Coconut oil (as the name suggests) is naturally extracted from the flesh of the coconut, so it is pure and has nothing added.
It has long been known that coconut oil has many positive health benefits for humans and dogs. It is a natural multitasker and can be used in numerous ways. These include applying to the fur or skin or even adding it to your dog’s daily food.
Coconut oil as an anti-inflammatory
Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. It is a healthy fat that can help improve your dog’s overall health and well being and can be helpful for dogs with conditions like arthritis, joint pain, and skin allergies. It is also a natural antioxidant, which means it can help to protect the cells from damage. This can be particularly helpful for dogs with cancer or heart disease conditions.
Coconut oil strengthens the immune system and the body’s defences
Coconut oil is a great source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) known for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. These can penetrate a wide variety of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens and destroy them from the inside. In this way, infections can be effectively prevented and result in a healthier immune system.
Coconut oil to strengthen bones, joints and muscles with coconut oil
Many nutrients contained in coconut oil will have positive effects on your dog. They strengthen the bones, joints, and muscles and contribute to the long-term well-being of your animal. Coconut oil has also been proven to be highly effective in the supportive treatment of osteoarthritis and arthritis.
Coconut oil as an antibacterial and antiviral
Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial and antiviral, meaning it can help fight off infection. This can be very beneficial for dogs with conditions like bacterial infections or viral infections.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is converted into monolaurin in the body. This is a powerful antiviral agent that destroys viruses. It also has caprylic acid, which is another antiviral agent.
Coconut oil for dog grooming
Coconut oil is regularly used in dog grooming and is frequently used by many dog owners. Application is simple, and all you have to do is rub a small amount of coconut oil in your hands (to melt it) and gently massage it into your dog’s fur. Alternatively, you can melt the coconut oil in a water bath and comb it through the fur.
The positive effects of the coconut oil will be immediately seen, and your dog’s coat will be shiny, softer and easier to brush. If the dog has a particularly unruly and rough coat, this should be repeated 2-3 times per week.
Coconut oil is a natural moisturiser and can also be helpful for dogs with conditions like dry skin or a dull coat. It can also reduce itching.
Coconut oil as a supplement
Overall, coconut oil is a beneficial supplement for dogs of all ages and health conditions. If you are interested in adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet, talk to your veterinarian first to ensure it is the right choice for your pet.
Coconut oil against ticks, fleas and other parasites
All dog owners know that there is always the risk of ticks, fleas and parasites that want to feed on your dog’s blood every time you take them out! Chemical agents are not always ideal, but coconut oil is an excellent alternative.
The lauric acid in coconut oil is high and acts as a natural barrier. This is because these pests cannot stand the smell of the lauric acid and will just fall off! To ensure that your dog is protected as much as possible, it is essential to rub coconut oil onto all the extremities like the legs, head, neck and ears.
Of course, coconut oil is not 100% reliable protection against ticks or other parasites. However, the number of bites should decrease significantly.
Coconut oil as a wormer
Coconut oil is a natural, safe, and affordable way to help keep your dog healthy. Coconut oil is a natural anti-parasitic that helps eliminate internal parasites in dogs. It works by destroying the membranes of the parasites, which then leads to their death. Coconut oil is also effective in treating tapeworms.
It is recommended that you worm your dog regularly, especially if they spend time outdoors where they could come into contact with parasites. You can give your dog coconut oil orally, apply it topically to their skin, or add it to your dog’s food.
It must be noted that although coconut oil can certainly help against a minor worm infestation, a visit to the vet is essential for severe cases.
Coconut oil to prevent bad breath
If your dog suffers from bad breath, an excessive number of bacteria in the mouth is always to blame. In addition to regular dental care, a species-appropriate diet and regular check-ups, the administration of coconut oil can also help to treat bad breath in dogs.
The pleasant smell of the coconut and consistency appeal to dogs, and they will generally lick the coconut oil on their own. Alternatively, a small amount can be applied to a dog toothbrush and used on the teeth and gums.
Coconut oil for wounds and inflammation
Coconut oil is often used to care for a dog’s skin. It is a great way to treat dry, cracked or scaly skin.
A small amount of coconut oil should be applied to the affected areas. At the same time, coconut oil is also recommended for superficial wounds or surgical scars. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect prevents infections, while at the same time, the moisture loosens the tissue and accelerates the healing process.
A dog’s paws can become cracked in winter due to the cold temperatures, and applying a little coconut oil can also alleviate this problem.
The exact dosage of coconut oil should always be discussed with a veterinarian.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and the recommended dosage will vary depending on your dog’s weight, age and health condition. However, a good starting point is 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight, twice a day. You can gradually increase the dosage if needed.
If you want to add coconut oil to the animal’s feed, you should do this about 2-3 times a week, depending on how well it is tolerated. The longer you mix the coconut oil into the dog’s food, the lower the dosage should be. Over time, just once a week will be sufficient.
Does coconut oil have any side effects?
Overall, coconut oil does not negatively affect a dog’s body. In some exceptional cases, allergic reactions can occur, but almost all dogs tolerate coconut oil very well, as it is easy to digest and gentle on the body. If the dog is already known to have allergies, a simple test with coconut oil on an area of the animal’s skin, for example, on the leg, is recommended. Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the skin area and keep an eye on it for a few hours. If a mild rash develops, your dog could be allergic to coconut oil.
There are also some pre-existing conditions where coconut oil should be avoided or discussed with your veterinarian. This includes diabetes and pancreatitis.
Excessive amounts of coconut oil can soften a dog’s faeces and could lead to diarrhoea.
What you should consider when buying coconut oil
To ensure you purchase high-quality coconut oil, organic is generally recommended. You should only use unrefined, native, cold-pressed coconut oil and always buy products in glass cans or glass containers instead of plastic bottles.
What is the shelf life of coconut oil?
Coconut oil is a real all-rounder when it comes to storage and shelf life. After production, coconut oil has a shelf life of around 2-3 years, even if it has already been opened. The consistency can change slightly, especially in the warm summer months, as it may become more of a liquid, but it does not lose its effectiveness as a result. Coconut oil is optimally stored at room temperature.
Coconut oil for dogs at a glance (the seven most important facts)
- It is ideal for caring for the skin and coat due to its nutrients and high moisture content.
- Works against ticks, fleas, intestinal parasites, worms and other pests.
- Has an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effect.
- Ensures healthy and strong bones, joints and muscles.
- Provides a large amount of healthy energy through medium-chain fatty acids.
- Supports the immune system and the body’s natural defences.
- Can prevent bad breath.