Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?

coconut oil and coconuts, palm branches close up

Coconut oil is a culinary item that is becoming increasingly popular as a natural treatment and nutritional supplement. When people consume coconut oil or use it topically, they claim to get a range of health advantages. It's hardly unexpected that some dog owners have contemplated applying coconut oil on their pets because of the potential health advantages.

Before embracing this dietary fad and using coconut oil on your dog, find out how safe it actually is and whether or not you can expect positive results.

What Is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is created from the oil extracted from coconuts. It may be used to cook with, but it can also be taken as a supplement. Medium-chain triglycerides are saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil. Long-chain triglycerides like olive oil, soybean oil, avocado oil, and fish oil have distinct qualities than MCTs like palm kernel oil and coconut oil. MCTs, in principle, are more easily digested and provide faster energy than LCTs. Caprylic and capric acids, both of which have antifungal characteristics, may be found in MCTs. They might also include lauric acid, an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal compound.

Is Coconut Oil Beneficial to Dogs?

People seeking for natural cures are likely to get interested in any natural material with antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral characteristics. Because of the hype, coconut oil appears to be a wonder meal. However, dog owners must be aware that none of these assertions are scientifically supported. In reality, research on the supposed health advantages of coconut oil has been generally inconclusive. Furthermore, these research have primarily focused on people rather than animals.

MCTs present in coconut oil are thought to help digestion, treat digestive ailments, and reduce inflammation, according to some. MCTs may also benefit aged dogs' brain energy and cognition.

Some owners claim that using coconut oil topically helped skin concerns including hot spots or itchy, dry skin. These owners employed over-the-counter shampoos containing organic coconut oil and DIY paw balm recipes to accomplish not just these benefits, but also to give their dog a lustrous, glossy coat.

Other anecdotal evidence suggests that coconut oil may help with metabolic functions, aid in weight loss, and alleviate pain from arthritis as well as improving bone health.

Always keep in mind that tales are not scientifically valid. Before you decide to include coconut oil in your dog's diet or apply it to his skin, think about the hazards. Your veterinarian, as always, is the finest source of information on your dog's health. Consult your veterinarian before using coconut oil on your dog.

Is Coconut Oil Safe for Dogs?

Coconut oil, despite its potential health advantages, may be harmful to your dog. It is a high-fat meal that might create issues in dogs with specific health conditions, even though it is not harmful. Furthermore, this fatty diet may cause dogs to gain weight, putting them at risk for obesity and the health problems that come with it.

Remember that the anecdotes of friends and random people who brag about the advantages of coconut oil are not a replacement for scientific study conducted in a controlled environment with a large sample of dogs that is both reproducible and peer-reviewed.

Can I Use Coconut Oil on My Dog?

Consult your veterinarian before using coconut oil, as previously stated. Your veterinarian is familiar with your dog's medical history and physical condition and may provide precise instructions and advise on how to incorporate it into your dog's routine if the physician thinks it safe.

Although topical application is simple, be in mind that your dog may lick it off his skin and eat it. Only give your dog the amount prescribed by your veterinarian when using it orally. Excess coconut oil can cause nausea, oily diarrhea, weight gain, and other health problems. Increased fat in the diet is generally discouraged for dogs with a history of or those who are prone to gaining weight, according to veterinarians. When utilizing coconut oil, other illnesses and metabolic issues might be aggravated.

If your vet gives you the go-ahead to use coconut oil topically or orally in your dog, be sure to get unrefined (also called "virgin") oil. Cold-pressed coconut oil is considered ideal.

Not all coconut oils taste the same. Some may have a stronger coconut flavor than others, so you may need to experiment with your dog to see what kind is preferred.