The short answer: Yes, but only in limited quantities.
The long answer: Also called coconut butter, coconut oil is derived from the kernels, meat, and milk of the coconut fruit and palm. It is a good source of energy, fat, iron, and vitamins E and K. Though this oil may be fed to your dog in limited amounts (too much of it may cause upset stomach or diarrhea!), it can also be applied to his skin and coat to improve their appearance.
Coconut oil can help with the development of your dog’s cognitive function, bone structure, digestion, and immunity. It may even be used to improve his bad breath and coat pills if your dog has problems swallowing them. However, it is also known for being high in saturated fats, so it is not recommended for overweight dogs. Dogs with a history of pancreatitis should also not be fed coconut oil because the fatty acids found in it may trigger another attack.
How to feed coconut oil to your dog: Start off by feeding a small amount to your dog (as little as ¼ teaspoon for small breeds) and observe him for any physical or behavioural changes. If the coconut oil agrees with him, you can microwave a spoonful of coconut oil for about 10 seconds and mix it with your dog’s food.
Here are three ideas for coconut oil treats your dog will love:
- All-natural peanut butter mixed with coconut oil produces the best homemade treats.
- Combine blueberries with coconut oil, place the mixture in an ice tray, then pop it in the freezer for a refreshing snack!
- Try making this five-ingredient grain-free dog treat.
In summary: When fed correctly to your pooch, coconut-derived oil may provide him with lasting benefits. Too much of it may lead to weight gain and high cholesterol, so it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian before adding coconut oil to your canine’s diet.