Dog Care

10 Ways To Use Coconut Oil For Dogs: This Superfood Is Not Just For Hoomans!

10 Ways To Use Coconut Oil For Dogs: This Superfood Is Not Just For Hoomans!

Written By Meredith Kavanagh

Aug 30, 2016

Using coconut oil for dogs is a no-brainer. It's an eco-friendly product that you can use to keep your pup as healthy as can be! Have you ever tried to get a dog to take medicine? It takes creativity, skill, and the reflexes of a ninja. You can hide the pill in peanut butter and hope they don’t spit it back out. But after a few dozen tries, you’re both tired of that game.

What about when they have an ear infection or hot spots on their legs? Instead of trying to constantly combat your pup’s health issues, use raw coconut oil for dogs as a simple, natural remedy for common ailments.  

Is Coconut Oil Good For Dogs?

Yes! By now, you’ve probably heard that coconut oil is great for your health, and those same nutrients have a positive impact on your fur baby, too. Before we learn how to use coconut oil for dogs, let’s explore why it’s such a great preventative supplement and natural remedy.

Coconut oil is made up of a unique combination of healthy saturated fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). The top three MCTs in coconut oil are caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid.

These MCTs have antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. In addition, they have been found to boost energy, moisturize skin, and promote digestive health! Talk about pawesome health benefits!

How To Use Coconut Oil For Dogs

Whether your pup is presenting symptoms or you simply want to give their health a boost, coconut oil could be the answer. While coconut oil can be a great remedy for your furry pal, there are several important guidelines to follow.

  • You should always take a trip to the vet before you start any new health routines with your pooch.
  • Given the high fat content of coconut oil, be careful when you introduce coconut oil to your dog’s diet. Your pup’s body has a tough time digesting fat, so start out by feeding them a small amount (less than a teaspoon) and monitor their reaction.

You can use coconut oil for dogs in two ways: incorporate it into their diet, or use it as a topical ointment.

  • To feed your pooch organic coconut oil, you can either mix in a small amount with their food, or feed it to them directly off the spoon.
  • Whichever way you choose to feed your pup this tasty treat, stick to this ratio: 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs or 1 tablespoon per 30 lbs.
  • If you use coconut oil as a topical treatment, remember to apply a small amount of coconut oil to a non-irritated patch of skin first to see how they react.

The best part of using coconut oil as a topical treatment is that it’s totally safe for dogs when they inevitably lick it off!

10 Ways To Use Coconut Oil For Dogs: Overall Health

coconut oil for dogs dry noses

Soothe Dry Noses

We know that dogs have a heightened sense of smell, but you can also get a good idea of your dog’s general health by taking a look at their their kissable little nose. If a pup’s nose is cracked, flaky, or above or below their normal temperature, it can indicate a health problem. If you notice any of those symptoms on your pup’s snout, go see your vet.

Once your vet has assured you that your pup isn’t suffering from a more serious problem, you can use a dab of coconut oil to promote healing and moisturize their snout. A dry nose isn’t always serious — it can result from environmental conditions like low humidity or excessive licking.

coconut oil for dogs hot spots treatment 
Soothe Hot Spots Dogs can develop hot spots from a number of irritants: allergies, infections, stress, boredom, or bug bites. Once they begin to chew and lick, the area gets dry, itchy, and irritated, leading to more chewing and licking. It’s a vicious circle that plagues many pet owners, but the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties in coconut oil can help alleviate the root cause of their hot spots.

If your coconut oil has been kept under room temperature, it will have a waxy consistency. Warm up a small amount by rubbing it in your palms until it’s a thin, oily texture that can easily be applied without pulling at your dog’s skin or fur. Gently rub it onto the affected areas, and allow it to sit for five minutes before rinsing thoroughly. If your pooch has a thick or long coat, you can use a gentle shampoo to help rinse off the oil.

If your pup does not take kindly to you rubbing their itchy paws, you can incorporate coconut oil into their diet, and they should see the same benefits from the its bacteria-fighting properties.

coconut oil for dogs dry paws 
Heal Dry Paws Even though your pampered pup was made to survive in the wild, they have grown accustomed to living the life of a pet. Those calloused paws may need a pedicure! Extremely hot and cold sidewalks, and other environmental irritants, build up on their paw pads and can cause them discomfort. Use a small bit of coconut oil to soften their paws — but remember that they are meant to be a bit rough in order to handle walking around bare-pawed!

coconut oil for dogs hairballs
Prevent Hairballs Nope, hairballs are not strictly a feline problem. Dogs can lick their fur for a number of reasons, including self-grooming, anxiety, relieving an itch, or skin irritation. A self-grooming dog may sound great — who doesn’t want a clean canine?! Unfortunately, licking all that fur means swallowing some fur.

Usually, swallowed fur can pass through the digestive system. But if there is a large hunk of fur, it may need to be regurgitated. It isn’t pretty, but if your pup is coughing up hairballs, consider yourself lucky. If a hairball becomes too big, it can cause a blockage in their digestive system. That blockage could lead to diarrhea, constipation, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

The MCTs in coconut oil help improve digestion and act as a stool softener to help the hairball pass naturally. Coconut oil also helps moisturize your pet’s skin, so if they’re licking to relieve an itch, it may alleviate the root cause.

If your fur baby has been coughing or gagging without result, go to the vet immediately. In serious situations, surgery is needed to remove the hairball.

coconut oil for dogs skin and coat
Condition Skin And Coat Lauric acid helps build up immune systems internally and externally. If you are adding coconut oil to your pet’s diet, you should notice an especially shiny, smooth coat. If your pooch enjoys pampering, you can go the extra step and condition their coat with coconut oil by giving them a head-to-paw rub down! 

Conditioning with coconut oil for dogs will ensure a healthy coat and moisturized skin, and it even helps reduce odors.

  1. Gently massage the coconut oil into your pup’s fur until it reaches the skin — make sure you get their nails and paws, too!
  2. Leave the coconut oil on for five minutes before giving them a thorough rinse.
  3. If needed, add a gentle shampoo and another rinse to rid their coat of the oily texture.

coconut oil for dogs minor wounds 
Heal Superficial Wounds Coconut oil can help speed up the healing process and disinfect minor cuts and wounds.

coconut oil for dogs bad breath
Improve Bad Breath Is there anything worse than waking up to your dog’s hot breath in your face? What about when they are so excited to see you that they give you a sloppy kiss and slip you some tongue? We love you, but no thank you!

To help combat your dog’s dragon breath, try brushing with coconut oil! An added benefit is that when they inevitably swallow the coconut oil, you’ll know that they are getting extra nutrients!

coconut oil for dogs recipe
Make Healthy Treats Remember our pupsicle recipe? Coconut oil is a tasty and beneficial ingredient to use when you dream up your own puppy-safe concoction!

coconut oil for dogs nutrient absorption 
Improve Nutrient Absorption The antioxidants found in coconut oil help your pet absorb nutrients and minerals from their food. All those extra nutrients can prevent your pup from becoming a dreaded poop snacker, and they’ll get an added boost from the vitamins that are already present in their diet.

coconut oil for dogs weight loss
Support Healthy Weight The powerhouse MCTs in coconut oil give your dog an extra burst of energy. When your pup has the energy and desire to play, it’s easier to combat an easily preventable health problem — obesity. MCTs are metabolized quickly and efficiently, which can boost their energy level and help encourage weight loss. 

Side Effects From Using Coconut Oil For Dogs

If you start feeding your dog too much coconut oil too quickly, you can expect to see an oily or runny stool. Remember to start with a small amount, and slowly build up your dog’s tolerance. Abide by the 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds or 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds ratio. 

If you know that your dog has a sensitive stomach, or has any type of adverse reaction to the application of coconut oil, refrain from using it completely. There are plenty of other ways to get extra vitamins and minerals for your pooch!

Does your pup love coconut oil? How do you use it to keep them healthy? Share with us in the comments below!