In addition to providing countless health benefits for human skin, hair, and diet, coconut oil is also safe for use on dogs. Coconut oil contains a blend of fatty acids that are good for dogs’ coats and overall health. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of coconut oil for dogs, and how to safely administer it to your pet.
Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?
Much like the use of avocado oil in AvoDerm® pet food products, coconut oil is made by extracting the meat and the milk from the coconut fruit. This process makes both avocado and coconut oils completely safe for dogs to eat in controlled amounts.
Like any change in a dog’s diet, coconut oil should be added gradually to avoid negative reactions. Start with ¼ teaspoon a day for small dogs and puppies, or a full teaspoon for large dogs if they aren’t particularly sensitive. After letting their body adjust to a new food in their diet, you can increase the dosage to 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs
More than 90% of coconut oil is saturated fat. Specifically, coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, good fats that benefit a dog’s digestive process, immune system, metabolic function, and skin and coat health. Unsaturated fats comprise roughly 8% of the nutritional content of coconut oil, in the form of oleic and linoleic acid. These fatty acids in coconut oil are an essential source of energy in a dog’s diet, providing relief for dry skin and adding shine to dull coats.
When added to a dog’s diet, coconut oil can increase energy levels, support nutrient absorption, and promote normal thyroid function. Coconut oil can also prevent diabetes and infection, and aid in the relief of colitis, coughing, bad breath, and IBS.
Using Coconut Oil for Dogs: Skin Conditions
Coconut oil is often used on human skin to relieve symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, acne, and other skin conditions. It’s a great vegetable oil, dietary supplement, and moisturizer to have in stock, as it also has dozens of helpful household uses. Through external use, coconut oil can also be used on dogs’ skin to provide relief of the following skin conditions:
- Dry and itchy skin: coconut oil is easily absorbed through the top layers of a dog’s skin. It provides relief for both dry and itchy skin by replenishing the oil barrier between your dog’s coat and the environment.
- Dandruff: dandruff is often caused by food allergies or nutritional deficiencies. Adding a bit of coconut oil to your dog’s shampoo can support the treatment of flaky skin, but it’s important to investigate your dog’s health to find the underlying issue.
- Sore paws: in winter weather, protecting your dog’s nose and paws from the cold is an important consideration. Coconut oil provides a layer of protection to protect your dog’s skin from getting chapped.
Best Skin Care for Dogs: A Nutritious Diet
Coconut oil is good for relieving outward symptoms in your dog’s skin and coat. However, many skin conditions are the result of food allergies or nutritional deficiencies in your dog’s diet. Contact your vet if you suspect your dog has a food allergy, and consider switching to AvoDerm Natural® pet food to get the best nutritional bang for your buck.