There is a new trend in the pet world, and if you are like most Americans, then you might already know I am talking about treating our canine friends with the best coconut oil for dogs!
Coconut oil is something you may have seen in your suntan lotion or as a healthy cooking medium. But Americans are waking up to coconut oil’s broader health benefits for them and now also for their pets. Many veterinary experts are actually recommending coconut oil for dogs thanks to its tremendous health benefits.
In this guide, I will be discussing the best coconut oil for dogs and how to use it for the betterment of your best friend.
What Makes Coconut Oil So Good For Dogs?
Coconut oil is filled with MCTs or medium chain triglycerides. These consist of Lauric, Capric, Caprylic, Myristic and Palmitic acids which give the following health benefits for dogs: improved digestion, enhanced immune and metabolic function support, improved skin and coat health as well as anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiviral benefits.
Let's discuss these benefits in bit more detail:
Best Coconut Oil for Dogs...Taken Internally
- When consumed regularly, coconut oil reduces risk of cancer and other degenerative disorders.
- Dogs that are fed coconut oil tend to have lower cholesterol levels and reduced risk of heart disease.
- You will also see enhanced digestive benefits like better nutrition absorption and lower flatulence. Coconut oil could also lower risk of Crohn’s Disease, IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis etc.
- Its powerful anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial components are known to prevent infections and skin diseases.
- In senior dogs, coconut oil may relieve symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis.
- The oil’s anti-fungal properties are beneficial in treating yeast, thrush and candidiasis.
- Dogs suffering from measles, herpes and flu can also benefit from coconut oil.
- This superfood is even known to balance metabolism and hormones.
- Coconut oil supplies fewer calories than other oils and fats.
- It is a perfect dog breath freshener. Use coconut oil to brush your dog’s teeth if you want to avoid harsh chemicals found in commercial dog toothpastes.
Best Coconut Oil For Dogs...Applied Topically
- Coconut oil can prevent and heal allergic reactions.
- It rejuvenates the skin and offers mild sun protection.
- With regular use, you will see shinier, healthier coat, enhanced skin and hair health and reduced hair fall.
- You can even apply coconut oil on ringworm or tinea infections.
- Dogs stung by bees, wasps or insects can get immediate relief from swelling and pain with coconut oil.
- Coconut oil is an ideal carrier oil for mixing your essential oils for dogs.
- It could protect against age spots, skin cancer and skin blemishes.
- Use the oil to disinfect cuts and wounds as it provides enhanced wound healing.
- Apply the oil on warts, moles, psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, lesions, ringworm, tick and flea bites, fungus and bacterial infections to speed up healing.
What is the Best Coconut Oil for Dogs?
Coconut oil is mainly obtained from parts of Mexico, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil, Thailand, Fiji and Philippines. These days, all drugstores, food stores, health food markets and pet shops carry several different brands of coconut oil. You can even order coconut oil online.
There are 2 main varieties of coconut oil available in the market:
Refined Coconut Oil...Low Quality for Dogs
Refined coconut oil for dogs is often labeled as RBD (refined, bleached and deodorized). It is extracted from dried coconut or kopra and later subjected to several processes to remove impurities. RBD coconut oil is inexpensive and odorless. I would not recommend using it for dogs internally or even for topical applications.
This is because; low quality refined coconut oils contain hexane, chlorine and a host of other chemicals used during the refining process. So, refined oil may be inexpensive but there is no assurance of quality.
Virgin Coconut Oil...High Quality for Dogs
The second variety of coconut oil is virgin or unrefined oil which is made from fresh coconuts. In many Asian countries, coconuts are actually pressed by hand to extract its unrefined or pure oil. Today of course there are machines and factories to do this, but good brands ensure preserving the nutrients in oil carefully.
This makes unrefined coconut oil extremely healthy but also a bit on the expensive side compared to the refined varieties. Where refined oil costs around $3-$4 USD per pint, unrefined or virgin oil could cost nearly $20 more per pint. I recommend using only organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil for dogs. You can always buy it in wholesale quantity, which turns out a lot cheaper.
How Much Coconut Oil To Feed Your Dog Daily?
There is no standard rule about how much coconut oil to feed your dog; the quantity depends not only on the dogs’ size but also how they react to it. Below are some general guidelines for feeding coconut oil to your pet. (Tweak the quantity as needed and discontinue use if your pet experiences indigestion or stomach issues. Normally, coconut oil is very well tolerated and most dogs enjoy its taste.)
Start with ¼ tsp of organic, unrefined or raw/extra virgin coconut oil for puppies.
For medium or large breed adult dogs, feed up to one teaspoon and slowly increase the quantity to 1-2 tbsp of oil per day.
Optimal dose of coconut oil for dogs refined or unrefined is 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. Discontinue use if you notice loose stools or other gastric disturbances.
You may directly add a few teaspoons of the oil to your dog’s dry food.
How To Use the Best Coconut Oil for Dogs Topically?
Coconut oil is usually solid even at room temperature. So melt a bit first if you want to apply it topically.
Rub a bit of oil on your palms.
Gently massage the oil in infected areas of the skin where there are cuts or itchiness etc. Cover your pet with a sweater or old t-shirt.
You can even massage coconut oil on your healthy pet’s skin and fur before bath time. Mix it up with a few drops of essential oils for dogs such as Lavender, Chamomile etc and leave the blend on for 30 minutes. Shampoo off as usual.
You may even add a bit of coconut oil to the final rinsing water after pet’s bath. This will leave a thin layer of oil on the dog’s coat and protect it from harsh weather elements and also prevent ticks, fleas, dandruff and other skin issues.
Repeat these steps weekly or daily as needed.
There are not many scientific tests to highlight the benefits of the best coconut oil for dogs.
However, several anecdotal examples have substantiated them. Obese and overweight dogs have lost weight while dogs with dull, damaged coats have obtained healthier and shinier coats thanks to this miraculous oil.
To check out true stories about coconut oil benefits for dogs, click this link.