Chances are, you’re up on all the uses for coconut oil. From serving as a healthy fat and alternative to cooking oil, to softening your cuticles and ankles, to conditioning your hair… there’s almost nothing coconut oil can’t do!
But, did you know that your dog can experience all those same benefits, too? Here are some pet-friendly benefits of coconut oil:
As a food supplement
A healthy, skin-softening fat, a bit of coconut oil scooped into your dog’s food dish makes for amazing dog supplements and may help solve problems (like eczema) and prevent others (like fleas). Some evidence suggests it helps with digestion, so start with tiny drops and slowly build up to about one tablespoon per 30 pounds. Too much of a good thing too quickly could cause digestive upset.
As a pre-rinse conditioner
For dry, damaged coats: Rub a dollop of coconut oil between your palms to warm it slightly. Run your fingers through your dog’s coat to evenly distribute the oil. Allow it to soak in for 10 to 15 minutes, then bathe your dog as usual. Warning: If your dog loves the taste as much as mine does, you may have to keep him distracted (think: dinner) to keep him from trying to lick it all off!
As a skin solution
Paw and nose creams often contain harmful, chemical ingredients. Coconut oil is a safe alternative. Plus, for dogs with skin problems, coconut oil may serve as an anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. Massaging it into your dog’s skin may treat problems as diverse as yeast infections and bug bites. (Always check with your vet!)
No matter how you choose to serve your dog coconut oil—inside or out—he’ll likely notice all the same benefits you’ve seen! Plus, your pup will thank you for it with healthy skin, coat, and digestion!
Maggie Marton is a freelance writer based in Indianapolis. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com.