Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

Keeping your dog healthy has everything to do with diet. What your pooch eats determines many things including its skin and coat quality as well as other general aspects of their health. Coconut oil has been promoted quite a lot in recent years as a possible healthy addition to dogs’ diet.

In case you are not sure whether your pooch is ready for coconut oil, we have prepared a simple guide to help you out. However, let’s, first of all, get over with the main question here.

Is coconut oil good for your dog?

The simple answer is yes and in this post, we will explore how the oil can deliver health benefits to your pooch.

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What Does Coconut Oil Contain?

Coconut oil features a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. These three types of fats contain a variety of fatty acids. Most of the fatty acids found in the oil are categorized as Medium-Chain Fatty Acids or MCFAs. They include things like Lauric acid which accounts for 48%, caprylic acid which accounts for 8%, and capric acid that forms 7%. Other medium-chain fats in coconut oil include palmitic acid and myristic acid. They are all perfect for pet raw feeding.

The coconut oil has small amounts of linoleic acid which are a form of polyunsaturated fat. Linoleic acid accounts for about 2% of the oil’s ingredients. There is also oleic acid, a form of monosaturated fat, which accounts for 6%.

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Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for Your Dog?

The Medium-Chain Fatty Acids or MCFAs are the main ingredients that deliver outstanding benefits for dogs.

Lauric acid, in particular, can deliver great results and here are some of them:

  • Weight Loss

Obesity in dogs is very common these days and it’s a condition that has long term health risks to your pooch. Overweight dogs tend to have a higher risk of blood pressure, diabetes, joint issues, liver dysfunction, as well as respiratory problems. The ingredient found in coconut oil can help to balance the thyroid in your pooch leading to weight loss. MCFAs are easily metabolized by the dog. This gives the pet a massive boost of energy making it easier for them to exercise and stay active. The increased stamina will, in the long run, play a role in weight loss.

  • Great for the Skin and Coat

We have seen a number of studies that show that regular intake of coconut oil can increase skin hydration and enhance the level of lipids on the skin surface. This essentially makes the oil a very effective moisturizer. It will be especially helpful for dogs that suffer from dandruff or dry skin. The oil may also help to keep off itching and shedding. In the end, a regular intake will lead to glossy and sleeker skin and coat.

  • Could Improve Gut Health

Yeast is one of the most common causes of dog allergies. The development of yeast in the pooch’s gut increases the risk of allergic reactions. However, coconut oil may actually help. The oil can prevent yeast growth in the gut. But this is not the only thing the oil does. Regular intake of coconut oil will also help reduce inflammation in the gut, enhance digestion and the absorption of nutrients, and provide relief for digestive diseases such as colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome.

  • Works as a Disinfectant

Coconut oil may also be used as a natural disinfectant due to its antibacterial and antiviral capabilities. The oil has potent anti-fungal properties. With these capabilities, the oil may act as a topical antibiotic that can help the cuts and wounds on your pooch heal faster without further infections. The oil can also provide a soothing relief on wounds. If you have a dog with open injuries or one that has chewed his paws due to allergies, apply the oil in the affected area for instant relief.

  • May Help with Brain Activity

Naturally, the cognitive abilities of your dog will decrease with age. As the pooch gets older, it will lose some of its sharpness but don’t worry. Coconut oil can stimulate increased brain activity leading to improved cognitive function. The oil has loads of ketones which are helpful in enhancing nerve and brain function. This may reduce the risk of dementia considerably.

Coconut Oil for Dogs

Coconut Oil for Dogs. Image via Barkingroyalty.com

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Coconut Oil for Dental Health

Coconut oil has very active antimicrobial properties. This makes it possible to use it as an effective natural teeth cleaner for your pooch. Regular cleaning with the oil will most definitely prevent the buildup of plaque and general gum or dental disease. The oil also has one more advantage. Most dogs seem to enjoy its taste. This makes dental hygiene for your pooch less hassle.

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How to Give Coconut Oil to Your Dog?

Ideally, it is recommended that you give your dog the oil once or twice a day. The oil should be combined with regular meals too. The amount totally depends on the size of the dog. However, if you are using the oil on your pooch for the first time, you may want to start slow. Most vets recommend a quarter of a teaspoon daily at first for smaller dogs. Bigger dogs can get a full spoon each day. In case your dog is already obese, make sure you only give the oil once a day and not more than that.

Once the pooch’s body has adjusted to the oil you can increase the daily intake gradually. However, it’s not advisable to exceed 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight or one tablespoon for every 30 pounds of body weight. It’s not uncommon for dogs to react negatively to coconut oil or any other pet raw feeding. However, the reaction is short-lived as the pooch will get used to it. This is, in fact, the main reason why you are advised to start with small doses before transitioning the pet to higher amounts over time.

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