So you just discovered the plethora of perks it offers and even began using it as part of your home cooking regimen- well done, boy! However, you forgot and shared your food with your four-pawed lad without first consulting your vet.
Now, when this happens, the next thing will be wondering what to do. And yes, if that’s what you want to know, this article has you covered! Just keep reading to discover the most appropriate course of action you need to take when your dog ate coconut oil!
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Coconut Oil?
Now, most dog experts will not provide a simple yes or no answer. Coconut oil is safe for dogs, but it can also be harmful. It all depends on the amount and how you give it to your dog.
Just as is the case for humans, coconut oil offers plenty of benefits to the canines. They range from improving coat health to boosting heart health, weight loss, and more. In fact, if there were no benefits, then it couldn’t make sense to have this debate in the first place.
On the other hand, coconut oil can be harmful to your pet. It may not be as toxic as xylitol, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and others, though, but it can still affect their well-being to a certain degree. And as aforementioned, that will only happen when they have plenty of it that they can handle.
And now back to our question— What should you do when your dog eats coconut oil?
If your dog only took a small amount of it, there’s no reason for you to worry. Actually, you and your dog should be happier! However, if you are suspecting that you exceeded the “safe” limit when giving your dog coconut oil, the most appropriate thing to do is the exact you’d if your pet took toxic food— contact your vet!
Is Coconut Oil Bad For Dogs?
And with the potential dangers it poses, it makes sense for one to want to know whether or not coconut oil is bad for dogs.
Sure, coconut oil can be harmful to our canines, just as aforementioned! However, I’d not consider it as bad for dogs—and with a reason!
The benefits of coconut oil to our furry companions outweigh the disadvantages. If it does cause anything negative, then it’s majorly us humans to blame.
Actually, saying that coconut oil is bad for dogs would be unfair, and here is why— even the “safest” food you can think of can be harmful when taken in excess or in the wrong way. Therefore, if you want your dog to make the most out of coconut oil, just like with any other food, ensure that you give it responsibly!
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Now that you know coconut oil isn’t generally bad for dogs, what are some of the benefits it offers to these canines? That’s probably the next thing every responsible pet parent will want to know. After all, as I stated earlier, no one is willing to put the life of their best fur companions on the line for something that won’t benefit them.
And sure, we have a thousand and one benefits of giving your pet coconut oil in healthy amounts. Most of these benefits are almost the same we humans get from coconut oil. They include;
- It boosts immunity
- It helps in weight loss
- Increases energy levels
- It has antifungal and antimicrobial properties
- It helps treat arthritis and other joint issues
- Protection against hairballs
- Promotes healthy dog coat
- Helps reduce coughing
- Elimination of fleas and ticks
- It improves cognitive function
- Better digestion
- It eliminates poor breath
The above is just a few of the many benefits your dog can reap from taking coconut oil. However, some of them sound controversial. A perfect example is the ability to help in weight loss.
Wait, giving coconut oil to help in weight loss? Sure, it may not make sense at first. Actually, it sounds more logical to think that coconut oil will cause weight increase and not weight loss. And to some extent, if you are thinking in the like manner, then you are correct!
Coconut oil contains saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Therefore, it has the potential to cause weight increase.
So, why use it for already overweight dogs? Is it not going to make things worse? Let’s find out by looking at the other side of the coin.
Coconut oil contains Medium-Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) consisting of lauric acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, myristic acid, and palmitic acid. Now, these fatty acids help reduce fat deposits in an overweight dog, resulting in weight loss.
Additionally, MCFAs provide an almost instant boost of energy, enhancing the dog’s athletic performance. And with more exercise, the dog is more likely to lose weight.
With that said, whether coconut oil is going to cause weight loss or weight gain again depends on the amount you give to your dog.
And now, how much is too much for your pup?
According to pet professionals, for small dogs, a ¼ teaspoon a day should do. For the big canines, a teaspoon to a tablespoon amount per day is a healthy amount. Keep in mind that you should first seek your vet’s confirmation.
After the vet gives you the green light, do just as you usually do when introducing new food to your pet— begin with a small amount. Keep a keen eye on your pet for any allergic reactions. Only increase the amount when you don’t see any side effects, and of course, it should be gradual until you get to the limit stated earlier.
Can Coconut Oil Upset Dogs’ Stomach?
Although it works well for improving digestion, coconut oil can also cause stomach upset in dogs. However, as with all other side effects it has, stomach upset happens when you do things the wrong way.
Doing things right is giving the right amount in the right way and at the right time. That’s a principle that applies to any food.
The right amount is all about the quantity of coconut oil you give to your pet. This amount is dog-specific, and that’s why you need to know your pup’s specific requirements. Getting the quantity right is imperative, especially for overweight dogs and those suffering from pancreatitis. It’s even wiser to use this oil topically instead of having your dog ingest it.
On the other hand, the right way involves how you present the coconut to your dog. As aforestated, avoid too much too fast. For any new food, you have to be patient with your dog’s digestive system. It needs some time before it can adapt fully to that kind of food.
About the right time, you have to know when to begin giving your pet coconut oil. It remains a big NO until your vet approves of it.
Can Coconut Oil Cause Diarrhea in Dogs?
When you do things right, it’s very unlikely to notice any side effects of coconut oil. However, if you don’t, then your dog may suffer the consequences. And yes, as you could easily guess, diarrhea is one of them.
Diarrhea happens when you give your dog an amount higher than their digestive system can handle.
Did you mark that? – “ …than their digestive system can handle.” That should help you know that what matters most is the ability of their digestive system to handle the amount you give.
In other words, when talking about diarrhea here, it’s more about the specific dog’s digestive abilities and not necessarily conformance to the standard. You can give your small dog a teaspoon of coconut oil (which of course is the standard) and still notice diarrhea.
At times you can give an excess of the standard amount (not advocating for it, though) and still fail to notice diarrhea or any other side effect. That means you have to train your dog’s digestive system, beginning with the smallest amount possible, increasing it gradually until you get to the standard amount.
Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?
So, with all the pros and cons of coconut oil, what’s the conclusion of the matter? Can dogs eat coconut oil? Of course, but it has to begin once you get a go-ahead from your vet.
After your dog doctor approves of it, you don’t begin up there. You have to train your pup’s digestive system to adapt to the new type of food.
Beginning small allows you to examine how your dog’s body responds to it. You need to look out for signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, and others that could suggest your dog’s digestive system not buying the idea. If you notice any, avoid giving it to your canine and let the vet know about it.
Dogs are different, and we don’t have one single food that is 100% safe for all dogs, just as is the case with humans.
There are plenty of benefits your dog can get from coconut oil. However, you also have to keep in mind that it can pose some trouble to their well-being. While coconut oil doesn’t cause poisoning in canines, you may notice a few side effects, especially when administered in the wrong way. However, if done correctly, you and your dog can reap maximum benefits from coconut oil.