Grown from trees, green ripe coconuts contain a clear liquid that is drinkable when opened up. This liquid, or coconut water, has been all the rage these days in human health trends. But is it safe for dogs?
The answer is a simple yes. Dogs can safely consume coconut water and in fact, have several health benefits to look forward to from the same. One of the most important of these is hydration as most of the coconut water is simply water.
In the sections below, we shall take a deep dive into all that coconut water has to offer your pooch. Is it safe? Which dogs need it the most? How much can they have? Here are the answers to all these questions and more that you may have about this trendy superfood.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Water?
Dogs can drink coconut water and it is actually very good for them. It is a nice treat after something like an intense workout, especially for athletic or outdoorsy dogs.
Here is a bit more on the health benefits of coconut water for dogs.
95% of coconut water is pure water. This makes coconut water a really good option to help rehydrate your dog if they are rehydrated for one reason or another. Here are a few scenarios where dogs may need a bit of help getting rehydrated.
- High fever
- Excessive panting from physical or psychological distress
- Intense exercise or prolonged levels of activity
- Persistent diarrhea
- Persistent vomiting
- Internal or external bleeding
- Kidney diseases with excessive urination
Coconut water is rich in most of the electrolytes that your dog’s body requires. These include potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. They are used everywhere from nerve conduction and muscle contraction to serving as coenzymes in chemical reactions.
This is what makes coconut water better than regular water for dogs that may have lost electrolytes through vomiting, diarrhea, or bleeding.
Rich In Vitamins
Coconut water is a fantastic source of vitamins for your dog. It is a particularly good source of vitamins in the B complex including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, Folic acid, and biotin. All their individual uses and benefits will leave you with a generally happy and healthier doggy.
Is Coconut Water Safe For Dogs?
Coconut water that is all-natural is completely safe for dogs to consume. However, some commercial preparations may include flavor and color additives as well as preservatives that may be harmful to the dog.
It is, therefore, best to play it safe by sticking to all-natural coconut water when shopping for your dog. It would even be better to get it straight from the source by getting the water from freshly cracked coconuts.
How Much Coconut Water Should I Give My Dog?
You can give your dog about 10 fl oz of coconut water in a day as a start. It is best to introduce it gradually and slowly increase the amounts as you observe for tolerance.
While coconut water is generally safe for dogs, too much of it can cause some side effects. Here are two of the most important risks that you have to worry about.
Digestive Tract Irritation
Coconut water has low levels of medium-chain triglycerides present in coconut flesh and coconut oil. These triglycerides typically cause diarrhea and bloating when dogs consume too much coconut water or other coconut products.
The good news is that it takes a lot of coconut water to accumulate enough of the fatty acids to cause trouble for the dog.
Coconut water is rich in electrolytes like potassium and sodium. Overconsumption could cause these electrolytes to build up to unhealthy levels in the dog’s blood. Potassium is particularly notorious for this overload and will manifest in a number of ways including:
- Exercise intolerance due to cardiac arrhythmias
- Increased or reduced urine output due to kidney disease
- Weakness and general lethargy
- Limb paralysis
When Can You Give Your Dog Coconut Water?
You can give your dog coconut water pretty much any time. You can give it as an early morning treat to get them turbo-charged for the day. You can give it to the dog at the end of a long day to help them recover. There is truly no wrong time to give your dog coconut water.
Coconut water for dogs is especially beneficial when they are sick and are losing fluids. This includes issues that cause vomiting, diarrhea, or high fevers where the pooch is at high risk of developing dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Is Coconut Water Good For Dogs With Kidney Problems?
The answer is both yes and no. It all depends on the severity of the kidney problems that your dog has.
If the dog has mild kidney problems or is at risk of the same due to chronic dehydration, coconut water is safe to give. The high water content is just what kidneys in this state need to boost their functionality and increase recovery.
On the other hand, if your dog has serious kidney issues or long-standing kidney failure, you may want to avoid coconut water and just stick to plain water.
This is because severe kidney disease is usually accompanied by a decrease in functionality including clearance of electrolytes. The result is a buildup of electrolytes and an overabundance of potentially life-threatening ones like potassium.
In a nutshell, it may be best to avoid coconut water in dogs with kidney problems unless your vet gives you the green light. This is because you may not be able to tell on your own how serious their kidney issues are.