Coconut Oil for Dogs and Cats: The Good and the Bad

Updated on September 4, 2019
Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa holds a Bachelor's degree in biology and is a plant and animal enthusiast with multiple pets.

Coconut Oil: The Good and the Bad
Coconut Oil: The Good and the Bad | Source

My Experience Using Coconut Oil for Pets

In the past, it was my staunch opinion that all pet owners should have a jar of cold-pressed, organic virgin coconut oil on hand for use with their pets' health regimens. The substance is touted as having multiple benefits that are well-known among alternative medicine enthusiasts and nutritionists, and such benefits have been backed by both anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence. I still find coconut oil to be of value for animals, just like other natural products such as honey (used for wound care).

Since writing this article, I've reversed my opinion regarding recommendations for the use of coconut oil on pets (and humans). You may still choose to read about my experience using coconut oil for my pets' various ailments—but do note that the results are purely anecdotal.

My Dog Loves the Taste
My Dog Loves the Taste | Source

The Truth About Coconut Oil

While some clinical studies involving coconut oil have been conducted, many of them are small and inconclusive. Other studies that show benefits are in vitro studies, which means that the mechanism has been demonstrated in a petri dish and not in actual subjects.

Studies that have used live subjects used lab animals, but few have used dogs and certainly not the exotic pets I speak about in this article. This means that such studies demonstrate the possibility of an effect in other species (pets and humans, unless your pet is the species of lab animal used), but they certainly do not prove or provide sound evidence for the exaggerated claims in my articles and others.

I'm inclined now to agree with Dr. Daniel Hwang, a research molecular biologist specializing in lauric acid at the Western Human Nutrition Research Center at the University of California, Davis:

“There are a lot of claims that coconut oil may have health benefits, but there is no concrete scientific data yet to support this.”

If we know very little about the long-term consequences of coconut oil on human health, we certainly should be concerned about the consistent use of the product on our pets. I have used coconut oil on my pets and have witnessed no problems with it to my knowledge. Nevertheless, despite the fact that coconut oil may have resolved my pets' problems, this evidence is inadequate and purely anecdotal.

I no longer recommend any medicine considered "alternative." Any medicine that is proven to work can simply be called medicine. The word "alternative" is generally code for "unproven and likely ineffective." So, do not rely on coconut oil for any major illnesses your pets have.

Dogs love it, but is it healthy?
Dogs love it, but is it healthy? | Source

Coconut Oil for Cats and Dogs

Coconut oil certainly has its place for use with animals, but claims of its extraordinary health benefits are dubious at best. There are very few, if any, "miracle cures." Although dogs and cats do not eat coconuts in the wild, that shouldn't necessarily stop owners from supplementing this healthy food in the proper amounts. (Pets will usually take it directly from a spoon and tend to enjoy it.)

I'll describe how I successfully used it for my pets' mild ailments below. Keep in mind that any change in an animal's behavior should be addressed immediately—so never skip out on proper veterinary care.

Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil may offer several medicinal benefits for the following conditions in certain species:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Digestive upset
  • Skin conditions
  • Parasitic infestations
  • Immune system disorders

In most cases, this oil can be used alongside prescription medications for sick animals or to improve and enhance the health of healthy animals. It can be used in the early stages of minor health issues to try to resolve the abnormality before it worsens. Always check in with your vet.

How to Administer: Dosing Recommendations for Dogs

The serving recommendation for Petpost's coconut oil is 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of body weight daily; increase the dose over a week to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds (1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight daily or 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds).

Beginners can start with around 1/4 teaspoon a day for small dogs and 1 teaspoon per day for large dogs. I use coconut oil as a moisturizer for my animals, and while it is okay for them to ingest in small amounts, I do not feed it to them.

Tip: You may choose to use coconut flour for baking dog treats if your dog is sensitive to wheat.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My genet, licking coconut oil off of his exposed skin.A good photo of the raw area.
My genet, licking coconut oil off of his exposed skin.
My genet, licking coconut oil off of his exposed skin. | Source
A good photo of the raw area.
A good photo of the raw area.

My Spotted Genet's Health History

One disadvantage of owning an animal that very few people own is that you cannot go to Google and find numerous posts by other owners listing and explaining the symptoms that pertain to your species. I've never owned a cat, but I have a close exotic cousin or feliform—a spotted genet. Over the full year that I've had him, he has succumbed to a few issues with his health, and coconut oil appears to have resolved all but one of them.

When an issue arose, a vet visit would most likely mean a lot of tests that may not provide insight toward the problem (it would be stressful for my genet as well). So, I've always opted for a shotgun approach first—which coconut oil is great for—as it provides a stimulating level of high-quality nutrients and antibiotic properties.

The following information is purely anecdotal and does not substitute for advice from a veterinarian.

Coconut Oil for Diarrhea

My spotted genet's first health complication occurred before I even obtained him. On the day he was scheduled to be sent to me by plane, he developed a case of diarrhea and developed a raw spot under his tail.

As do many exotics, these animals need to be bottle-raised by their permanent owner as early as possible for bonding purposes. For that reason (a week later), even though the issue wasn't fully resolved, he was sent to me with a portion of amoxicillin, an antibiotic that the breeder had been administering. A few days after giving him the antibiotic as instructed, while observing no improvement, I decided to put a mix of coconut milk and coconut oil into his bottle.

The Problem Resolved

The problem resolved quickly after that. I observed that his poop had solidified (I didn't know of its usual consistency before I acquired him) and that the raw spot had sprouted fur rapidly. It's possible that time could have resolved the issue as well, but I'm convinced that his condition was improved by the inclusion of the coconut products.

Coconut Oil for Skin Ailments

Another incident occurred a little while later. My genet mysteriously had patches of fur missing from his arms; they appeared as little scrapes that seemed inflamed (they did not appear to be self-inflicted and have not re-occurred).

I found this spots to be very concerning and thought about the possibilities: discomfort from a skin condition that resulted in an attempt to relieve it through chewing/self-mutilation; psychological discontent; or a nutritional deficiency that could also have led to one of the other conditions.

The Problem Resolved

I applied the oil to his arms in case it was a skin condition. He rapidly licked it off (he also loves the taste), so he also ingested a small amount. The problem resolved, again, quite rapidly. The fur grew back and no more bald spots appeared afterward. It was a big relief.

Coconut Oil for Inappetence

The last problem he experienced was even more mysterious since he's always had an insatiable appetite. One day, his behavior was very "off": He wasn't being active at his usual time and he was being very affectionate. (He had been affectionate before when he was sick from "accidentally" consuming the carpeting in the past.) He also wanted to sleep next to me instead of in his hanging ferret hammock per usual.

The Problem Resolved

Although he was eating, I assumed he may have been affected by something he ate, so I served his wet cat food with flax seed (hoping to improve the intestinal lining and aid digestion) and coconut oil. He resumed his typical behavior the next day.

I have used coconut oil successfully with my panther chameleon.
I have used coconut oil successfully with my panther chameleon. | Source

Reptiles and Other Pets

I have used coconut oil in the "gut load" for my panther chameleon by including it in his overall health-promoting mixture while he was suffering from kidney disease, and I have used it externally on my green iguana as an excellent moisturizer to combat dry skin and potential infection.

Skin Ailments in Reptiles

Reptiles tend to suffer from external skin problems such as difficulty shedding. Coconut oil is a great way to provide soothing and healing relief while any errors in husbandry (such as improper humidity levels) can be fixed.

Coconut oil can also be applied to superficial wounds, external fungal infections, and cuts to ward off infection after they are thoroughly cleaned with an appropriate solution such as Nolvasan or sterile saline.

Precautions

It always pays to experiment with very small amounts of a new substance and to carefully observe for any changes in the animal's behavior or worsening of the condition.

A Summary of Coconut Oil Health Benefits in Pets

Appetite Stimulant

Both my dog and genet love the taste of coconut oil. Since it is such a heavy nutrient, I believe it can be useful for feisty animals that might be recovering from illness (with its potential anti-bacterial properties) or malnutrition. Coconut oil can add essential nutrients into the diet of compromised animals that are otherwise lethargic or have a poor appetite.

One study (contrary to some claims), showed that dogs gained more weight with coconut oil included in their diet. However, I would use it sparingly, since it is 90% saturated fat (not as bad as other animal-based saturated fats) and dogs are certainly prone to conditions like acute pancreatitis.

Skin Moisturizer

Coconut oil seems to be reasonably safe as a non-toxic topical for pets and has some properties that might help aid animals with minor external ailments. I do continue to use it for these purposes, but I recommend using extreme caution.

Anti-Bacterial Properties

Coconut oil often causes diarrhea in people. Although this attribute is undesirable, this means that the substance might possess some antibacterial properties. While I no longer view coconut oil as a miracle cure, I sometimes use it with carnivorous or omnivorous animals that are experiencing probable bacteria-related illness, but only after they've seen a vet or while waiting to see one (e.g. I stop administering it 1–2 days before the vet as to not interfere with any prescribed medication).

Superfood or all hype?
Superfood or all hype? | Source

Is Coconut Oil Healthy for Humans?

More extensive studies are needed to verify this long and exciting list of benefits, but a few clinical studies exist that mostly verify its usefulness for some skin conditions.

Contains Lauric Acid, Capric Acid, and Caprylic Acid

90% of coconut oil consists of a naturally occurring saturated fat, which is composed of medium-chain fatty acids (vegetable oils are composed of long-chain fatty acids). While the term "saturated fat" may have a negative stigma attached to it in human health studies, coconut oil is said to be very healthy because it also contains the health-promoting compounds lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid.

It Is Stable at High Heat

Unlike most oils, coconut oil is not damaged by high heat, making it ideal for cooking and frying. High heat causes "rancidity," which makes the artificial trans fats found in many processed foods harmful to one's health. Therefore, coconut oil is said to lower high cholesterol and combat heart disease, stroke, and the hardening of the arteries in humans.

It Has a Variety of Applications

Numerous benefits have been attributed to coconut oil—from healing skin conditions to even assisting recovery from diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Weight loss, increased immunity, hair health, bone strength, improved digestion, improved vitality, and blood pressure stability are some additional alleged health benefits of this coconut derivative.

Health Benefit Claims in Humans

  • Increased metabolism
  • Weight loss
  • Immune system support
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-protozoan, and anti-viral properties
  • Improved heart health
  • Thyroid support
  • Faster healing times
  • Improved digestion

How Does It Work?

Coconut oil possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties that are so effective, the oil is used by some clinicians to combat illnesses like AIDS. University of the Philippines Emeritus professor of pharmacology Dr. Conrato S. Dayrit explains that the substance has been shown to reduce the viral load in affected patients:

"Initial trials have confirmed that coconut oil does have an anti-viral effect and can beneficially reduce the viral load of HIV patients."

The lauric acid content in the oil may be metabolized by the body, which results in the release of monolaurin, a fatty acid that acts as an antibiotic by disrupting the lipid membrane of envelope viruses, inactivated bacteria, yeast, and fungi. Therefore, it is easy to see why using coconut oil could have potent healing abilities for multiple ailments.

Dosing in Humans

A dosage of approximately 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons daily is recommended (to be consumed in separate portions before meals). Sufficient time should be taken to acclimate the body to the oil. Start with smaller portions and work up to the desired dosage over the course of a few days. Decrease the dosage amount if diarrhea or other complications occur. Always check with your overseeing physician first.

References

  1. Carandang E.V. 2005. "Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil Explained." Philippine Coconut Research and Development Foundation.
  2. Nevin KG, Rajamohan T. 2006. "Virgin coconut oil supplemented diet increases the antioxidant status in rats." Food Chemistry [2006, 99(2):260-266]
  3. Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florêncio TM. 2009. "Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity." Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial. Lipids [2009, 44(7):593-601]
  4. Marina A.M., Che Man Y.B., Amin I. 2009, "Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation." Trends in Food Science & Technology Vol. 20 481-487.
  5. Intahphuak S., Khonsung P., Panthong A. 2010. "Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil." Pharmaceutical Biology. Vol. 48, No. 2, Pages 151-157.

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.

Questions & Answers

  • My cat has a possible Anal mast tumor. I do not want to do a biopsy since it is possible the procedure would make the tumor spread if it's cancerous. Would it be healthy (and possibly cure the tumor/mass) to apply coconut oil on the exterior portion of the mass?

    There is no evidence that topical application of coconut oil will reduce tumors and there probably never will be. A biopsy is your best bet; I don't think cancer spreading from biopsies is common at all. You can ask for the tumor to be removed for a biopsy, but without wide margins, this will not cure it if it is cancerous.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Caroli 

      2 years ago

      I had to scroll back pretty far to find the Shannon comment. That person was making a trolling comment to provoke and the site owner responded. No big deal. The article updating coconut oil explains itself well. Upon further research she believes that it has some good uses, is not a cure for illnesses or disease instead of calling it alternative medicine, it is medicine. I respect that she is willing to base her judgements on multiple studies and is willing to admit answers can be different than what she may have been wanting or expected.

    • profile image

      Lynn 

      2 years ago

      Wondering about the sudden turnaround in your opinion of coconut oil? ( to the author)

    • profile image

      AnonaMeowse 

      2 years ago

      Sounds like maybe the author of this article may perhaps, have been threatened with legal action for "offering medical advice" by some online busybody, thereby bullying her into retracting the generally benign, good natured and overall helpful advice of which the article originally intended?

      That's my guess, anyway.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      2 years ago

      This is such a confusing read . I just don't understand .

      Did something happen to change your view ? I'm not trying to be rude , I'm just curious what happened .

    • profile image

      Crosswind 

      2 years ago

      Author of this article lost all credibility after I read your comment for calling Shannon's comment "Stupid". You could have used more professionalism and class by "teaching" why you disagreed with her. Just because someone disagrees with you, does not make them stupid.

      Re: Melissa A Smith said:

      "Thanks for that stupid and unnecessary comment Shannon."

    • profile image

      normascottage@gmail.com 

      2 years ago

      just a fyi for all in case the problem of anal or skin problems arise.....coconut oil

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      2 years ago from New York

      Shelley: I used to feed my dog some raw and she was in the early stages of periodontal disease. After her surgery and dental cleaning I've committed to brushing her teeth everyday and her vets are always amazed with how clean they are now. She at least 15 years old.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      2 years ago from New York

      Nancy, you can try it, but not too much if he starts eating it.

    • profile image

      Nancy 

      3 years ago

      I have a cat that is itching and chewing on himself all over his body. We have done testing and have come up with nothing. I have treated him with Frontline and also Revolution. We have him on Prednisone, which I absolutely hate, but vet recommended it and it seems to be doing nothing for him. Could I possibly get some organic coconut oil and try it for him and would I do this topically or how? I have to do something before he chews and bites himself to death here and has broken skin. The store here I can get it in only has the solid form where I could melt it down. Please let me know as I have been dealing with this for a month now and my cat needs relief, even if it's just a little, and I saw a post where someone did it topically on their pet and it helped.

    • profile image

      Shelley 

      3 years ago

      I don't vaccinate my pets, but I do feed them organic immune boosting herbs etc. I have American Ringtail Cats which were one of yhe rarest experimental breeds. Any time I see anything that could cause sickness, or any possibility of lower immunity, I either put an Echinachea and golden seal Tincture in all water bowls. It has aided in sinus and respitory problems, especially in my DHS/Maine Coon 30-40 # male every spring he would become congested, sneezing etc. I also have for 24 years been an adamant believer in no pesticide flea or dewormers, no antifungal meds.

      I have give my pets Brewers yeast tabs 1- 3 2 times a day. This B vitamin supplement makes them undesirable to Fleas. I also many nights while preparing dinner removing fat, etc and feet it raw to my pets. I do not ever fed them raw pork.

      Dental issues in our pets are a new continued problem that's isn't being cures with dental supplies. Prior to processed man made pet foods most owners fed scraps or raw meat to them. The chemical reaction in raw red meat especially for dogs and cats cleans their teeth. Also cooking of kills by wild canid's and Felid's doesn't exist. They are no by man being feed toxic not a highest percentage of diet necessity for pets. These by products, grains, and not really as they were made to be digested in these intolerable ways of giving the best nourishment to our pets. I will eventually be making diets of raw foods for my pets.

      I have experienced in the last 3 years infestations of mites, to most of my pets. I recently have had it occur again. On my 15 Ringtail Kittens, and the Queens. Only one of my girls would drink the tinctures water. Lol. So the immunity difference of 2 litters. I am now going to use my powdered Golden Seal and Echinachea Caps to flavor treats for all my pets.

      I also have a 50 # box of Food Grade organic Diatomaceous Earth which we use on mattresses, etc to kill the mites, fleas, and other bugs such as spiders. We dust the dogs several times a week. No fleas and no mites. It's me and my kittens that have the attack of the ickiest pest I have come to organically destroy in my life

      I use small amounts of garlic in,aiding pet health, but never raw. I also give detoxing herbal tinctures of milk thistles. I do not give any of my pets canned foods for pets, nor do I buy canned for us. I have saved both my dogs from Parco using pepto tabs, power aide, ginger powder.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      3 years ago from New York

      InformedOne: A few of them are listed right at the bottom of this article or did you not see it? Alternative medicine is simply an alternative to medicine using the conventional methods of using the proper testing to check a substance's efficacy. Such alternative methods often include listening to the anecdotal tales of people whom are experiencing the placebo effect or coincidental recovery from limiting disease and getting angry if someone suggests these methods are not correct and the substance might actually not be working.

    • profile image

      InformedOne 

      3 years ago

      Actually there are several peer reviewed studies on benefits of Coconut Oil.

      Pubmed.

      Me thinks you do not understand what alternative medicine means.

      Not inferior or less valuable than Western Medicine.

    • profile image

      surendra 

      3 years ago

      Thanks a lot for providing great information

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      3 years ago from New York

      Hi Peter, reptile kidney disease is irreversible. No medicine, especially coconut oil, will reverse it and I doubt the oil will help at all. Unfortunately my chameleon did pass away many years ago...that's how I find out he has kidney disease, I examined them myself. It is important to make sure they get plenty of water, maybe a light shower in the bath once a day (put them on a potted plant with leaves). I think that perked him up a bit. You can slow the progression of the disease. Most reptiles at the end of their life have some form in captivity I believe.

    • profile image

      Peter 

      3 years ago

      Hey Melissa, I've only recently stumbled on your article. I know it's been a long time since you wrote it. I wanted to find out how adding coconut oil to your panther chameleon's feeder gut load turned out? Did it reverse the kidney damage? I hope he lived a nice long life, better still he's still with us today. My two year old panther chameleon recently got back bloodwork suggesting liver and kidney damage, I wanted to a see if you discovered anything new. Thank you for your time. Pete

    • profile image

      Maryann Stypinski 

      3 years ago

      My cat was limping on hie left paw, I didn't think much about it until all the hair he pulled off and he kept licking it. His personality changed and he would not eat. I made a decision to spread his paw with coconut oil and behold the next day and a half he was back to his old self.

    • profile image

      Jan 

      3 years ago

      I was putting on some organic virgin coconut oil to my hands and skin and my cat was acting like I had catnip. I let her lick a little, then I figured I should check if it was ok for her. The information surprised me, so I guess if its ok we'll try it I also wanted to try on my dog's itchy skin,maybe topically. fingers crossed.

    • profile image

      Sharon N. 

      3 years ago

      I live in Upstate NY and noticed my cat scratching side of her neck with rear foot. As soon as I gave her a rub of coconut oil, the scratching stopped! It is amazing, and this cat is obsessed with her constant washing.....dont think it was fleas(?) Maybe dry skin? Anyhow, use sparingly! A little on a cat goes a long way as they lick it off their coat! Vegan coconut oil is great on my arms, legs, and face too! I was told i sure dont look my age! Of couse, good genetics helps too! Thank you coconut oil!

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      3 years ago from New York

      Pam: I wouldn't advise that.

    • profile image

      Pam 

      3 years ago

      My cat was just diagnosed with kidney disease. Can I give him coconut oil. He is on Hills kd can and dry cat food. And would it work for hairballs.

    • profile image

      Rae 

      4 years ago

      I agree Wildman!

    • profile image

      Wildman 

      4 years ago

      unnecessary to snub Shannon rudely - her intuition of expressing her care for wildlife may not have been nuanced - this does not mean we should be calling others', "stupid"!

    • profile image

      reikimom 

      4 years ago

      You REALLY DID NOT DO A COMPLETE research on this. Go back and start over.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Anita I wouldn't recommend giving them coconut oil and do the fish oil sparingly.

    • profile image

      Anita 

      4 years ago

      Is it safe to give the CO and fish oil together?? My kitten has a grade5/6 heart murnur and I wanted to give him heart healthy supplements. Which both do. I'm concerned that maybe he's getting to much acids from both. Thanks in advance.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Susy, my recommendation is to go with peer-reviewed studies. Unfortunately, we don't really have any on coconut oil, that doesn't mean we should guess that it works with such serious conditions. When someone claims that one substance does a myriad of miracles, that is a red flag that they don't know what they're talking about. It is very sad what people do to bulldogs.

    • profile image

      susy 

      4 years ago

      I read that Coconut oil does dozens of helpful things for dogs' health. As an English Bulldog owner I'm always looking for any help I can get. Does anybody have experience with using Coconut Oil for brain issues, viruses, severe skin diseases and stuff like Arthritis and Cancer -- all things I've read that Coconut Oil treats.

      Sources:

      http://www.quora.com/What-should-bulldogs-eat

      http://www.betterbully.com/coconut-oil-for-english...

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      Interesting Anegela. Your dogs are probably satiated by the oil and enjoy the taste. I would recommend weaning them off of it. Maybe try fish oil?

    • profile image

      Angela 

      4 years ago

      Has anyone experienced a suppressed appetite when using coconut oil? I have two 90 pound labradors (age 10), and after a few weeks of giving them coconut oil daily, they've lost interest in eating their breakfast. They aren't overly interested in their dinner unless I give them coconut oil. One of them has always been a finicky eater, but the other has never skipped a meal in his life unless he was sick. Wondering if anyone else has experienced something similar.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      4 years ago from New York

      No real evidence that it does what people claim it does, I think that's pretty bad. It's a pure saturated fat. In minimal amounts it should be harmless, but there might be no point in using it except topically.

    • profile image

      Justme 

      4 years ago

      So what was the bad? I didn't see it.

    • profile image

      Lee 

      4 years ago

      Fantastic Article! Coconut oils is amazing for dogs! We incorporate it in our sauce for dogs called KetchPup®!

      Doggy Meal Deal™ - KetchPup® Fetch Fries® Burger Bone™

      www.facebook.com/fastdogfood

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      5 years ago from New York

      Terry, I'd recommend consulting with a veterinarian. I wouldn't rely on it for parasite control, but it could assist in infections topically.

    • profile image

      terry russell 

      5 years ago

      Does this coconut oil have any effect against fleas an ticks. I seen a shared post on FB where it was used 2 prevent fleas an ticks. What about ear mites an ear infections. Also does it do any good with mosquitos.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      5 years ago from New York

      Breck123, I don't see why not. I would only be concerned about animals that are sensitive to saturated fats.

    • profile image

      Breck123 

      5 years ago

      Great hub! I had no idea coconut oil could be so useful. Do you think that it would be OK for snakes to ingest it? It would make a wonderful supplement.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      5 years ago from New York

      That's great lrc7815!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Great hub. I am a huge fan of coconut oil. I use it for cooking and for a dietary supplement for myself and have for a while now. I recently used it (as a supplement) for my 9 pound Italian Greyhound who was battling a sebaceous cyst on her shoulder. !/2 teaspoon a day did the trick in 3 days. The cyst has vanished.

      This is a very useful hub for anyone. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Amanda smith 

      5 years ago

      KT Williams - I am heavily involved in rescuing and fostering and it sounds like your cat had a URI. Upper Respiratory Infection. I ended up keeping one of my fosters and he has episodes all the time. Once they have it they will always carry it.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      5 years ago from New York

      Lisa---whatever your animal prefers. I melt mine. In the summer I have no choice : )

    • profile image

      lisa 

      5 years ago

      Do you warm the oil to make it liquid or as is?

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      5 years ago from New York

      I'm glad you discovered coconut oil Suz, it's truly great. I wish you luck with your cat.

    • profile image

      Suz Smith 

      5 years ago

      We have just spent so much money on our kitty with the Vet, it's crazy all the blood work ect.. and still no answers. Tonight I put coconut oil on her neck and she stopped scratching right away. I am going to continue and really hope it helps with her healing. I am tired and sad for her with all the drugs she has been given for a probable skin problem (3 vets yes 3 vets ) keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks for this info, it can't hurt anymore then that crap they have injected into our kitty.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks for that stupid and unnecessary comment Shannon.

    • profile image

      shannon 

      5 years ago

      "the common genet inhabits rocky terrain with caves, dense scrub land, pine forests, and marshland"...not someone's house or apartment. It's a shame what we do to wildlife. Imagine how terrifying the plane ride was for him.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      5 years ago from New York

      Yes Thelma coconut meat is excellent for dogs too. Thanks!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      5 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      This is a very informative hub. I did not know that coconut oil is good for animals, too. What about scraped or grated fresh coconut? My dog Angus loves eating grated fresh coconut when I have just grated one for cooking. It´s seldom, but if it´s very healthy for my dog I will give him this often. Thanks for sharing the information. Voted up and useful.

    • profile image

      bev D 

      5 years ago

      This has been so much help for myself my pets ,our lives. thanks vibesites

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks vibesites

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 

      6 years ago from United States

      I usually take coconut oil as a food supplement and also for applying to my scalp.

      It has done wonders for me, but I didn't know that it will do good to my pets too. Thanks for posting! Up and useful. :)

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      6 years ago from New York

      Aplethora23, thanks, yes it is the best oil to cook with.

    • Aplethora23 profile image

      Angie Power 

      6 years ago from North Cali

      Great! I knew Coconut Oil was awesome to cook with. I have a wonderful recipe for Ginger French Toast that calls for Organic Coconut Oil. I know that there are many other ways to benefit from it, but why did I never think of the pets?! Thank you for this valuable insight.

    • Shaddie profile image

      Shaddie 

      6 years ago from Washington state

      Fascinating hub, I have never considered coconut oil before!

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      6 years ago from New York

      Very glad to hear that KT Williams. It wouldn't be a bad idea to not take him now considering how expensive vets are, unless it's about time for a regular check up anyway. But if it would give you peace of mind go right ahead.

    • profile image

      KT Williams 

      6 years ago

      I'm taking my cat to the vet today because on normal days he tends to make noises like he has a breathing problem (so I'm always on alert regarding his health) and several days ago he started sneezing a lot and acting like he had some mucus problems. He also was sleeping a lot and wanting to snuggle all the time - though his appetite was not affected. We happen to have coconut oil around all the time and my husband mentioned that I should let him have some. I gave him a little bit just 2-3 times. Now I'm afraid to take him to his vet appointment in an hour because they might think I'm crazy! He seems fine! I googled it and found this article just to make sure I wasn't going crazy. :)

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      6 years ago from New York

      It is, jenb0128. I try to add it to my oatmeal. Just keep an eye on his droppings and I bet he'll experience health benefits.

    • jenb0128 profile image

      Jennifer Bridges 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      I recently started giving coconut oil to my bird. I can't say much about the health benefits yet (too early to say), but he seems to love the taste of it, and I can get him to eat more of his veggies by adding a drop of the oil.

      I started using it for myself, too -- it's good stuff!

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      7 years ago from New York

      @Stacie L Many products and herbs do wonders for cats and dogs and should be explored more often. Thanks for commenting.

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 

      7 years ago

      Well this is a surprise to find out about coconut oil. I know not all the foods humans consume are good for animals ,but this is.Good info.

    • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa A Smith 

      7 years ago from New York

      Yes, I love it. I'm glad you found this information useful.

    • Helena Ricketts profile image

      Helena Ricketts 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      This is excellent information to have! I would have never guessed that coconut oil is such a great product.

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