coconut oil for dogs

Coconut Oil For Dogs: Is Coconut Oil Safe for Dogs?

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Best Coconut Oil for Dogs Summary

Is it OK to Feed Your Dog Coconut Oil?

Is it OK to Feed Your Dog Coconut Oil

Yes, it is okay to feed your dog coconut oil. Coconut oil for dogs is not only safe but health-boosting and easy to use. Coconut oil features many beneficial nutrients and is an excellent addition to a dog’s diet.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, coconut oil is 100% fat, and between 80% and 90% of them are saturated fats, or more specifically, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Saturated fats are usually considered “bad,“ but if used correctly, they have health benefits.

In general, we recommend talking to your vet before adding coconut oil to your dog’s health regimen. Also, keep in mind that unrefined and virgin coconut oil for dogs is a better option than processed (refined) products.

What are the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs?

Coconut oil for dogs supports different body functions and overall wellness. Here are some of the benefits of coconut oil for your doggy:

  • Digestive Support. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids like capric acid and caprylic acid, which promote overall gastrointestinal health. The fats in coconut oil can also boost nutrient absorption, particularly fat-soluble vitamins (like A, K, E, and D).
  • GI Tract Inflammations. By supporting overall gut health and because of its potent anti-inflammatory properties, coconut oil can help manage inflammation within the digestive system, such as colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Weight Loss. Coconut oil reduces the fat accumulation in the body and speeds up its transformation into energy. Simply put, it boosts the dog’s metabolism, and the energy keeps the dog active, thus supporting weight loss.
  • Skin Issues. Coconut oil for dogs has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory features and is great for managing certain skin conditions like dry skin, rashes, eczema, insect or bug stings, irritations, dermatitis, and even minor cuts.
  • Healthy Coat. Coconut oil is also rich in vitamin C and lauric acid, both of which can help nourish your dog’s fur. Simply add a few drops of coconut oil to the regular dog shampoo, and your dog’s coat will be glossy, soft, smooth, and healthy.
  • Strong Immune System. When ingested, coconut oil can help prevent bacterial and viral infections. Again, the natural lauric acid compound boosts the dog’s immune system and promotes a strong immune response, thus protecting against pathogens.
  • Infection Management. Coconut oil for dogs has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Based on the severity of the infection, coconut oil can be used alone or in conjunction with mainstream antibiotics.
  • Cognitive Function. PetMD states that coconut oil may slow down the progression of cognitive dysfunction in senior dogs. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, which according to the site, have proven beneficial effects on cognition.
  • Ear and Eye Issues. Coconut oil for dogs can help treat minor ear and eye infections. If you are having trouble getting your dog to eat coconut oil supplements, do not worry – you can squirt a drop or two of coconut oil into the affected eye or ear.
  • De-Worming Features. According to IBPet, when used regularly, coconut oil can prevent intestinal parasites like tapeworms and Giardia. This is due to the lauric acid, which, once ingested, transforms into monolaurin.
  • Insect Repellent. Coconut oil can be used to repel pesky insects like fleas and ticks. As an added bonus, it also kills mites and lice. Rubbing a tablespoon of coconut oil into the dog’s skin (back, belly, and legs) is all it takes.
  • Better Thyroid Function. There is anecdotal evidence that regular use of coconut oil can improve thyroid gland function. It can also help relieve symptoms of hypothyroidism like flaky skin, weight gain, and slow metabolism.
  • No More Bad Breath. The antibacterial properties of coconut oil can help eliminate odor-causing bacteria from the mouth and improve bad breath. Removing the bacteria is also helpful for preventing tartar buildup and supporting the overall health of the dog’s teeth.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Dog’s Itchy Skin?

Is Coconut Oil Good for Dog’s Itchy Skin

Yes, coconut oil is good for dogs’ itchy skin.

Itchy skin in dogs is usually triggered by dryness or infection. Coconut oil is able to lock in moisture in your dog’s skin, protecting it from dehydration. The anti-inflammatory action in the oil is an added bonus that can also help control inflammation-triggered itching.

The antimicrobial effects of dogs can also improve your dog’s itching if it is caused by an infection. This can help with infections caused by bacteria, fungi, yeast, and maybe even parasites.

How do I Use Coconut Oil for My Dog’s Itching?

To use coconut oil for dog skin itching, put a small amount on your palms and gently rub it all over your dog’s coat. Apply it along the length of the fur and also massage it lightly into your dog’s skin, focusing on the most problematic areas.

You can do this one to three times a week, depending on the need and how fast your dog is responding to the treatment. You can choose to leave the coconut oil on your dog’s skin or lightly wash it off if the greasiness is unpleasant for your dog.

The Best Coconut Oil for Dogs Reviewed

With the many options for coconut oil available, it can get difficult to choose one. Below we have done the work and selected the best brands of coconut oil for dogs.

Petsmont Organic Coconut Oil for Dogs

Petsmont Organic Coconut Oil for Dogs

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Summary: This coconut oil is 100% organic (USDA-certified) and unrefined. It also contains one single ingredient, which is pure coconut oil. This means that it contains no preservatives, fillers, grains, gluten, GMOs, and other harmful ingredients. Each package weighs 16 ounces and is easy to use.

Pros

  • 100% organic virgin coconut oil
  • Human-grade product
  • Free from preservatives and fillers
  • Excellent quality to price ratio
  • Clear dosing instructions

Cons

  • Pricier than the other options on this list

Review: Dog owners love the effects this coconut oil has on their dogs. They say the oil is excellent for keeping dogs’ paws and coats healthy and moisturized. Also, dogs absolutely love the smell and taste of the oil.

Raw Paws Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for Dogs

Raw Paws Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for Dogs

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Summary: The extra virgin coconut oil from Raw Paws is as good as the name promises. It is organic and cold-pressed and contains only one ingredient – unrefined coconut oil. The oil is free from fillers and preservatives, and it supports the dog’s overall wellness, from skin health to boosted immunity.

Pros

  • Organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
  • Supports overall health
  • Available in different package sizes
  • Dogs enjoy the taste of the oil

Cons

  • Often out of stock due to high demand

Review: Pet owners say that not only do dogs enjoy eating this oil, but it also offers many benefits. Some of the issues it helps with include dry skin, parasites (especially fleas), and hairball-induced vomiting (especially in cats).

Raw Paws Organic Coconut Oil for Dogs

Raw Paws Organic Coconut Oil for Dogs

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Summary: Another favorite from Raw Paws, this coconut oil is also 100% organic, virgin, and cold-pressed. You can choose to give the coconut oil orally or topically. The formula is ideal for dogs with skin issues, and the small package size (8 ounces) makes it best suited for toy and small dog breeds.

Pros

  • 100% organic, virgin, and cold-pressed
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
  • Specifically formulated for skin issues
  • Perfect for toy and small dogs
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Often out of stock due to high demand

Review: Dog owners rave about the effectiveness of this oil. They say it does wonders for skin issues like dryness, itchiness, and hotspots. Coconut oil is also great for boosting the immune system and fighting off infections.

Zesty Paws Coconut Oil for Dogs

Zesty Paws Coconut Oil for Dogs

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Summary: Some of the health benefits you can expect from using this 100% organic virgin coconut oil are: immune support, coat health, and improved digestion. The oil can be used as a superfood or topically. It comes in a large package of 16 ounces and is ideal for large dogs and households with multiple pets.

Pros

  • 100% organic and extra virgin
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • No artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors
  • Large package perfect for big dogs
  • Budget-friendly price

Cons

  • Not available in a smaller package

Review: Pet parents say this oil has been a game-changer for their dogs’ health. They saw changes such as improved coat health, immunity, and allergy support. The taste is another plus, as dogs love it.

CocoTherapy Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

CocoTherapy Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

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Summary: The CocoTherapy coconut oil is another product that deserves mention. The oil tastes great, and dogs enjoy eating daily. It’s also great at doing its intended job of improving a dog’s health. It is USDA-certified organic and non-GMO. The product is rich in nutrients and very easy to use.

Pros

  • 100% organic and pure virgin oil
  • No preservatives or fillers
  • Nutritious and health-boosting
  • Supports general wellness
  • Extremely palatable formula

Cons

  • Glass jar not suited for long-distance shipping

Review: Both dogs and dog owners love this oil. Dogs love how delicious it is, and pet owners are delighted to see their dogs become healthier while using coconut oil. There are some complaints about the package being damaged during shipping.

SFH Super Omega 3 Fish Oil + Coconut Oil

SFH Super Omega 3 Fish Oil + Coconut Oil

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Summary: This organic and virgin coconut oil is the perfect product for dog parents looking for a solution to their dog’s skin conditions. Unlike the other options on this list, this one is in liquid form and contains fish oil (from anchovies, sardines, and herring). It comes in a bottle with a pump to make application easier.

Pros

  • Mix of coconut and fish oil
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Supports skin, heart, and joint health
  • Free from harmful preservatives or fillers
  • Liquid form in a pump bottle

Cons

  • The product is not vegan

Review: Dog owners simply love this product as it brings various benefits at once. It works for many dogs and helps relieve health issues such as itchy skin, dry paws, cracked noses, hot spots, and achy joints.

What is the Best Coconut Oil for Dogs?

What is the Best Coconut Oil for Dogs

The best coconut oil for dogs is the Petsmont Organic Coconut Oil for Dogs. The product is made with one simple ingredient and checks all boxes for quality, safety, and efficacy.

When choosing coconut oil for your dog, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Quality. Always use unrefined or virgin coconut oil for dogs. Avoid processed (refined) oils as they often contain ingredients dangerous to dogs. Plus, refined oils tend to be filled with artificial preservatives and additives.
  • Flavor. If you are going to add coconut oil to your dog’s food, choose one that has a palatable flavor. Fortunately, coconut oil is naturally neutral and generally tolerable to most dogs.
  • Added Ingredients. Some coconut oil formulas feature added ingredients. The goal is to make the supplement even more health-boosting. For example, coconut oil can be used in a mixture with fish oil.
  • Brand. Only use coconut oil from reputable brands that are known to make the highest quality pet products. When uncertain, consult your vet on which one to choose. It also helps to go through the reviews from previous customers.
Petsmont Organic Coconut Oil for Dogs
  • Allergies can often inflame and irritate the pets' skin, leading to many discomforts. Our coconut oil for dogs and cats is natural, can help with hot spots, stings, itchy skin, excessive shedding, and dull & dry coats.
  •  Coconut oil dogs supplement is safe for pets and humans in every way you look at it.
  •  Introducing the best coconut oil for dogs to your best friend's diet can support their digestive system and keep things running smoothly. 

What are the Side Effects of Coconut Oil for Dogs?

Coconut oil for dogs may cause side effects, usually in the form of stomach upset. However, prolonged and irresponsible use may lead to pancreatitis or even elevated cholesterol levels.

Here are some of the side effects of coconut oil:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Allergic reactions

While not really a side effect, coconut oil can cause weight gain or even obesity in dogs if fed excessively – in large amounts or too often (a single tablespoon of coconut oil has about 120 calories). If you have an overweight dog, talk to the vet before using coconut oil.

How Much Coconut Oil can I Give My Dog?

How Much Coconut Oil can I Give My Dog

The recommended dose of coconut oil for dogs is between one teaspoon for small dogs (less than 10 pounds of body weight) to one tablespoon for big dogs.

However, we recommend starting with one-quarter of a teaspoon and gradually working your way up to the recommended dosage.

Most brands provide dosing instructions on the packaging for you to follow. In case you are uncertain about how much to give, consult your vet on the most appropriate dose for your dog. If your dog is overweight or on a weight loss diet, you must use coconut oil sparingly.

How do I Give My Dog Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is a natural remedy that can be administered orally as a superfood in the form of a dietary supplement or applied directly to the skin as a topical. Coconut oil is gentle enough and can be applied to the dog’s eyes and ears.

If using coconut oil as a superfood, you can either pour it on the dog’s food or add it to homemade baked dog treats. On the other hand, if you prefer a topical use – rub it directly on the dog’s skin or mix it with the dog shampoo.