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Can Dogs Eat Coconut? What Are the Health Benefits of Coconut to Your Dog?

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Raymond Umpa

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Can Dogs Eat Coconut

Coconut is a popular ingredient in dog treats, dog shampoos, and other grooming products. So, if you’ll come to think, it should come as no surprise that dogs can eat coconuts, too.

But still, as dog owners, we know where you are coming from. As always, it’s better to be sure and safe, than sorry. So going back, can dogs eat coconut?

Can Dogs Eat Coconut?

Well, you guessed it right! Your dog can definitely eat coconut meat. As mentioned earlier, if you’ve been at your local pet store lately, chances are you’ve already seen some dog treats and dog products that contain coconut.

And since coconut flesh, coconut milk, and other products with coconut-based ingredients came from one source, it only means that they all share similar properties.

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However, while coconut is a nontoxic tropical fruit to your canine companions, there are just a few caveats. Hence, just like other human foods, it’s best to give it in moderation.

In particular, coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides, which can cause bloating and stomach upset when taken in huge amounts.

Also, feeding too much coconut can cause a significant increase in your dog’s body weight because of its high-calorie content.

And it’s not a secret that coconut is high in saturated fat, so adding too much of it into your dog’s diet won’t just lead to unhealthy weight gain, but it can also increase his chances of getting pancreatitis and heart problems.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?

Yes, dogs can eat coconut oil. In fact, coconut oil is present in small amounts in tasty dog treats and commercial dog foods.

However, as mentioned above, a dog reacts negatively to too much coconut oil. In particular, feeding your dog coconut oil more than his body needs can cause weight gain and an upset stomach.

If your dog has never taken coconut oil, it’s best to consult your vet first. And once he gives you a go signal, you can proceed and buy commercial pet foods, or you can purchase a bottle of high-quality coconut oil and drizzle on your dog’s food.

And as part of the coconut feeding guidelines, you should stick to a maximum dose of around one tablespoon per 30 pounds of body weight.

Keep an eye on your dog’s reactions, and watch out for worrisome symptoms like stomach ache, and other signs of gastrointestinal disturbance.

And since you already have coconut oil, you can also put some into your hands and apply to your dog’s skin or fur, focusing on dry areas such as his paws.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut? What Are the Health Benefits of Coconut to Your Dog? 1

Can Dogs Have Coconut Milk?

Just like coconut oil and flesh, you can also feed your dog coconut milk because it’s also non-toxic for them.

However, when feeding coconut milk to your pup, make sure to read the label of the product to ensure that there are no additives and other toxic ingredients.

Coconut milk is commonly used in a lot of human foods, so, it’s very likely that you can buy coconut products that are not dog-friendly.

For this reason, many pet parents tend to skip on coconut milk to be on the safe side. Doing so can at least reduce your pup’s risk for obesity and stomach problems.

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Health Benefits of Coconut to Your Dog

Beyond its amazing taste and tempting aroma, coconut also has several health benefits to our furry friends. However, despite all of its potential benefits, it can still cause some unwanted, yet easily avoidable side effects when not consumed properly.

As such, if it’s your first time feeding your pooch coconut flakes, or any coconut products, it would be better to ask your vet’s expert advice and recommendation.

Once your dog is ready to dive in his first coconut, let him taste the flesh first. And if he likes it, then, feel free to give him the rest of what you’ve prepared. Bear in mind, though, that you are not supposed to give this tropical fruit to your dog regularly.

When taken in moderation, one of the potential health benefits your pooch can get from eating coconut is a stronger immune system.

And we could thank the antioxidants in coconuts for this. With a tougher immune system, your dog can have stronger protection against viruses, bad bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

Coconut also contains high amounts of medium-chain fatty acid called lauric acid, which is also helpful in fighting viruses, as well as in treating yeast infections like Giardia and ringworm.

Lauric acid also has anti-inflammatory properties, and by this, it can be beneficial for dogs in reducing inflammations in their body.

For instance, the pain felt by dogs with arthritis would be much tolerable since this condition is primarily caused by inflammation. And by applying it topically, wounds and cuts could heal faster, and the overall condition of the skin would be better.  

Also, among the essential nutrients that dogs can get from eating coconut is manganese. This mineral is important to bone health, and dogs need it to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates from their diet so they can use them up as energy for their daily activities.

Finally, your dog can also benefit from coconut’s skin protecting properties either by taking it internally or applying it externally.

This is also why there are a lot of dog grooming products that contain coconut. And even if you choose to simply feed your pooch coconut, you can still expect your dog’s skin conditions to improve.

As mentioned above, the anti-inflammatory properties in coconuts can help in fighting skin infections, as well as in reducing flea allergies, itchy skin, and rashes. The fatty acids in coconut can also help make your dog’s coat soft and silky all the time.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut? What Are the Health Benefits of Coconut to Your Dog? 2

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Coconut

Coconut is high in vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants that dogs can benefit from, but they can also get all of these nutrients from a well-balanced diet.

So, while coconut is not toxic to dogs, you also don’t need to add this into their diet. But if you want to, and your dogs love coconut, then, feel free to give it to them as a snack or treats.

When feeding your dog coconut, you can either choose between raw or dried coconut that often comes shredded or in flakes. And if you want to make a homemade treat, try baking coconut, peanut butter, and honey biscuits.

You can use coconut flour, melted coconut oil, and baking powder in making this, but avoid adding sweetened coconut because it contains added sugar that can be unhealthy for your pup. Instead, use the unsweetened varieties and give this treat in moderation.

If you are planning to buy the whole coconut, make sure to keep the coconut shell and husk away from your dog. When swallowed, these parts can cause choking, and even gastrointestinal obstructions that might require emergency surgery.

As mentioned earlier, while coconut meat is not toxic to your pup, it still contains medium-chain triglycerides that can upset your dog’s stomach and can cause your dog to have watery stools. And as we know, frequent passage of watery stool can put your dog at risk for dehydration and electrolytes imbalance.

Coconut is also high in saturated fats and high in calories, so it goes without saying that too much of this in your dog’s diet can lead to unhealthy weight gain and several health issues.

Moreover, if you are adding coconut oil to your dog’s food, make sure to use the high-quality ones that can be purchased by the jar.

If you’ve been reading about coconut oil for a while, we’re sure, you already heard about its wonders to your dog’s overall health when taken in small amounts. Again, only use premium non-hydrogenated coconut oil to pump up the nutrients that your dog can get from his diet.

And like what was said earlier, you can either drizzle coconut oil into your dog’s food, or you can also put it in a spoon and place it directly into your pup’s mouth.

Once again, the recommended maximum feeding allowance daily is one tablespoon for every 30 pounds of a dog’s body weight.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut? What Are the Health Benefits of Coconut to Your Dog? 3

Is it OK for dogs to eat coconut?

The short answer is yes! Coconut meat is just as healthy, if not more so, than the coconut oil alone. Coconut is non-toxic to dogs, but it does contain medium chain triglycerides, which may cause some gastrointestinal upset and bloating.

What does coconut do for dogs?

Some vets believe that the MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) in coconut oil aid in digestion and can help heal digestive disorders, as well as improve brain energy and mental function in older dogs. Reduces coughing and helps eliminate hairballs.

Can coconut kill dogs?

No. Coconut oil is all-natural and doesn't contain any harmful chemicals; thus, you can safely rub coconut oil on your dog's coat. Most dogs love the taste of coconut oil, don't worry if your dog licks it off, coconut oil is safe for your dog to ingest.

How much coconut can I give my dog?

It can be fed right off a spoon or drizzled onto your dog's food, with a recommended maximum daily feeding amount of around 1 Tbsp per 30 pounds of body weight. As always, keep an eye out for any signs of stomach ache. While you're at it, coconut oil can also be used topically for additional benefits.

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