Coconut oil has been used for centuries to treat various ailments in humans. It’s also used in the hair, on the skin, and in cooking. However, does that mean it’s okay to use coconut oil when it comes to your canine pal?

The answer isn’t as simple as it might seem. There are health benefits to using coconut oil for your pet, and there are risks as well. It’s also vital that you use the proper dosage for your pet. We’ll discuss the benefits, uses, and risks of coconut oil for dogs in the guide below.

The Benefits & Uses of Coconut Oil For Dogs

1. Helps Prevent Bug Bites

Evidence suggests coconut oil can help prevent fleas from hopping on your dog. However, there’s only been one study done on this that we know of. Though the results look great, it’s still better to use other methods to prevent those pesky insects from invading your dog’s body and your home.

It’s thought that the ingredient in coconut oil, known as lauric acid, will repel fleas and even ticks. While it’s okay to use coconut oil, for this reason, make sure to use something else as well, at least until it’s proven that this method really and truly works.

Image Credit: moho01, Pixabay

2. Helps Some Skin Issues

Coconut oil has long been known to help dry skin in people, but does it work for dogs? Yes, it can clear up eczema, dermatitis, bug bites, and even dry skin in dogs. If your dog is suffering from any of these problems, rub the oil on the affected area once or twice a day.

If possible, keep your dog from licking the coconut oil so that the oil will have time to penetrate the skin. If your pet licks some of the oil, it’s okay since it is safe to be ingested.

3. Makes a Great Toothpaste

As a pet parent, you may know that you need to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Coconut oil makes a great toothpaste for canines. In fact, it’s great for killing the organisms that cause the bacteria that lead to tooth decay.

While this is a great toothpaste, it’s still essential to get your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned and use an enzymatic toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. The coconut oil is intended to be used with your regular brushing routine for your pet, not in place of it, for the best results.

Happy Dog with Nice Teeth
Image Credit: Mark Volkmer, Shutterstock

4. Helps Heal Wounds and Cuts

Coconut oil can also help to heal the wounds and cuts every dog gets when they’ve been out and about and getting into everything. You simply rub a bit of the oil on the affected area to treat a minor scrape or cut.

The best thing about coconut oil is that, unlike other treatments for wounds and cuts, it is safe for your pet to lick it. These are significant benefits of using coconut oil on your pet. However, are there any risks in using this oil to treat what ails your pet?

What Are the Risks of Using Coconut Oil for Dogs?

Giving your dog too much coconut oil can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. Some preliminary studies have also linked the excessive use of coconut oil to exacerbating leaky gut disease. It’s best to avoid giving coconut oil to your dog without first talking to your vet, as with any changes you make to your dog’s diet or anything you put on its skin.

The Best Organic CBD Oil for Dogs
Image By: iAmMrBenjamin, Shutterstock

Other Possible Uses for Coconut Oil

Dogs that suffer from seizures might benefit from the addition of coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) to their diets. One study concluded that seizure frequency decreased when dogs were fed an MCT-rich ketogenic diet.

Final Thoughts

Coconut oil has various uses for humans and dogs alike. As you can see, there are quite a few benefits that may help your pet, and it has very few possible risks. Make sure you talk to your vet before using coconut oil on your furry friend. It is not recommended to use it long-term or without a veterinarian’s prescription.

Featured Image Credit: etorres, Shutterstock