Common Uses Of Coconut Oil
Humans have used coconut oil for centuries. It is used in many different recipes and gives a delicious, subtle flavor to the food. It is also widely used as a beauty product and it moisturizes and hydrates the skin. It is also used as a conditioner for dry and brittle hair.
Dog owners that successfully use coconut oil have found it useful for the following types of dog ailments.
- Skin and coat problems
Coconut oil supplements can promote a healthy skin and coat. It can clear up eczema and areas of irritation. Also, many dogs suffer from allergies to flea bites and local areas of irritation can cause a lot of problems. Contact dermatitis can cause the same problem and can be soothed by coconut oil.
Doggy odor is a real issue for some breeds and many owners have found that it is significantly reduced by coconut oil, without having to resort to harsh and artificial fragrances. It also promotes a very sleek and glossy coat and may even cut down on shedding. Because it has anti-fungal properties, it can help to fight yeast and fungal infections of the skin and nails. If you apply it topically, it will also help a wound to heal and will not hurt your dog if they lick it.
- Digestive and intestinal issues
- Systemic issues
It Helps With Weight Loss
Obesity in dogs is a common issue, one that can have some long term health effects. If your dogs overweight, this puts stress on his body and can lead to:
- High blood pressure
- Respiratory difficulties
- Liver disease or dysfunction
Adding coconut oil to your dogs diet can balance the thyroid and help with weight loss.
Studies show feeding a diet featuring MCFAs will help with weight gain and can potentially decrease the size of fat depots.
Your dogs body can metabolize MCFAs to get an immediate boost of energy, enhancing athletic performance and helping with weight loss. The energy boost can also help with increased stamina.
Uses Of Coconut Oil For Dogs
Sarah Scott is a fact checker with more than 16 years of experience in researching, writing, and editing digital and print media. She has verified and edited articles on a variety of subjects for The Spruce Pets, including pet behavior, health, and care as well as the latest trends in products for animals in the home.
The Spruce / Charlotte Engelsen
Coconut oil can have some benefits for dogs, just as it can have for humans however, in both cases, the benefits should be carefully weighed against any risks. Extracted from mature coconuts, coconut oil is an edible oil thats often found in both food and beauty products. This is because its high in saturated fat and medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acids with some health benefits, ranging from weight management to enhanced cognitive function. From easing tummy troubles and soothing irritated skin to preventing infection and reducing allergic reactions, coconut oil has also been shown to have some benefits for the canine population. Here are five ways you can use coconut oil on dogs. Please consult your veterinarian, and ensure you weigh the pros and cons of coconut oil before offering it to your pet.
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What Kind Of Coconut Oil Is Best For My Dog
Now that youve decided that coconut oil is an effective and safe skin care treatment for many of the skin conditions that can bother dogs, youll need to figure out which type to buy. Besides a wide variety of manufacturers and brands, most coconut oil types can be narrowed down to three. Depending on how its processed may depend on how effective it is at treating certain skin conditions in your dog.
Read the labels on your jar or bottle of coconut oil before purchase. Some people believe that glass is much better, as plastic fibres are now a concern in the products we use, including on our pets.
Side Effects Of Coconut Oil For Dogs
Itâs safe to feed your dog coconut oil. But some potential reactions or digestive problems can occur. If you give your dog too much coconut oil, they can get diarrhea. Your veterinarian will let you know a healthy amount to give your dog.
In some cases, your dog might have an allergy to coconut oil. Signs of an allergy include an upset stomach and itching.
Coconut oil can cause your dog to gain weight. You should add 120 calories for every teaspoon of coconut oil for your dog. If your dog has pancreatitis, don’t give them coconut oil.
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Healthy Skin And Coat
Coconut oil is a great item to have on hand for any of your dogs skin conditions that may arise. If your dog has a patch of dry or itchy skin, coconut oil can be used on its own and is even a common ingredient in many paw salves and hot spot treatments.
A study has shown that using virgin coconut oil on dry skin hydrates your dogs skin and can lessen dandruff when used as a moisturizer. Adding coconut oil to your dogs diet will give you similar results to adding fish oil to their food in that it will help keep your dogs coat shiny and soft.
Is Coconut Oil Good For Dog’s Skin
Yes, coconut oil can be great for your pup’s skin. When used topically coconut oil has many benefits for your dogs skin as well as their coats. These include:
- Clears up skin conditions including dermatitis and eczema
- Promotes the healing of wounds
- Moisturizes cracked paw pads and calluses
- Prevents fleas, ticks, and mites
You dont want to just slather it on as your home might end up a greasy mess! If your pet loves coconut oil they might be hard to coat as they are going to try to lick it off!
You can rub the coconut oil into your pets skin and let it stay for about 5 minutes. After that start with a light rinse. If your pet still feels greasy you can shampoo to get the excess out. Think of this like using a leave-in conditioner in your hair.
You may want to put your dog in the tub or on a towel so they dont make a mess. Oil stains can be challenging to clean up. You dont want coconut oil on your bed or even the couch.
For dogs with skin issues ask your vet how often you should apply coconut oil. You may even be able to just do some spot treatments to avoid a big mess.
If youre just using it for a shiny coat and general skin health, treating your pets skin with coconut oil should be sufficient.
Coconut Oil For Dogs Teeth
The natural anti-fungal, antibiotic, antiviral properties make coconut oil a great option for brushing your dogs teeth. Simply apply a small amount to your dogs toothbrush and brush away.
Its important to note that it works great as maintenance but is unlikely it will remove any existing plaque buildup.
It Helps To Repel Parasites
Studies found that fatty acids in coconut oil provided protection against several parasites for up to 7 days.
For brown dog ticks, in particular, coconut oil had repellency from 84% and up to 88% .
In addition to that, coconut oil was found to be an effective repellent against stable flies and other blood-sucking insects such as horn flies, bed bugs, and lone star ticks .
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How Do I Use Coconut Oil For My Dogs Itching
To use coconut oil for dog skin itching, put a small amount on your palms and gently rub it all over your dogs coat. Apply it along the length of the fur and also massage it lightly into your dogs skin, focusing on the most problematic areas.
You can do this one to three times a week, depending on the need and how fast your dog is responding to the treatment. You can choose to leave the coconut oil on your dogs skin or lightly wash it off if the greasiness is unpleasant for your dog.
Which Coconut Oil Is Best For Dogs
There are two ways that coconut oil is produced: wet processing, where the oil is derived from raw coconut meat to create virgin coconut oil, and dry processing, where the oil is derived from dried coconut meat and kernels .
Several studies have shown that virgin coconut oil is much better and more effective for skin health and different skin conditions .
Below are some of the best and most proven brands of coconut oil for dogs and their skin.
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Coconut Oil For A Dogs Paws
Coconut oil can be used to moisten dry, cracked paws. Application should occur while your pet is laying on their side on the floor. Have some treats ready to reward them for letting you apply something to their feet.
To apply, take a pea-sized amount of coconut oil and rub it between your hands until there is a very light coating on the palm side of your fingers. Gently rub the coconut oil onto each paw pad. Use verbal praise and reward with treats.
If possible, keep your dog on his side for the next 5-10 minutes until the coconut oil can absorb. If your dog wont stay put, he may track coconut oil wherever he walks.
Disinfect And Soothe Wounds
Studies have shown that coconut oil has natural antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It is a great topical solution to help heal your pups cuts and wounds.
Use coconut oil for dry, cracked paw pads to moisturize and repair sore paws. Coconut oil is safe for your dog to ingest, unlike chemical-based products out there that perform the same function for topical scrapes.
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Why Is Coconut Oil Good For Dogs
Coconut oil is just what it sounds like: its an edible oil extracted from mature coconuts. Being high in saturated fat and medium-chain triglycerides accounts for its probable health benefits. In particular, medium chain triglycerides are good fats that provide many benefits to the immune system, digestive system, skin, and even cognitive functions.
These kinds of dietary fats are easier to digest. The body uses them efficiently so that they become an immediate source of fuel and energy. Additionally, lauric acid, which forms part of the good fat in coconut oil, has known immune-boosting benefits.
How Much Coconut Oil Can I Give My Dog
The recommended dose of coconut oil for dogs is between one teaspoon for small dogs to one tablespoon for big dogs.
However, we recommend starting with one-quarter of a teaspoon and gradually working your way up to the recommended dosage.
Most brands provide dosing instructions on the packaging for you to follow. In case you are uncertain about how much to give, consult your vet on the most appropriate dose for your dog. If your dog is overweightor on a weight loss diet, you must use coconut oil sparingly.
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How Much Coconut Oil To Give Your Dog
If youve decided to start giving your dog coconut oil, be sure to start slow and with a small amount. This is a new addition to your dogs daily diet and his body needs to adjust. Too much coconut oil can give side effects that include diarrhea or greasy stools. As a general rule, use the following portions:
- ¼ teaspoon per day for puppies and small breeds
- 1 teaspoon for large dogs
You can let your dog lick the coconut oil straight off of your spoon some dogs love the taste! If he isnt too fond of the taste, you can always mix the oil into his food. When shopping for coconut oil make sure to look for unrefined or virgin coconut oil.
What Are Coconut Oil For Allergies
Essential oils are derived from many types of plants and may be used as an effective treatment for several variations of allergies in dogs. It is very important to understand to always contact your veterinarian for a complete examination of your dog before beginning any type of essential oil regimen.
Coconut oil is known for its healing properties. It may be ideal for your dog if he is suffering from obesity, mobility issues due to joint or bone health conditions, to treat wounds, to help him acquire more energy, and much more. Coconut oil is rapidly absorbed, improving digestive health and helping your dogs body with absorbing important vitamins and minerals.
This oil can also prevent any allergies from impacting your dog, such as seasonal allergies, inhalant allergies, and even food allergies. Not only is a good for dogs, but it is good for people as well, and many individuals use it within their diet or on their skin.
Coconut oil for allergies in dogs is an effective way to help dogs with skin allergies and infections. Many veterinarians, including holistic veterinarians, recommend this type of essential oil to help treat a wide range of skin ailments.
Coconut Oil for Allergies Average Cost
From 414 quotes ranging from $200 – $800
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Is Coconut Oil Good For Dogs To Eat
In moderation, feeding your dog coconut oil can be beneficial. While it is high in fat and as with any other high fat food consumed in large quantities it can cause weight gain. Coconut oil also has some benefits when fed to your dog including:
- Improved digestion
- Breath aid: Helps reduce stinky breath
- Regulates insulin and can help with the control or prevention of diabetes
- Reduces the risk of some cancers
- Helps with weight management and increased energy
While coconut oil can help with digestive issues, if a dog is given too much, it can cause diarrhea. Dogs who are prone to pancreatitis should avoid coconut oil altogether. The fatty acids in coconut oil can aggravate and maybe even cause pancreatitis in some dogs — so if you have concerns check in with your vet or skip it altogether.
Is Coconut Oil Bad For Dogs
2016 was the year we fell head over heels for coconut oil. 2017 was the year we came out of the honeymoon period. This is when people started to recognize its shortcomings as well as its benefits.
In June 2017 the American Heart Association published a paper. It revealed that many people overestimate the health benefits of coconut oil. They reminded us that consuming too much can contribute to heart disease. So perhaps we need to reign our love affair in. But what about our dogs?
A research team in Barcelona studied dogs whose diets were supplemented with coconut. They found that these dogs had more body fat and lost weight more slowly than dogs whose diet was supplemented with other fat sources.
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Coconut Oil Can Improve Brain Function In Dogs
In a study published in 2010, a team of researchers found that coconut oils medium-chain triglycerides have long-lasting improved cognition effects on aging dogs. They boosted the dogs brain function by providing it with energy in the form of ketones. As your fur child gets older, this alternative source of energy promotes healthy, active minds to keep their brain functions young and even prevent dementia.
Why Coconut Oil Is Healthy For Pets
The big benefits of coconut oil comes from the type of fats it is made of. Coconut oil is almost exclusively saturated fat and is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood”. I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t fat bad for you?”. In this case no. There are two groups of fats: saturated fats and unsaturated and within each group are several more types of fats.
MCT’s are coconut oils secret weapon. Medium chain triglycerides is good fat, the kind that provides an array of benefits which include digestion improvement, immune system support, metabolic function that assists with weight loss, skin and coat health and thyroid health.
MCT is made up of Lauric Acid, Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Myristic Acid and Palmitic. Coconut oil also contains about 2% linoleic acid and about 6% oleic acid .
Lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid also have similar properties as lauric acid and are best known for their anti-fungal effects
In addition, MCTs are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic.
Ok enough of the science, now on to the fun stuff.
Check out these creative ways to get coconut oil into your dogs diet!
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Brush Your Dogs Teeth With Coconut Oil
Coconut oils antimicrobial properties make it a naturaland deliciousway to clean your pets teeth. Human studies show that oil-infused toothpaste can be used to gain the same benefits as the common practice of oil pulling. Toothpaste made with coconut oil can help eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth and prevent plaque that can lead to the development of dental disease in the first place. You can add the oil to your dog’s toothpaste or try applying it directly to their teeth, the same way you would a commercial dog toothpaste.
The Spruce / Charlotte Engelsen
Coconut Oil. Harvard School of Public Health.