Coconut is a famous delicious treat that quickly made its way into various desserts and drinks recipes. As a matter of fact, coconuts are as trendy in the pet world as it is in ours! Recently, lots of dog foods and treats that contain this topical ingredient have been produced out into the market. but this begs the question: “Can Dogs Eat Coconut?”
If you have been a fur parent for a while now, you are probably aware that you are encouraged to add coconut oil to your dog’s diet. But how about the meat itself? Is it safe to give them actual pieces of coconut meat alone? Can I give them coconut milk? What about coconut water?
Can Dogs Eat Coconut?
Among other things, your dog can eat coconut without any problem as long as it is in moderation. As a matter of fact, there are several benefits of coconut for dogs besides its great taste and refreshing water.
If you ever decide to feed your pooch coconut, make sure it is properly served and in moderation. Know that while you may think that the hard shell of the coconut is a good “natural dental treat” for your fur baby to chew on, this part of the coconut is one of the many things your dog should steer clear of.
Coconut meat is great for your pet and can even be served in numerous ways. You can choose to either serve it raw or in form of coconut flakes or dried, just make sure you don’t overdo it.
However, while there may be no dilemma in feeding your dogs coconut without worrying about the risk, make sure you do not overfeed them coconut since it contains medium-chain triglycerides that can irritate your dog’s GI tract and lead to stomach upsets or pancreatitis. Coconut is also high in calories so it can cause undesirable weight gain.
It should also be in your best interest to consult with your doctor first, just in any case your dog might have certain health issues or is overweight.
What are the Benefits of Coconut for my Dog?
Looking past its great taste, coconuts offer several benefits for your dog. Coconuts contain vitamins, minerals, and fibers that your dog needs to stay healthy. Whether it comes as raw, dried, or pressed into oil, this fruit can help your dog get the sufficient nutrition that his body needs.
The meat of the coconut is extremely hydrating, jam-packed with healthy fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that are key for building strong muscles and help produce energy to help fuel your furry friend.
Coconut also contains high amounts of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. One of the key nutrients found in this fruit is manganese, a mineral that helps generate metabolic functioning and bone health. Ther fruit is also rich in antioxidant that helps support your dog’s immune system and help repair the damage.
This fruit also has Lauric acid which is famous for helping combat any viruses that enter your puppy’s body, treat your dog’s yeast infection, and decrease inflammation that might cause arthritis. Reduced inflammation can help speed up the healing process of cuts, hot spots, sores, and wounds. Because of these benefits, many pet owners feed their dogs coconut as a natural home remedy for joint pain relief.
Not only that, coconut for dogs is believed to help improve the appearance of skin and coat. It helps soothe irritation and can act as a moisturizer which leads to a shinier, softer fur. The coconut has properties that act as a skin barrier that promotes healing. This is the reason why you often see this topical fruit listed in dog shampoos and salves. While all of this may sound great, always check with your veterinarian before you apply any product to your dog’s fur just to avoid any complications and risk worsening your dog’s condition.
To sum this all up, coconuts work best by:
- Reducing inflammation.
- Boost the immune system.
- Helping the formation of red blood cells.
- Clear up skin conditions.
- Help with bad breath.
- Speed up the healing of cuts, wounds, and hot spots.
Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?
You can incorporate coconut oil into your dog’s diet as long as it is in moderation. While this has become a very famous alternative for traditional cooking oils. there is not a lot of research that says coconut oil provides the same benefits for dogs as it does to humans. Although the unpleasant effects of coconut oil when given to dogs are uncommon, there are still several factors you should consider:
- Some research shows that coconut oil can increase cholesterol levels when ingested by dogs. It also contains a high percentage of calories and fats which can lead to obesity and unwanted weight gain.
- Some studies have shown that a diet that is rich in saturated fats can cause a negative impact on a dog’s impeccable ability to smell. While this claim still needs to be studied further, dog owners, most especially working dogs, are advised to be cautious when incorporating this in their dog’s diet.
- Due to its high-fat content, fur parents should be cautious when feeding it to smaller pets since it can cause pancreatitis.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Milk?
You can incorporate coconut milk into your dog’s diet as long as it is in moderation. Coconut milk is not toxic to dogs. This even offers a few health benefits like help strengthen your dog’s immune system, freshen their breath, and improve their coat’s appearance. However, just like everything else, too much of it can be bad.
If you feed your dog too much coconut milk or a coconut milk-based diet, they might experience diarrhea or loose stools. Along with that risk, coconut milk tends to be overly processed and contain additives that they do not need.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Coconut?
Dried coconuts are famous treats for people. However, some brands might contain a higher amount of added sugar that might cause GI to upset and weight for your dog. It is best to avoid sweet treats that are made of coconuts, especially when chocolate is also one of the ingredients.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Water?
Coconut water is a great addition to your dog’s diet. Besides it being delicious and refreshing, this contains high amounts of nutrients like magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and manganese. It also contains enzymes and electrolytes that can help keep up optimal pH levels in your dog’s body. Coconut water also has lower sugar, salt, and calories, when compared to the flesh of the fruit.
While natural, 100 % pure coconut water that you get from fresh baby coconuts is safe and best for your dogs, always be on the lookout and double-check store-bought variations since it can have added sugars, preservatives, and additives that are unhealthy and harmful to your furry pets.
When is Coconut Bad for Dogs?
While coconut may not be toxic to dogs, this fruit contains medium-chain triglycerides that can cause your dog to experience gastric upset and bloating. If you ever feed your dog too much of this fruit, he might suffer unpleasant gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or constipation. The shell of the coconut is also not safe since it is very hard, difficult to chew, and contains fibers that might result in choking and or intestinal blockage. The fibers can also affect your dog’s bowel movements since the fibers might gather in the intestine.
How Do I Safely Feed My Dog Coconut?
Our furry animals actually do not need coconuts in their diet, but it’s a safe delicious treat that many of them love. However, as a fur parent, it is always your job to make sure that you are feeding them safe treats. In order to do that, you might want to familiarize this guideline.
- When feeding them coconut meat. Coconut meat can either be purchased raw or dried, usually shredded or in flakes. It is best to feed them the unsweetened varieties and avoid sweetened coconut that is commonly used in baking since it contains lots of added sugars which is unhealthy for your pup. Even though you feed them unsweetened varieties, make sure it is still in moderation. Stick to small amounts and you should all be good to go.
- When feeding them coconut oil. Look for good-quality coconut oil that is non-hydrogenated, virgin coconut oil. Dog experts recommend starting to incorporate small doses to monitor how your dog reacts to it. Best to begin with 1/4 teaspoon per day for smaller breeds or a full tablespoon for bigger dogs. Observe how their body reacts to the oil before you gradually increase the amount day by day.
If your furry pet does not exhibit any signs of intolerance to the oil after two weeks of ingesting them, increase the amount to a teaspoon per 10 pounds of their body weight.
Coconut oil can be given to your dogs once or twice a day, works best when mixed into your pet’s regular meal unless your pup is obese or overweight. If they are, do not feed them anymore than once a day. If you want to apply coconut oil on your dog, rub a little amount onto your hands, then gently pat it into your dog’s coat to slowly massage it into their skin.
- When feeding them coconut milk. Feed your dog organic coconut milk if possible. Non-organic varieties may contain harmful additives and preservatives that are harmful to your furry friend. Slowly introduce organic coconut milk into your dog’s diet, adding a few milliliters per day, to have their system slowly adjust to it. Try using coconut milk with your homemade dog treats or make ice cubes using it.
Excellent Ways to Give Coconut to Your Dog
Yes, you can easily give a tiny amount of raw coconut meat to your furry companion, but there is a higher chance you won’t have coconut meat waiting on hand every single time your dog wants a treat. Here are excellent ways to make homemade tropical dog treats that use coconuts as the main ingredient!
- Coconut Frozen Dog Treats. Help your dog get through the summer heat by freezing coconut water with different fruits like blueberries. This is easy to make, a super healthy treat, and the perfect reward for your furry friend this summer.
- Banana Coconut Dog Treats. Use unsweetened shredded coconuts, banana, a dash of cinnamon, flaxseed, almond milk, oats, and wheat flour to create these amazing crispy cookies to spoil your furbaby. This is very easy to make and you also use healthy ingredients.
- Frozen Coconut Pineapple Dog Treats. Bring out tropical paradise with coconut and pineapple dog treats. Use shredded coconut, coconut water, and pineapple cubes and freeze them together to create these delicious frozen treats that are perfect for a low-calorie refreshing summer treat.
- Touch of Coconut Dog Treats. Simply combine wheat bran, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, egg, coconut oil, and broth of your choice to give your pooch the best, quick, tasty, and good for canines cookies.
- Coconut oil pup-sicles. Combine half a cup of solid coconut oil with a handful of your furbaby’s favorite frozen fruit and freeze. Just make sure you follow the feeding guidelines when you portion these yummy pup-sicles.
- Banana blueberry coconut smoothie. Mix in half a cup of coconut flour, egg, a cup of water, a cup of peanut butter, half a cup of melted coconut oil, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a tablespoon of honey. Roll out the dough and bake until the biscuits are set.
- Coconut, peanut butter, and honey biscuit treats. Blend in a banana, a cup of blueberries, a cup of ice, a tablespoon full of peanut butter, and a tablespoon of coconut oil together. If your dog is small, portion the smoothie out keeping the feeding guidelines in mind. Place the remainder in an airtight container in the fridge to save it for later.
- You can feed your dog coconut as long as it is in moderation.
- Too much coconut can cause an upset stomach.
- You can feed your dogs coconut oil, meat, water, and milk as long as it is in moderation. However, avoid feeding them dried coconut since it is usually loaded with added sugar and other additives.
- If you are planning to incorporate coconut into your dog’s diet, start small and gradually build up the dose.
- Quick research on the internet or a talk with your dog-tor before introducing new foods to your dogs is extremely important, including coconuts.