coconut oil

When it comes to canine health, coconut oil has been in the spotlight quite a bit recently.

Why?

Because it is so versatile, with a number of different uses and health-boosting properties.

Helps With Dry Skin And a Rough Coat

dachshund

Coconut oil is packed with fatty acids, while also boasting anti-inflammatory properties, all of which make the oil incredibly moisturizing.

If your dog suffers from dry skin, dandruff, or a rough and dull coat, applying coconut oil topically can really help with this.

How do you go about applying the oil topically to your dog?

You have a few options, such as:

  • Use your hands to apply it directly to dry patches of skin
  • Coat a brush with coconut oil and then use this to brush your dog
  • Use your fingertips to work the oil deep into your dog’s coat and skin, which will be necessary if your pooch has an especially thick coat
  • Alternatively, you could also create your very own shampoo from coconut oil to use on your dog.

How?

Here is an easy coconut oil dog shampoo recipe to follow. Simply mix together the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup organic liquid soap
  • ¾ cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup liquid coconut oil
  • 10 drops of essential oils, such as lavender and rosemary

While the shampoo may not be as foamy as commercial dog shampoos, it is incredibly moisturizing, and you can be sure of the fact that there are no harsh chemicals or ingredients within it.

cosmetics

Don’t forget, the skin on your dog’s paw pads can also benefit from coconut oil…

Using coconut oil for cracked dog paws is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the way in which the oil soothes and heals.

Simply apply the oil directly to your dog’s paws. If your pooch keeps licking it off, try covering the paws with some cotton socks for a little while, just until the coconut oil has had time to soak into the skin.

Helps With Skin Allergies

coconut oil jar

The way in which coconut oil can help your dog with allergies is all down to its moisturizing properties.

The outermost layer of the skin consists of a natural protective barrier, and its role is to prevent moisture from evaporating while also protecting your dog’s body from environmental damage.

However, there are so many factors that can interfere with, and degrade, this natural barrier, making your dog so much more susceptible to allergens.

Instead of being able to fight this off, the allergens then end up entering into your dog’s skin, causing a reaction.

How does coconut oil prevent this?

When applied topically, the oil forms its own seal over your dog’s skin, acting in the same way as your dog’s natural protective barrier.

The fatty acids in coconut oil also work to strengthen and thicken your dog’s skin, helping it to work even better on its own.

Not only that, but coconut oil contains a high concentration of lauric acid.

What does this do?

It has potent antimicrobial properties, meaning that it can help to tackle allergies and yeast infections.

Speeds Up Wound Healing

Dog injured

If your dog has a wound or an infection, your priority should be to encourage this wound to heal as quickly as possible, especially since dogs have a tendency to chew or bite at a wound and make it worse.

When it comes to treating a wound in your dog…

Washing it to keep it clean is always going to be the first step, but, after that, an application of coconut oil can really help.

How?

As mentioned above, coconut oil creates a protective seal over the skin, and it will do this over a wound too. This then protects the wound from bacteria and other environmental damage, enabling it to focus on healing.

In addition to this, coconut oil also has antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal properties.

These all help to speed up wound healing while preventing an infection from occurring.

Does your dog keep licking the coconut oil off?

This won’t cause any harm, but try covering or wrapping the wound for a while after applying the coconut oil, so that it has enough time to work its magic.

Boosts Cognitive Function And Prevents Cognitive Decline

German Shepherd

You may already think that your pooch is the most clever dog on the planet, but a little extra help never hurts!

Coconut oil is full of healthy fats, and these are vital when it comes to brain development, as well as maintaining brain health. This is especially important when it comes to older dogs…

As your pooch ages, cognitive decline will become more and more apparent, and you will notice that your dog’s memory, as well as your dog’s ability to learn, really starts to slow down.

Brain lesions, as well as conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, are not uncommon in dogs.

Research shows that dietary supplements are able to help prevent this, as well as reducing symptoms in dogs who are already experiencing cognitive decline.

When it comes to choosing supplements, you want something that contains a high amount of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), as these have been proven to boost brain energy metabolism, while also decreasing the protein build-up in the brain that can lead to lesions and tumours.

Yes, you’ve guessed it…

Coconut oil is a fantastic source of MCTs, containing this in quite high concentrations.
If you want to use coconut oil for this reason, go for around a quarter of a teaspoon for every 5kg of your dog’s body weight.

Aids in Digestion

Dog hungry

Research shows that coconut oil can really make a difference when it comes to your dog’s digestive system.

How?

By regulating digestion and improving nutrient absorption, meaning that your dog is able to make use of more of the nutrients within the food you feed.

If your dog suffers from any digestive disorders, such as colitis or inflammatory bowel syndrome, coconut oil can help to heal this too.

Reduces Bad Breath

Mouth of a dog

If your pooch suffers from bad breath, there are a couple of ways in which coconut oil can help…

The first is related to how coconut oil helps with digestion, which has been explained above.

Digestive issues commonly end up causing bad breath. By helping to keep your dog’s digestive system running optimally, coconut oil reduces digestive issues, and therefore prevents bad breath.

If you know that your pooch’s digestive system is working fine, but still need to eliminate that odour that comes from your dog’s mouth, you can use coconut oil as a toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth with.

Both of these methods are extremely effective, making it no surprise that coconut oil for dog breath has become so popular.

Repels Fleas and Ticks

Dog Scratching

Coconut oil contains around 40% lauric acid, and this naturally acts as a deterrent for fleas and ticks.

Rather than settling into your dog’s coat and skin, these pests will be put off, and will literally turn in the other direction.

Does your dog already have fleas?

Try massaging some liquid coconut oil into your dog’s coat, making sure that you are covering the skin too.

Then, run a flea comb through your dog’s fur…

You will find so many fleas end up sticking to the comb, due to the nature of the oil. Those that don’t will end up jumping off in order to escape from the lauric acid.

When it comes to traditional flea and tick treatments, these often have some serious side effects, so why not try using coconut oil for fleas instead?

Eliminates Ear Mites and Soothes Itchy Ears

French Bulldog

Ear mites are tiny eight-legged insects that infect a dog’s ears, causing them to excessively scratch and shake their heads, with some dogs even pulling out the hair around their ears as they scratch.

There are many medications out there designed to target this, but using coconut oil for ear mites is a natural way to quickly eliminate these pests.

How does coconut oil do this?

By literally smothering them and killing them, while helping the skin that they have infested to heal.

All you need to do is add a couple of drops of liquid coconut oil into your dog’s ear, before massaging the area slightly.

Do this for a week, before waiting a week and doing it again for another week. This will ensure that you not only kill all the adult ear mites, but also eliminate any eggs that they may have laid in your dog’s ears too.

Think your dog has an ear infection? Read our article.

Can Coconut Oil Be Bad for Dogs?

Coconut Oil Wooden Spoon

There are many people out there who claim that coconut oil isn’t actually good for dogs.

Is this true?

Well, just like with many other dietary supplements, it all depends on your dog, as well as how much coconut oil you are using. If your dog has with Pancreatitis, pancreatic symptoms or require a low fat diet, speak to your vet before taking up coconut oil.

It’s also important to remember that coconut oil is NOT a source of Omega 3! But can be used with am omega based supplement. Read about that, here.  

Feeding your dog too much coconut oil on a daily basis could definitely have some negative side effects.

On the other hand, feeding it well in moderation, while also using it topically, will only bring the oil’s benefits to your pooch.

Whether you use it internally or topically, there are so many ways in which coconut oil could improve your dog’s health.

What makes it even better is that this is an oil that dogs love, meaning that you will not have any problems when trying to encourage your dog to eat it.

Looking for more reading on coconut oil and dogs? Check out Planet Paws, Dogs Naturally and Dr. Karen Becker

How do you use coconut oil for your dog?

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