Coconut Oil for Dogs? 10 Reasons to Try It

Is coconut oil good for dogs? Coconut oil for dogs has many health benefits — for skin, digestive and immune systems; even your dog's bone and brain health!

A puppy dog biting a coconut.
Dog with coconut. Photography by DAE Photo / Shutterstock.

As more and more Americans appreciate the fantastic flavor and health benefits of coconut oil, many more excellent brands show up on store shelves. My favorite happens to be Tropical Traditions because it’s made from certified organic coconuts, which have not been treated with chemicals or fertilizers. Plus, it comes in a generously proportioned glass bottle (which I much prefer to plastic), so I always have enough to share with my beloved five-pack of dogs! So, is coconut oil good for dogs? Coconut oil for dogs can be used in a variety of ways.

Fed regularly, coconut oil for dogs can have many health benefits — for their skin, digestive and immune systems; metabolic function; and even their bone and brain health!

Coconut oil by Shutterstock.
Is coconut oil good for dogs? Coconut oil for dogs has many health benefits. Photography by Africa Studios / Shutterstock.

10 reasons to try coconut oil for dogs:

1. Coconut oil for dogs helps dog skin conditions

Coconut oil improves overall skin health for dogs, and clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin.

2. Coconut oil helps your dog’s coat

Incredibly emollient, using coconut oil for dogs helps moisturize the driest skin and makes a dog’s coat gleam with health — whether you add it to her diet, her shampoo or both!

3. Coconut oil promotes healing

Applied topically to the skin, coconut oil for dogs promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, bites and stings.

4. Coconut oil for dogs helps your pup smell pleasant

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil help reduce doggy odor, and its pleasantly tropical aroma imparts a delightful scent to a dog’s skin and coat.

5. Coconut oil has antiviral properties

Coconut oil prevents and treats yeast infections, including candida. Its antiviral agents also help dogs recover quickly from kennel cough.

6. Coconut oil for dogs improves digestion and nutrition absorption

Digestion and nutrient absorption are improved by the addition of coconut oil to a dog’s diet. It can, however, cause stool to loosen; if that happens, just add a few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin to your dog’s diet (go here for more stool-firming tips).

7. Coconut oil can help doggy breath

Coconut oil reduces — and sometimes eliminates — doggy breath. Some dog lovers even brush their pets’ teeth with the stuff! Which makes sense, as dogs love the taste of coconut oil, and that makes the chore less arduous for brusher and brushee.

8. Coconut oil for dogs helps protect against disease

Like cinnamon, coconut oil helps prevent diabetes by regulating and balancing insulin. It also promotes normal thyroid function, and helps prevent infection and heart disease.

9. Coconut oil helps promote mobility in dogs

Helping to reduce weight and increase energy, coconut oil for dogs also promotes mobility in pups with arthritis and other joint issues.

10. Coconut oil for dogs helps your canine’s mind, too

Again like cinnamon, coconut oil is excellent for brain health; it’s being used to stave off dementia in humans, and it’s a must to keep senior dogs’ minds from becoming cloudy.

Tell us: What do you think about coconut oil for dogs? Have you used it before? How do you use it on your dog?

Thumbnail: Photography by DAE Photo / Shutterstock.

This piece was originally published in 2015.

Read more about homemade remedies to improve your dog’s health on

33 thoughts on “Coconut Oil for Dogs? 10 Reasons to Try It”

  1. There are some interesting cut-off dates on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There is some validity but I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as properly

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  4. mark raymond tantillo

    are rawhide flip chews fattening,, My GSD has a chewing obsession and loves rawhide flip chews but I worry they are contributing to some of his weight problem. Thanks Mark

    1. my pup went through about 8 chews a week and more if i let her. i finally got her a ball with soft spikes on it. she seldom wants rawhide anymore and just loves her ball. on the down side i do have to brush her teeth all the time now. if you are worried about calories from chews give a spiked ball a try.

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  8. Is it ok to use human coconut oil? Or do you use special coconut made for dogs ?
    Cant seem to get an answer for that ?

    1. Hi Penny,

      Here’s some more information on coconut oil for dogs.

    2. absolutely use human coconut oil but get virgin organic if at all possible. i also perfer the solid oil as the liquid is just more processed.

  9. Hi, we have a westie. They are known for skin itching issues. Dr’s wanting to give her medicine. Ex pensive topical ointments, shampoo, foods. I tried coconut oil about Teaspoon daily in food, plus brush her teeth daily with it. Absolutely no more issues. Amazing. So happy. And my westie is happy too. That’s the best part.

  10. I Am a dog lover from Sri Lanka.
    I found that the leaves of Senna-alata is one of the great remedies for the dog dermatitis problems.
    Method – take few branches with leaves and separate leaves and wash it thoroughly with clean water. Keep a water pot to boil and add few claws of garlic cleaned and chopped and let it to boil in the pot for few minutes and then at the last 10 minutes to add senna alata leave some to let it boil in the water. Remove the pot from from the harth and let it cool for few minutes and then add some lime probably few tea spoons depending on the quantity.
    Then to bath your furry friend with the medicine water (remember to make sure preventing from ur dog drinking the water since consuming extract of senna alata leaves can lead lose motion). Leave the dog few minutes under sun and wash tharoughly with clean water with no soap.
    Repeat this occasionally probably once a month. Excessive use of this medicine probably be not so good but once a month or occasionally once in six months would give u an amazing results!

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  12. jovelyn quingco

    is it ok if coconut oil from the super market?the one for cooking,there is like palm oil,coconut oil and vegetable oil.

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    1. Totally a fab question here is the sticky part only a teaspoon once every few days is what I would give. Also it’s great in shampoo humans get more benifit with body lotions and shampoos as well as a mouth gargle and spit to suck up toxins but ……..
      Dogs can get pancreatitis and too much fat from scraps at the table turkey meat macaroni pastas and sweets are extremely bad. The busiest day of the year for emergency vets is the day after thanksgiving. People love their dogs like children and that’s great just don’t feed them that way. Yes there are good articles on boiled chicken or beef bones that give amazing good nutrition to dogs but not a lot of fat or sugars and carbs like cheeses too don’t give your dog a piece of a ham and cheese that’s deadly so is chocolate of course . Pancreatitis symptoms are visibly not well not active and laying down but look for your dog laying down flat apon their stomach and usually slow and cautious. This can be life threatening over a period of a few days they are in horrible pain and need no food just water or no fat bullion cube broth and antibiotics and pain killers please spread the word that a no grain dog food is best and no scraps also be cautious of market doggie biscuits dry hard are better than the chewy ones that sit in their stomach for days but some fresh boiled chicken breasts cooled and scrap off the fat on the surface of the broth cut those into chunks and freeze that is a way better treat. Also one last goody please don’t leave your dog outside with sticks if you know they chew and eat wood like saints and labs the wood will be swallowed and could make them very ill or puncture Pick up the yard and look after your puppy like you would a two year old. Thank you and love your pet and our fellow man be patient and kind .

  15. Great article! I loooove coconut oil. Anyone interested in this stuff should definitely check out the book Everyday Roots. It teaches you how to replace all the toxic chemicals in your life with healthy organic alternatives. Its completely changed my life and how I feel everyday! 🙂

    Keep up the great content!

    1. Unfortunately, veterinary nutritionists say that coconut oil can NOT be absorbed and utilized by dogs. So —- likely won’t do more than soften the stools and becomes one of those expensive treats/supplements.

      1. idk about that. my vet said try it if it works keep up with it. my dogs coat goes brittle when i dont give it to her then softens up about 1-2 weeks after i start giving it to her. i dont give it always cause it is fat and she does have a weight issue. personally i think if you try it and see no benefit stop using it. its not toxic.
        btw coconut oil is cheap! i get a large tub for around $30 and it lasts me about 4 months and thats cooking with it daily as well as adding some to smoothies for myself and my mother.

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