Coconut oil is a popular human health supplement with a multitude of uses for cooking and for health and beauty. Did you realize that your dog could benefit from coconut oil too? It is a completely natural oil that is high in fat and which can help with a number of canine health problems.
Many owners have found it particularly effective for dry and irritated skin which may be triggered by allergies as well as flea bites. It can be ingested or applied directly to the skin. There are some dogs who cannot take coconut oil so always talk to your vet first. Coconut oil is available in several different forms so to get you started, here is our guide to finding the best coconut oil for dogs.
The Best Coconut Oil For Dogs
This coconut oil for dogs is a natural moisturizer that can penetrate deeply to nourish and hydrate skin. This product supplies coconut oil as a cold-pressed product. It is made from coconuts that are certified as organic by the USDA. It is safe to ingest or apply to skin and contains no genetically modified ingredients or gluten.
Only the coconut oil and not the ‘meat’ of the coconut is included in this product so there are no proteins that could trigger an allergic reaction. There are no harmful chemicals used in the production of the coconuts for this product so it is also kind to the environment.
Cold-pressed coconut oil
Made from certified organic coconuts
No coconut protein
No GMO or gluten
- BrandViva Naturals
- Weight1.2 pounds
This is an unrefined coconut oil for dog’s skin that is made from hand-selected organic coconuts which are cold-pressed within hours of them being picked. It is certified as containing no genetically modified organisms.
The coconut oil contains fat only and has no protein or carbohydrate content. It can be ingested as a food supplement or can be applied to the skin to nourish it. Coconut oil will also act as a natural sunscreen.
Unrefined coconut oil
Made from organic coconuts
Hand-picked and cold-pressed
- BrandIsland Fresh
- Weight3.38 pounds
This is an extra virgin coconut oil for pets and humans that is aromatic and cold pressed. This product has not been hydrogenated, bleached or refined in any way and contains no artificial fragrances. It is certified as organic by the USDA.
Organically grown coconuts are chosen and their ‘meat’ has been shredded before it is cold-pressed which creates a coconut milk. The milk is then filtered so that the highest quality oil is extracted. When ingested, it’s a healthy source of saturated fat. It has no trans-fatty acids. The product delivers medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. These can be used by the body to produce energy. It can also be used as a deeply conditioning skin moisturizer.
Certified organic by USDA
Has not been hydrogenated or bleached
Healthy source of saturated fat
Nourishes the skin
- BrandGarden of Life
- Weight14.1 ounces
A pack of 120 soft gels which each deliver 2000 mg of coconut oil. They contain no GMO ingredients and are completely gluten-free. Each soft gel contains organic, virgin coconut oil.
As a food supplement, they provide around 13 calories which is made up entirely of oils. It delivers medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid and capric acid. These are metabolized by the body to produce energy but do not increase blood cholesterol. It helps with the absorption of B complex vitamins and some amino acids.
Soft gel capsules
Organic, virgin coconut oil
Delivers medium-chain fatty acids
Helps absorption of vitamins and amino acids
- BrandPrecision Naturals
- Weight7.8 ounces
Here you get an organic, unrefined coconut oil that can be used as a food supplement or on the skin. It has been extracted from the nut using the cold press extraction method so you get a light-tasting oil that is both pure and full of nutrients. The composition is 63 percent medium chain triglycerides. Lauric acid makes up 50 percent.
The product is completely organic and there are no harmful chemicals or heat used it its production. It complies with the USDA certification for organic products and the even the packaging is BPA-free.
Organic unrefined oil
Extracted by cold press
No chemicals used in production
Packaging is BPA free
- Weight1.76 ounces
A superfood supplement that is suitable for dogs only, here you get a completely natural product that is suitable for dogs with allergies as it has no corn, wheat or soy or artificial additives. It is certified as 100 percent organic and can be ingested to help with skin problems.
When applied to the skin, it can help to ease flea bites and hot spots and is also helpful with generally dry and flaky skin and with cracked paws. It can restore shine and strength to coats and helps with cutting down on shedding. As an oral supplement, it will help with the immune system and will keep breath fresh in both adult dogs and pups.
Can be ingested or applied to skin and coat
100 percent certified organic
Helps with skin problems
Suitable for dogs with allergies
- BrandZesty Paws
- Weight1.2 pounds
An organic coconut oil for dogs that is 100 percent organic and completely free from chemicals. It is perfect for soothing itching caused by mites, flea bites and allergies. It can also help to promote a shiny coat and reduces shedding by nourishing and hydrating. With this product, you can stop using dander-removing sprays.
It has a clean and fresh natural odor and can be used as a canine toothpaste and as an aid for dental health in dogs. It is perfectly safe for your dog to ingest and will support healthy brain function as well as helping with fighting disease. This product will remain as a solid when it is stored in the fridge and turns into a liquid at around 76 degrees F.
Solid when stored in the fridge
Organic and free from chemicals
Can be ingested or applied to skin
Nourishes the coat
- BrandAlpha Pet Zone
- Weight16 ounces
This product is completely free from pesticides and hexane as it is certified by the USDA as being totally organic. It is extra-virgin coconut oil that has been cold-pressed which keeps it ripe. It is supplied in a recyclable glass jar.
Cold-pressing locks in all of the goodness and taste. The supplement is suitable for animals and humans and does not contain any gluten. It delivers medium-chain triglycerides which are very useful for weight management and cognitive development. It also freshens the breath. You get a complimentary ebook that tells you all about the benefits of coconut oil.
Cold-pressed to preserve goodness
Delivers medium-chain triglycerides
- BrandCoconut Country Living’s
- Weight3.6 pounds
A holistic raw coconut oil product recommended by vets, this is a cold-pressed coconut oil that is completely unrefined. All of the phytonutrients and antioxidants have been preserved and it has not been processed or deodorized in any way. It has been grown in a totally organic and natural way and is 100 percent organic. It contains no genetically modified organisms and no pesticides or fertilizers have been used in its production.
You can add it to your dog’s food as a supplement or you can feed it to them directly from the spoon as tastes that good! It’s packed with medium chain triglycerides which can help with a whole range of conditions including allergy irritation and digestive problems. It naturally helps to control flea and tick infestations and supports a healthy immune system, skin and coat. It helps to balance the thyroid and the metabolism and so helps with weight management.
No genetically modified organisms
100 percent organic
Can be used as a food supplement
Can be fed straight from a spoon
- BrandRaw Paws
- Weight8 oz
Coconut oil pills (soft gels) which are organic and completely natural. The oil is obtained from the flesh of coconuts that has been dried. Nothing is added to the oil during the manufacturing process. The product has no chemicals or solvents added to it and is not exposed to hot temperatures.
The oil retains all of its natural nutrients and chemical composition. It delivers plenty of medium chain triglycerides to maintain your dog’s health. A dose of two soft gels delivers 1760mg of saturated fat and 12 mg of polyunsaturated fat.
Manufactured from dried coconut flesh
No heat treatment
Plenty of medium chain triglycerides
- BrandNature’s Nutrition
- Weight4 ounces
Best Coconut Oil For Dogs Buying Guide
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
There are many dog owners out there who swear by coconut oil as a healthy supplement for their four-legged friend. The scientific community is a little more skeptical because, to date, there are very few conclusive studies of its health benefits. That said, it is a totally natural product compared to a lot of other veterinary products and is highly unlikely to do your dog harm if it is administered carefully and in a controlled way. Therefore, you have little to lose and an awful lot to gain!
Here are some of the potential health benefits of coconut oil.
- It contains lauric acid. This is an anti-inflammatory, but it can also help to combat infections caused by fungi and bacteria. It is also claimed to be anti-viral. This will help with all sorts of infections in your dog’s body.
- It contains medium chain triglycerides. These are used by the brain and it is thought that coconut oil may improve brain function in older dogs in particular. It may also play a role in digestion and so this supplement may help with some digestive problems.
- Lubricates the throat. The supplement is an oil and is therefore very good at lubrication. Some owners think that it reduces coughing and it may also help to eliminate hairballs.
- Skin disorders. Skin problems cause a lot of misery to many dogs. The most widely known benefit of coconut oil is that it helps with hot spots and itchy, dry skin. You can make your own dog shampoo using coconut oil.
- Glossy coat. Coconut oil nourishes the coat and makes it thick and glossy. This may also help to cut down on shedding.
- Odor elimination. Very few people love the doggy odor and some owners spend a lot of money on artificial products to try to get rid of it! Coconut oil is a natural way of cutting down doggy smells.
- Dental health. You can use coconut oil as a toothpaste to keep your dog’s breath nice and fresh.
- Coconut oil provides a form of readily available energy that the body can use very quickly. This may help to boost the metabolism.
Side Effects of Coconut Oil for Dogs
Coconut oil is generally regarded as a safe product but as with all food supplements for dogs, there are possible side effects. The biggest problem arises when dogs are given too much, especially in the early days. Always start off with a very small dose. If you give your dog too much, it could result in diarrhea or greasy stools.
It is possible for some dogs to have an allergic reaction to coconut oil although this is rare. Coconut oils that contain no protein are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
Some dogs are prone to pancreatitis which is the medical term for inflammation of the pancreas. It results in pain and swelling as the pancreas produces enzymes that start to break down its own tissues! Some dogs are more prone to it than others. The breeds that most often get pancreatitis are the miniature schnauzer, the cocker spaniel and the miniature poodle. It is also more common in middle-aged and older dogs and in dogs that are overweight. The very high fat content in coconut oil would not be good for dogs that are prone to pancreatitis and they should avoid it.
You have to remember that it contains a lot of fat but offers little else in nutrition so you need to be careful about how much you are giving your dog.
Common Uses of Coconut Oil
Humans have used coconut oil for centuries. It is used in many different recipes and gives a delicious, subtle flavor to the food. It is also widely used as a beauty product and it moisturizes and hydrates the skin. It is also used as a conditioner for dry and brittle hair.
Dog owners that successfully use coconut oil have found it useful for the following types of dog ailments.
- Skin and coat problems
Coconut oil supplements can promote a healthy skin and coat. It can clear up eczema and areas of irritation. Also, many dogs suffer from allergies to flea bites and local areas of irritation can cause a lot of problems. Contact dermatitis can cause the same problem and can be soothed by coconut oil.
Doggy odor is a real issue for some breeds and many owners have found that it is significantly reduced by coconut oil, without having to resort to harsh and artificial fragrances. It also promotes a very sleek and glossy coat and may even cut down on shedding. Because it has anti-fungal properties, it can help to fight yeast and fungal infections of the skin and nails. If you apply it topically, it will also help a wound to heal and will not hurt your dog if they lick it.
- Digestive and intestinal issues
It is thought that coconut oil can help with the absorption of nutrients so your dog will get the maximum benefit from their food. It may also play a role in treating colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome but consult your vet about this. Many owners have found that it reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs and that it cuts down on coughing. It can also help with fur balls.
- Systemic issues
Even though it is made from pure fat, coconut oil can form part of a weight management diet as long as you calculate the number of calories that it is contributing. It can have a positive effect on the metabolism and can support normal thyroid function. It can also help to balance insulin production and therefore play a role in managing diabetes but this needs to be directed by a vet.
Natural or Refined
You can buy coconut oil as either unrefined (which may be also be called virgin or pure) or as refined.
Refined coconut oil is obtained by baking the coconut before the oil is extracted. The oil is bleached to kill off micro-organisms. At the end of the process, the coconut oil has a mild-taste. Some even have partially-hydrogenated fats added to them so they are no longer natural products. However, they do have a longer shelf-life and are cheaper.
Natural or unrefined coconut oil is obtained by the cold press method which does not involve any heat. There is no bleaching and nothing is added to it. All of the nutrients are preserved and so the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits are better. It does have a strong coconut flavor and costs more. It also has a shorter shelf life.
Best Coconut Oil For Dogs FAQ:
Q: What is coconut oil?
A: Coconut oil is a very popular health and beauty product that is widely used for both humans and dogs. It is extracted from mature coconuts, often by a cold-press method which preserves all the nutrients and is totally natural. It is rich in saturated fat as well as in medium-chain triglycerides. It is a solid at colder temperatures but turns into a liquid oil when it is applied to the skin. It is sold as pure oil or as capsules containing the oil.
Q: How do I give coconut oil to my dog?
A: You can simply add the coconut oil to your dog’s food and they may not notice it is there. However, many dogs love the taste and will be happy to lick it directly off a spoon. If you buy it in capsule form, you can just pop them in your dog’s mouth.
You can also use it to make coconut oil dog treats. You can mix it with turmeric and vitamin D and form it into little pellets. The turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory and the vitamin D is a useful fat-soluble vitamin. Don’t give your dog too many though because an excess of vitamin D can cause kidney problems.
Q: How much coconut oil should I give my dog?
A: In products that are marketed specifically for dogs, especially in capsule form, the label will give a recommended dose. This may vary by the size, breed and age of your dog. For liquid coconut oil, your vet will be able to give you specific recommendations.
You need to start off with small quantities and build up. Your dog’s body will need some time to adjust. As a general rule of thumb, the dose for small dogs would be a quarter of a teaspoon, one or two times a day with food. For larger dogs, you would need one teaspoon or even one tablespoon daily for very big dogs.
Coconut oil is very high in fat so you may need to reduce this for an obese or overweight dog and closely monitor their weight gain.
Q: Is it safe to put coconut oil on my dog’s skin?
A: As well as giving coconut oil to your dog orally, it is also perfectly safe to apply it directly to their skin. It will not harm them if they lick it off. It contains lauric acid which helps to protect against skin infections. Also, it hydrates the skin and leaves it very soft.
To keep your dog’s skin and coat looking and feeling fabulous, apply it to dry areas once a week. Leave it on the skin for at least five minutes before you rinse it off for the best results.
Q: Will coconut oil help with my dog’s allergies?
A: Coconut oil cannot get rid of your dog’s allergies, you can only do that by removing the thing that is triggering the allergic reaction (the allergen). However, it can help to soothe the symptoms.
Often, the allergic reaction includes skin problems which could be irritation, hot spots, dry and flaky skin. This causes a lot of discomfort and distress for dogs and is worrying for owners. Whilst you are working with your vet to establish the cause of the allergy, coconut oil will help to soothe the skin reaction.
Our Top Pick
Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
Our top pick of the best coconut oil for dogs is a totally natural and unrefined product that has not been heat-treated in any way. It’s kind to your dog’s health and kind to the environment because there are no harmful chemicals involved in its production.
It is produced from coconuts certified as organic by the USDA and is perfectly safe for your dog to ingest or to be applied to their skin and coat.