Coconut oil for dogs: understanding the pros and cons

A cooking instructor prepares bowls of grated coconut for...
A cooking instructor prepares bowls of grated coconut for... / Jerry Redfern/GettyImages

Your dog deserves the best, which means optimizing their nutrition. It’s fun to share table scraps and snacks with them occasionally, but targeting their diet around specific nutrients could help them live a longer, healthier life. It’s one of the many reasons people are looking into coconut oil for dogs as a potential dietary addition.

Check out more about the all-natural oil to decide if your pup would love it. You can always call your veterinarian to discuss any health questions before potentially introducing them to coconut oil.

What Is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is oil derived from coconut meat, shells and milk. You can store it as a soft solid or a liquid, depending on the temperature of the product. People add it to their daily diets to prevent cardiovascular disease and achieve other health benefits due to its fatty acids and low-density lipoproteins.

Is Coconut Oil for Dogs Different?

Dogs don’t need a different version of coconut oil than humans. Their bodies depend on daily fat intake to regulate their coats, improve their digestion and reduce cellular inflammation. The benefits of coconut oil for dogs come from its fatty acids, so stripping the fat would make it less helpful for dogs and people.

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

There are numerous reasons why coconut oil for dogs is something vets discuss with their clients. Check out how your furry friend’s health might improve if you add it to their meals or treats.

It Makes Bad Breath Less Smelly

When your dog gives you a smooch and their breath makes your nose wrinkle, it could be time to feed them a treat with coconut oil. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is a powerful antimicrobial tool for pet owners.

It will kill bacteria releasing the bad odor in their mouth, making fresher breath one of the many benefits of coconut oil for dogs. You can continue enjoying naps together or snuggling during movies without putting up with foul odors.

It Could Help With Weight Loss

Coconut oil’s fatty acids improve a dog’s metabolism by fueling it with polyunsaturated and saturated fats. Vets often recommend pups lose weight for various reasons, like avoiding disease or decreasing joint pain. You might even see greater results by combining coconut oil with exercise — the extra movement can prevent high blood pressure and make weight loss easier.

It Improves the Immune System

Antioxidants are foundational reasons why pet owners consider coconut oil for their dogs. The natural oil contains three of them — tocotrienols, capric acid and lauric acid. Each makes cells stronger, helping them become more robust between rounds of fighting viruses and bacteria.

Consider how often your dog eats or licks something covered in germs. A little immune system boost could significantly help your curious pup.

It Makes Nutrient Absorption Easier

As coconut oil strengthens your dog’s cells and fights infections, their digestive tract has more energy to absorb their food. They’ll process and utilize nutrients more effectively because their cells don’t have to focus on their immune system or inflamed organs. The same study showing improved immune performance also noted better fat absorption due to this benefit of coconut oil for dogs.

Getting more nutrients from healthy foods helps dogs live longer because they get everything their bodies need to thrive. Adding a simple food like coconut oil might not seem like a big change, but it could be another way to avoid health complications early in their life.

It May Assist Dogs With Hypothyroidism

Dogs with hypothyroidism often experience constipation or diarrhea due to their thyroid’s inability to maintain a metabolism efficient enough for digestion. By improving dogs’ digestive tract and nutrient absorption, coconut oil could help them experience fewer symptoms of hypothyroidism with regular consumption.

Potential Risks to Consider

Remember these potential risks before letting your pup enjoy coconut oil for the first time. They could avoid adverse side effects if introduced to it slowly and with your vet’s permission.

MCT Oil Could Upset Your Dog’s Stomach

Coconut oil has numerous types of fats, including microchain triglycerides (MCTs) that are more complicated to digest. If your dog’s digestive tract gets a significant amount of MCTs without breaking them down, they could experience bloating, diarrhea or cramping.

Research how much you should give your furry friend based on their age and weight. Your vet can help you determine the best amount with a quick phone call, too.

Coconut Oil Could Cause Pancreatitis

Research shows a high-fat diet can cause pancreatitis in dogs with genetic predispositions. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re unsure about your pup’s risk. They may have specific recommendations — like giving them a small amount once a week instead of every day — for or against adding natural fats to their diet based on health history or breed.

The Oil Has Higher Amounts of Calories

The dense fatty acids in coconut oil give it a higher calorie count than alternatives like vegetable oil. If your dog is on a low-calorie diet per your vet’s instructions, it may not be the best time to add coconut oil to each meal. However, your vet may approve of adding a small amount to occasional meals if the low-calorie diet is supposed to cause gradual weight loss.

Boost Your Four-Legged Best Friend’s Health Today

Now that you know more about coconut oil for dogs and its health benefits, talk with your vet. They could support adding it to your pup’s diet and give specific tips for gradually introducing it through meals or treats. Your furry friend could be much better off from the simple change, and even accomplish health goals like digesting food or losing weight more easily.

dark. Next. This one aspect of your dog’s life may be the key to his longevity. This one aspect of your dog’s life may be the key to his longevity