Just when you thought coconut oil couldn’t possibly have another benefit hidden up its sleeve, it surprises you, along with another furry member of your family. There are so many ways you can use coconut oil for pets!
Yes, coconut oil is fantastic for dogs. Now even Fido can enjoy the amazing benefits of coconut oil!
Many of the benefits humans get from consuming coconut oil are the same for your pup. This is great news for your dog, since it gives them the same opportunity to heal using natural methods and products (instead of prescription drugs from the vet that can have serious side effects).
1. Fight Infections
Coconut oil contains two fatty acids – lauric and caprylic acid – which have strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Both have been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria colonies while also disrupting the cell membranes of microbes to weaken them. (source)
This is great news for dogs, as rummaging out in the yard and playing with other pups causes them to inevitably be exposed to all kinds of bacteria.
2. Calm Itchy Skin
The soothing fatty acids found in coconut oil can also help moisturize and calm your dog’s itchy skin. Specifically, it can help heal conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema by moisturizing the skin and driving out harmful bacteria. (source)
3. Improve Coat Health
Because of coconut oil’s moisturizing and skin-nourishing properties, it’s also excellent for giving your dog a shiny, healthy coat. (source)
4. Minimize Odor
There’s nothing worse than wanting to cuddle up with your furry friend yet be unable to stand the persistent, wet-dog smell. Luckily, coconut oil’s monolaurin content can help get rid of bacteria on dogs’ skin and coat, which can help neutralize odors. (source)
5. Help Heal Bites and Scratches
Coconut oil has been shown in studies to be very effective at healing all kinds of wounds. It does this by increasing the production and linking of collagen fibers – the main component of skin. As a bonus, rubbing it on bites and scratches will also help reduce the chance of infection due to its antibacterial properties. (source)
6. Increase Energy
Coconut oil is made up almost entirely of medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), which are metabolized differently from other types of fatty acids. MCTs are the favored fuel source of cells’ mitochondria, or energy centers, which means they will be readily burned for energy. If you find your dog is more lethargic than normal, try adding coconut oil to his or her food for an energy boost. (source)
7. Help Relieve Arthritis
Coconut oil also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have been shown to be effective at reducing symptoms of arthritis. Not to mention, the increase in fatty acid intake from consuming coconut oil is great for lubricating the tendons and joints. (source)
8. Fight Fungal Infections
Monolaurin, a form of the natural antimicrobial compound lauric acid found in coconut oil, has been shown to also have antifungal properties. Whether your pooch is dealing with an intestinal yeast problem or a topical fungus, try feeding and applying coconut oil to help get rid of it faster. (source)
9. Soothe Dry, Cracked Paws
Sometimes the pads of your dog’s paws can become dry and cracked, similar to human knees and elbows. If left untreated, these cracks can become infected after blistering. Coconut oil can provide a double-whammy of moisture and protection from infection, much like a natural Neosporin. (source)
10. Kill Parasites
Parasites are a common problem for humans and dogs alike. In fact, we often pass them to one another without knowing it.
The lauric acid in coconut oil can help kill the parasites that are being spread around. It has been shown to be effective against many parasite strains, including one of the most common, Giardia. (source)
What Kind of Coconut Oil Is Best?
Cold-pressed, extra virgin coconut oil is the best coconut oil for dogs (and you!). Cold-pressed means the coconut is never heated, preserving its delicate enzymes, while extra virgin ensures the oil undergoes as little processing as possible.
How Much Coconut Oil Should I Give My Dog?
The general dosage is 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of bodyweight, per day. However, it’s best to start off with ½, or even ¼, of this amount and work the dosage up to avoid loose stools. (source)