Coconut oil for dogs: is it really good for them?
Coconut oil is becoming increasingly popular as a health supplement for humans. It has several benefits when you add it to your diet. In addition, coconut oil is a very good moisturiser or lip balm to help relieve dry skin. Pet owners therefore rightly ask, ‘is coconut oil good for dogs too?’. In short, ‘Yes! Coconut oil can be a great way to pamper your dog.’
The science behind coconut oil
Coconut oil comes from the flesh of coconuts, which are harvested from the coconut palm tree. Good coconut oil consists of at least 90% saturated fats, most of which are medium-chain triglycerides, also known as MCTs. Although fats get a bad reputation, MCTs can offer all kinds of benefits and are considered a source of fuel and energy for the body.
Coconut oil, extracted from ripe coconuts, contains several nutrients that can be beneficial. For dogs, as for humans, for example, it has the necessary nutrients to care for damaged hair or coat.
It is always wise to consult your vet before adding anything to your pet’s diet, but you can be sure that extra virgin organic coconut oil will soon be your dog’s favourite treat.
How do I use coconut oil for my dog?
If you want to give coconut oil orally to your dog, start with small amounts and build up slowly and gradually. Giving too much at once can cause discomfort such as greasy stools or diarrhoea. It is best to consult your vet about the right dosage for your dog.
Coconut oil can be used as a base for dog snacks. Mix e.g. some melted coconut oil with turmeric and vitamin D. Pour this into silicone moulds and leave to set in the freezer for 15 minutes. There you have your healthy dog treat!
You can also just give your dog a small spoonful of coconut oil. Most dogs lick it right off the spoon.
Is your dog a champion at ‘not wanting to swallow his pills‘? Then coat the pill in a layer of coconut oil. Before you know it, he will have swallowed and eaten it all.
Topical application of coconut oil for dogs
Lauric acid, the main fatty acid in coconut oil, has a unique composition. Therefore, coconut oil is often used to keep dogs’ coats shiny and healthy. The advantage of using coconut oil for the coat is that there is no harm if your dog licks itself.
Coconut oil is also a great way to moisturise your dog’s skin itself and prevent it from flaking. Once or twice a week, massage coconut oil into the coat down to the skin. Leave on for about 5 minutes. Rinse your dog afterwards to remove any excess oil. If necessary, wash your dog with a light shampoo and rinse. You can also use a dog shampoo with organic coconut oil. However, we recommend just using organic extra virgin coconut oil. That is not diluted with other ingredients as often happens with dog shampoos.
You can also use coconut oil for your dog’s paws. These can become dry and cracked in winter. Rubbing coconut oil on the paw pads can help moisturise them. We can basically guarantee it’s going to get tails wagging!
How do I choose the right coconut oil for my dog?
The best coconut oil for dogs is unrefined, cold-pressed and organic.
Unrefined means unprocessed and without the addition of chemicals. Sometimes these are used to make coconut oil look whiter or to deodorise it.
Cold-pressed refers to the production method where the oil is “pressed” from the coconut meat as quickly as possible after the coconuts are ripe. This is done cold or below 45°C which preserves most of the nutrients naturally present.
Choosing organic coconut oil also guarantees that no impure preservatives or substances have been used during the production of the oil or the harvesting of the coconuts.