Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil? Is Coconut Oil Safe For Dogs?

(Picture Credit: ThamKC/Getty Images)

Can dogs eat coconut oil? You might have started using coconut oil as part of your home cooking regimen to benefit from the ingredient’s health benefits, but have you also wondered whether your dog can eat coconut oil? If humans can eat coconut oil, can dogs safely eat it too?

There is no short yes or no answer as to whether dogs can eat coconut oil safely. Coconut oil may offer a number of benefits to your dog’s health, as long as they eat it in small, monitored doses. But there is also a degree of doubt about exactly how accurate claims about the benefits of coconut oil are.

As always, you must ask your regular vet before sharing any human food with your favorite canine, including coconut oil. Here’s what you need to know about coconut oil and dogs.

When Is Coconut Oil Okay For Dogs To Eat?

Coconut oil consists mostly of saturated fats; although in this case, these are the good type of saturated fats.

Coconut oil can provide an energy boost. It also contains lauric acid, which may offer anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory benefits, along with providing a degree of help when a dog’s immune system is fighting off a virus.

Some of the other common benefits of coconut oil for dogs include:

  • Protection against hairballs
  • Helps aid digestion
  • Improves a dog’s coat
  • Can help with bone issues and arthritis

If you consult with your veterinarian and decide to add coconut oil to your dog’s diet as a supplement, make sure that you only use a very small amount at first. This is because too large a dose can result in a bout of diarrhea.

For small dogs, veterinarians often recommend a quarter of a teaspoon to start with, and you should mix it into your dog’s food rather than feeding it to them alone.

You can also use coconut oil on your dog topically, and it can have a positive effect on bites and dry skin.

When Is Coconut Oil Bad For Dogs?

Dog on the beach chewing on a coconut

(Picture Credit: Derek Lowe/Getty Images)

Beyond too much coconut oil potentially leading to a case of diarrhea, most of the doubts about feeding it to dogs come from the lack of confirmed studies proving the efficacy of its benefits. Many of the claims about coconut oil’s impact on a dog’s health are anecdotal, and this has caused some vets to shun the idea of using it.

While you should not fear that coconut oil will harm your dog, it’s best to start slowly and monitor any health benefits for yourself to see if it really helps improve your dog’s health.

does your dog love the taste of coconut oil? Have you ever used it on your dog topically? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

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