Coconut Oil for Dogs: Is It Safe?
Coconut oil has been the craze over the last decade. Wanting to try a new hair treatment? Coconut oil. Dry, irritated skin? Coconut oil. Intestinal health? Coconut oil. As you can tell, coconut oil is used for a lot of things and may turn out to be pretty great overall. However, what many paw parents may not know, is that coconut oil for dogs is trending in the world of natural pet healing and wellness.
In today’s article, we’ll discuss the ways in which coconut oil can help and how your pup may benefit from it in numerous ways too.
WHAT IS COCONUT OIL
Derived from the coconut palm, coconut oil is extracted from mature coconuts. Most likely, you’ve used coconut oil in the past without even realizing or knowing it. It is found in many edible dishes as well as a common ingredient in beauty and make up products. Coconut oil comes in various forms: unrefined coconut oil, extra-virgin coconut oil, organic coconut oil, etc. In addition, there are refined coconut oils that are processed and have a more neutral taste.
IS COCONUT OIL OK FOR DOGS
Coconut oil, when administered correctly, is ok for dogs and can have very similar benefits as it does for us humans. Paw parents can give coconut oil to their pup either topically or orally for numerous conditions, issues, or injuries.
Coconut oil consists of saturated fatty acids, mostly. The majority of these fatty acids are considered medium-chain fatty acids, also known as medium-chain triglycerides. These medium-chain triglycerides are referred to as the “miracle” fatty acid compounds. These “miracle” fatty acid compounds provide therapeutic and medicinal benefits for coconut oil.
One of the most important medium-chain fatty acids in the chain of fatty acids is the compound Lauric Acid. Lauric Acid is commonly found in mother’s breast milk, being highly saturated in rich nutrients as well as having strong antibacterial properties. These nutrients and antibacterial qualities are associated directly with a strong immune system.
Furthermore, medium-chain triglycerides metabolize differently from other fatty acids. Medium-chain triglycerides move through our system much quicker compared to other chain length triglycerides. Because of this, medium-chain triglycerides provide instant energy. Medium-chain triglycerides, MCT, have been proven to produce therapeutic effects. More so, MCTs have been demonstrated to have positive effects on those with Alzheimer’s and other brain conditions.
COCONUT OIL FOR DOGS: HEALTH BENEFITS
Thanks for sticking with us through all the scientific MCT talk and coconut oil composition. Now, we’ll discuss just how incredible coconut oil is for your pup as well as the reaping benefits that your pup may get from it.
1. WEIGHT LOSS AND COCONUT OIL
Overweight dogs are a very common issue seen today. Not only can a dog have long-term health issues and concerns from being overweight, but obesity may often lead to a whole laundry list of other complications. An overweight or obese dog may experience extreme stress on and in their body, leading to possible:
- Insulin resistance
- Increasing heart rate
- Liver disease
- Kidney dysfunction
- Joint issues
Not to be a debbie downer, but these issues can become severe and put your pup’s life as severe risk. However, this is where coconut oil comes into play! By simply adding coconut oil to your pup’s diet, this can help balance their thyroid, helping with potential weight loss. Experts have suggested that by incorporating MCT into your dog’s diet, can help with their weight gain and may even lead to decreases in fat deposit size. These medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) will metabolize over time and give your pup a quick boost of energy, enhancing their active performance.
2. DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS AND COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil helps stomach issues? Whoa. Believe it or not, it’s great for soothing digestive conditions and problems like colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS). The MCTs improve the digestion process, promote overall gastrointestinal (GI) health and function, as well as assisting in the ability for the body to absorb nutrients.
On the contrary though, too much coconut oil may cause loose stools. We recommend to start your pup off slowly when introducing coconut oil to their diet. Just like us humans, coconut oil can help with bad breath in dogs. In the GI tract, coconut oil can help eliminate parasites too.
3. DRY PAWS AND COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil has been suggested to have numerous antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Because of these helpful properties, coconut oil is great for topical use and is a wonderful alternative to chemical-based medications and antibiotics. Coconut oil can be used on wounds to keep them clear from infection or help heal cuts on the skin. If your pup suffers from allergies and is obsessively chewing on their paws, skin, or ears, coconut oil may be your next go-to. It can be used to help heal sores and scabs too. A huge benefit of coconut oil is that it’s safe to consume, so don’t worry about your dog licking it off the applied areas. On the flip side, chemical-based medications and antibiotics can lead to a slew of issues if your pup accidentally licks or ingests it.
4. THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND COCONUT OIL
With coconut oil having more than just topical benefits, the ingested benefits are positively shocking too. When consuming coconut oil, it can do amazing things for the immune system. Coconut oil contains powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral characteristics that help prevent disease and infection. Studies have shown that coconut oil may help reduce the risk of cancer too.
5. SKIN BENEFITS AND COCONUT OIL
One of the most popular topical applications of coconut oil is on the skin. Coconut oil can help cure current issues as well as help prevent others from occurring. Whoa.
Coconut oil has the ability to clear up skin issues like eczema, irritated, dry, itchy skin, and flea allergies. Coconut oil can reduce overall allergic reactions too. Because of its antibacterial and antiviral components, coconut oil can disinfect cuts and sores and promote healing. Topically, it can promote healing directly to the source of the bite, cut, sore, sting, or irritation. It can heal dry and cracked paws, knees, noses, and elbows. It can improve a dog’s overall skin health. It can also help treat yeast and fungal infections.
6. SHINY COAT AND COCONUT OIL
No suprise here - coconut oil can help your dog’s coat stay healthy. Coconut oil is packed full of vitamins and can moisturize dog’s skin and keep it shiny and healthy. Paw parents can add coconut oil to their pup’s food, supplements, or through their hygiene routine. This can help enhance the look of their coat and help eliminate any itchiness or irritation commonly caused by numerous skin issues or conditions.
Lauric acid, like we mentioned in the beginning of the article, has chemical properties that help ease penetration of dog’s hair strands. The lauric acid provides great absorption of nutrients to improve a dog’s overall coat health and shine.
Coconut oil helps increase fat levels, making it an effect lubricant for pups with dandruff.
7. THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM AND COCONUT OIL
Experts have suggested that coconut oil can help build strong bones. It may also ease inflammation and help with arthritis discomfort. Hang in there sweet pup, coconut oil to the rescue!
8. THE METABOLIC SYSTEM AND COCONUT OIL
Speaking of ingestive benefits, coconut oil for dogs benefits the metabolic and endocrine systems. It helps balance and continue to regulate insulin (insulin helps prevent and control the onset of diabetes). Coconut oil can promote thyroid function, increase overall energy, and help with arthritis pain and discomfort.
9. BRAIN, EARS, EYES, AND COCONUT OIL
Lauric acid, mentioned above, is commonly found in breast milk. Thus, lauric acid found in coconut oil provides similar cognitive benefits to our four-legged pals. The medium-chain triglycerides metabolize directly into the liver and are converted into ketones. Ketones are a wonderful source of energy for the brain. Ketones promote healthy brain function, overall brain health, and can help slow the deterioration process of cognitive diseases and conditions.
10. KILLING PARASITES AND COCONUT OIL
Tired of using conventional medications with a long list of potential side effects? Coconut oil is an all-natural and non-toxic treatment for worms. Coconut oil can be used to help treat and prevent parasitic conditions.
OVERALL DOG HEALTH AND COCONUT OIL
Whether you administer coconut oil to your pup topically or orally, they’re bound to improve their overall health in one way or another. If given orally, coconut oil can act as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting property. Promoting brain health, skin health, and intestinal health, coconut oil is packed with internal benefits.
WHAT ORAL DOSAGE OF COCONUT OIL
The dosage of coconut oil can be subjective, each and every dog may reactive differently. The recommended dose is 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds. When starting out, start out slow, there’s no hurry! Give ¼ of the recommended dose to see how your pup reacts to it. Of course, you can increase or maintain from that dose.
WHAT TOPICAL DOSAGE OF COCONUT OIL
In terms of topical applications, paw parents like to use it in a massage oil type of manner. If your pup has itchy or dry skin, paw parents like to apply the coconut oil directly to the skin, massaging it into the coat thoroughly. The same application technique is common for cuts, sores, and cracked paws, knees, and elbows.
IS COCONUT OIL GOOD FOR DOGS
Coconut has been deemed safe for dogs, yes. Research demonstrates that dogs tolerate coconut oil very well. Even though toxicity from overuse or over-consumption may not be a concern for coconut oil, it is important to know that all dogs react differently to it.
Moderation is key here folks. Give your pup the recommended dosage and monitor them for any changes or side effects you may see.
COCONUT OIL: FINAL THOUGHTS
Here at PETLYcbd, we are huge fans of coconut oil!
When all is said and done, we want the best for your pup! Coconut oil provides such a long list of health benefits, topically and orally, it’ll be impossible to find a conventional medication that can do all that coconut oil does! As always, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian about the proper dosage of coconut oil for your pup’s personalized needs.
Get better soon four-legged friend!