We all know that we should avoid giving our dogs human food, but is the same true for coconut oil? After all, coconut oil has tons of health benefits for us, so should you be concerned if your dog has some?
Well, the jury’s out on that one. While it is safe in small, controlled doses, some pet parents and vets shun the idea and claim there are no health benefits. Before giving your dog coconut oil, or any form of human food, be sure to consult your regular vet. Till then, here’s what we know about dogs and coconut oil so far:
Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs
Coconut oil is comprised mainly of saturated fats, but the good kinds. This can give your dog an energy boost if he’s been kind of in the dumps lately. Coconut oil also has an antifungal and anti-inflammatory benefit that comes from its lauric acid content. This may help your dog’s immune system to fight viruses, and ease digestion.
Others claim coconut oil is great for preventing hairballs, and can even help older dogs who suffer from bone issues such as arthritis. Coconut oil is also perfect for improving your dog’s coat and keeping it nice and shiny, which will improve the overall appearance.
Ask your veterinarian about incorporating coconut oil into your dog’s diet as a supplement. Small doses are advised as too much coconut oil might cause diarrhea which can cause your dog great discomfort and distress. Try mixing about a quarter teaspoon in your dog’s food. You may also use it to soothe bites and hydrate dry skin.
So, what’s so bad about it?
We don’t have the answer to that since most of these claims are not founded in science and are largely anecdotal. The only thing we know for certain is that large doses of coconut oil can lead to diarrhea. With that being said, it’s still better to start at a low dose just to be safe and monitor how your dog reacts to it. If the response is negative, then stop. But chances are, your dog will love the taste and the feeling of you rubbing it into his/her coat!