The Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

Fresh Coconut

Coconut oil is a popular trend, with many people using it to cook with or even using it topically as a moisturizer. If it’s so great for us humans to use is, is it safe to use on your furry friend? The answer is yes! Read on to learn more about the benefits of coconut oil for dogs.

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, most of which are “good” fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Some vets believe that the MCTs found in coconut oil can help soothe your dog’s digestive system and help with nutrient absorption. But, it doesn’t stop there! MCTs can also help benefit metabolic function that assists with weight loss, immune system support, bone health and can improve bad breath.

How Much Coconut Oil to Give Your Dog

If you’ve decided to start giving your dog coconut oil, be sure to start slow and with a small amount. This is a new addition to your dog’s daily diet and his body needs to adjust. Too much coconut oil can give side effects that include diarrhea or greasy stools. As a general rule, use the following portions:

  • ¼ teaspoon per day for puppies and small breeds
  • 1 teaspoon for large dogs

You can let your dog lick the coconut oil straight off of your spoon – some dogs love the taste! If he isn’t too fond of the taste, you can always mix the oil into his food.  When shopping for coconut oil make sure to look for unrefined or virgin coconut oil.

Coconut Oil for Your Dogs’ Skin & Coat

The benefits of coconut oil aren’t just internal, you can also apply it directly to your dog’s coat and skin! For the best results, apply coconut oil to your dog’s skin and coat weekly. Coconut oil is also great to use as a spot treatment for things such as bug bites, hot spots or patches of itchy or dry skin.

How to apply:

  • Apply a small amount to the skin and let it absorb for five minutes
  • After five minutes, you can rinse your dog with water if needed
  • If there’s still coconut oil remaining, lightly shampoo and rinse

Coconut Oil for Your Dog’s Paws

With the hot pavements in the summer and cold snow in the winter, your dog’s paws go through a lot. If you find that your pup’s paws are dry or cracked, you can use coconut oil to help soothe and heal them. Make sure to rub the coconut oil thoroughly into your dog’s paws, or your dog will mistake this treatment for a snack and lick off all of the oil! Also make sure to apply the oil before bed, as your pup’s oiled up paws can cause him to slip and slide on hard floors or the oil can stain your carpet.

Please remember that if your dog is sick or hurt, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before using coconut oil. While coconut oil is a great at-home treatment for some cases, your veterinarian will be able to give the best advice for how to help your dog with more serious ailments or injuries.

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