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Coconut Oil for Dogs


Coconut Oil for Dogs: Miracle in a Jar

Published August 10, 2012

Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images

Coconut oil can have numerous health benefits for dogs, particularly dogs with itchy skin and coats.


We hear about a host of canine health problems here at Life on the Leash. Flaky skin, hot spots, yeasty ears, dull smelly coats, infected cuts, cracked paws … it’s not pretty. Once we determine that the maladies aren’t related to diet (sub-par dog foods can contribute to the issues listed above), I suggest the next best line of defense: coconut oil.

Coconut oil for dogs (and people) is often called a miracle in a jar. “Virgin” (or unrefined) coconut oil helps to support and maintain overall health in both humans and dogs. Coconut oil contains Lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid that is also found in mother’s milk. Lauric acid is the substance that prevents infants from getting viral, bacterial and protozoan infections, and those same benefits seem to apply to dogs as well.

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

The advantages of giving your dog coconut oil are far-reaching:

  • Reduces risk of cancers
  • Improves digestion and addresses digestive disorders
  • Promotes normal thyroid function 
  • Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections
  • Helps balance metabolism for a healthy weight
  • Relieves arthritis
  • Supports healthy skin and coat

Applied topically coconut oil can:

  • Disinfect cuts
  • Improve skin and coat condition
  • Speed wound healing
  • Deodorize
  • Clear up rashes

The best part? Dogs love the taste of coconut oil! Unlike other “good for you” remedies, most dogs will readily eat their daily dose, mine included. I’ve been using coconut oil for years – since Sumner was still with us – and I’ve seen the benefits firsthand. (I’ve also seen how quickly the dogs go off the rails when I run out.) A local vet was so impressed by the change in one of our coconut customers that he’s now a believer in coconut oil for dogs, too!

Dosing is easy: give one teaspoon per ten pounds of body weight, or one tablespoon per thirty pounds. Work up to the suggested dosing amount gradually, as the detoxification process can trigger flu-like symptoms in dogs that start off on the full dose right away.

Between the results in my own dogs and the feedback from my customers, you can call me nuts about coconut!

This information is meant to supplement, not replace, advice from your veterinarian, and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your pet’s specific health circumstances. If you have a specific health question about your pet, contact your veterinarian.

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