to eat her medicine. When put on pills as a coating, it can make the medicine taste better and make it easier for your pet to take the pill.
Use coconut oil to heal cuts and scrapes.
Coconut oil is thought to have natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties,8 so if your dog has cracked pads or other small cuts or bruises, you can use it as a natural topical antibiotic to help heal and soothe the wounds. Coconut oil can also help dogs who have seasonal allergies and tend to chew on their paws or scratch their ears more often.
You can use coconut oil to brush your dog’s teeth.
Because it kills germs, coconut oil is a natural and tasty way to clean your pet’s teeth. Studies with real people have shown that oil-infused toothpaste can give the same benefits as oil pulling. Toothpaste made with coconut oil can help get rid of bad bacteria in the mouth and stop the buildup of plaque, which can cause dental disease. 9 You can add the oil to your dog’s toothpaste or try putting it directly on their teeth, just like you would with commercial dog toothpaste.