What Are The Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Dogs?

I’ve been a fan of coconut oil for about three years now and incorporate into my daily diet. Once thought of as a “bad fat,” nutritional experts are now saying that’s not the case at all. In fact, coconut oil comes with a boat-load of benefits: it moisturizes your skin, it helps you burn fat and it helps fight infections (just to name a few awesome pluses). And this is just the tip of the iceberg. After a trip to SuperZoo this year, I noticed that coconut oil was also being used in certain dog foods. That got me thinking – what are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs?

It does more than give a light, mild taste to what you’re cooking with it. Coconut oil contains more than 90% of saturated fats – which was why people were so sure that it was once bad for you. As it turns out, this is the kind of saturated fat that do a body good. Most of the saturated fats found in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs contain lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid… and that’s where coconut oil gets its healthy boost from.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of coconut oil for dogs:

Digestion Benefits:

  • An overall improvement in digestion and nutrient absorption
  • You’ll notice your dog has better smelling breath
  • Helps to heal digestive disorders (inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis)
  • Helps with coughs and hacking problems

Skin Conditions:

  • Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin
  • Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
  • Coats look sleek and glossy
  • No more bad doggy smell, as it neutralizes odors
  • Prevents and treats fungal infections
  • Disinfects cuts
  • Helps wounds and hotspots heals, and takes the sting out of bug bites when applied topically
  • Reduces weeping eye stain

Overall Health:

  • Works as an antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal deterrent
  • Boosts energy and metabolism, which helps reduce weight
  • Helps regulate and balance insulin
  • Promotes normal thyroid function
  • Helps prevent or control diabetes
  • Helps reduce weight and increase energy
  • Aids in arthritis or ligament problems
  • Use as an ear rinse once a week to combat ear infections
  • Helps fight yeast infections in female dogs

To get the best benefits of coconut oil for dogs, you should use virgin coconut oil. The “virgin” part means that it is unrefined. Even better, you and your dog can share a jar!

Now this is a trend we’d like to see more of! And one of those dog food companies that use it in their food is Party Animal Pet Food. We asked Shawna Abrams, President of Party Animal Pet Food, why they used coconut oil in their canned Cocolicious line of dog foods. “Coconut oil is a mild flavored and extremely stable oil that has an array of health benefits for pets and humans alike,” says Shawna. “We began using the oil in our products because we feel that pets should be benefiting from this magnificent oil as much as humans are. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, one of those good fats we are always in search of. Additionally the oil does not break down in heat or light and also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.”

As to whether or not there’s much variety in the coconut oil variety dog food, Shawna hasn’t seen many players on the field just yet. “There are not many canned food companies offering an organic complete and balanced meal that is made with coconut oil,” says Shawna. “We have had a great amount of interest and excitement about our new products and are thrilled for this to be available for pets to enjoy.”

As you would with any change or addition in diet, you should start giving your dog coconut oil gradually. You should feed your dog 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds or 1/2 tablespoon per 30 pounds daily. To start off, give your dog about a quarter the recommended dosage and build up to the recommended level over a four-week period. Cut back on the dosage amount if diarrhea or other complications occur.

You can even use coconut oil in your dog’s bath. Melt about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into a cup of hot water. Once you’ve finished the shampooing portion of the bath, refill it with clean lukewarm water and add in the melted oil. Using a cup or jug, pour this oil and water mixture over your dog’s body and rub it into his skin. Not only will with soothe and moisturize your dog’s skin and give him a healthier looking coat, he’ll smell yummy!

Do you give your dog coconut oil? We’d like to hear from you and learn from your experiences. Please leave them in the comment section below.


  • Vanessa Murray

    I have been giving my four Coconut oil for almost a year now. At first I did notice some weight gain so I cut back on the oil and also give them shredded coconut and coconut milk. The extra fiber is great (and recommended by our vet) and they love the taste. Tear stains are gone, their ears have been clean and healthy. I have a “foot licker” and drooler, his feet and chin are not stained either. I have 3 Golden’s and a mini Goldendoodle so health concerns are a priority. I give them many supplements loaded with omega’s and antioxidants, coconut oil is another great nutritional supplement and it taste’s great.

    • Godsnewine

      Is the dosage recommended for a day or for the week? I give my 65 pound Weimer a tsp a day and his teeth look cleaner than they once did.

      • It’s 1/2 teaspoon daily per 10 lbs, or 1/2 tablespoon daily per 30 lbs

      • Vanessa Murray

        90 lb – 1 heaping TB oil am, 2 TB cn milk + 1 heaping TB shred cn pm.
        65 lb – 1/2 heap TB oil am, 1/2 heaping TB shred cn + 1 TB cn milk pm.
        23 lb – 1 heap TS oil am, 1 TS heap shred cn + 1/2 TB cn milk pm.

        And I get to lick the spoons!! 🙂

  • We give our dogs extra virgin coconut oil and they love it. Most times I give it to them as a treat. Such an affordable supplement 🙂

  • Kelley

    Thanks for the tip on Coconut Oil sounds like somethings my babies Aria (Boston Terrier) and Ziva Mae (Chug) will really enjoy. I be picking some up today and adding it to there food and I’m sure they will love it.

  • Jamie Murphy

    I am obsessed with the stuff. French bulldogs yorkies and sphynx cats. Yorkies get yeasty ears. So I once a week use coconut oil in there ears. Frenchies need it on there muzzle and nose in the creases and around there tail also on there foot pads. My sphynx get it in ears on there deep soiled area and stinky bums. but by far as a groomer if I have severe itchy skin I bath 90% dry slather in coconut oil wrap in a warm towel out of dryer. Let them lick a little no big deal and set at least 20 min wash with detergent free shampoo. By my third treatment red inflamed skin is turning pink swelling going down. My clients are dragged by there dog to my door.

    • Thanks for the ear tip, Jamie. I’m going to try it in Oscar’s ears, as he gets the same problem.

    • sweetqueen777

      Thanks for the muzzle tip. My pekingese gets stinkyface, around his eyes and nose wrinkles, where the moisture tends to collect. (Like a musty old gym shoe.) I will try a little coconut oil on a q-tip, and see if it helps. He does NOT enjoy me washing his face, and I do not enjoy the stinkyface.

      • Oscar gets the stink eyes too! And yep, he hates when I try to clean them LOL

  • Salty2

    Can this be given to puppies too? Hes’ 11 weeks old, 20 lbs.

    • Start at a half dose – so just 1/2 teaspoon/day while he stays at 20 lbs

      • Salty2

        Thank you! He loves it! I never heard of it for the ears, but good to know.

        My poor baby had 2 ear infections, I changed to Raw food, and stopped giving him those Edible bones for puppies/dogs they are made with yeast!! Ugh – I was so mad! Anyway, since I stopped grains, started feeding Raw, and stopped those bones, his ears are looking good!!

        • Poor guy! My little fella gets ear infections too, and that’s what I use now.

  • Monica Collins Hennessy

    How do you do the ear wash?

    • You’ll need liquid coconut oil (or melt the solid type). Using a medicine dropper, add 2 or three drops into your dog’s ear and massage gently. You can do thing once-twice a week.

  • Laure Barone

    My King Charles has skin allergies. He is constantly itching, mostly near his backend and tail. I am starting to see loss of hair. I am hoping coconut oil will help, if not back to the vet we go.

  • Misha

    I have a maltepoo. Do you rinse the oil off when applying it after their baths? I worry her coat will be oily.

    • You can, but I find in the winter months that is soaks up with the dryness in the air. You’ll notice that it gets quite diluted with the bathwater, and you’ll be massaging it into her coat and skin for a couple of minutes. Her fur should soak it up. If you notice that it is oily after the first time you use it, then rinse her off with water.

  • Shannon Edmonds

    I am beginning to give my bulldog coconut oil. It helps empty his bowels better so that half the time his flatulence is odorless. I hadn’t used it at bath time but will. He suffers from dermatitis and I finally found the right food for him, but the addition of coconut oil has helped even more. I look forward to seeing if it helps his weepy eye stains.

    • And everyone loves less-stinky Bully farts 🙂

  • my 7 lb. chi lies on her back rubs her back against the carpet, will should coconut oil be given orally or both. thank you………..