Coconut Oil For Dogs. The Supplement + The Pooch
Coconut oil is a popular supplement for dogs that has a variety of uses. Giving coconut oil to dogs is supposed to be good for their coats, digestive health, energy levels and even weight loss. Read on to learn more about why coconut oil might be something to add to your dog’s diet.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which are a great source of quick energy. MCTs are burned very quickly, giving your pup an energy boost. Some humans take MCTs too, and coconut oil is a popular option for this.
The lauric acid in coconut oil also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, which is another reason why including some coconut oil in your dog’s diet could be beneficial. Coconut oil also purportedly helps with skin and coat health. You can also apply a little bit topically, but don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with a greasy dog. Some pet parents use coconut oil as a kind of deep-conditioner for their dog’s coat, and shampoo it out after a few minutes. Coconut oil is also used in DIY paw-protector recipes. Some pet parents have found that a little bit of coconut oil can be helpful on their dog’s hot spots or dry, itchy skin.
How much should you give your dog? This article by SitStay suggests starting slow—if you give your dog too much coconut oil too quickly he may experience digestive upset. SitStay suggests starting with ¼ teaspoon for small dogs and puppies, and 1 teaspoon for larger dogs. After your dog becomes accustomed to eating coconut oil the site recommends one teaspoon per 10 lbs or one tablespoon for every 30 lbs.
Coconut oil can be added to your dog’s food or given directly off the spoon. There are also recipes online if you’re the kind of pet parent who enjoys making dog treats from scratch. Dogs seem to love the taste of coconut oil, so you shouldn’t have to mask the flavor with anything.
There are some concerns with coconut oil as a dietary supplement for dogs, however. As this Pet WebMD page points out, some dogs are allergic to coconut. Additionally, some veterinarians do not believe coconut oil is beneficial, and that it in fact can cause weight gain or even pancreatitis. It’s always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian before starting any supplement regimen with your dog.