DOGGONE GOOD BLOG: Coconut Oil - Benefits, Risks, & Topical Use for Your Dog
By Coach Kat, May 1, 2021, copyright Bronwyn Katdaré 2021
At least once per year, I love to include a blog about pets. Why? Well, pets are an important part of our lives, with 67% of U.S. households having a pet. That’s 85 million households! Of those 85 million households, 63.4 million of those households have dogs.
I get questions all of the time from both my health coaching and dog training clients about giving coconut oil to their dogs. (Yes, I've been a professional dog trainer for over a decade!). So, let’s shed some light on the benefits, risks, topical uses, and tips regarding coconut oil for your dog.
Let’s jump right in with the benefits, risks, topical uses, and tips regarding coconut oil for your dog.
Benefits: Coconut oil is a great supplemental fat but should not be the sole dietary fat that your dog ingests. It is a source of medium chain triglycerides, so it may improve cognitive function (think, brain fog in humans).
Coconut oil is highly digestible even for those dogs classified as "sensitive" because it does not burden the pancreas as do other oils.
Coconut oil can soothe systemic inflammation and help heal the digestive tract by increasing nutrient absorption.
When taken internally, it also helps to soften the coat and add shine.
I have added coconut oil to homemade food for my dog, a German Shepherd. I also used it to create a base for a turmeric and ginger paste that goes on his food. When feeding your dog coconut oil, the recommended dose is ¼ tbsp per 10 lbs of dog. That would be about 2 tablespoons for my dog who weighs 80 lbs. That was TOO much and resulted in loose stools. I found that slightly less that 1 tbsp was enough.
Risks: Dogs who are overweight or prone to become overweight (they are sedentary or their breed tends to get hefty) should go easy on this saturated fat.
Dogs tend to metabolize saturated fat differently from humans and it has been found that coconut oil for dogs will not cause the same problems saturated fat causes in humans.
Dogs who are allergic to coconut should not use it at all – neither eating it nor using it topically.
Dogs with metabolic issues digesting fat should consult with their veterinarian.
Moderation is key because you do not want loose stools.
Topical use: Coconut oil is an antimicrobial so it works well on abrasions, cuts, infected ears, yeast infections, and allergies!
Coconut oil can also be used in ears that just need to have the wax broken up and cleaned out.
Coconut oil can be rubbed into dry skin, crusty elbows, or flaky patches as a moisturizer that creates an antimicrobial barrier. For this reason, it can also be used to help clear contact dermatitis, itchy skin, and allergies that present on the skin.
When my dog was shaved for a surgery, he ended up with flaky skin around the surgical site. I used coconut oil to ease the itch from the dryness and to clear up the flakiness.
I also used it when he had little scabs around the tip of his ear from seasonal allergies. I rubbed in some coconut oil and after a couple of days, the skin cleared.
Remember, when using coconut oil topically, a little goes a long way - you don’t want oil stains on fabrics in your home.
Also, I refrain from using oil on paw pads unless the paw has been wrapped. The reason is three-fold: first, your pet could easily slip and fall on your floors due to having oil on his paw pad. Second, the oil will be tracked onto your floors. Three, dirt, lint, and everything else will stick to the oily pad.
Tips: Pet parents should look for virgin coconut oil - unrefined, organic, pure. Make sure it is in a glass jar. (Lesser quality coconut oil that is refined, not organic, and impure are sold in plastic and should not be used because the oil will be ingested through licking).
I love talking about pets and pet health! My pets are so much a part of my life and family so keeping them healthy and happy are priorities for me.
I invite you to check out my Chewy.com affiliate link! I am proud to partner with Chewy to help give your pets the best life! Click here for the link.
Also, when you want to give your pet the best life, check out my dog training programs! I have introduced FULLY ONLINE private live dog training programs for you and your dog. My dog teaches these classes along with me! Click here for information on my programs at Katdare K9 Coaching.
(Bronwyn Katdaré is a certified Nutrition, Lifestyle, and Functional Medicine Health Coach who takes an integrated approach to whole-person healing. She even offers Reiki and Shamanic healing you you or your pets!
Bronwyn is also a Certified Pet and Working K9 Trainer and Handler Instructor, an Explosives Detection Dog Handler, a Certified Canine Athlete Specialist, and has owned her own dog training business, Katdaré K9 Coaching, for over a decade).