Coconut products come in many different forms. From coconut flesh to chips to flakes to water and milk, it is safe to say coconut is everywhere! All forms of plain coconut and coconut products are a healthy and nutritious way to fuel the body. With summertime coming up, coconut is a popular tropical fruit to incorporate into meals and desserts.
Since coconut will likely show up in your home at some point this season, can you share coconut milk with your dog from time to time, too?
In short, you can, as it is non-toxic to dogs. But remember, moderation is key when giving your dog coconut milk.
Signs of a Dog Liking Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is very mild in flavor and slightly sweet depending on the kind of coconut milk you buy. You can opt for a sweetened version, but plain and unsweetened coconut milk is always better.Coconut milk does not have an overwhelming coconut flavor, so your dog will likely love this creamy beverage. Most dogs enjoy coconut, so you can feel confident knowing your dog will take to this healthy beverage.
Of course, not all dogs will like coconut milk, so all you can do is try. If you find your dog does not like coconut milk, we recommend not trying to force them to drink the coconut milk as there are other foods and drinks your dog may like better that have similar benefits to coconut milk.
If your dog does like coconut milk, you can easily tell by their body language and through certain other signs. Many dogs will bark or whine when they are begging if they really enjoy the treat you are giving them. If your dog stares at you persistently, if they drool a lot, pace near you, or even paw at you like they are asking for more, these are signs they like coconut milk. Also, ears up and forward along with alertness are often signs they are interested in the food you have as well.
History of Coconut Milk and Dogs
Coconut milk has been around and it has been used in a variety of ways for many thousands of years. Coconuts are believed to have originated in both the Pacific basin and the Indian Ocean basin, but at different times in history. We also see evidence of coconuts present in the Americas much before humans explored these areas of the planet. This suggests coconuts were cultivated and produced in the Americas separately as well.
Coconuts were very popular centuries ago and were always in high demand because they are high in calories (which helps fuel the body properly), had a hearty flesh, and were nutritious and hydrating from the coconut milk and water. The shells of the coconut were used as bowls or for digging. The strong, brown fibers on the skin of the coconut were used to make sturdy ropes.
Coconut milk has become more popular within the last couples of years due to more people seeking alternatives to dairy and cow milk. Coconut water has transitioned from an exotic beverage to something that is available in the dairy aisle of your grocery store.
Whether or not dogs would be given coconut milk as a source of food many years ago is unknown, but it is likely they were not regularly given coconut milk, if ever, since it was such a prized and useful food/tool for humans.
Science Behind Dogs and Coconut Milk
Coconut milk in non-toxic to dogs, just like the flesh of the coconut and the water inside of the fruit. Coconut milk is known to play a role in helping fight off viruses, improving your dog's immune system so they do not get sick in the first place, and in helping their fur coat become shinier and stronger. Furthermore, there are some enzymes found in coconut milk that can help reduce your pup's stinky dog breath!
However, coconut milk is also rich and creamy and too much can hurt your dog's tummy. It is important to only give them this healthy beverage in moderation.
Training Dogs to Like Coconut Milk
You will probably not have to do much to get your dog to like coconut milk since most dogs really like the flavor of this beverage. However, giving them a plain bowl of coconut milk will probably not be the most appealing way for your dog to reap the health benefits of this drink.
We also want to note it is important if your dog does not like coconut milk, do not force them to drink it. They aren't drinking it for a reason, so don't put too much pressure on them to enjoy it as there are other foods with similar health benefits they may enjoy more.
However, if your dog does enjoy coconut milk, there are so many creative ways you can include it in their diet in moderation. If you are making dog treats, you can replace the liquid in the treats with coconut milk for added nutrition and immune-boosting powers.
You may also want to try freezing coconut milk with some other healthy ingredients as well for a cold, summertime treat. You can use any kind of mold you want and fill up your mold or ice cube tray with the coconut milk. We suggest you use organic, unsweetened coconut milk with the least amount of filler possible.
Then, add any dog-friendly fruit and veggies you want. For example, you can add blueberries, chopped carrots, apples, peas, oatmeal, chicken, or any other foods they love the most. After your molds are filled, put them in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight and pop them out of the mold for a special treat throughout the week.
If you are just trying coconut milk with your dog for the first time, introduce it into their diet gradually. You want to make sure they are able to digest the coconut milk well and it does not give them any loose stools, vomiting, or tummy troubles.
By a Samoyed lover Kayla Costanzo
Published: 04/30/2018, edited: 04/06/2020