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Home > Dogs > Can You Put Coconut Oil in Dog Food? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Can You Put Coconut Oil in Dog Food? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Coconut Oil

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Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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According to some of the research that’s been coming out about it, you can put coconut oil in your dog’s food1! Coconut oil can have many benefits for dogs; even in small amounts, it is an excellent source of fatty acids and healthy saturated fats. Keep reading to find out what the benefits of adding a little coconut oil to your dog’s food are.


Why Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

Coconut oil is a popular addition to a lot of people’s food and self-care routines. Coconut oil is great for use with people and animals of all ages because the oil is non-toxic and safe to ingest, making it a perfect addition for little hands and paws that end up in the attached mouths or mouths of others.

However, coconut oil has far more benefits than just being edible. Coconut oil is an excellent source of medium-chain triglycerides, which can help improve your (or your dog’s) immune system, digestive system, skin, and cognitive function.

Since triglycerides tend to be easy to digest, the body can use them more efficiently. Fats and proteins also offer an energy boost that generally lasts longer than the ones you get from carbohydrates. Finally, the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil contain lauric acid, which boosts the immune system.

Overall, coconut oil is safe to add to your dog’s food in moderation and can have health benefits like improving skin and coat quality, a stronger immune system, and more energy to play during the day.

feeding dog
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

How Much Coconut Oil Should I Give My Dog?

When given in high quantities, coconut oil can cause digestive upset in dogs. PetMD recommends starting by underdosing your dog and slowly working your way up to an optimal dosage to avoid GI upset..

PetMD recommends starting with ¼ teaspoon for small dogs, and up to 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon for large dogs. We recommend consulting your veterinarian before choosing a maximum dosage; your veterinarian will be able to provide a comprehensive answer that includes information pertinent to your pet’s unique health needs.

You can give your dog coconut oil one to two times per day, but if your dog is overweight or obese, stick to just one serving per day. Coconut oil is high in fat and calories. So, you don’t want to give too much of it to a dog already struggling with its weight.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Meat, Milk, or Water?

Coconut meat, milk, and water shouldn’t be fed to your dog unless you’ve cleared it with a veterinarian. These products can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs, just like coconut oil. But they’re also very high in potassium which can result in a condition known as hyperkalemia.

Fresh and healthy coconut milk with whole nut and pieces
Image Credit: marcin jucha, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

While coconut oil may not be the best choice for all dogs, those that are able to eat it will experience the fruit’s potent health benefits. Remember to speak with your veterinarian before introducing any new ingredient or supplement to your dog’s daily routine.

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Featured Image Credit: moho01, Pixabay

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