Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

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We have had many readers ask us about the benefits of coconut oil and whether it is good for their dogs. Even though we aren’t doing another ingredients series for awhile, we wanted to respond to our readers questions with our thoughts on coconut oil.

 

Fats are an important part of a dog’s diet. A dog’s body is well suited to ingest and process fats and, in fact, dogs will look to fats as the first source of energy. In recognition of the importance of fats in a dog’s diet, most dog foods contain added fats and oils, and many dog owners will add additional oils, (e.g. olive oil) to their pet’s food as well. One of the oils that is gaining in popularity is coconut oil.
 
coconut oil
 
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) like lauric acid, which can provide many benefits. Besides being anti-bacterial, MCTs are efficiently metabolized and can provide a dog with an immediate source of fuel and energy. Needless to say, sporting and athletic dogs would benefit from such readily available energy!

 

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is thought to provide many benefits to a dog, and including it in your dog’s diet might make sense. Besides being an efficient source of energy, some of the key benefits include:

  • Helps with digestive issues like irritable bowel disease (IBD) because it does not require bile or lipase (from the pancreas) to breakdown and digest.
  • Improves overall digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Helps with allergies and with many skin and coat issues.
  • Can help with cognitive (brain) function.
  • Might increase metabolism.

 

With all of these benefits, coconut oil seems like a no brainer, great addition to a dog’s diet. However, as always, you should check with your vet to make sure that your pet doesn’t have any conditions that might not react well to coconut oil.

 

Coconut oil is a fat, and by definition, it is high in calories. Dog owners who wish to add coconut oil to their pet’s meals should adjust their food portions accordingly, or else run the risk of providing too many calories and causing weight gain.

 

Coconut Oil for Dogs – Dosage.

Dr. Karen Becker recommends using about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10-20 lbs. body weight, per day, as a maintenance amount. If it is used to treat a specific condition, more can be used until the condition is resolved. Just remember that the more coconut oil you add, the less food and treats you should feed your dog to keep calories in balance.
 

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27 Comments

  1. we will give it a try, maybe it’s better than the salmon oil we tried once… Easy sadly disliked it :o(
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog THE DARWIN CHALLENGEMy Profile

  2. That sounds great, I have coconut oil that I use to make my lip balm and hand cream and love it so I will have to start using it on Gambler to help put weight on him. Thanks for a great post!
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…What Do Vet Techs Really Do?My Profile

  3. We ♥ coconut oil in our pack! We introduced it several weeks ago, and add a teaspoon of it at each meal.
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…The Dog Days of Summer Just Became Bearable with Doggie Popsicles!My Profile

  4. Good info. I have been giving these two coconut oil for a couple of years. It does make their coats nice, and the other benefits are good too.
    Mary recently posted…Colors of the rainbowMy Profile

  5. Thank you!

  6. Since fish oil wasn’t a success here in Doodleville we switched to coconut oil years ago. I’ve been pleased from day one!

  7. We have heard fantastic things about coconut oil, but haven’t tried it yet. I keep meaning too though lol.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…BBQ’ing With Bowzer BoxMy Profile

  8. So now I’m wondering, if feeding just for maintenance, which oils are preferable in which situation. For skin, fish oil and for digestive health, coconut oil? Not sure where olive oil fits in either. Are the macronutrient profiles similar?

    • Olive oil is another plant based oil that can help support a healthy skin and coat and it is also full of polyphenols that are antioxidants that help protect a body’s cells from damage. When thinking about adding oils to a dog’s diet, I would think about using one ‘sea based’ oil, like fish oil or krill oil and one plant based like olive or coconut oil. Alternate over time so that your dog gets a wide variety and is exposed to the individual benefits of each. In short, there is not one single best oil (although I favor fish oil as a staple).
      steve recently posted…Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?My Profile

      • I’ve only ever used fish oil, so I’ll have to take another look at adding some diversity. Thanks.

  9. Fantastic info; glad to hear it’s generally good for dogs. Sam has a sensitive digestive system so I’m always careful about things and knowing bile isn’t necessary for digestion of is reassuring. I suspect it will come in handy keeping his coat and skin nice too especially during dry seasons. Thanks for the informative post!
    Monika recently posted…Tuesday Trivia ~ June 23, 2015My Profile

  10. We recently began adding coconut oil as an alternative to olive oil in the boys’ food. The food we use during one meal requires me to add protein and oil. They are doing great with it and along with the fish oil, we are managing Bentley’s allergies much easier.
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Tuggo Toys are Terrific!My Profile

  11. We have some coconut oil in stuff now and then and really like it, but don’t get it extra on our foodables.
    Emma recently posted…Go Hands Free With the Umbilical Belt #MultiPetMania {Giveaway}My Profile

  12. I had been using coconut oil for a while, but when I started wrapping Sampson’s pills in it, he stopped taking it. 🙂 This is a good reminder to me, to give them each a little bit of coconut oil every day. It has a lot of healthy benefits.
    Jodi recently posted…Team Sampson – #MultiPetManiaMy Profile

  13. We’ve been big fans of coconut oil for dogs and humans, inside and out for many years.
    jan recently posted…And in Australia, Johnny Depp smuggled his two Yorkshire terriers …My Profile

  14. Our dogs love coconut oil, and I just give them a spoonful of it occasionally. I use it as a moisturizer myself, and I have to share it with them when I’m using it! Both Luke and Cricket know the sound of the container it’s in opening, and they come running to get their share. I also use it on all of the animals topically if they have a cut or something, it helps with the healing.
    Jan K recently posted…The Challenge of Exercising with Multiple Pets (& Giveaway) #MultiPetManiaMy Profile

  15. HI, quick question for those who use fish oil… do you give vitamin E for your dogs also as a supplement when giving fish oil? If so, how much?

  16. Sorry for the late post – Coconut oil has been successfully used (anecdotally) to treat ear problems in dogs. My dogs and 3 others find it beneficial for ear problems, as well as the other “cures” you have listed above. It also helps Alzheimer’s in humans – so it might help in that respect, as well.

  17. We love coconut oil! Here is a post we wrote about it a while back: http://www.dzdogs.com/2014/12/coconut-oil-for-dogs.html

    Fish oil ended up giving our doggies gas, but the coconut oil has been great for their skin and coat!
    DZ Dogs recently posted…Summer Fun!My Profile

  18. We feed it to Freighter with each meal. Helps his coat stay in shape for shows.
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Wordless Wednesday–Watch Out For The RopeMy Profile

  19. We are a fish oil dog family. I keep finding articles debunking the purported benefits of coconut oil to humans so I think I’ll wait for now since fish oil seems to be great for our pups. Thanks for the post – you always get me thinking about new things.
    KB recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – A typical early summer dayMy Profile

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