Coconut Oil For Dogs: Benefits, Nutrition And Risks

Coconut oil has, for a long time, been hailed as a superfood in human diets and grooming routines. What many dog owners don’t realize is that your dog has just as much to gain from coconut oil.

So what exactly are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs? Well, you have come to the right place for answers. Here is a quick summary of some of the benefits your dog gets to enjoy from coconut oil.

  • Improved skin healing and health.
  • Luscious locks.
  • Improved systemic immunity.
  • Relief from pest infestation.
  • Improved gut health and more…

This is just the tip of the iceberg for what coconut oil has to offer your dog whether it is ingested or used topically. In the sections below, we shall take a closer look at the benefits of coconut oil for dogs as well as risks like weight gain and allergic reactions.

Let’s dive right into it.

Does Coconut Oil Help A Dog’s Breath?

Coconut oil is a very effective remedy for bad breath in dogs.

This is due to properties of the oil like its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. By getting rid of the microorganisms that accumulate due to poor oral hygiene, you will significantly reduce your dog’s bad breath.

Furthermore, coconut oil has soothing effects which could play a big role when it comes to ensuring good dental health and hygiene. The oil will help reduce inflammation in the case of gingivitis and offer great relief to the dog.

For these awesome dental hygiene benefits, there are 3 main ways to use coconut oil. The first is to add some coconut oil to your dog’s toothbrush during grooming.

You could also give the dog the coconut oil directly in which case some will coat the mouth and teeth before being swallowed.

Finally, you could use coconut oil supplements in which case we recommend Zesty Paws Coconut Oil For Dogs – Certified Organic & Extra Virgin Superfood Supplement. The awesome thing about this supplement is that it can both be ingested and used on the coat.

Can I Use Coconut Oil As A Conditioner For My Dog?

You can use coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner for your dog’s coat. Unlike regular dog shampoo and conditioner combos, you do not have to rinse the dog after applying the coconut oil on the coat.

Coconut oil has several benefits for the dog’s fur when used as a conditioner. Here are these perks that you will notice after introducing coconut oil to the grooming regimen.


Coconut oil could be used as a detangler if your dog’s fur is slightly knotted. It works by sleeking the fur strands and making it easier for grooming tools like combs and brushes to work through the coat.

However, it is not always useful especially with cases of long term knotting and matting.

Improved Texture

If your dog has naturally coarse fur, there is very little you could do to change this permanently. However, using oils like coconut oil help improve the health of the strands by retaining their moisture and keeping them supple.

This will improve the texture making the dog’s coat smooth not just to touch but also to the eye.

Reduced Fur Breakage And Loss

Dry dog fur is very brittle and prone to breakage. Coconut oil helps to strengthen and protect the strands thus reducing this breakage and fur loss. This is not only great for the health of your dog’s coat but also for your convenience as you will have less shed fur to clean up.

Image from Instagram:@thefrenchie.fam

Does Coconut Oil Help Dogs With Itchy Skin?

Coconut oil is useful for offering relief to dogs with itchy skin. This is because coconut oil has anti-inflammatory effects that reduces the irritation on the affected skin.

The oil also helps with immune processes to reduce the reactions responsible for symptoms like itchiness. For this, the coconut can be used either orally or topically.

With this benefit in mind, coconut oil would be a great home remedy for a dog suffering from intense itchiness. This include issues like:

  • Seasonal allergic
  • Food intolerance
  • Infestation by pests like fleas
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Skin infections
Image from Instagram:@moniquevanderwaal

Can You Put Coconut Oil On Dogs’ Nose?

You can use coconut oil for your dog’s nose if it is irritated.

The irritation is usually caused by dryness but could also be due to other problems like allergic reactions and local infections.

The soothing and anti-inflammatory effects of coconut oil help put the dog out of some of its misery. The oil also promotes healing especially when consumed orally.

On the other hand, the antibacterialantifungal, and antiviral properties of coconut oil will help prevent infections that are not only painful for the dog but also very disfiguring.

Finally, as an oil coconut oil will help with maintenance of moisture on the nose. This comes in handy for dogs with dry and cracked nose pads. The coconut oil is a great home remedy as you figure out the best specialized nose balm for your dog.

Image from Instagram:@startsniffing

Will Coconut Oil Kill Dog Ear Mites?

Coconut oil is very effective when it comes to killing ear mites.

It does this by coating and suffocating the parasites in the dog’s ear. You just have to put a few drops of oil into the ear canal every day until the signs of irritation subside.

The best part is that coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties will offer the dog more relief in addition to getting rid of the ear mites.

However, it is best to consult your vet before using coconut oil as a home remedy for ear mites. This is because not all ear infections in dogs are caused by the little parasites.

Unfortunately, coconut oil may not be effective enough to completely clear ear infections caused by powerful virusesbacteria, or fungi.

Image from Instagram:@ayyy_chachi

Can I Put Coconut Oil Around My Dog’s Eyes?

It is safe to put coconut oil near your dog’s eyes. In fact, this oil has several benefits to the eyes and the surrounding structures on the dog’s face. Here are some of these perks you could exploit for your dog’s gain.

Relieve Itchy Eyes

This works both when the coconut oil is used directly and when it is ingested. Here, it is the soothing anti-inflammatory benefits of the oil that come in handy. However, make sure to consult your vet before making your homemade coconut oil eyedrops.

Moisturize Dry Eyes

Pure, extra virgin coconut oil could be useful if your dog has dry eyes. The oil film helps lubricate the eyes and the inner surface of the eyelid to prevent irritation from the friction.

However, as with relieving itchy eyes, it is important that you get the green light from your vet before using coconut oil directly on your dog’s eyes.

Naturally Remove Dog Tear Stains

Coconut oil is a fantastic natural solution to help remove dog tear stains. All you have to do is rub some coconut oil on the stains using some cotton wool. Do this twice a day until the stains disappear.

Image from Instagram:@pepe.the.parson

How Much Coconut Oil Can I Give My Dog?

If you are giving your dog coconut oil orally, you can give them anywhere from ¼ of a teaspoon to 1 full tablespoon.

The biggest determinant of how much coconut oil you can give your dog every day is the size of the dog. Small dog breeds, including toy and teacup dogs, should not take more than ½ of a teaspoon a day with a ¼ of a teaspoon being the perfect amount for most.

Larger dogs can tolerate the oils and its calories way better. You can therefore give them 1 to 2 tablespoons every day.

Another consideration to make when determining how much coconut oil to give your dog is how well the dog is tolerating the coconut oil.

If you notice signs of allergic reaction or other side effects like diarrhea, you may want to cut back on the amount or completely stop giving the dog coconut oil.

For topical application of coconut oil, there really isn’t a limit.

Just use as much as you need whether it is for application on the entire coat or localized areas like the ear, nose, or around the eyes.

Image from Instagram:@georgiabludog

How Do You Make Dog Coconut Oil Spray?

Coconut oil spray is made by mixing coconut oil and water as the primary ingredients. The ratio between these two ingredients depends on 3 things.

Your Intended Purpose For The Coconut Oil Spray

If you are planning on using the coconut oil on your dog to condition their coat, you will need a lot of oil for proper coating of the fur strands. The ideal ratio here would be one or two parts of coconut oil for every one part of water.

However, for other purposes like repelling pests or deodorizing, you could work with a ratio where the coconut oil is less than the water. This could be something like half of a portion of coconut oil for every one portion of water.

This gives you a lighter coconut oil spray that won’t leave your dog unnecessarily greasy.

Leave-In VS Wash-Out

If you are planning on leaving the coconut oil on the dog’s body, it is best to make it as light as you can while still achieving the coat conditioning effects. A 1:1 ratio of coconut oil to water would be ideal in this case.

However, if you plan on rinsing out the coconut oil after leaving it on your dog for a few hours or overnight, you could get away with making a thicker coconut oil spray. Here, the actual ratio does not matter too much but the coconut oil should be more than the water.

The Coat Type Your Dog Has

Dogs with very thick coats may benefit from a runnier coconut oil spray that will better penetrate the thick fluff. Here, you could work with a 1:1 ratio between coconut oil and water.

If your dog has a thinner coat, you could use a 1.5:1 or 2:1 coconut oil to water ratio.

Image from Instagram:@naturalcoco_ve

Why Is Coconut Oil Bad For Dogs?

Coconut oil can be bad for some dogs as it has a few side effects especially if consumed in excess or for very long periods of time. This may make some alternatives like fish oil better for dogs especially when it comes to oral consumption.

Here are a few risks you should be aware of.

Allergic Reactions

While allergic reactions to coconut oil in dogs are very rare, they are not unheard of. These reactions are more common in coconut oil products where the oil is mixed with other potential allergy triggers. However, the allergies could be triggered by the coconut oil itself.

Weight Gain

Coconut oil is very rich in calories and could contribute to unhealthy weight gain. This happens if the dog is not only consuming a large amount of coconut oil but is also on a generally unhealthy, calorie-excess diet.

Digestive Tract Irritation

Consumption of too much coconut oil could also upset digestive functionality in your dog. The most common consequence in this case is diarrhea that will resolve on its own once you stop feeding the dog coconut oil.

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Pete Decker