Can Dogs Eat Coconut and Coconut Oil?

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Introduction

Everything coconut and coconut oil is a craze that's swept the nation! People are eating them for their health benefits, putting oil in their hair, swabbing it around their teeth, using it as lotion or face wash, and doing just about everything possible with it. But, is this a craze that your dog can be a part of? 

In a complicated, short answer, yes. Coconut and coconut oil are not toxic for your pup to consume, in fact, sometimes they can provide healthy benefits to your pooch's diet. It's important to be careful, though, because coconuts contain certain ingredients or chemicals that could cause complications in your dog's diet.

So, how can you tell when coconut could benefit your dog? How can you tell if your dog has had too much coconut? How does coconut or coconut oil benefit your dog in the first place? What are the signs that coconut might not be a good choice for your dog?

Check out what we've got to say below to help develop the ultimate coconut guide for your doggo!

Introduction of Can Dogs Eat Coconut and Coconut Oil?

Signs that Your Pooch Needs Coconut & Signs that He's Had too Much

As we said before, your dog can eat coconuts safely without being subject to harm, but it's also important to note that there are some dangers to feeding your dog coconut. 

For starters, coconuts have tiny hairs on their outer shell that could get stuck in your doggo's throat. If you see your pooch having a hard time breathing or coughing after feeding him the coconut meat, it's possible that some of the hairs are stuck and he needs attention immediately.

Additionally, coconuts contain medium chain triglycerides that can lead to your pup having some digestion issues. If your pup has a stomach ache, digestion problems, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, it's time to evaluate how much coconut you should be giving them, if any at all. Consult with your vet and make an assessment. 

Coconut oil, however, can be a good choice for your pup as well and can provide tons of benefits to your doggo. If you notice some signs like dull coat, bad dog odor, terrible breath, and your pup is suffering from allergies and itchy skin, then coconut oil could be an ideal choice to feed to your dog to help combat these issues. 

Body Language

If you notice any of these signs, especially in conjunction with some of the other body signs we'll list in our next section, your dog could benefit greatly from coconuts:
  • Panting
  • Scratching
  • Ears drop
  • Pacing
  • Weakness

Other Signs

Again, the behaviors listed above aren't always indications that your pup could benefit from coconuts or coconut oil but check with your vet if they are also paired with some of the following symptoms:
  • Bad odor
  • Bad breath
  • Dull coat
  • Bacterial infection vulnerability
  • Virus vulnerability
  • Itchy skin
  • Poor immune system / subject to illness

The History of the Benefits of Coconut

History of Can Dogs Eat Coconut and Coconut Oil?
Historically, healthcare fads tend to run their gambits and then fade out, but is that the same with coconut and coconut oil, especially when giving it to your pets? 

There's little research available for dogs when it comes to coconut and coconut oil, but there was one study done that looked at coconut oil being added to dog's food to determine if it contributed to body fat. Other studies look at coconut oil and exercise and see how they affected the odorant detecting ability in dogs, seeming to indicate that it had caused decline in odorant detecting ability for pups.

The Science Behind the Benefits of Coconut

Science of Can Dogs Eat Coconut and Coconut Oil?
Coconut and coconut oil can be incredibly beneficial for your pups for a lot of reasons, but overall, it benefits because it can increase their energy levels, improve their skin, coat, breath, and odor, improve their digestion when given correctly, and can reduce their allergic reactions. According to veterinarians, coconut and coconut oil contains fatty acids that are helpful in cognitive function and can potentially help slow cognitive dysfunction in dogs. 

Additionally, the medium-chain fatty acids that are in coconut and coconut oil help with physical and digestive problems because they are so easily and readily absorbed by the digestive tract. They go directly into the liver where they can be readily metabolized into utilizable energy. 

Coconut oil, as an added benefit, is slippery and can be used as a coating on pills to help dogs swallow them, and can be applied topically to your pet's coat to freshen his shine.

How to Train Your Dog to Eat Coconut and Coconut Oil

Training of Can Dogs Eat Coconut and Coconut Oil?
If you're going to start implementing coconut and coconut oil into your dog's diet, it's important that you train him how to take it correctly, and train yourself on how to give it to him. 

For example, it's important when feeding your dog coconut meat that he takes it gently and doesn't grab the whole coconut, as eating too much of the outer shell can upset your dog's stomach and the hairs on the shell can get lodged in his throat. Commands like "gentle" and "easy" are helpful to teach your dog when feeding him coconuts and coconut oil.

Additionally, coconut oil can be mixed in with your dog's food, so get him accustomed to eating a slippery kibble mix. You can also train your pup to take coconut oil from an eye dropper, like you may have trained him to do for other liquid medicines.

How to React if Your Dog Has Had Too Much Coconut or Coconut Oil

  • Feed him regularly and keep his exercise schedule regular, too.
  • Work with your vet to develop a coconut or coconut oil diet plan for your dog.
  • Keep a look out for signs of too much coconut.
  • Call your vet for immediate assistance if an adverse reaction occurs.