9 Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs; Health for Your Best Friend

I am sitting in my living room writing this piece as my black lab mix, Winnie, sleeps by my side. There is no describing the love I feel for this animal, who is always so sweet, patient, and willing to give her affection to anyone that wishes to receive it. Our canine companions mean as much to us as the rest of the feline, aquatic, rodent, reptile, flying, and human members that make up our families. So, it makes sense that we would want to do what’s best for them.

When we do this, we pay special attention to their diet, activities, and illnesses because their health and happiness are in our hands. With that in mind, we want to take a closer look at the claim about the health benefits of coconut oil for dogs. Is it worth trying? Does it work?

Find out while reading this list of the nine benefits of coconut oil for dogs.

Skin Relief From The Inside

Six light-brown puppies together. Four puppies are eating in a silver dog-plate on top of the orange mat. One puppy is looking in front, and the other one is between the first and third puppy from the right.

When it comes to the skin on our dogs, it’s important that we keep it infection free and moisturized. There are a ton of issues a dog can experience when it comes to their skin, just like humans. Some of the ailments dogs face are similar to ours, and the benefits this oil offers includes ease from the pain of eczema and lessened allergic reactions to fleas, ticks, and any other allergens that might come their way.

Coconut oil can be fed to your dog by simply putting some into their food. The recommended daily dose is one teaspoon per ten pounds of dog. So, a 22lb dog should get two teaspoons in their food. But, it is important to start slow. It is said that for internal consumption, start them out with a quarter of the dosage in the first week, a half in the second, three-quarters in the third week, and by the fourth week, your dog will be getting their full dose.

This type of oil does come with calories so it is important to make adjustments to their diet to compensate for the excess. Of course, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional before changing your pet’s diet. Any holistic vet should be able to help you make the right decisions.

Skin Relief From The Outside

A brown dog on the grass showing its tongue with leaf-like shadow on the left side.

Of course, ingestion isn’t the only way one can use coconut oil. It can be applied topically and even used as a carrier substance for essential oils. This type of application works well on rashes, eczema, and dermatitis. Coconut oil treatments can help ease your best friend from itchy skin and skin infections caused by yeast and fungus.

It helps cleanse cuts and wounds while disinfecting them all the time, accelerating the healing process. Coconut oil will moisturize their skin and relieve the itch and pain of insect bites and stings. Their coat will look shiny, and you will be building a protective shield against ticks, fleas, and mites.

On top of all that, applying this oil to their callused elbows or cracked foot pads will bring them comfort as well. When it comes to your dog’s outer barrier like their fur and skin, coconut oil can bring them protection as well and leave their coat looking fabulous.

Relief for the Digestive System

A sick black dog lying on the gray couch.

When it comes to our digestive systems, it’s no surprise that it’s at the center of our entire being. It’s no different for our pets. What goes in not only comes out, hopefully, the best of it gets absorbed into their systems. The good stuff helps them remain healthy while the bad stuff can make them ill.

We don’t like to see our loved ones feeling bad so we want to prevent digestive issues before they start. And, if our pet is already experiencing digestive problems, we want to do what we can to ease their suffering. When it comes to digestion, there are several ways coconut oil helps out.

It promotes nutrient absorption, which is essential when it comes to reaping the benefits of what we eat. In addition, when added to their diet, this lipid can help ease any inflammatory bowel syndrome issues they may have. That’s not all, coconut oil also gets rid of parasites, kills bad breath, and battles colitis, which is another internal digestive issue.

Immune System

A black-white dog lying on a leaf-printed bed with brown sidings on it.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which works wonders on the canine immune system, among many other things. Not only does this basic ingredient that sits on most people’s pantry shelves work hard against bacteria and the chaos it can cause in our best friend’s bodies, but it also takes care of fungus, viruses, and other pathogens that could compromise this important system that keeps our dogs from getting sick.

It also helps immunity by fighting infections, both externally and internally. Just like humans, when it comes to their immune system, dogs are helpless without it. It stops them from getting sick, or if they do become ill, their immune system fights the pathogen while becoming stronger and stronger.

Stress, immunodeficiency diseases, poor diet, and a lack of exercise can all do their part to compromise an immune system. Spotting a breach in a dog’s immunity is not as easily done as it is for humans. Dogs don’t like to seem weak so they attempt to hide their illnesses. If your canine seems to be lacking energy, is losing his or her appetite, or seems down in the dumps, it’s possible that pet of yours is not feeling very well.

Endocrine and Metabolic Aid

Master gland of the dog.

The endocrine system in your dog is the same as it is in yours, not exactly of course, but it has the same functions. It is made up of glands that produce and release hormones that keep your pet’s body functioning well. Like humans, dogs have a pituitary that is referred to as the “master gland”.

It produces hormones including ones that control heat cycles and ovulation in female dogs. The pituitary also secretes a hormone that controls the adrenal gland, which in turn produces cortisol and antidiuretic hormone. The latter controls the breakdown of water into energy.

This oil will help keep your dog’s insulin levels well balanced, and it also helps the thyroid gland to function normally. It increases energy via hormones, which can ultimately help your dog lose or keep off any extra weight.

Builds Strong Bones

A white dog jumping on a green grass with a blue background behind.

While coconut oil doesn’t exactly contain calcium, it has this wonderful ability to help the ingester absorb the nutrients it needs to maintain a sturdy musculoskeletal system. Once again, this is no different when it comes to your dog. The absorption of nutrients was mentioned earlier when we discussed the benefit of digestive health for your dog via coconut oil.

This white fat from a jar also helps a dog build strong bones by fighting infections, which can cause a great deal of strain on all of our internal and external systems, not just the musculoskeletal. Yet, this ability to stave off infection also works well with older dogs who might be suffering from arthritis.

Just like strong bones are important as we get older, this rule applies to our canine family as well. A weak skeleton can result in fractures and breakage, plus, bones are more difficult to repair the older we all get. Of course, if you fear your dog has broken a bone, please contact a vet immediately.

Boosts Their Brain Health

A woman and a dog on the green grass. A woman kneels in front the Dobermann, holding its feet. A yellowish-black hair woman with a yellow rubber on her hair is wearing a yellow sleeveless clothes and black skirt.

When it comes to our cognitive abilities, it’s pretty safe to say that when it came to brain power, humans are on the top rung of the ladder. At least, that’s the way it seems from our perspective. Still, if you are an animal person or a dog owner, it is hard to deny that they feel the same emotions as we do, but they seem to lack the ability to ruminate on their mistakes like humans, which is why I question our place on the intelligence ladder, to begin with.

Still, when it comes to thinking, a study published by the Scientific American says that dogs may be smarter than we think. They can analyze language and are able to distinguish tone. That said, whether or not our best friends can distinguish between positive and negative connotation does not matter in the end, they need their brains to function properly so that their body works in the same way.

When it comes to the connection between this powerful oil and your dog’s brain functions, it all comes down to medium chain triglycerides or MCTs. These MTCs give us and our dog’s bodies that extra push it needs to take advantage of the essential fatty acids known to boost cognitive abilities. Some dogs have displayed an easier ability to retain learning-related tasks after two weeks of consuming MTCs.

Promotes Healthy Eyes and Ears

Face of a black dog with a healthy eyes, a red cloth on its neck.

Eyes and ears are important parts of our body for obvious reasons, and dogs have a better ability of hearing than we do. Humans hear sounds at a frequency range of 20 and 20,000 Hz while a dog’s range runs from 40 to 60,000 Hz. This is quite a difference, and they can also hear things further away than us.

As for their eyes, the rumor that dogs only see in black and white is not true. Their eyesight is closest to humans who suffer from red-green color blindness, which makes them unable to differentiate between certain colors, including red and green. Dogs are often more nearsighted and have a difficult time determining the difference between shades and brightness.

Coconut oil could be used as an ear cleaner, which is a much more natural way to remove wax buildup and bacteria. Using this application will also treat yeast infections in the ear and fight any viruses or fungi. As for the eyes, applying it topically can rid your pet of tear stains, free up ingrown lashes, heal an infection, and has been used to treat glaucoma in dogs.

Maintains Oral Health

Black dog with a black eyes, healthy teeth and wears a dog-necklace,. Black dog is sitting near the wall.

When it comes to oral health, our dogs are completely dependent upon us to make sure their teeth and gums are being taken care of. That means brushing them regularly and making sure your best friend gets their check-up. Of course, if you add coconut oil to the mix, there is a wealth of benefits your dog can reap.

In another piece, we covered how coconut oil pulling is a great tool for humans to maintain their oral health, so why wouldn’t the same benefits apply to your dog? They do, although getting your dog to swish oil in their mouth for twenty minutes might prove to be difficult. Still, you can brush their teeth with the oil.

They will be a fan of the flavor and their breath will improve greatly. Not only that, it has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, so the coconut oil should take care of any unwanted visitors in your dog’s teeth and gums.

To Conclude

Coconut oil is used in many ways, including as a sweetener for coffee, so if we can reap all the benefits it has to offer, then why shouldn’t our dogs? They should, which is why you are reading this piece, to begin with. Because you want what is best for your pup.

Of course,  you should consider purchasing an organic virgin coconut oil for your pet since it is natural and free of pesticides. You should also keep a dog journal so you can look back and get the whole picture of how coconut oil helped your pup maintain a healthy life.

If you found this information helpful, please let us know in the comments section below. Thank you for reading Better Mind Body Soul.

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