3 Reasons To Feed Coconut Oil to Your Dog

Coconut OilCoconut oil is widely known to be a super-food for humans, but the benefits to our canine companions might come as a surprise to most dog owners. Coconut oil will give your dog more energy, lower the risk of common diseases and infections, and improve the shine on his coat even into old age. Sounds good, right?

The secret to these benefits lies in the high saturated fat content (90%) found in coconut oil.

1.  More Energy, Less Blubber!

As we have all heard by now, there are “good” and “bad” fats. Unsaturated fats, or the kind of fat found in margarine and fried foods, will increase cholesterol, clog arteries and cause obesity. These are called long chain triglycerides (LCTs) and the lymphatic system absorbs them from the digestive tract and packs them around the body in the form of fat cells.

Good fats, saturated fats, such as the kind found in avocados and coconut oil, contain medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Coconut oil contains mainly the type of MCT called lauric acid, which bypasses the lymph system and goes straight to the liver to get converted quickly and easily into energy, and does not get stored as fat.

2.  Boost to The Immune System

Lauric acid is also a known antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial, and it specifically targets the candida, or yeast-building, bacteria.

Although dogs have a stronger immune system than humans, they are still susceptible to viruses, fungi, and bacterial infections. For example, dogs (usually puppies under the age of 1 year) can suffer from something called Canine Distemper, which is actually a form of measles and presents as a mild fever, loss of appetite, and discharge from the eyes. The lauric acid found in coconut oil can go a long way to fighting off this virus. 

3.  Glossy Coat and Healthy Skin

Your dog’s coat, just like your own hair, is a reflection of his inner health. His skin is his largest organ, so if there are scabs, rashes of flaking, a simple dose of coconut oil, which is rich with antioxidants, will flush out the free radicals causing buildups of toxins. These buildups can cause skin irritations as well as hair patching or bald spots.

As a first step to reducing brittle dry hair and skin issues, you should reduce the amount of toxins (such as giving your dog table scraps) that your dog consumes. Following that, a small dose of coconut oil can be an excellent way to maintain your dog’s health long-term.

Don’t overdo it!

Coconut OilAs with human supplements, if a small amount of a vitamin, acid or mineral is a good thing, a larger amount is not necessarily better! So as a rule of thumb, you should consider the amount of coconut oil that is beneficial is:

1 teaspoon per 100 lbs

So you may need to do some math. If your dog is only 20 lbs, just a quarter teaspoon mixed into his food once a day will be enough. If your dog is bigger, add maybe a half teaspoon.

Make sure you are using organic, un-refined (ie. virgin) coconut oil for maximum benefits.

Did You Know?

While you might find it strange to give coconut oil to animals, the inverse is actually true: everything we know about the physiological effect of coconut oil is from tests on animal subjects. The effect of coconut oil on rabbits, monkeys and dogs is actually the only dependable science we have about the benefits of coconut oil, and the effects on humans is mostly inferred based on these animal studies.

After reading about the benefits of coconut oil, would you consider incorporating some into your dog’s diet (if you don’t already)? Let me know!

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10 thoughts on “3 Reasons To Feed Coconut Oil to Your Dog”

  1. Very timely article. I work in the vet and we have an in-house poodle that’s been on all sorts of medication for her skin condition which started as demodecosis.

    While the mites is under control, the fungal, bacteria and the overall allergy isn’t. Now, she has a layer of dark circular pigments sticking all over her and we just can’t figure out what it is.

    Someone suggested coconut oil and we thought there’s no harm since we’ve tried almost everything in the past. We just started her on the first dose yesterday and hope to see some positive results in a month’s time.

    Just wondering, what’s your opinion/experience about applying the oil directly on the dog’s body to enhance absorption?

    Thank you.

    1. Coconut oil can be used as a topical treatment. It absorbs fairly quickly into the skin; just gently massage it in. I use coconut oil directly on my dog’s dry elbow (the spot where she applies most pressure while laying down). I saw improvements in about a week. I wish I had taken pictures to show a before and after.

      Hoping the best for your poodle! Let me know how it goes.

  2. Interesting!

    I did not know coconut oil was beneficial for dogs.

    My dog is approaching 10 years old, and he’s not as active as he was. So, if coconut oil is going to improve his energy level, I think I’ll give it a try.

    Of course, the benefits of boosting the immune system and a glossy coat are always good things for your dog’s health as well.

    1. With so many potential benefits of coconut oil, it would seem silly not to at least give it a try. Let me know if you see any improvements of your aging dog!

  3. Your last comment is brilliant, hadn’t thought of it that way. of course what we know is from extensive animal testing! I’ve been giving my cat small amounts of coconut oil to help with her coat and digestion, and I think it’s making a difference. Funny, she likes eating it by herself, but not mixed in with the food. go figure!

  4. great post on coconut oil for dogs!

    I actually used it on my pitbull’s hind leg and it made a huge difference on his skins as pitbull has skin issues.

    Whilst it did not cure it, I must say it did help immensely with the itching!


  5. I keep hearing all the benefits of coconut oil but never once thought about giving it to my dog, but it seems that it is really beneficial to them. How often would you feed them it? Would it be once a day or more often? And you don’t have to give alot at all…1 teaspoon per 100 lbs, thats so little yet they still will benefit from it!

    1. Absolutely! As with everything new, start slow. Try giving your dog coconut oil once during a week to see how he/she responds to it. Then you may give your dog coconut oil once daily, but no more than that.

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