Are you aware of the benefits of coconut oil? We know that because of its fatty acid content so it is an amazing superfood. Not sure about coconut oil for dogs? It is common to hesitate before adding any new food to your dog’s diet because we want our furry friends to experience the same range of benefits as we do.
Alert the presses! Coconut oil is extremely beneficial for your dog just as it is for you, but it is safe for pets, too! In a study published in 2012, they found when healthy beagles with a mean age of 9.9 years consumed coconut oil along with corn oil and reduced animal fat for a six-month period, the healthy fats appeared to counterbalance the effects of aging. (1)
If you are interested in using coconut oil for your dog, there are several different ways to use it. To boost your dog’s energy, support his digestion and fight infections, add a small amount of coconut oil to your dog’s diet. Also, by applying to your dog’s fur and skin, coconut oil works to soothe skin damage, reduce odor and freshen her coat.
Why does it work? This is largely due to coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acid content, which is easy to digest and quickly used for fuel. Since these types of fats are smaller in size, it allows them to penetrate the skin easier. Consider adding coconut oil into your dog’s regime if you are looking for a holistic approach to your dog’s health and well-being.
Coconut Oil for Dogs and their Benefits
1. Supports Weight Loss and Metabolism
One of the most valuable and well-known benefits of coconut oil is its ability to support metabolic function. Because of its medium-chain fatty acid content, coconut oil supports weight loss as well. A number of physiological processes are controlled by the medium-chain fatty acid content in coconut oil and studies have shown that they have fat-burning abilities. When eaten by rats, the MCFAs had an effect on the breakdown of fat. (2)
2. Boosts Energy
Energy levels increase in your dog because coconut oil is easy to digest and boosts your dog’s metabolism. Once the MCFAs in coconut oil are ingested, they are sent directly to the liver, which is quickly converted into energy. Your dog may benefit from consuming coconut oil once or twice daily if your dog has been sluggish or lethargic.
3. Improves Digestion
The medium-chain triglycerides,MCTs, which is a form of saturated fatty acids in coconut oil help improve gut health by reducing inflammation and destroying bad bacteria. According to studies, to help relieve digestive problems, including colitis and IBS, you can use coconut oil for dogs as it has been shown to help with these conditions in rats. (3)
Since many vitamins and minerals are fat-soluble and need fats to be properly absorbed by the body, coconut oil also helps increase nutrient absorption.
4. Fights Infections
The lauric acid in coconut oil, which is the primary fatty acid (approximately 45-53%) works to boost immune function by fighting viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet by either ingestion or applying it topically to his skin and coat can help fight infections naturally. (4) According to an in vitro study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in 2019, it also helps reduce inflammation and enhance skin barrier function. (5)
When your dog is fighting an infection, this is a healthier alternative to constantly turning to pharmaceutical antibiotics and antifungals.
5. Improves Overall Dog Odor
When you apply coconut oil to your dog’s fur and skin, it can improve odors that have been lurking because of its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. The huge benefit of unrefined, virgin coconut oil with its fresh, nutty aroma is that it will certainly benefit the smell of your dog’s coat.
6. Supports Coat and Skin Health
To improve the texture and appearance of your dog’s coat, coconut oil can be safely used. The moisturizing properties make it easy to absorb into the skin. To clean your dog’s coat and improve your dog’s skin damage, you can use plain coconut oil or a dog shampoo made with coconut oil. You also do not have to fear rubbing the oil into your dog’s paws and ears too.
As shown in a study done on rats, coconut oil for dogs also helps fight skin infections and speed up wound healing. The main reason is due to its antimicrobial properties. To repel and even kill fleas and ticks in your dog’s fur, coconut oil may work on that as well. (6)
7. Supports Dental Health
So, you may now be wondering if coconut oil is good for your dog’s teeth. The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil means you can actually use coconut oil to boost your dog’s oral health. Start with using a soft baby toothbrush and add just a small about of coconut oil to the brush and then brush away. This will help to eliminate bacteria and freshen their breath.
8. Helps Eliminate Hairballs
When you first think of hairballs, I usually think cats. But, you can use coconut oil for dogs to help eliminate hairballs and ease a cough. Because the oil acts as a lubricant, this will help your dog expel the hairball and soothe his throat. Also, if your dog has a cough, try giving him a small amount of coconut oil to fight bacteria and ease the discomfort. (7)
Where to Buy Coconut Oil for Dogs and How To Use It
How much coconut oil can I give my dog?
Remember, always consult with your veterinarian about the right dosage if you plan to give your dog coconut oil orally. As a rule of thumb, it is smart to begin with small amounts to make sure it is well-tolerated and then build up the dose slowly over time. When you are ready, begin by using about ¼ teaspoon one to two times per day. Slowly, over time, you can then increase the dose so the dog’s body can adjust to this addition to his diet. (8)
To add coconut oil to your dog’s diet, there are a few easy ways to do it. First, you can simply add the oil to wet or dry food once or twice a day. Try these simple Homemade Dog Treats from 12Tomatoes that includes peanut butter, coconut oil, cinnamon and a silicon ice cube tray. You could also skip the homemade route and check out your local pet store to find doggy treats made with coconut oil.
How do you use coconut oil on your dogs’ skin?
By adding a small amount of coconut oil to your hand, you can apply coconut oil to your dog’s skin by massaging your dog. Next, run your fingers through you best friend’s fur and do not forget the paws and ears or you could simply pat your dog with the coconut oil on your hands. When finished, if you think the coat is too greasy after applying the coconut oil, simply try a quick rinse or even use a light and gentle shampoo afterward.
What kind of coconut oil is good for dogs?
For the best type of coconut oil, just like for humans, go with an organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil. This form of coconut oil is the least processed and when it is organic, it does not contain toxins that may cause adverse side effects when used topically or when ingested. Look at your local grocery store to find high-quality coconut oil. Pet stores and online stores are other places where you can purchase available products like dry dog food with coconut oil as well as topical solutions for dogs.
Is Coconut Oil Safe for Dogs?
The experts have concluded that coconut oil is safe for your dog. You can give your dog coconut oil both orally and topically on their skin or fur. Do keep in mind that if your dog is ingesting coconut oil, it is best to begin with very small amounts. If you notice that your dog has diarrhea or greasy stools, you should reduce the dose as you may be giving too much oil. It is always recommended that you consult your veterinarian before adding a new food or regime to your dog’s diet. (9)
Once again, if you begin with a small amount at first which is always recommended, you may avoid an allergic or adverse reaction to coconut oil that some dogs experience. When trying the oil topically for the first time, use a small amount in a small surface area to make sure your dog does not have an adverse reaction. Additionally, it is best to not use coconut oil if your dog has pancreatitis as they may not react well to high-fat foods. (10)
Healthy pets are happy pets!