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27 February 2023 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

Coconut oil has been a staple in our wellness routines for centuries, but how do the benefits of this common carrier oil translate to dogs?

Two dogs looking up on the grass.

We've all heard about the amazing benefits of coconut oil for humans.

From reviving our skin and smoothing our hair to tackling stubborn conditions and diluting our essential oils, there seems to be nothing that this oil can't do for our everyday beauty and lifestyle regimens.

As it turns out, this magical oil not only treats us with a wealth of healthy benefits, but our furry friends too.

Coconut oil is receiving increasing praise by vets and scientists alike for its incredible effects on our pooch's health, but how exactly does it work? And, perhaps more importantly, what does it even do?

We're breaking down all the benefits of using coconut oil for dogs right here.

What is coconut oil?

Extracted from the white flesh of the coconut fruit, which is grown all over the world, coconut oil is an incredibly popular plant-based oil that is revered for its immense versatility.

It's packed full of healthy, fatty acids that are said to help moisturise and repair the skin and hair, and it also functions well as a carrier oil to help tone down the potency of concentrated essential oils.

Coconut oil has numerous medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can help protect the body against disease and facilitate general wellness, cleanliness, and hydration.

Is coconut oil good for dogs?

Just like with humans, coconut oil is considered an exceptional remedy for dogs, thanks to its rich nutrients and fatty acids that can help keep your pooch's health in check.

Many holistic vets believe that coconut oil can be used to treat numerous canine-related health conditions and can even function as a reliable source of energy for your pet.

That being said, you should always consult with your veterinarian before using any form of coconut oil on your dog. All pets have different sensitivities, so it's best not to assume the oil will automatically work for your furry friend!

The science behind what coconut oil can do for your pet is also fairly limited beyond its topical uses, so be sure to keep this in mind if you're thinking of using coconut oil as a medicinal remedy.

Three puppies in a row.

What are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs?

Coconut oil can do a lot for your pet, but remember that not all of these uses may work for your particular routine, nor for your dog's health. To be safe, be sure to always consult with your vet before trialling any of these benefits.

Some of the most popular benefits of coconut oil for dogs include:

  • Fighting off viruses
  • Aiding digestion
  • Improving energy
  • Soothing dry or irritated skin
  • Eliminating unpleasant odours
  • Improving coat appearance

    Why is coconut oil good at fighting viruses?

    Coconut oil is full of lauric acid - a naturally occurring compound that is renowned for fighting off infections.

    It is this particular quality that makes the oil so good at fighting off conditions like psoriasis, and thus may be just as impactful for tackling your pooch's unpleasant skin issues too.

    Lauric acid is also anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial, making it all the more beneficial for your dog's health.

    half of a coconut

    Can I use coconut oil to aid my dog's digestion?

    Some pet owners like to use coconut oil on their dog's treats or in their meals to help improve their digestive system and boost their energy levels. Coconut oil can even be used on pills to help your pet swallow them a little easier, thanks to its generally palatable flavour.

    If you do plan on giving coconut oil to your dog in this way, you should always consult with your vet for the appropriate dosage. You should also try to build up the dosage gradually in order to avoid any upset stomachs in the process.

    How does coconut oil help my dog's skin and coat?

    Coconut oil can be incredibly useful for keeping your dog's coat shiny, sleek, and well maintained.

    As with human hair, its nutrients can penetrate the hair shaft and enrich it with vitamins that can protect against damage, excess water, and protein loss.

    Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can also fight off dry skin and even dandruff in your dog's coat, thanks to the increased lipid levels it can provide on the skin's surface.

    These factors are particularly useful during the cold winter months where skin issues in pets are most common.

    Two golden retriever puppies in a field of flowers

    How do I use coconut oil for my dog?

    To use coconut oil topically on your pet, apply it gently to their skin around once per week and let it sit for a few minutes.

    Once the oil has absorbed into the skin, rinse your dog off with a hose or shower head. If they still feel a bit greasy, you can try a second rinse using shampoo instead. Alternatively, you can try adding coconut oil to your dog's existing shampoo.

    If you choose to give coconut oil to your dog orally, always check with your vet for the best way to do this.

    Are there any precautions for using coconut oil on my dog?

    As with any natural remedy, there are always precautions that need to be kept in mind to ensure safe use and overall understanding of the product.

    While coconut oil itself is pretty mild, it may cause issues to your dog's health if they already suffer with conditions like excessive weight gain, pancreatitis, or a poor metabolism. This is particularly true in the case of oral use.

    To ensure your pet is 100% safe throughout the process, inform your vet on how you intend to use to coconut oil for the best advice and methods.

    Illustration of a coconut

    Coconut oil is always a worthy addition to your bathroom cabinets - whether it be for yourself or for use on your furry friends.

    Using coconut oil on your dogs can not only safeguard them against numerous physical ailments like skin issues and irritations, but can also keep them looking and feeling their best no matter what the weather.

    Remember that any time you choose to use a natural remedy on your pet, you must always consult a qualified veterinarian to ensure it's a safe choice for their health, safety, and overall wellbeing.

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