Coconut has been a popular item in the household for a long time. Be it coconut oil, coconut milk, or coconut water, the health benefits of this fruit is remarkable for human as well as canines. But what about coconut in its most natural form?
Can dogs eat coconut? Yes. Coconut in its most natural form is as healthy as coconut oil, milk, or water. The nutrients in coconuts have many health benefits for dogs, including acting as an anti-fungal agent in the gastrointestinal system. Dogs also have a much stronger stomach than humans and even if eaten raw, the meat of coconut would have no major detrimental risks to them.
If you’ve been wanting to feed coconuts to your dog but had second thoughts, don’t worry we’ve cleared all your doubts. Read on to find out everything you need to know about feeding this drupe to your dog.
Benefits Of Feeding Coconut To Your Dog
Along with its unique taste, coconut provides plenty of health benefits to dogs. Some of them are:
- Reduces inflammation: Coconut contains a high amount of lauric acid. This fatty acid is what helps the body absorb molecules and generate a direct source of energy. Lauric acid also has massive anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to heal cuts, scratches, and wounds. Coconut also eases arthritis, the condition of increased swelling, and tenderness in the joints.
- Improves the immune system: Coconut is filled with antioxidants that help to boost immunity in the dog’s body. The antioxidants fight against foreign microbes that can enter their body, and enhance defense against bacteria, worms, and fungi.
- Maintains a healthier coat and skin: Coconut oil has been known to promote shinier and healthier skin in humans. Thankfully, it works for your dog’s skin too. Eating only coconut meat can also have the same effect. Its anti-inflammatory properties will give your dog soft skin and a shiny coat.
Things to Consider Before Giving Coconut To Dog
There are two things to be careful about before you feed coconut to your pooch.
The first is the quantity. Any food can be harmful to your dog’s health if you feed them too much of it. Coconut is no exception. This drupe also contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), fatty acids that are healthy only if consumed in a limited amount. Too much of MCTs can cause diarrhea, bloating, and other gastrointestinal problems. Keep in mind, it is normal for your dog’s poop to turn soft and runny after the consumption of coconut. It might look greasy, but it’s not dangerous. However, if it turns to diarrhea, you might have to contact your vet.
The second thing to consider is preparing coconut for your dog in a safe way. Some owners prefer to feed the hard outer shells of coconuts to their dogs to chew as a treat. But, there is a huge risk of it being a choking hazard. There are also chances of pieces of the shell being stuck in the dog’s esophagus that can cause irritation and blockage in the intestine.
It is always going to be best practice when having dogs eat something new that you introduce it slowly, especially if they have any allergies or intolerances. This will allow your dog’s stomach time to adjust and avoid any upset and discomfort.
Make sure you ask your veterinarian before feeding coconut, or any human food, to your furry friend.
Best way to Feed Coconut to Your Dog
In order to feed coconuts to your dog, you need to remove the hard outer layer, or shell, and the husk. The edible part – coconut meat – can be served any way you want. You can either feed them small, thin pieces of raw coconut meat, or you can dry them (don’t make it too hard) and throw them off as a playtime treat. You can also grate a few pieces and add toppings to your dog’s favorite meal.
Some sources claim that eating pre-packaged shredded coconut would be safer than raw one. Regular coconut contains about 64% water and 35% protein – about 46% of which is saturated fat. But sweetened canned coconuts contain even more fat than a natural ones. If you can find unsweetened organic shredded coconuts, go for it.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?
Yes. Coconut oil is highly beneficial for your dog’s health. It is a natural source of saturated fats and is also anti-fungal and anti-microbial by nature. It is also believed that coconut oil can reduce the risk of cancer and improve the digestive health of your dog. Plus, you already know how good this oil is for their skin and fur.
However, in the long run, too much coconut oil can have an adverse effect on a dog’s cholesterol level. After all, it contains fat and about 20 calories per tablespoon at that. So, if you indulge your pet with too much coconut oil, they will likely gain a lot of weight. This will, in turn, invite more health problems such as obesity and diabetes.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Water?
Yes. Coconut water contains high energy-boosting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and enzymes. It can be a delicious substitute for regular water for your dog to cure dehydration.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Milk?
There are a lot of gray areas in this question that you have to consider. Coconut milk is not necessarily toxic to a dog’s health. It contains enzymes that can boost the dog’s immune system and can help strengthen the joints. However, too much milk in itself is harmful to dogs. In addition to that, coconut milk has a creamy texture that can upset a dog’s stomach even more. If your canine companion has an allergy to dairy products and soy products, they should not drink coconut milk.
Coconut is absolutely healthy for dogs. It’s an excellent source of nutrition for dogs and provides good fiber, calories, and many vitamins. However, this is not safe without some care. Coconuts can be harmful to dogs if consumed in large amounts. If your dog likes the taste of this drupe and there are no signs of any adverse effects, feel free to add some pieces of coconut meat to your dog’s diet.
Explore more coconut-related dog articles on coconut for dogs.
Have you ever tried sharing coconut with your dog? What was their reaction like? We would love to know. Please share with us your experience by leaving a comment below!