We’ve all heard the claims of miraculous hair, skin, and health benefits of coconut oil in humans, but what about our four legged friends? Is coconut oil good for dogs? How do I use coconut oil in the best way for my pup? What are the best products out there?
In this guide you will learn everything you need to know about using coconut oil for dogs. After reading this, you will be officially considered an expert in the area, and you will know everything there is to know about coconut oil and your little Pickle.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is the oil extracted from the good part, or the meat, of the coconut. Coconut oil is extremely high in saturated fat, and so for most diets, excessive consumption is not recommended. However, coconut oil is edible, and it is frequently used on an ingredient level in many human grade food items.
Aside from food, coconut oil has become very popular for personal health and grooming. It’s moisturizing properties are highly effective at helping sufferers of dry skin, and is often used as a natural conditioner for hair. Most importantly, coconut oil is extremely common as the base ingredient in soap. Part of what makes it an important base ingredient to many of the high end soap manufacturers is that it is more soluble in hard water and salt water which allows it to lather more easily.
Of course, what do you care about the way humans use coconut oil, you’re here for Sparky’s sake, right?
Is Using Coconut Oil for Dogs a Good Idea?
In short, YES. Coconut oil is a very safe product for dogs, and many dog owners, groomers, and veterinarians swear but the positive benefits of this essential item. Besides aiding your furry friends digestion and improving their coats, coconut oil has the power to actively prevent infections in dogs. With vet costs becoming more and more expensive every year, it is important to get your dog on a good grooming and supplement routine to prevent infection and avoid costly visits to the vet.
While using coconut oil for dogs is definitely a good idea with many benefits, it is important to use it correctly, as with most stuff, too much of a good thing can get you or your pup into trouble.
Why is Coconut Oil Healthy for Your Dog?
The most important thing to know about coconut oil is that most of the health benefits come from something we don’t usually consider healthy: fat.
Since coconut oil is made up of more than 90% saturated fat, it is hard to believe that it is actually considered a superfood. Most beginner coconut oil fiends are usually skeptical of it for this reason. “How could something with so much fat be good for my dog?” Well the truth is, that there are good fats and bad fats. They are categorized by two broad groups: saturated and unsaturated. Within each group, there are even more types of fats that vary in quality and healthiness.
Saturated fats are often considered the bad type of fat, and for the most part, they are. However, coconut oil has a very powerful secret weapon: medium chain triglycerides, or MCT’s. MCT’s are a good type of fat that is made up of Lauric Acid, Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Myristic Acid and Palmitic. Some of the health benefits associated with the MCT’s found in coconut oil are:
- digestion improvement
- immune system support
- increased metabolic functions
- improved skin and coat health
- antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties
Just taking a moment to reflect on the list of benefits above, you can see why coconut oil is so popular with veterinarians. In particular, most natural products do not have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. When treating or preventing infections on our dog’s skin, stomach, or inside your dog's ears, we frequently turn to chemical based cleansers for these health benefits, but using coconut oil based products is a safe, natural alternative that has similar benefits.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs
So we know that coconut oil is healthy for your dog, now lets dive deeper into exactly what benefits your dog will find when you use coconut oil. There are a few ways that you can use coconut oil on your dog, so we’ve broken down the list of benefits by the method of application.
Taken Orally as a Supplement
- Improves ability to digest food
- Assists with weight loss
- Reduces odor from bad breath
- Increases nutrient absorption
- Controls colitis and inflammatory bowl syndrome
- Body-wide antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal
- Improves ability to control diabetes
- Reduces arthritic problems
- Increases energy and mood
Applied Directly to Skin and Coat
- Moisturizes dry skin and eczema
- Aids itchiness from flea allergies and contact dermatitis
- Improved scent
- Conditions for sleek and glossy coats
- Treats and prevents yeast and fungal infections
- Promotes wound or hot spot healing
Used as an Ear Cleaner
- Powerfully cleans wax and bacteria
- Prevents and treats bacterial and yeast ear infections
- Antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal
- Removes grime that ear mites feed on
- Heals open wounds
- Strengthens immune system to fight infection
- Natural, chemical free soap
How to Use Coconut Oil for Dogs
So, how much coconut oil should you give to your dog and how do you use it? There are three basic ways that coconut oil can be used: orally, topically, or inside the ears.
The most common use of coconut oil for dogs is to use it as a supplement and add it to their diet. When going this route, you need to be very cautious and move forward slowly, because adding too much coconut oil to your dog’s diet at once can make them quite sick. If you’ve given old Pumpernickel too much you will know by the diarrhea or greasy stools that will inevitably follow.
Orally as a Supplement
- Start with 1/4 teaspoon per day for small dogs or puppies under 2 years old.
- Start with 1 teaspoon per day for large dogs.
- After a few weeks of this initial small dosage, you can gradually begin adding more. As a general rule, the optimal dose of coconut oil for your dog is about 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.
- If you notice any diarrhea or unusual bowel movements, stop the treatment immediately and go back to the lower amount. This is not cause for serious concern, but you are using too much coconut oil.
Applied Topically to Skin and Coat
- Warm up the coconut oil to room temperature or a bit warmer until it is a clear liquid.
- Rub some of the oil onto your hands.
- Gently but thoroughly massage the miracle liquid into your pups skin and fur, paying special attention to any problem areas where dry skin or irritation occur.
- In addition to all of the problem areas, go ahead and rub your hands through the outer layers of your dogs fur and belly for nice even coverage.
- Put a comfortable sweater or shirt on your dog so that the oil can set. Your dog will try to lick it because, well, because it tastes so darn good.
Used as an Ear Cleaner
- Pull out you favorite coconut oil based dog ear cleaner.
- Lift up your furry buddy’s ear flap and squirt the ear cleaner in until the ear canal is almost full.
- Gently but thoroughly massage the area around the ear for 60-90 seconds.
- Stand back and let your dog shake it’s head.
- Use a dry cotton pad, cotton ball, or clean cloth to wipe down the ear and get rid of any excess moisture.
The Best Coconut Oil Products for Dogs
Now that you are an expert on coconut oil for dogs, and since you are such good dog owner, what are you waiting for? There’s many great coconut oil based products that are great for your dog, the environment, and you. We put out information like this for free to help dog owners all over the world, and you can help us keep it free by purchasing some of our great products.