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? The answer is yes. Coconut meat, so it is called, is as healthy as coconut oil, milk, or water, if not more so. But you have to remember to serve it properly and in moderate amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Coconut?
You will be pleased to know that your dog, in fact, can definitely enjoy a piece or two of coconuts. Along with its unique taste, coconuts provide plenty of health benefits. 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 body. The antioxidants fight against foreign microbes that can enter the dog’s 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
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, we recommend you not to do so, as it can be a choking hazard. There are chances of pieces of the shell being stuck in the dog’s esophagus that can cause irritation and blockage in the intestine. You must remove the husk as well.
Also, go slow if you are introducing your dog to coconuts for the first time. There is always a chance of your dog being allergic to it. So, make sure you ask your veterinarian before feeding coconut, or any human food, to your furry friend.
How to Feed Coconut to Your Dog?
Now that you know you have to remove the hard shell and husk before feeding coconuts to your dog, you can feed them the edible part – coconut meat – 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 it off as a playtime treat. You can also grate a few pieces and add as toppings to your dog’s favorite meal.
We have included some super easy coconut recipes for your dog at the end of the article. Scroll down!
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 that too, 120 calories per tablespoon. 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?
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 topic 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 of 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.
You might also be interested in “Can Dogs Drink Milk?”
Can Dogs Eat/Drink Coconut Flavored Products?
DIY Coconut Dog Food Recipes
- 1 cup Coconut Oil
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- Add all ingredients to a bowl (double boiler) over a pot on the stove.
- Stir until the ingredients are melted and combined.
- Using a tablespoon, pour the mixture into silicone baking trays and place in the freezer until set.
- Store treats in the refrigerator.
- 1 banana
- ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash and combine banana and shredded coconut.
- Add rolled oats, and whole wheat flour and mix well.
- Add almond milk. Knead into a stiff dough.
- Roll out to ¼ inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes and place on cookie sheets.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool before storing in air-tight containers.
Coconut is absolutely healthy for dogs. If your dog likes the taste of this drupe and there are no signs of any adverse effect, feel free to add some pieces of coconut meat in your dog’s diet.
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