Coconut oil has many uses and is gaining in popularity because of the wide range of health benefits, but did you know you can also use coconut oil for dogs? Yes, even Fido can reap the rewards of this amazing nut! I’ve been cooking with coconut oil for many years now, but am more recently learning all the benefits that coconut oil can have on dogs, too. One thing you’ll want to make sure of when buying coconut oil is that you always get virgin, un-refined coconut oil, as this will be the healthiest coconut oil for dogs and for you.
A quick overview of the health properties of coconut oil:
Coconut oil was once widely believed to be unhealthy because of the fat content, but alas, not all fats are alike. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, medium chain fatty acids are smaller and can be broken down by the body.
…are easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy — like carbohydrates, but without the insulin spike. MCTs actually boost your metabolism and help your body use fat for energy, as opposed to storing it, so it can actually help you become leaner.
Coconut oil can be given to your dog by mixing it with their food (or even just letting them lick it from a spoon!) or you can give it externally by applying it directly to their skin.
Popular Uses for Coconut Oil for Dogs:
- Moisturizer for dry skin – does your dog have dry or flaky skin? After washing your dog, add a little coconut oil to the final rinse and rub it in to their skin.
- Weight control – coconut oil can increase your dog’s metabolism which helps your dog maintain a healthy weight.
- Hot Spots or Itching – rub coconut oil directly onto the affected area twice a day until you see results.
- Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears – coconut oil in your dog’s ears may sound crazy, but you can put a drop or two just inside the ear and wipe gently to help keep them clean.
- Yeast and Fungal Infections – regular use of coconut oil in your dog’s food as well as external application can help because of the anti-fungal properties of coconut oil.
- Digestive Health – adding a little coconut oil to your dog’s food will aid in digestion.
- Disinfectant for Minor Cuts – rub a little on cuts or scrapes 2-3 times a day or as necessary to promote healing and reduce bacteria.
- Soothing Balm for your Dog’s Pads – after a long walk, why not rub some on your dogs pads – you know how good it feels to pamper your feel so why not pamper those paws!
- Oral Health – brush your dog’s teeth and gums with coconut oil and the antibacterial properties will help keep those choppers healthy.
Researchers continue to find ways that coconut oil benefits both humans and our furry companions. The above is just a small list of the many ways coconut oil can be beneficial to your dog.
How Much Coconut Oil Should I Give My Dog?
If applying externally, you can use as much or as little as you feel necessary. If adding it to their food, I would suggest a teaspoon for every 10 lbs, or a tablespon for every 30 lbs, but you’ll need to introduce it to their systems gradually with smaller doses until their digestive system gets used to it, in order to avoid any adverse affects. You’ll also find that most dogs LOVE coconut oil so they will probably eat it right up!
Where Can I Buy Coconut Oil For Dogs?
You can find extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil in almost any grocery store, but chances are, it will be pretty pricey. We were paying $11.99 for a small 10 oz jar until we realized you could order it online for MUCH cheaper. I’ve included a few options from Amazon in the links below. (Full disclosure: I do get an affiliate commission for any purchases made through these links, so if you choose to purchase through this site, THANK YOU!).
In closing, coconut oil can be extremely beneficial to your dog’s comfort and health, and when given along with proper nutrition and plenty of exercise, your dog will reap the health benefits, and we all know, a healthy dog is a happy dog!