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Can I Use Coconut Oil For My Dog’s Dry Skin?

Written by Ella White

Updated

Aussie shepherd with glossy coat

We’ve all heard about how good coconut oil is for us. From an anti-inflammatory, immune system booster, to healthy cooking ingredient, to skin and haircare hero, it’s risen in popularity over the past decade. Some even believe that coconut oil contains properties that can help Alzheimer’s patients improve their cognitive skills.

Like so many other products we love, it’s perfectly natural to wonder if this one is also good for our dogs. When it comes to using coconut oil on dry dog skin, the answer is yes. In this article we’ll look at the benefits of using coconut oil to soothe dry skin, how it works, and the other potential benefits that coconut oil might reap for your pup.

What Is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is an edible oil often used in cooking and beauty products. It comes from the flesh of mature coconuts, and is thought to be good for humans (and dogs) due to its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are a healthy source of fat. However, coconut oil is also high in saturated fats so should be consumed in moderation.

What Are The Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Dogs?

Whether your dog could do with improving their skin and coat or needs extra energy from their diet, coconut oil offers a number of benefits.

For energy 

MCTs, the fats that make up 90% of coconut oil, are a great healthy source of energy.

To aid digestion 

MCTs are also believed to help dogs struggling with their digestion and even help some digestive disorders.

To improve brain function 

MCTs help older dogs with their brain power and mental capabilities.

To improve overall health 

MCTs contain lauric acid that has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

To reduce odors 

Coconut oil on the fur can rid your dog of bad smells.

As an insect repellant 

When applied to the coat, coconut oil can repel fleas and ticks.

For a healthy coat 

Coconut oil makes hair sleek and smooth, so it's great for your dog’s coat.

For weight control 

Coconut oil can aid the metabolism and help overweight dogs lose weight.

For better joints 

Coconut oil is good for bone health and can help dogs with arthritis.

For healthy teeth 

Coconut oil can also be used as a natural alternative to toothpaste for dogs. Its antibacterial properties can prevent plaque and oral diseases and rid your dog’s mouth of bad bacterias.

As skincare 

Applied topically, coconut oil can soothe dry and damaged skin, reduce reactions to allergens, and help bites, stings, and itches.

How Should I Apply It? 

If your dog suffers from dry skin, itchiness due to allergies or other conditions, or is suffering from any soreness then applying coconut oil topically can help. Coconut oil is known to be rich in Vitamin E and is an excellent moisturizer. So massaging a small amount into affected areas can help prevent flaking and itching. 

And don’t worry if you get it in their coat as well as on their skin. Coconut oil is brilliant for dog’s fur, giving it a sleek and natural shine. Rub coconut oil onto your fingers and run it through their coat evenly to give their fur a boost of moisture – just like conditioning your own hair!

Coconut oil is edible and healthy in small amounts so if your dog licks their fur while there’s coconut oil on it, you won’t need to worry.

Can I Feed My Dog Coconut Oil?

It is healthy for dogs to eat coconut oil, but due to its high fat content it’s not recommended they’re fed the supplement more than twice a day in very small amounts. Only ever use organic virgin cold-pressed coconut oil for your dog, which is sourced from fresh coconuts and less processed than other cheaper options on the market. 

A small dog needs just 0.25 of a teaspoon and a big dog 1 tablespoon daily to reap the benefits. Overweight dogs should not be fed this oil more than once a day and if you notice that your dog is gaining weight after it’s been added to their diet then stop feeding it.

Some dogs might suffer allergic reactions to coconut oil and those with pancreatitis should not be fed it at all as its high fat content can cause complications. Some dogs might also suffer diarrhea as a result of consuming it. In these cases, stop feeding immediately and seek medical attention if the symptoms continue.

Though coconut oil is safe for dogs, it has a high calorie content. So be mindful of how many calories your dog is eating every day when adding anything new to their diet. Follow the 90:10 rule, which states no more than 10% of your dog’s diet should be made up of treats. So if your dog is regularly exceeding this limit, reduce their intake – or their intake of other, less beneficial treats to allow for coconut oil to remain in their diet.

Of course, it would be remiss of us not to talk about our own amazing range of dog supplements if you’re looking to add a little something extra to your dog’s diet. 

  • Harmony is perfect if your dog is prone to anxiety or would benefit from natural ingredients to help them feel a little calmer in stressful situations. 
  • Sooth is a fantastic daily probiotic support to help any dog with gut problems and strengthen their immune system.
  • And if you just want an all round, 100% natural, does it all supplement, you have to check out The One.

Absolutely everything we develop is created with a team of amazing vets and scientists that really understand dogs. It’s all 100% natural (and sourced from only the most ethical and sustainable sources), really easy to serve and if our reviews are anything to go by, loved by dogs!