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The Truth About Coconut Oil For Dogs


Coconut oil for dogs is widely believed to heal pet ailments from dry skin to preventing infection. The truth is, coconut oil, has not been sufficiently researched to make medical claims, although it does contain powerful MCTs with scientifically-proven health benefits for dogs.

Close up on the face of energetic senior gray and white dog playing with a tug toy.

Can dogs eat coconut oil?

If you’re wondering if coconut oil is good for dogs, there is no evidence to support that it isn’t. Can dogs eat coconut oil though?


It’s not recommended that your dog consumes coconut oil, largely because there is no approved medical research that verifies positive health results for a dog.


How much coconut oil for dogs is safe, is unknown. However, uncontrolled doses, meaning giving a dog too much coconut oil, can cause side-effects like greasy, oily poop, possibly diarrhea and increased weight.


Overweight dogs are more at risk for diseases such as diabetes. Since coconut oil is high in fat, it is not recommended for obese and overweight dogs or dogs with chronic conditions like pancreatitis.



Coconut oil in dog food

A better alternative to store-bought coconut oil is to feed your dog a nutritionally-dense dog food that contains the best part of coconuts – the medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs.


Pet foods with these botanical oils are scientifically-proven to be especially beneficial for a dog’s cognitive function and health.



What are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs?

While there are no known benefits of coconut oil for dogs, there is evidence that the nutrient called medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) sourced from it has many healing qualities.


MCT oil supports brain function and health with proven results:

  1. Manage dogs with epilepsy by providing an alternative energy source to the brain.
  2. Aids prescribed medication for seizure control in dogs.
  3. Promotes mental sharpness.
  4. Maintains natural alertness.
  5. Improves memory.
  6. Increases desire to learn.
  7. Supports clearer decision-making skills.
  8. Enhances the ability to adapt and cope with change.
  9. Encourages desire for social interaction and playfulness.



Coconut oil and dogs: Fact-check

If dogs can have coconut oil and naturally extract the MCTs from it, there would be experts touting the healing qualities of this elixir. Coconut oil is made up of 63% MCT, however simply purchasing it from a store and adding it to your dog’s meals will likely not produce the results that coconuts are being credited with.


With no evidence to directly support a dog’s health, here’s a quick fact check of what coconut oil will not do for your dog:


  1. Support digestion
  2. Stop infections or kill parasites
  3. Cure itchy, dry skin or related skin conditions
  4. Heal cracked paws
  5. Freshen and shine-up a dog’s coat or prevent dandruff
  6. Cure ear mites or any other type of ear ailment
  7. Relieve bites, stings, eczema or hot spots
  8. Aid weight loss
  9. Boost the immune system
  10. Reduce the risk of chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes
  11. Remove dog odors



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