Photo by Max Lakutin

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil? What to Know

Coconut oil has earned the recognition of being an essential item in many people’s diets. This product seems to do everything. Need to cook dinner? Coconut oil. Having skin problems? Coconut oil? Want to lose weight? Coconut oil. The claims of coconut oil benefits go on and on. With an item so popular, it would be very difficult for your dog to not have tasted it by now. But is it good for dogs? Today we’re going to answer “can dogs eat coconut oil” once and for all.


Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?

Several years ago I purchased coconut oil after reading about its many benefits. I rubbed it on my skin and walked down the stairs… and I immediately was faced with my dog licking my entire body. She devoured every drop of coconut oil, leading me to keep the product as a cooking oil but not as a skin cream.

Was this safe? Can dogs eat coconut oil? Indeed, dogs can eat coconut oil. Pet MD gives this versatile item the green light for dogs due to a number of benefits. However, coconut oil also comes with health warnings for dogs.


How Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

So how exactly can coconut oil help our furry friends?

Coconut oil really is a wonder product. It can help with digestion and reduce allergic reactions for dogs. In addition, coconut oil is metabolized into energy for the body. This allows it to directly boost energy levels.

Coconut oil is also rich in saturated fat. Fatty acids are beneficial to cognitive functioning. Therefore coconut oil is actually connected to slowing canine cognitive disfunction. Who though a spoonful of oil a day could be so healthy?

Looking for some more benefits? You can rub coconut oil on your dog’s fur to reduce flaking and add some shine and moisture to the coat. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about your dog licking the oil off since it is edible.


How to Serve Dogs Coconut Oil

There is a good chance your dog will love the taste of coconut oil, so you can mix it in with meals. You should consult your vet to figure out proper serving sizes based on your dog’s weight. Be sure to always introduce new food items slowly into your dog’s diet.

Additionally, you can use coconut oil to coat pills so that dogs swallow them easier. You can also use it as the base for some healthy and delicious homemade dog treats. Another way to use coconut oil is to apply it directly to your dog’s fur to provide a shiny coat.


Possible Coconut Oil Concerns

Coconut oil is considered safe for canines. However, some dogs can have allergic reactions to it. Safe alternatives to coconut oil include cold water fish oils and flax seed oil.

While coconut oil provides a multitude of health benefits, it is also very high in fat. This means that if your dog is struggling with weight issues, you should serve only very small portions of coconut oil to your pup. Though the fat in coconut oil is beneficial to the body, it still should not be served in large portions if your dog is overweight.

Remember, all good things in moderation. Consuming too much fat could lead to pancreatitis in dogs. Lastly, eating too much coconut oil could cause diarrhea in dogs. It’s also worth noting that not all vets are behind the coconut oil bandwagon, since some professionals don’t find the high-calorie oil to have any real benefits.


Coconut Oil Conclusions

Can dogs eat coconut oil? They sure can. While in rare cases, dogs can have coconut oil allergies, coconut oil is a safe and healthy meal addition for many canines. Mixing coconut oil with kibble can have many health benefits for dogs.

To read about the benefits of other oils for dogs, check out can dogs eat olives.

Emma Polini