As the world moves towards healthier and more sustainable food trends, it is nice to know that our furry best friends are not being left behind.
These days, it is not very unusual to find things like vegan dog food or gluten-free puppy kibble geared towards helping our canine friends eat better. Non-dairy alternatives like coconut milk for dogs are also gaining popularity. But can dogs drink coconut milk?
Yes, dogs can drink coconut milk, albeit in moderation. Coconut milk has a lot of nutritional and functional benefits to offer from the dog from improved digestion to help with allergy relief.
However, it is important to understand that too much of even a good thing like coconut milk can actually be bad. To help you figure out how to add coconut milk to your dog’s diet in a safe way, here is all you need to know about the perks and the risks of coconut milk and its other products.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Milk?
Yes, dogs can drink coconut milk. Its consumption is actually beneficial to them especially when taken in moderate amounts. Ideally, you should only give your dog about 2 to 6 tablespoons of coconut milk in a day depending on their age and size.
Let’s take a closer look at what coconut milk has to offer your furry best buddy.
Improved Immune System
Coconut milk, like coconut oil, has been shown to have antimicrobial effects including activity against fungi, bacteria, and viruses. These effects will be useful whether your dog has skin infections or digestive tract issues.
It is important to note that coconut milk is not in any way a substitute for medical interventions. However, it is a great way to help boost your dog’s immune system.
Dog breath is one of those things that only a dog parent can stomach. And even as the most loving dog mom or dad, there is no denying that you would prefer your dog’s breath didn’t knock you out.
Coconut milk offers a great solution by acting as a natural breath freshener. This is both due to the milk’s natural scent and its antimicrobial effects. For this benefit, just add a tablespoon or two of coconut milk to the dog’s water or feed it to them directly.
> Improved Coat And Skin Health
Coconut milk can do wonders for a dog’s skin and a beat-down dog coat. When consumed orally, its high vitamin C and omega fat content helps nourish the skin and hair from the inside. This is especially useful for dogs with skin issues whether it is contact dermatitis or infestation by fleas.
Coconut milk can also be used by applying directly on the dog’s skin. Here, it acts as a conditioner, a moisturizer, and a topical anti-inflammatory for soothing irritated dog skin.
Can Dogs Be Allergic To Coconut Milk?
No, dogs are not known to be allergic to coconut milk. It is generally non-toxic to dogs and can safely be consumed in moderation.
However, excessive consumption of coconut milk will cause an upset gut in your dog as a result of the presence of short-chain triglycerides. Some of the clues that your dog is having a bad reaction to coconut milk include:
Once you notice these signs and symptoms and suspect coconut milk as the cause, the first thing to do is to call your vet and book a visit. The coconut milk may not cause life-threatening harm but the loss of fluids and electrolytes from frequent diarrhea and occasional vomiting will do your dog harm.
It is also important to withdraw the coconut milk either permanently or temporarily after such episodes. If you go with the latter, reintroduce the coconut milk in reduced amounts slowly to your dog.
Is Coconut Milk Good For Dogs’ Skin?
Coconut milk is great for your dog’s skin and coat. This remains true whether the coconut milk is consumed or used topically as a moisturizer or conditioner during grooming.
Coconut milk is particularly useful for dogs that have coat issues. These include contact dermatitis, systemic allergies, parasite infestation, and many other causes of poor coat health.
The oils, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the coconut milk will help soothe the dog’s irritated skin, promote healing, and improve overall aesthetics.
So if your dog has been scratching a lot or their coat seems to be in an unusually bad state, coconut milk might just be the home remedy you have been looking for.
This, however, does not mean that dogs with healthy skin don’t need coconut milk. If anything, it is better to prevent skin issues in your pooch by giving them coconut milk on a regular basis than it is to use the milk to solve the problems.
Is Coconut Milk Good For Dogs With Diarrhea?
Coconut milk can be a double edged sword, as it can be beneficial for dogs with diarrhea but it could also end up causing more trouble for the dog.
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits and the risks of giving coconut milk to your dog if they are already showing signs of digestive tract irritation.
Benefits Of Coconut Milk For Dogs With Diarrhea
The biggest perk of giving your dog coconut milk when they have a bout of diarrhea is replenishing electrolytes lost through the diarrhea.
Coconut milk is especially rich in potassium which is dumped in large quantities when the dog has several episodes of loose stools.
Furthermore, coconut milk is rich in nutrients and calories which will help nourish and reenergize the likely exhausted doggy.
Risks Of Giving Coconut Milk To Dogs With Diarrhea
On the other hand, giving coconut milk to a dog with diarrhea could end up causing more harm than good. This is due to the presence of short chain triglycerides in the coconut milk which cause further irritation to the dog’s gut.
If you give your sick dog coconut milk and don’t notice any improvement or worse, notice a worsening in their condition, it would be best to completely withdraw the coconut milk. In these cases, plain water and urgent consultation with your vet are the best possible solutions.