Humans have long used coconut oil for cooking, and it is featured in various culinary traditions throughout tropical regions. Contemporary trendsetters laude the versatility of coconut oil. Products containing coconut oil are ubiquitous these days, but is coconut oil safe for dogs?
Good For Me, Good For You?
As a supplement, coconut oil brings a lot to the table. While relatively safe in small amounts, it’s not a substitute for prescription medicine. If your dog ever shows signs of serious health problems, it’s essential to get help right away.
Coconut oil can aid minor skin problems, digestive disorders, and even cognition and behavior. Due to the high fat content of coconut oil, it’s best to use it sparingly.
Pancreatitis is a real danger for dogs, and must be prevented at all costs. An increase in cases typically peaks around the holidays when dogs have access to all sorts of fat-filled goodies, including those made with (or enhanced by) coconut oil. In other words, oral consumption of coconut oil may be problematic in some dogs.
Love That Stuff!
Atopic skin allergies can wreak havoc on a dog. The constant scratching and over-grooming can pave the way for secondary skin infections. Not only a soothing moisturizer for broken, cracked or itchy skin, it may guard against the growth/spread of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Do not use it, however, if your dog is prone to licking off ointments.
Shiny, Glossy, Healthy
As a fatty acid, coconut oil is famous for its ability to soothe and improve a dog’s skin and coat. Apply a small amount of food-grade, virgin oil directly onto their coat and work it into the skin. They may try to lick up the deliciousness, but don’t worry, it’s safe in small amounts.
Rinse them off if the coat feels greasy. If you use shampoo, don’t overdo it. Better yet, use a coconut oil-infused product.
Dogs with flaky, itchy, or irritated skin may benefit from a weekly coconut oil treatment. Small cuts or abrasions, or local allergic reactions, can heal faster and won’t dry out if coconut oil is applied. Crusty paw pads or nose folds will soak up the goodness of coconut oil easily.
Fatty acids are responsible for cognitive improvements, and can even add to your dog’s energy levels. Digested directly and absorbed by the GI tract, coconut oil fatty acids are metabolized and converted into usable energy.
Any nutritional changes should be made under advisement of your dog’s vet. We can help you monitor the effectiveness of coconut oil to treat and/or prevent specific issues. Watch for any digestive disruptions, such as diarrhea, or allergic reactions. Be sure to maintain strict portion sizes to prevent weight gain.