Coconut Oil for Dogs With Allergies and Digestion Problems
Allergies in Dogs
If you have a dog with allergies, you know how miserable it can be for them (and you). The constant scratching and licking can cause raw, sore skin that can become infected. The heat makes it even worse.
Our mini Schnauzer, Alfie (in the middle), has such bad allergies, that he cannot go out when it is very hot because the allergens make it hard for him to breathe. He comes in from the heat wheezing and panting and then the licking, biting, and scratching begins. He has had several episodes where I was sure he was going to have a stroke. He scratches himself raw and he licks and bites at his feet until they bleed.
The vet usually offers to give him a steroid shot, which is really not the best solution long-term. But he got so bad a few times, that we went ahead and got him the shot because we didn't know what else to do. It helped, but the long-term use of steroids can cause many disturbing side effects. Steroids shut off your dog's immune system, making it hard for him to fight off infection or viruses. The side effects are as follows:
Side Effects of Steroids
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Frequent urination
- Higher risk of Urinary Tract Infection
- Liver Damage
Digestive Problems in Dogs
Our youngest Schnauzer, Buddy (on the left), has digestion issues. He is on prescription dog food for it. I have recently been offering him coconut oil also. He loves it and it seems to be helping him lose some weight.
Is Coconut Oil Safe for My Dog?
The fat in virgin coconut oil is made up mostly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). This type of fatty acid goes directly to the liver where it is easily metabolized into energy.
Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid which is also found in breast milk and is one of the best sources naturally available. The lauric acid in coconut oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. The anti-fungal properties of coconut oil can help prevent and treat yeast infections. Lauric acid has also been shown to be beneficial in preventing some cancers.
Coconut Oil May Help Reduce Dog Allergies
The regular use of coconut oil may help with your dog's seasonal allergies. It can also help reduce symptoms of eczema, flea allergies, dry skin, and hot spots. Coconut oil will also help to make your dog's coat soft, shiny, and smell terrific.
Helping Your Dog to Maintain a Healthy Weight
Adding coconut oil to your dog's daily diet may help control his appetite and give him more energy. Coconut oil will improve his digestive system and stimulate the thyroid gland, which will help to maintain your dog's healthy weight. My dogs love coconut oil on their food or right off the spoon.
How Much Coconut Oil to Give to Your Dog?
When you first begin giving your dog coconut oil, it can cause loose stools. Because of this, you will want to introduce it gradually into their diet. The dosage for dogs:
- 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds
- 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds
Do not start out with these dosages. I started with about 1/4 tsp for about 3–4 days. Then 1/2 tsp for 3–4 more days. Then 3/4 tsp for about 3–4 more days, until I was at the full dosage for my dog's body weight. Also, I don't give the full dose all at once; I divide it into two doses a day. If your dog's stool is too loose, then you should lower the amount until it is normal.
Coconut Oil Skin Treatment for Your Dog
For your dog's dry, irritated skin, you can try a coconut oil mask about once a week.
- First shampoo your dog. I use DERMagic Peppermint Tea Tree Oil Shampoo.
- Apply coconut oil all over your dog like a mask. Let it soak in for about 5–10 minutes.
- Rinse and do a light application of shampoo so it isn't too oily. Then I use DERMagic Peppermint Tea Tree Oil Conditioner and rinse lightly. My dog smells terrific after.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.