Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The use of coconut oil for dogs is very popular with pet owners, thanks to the many surprising effects it can have on your pup’s appearance and overall health.

Coconut Oil for Dogs: Good or Bad?

When used in moderation, coconut oil is definitely good for dogs, thanks to the many beneficial fats that it contains. While coconut oil does have a very high level of saturated fat, more than 50% of those saturated fats are medium-chain triglycerides, a good type of fat that can help improve your cholesterol levels. This is in addition to the many other effects of the fatty acids in this oil, such as capric acid, caprylic acid, linoleic acid, and many more. With anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects, adding this oil to your dog’s diet is an excellent way to supplement their diet. [1]

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

The benefits of coconut oil for dogs include improved digestive function, boosted immunity, and increased skin protection, among others.

A labrador lying facing the camera with a coconut and coconut oil bottle lying infront of him

Is coconut oil safe for dogs? Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Coconut oil can optimize digestion, increase nutrient uptake, regulate bowel movements, and even eliminate bad breath in your dogs. [2]

Immune System

The antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral effects due to the presence of lauric acid in this oil help boost your dog’s immunity and can prevent many gastrointestinal infections.


As your dog ages, more inflammatory conditions may arise, including arthritis, but the anti-inflammatory effects of MCTs are well known, so regular supplementation can definitely help your pooch. [3]

Skin and Coat

The abundance of healthy fats in this oil can improve the appearance and luster of your dog’s coat, and protect the skin!

How Much Coconut Oil Can Dogs Have?

When you are just starting to give your dog coconut oil, you should always start small, with no more than 1/4 teaspoon per day for puppies or small dogs. Watch your dog’s reactions and ensure there are no gastrointestinal issues. If you have a larger dog, 1 teaspoon should be fine to start with. Over the course of a few weeks or months, you can gradually increase the amount. As soon as you see any negative side effects, scale back the amount. Generally, dogs shouldn’t have more than 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight per day.

Side Effects of Coconut Oil for Dogs

The most common side effects include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea or loose, greasy stools. This can be avoided through moderation and by slowly increasing their overall intake. [4] Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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