NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.
Is Coconut Good for Dogs?
Coconuts are not toxic to dogs. In fact, some coconut elements (such as coconut meat and coconut oil) can be healthy for dogs—in moderation.
Coconuts contain antioxidants that can boost a pup’s immune system. The fruit is also high in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that helps fight off viruses, such as canine influenza.
But that doesn’t mean you should give your dog coconut as an everyday treat. Coconuts are a source of saturated fat, which can give your dog an upset stomach. But if you drop a piece of coconut meat or a splash of coconut milk on the floor and your dog laps it up, they should be fine.
Before introducing anything new into your pet’s diet, consult with your veterinarian.
What Coconut Products Can Dogs Have?
Coconut meat for dogs is just as delicious for them as it is for us. However, when feeding your dog coconut meat, treat it as, well, a treat, and only add a few flakes to top their food.
Coconut oil is likely safe in very small quantities (like as a helpful lubricant for giving a dog pills) unless your dog is prone to GI issues or pancreatic disease. But be very conservative in how much you give, as too much coconut oil can cause doggy diarrhea.
But you can safely use coconut oil on your dog topically—for example, applying it to chapped paw pads and using it on their coat to help keep it shiny.
Who can resist a breakfast cereal topped with a splash of coconut milk?
While the juicy white meat of a coconut is OK, the hard outer husk is a different story. Coconut husks can easily be a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage, so never give one to your pup to chew on.
How Much Coconut Can Your Dog Eat Safety?
Again, treats of any kind (including coconut) should only make up 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. The other 90% should come from a well-balanced dog food diet.
Extra-small dog (2–20 pounds): 1/8 teaspoon of coconut meat per day
Small dog (21–30 pounds): 1/2 teaspoon of coconut meat per day
Medium dog (31–50 pounds): 1/2 teaspoon of coconut meat per day
Large dog (51–90 pounds): 1–1 ½ teaspoon of coconut meat per day
Extra-large dog (91+ pounds): 1–1 ½ teaspoon of coconut meat per day
How to Feed Your Dog Coconut
1. To Coat Pills
If your dog has figured out that you’re hiding pills in the peanut butter, you can try using coconut oil instead.
2. As a Food Topper
One to two small pieces of coconut meat on top of your dog’s food is a simple way to introduce the fruit—and the health benefits—to your dog.
3. Baked in a Dog-Friendly Recipe
Other Fruits Your Dogs Can Eat
Featured Image: Adobe/Nuli_k
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