Can Dogs Eat Coconut? Is Coconut Bad for a Dog
Coconut is a great-tasting and healthy food that we often eat ourselves, but many people wonder, is the fruit okay to feed to dogs? Is it beneficial to them? Can it ever harm them? The good news is that coconut is perfectly safe to feed to our dogs and does not contain any toxicity. It does make an impact whether you give your dog the meat of the coconut, coconut oil, or coconut water, as the oil and water are healthier, but overall coconut is perfectly fine to give your pet. Just make sure to be careful, and remove all parts of the shell prior to feeding.
Coconut does contain medium chain triglycerides, which can cause some gastrointestinal upset and bloating, and you need to be careful not to feed your dog too much, as coconut is high in fat and calories. It’s recommended that you avoid feeding your pets any human foods on a regular basis. This can cause unnecessary weight gain, and the high-fat content in coconut can make it especially dangerous.
As always, check in with your veterinarian and speak to them before you give your dog any new food, especially if it’s human food. Your vet can go over your dog’s medical history and make sure it will be safe. Overall, rest assured that coconut is a healthy and tasty treat for dogs.
Is Coconut Beneficial for Dogs?
Not only is coconut meat not toxic for dogs, but it also contains several major health benefits. These benefits include:
The meat of coconuts is high in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that allows your dog to absorb molecules whole and use them as a direct source of energy. On top of being particularly good at fighting off viruses such as influenza and treating yeast infections, lauric acid also contains major anti-inflammatory properties. In laboratory studies, this acid has greatly reduced swelling in rats, and it may hold some benefits for your dog as well. For example, medium chain fatty acids can have a positive impact on mental functioning. Lauric acid can also:
- Provide an energy boost
- Prevent many kinds of infections
- Reduce allergies
- Improve indigestion
- Help with yeast infections
- Help your dog have a healthier coat
- Is a natural antibacterial
Reduced inflammation will help speed the healing of cuts and other wounds. Inflammation is also the main cause of arthritis, so the great news is, feeding coconut to your dog might make their aching joints feel a little better, as inflammation is decreased in these areas.
Boosts the Immune System
One of the reasons coconut is healthy is because it’s packed with antioxidants, which help support the immune system, and which form a healthy response to combat foreign microbes. This means that coconut will help provide your dog’s body with an extra defense against parasites, viruses, bad bacteria, and fungi. Many studies have been conducted surrounding coconut and its anti-viral properties. This makes it a great snack for a dog who’s feeling a little under the weather, or who is healing from an illness or an injury.
Benefits the Skin
Coconut oil can be used internally and externally for both humans and animals. One of the reasons why the oil has become so popular recently is because of all of its benefits for the skin and hair, and this is also true for our dogs. Even if your dog only ingests coconut meat, their skin conditions may improve. Anti-inflammation properties can help decrease hot spots, infections, flea allergies, and dry and itchy skin. Together with fatty acids, coconut may promote a soft, healthy coat for your pet. The oil can be used as a moisturizer and can be put on any wounds your dog may have to help promote healing, as well.
When is Coconut Harmful for Dogs?
There’s no doubt that there are many healthy aspects to coconut consumption for dogs. However, coconut makes a decent treat for them only in small amounts, and you should strictly limit portions. Although coconut has plenty of nutrients, it, unfortunately, has way too many calories for your dog. It has a high-fat content, which could be very difficult for your dog to burn off, and may lead to weight gain in the long run. Overall, coconut will add a bunch of unnecessary calories and carbs to your dog’s diet, so keep this tropical fruit to a once in a while treat that you feed in small amounts.
Since coconut contains lauric acid, which is a very saturated fatty acid, your dog will also be consuming large amounts of saturated fat. Too much of this is not good for anyone, whether dog or human.
Can Dogs Have Coconut Water?
Coconut water is a great, healthy, and safe way to incorporate coconut into your dog’s diet without giving them the meat of the coconut. It is made up mainly of water and will hydrate and refresh your dog, while also providing them with a large amount of electrolytes. Coconut water can also be relatively low in calories, which makes it especially excellent for dogs, and contains valuable nutrients such as potassium and magnesium.
Can Dogs Have Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is well known to not only be completely safe for dogs but to also have many benefits for them. You can easily add coconut oil to their meals or treats and they won’t notice a difference, and coconut oil may help their coats have a healthier shine as well. Just as coconut oil is famous for all of its beneficial properties for humans, it can also be very beneficial for our pets.
Can Dogs Eat Coconut Conclusion
The good news is, there is no toxicity at all when it comes to giving your dog coconut meat. However, since coconut contains so many calories, it’s recommended that if your dog consumes coconut, it’s better for them in the form of oil or coconut water. If you do share some coconut meat with your dog, take care to give them only small amounts as a special treat.