Benefits of Coconut Oil for Pets

Benefits of coconut oil for pets -How to use coconut oil to keep pets healthy

I’ve talked at length about how much I love coconut oil and how we use it dozens of different ways at our house. There are some members of our household who also get coconut oil daily, and I haven’t mentioned them much in the past:

Our cat “Peneolope” and our dog “Daisy” (and currently her seven puppies) are also big fans of coconut oil.

Many of the health benefits of coconut oil for humans also apply to animals. From a past post:

  • “Coconuts are an excellent source of nutrition and have healthful meat, juice, and oil. The oil is arguably the most nutritious and has many health benefits. Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
  • Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals.
  • Coconut oil is an incredible source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have been shown to have many health benefits.
  • Lauric acid in coconut oil in combination with oregano oil,  has even been found more effective in fighting the staph bacteria than antibiotics. Lauric acid has also been shown to be preventative against some cancers. Coconut Oil is over 40% lauric acid, the richest source naturally available.”

We’ve used coconut oil with our pets for years. I started researching ways to use coconut oil for pets when our cat went crazy trying to eat food from our plates every time I cooked with coconut oil.

Turns out that coconut oil can help aid pets’ digestion, improve their coats, help prevent infection and more. Carnivorous animals like cats and dogs would have consumed a high amount of saturated fat in the wild and the beneficial fats in coconut oil are a great way to make sure they are getting enough in their diets. Our pets also receive a partially raw meat diet to help keep them healthy.

Doginton Post offers some ways to use coconut oil with pets:

“It can be given internally or applied externally, and can provide remedies for many skin infections. It can disinfect cuts and improve your dog’s general skin and coat condition, making it healthier. Wounds also heal faster with coconut oil, and it helps to deodorize your dog’s skin and clear up some rashes as well.

And unlike most herbal products that are good for your dog’s health, coconut is something that your dog will most probably love to eat. They will most likely gobble up the coconut oil and not be too picky with it. Just as humans can get a bit nutty for coconut, so can our beloved buddies. Mix it with their food – it has cured many picky eaters.

Many vets and researchers today are recommending the regular use of coconut oil for dogs and many other pets as an excellent source of nutrients, which keeps your dog in good health.

The recommended dose is pretty easy; just give a teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of dog, or you can give a table spoon per 30 pounds. Start with about 1/4 the recommended dosage and build up to the recommended level over 3-4 weeks, as sometimes flu-like symptoms can appear if you hurried it right away.”

How to Use Coconut Oil for Cats and Dogs

We give our pets coconut oil in their food every day and use it externally on their coats. Here’s what we do:

  • Our cat gets a teaspoon a day in food (we started with 1/4 of a teaspoon and worked up over a month)
  • Our dog (about 55 lbs) gets 2 tablespoons a day in food (we started with 1 teaspoon and worked up over a month)
  • To help ward off fleas, both get brushed with coconut oil every few weeks, especially in summer
  • For any dry skin or skin issues, we use coconut oil (or honey) on the skin as needed
  • Nursing puppies get coconut oil added to first foods when they start eating

What Coconut Oil to Use?

We order our coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. For our family, we usually use their Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, but we’ve used Gold Label, Green Label and Expeller Pressed with the pets. Pets seem to actually prefer their pure coconut oil which is also their most economical option. Any unrefined coconut oil will work for pets though. Try it… they’ll love it!

Do you use coconut oil with your pets? How do you use it?

There are many ways to use coconut oil for pets to improve health and soften their coats. Most animals love coconut oil so it's easy to add it to their diet.

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Reader Comments

  1. Hi Katie,
    We use coconut oil and I never thought to use it with our pets. Thanks!

    • My husband has been having memory problems, so I started cooking his food with coconut oil. 2 tbsp per day is well tolerated and it has improved his memory and mood considerably. I use it on his toast, or in his oatmeal and when I fry eggs. I also put it on his toast. I try to divide it up so that he gets some on vegetables at supper time. There is a great book I have been reading ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, WHAT IF THERE IS A CURE? It turns out that there are other diseases whose victims can benefit from coconut oil… type 1 and 2 diabetes, PCOS, MS and others. Get the book at your library and pass on the info. There are MANY MANY people who can be helped!

      • My 4 yo kitty Leia loves it! I put a couple of pea-sized pieces on my hand (or liquid depending on our room temperature here in Massachusetts), she loves licking it off! (I wash my hands after too because it gave me a bit of a skin reaction and washing fixes that)

        I give her the coconut oil usually twice a day when I’m using it for myself after a shower and before bed. I read several sources saying it is believed to be safe and good for their kidneys and digestion… her fur is so soft and she is very energetic. She is fit and weight is within recommended range (we keep a watchful eye to keep her healthy and happy plus of course regular visits to the vet).

        I also read Dr Mary Porter’s book on coconut oil and Alzheimer’s which is a great book (about benefits for the human brain) and that’s when I started buying and using it for myself.

        — Ellen

      • Thanks I am going to try this I put it on my and I love it. My Grandmother has Alzheimer’s I am going to see about giving her some.

      • Does it really work for pcos?

      • Can you please elaborate on benefits of coconut oil for diabetic patients or recommend a link that I can read? Yes coconut oil has proved to be effective on my cocker spaniel his hair is much softer and shedding has reduced considerably.

        • One comment above mentions a book… “There is a great book I have been reading ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, WHAT IF THERE IS A CURE? It turns out that there are other diseases whose victims can benefit from coconut oil… type 1 and 2 diabetes, PCOS, MS and others.” Maybe check that out…. I am definitely going to do more research too.

    • I found our recently that if your cat has asthma a 1/4 tsp a day can help to reduce the inflammation in their air way and reduce the attacks.

      • Anybody tried this for cat asthma ?our cat has just been diagnosed with it.

    • How much would you give to a 70 pound dog and does it give yor dog diearrea

      • According to the numbers given above, a 70 pound dog would get 2 1/3 Tablespoons(7 teaspoons). I haven’t used it for my dog yet, but I haven’t heard of any intestinal problems with it.

      • It can cause it if you use too much too quickly. That’s why they say start at about 1/4 of their weight first and gradually increase but it’s just bc of the greasy oils that your dog would react to that with too much too soon.

        • Also, coconut is a natural laxative, so I am sure some of those properties carry over to the oil as well. I know I have to be really careful when I change my dogs diet at all. I will be starting with just a tiny bit and working up to the full teaspoon (he is only 8.5 pounds). But, this is good stuff for them!

      • Hi there my 2.5 years old golden retriever start to break his nails very often lately. They became very week and already lost 3 . Could I start using Coconut oil to make his immune system a bit stronger? Thanks Monika

        • Try food grade and I emphasize food grade as there’s a difference diatomaceous earth. In both animals and humans it’s a great parasite killer AND an added benefit is that it builds collegen. It’s great for hair, skin, and nails. Look it up online. I give my dogs a 1/4 tsp and the other 1/2 tsp mixed with their food. Dosage is by weight. Natural flea and tick killer plus will help with coat and nails.

      • Yes. Explosive, but healthy. You may have to fend off other pets from eating it. Good luck.

    • I have seizure and some memory loss so I can use it too. But for my pet do you have to cook the unrefined oil to kill the bacteria before giving it to your pets (yorkie)? I heat coconut oil when its unrefined for use with my cosmetics.

      • Coconut oil is an antibacterial. It has NO bacteria!

        • I would love to know what you use for your dogs ear infections. I currently woke up to my dog shaking his head and I looked in his ear and yep definitely has an ear infection didn’t see any ear mites. I tried getting the nasty stuff out with a warm wash cloth (my dog hates me touching his ears lol) after that I warmed up some organic coconut oil and with my finger I rubbed it on the outside and a little on the outter inner ear and then put a couple drops in his ear. Hopefully this will work! But I would love to hear any other options

          • Let us know, Alaina if it works !!! thanks

          • Not a good idea to use coconut oil in dogs ears, unless you clean it out thoroughly. If the oil is left in the ears, the bacteria will increase and the infection will get worse. I found this out by using the coconut oil a couple of times in my dog’s ears when he was itchy. I had to take him to the vet and they found the infection was bad. Vet told me not to use the oil in the ears and that if I ever do he said I would have to make sure I clean it out good.

          • Look up the recipe for blue ear power solution to learn abo
            ut and get the recipe for it to prevent and
            cure ear infections. My vet initially gave it to me for my dogs now I make my own.

    • Look into golden paste or if you have a Facebook acct search for turmeric users group. Fantastic info and support on there

    • OMG! I just washed my pooch with (BLUE) DAWN dish detergent and white vinegar mix, then afterwards I combed her hair, still seeing fleas. I dried her as much as I could with a towel, then I took pure, unrefined , cold pressed coconut oil and just started rubbing it every where. I then brushed and combed her fur, fleas started jumping and running every where……Thank you so much for this information site. I use this product for myself, but I did not know it was good for pets, I’m so happy!

    • Hi Katie.
      I have a golden retriever/great Pyranese mix. She is about 90lbs. She came to me unspade. I am saving up to have her spade.
      I give her diatomaceous earth to help deal with the fleas. I have a cat that has flea isses as well. The cat scratches her ears and causes them to bleed. 1) Can I rub the cats ears with coconut oil? 2) Can I give them avacado oil?

      • yes, i fostered a feral cat with wounds on his face, ears and neck, from scratching mostly i guess. just after a daily rub of VCO on cotton ball, there was visible improvement. i saved the inner ears for last. i got busy with work so was able to do that only once but 3 days after i observed there was almost no dark spots left and minimal scratching 🙂 i think he never got used to the rub so he would try to squirm away and lick it off but that ingesting was also good.

        do try it and let us know how it works for your little one 🙂

        • By VCO do you mean virgin coconut oil? Are there any anti-bacterial properties to Avacado oil?

        • Do you think I could add coconut oil (liquified) to cat’s bath water, as long as the water is warm enough to start with? Would that help with softening some of her very dense/hard matted hair spots? I’m just sick with what to do for my lil fur baby, she’s a 13 yr olf domesticated Persian. I’ve trimmed most of her hair (top of back, down sides as far as I can, and around neck and head), and the rest (belly, legs, chest) I have to work out the severe hair mats first I think before I can even think of cutting it! Any input from anybody would be appreciated. Unfortunately, I had to resign to keeping our baby in our “shop”, which never gets below 38F degrees, and we try to keep it warmer most of the time, but she doesn’t see well, and we let her wander cuz that’s when she seems most happy, but she’s gotten SO dirty and has matted hair to the point where I will possibly have to take her to the vet or groomer to get shaved, and that is so traumatic. Help!

          • I have asthma. Coconut oil helps reduce the inflammation in the airways. It’s a GREAT anti-inflammatory for arthritis too.

          • Groomer here! You want to avoid getting matted fur wet, as that just increases the tightness of the matts. I’m here to learn about coconut oil myself, so I’m not sure if that would make a difference, but I would maybe try using it as a detangling aide rather than bathing the cat– like lubricating your comb, maybe.

      • Avocado can be harmful for dogs if it is ingested causing renal problems. As for cats I’m not sure. I think the avocado oil should be okay for external applications on your dog though, you should do some research on whether it is absorbed and metabolized through the skin. A little should be fine, even if ingested, but I wouldn’t use it for continuous treatment.

        • I wouldn’t use any avocado oil at all. If they lick it could cause serious problem.

        • If you’re referring to the avocado fruit, this isn’t the case, It’s the seed that is toxic. Flesh is okay. I’m caucious with using any oil.
          What has avocado got to do with coconut oil anyway?

          • Avocado fruit can be deadly for dogs

    • My pets absolutely love it. I can already tell they are getting back to their old selves. I always sneak a spoonful for myself before I put it in their food.

      • I work for a veterinarian. 99% of cats and dogs that scratch the outside of their ears have an internal ear infection. They simply can’t stick their paw inside their ear canal to scratch that horrible itch! Some people report its only “dirt”. It’s actually mite feces or an infection.

        • My dog was shaking her head a lot so I checked her ears for mites..No mites but I cleaned them anyway and got junk out. I took her to the vet and she had a bacterial infection!!!! One ear worse than the other..They gave me an ear wash to use 3xd and some medicine to put in her ears 1xd .for 10 days. .I’m so glad I took her to the vet & didn’t assume that she had mites…

          • I refuse to take my dog to a vet, unless it’s a holistic vet. My pet suffered for 3 years. The vets prescription (2) ointment never healed her, so I took it into my own hands and did a lot of research.
            There’s a lot of useful information out there, but you need to be careful though, as finding a good trusting source.
            I found a few solutions to try, of course for different ailments. I went for one which was for yeast infection and with just one clean, she showed a 60% improvement. After two weeks, she was cured. Now I use the solution as a maintenance.

            If the ear doesn’t heal and it comes back, I’m willing to share my solution.

  2. Thanks for the great information! My dog goes nuts whenever I use coconut oil, and I’ve been giving her a pea sized amount, since she’s only five pounds. It has helped with her dry skin in the winter, plus she absolutely begs for it, which is a bit unusual for her.

    • I noticed that when I put in on my legs the dog somehow knows. She runs over and starts licking my legs clean?

      • That’s what my cat did too. Started 7 years ago. Now my boy is 18 and demands his medicine twice a day. Keeps his coat so soft and shiny. Also keeps him limber as he can still jump up onto my bed.

  3. How do you brush it through their coats? Do you put the oil on the brush? Or directly to their coat? I’m having a hard time envisioning how to do it.

    • You can rub it in your hands to warm it up and then rub on their coats, or just put it on the brush and brush through.

      • Try putting it in a small spray bottle after warming it to a liquid, it will go on more evenly. Spray the pet with the oil and brush through, or spray on the brush if the sprayer scares your pet

        • Will the coconut oil help my dogs hair? I just notice that she’s been losing her hair from scratching.. I bought some organic shampoo and conditioner to see if that would stop the scratching.. If you think the coconut oil will help bring back her hair and stop the scratching.. I’ll run right out and get some..Thanks for any advise

          • Also the itchy skin and hair loss is likely from a chicken product…read everything and do not buy anything with chicken in it…natural balance duck and potatoes is wonderful dry food no chicken at all in it.

          • I am having the same issue with my 16lb. Lowchen. I have changed her food but see seems to be eating thr fur off her back paws. I am about to take her to a Pet Dermatologist to have allergy tests. I would think that if I put the coconut oil on her paws she would just want to eat it off which would defeat the purpose.

        • When you put it in a spray bottle do you add water?

          • no as then it wont be pure,,if you leave it were its warm it turns into liquid bet defo do not water it down..

      • i wondered about this- just looked it up. For a couple of weeks now I have noticed my cat run and lick the floor after I shower for coconut oil drops that fall off my hands. Then I stated to lay drops for her. Not really sure about health benefits for cats tho I intuited that it could not be bad. So thank you for the confirmation and other great ideas. Now I will be more intentional and try it on her coat which is beautiful and lustrous already:-)

        • my kitten LOVES coconut oil and will lick the dog’s fur (which has the oil in it)!.

      • Hi, I see a lot about coconut oil. But what about coconut meat? I bought some by accident and i’ve been giving her a little at meal time and she really likes it. But I dont know if its good, shes starting to get bald spots and I’m not sure if she’s allergic to coconut or if its fleas that bother her.

      • When using the spray approach how much do I use? Just a misting over her coat? Would the oil stain my couch?
        I am excited about using this— I never thought about using it for Fiona!

    • I have 3 small dogs, after a shower I use coconut oil while I would be putting it one one time I dropped a piece here and there and the dogs went nuts wanting to eat it- now I purposely drop about a dime size for the each, they love it… I also have a chihuahua who was having allergy reactions of dry skin, it got really bad 2 yrs ago, I used 1/2 C white vinegar + 1/2 C warm water pouring it directly onto the scratched area then applied first to my hands to melt it through then rubbed it into her coat– gone and never got like that again, especially since now I apply the coconut oil every time she begins to scratch!! WORKS WONDERS!!!

      • Your recipe does not include coconut oil ( just vinegar and warm water). My dog has the same dry condition and was told to change his food/protein (the small bag cost $50). Would you please let me know how you used the coconut Oil?

        Thank you

        • My dog has holes in his skin about the size of my thumb print on both hips from where the vet gave him fluid in him yesterday because he was dehydrated from throwing up after taking new meds for being anemic for the 2nd time, this yr…how is he getting this & would cocunut oil help him?? Or warm vinegar & water help the holes on his skin or use cocunut oil to stop his itching, my poor baby?? The vet has him on royal crown $30.00 a bag of food for his gastrointestinal stomach problem & said “no people foods”…I only gave a few bites of brisket meat, or peperoni, or canadian bacon…because he was lifeless. He got bit by a spider or some insect…we don’t know??..he takes a monthly heartwarmer pill & wore a flea collar to.
          All at age 5 yrs old chilhuahua..
          Help?! Help!! Linda Kaye for Casper…over $550.00..of vet bills so far..

          • Royal Canin is not considered a high-end dog food by several reputable sources and is not a favorite within the pet parent community. If you check the ingredient list, the first ingredient that is listed is rice. Ingredients are listed by how much of it is in the food. Even though rice is a considered a decent substitute to corn (which dogs cannot digest), the first ingredient should be a meat. Dogs can’t digest most grains and often develop allergies.

            I would switch him over to a grain-free diet or limit his foods. There is a chance that he’s allergic to rice or any grain that the food might have. Try the Merrick or Blue Buffalo brands to start, they have limited ingredient products that you can buy at most pet stores.

            I hope this helps and that your little Casper feels better!

          • Go to raw feeding community on Facebook and learn how to feed your dog a raw diet. My little dog has improved very much on this diet.

          • I know it’s been a little time since this post, but curious how Casper is feeling.
            As far as the anemia, I’m not sure what could be the exact cause of that, but I know my cat was having problems with anemia & finally after hundreds of dollars also spent, they vet tested her for feline leukemia & found that she did have it & was causing her anemia.
            I’m kind of confused as to what caused the thumbprint holes in Casper’s hips. At first you said that it was from where the vet had administered fluids to him, then a little later you mentioned spider bites? Were the thumbprint sores there a while, or just grew that size within a few hours?
            The sores sounds like, to me, what could possibly be ca-mrsa. Pets can get it too & people think the skin infection is from a spider bite. (It probably started from a sore he had created from scratching) It’s a bacterial flesh eating disease that needs strong antibiotics depending how bad it is. If it’s not completely healed up yet, I’d have the vet tk a culture of it first, then go from there.

          • Sounds to me like you may need a new vet. The holes should not have been so big, sounds like the skin tore. This is just my personal feeling. This is an older post but hoping you fur baby is doing better.

          • You might also remove the flea collar and see if that helps. They can be toxic. Most come with warnings not to touch them with bare skin, dont let dogs sleep with you if wearing one, keep children away from and not touching the collars. I just read up on them extensively. I would think the chemicals in the flea collars could/would interact with any meds your dog is getting.

      • Why did you apply vinegar and water first, what is the purpose of that.? Can’t you just use the coconut oil alone ?

        • Viniger is a natural antiseptic, it will cut down on the oil in the skin & is also a natural bug repellant for both animals & people.!!

        • Vinigar is a natural intifungal for pets and humans. So to spray your fur baby first it will start working on whats causing the itchy skin if it’s not algery related, and then follow it up with coconut oil which helps the itching immediately when applied to hot spots…

          1) One bottle filled with equal parts vingar & water. Spray down your fur baby and brush through.

          2) Then apply Coconut oil to their hot spots, and massage the rest of their body with it.

          3) Then put a tblspoon over their food everyday.

          Hope this helps for these itchy issue(s)… Let us know how it works for your fur baby.

          Penny Czebotar

    • I massage it in with my hands. It’s the Organic Expeller Pressed Virgin Coconut oil from Whole foods Market. It melts into his skin and coat. I make sure I get it where fleas hide. His under arms and under hind quarters. His bum area all the places fleas hide. I get his back belly legs under his neck is a flea hide out. The fleas exit quickly they die not right.away but their slow and you can catch them at that point. I drown them in a bowl. Coconut needs to be applied often but it will keep fleas off. He is sleeping now without fleas bothering him. Front line quit working and chemicals are dangerous.

      • i used frontline plus and its not working any longer, and my bulldog has skin allergies now from either the fleas or the frontline, dermatitis is what it is. so i am going to try this to see if it works, she suffers from dry skin as well. i have her on a flea pill now. but still scratches alot

        • my dog was scratching the area under her arms, and it was getting very irritated, like it sounds like you’re Bulldog had also. I melt the coconut oil in my hand and then rub it into the affected spots and they no longer are dry itchy and irritated looking. It should work pretty well for him too. Even if he takes it in by licking it, it’s still good for him. I now give it to her and my cats to ingest internally.

          • I’m sure you’ve got it covered but have you considered food allergies? I’ve discovered my dog is sensitive to all poultry (including eggs), beef, lamb… Sea food seems to be the only safe meat. Fleas seem to wreak more havoc if his skin is already being bothered by the food allergies. I think they exasperate the existing irritation and render flea treatment less effective?

          • Our dog gets allergy shots every 3 weeks and is on certain foods , no meat or wheat, he can have fish. He is having a terrible time this month with the hot spots.I might try coconut oil.I’ve been using animal scents from yleo. It seems to help heal it up till he scratches again.

        • I just got a refund from the flea pills that the vet prescribed for my mini longhaired dashound, Zoebelle. It worked for 2 weeks then she was miserable with the itching and scratching again! I called them, they told me to give her another dose (early), so I did and she still was itching and scratching like crazy. Today I’m going to give her a flea dip and start her on coconut oil too. The pet store told me to give fish oil for dry skin, so I googled about dry skin and the coconut oil came up!

        • I rescued 2 white Persian cars (sisters) that were both heavily matted. One is blind in one eye and very shy. I used manicure scissors and cut the mars out using my fingers as a gauge. Then rubbed organic coconut oil (costco) on my hands and rubbed it in their fur.
          The fur continues to grow out and you just keep clipping until they are mat free. Now they are mat free and their costs have less shedding. No groomer appt filled with shave and shears and stressed out cars.

  4. Love this article! I’m about ready to adopt a new furry friend and have been researching uses for essentials oils for dogs. I love coconut oil and use it every day so these tips are awesome – thanks!

  5. I give coconut oil to my cat, Moccasin, because she loves it, but I didn’t realize how healthy it was for her. The only problem is, she loves it so much that whenever I put it on her coat, she licks it off right away!

    Moccasin got a terrible skin infection on her head and neck recently, we think it was some kind of fungus, but after multiple trips to the vet, it was not getting any better (her fur fell out and her head was practically bald). The vet could not tell us what the cause was, and Moccasin could not keep her antibiotics down, so there was not much we could do to help her-except with coconut oil! I kept putting coconut oil on the scabs, along with some apple cider vinegar diluted in water, and FINALLY several weeks later her wounds healed up and her fur is now starting to grow back.

    Thanks so much for this post, Katie!

    • Hi I have a black cat with the same issue, he had to have an antibiotic shot because his whole head was raw. Skin scrapes for mites, etc nothing! The vet uses a generic version of Revolution called Paradyne, it’s more expensive than Revolution but it works. Revolution has the same ingredient Selemectin which is what the vet thinks works. Anyway, if I skip a month and use something different he breaks out bad. I started giving him a tiny bit of coconut oil in his food today and rubbed some on him too, I hope this helps, I’ll keep you all posted.

    • I have heard that coconut oil sdded to my dogs food will help yeast infection in hisears. He is a lab andhas problems with ths frequently.

      • I had a terrible problem with yeast in my cat’s ears. I was using Meow Mix, as they liked it. I could smell the contents of the bag, and I could smell the yeasty smell. I stopped buying it. I now keep my cats off corn/grain foods as much as possible, and bite the cost bullet on grain-free dry food. I have a lot of cats, so this is no small decision. But they eat less of it, so it is probably the same. No more yeast problems. Grains are horrible for pets. Try the grain free food for dogs, or just stay with wet food (a good brand).

      • I have a GSD that had yeast really bad. He stank! I chnaged to grain free diet and it was gone in two weeks. Also have lab/chow mix with long thick hair. I can’t get the coconut oil to his skin without absolutely soaking her.

        • Hi there, my dog is suspected with fungal infection. It has been more than a year she has developed this. Could you let me how you got rid of this problem? Is it because of food she is allergic to? Please advice me. Thanks.

  6. our elderly cat used to beg for coconut oil. we noticed she liked it when she’d lick our hands after we applied it for moisturizing. she had her own jar and would scratch the cabinet where it was when she wanted some, which was all day! 🙂

  7. I used to volunteer at a wonderful dog rescue out here in Michigan. We tried really hard to find an economical way to help all the dogs since we worked from our own pockets and donations. No surprise I ended up taking one home (named Penelope funny enough) and she had some allergy issues when my fiance and I moved out into the country (truly the middle of nowhere). I use your homemade shampoo on the dogs (careful around the eyes) and added some coconut or olive oil to it to help her itching. I also started giving her cod liver oil (unflavored, unfermented) and a probitiotic capusle (she usually takes willingly) and shes doing fantastic! We even found a holistic vet that encourages us. The vet bills in our house are extremely low :).

  8. No wonder my girls cant seem to stop licking me after I’ve put coconut oil on my legs! Now I will have to give them their own serving.

  9. We recently adopted a 7 year old cat and he has dandruff. I’ll be trying adding a small amount of coconut oil to his food, and rubbing some coconut oil on his coat.

    Thanks for the information!

    • Beth, we adopted a black cat about nine months ago and her coat was all coarse and full of dandruff. I started rubbing coconut oil on it immediately and her coat improved after only a couple of applications. Now it is much softer, thicker and all the dandruff has gone completely. Just put some in your hands then gently rub it in all over her body

  10. My dog had horrible skin issues. It took forever to figure out why. It ended up being an allergy to flea saliva. It was awful and she constantly itched, red belly, and was just miserable. Finally, we started bathing her with coconut oil and giving her some in her food and problem solved just like that.

    • Where can you buy coconut oil? My dog has a bad skin problem and nothing I’ve tried has helped. He lost all of his hair and we thought it was mange and was tested and came up negative for mange. His skin is so dry and he itches and bites himself constantly. Omega 3 with fish oil has helped some but he isn’t completely healed. My vet decided he has a severe immune deficiency. Can you buy the coconut oil in stores or does it have to be ordered through some company? I have never seen it anywhere. Thanks for any help you can give me!

      • No idea where you live, but in some European countries, and I mean Western Europe which is what I know, it can be found in many food stores (overseas foods section) or even smaller shops run by immigrants in larger towns selling food from their (tropical) countries. This might not be the case for smaller towns, though.

        Personally I buy it at health stores, where it’s extremely easy to find even in smaller towns, and they can order it for you so they’ll have it in 1-2 days. In that kind of stores you can also find coconut oil from different brands and most if not all of them certified NGM, ecological, raw, cold pressed and all those little seals that confirm it’s as natural as possible.

        If you don’t live in Western Europe, Google has the answer!

        That being said, I’ve just discoverd this blog and LOVE it. But please change the font size and colour in the box where we write, it’s really tough to see what I’m typing without straining my eyes.

      • I buy a huge container at sams.

        • I buy a large container at Sam’s Club too. It runs $17. I’m a boxer mom of 7 & I use it for their health & we’ll being.

          • I have a boxer/bulldog mix thay has cushings syndrome she is 10 yrs old and herfur and skin are a mess eould this help her she also has a younger brother how do calculate how mu bc h to give them

      • My cat, Stella had a similar problem. She was scratching and pulling out her hair. The vets could not figure v out what was causing this. Some wonderful man at our local n pet store recommend taking her off of grain cat foods. That was it! Try going gain free and then add coconut oil to the food and fur. Good luck!

      • They carry it in the organic section of my local grocery store (Hannaford) and they also carry it in Walmart (I found it right next the the olive oils). Hope this helps!

      • I had a similar situation with my dog when I adopted him- the vet treated him for allergies, thyroid condition, tested for mange- all to no avail. He was still a mess of itchy, raw, scaly patches of missing fur. My poor little guy was miserable. I tried so many natural products as well as raw diet, etc., with no success. Finally took him to a veterinary dermatologist, who biopsied the problem areas and diagnosed him with an autoimmune condition called Pemphaegus, which is similar to psoriasis. She put him on cyclosporine 100mg, which he gets to this day, 6 years later, and it’s the ONLY thing that keeps his skin under control. I feed him a high quality cooked fresh food, and supplement his diet with either fish oil or coconut oil, which helps him get the meds less often, but he can never go off of it. Sometimes it takes a combination of medication and natural methods to really wipe out a difficult issue. I hope some of this information is helpful and good luck to you and your furbaby! 🙂

      • I get mine at Costco, it’s extra Irvin Kirkland brand sold in the vitamin section, two 32oz jars for $23.95.
        It’s awesome for pets and everyone in your household!

      • I had been looking for Coconut Oil for some time. I had wanted it for making soaps but mostly for cooking. I found it in the cooking oil section at the local WalMart store. I was VERY shocked and that is where I am able to get it now. We live in a fairly small town and to drive 50 to 100 miles to get supplies just isn’t possible and my husband just can’t abide by ordering on line!!

      • we found it at Walmart in the oil section of groceries

      • I get mine at Costco. 54 ounces for $16.99. Worth EVERY penny!! Also available at most grocery stores. GOOD LUCK 🙂

      • My dog had problems that sounded just like yours. His was so bad that his ears turned black and crusty and bled. Body was totally covered in red rash with hair loss. We thought it was mange. I bathed him in sulfur soap and rubbed coconut oil over every troubled area, especially his ears every other day. Was almost totally healed in a week!!!!! I’m a believer!!!

        • My dog has a rash under his front legs (arm pit area) vets say he is allergic to everything but he only gets a nasty rash underhis front legs. Any way I rubbed coconut oil on him and he stayed bright long did it take to help? Did it look sore the first couple of days.
          Thank you

      • You can probably find it in any grocery store. I even found two different brands in the Walmart grocery section.

      • Amazon has excellent prices and free shipping if you (spend $35 ) for coconut oil.

      • any grocery store in the aisles of either baking goods or imported / exported items. I buy mine at Albertson’s in California

        • You can buy it at Kroger in the shortening/olive oil area for $5.29 for a pint jar (Mason jar sized). Very little is needed to use for yourself as cuticle oil. Will be buying it for my 8yr old Bishon who has just started excessive itching under the tail area. I express his anal glands as sometimes I feel this is what is the problem is in that area. However, he now has some red, irritated areas on other places of his hindquarters. Never knew that dogs could get a “poultry allergy” as I know that vets will put dogs on chicken and rice diets for digestive issues. Will let you all know of how this works on my Bubba’s itchy skin.

      • I get Coconut Oil at my local Kroger store….they have it in the natural food section for about $10.00 a jar – I also saw the Kroger brand for about $8,.00.

      • I buy Nutiva brand organic extra virgin coconut oil at Costco. It is over 2 quarts in size and cost less than $20.00! I use it in so many ways. I’m so happy to hear that I can use it to help my chahuahuas.

      • I buy through Tropical Traditions, good prices – Highly recommended and often there are sales, tow for price of one and sometimes free shipping.

      • Not sure where you live, but I get mine from PetValue. Comes in a jar. It is a little pricey there. I am currently trying to find some pure, organize somewhere else. But I. The meantime, good pet stores should carry it.

      • I got mine at Costco at what I felt was a reasonable price!

      • got mine on Amazon free shipping

      • You can buy it in pet stores. I got mine at the grocery store

  11. So glad to come across this! My sweet 13 year old Yorkie, Max, has had skin allergies for about a decade. I keep his food/shampoos/environment as natural as possible. I currently give him small amounts of steroids when it gets real bad, and it makes his skin smell funky. I cannot WAIT to get home to try this on his fur (and his dinner)! I keep his hair cut short. The longer the hair, the more oily and itchy his skin gets. Any relief he can get will be appreciated! His little sister Ellie, will be glad to get a little of my body moisturizer on her food tonight, too!! As usual – thanks so much for the information!

  12. Thanks for posting this, I was waiting for a doggy post! I started brushing my dogs teeth with coconut oil because I don’t want to use dog toothpaste from store and baking soda didn’t seem like good option. He use to have a stain forming on his back teeth on one side but the build up is GONE since I switched to coconut oil. Vet is always amazed how good his teeth look.

    • Thank you for the comment that was left about brushing your dog’s teeth with coconut oil. I was also apprehensive about using baking soda since it can be toxic if ingested and dogs lack the ability to swish and spit (although it would be funny if they could). I just tried some with our “little” Jack Russell and he loved it.

      We also haven’t had much luck finding a natural commercial option for dog toothpaste. Those products tend to have grain alcohol (moonshine) and, or sorbitol (diarrhea enhancer), not to mention some of the other less pronounceable ingredients.

    • Don’t their coats get greasy and attract dirt if you brush them with it? How exactly, do you brush them with it?

      • How do you keep the cats from being So greasy? They look terrible!

        • i have two cats and have started using coconut oil on them for flea repellent

          i heat my coconut oil up so its in liquid form and use a fine mist spray bottle to put a little in my hands and massage the oil int to the fur of my cats. not enough to soak them, but enough to have a good light coating all over them.

          then i follow up by brushing, both with the grain of the fur and against the grain, with a fine tooth comb right after the applying the oil and the following day.

          between the brushing (to help keep the hair from matting and to help distribute the oil) and the cats licking themselves; i noticed the their fur went from greasy and nasty looking to slick, shiny and soft with a very light and faint pleasant odor.

          doing it this way, the cats coats look awesome, but i noticed 2 fleas on my kitten after 4 days and re-applied the oil ^_^ hope this helps

      • It actually absorbs quite quickly I even use on my super dry scalp before bedtime and no stains on the pillow cases! My Mr. Muggles AKA Muggsie we do this every night it relaxes him no itching and he will run to bedroom at bed time and wait for me so he can get his coconut oil!

      • Vinigar is a natural intifungal for pets and humans. So to spray your fur baby first it will start working on whats causing the itchy skin if it’s not algery related, and then follow it up with coconut oil which helps the itching immediately when applied to hot spots…

        1) One bottle filled with equal parts vingar & water. Spray down your fur baby and brush through.

        2) Then apply Coconut oil to their hot spots, and massage the rest of their body with it.

        3) Then put a tblspoon over their food everyday.

        Hope this helps for these itchy issue(s)… Let us know how it works for your fur baby.

        Penny Czebotar

    • Coconut Oil is excellent for human teeth. in Aryvedic Practices it was called oil
      pulling . I went to the Dentist yesterday he knows how I am with my dog’s teeth
      I spray colloidal silver after I brush my dogs teeth I heard it was good for plaque
      I use it also.
      He told me about a study his office is doing with ten patients using coconut oil.
      I googled it . Coconut oil is supposed to be extremely good for bacteria in human mouths
      so why not in our pets !

    • it’s the very best to brush doggies teeth with! you will notice they are whiter, stay that way longer and breath is fresh. Plus, they love the taste, versus all the other doggie tooth products they balk at. So easy!

  13. I just received my order of Coconut Oil in the mail today from Tropical Traditions as you recommend. OMG, best coconut oil EVER. The quality, the smell, so superior and I have always purchased high quality brands. This is tops.
    They sent a free book and in it they mentioned uses for animals. Our 9 year old lab needs additional support for his muscles and ligaments. Then I come to this post today. Message received. Thanks so much!

  14. I have considered using coconut oil for our pets but haven’t made the leap. Our elderly cat has hyper thyroid and thus an already fast metabolism. I have been concerned that coconut oil although a great way to add in healthy fats would also continue to speed up her metabolism. Any thoughts?

    • I’d ask a vet, but coconut oil is supposed to balance the thyroid so it might help her…

  15. People have told me to give my cat oils ( like castor) to help with his hairballs, and I wondered if coconut would be better. What’s funny is when I put it on after a shower he licks me incessantly on my legs!

  16. I don’t have any pets currently, but I have heard from my classmate who has a dog that coconut oil is just effective on injuries on dogs as it is on humans. BTW, do you feed your pets a raw food diet? There are grains and other toxic chemicals in commercial pet food, and dogs and cats are about as meant to eat grains as people are, if not less.

  17. We have several cats (our last rescue ended up being pregnant!), and one of them has been nuts about anything coconut since he was about four months old. Flour, milk, oil, fresh, or dried, he loves it. As others have said, he tries to lick me every time I put coconut oil on my skin! We just thought he was weird, but gave him a little bit as a treat. Guess we’ll be giving it to all the kitties!

    He also adores melon – especially Santa Claus melon – as well as banana, pineapple, and baby spinach. If I drop anything while making smoothies, it’s probably gone in seconds!

  18. I would love some more posts about natural pet care. What do you feed them? My dogs and cats are all on grain-free diets but would love to do some raw stuff especially since we have lots of local farmer resources. Also, do you use anything besides coconut oil for fleas? I tried some essential oil mixes but they did NOT work so i went back to Frontline.

    • I feed my nine dogs raw chicken about 4-5 days per week.
      The big dogs get a leg quarter and the little dogs get a wing.
      Raw bones are good for them…but not cooked bones.
      I have been doing this for about 6 years now. The dogs love it, they get to chew and tear and crunch up the bones. It keeps them happy, their teeth cleaner, their jaws strong, their poop is drier and not as smelly as dog food poop. For old dogs with fewer teeth, I chop up the wing with a machete. That is also a good way to get one to start eating chicken when they are not used to it…chop it up on top of their regular dog food. Most dogs will not need to be taught what to do!

    • Try the book ‘Give your dog a bone’ by Ian Billinghurst – it has great information for a raw food/natural diet. However some of the oils he recommends could be improved upon, try coconut oil instead as recommended in this post 🙂

  19. We use coconut oil with a lot of our pets. I give it to my dog who has an old leg injury that flares up on occasion.

    I also bathe our hedgehog with a little coconut oil in the water to help with his dry skin. I used it on rescued guinea pigs when they had red feet.
    And our rats absolutely go crazy over the stuff. I rub it on their cage bars. They are entertained for hours licking it off. Their coats seem better whenever they have it on a regular basis. It’s adorable because they will grab little chunks of coconut oil and nibble at it, and they steal them from each other.

  20. What about the saturated fat tho? …for all of us animals!

    I have a friend who used it with her older dog who had horrible skin conditions. It worked great on the skin, but the dog developed chronic digestive distress until they stopped the coconut oil.

    • Coconut is one of the best saturated oils that all mammals need to thrive! Recently all the 1950’s scaremongering about saturated oils has been totally discredited.

  21. lots of good information. I was wondering how you brush your dogs with coconut oil. do they lick a lot afterwards? I was also curious how much coconut oil and how much oregano oil to use to get the antibiotic benefits.

  22. I started using coconut oil for our 100 lb black lab that has hip dysplacia about 3 months ago. He is 10 yrs old and was diagnosed with this when he was just 6 months. Back then the vet gave us a supplement for him to use. After about a yr his symptoms went away and he never needed anything. Recently he began having trouble getting up and was limping a lot, and just slowing down in general with age and seemed like he was hurting. I searched online and found out about coconut oil. I started using some coconut oil tablets I had on hand. Started with just 2 a day and after about a week moved to 3. After a few days I could not believe the difference it made in him! He was running more, and just had more pep that what he had lately and just looked happier. We are now up to 6 tablets a day and that seems good for him. I ran out of tablets and tried the regular oil and he didn’t seem to like it as much. So I went back to tablets. It has been wonderful for him! I highly recommend you try it for your pets.

    • Hi

      Where did you get these tablets?

  23. But I have a parrot…..

  24. Katie,
    I used to give my dogs coconut oil internally because I believed what was good for humans would be good for them too. When I joined the K9Nutrition yahoo group, Lew Olson who has a PhD in natural health with a specialization in canine digestion and is an authority on canine health for over thirty years, is totally against giving it internally. She says it adds too much Omega 6 to their diets (which leads to inflammation) and dogs need only animal based fats. I think she says the same for cats but haven’t focused on that. I’ve not heard anyone else take that stance. Could you comment or expand on that? Thanks so much.

    • Coconut oil is less than 1% Omega-6 (much less than chicken skin) so I wouldn’t worry too much about that (though reduce Omega-6 in general is really important for humans and animals). It is true that animals do great on just animal based fats too but the coconut oil adds immune boosting properties and since it is saturated fat, their bodies can digest it 🙂

      • Thanks! This is the “other opinion” I was looking for. I did not know the % of Omega 6 was so low and that it was less than chicken skin…Great!!

      • My 4yr. old dog was just diagnosed with Diabetes and her skin is so try. Someone suggested putting coconut oil in her food 2x a day…I am wondering if it will affect her blood sugars?

        • I am a diabetic and was suggested that i use it to lower my blood sugars not sure about dogs and cats but it would seem that it world work for them too…they use the same antibiotics we use as well as many other meds…would be good to know for sure! anyone?

  25. Hi Katie,

    I used a raw meat diet for my cats with supplements. This recipe I got from a holisitic Vet. They seem to love it but they’re getting bored and I need to ask you if I could also add coconut oil to their wet food or could I give it to them by itself? Also, I recently found out one of my cats has diabetes and I have to inject him twice a day with insulin…uhmmm could I still give him coconut oil? His hair is a bit dry and I will follow your recommendations. I’ll wait for an answer, thank you and God Bless.


    • Ask a vet to be sure, but I would give it to a cat with diabetes. I’ve added coconut oil to food or given it alone. Most cats love it plain.

      • My dog has had bladder stone surgery years ago and has been on Urinary SO dog food ever since. Every vet I have delt with say she should stay on it. She is also full of fatty cyst, which they do not want to remove because they are not malignant. My question is if I give her 1/4 tsp. of coconut oil a day will it be more harmful or help her itch less…?

  26. How funny…I’ve been using coconut oil on my face, and my kitten always tried to lick it off after I applied it. She would get excited every time I opened the jar! I had no idea it had so many benefits for pets, though…I will definitely consider giving her some of her own to eat 🙂

  27. Hi Katie,
    I have been buying coconut oil and other products from Tropical Traditions for a couple of months now and absolutely love everything I’ve gotten from them. I never thought of giving my dogs or cat coconut oil until reading your article. I gave one of my dogs a bath today and noticed she had some itchy spots on her and decided to try and put some of my Gold Label Coconut oil on her. All I can say is oh my gosh, she went absolutely crazy for it as soon as she smelled the oil in my hand. Even my other dog came running over and started going crazy for it too. Now I know that they’ll need their own jar! Can you tell me; is there a difference between the Pure Coconut Oil and the Coconut Oil for Pets ?

  28. I’m convinced that coconut oil cured my golden’s kennel cough, or at least significantly reduced the symptoms. Now she begs for a spoonful whenever the jar is out. She loves it!

  29. We started using it with our 1 year old lab a few months ago…she LOVES it. In fact yesterday she was out in the yard and my daughter said to me “mom, did you give Benelli coconut oil this morning”…the dog heard her say coconut oil and came running across the yard looking expectantly at her. Yah, she loves it 🙂

  30. I just realized that we also have tropical traditions gold label along with two other brands of CO. I haven’t been using the tropical traditions one because it has a sour smell to it. Is this normal for this brand? I’ve never experienced it with other brands. It says don’t store in sunlight (it was on the counter in indirect sunlight) but perhaps it went bad? Thanks

    • I recently had a rancid jar of Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil, despite having good luck with them before. I don’t think it’s the brand, I think it’s that particular tub/jar… I would contact Tropical Traditions and let them know that this is the first time you’ve gotten their brand and they hopefully will either refund or send you a new container of it!

  31. Hi Katie
    I have been using coconut oil for awhile but had never thought about using it with my dog, you have some great ideas for using it with pets. I have just started using coconut oil with my dog, Freddie, and she loved it instantly. I have never seen her woof!! her food down so quickly. I had just mixed in a teaspoon with her usual food to start with and she gets to lick the spoon of course :). Freddie is a labradoodle so I am keen to give coconut oil a try on her fur as it is very curly. I though it might help keep her fur in good condition and make it easier to get the tangles out. Thanks again, Johanna

    • I too have a labradoodle and she loves coconut oil. I have just recently been giving her the coconut oil and am interested to see how it helps her. She chews at her feet and so I have started putting it there also, however she likes it so much she licks it off. I am sure she gets some benefit. 🙂 Has anyone tried putting a little in their ears? Labradoodles have ear hair that has to be plucked regularly, if it’s not plucked it will result in a yeast infection. I am trying that to see if it will help with the itch.

  32. Hi Katie,
    Can you please elaborate on your partially raw diet that you feed your pets. I have a cat and dog as well. Also, any advice on flea treatment??? Thank you for your time and consideration.:)

    • Mine get raw meat, organ meats, animal fats and eggs. I use diatomaceous earth on their fur for flea treatment (it can also be sprinkled indoors to get rid of fleas)

  33. I realized my cat goes crazy for olive oil when I found him licking a frying pan that had some of it (of course it was not hot 😛 ). But I made him stop because I don’t know if olive oil is good for cats.

    Do you think olive oil can also be given to cats? If not, I will buy coconut oil for him (and for us too). Thanks.

  34. I’m new to this coconut oil thing but I use it for my dog she has really bad skin and food allergies… I guess I was not using enough… Mine says it’s pure but that it’s refined for medium high heat is it still ok to give to her?

    • It is fine to give to her but it won’t have the same benefits as an organic/unrefined version

      • Thank you so much!!!

  35. Do you have to heat the coconut oil so you can drizzle it on the food?

  36. For infections, is coconut oil applied to an abscess, or given internally?

  37. Hi Katie,

    We use coconut oil in our home for cooking, but also skin wounds, oil pulling, and general moisturizer – thus when our Hamster broke her leg and then got a skin infection from the band aids the vet used – I naturally turned to coconut oil to help heal her skin and take away the itch. However, the vet insists that I use Silver Sulfate Cream – Which, if I remember things right, can cause jaundice and is hard on the kidneys. Of course after they lathered her up with Silver Sulfate, she proceeded to clean herself and ingested most of it. I know it’s a Hamster we are talking about and you may be rolling your eyes at this point – but she is family, so we are caring for her. I would love your opinion on Coconut Oil Vs. the Silver Sulfate to help heal her skin. I have been using a small amount of coconut oil on her in the AM and PM and her skin looks great – she also does not try and lick it off – She loves coconut flakes and if given a bit of coconut oil will nibble on it.

  38. Hi Katie, I’ve been following along with your site and I just love it! I’ve implemented a lot of stuff here and this is a great article. My problem is that I ordered Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil (for myself initially) but I cannot get over how awful it smells. The only way I can describe it is a dirty feet-like smell. It’s now going to be used for the animals lol. Have you ever had this happen with them? I mean, it smells nothing like coconuts or other organic, extra virgin coconut oils I’ve tried. Thanks!

    • I”ve never had that happen… you should be able to call them and get a new jar if it has gone bad though.

  39. Could you tell me if you use anything other than coconut oil for fleas? I have struggled with using Advantage Multi but wonder as well do you treat your animals for Heartworms? Thank you, Jennifer

    • Diatomaceous Earth also works really well for treating pets. We do heartworm medication with them but I’m researching to see if the DE is enough for that as well

      • We have 2 dogs ( 18 lbs. each) and after researching did not want to use the heartworm medication from the vet. This is what we are doing — 1 tablet of Only Natural Pet Brewer’s Yeast & Garlic ( 2 tablets as we get closer to mosquito and flea season ) Only Natural Pet HW(Heartworm) Protect. One drop per 2 lbs. of body weight 3x per day. It is made up of black walnut, wormseed ginger root, male fern root, oat seed, papaya, parsley, wormwood. ( Only Natural Pet Store on line) Then a pinch of cloves, and 1/2 tsp. of hawthorn berry powder. Doesn’t take long to put in their raw food once you get the hang of it. Have their blood tested every 6 months — Oil of oregano can be used to stop bacterial infections instead of antibiotics. This has worked for us –but research this for yourself before you make a decision .

      • Is the earth product okay for kittens with renal failure?

        I just cleaned my fur babies teeth with raw cold pressed coconut oil (Ceres organics). He certainly liked it.

        Can it be used for ear mites too? Any links for this.

        I cannot use any chemicals on my baby now as he has lost a kidney and the other one is not functioning properly currently.

      • D.E. only works on intestinal parasites, not circulatory parasites like heartworms. There are several holistic formulas chat will slowly kill them, but unfortunately d.e. is not the answer here. I believe oil of oregano is one possible route for dogs, along with several combinations of herbs. You also need to bolster kidney and lungs. Serrapeptase is also helpful.

  40. Great, please let us know what you find out. Thank you!

  41. My dog is on a low fat diet due to acid reflux…would she benefit from coconut oil? She likes it.

  42. Katie, do you know what breed(s) the dog in the photo is? We adopted a dog that looks very much like that one and we dont know her breeds. Thanks!

    • She was one of our puppies. Technically called a Yellow Pyrenees- she was a mix of Yellow Lab and Great Pyrenees

  43. I used to rub coconut oil into my dog’s skin when she had a dandruff-like condition and it completely cleared. She also loved to lick it off my hand.

  44. Katie
    My 6 year old minature schnauzer has been diagnosed with Diabetes. The Vet has him on WD by science diet. I’m wondering if the coconut oil would benefit him in any way. Thank you for the great information you provide!

    • Sorry to butt in – not Katie – but I research dog nutrition a lot, and I would give the dog coconut oil, AND take them off the Science Diet ASAP. Even the prescription ones are not good. There is a website that can tell you more about diabetic dogs and their nutritional needs, and it also has a very informative and useful forum section:

      Also, Nutrisca is one brand that is good for dogs with diabetes. There are other out there, but the article above should help you choose the best.

    • Hi Katie! Hope you get this post and everyone else. From someone who has worked in high-end (quality) pet stores…kibble IS NOT GOOD for dogs and cats. Science Diet is essentially junk. Some kibble is better than others…but they are not meant to eat dry food at all. They are carnivores. I know many of you won’t believe me…but please anyone who is feeding kibble take them off of it! As close to a raw diet as possible. If not, a high-quality wet canned food like Merrick or Blue would be the next best thing. NOT Friskies, 9 Lives, etc. or basically 90% of the stuff sold in grocery stores. They contain wheat gluten, meat by-products and grain (certain ones) which are terrible for your pets. Kidney disease is an epidemic with domesticated animals…and what I have learned and believe is that dry food and low-quality wet foods are the reasons.

  45. Hi, thanks for the great info. I just wanted to add that I used it to clean my dogs ears last night. It worked great! I’ve been wondering what to do about a sore spot on her stomach. On the one hand the CO would be beneficial, but since she’s already making it worse by licking it, I think I need to use something else. Any ideas to get her to leave it alone? I’m afraid vinegar would hurt her. She’s 15 and in kidney failure. I just want her to be as comfortable as possible.

    • Vinegar would indeed burn and be uncomfortable.

      I know dogs abhor cones…and we hate to put them in one, but you may try putting the coconut on your dogs tummy and then a cone….should start to heal in a day or so and thus doggie will probably stop licking the spot after cone removed. It’s worth a shot. I would definitely put the coconut oil on it, the worst case is it gets licked off, but should be very soothing for your pooch. Mine stops licking places after the oil is applied.

  46. Thanks for this post! I’ve been working my cats into a more healthy diet over the past year, and can’t wait to try this! You also mentioned a partial raw food diet for them. Can you post or link to what recipe you use?

  47. Wish I had known this sooner, we use coconut oil for everything including on the baby’s bottom to prevent rashes but never thought of giving it to the cat or dogs. Also do you have any suggestions for fleas or worms. I worry about putting chemicals on the animals but I’ve seen animals get sick or even die from flea anemia so I have been using flea medications anyway. Thanks for all your posts suggestions. Your website is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

  48. Hello! I have been researching dog (and cat) nutrition for a while now, since my husband and I adopted our puppy in July 2013. It took about 2-2.5 months to figure out where to find great information on dog foods and supplements, and once I got inducted in the magic of coconut oil (by you, really, and this blog), I have been using it religiously on Bruno (the pup). The first transformation came when I began to feed him grain-free kibble and dried fish skins – his coat became shiny. and I didn’t even know it wasn’t shiny before, because I thought it just was what it was and that was it. Then, I got him on high-quality kibble mixed with canned, raw (meat and bones), and other additives (cottage cheese, raw eggs, yoghurt, kefir, pumpkin) diet, and I was adding extra virgin raw unrefined coconut oil and/or butter to his breakfast every other day. Holy spots, his coat was shinier than ever, AND so insanely smooth and soft! I also created a doggie conditioner concoction of coconut oil-olive oil-chamomile oil-Vitamns A, D, and E in sunflower oil mixture and I spray that on his coat after a bath and rub it in until he doesn’t feel greasy and all is absorbed. He looks and feels healthier than ever and I will be continuing this routine with him while he lives.

    Also, he is such a vacuum dog and eats everything on the ground, so today he got a little tummy trouble and vomited in my hands, so the first thing I did was give him an emergency teaspoon of just coconut oil, and then a serving of his food mixed with coconut and chia seed kefir and plain yoghurt to help with his tummy. He was like new afterwards, so I certainly believe in good nutrition and natural remedies for our pets too and Bruno is the living proof – I am so proud of my little guy! 🙂

  49. Read this last week , just started giving small amounts of coconut oil to my dog , I cant believe how much better his skin is !!!!!!!!!!!! He used to have a rash all over his belly and it has all but cleared up , he also used to smell really bad but that has cleared up as well.

    I am currently wrapping a small amount of the oil in Ham ( very fussy eater) and also rubbing the oil all over his belly !!

  50. Hi. I have found this blog the best ever. Can someone tell me if coconut oil would help with a dogs asthma. My Maltese suffers terribly and although I give her a little olive oil in her food she is really battling. Would coconut be better. Would really appreciate anyone advice.

  51. My cat bites his skin whenever he is anxious or nervous. We just recently moved into a new place and he has been biting his fur off non stop. I heard that applying coconut oil to his fur will help him to stop biting. The problem is that he won’t let me put on the coconut oil. He growls, hisses or bites me if I try. He will run away as soon as he sees the jar. How can i apply the oil without aggravating him?

    • If your cat doesn’t like you putting co in her fur, Have you tried putting some in your hands, rubbing your hands together, and then just petting him?

  52. I bought coconut oil from Tropical Traditions that says it’s for pets. Is it any different from the coconut oil I buy for my family? It’s approaching the use by date and I would just like to use it up. I did use some in a cookie recipe but was just wondering if you knew? I would appreciate any information. Thank you.

    • Their pet-grade oil is just not as nice as their virgin stuff. It also does not have as much scent and taste of coconuts, which is probably why pets seem to prefer it. It’s not bad for you, though. I’d check out their site or the differences in their oils for more info.

  53. TWO QUESTIONS……… I have 4 Bichons, one of whom has a staph infection. I have been trying desperately to get them to ingest the coconut oil but to no avail. As soon as they smell the coconut, they back away, they won’t eat their food if it’s in there or even cooked with it. Odd since they used to like it.

    Any suggestions? Haven’t put the oil ON the mommy who has the infection since they are all trying to lick her now especially after ACV is used. Maybe the coconut oil would deter them, lol… Do I leave it on or rinse it off?

  54. I’m glad to see this article! After getting hooked on coconut oil myself, I discovered the vast array of options for using it. When I got a pinched nerve on my foot, one of the things I was using to help it was applying coconut oil topically a few times every day.
    The pinched nerve hurt so badly that I couldn’t walk around all week, so I as I applied it in bed, my cat Frida started licking it right off my foot!! I quickly gave her some of her own to try and she loves it. I mix it in with her wet food now, but she honestly is so wild for it that she’ll come meowing to me when I open the jar sometimes.

    • My kitty LOVES it and will jump on the counter and start trying to get in the jar when I’m trying to give it to the dog….she then will lick the dogs mouth….she’s coconut crazy! Dog loves it too!

  55. Is coconut oil also safe for bunnies to ingest?

  56. Hey! Just found this page after watching 1 of my cats going crazy looking for the smell of coconut oil from my hands. I tried feeding her some and she loved it. Who knew! This is a revelation.

  57. How do you brush your pets with coconut oil? My poor girl has severe skin allergies and I am tired of putting her on steroids, as well as paying for them, 2-3 times a year. Someone suggested trying coconut oil. I got some today and put it in her food (now I know I put too much in, but I will cut back the rest of the month) but I want to try putting it on her skin directly as well, but the oil is pretty thick. Do you put it in the microwave and dip the comb/brush in it?

    Thank you in advance.

    • You can melt it by heating up a bowl with hot water, then pouring out the water and adding the oil. I don’t recommend microwaving.

  58. I have been using coconut oil for sometime now, however never thought to give it to the animals. Our dog has really bad skin allergies and a very sensitive stomach, so I gave it to him yesterday – he loved it so now will wait to see what happens. Our very elderly Cat however loves it but both times now has vomited, about half an hour after eating it – I have started off with a very small amount for him …. Any suggestions?

    • Maybe try it topically? It might just be too much for his tummy.

  59. Hello, My little boy Bobby has been scratching like mad.. I have noticed he has really dry skin and it looks like dandruff when I brush his hair. I would like to put some coconut oil on his skin can you tell me how much oil do you use, do you leave the oil on the skin or wash it off. Thanks Michelle

    • Honestly, any of those options would work well. Start with a little bit (just dip your fingers in a little) and massage in until absorbed (should be pretty quick as it’s a light oil). If it bothers him or you used more than can be absorbed you can wipe off or rinse off the excess.

  60. My cat loves coconut oil….I put it in a small jar in the bathroom and everytime I am in there, there he is! I even got him to high five me for it. I put the rest on my hands and he wants to lick them too!

    I use it in my own skin care cream too, with shea butter and cocoa butter


  61. I love this site!! I do Have a question though .. I recently received a dog bite on my arm near the elbow can I use pure CO on it to help it heal faster? Or do I need to add anything to the CO to help? I definitely will be trying the on my Lab who has been having a lot of skin issues lately. Thanks for any advice.

      • which is better to use refined or unrefined CO?

        • I use a carrier for some my essential oils my dog goes crazy trying to lick it off being that this is not a food grade oil but fractionated oil I dont let him lick it when i use it straight for dry skin….I think this can this harm him/
          Being fractionated it has higher in antioxidants and disinfectant properties. It stays in liquid form because of the removal of some of the fatty acid chains that keep it solid. I’m concerned that some may not know the difference between food grade and the liquid form the liquid form being at more potent the liquid form states not for ingestion external use only ..It also stated to keep out children’s reach .make sure you buy the food grade to insure that you are not harming your pet.

  62. I’m trying this with a newly rescued corgi who hasn’t had the best of past care. She is about 9 years old and I found her on the side of the road with what ended up being a 2lb mammary tumor we’ve had removed. Her skin is very dry and naturally her coat isn’t up to par either. We’re working on putting weight on her and coconut oil on her spots – I’m doing a skin test to make sure she has no allergy as I’d suggest more people do, even though it is very unlikely.

  63. My cat, Bob is 15 He has Triaditis (inflammation of the liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract and gall bladder) his on three medications: Metronidazole 50mg, Tramadol 1/8 of 50 mg tablet, and Cerenia 1/4 of 24mg tab. He also gets a B12 shot once a month. My concern is a bad tooth. The gum is inflamed. I can not afford $700-$1000 for dental work and not sure if he could handle it if I could afford it. I have read about people using Oregano oil (one drop diluted)on an abscessed tooth and it healed it. Do you know of anyone using a drop of oregano oil and coconut oil on a cats tooth to heal it? I have just started rubbing on pet gel with aloe vera in it but have been wonder about the oregano oil and coconut oil. Help!

  64. I’ve just started giving coconut oil to my long haired kitties, one of which has allergy/skin issues. I’ve read that the recommended amount is to work up to 1 tsp, but if I give anything more than a small dab, their fur gets really terribly greasy looking. What am I doing wrong?

    Thank you! 🙂

    • My dog is constantly having problems with ear mites even though we clean her ears regularly and place medication. Has anyone tried treating it with coconut oil? She smells so bad when it flairs up we don’t have to look we know what it is. Any suggestions?

      • I also have an ongoing problem with ear problems in my pit/retreiver-have been rubbing coconut oil in his ear but only seeing minor results. He gets a tbls of CO twice a day in his food

      • This is an old post but Robin if the ears smell, it is generally yeast infection not mites.

  65. I have been giving my dog antihistamines for a general rash (really just pink looking and itchy) he has. I had been putting the pill in peanut butter in with his food twice a day when I realized I had a big vat of coconut oil and began giving some of that out as well. So far it is only 3 or 4 days into it, but the more noticeable thing is it has vastly improved his poop, which used to be always looking like a creemie, but now is completely normal. The only other thing I have found to work in this way is black red raspberries which are seasonal so not always available – only needs 4 or 5 and normal poop! I can’t wait to see if his skin improves as my husband says he is the worst smelling dog (kind of cheesy) he has smelt (I don’t think he is THAT bad).

    • do you know the pink Benadryl tabs have red dye in them and lots of dogs are allergy to the red dye..

  66. I was just wondering after applying the coconut oil do you wash if off after a bit or just leave it?
    I use it for my yorkie with skin problems and allergies.
    Ive been washing it off of him after a couple of hours but im not sure if I can just leave it on if his skin will soak up the grease?

    • How long does he stay greasy? Does it get on everything? (Like furniture)

      • The skin will absorb it.
        My friend’s yorkie used to have the same problem. Id soak him in the oil and let it sit on him for a few hours then I’d bathe him in a de-greasing shampoo (or dawn dish soap) and then give him an oatmeal bath (especially if I used dawn). After he was dried and groomed I’d work a little bit of the oil into his coat and let him loose. It helped tremendously.

  67. I just tried my first CO rub on our four-year-old shepherd mix and he loved it. He suffers from flea and grass allergies and has severe sensitivities to many flea meds. He also has a fish oil sensitivity. He has been on steroids twice this summer to control inflammation due to itching and we are currently trying Claritin as needed since Benadryl and other like antihistamines oversedate him. I’m thrilled to have landed on your website and this blog as we are now battling dry and flaky skin.

    Are there any cases of certain dog breeds being allergic or sensitive to CO? Keeping my fingers crossed that our allergy-prone urban coyote isn’t the first so we can get the added benefits of giving it in his food.

    • Hello Kate and community,
      I just came across this blog and will begin using the CO today! My dog is a maltese and has developed some serious skin allergies to what we just don’t know. The vet has been unable to identify either. We tried the steroids and benadryl and benadryl seems to help but our poor baby will scratch himself raw without a cone on his head. We have switched to grain free food which needs more time to see if thats going to help or not. We need help, we are miserable! Please any further suggestions anyone?

  68. Fleas have gotten bad this year, with the house next door burnt down and no one mowing the lawn, fleas are multiplying in great numbers. I discovered that you can put coconut oil on your cats and the fleas go crazy, jump off and die. The cats lick the coconut oil off and enjoy it for there digestion. It also works on the dogs. I put it on leave it for a few, then comb them. They love it, like conditioner they can eat. Much better than a bath for the cats. Hope this helps

  69. I read all these great comments about putting the oil on topically but I didn’t see anyone actually explain HOW to do it or how much to use. I noticed one person used it with shampoo. Can someone please give detailed directions? (ie do you spray it on? rub it in? What if the entire dog is itchy, not just hot spots? Does the dog stay greasy? How often do you put it on?) Sorry if I missed this above. Thanks!

    • I put it on my Golden Retriever (with very wooly, long fur) to combat a lice issue last month. Keep in mind lice don’t jump and are slow moving, therefore I had to get it on her skin and not just on the fur. I would lay her down on a sheet, rub the CO in my hands to melt and then simply massage it into her, turning her as I worked around her body. Yes, we used a lot of it. It was therapeutic for both of us. Her fur was oily, however not greasy if that makes sense. Nothing got stained, and although she looked a bit bedraggled, the benefits far outweighed how roughed up she looked. Plus, it’s safe, non-toxic, if she licked it (which she did) I knew it would not harm her. She also gets a tablespoon of CO daily anyway as a treat, so it was a win/win for us. Lice were suffocated and died off. Our holistic vet said it was one of the best things we could have done for her.

  70. My Maltese Lily was diagnosed with Kennel Cough,which she caught from the groomers,even though she had the Bodetello vaccine.She coughed for 24 hours,even with a cough suppressant. We were at our wits end when I decided to give her some coconut oil.I put it directly on her tongue and it seemed to soothe her throat.I started putting it on her food,and she has almost stopped coughing in just one day.I am a believer in using it on my little dog!

  71. I am so pleased to learn that I am not alone, great article, thanks! My cat started going crazy about 2 years ago for any coconut oil that I was using or included in body ingredients. Of course I didn’t encourage this but bought some organic virgin coconut butter in about a year ago to use on my hair and caught her licking out of the jar! Every day she receives about 1/4 tsp of it and licks the lid around for hours (it’s just hers now!). She is 13 and I swear she only looks 8….haha….I can’t see that it’s harming her, she appears bright as a button on it.

  72. Don’t forget the tiny critters! Coconut oil is so beneficial to all animals, especially rats! My current boy (he’s alone at the moment since his brothers passed, but he won’t be alone for long!) gets a teaspoon of coconut oil. He currently is going through treatment for mites, and on top of the oil he eats, he also gets the oil applied externally to help with the dry and healing skin itchiness. He loves it and it’s adorable having a tiny tongue lick oil out out your palm!

  73. I’ve been looking for a solution to help my dogs dry skin. Lucy constantly itches and the shampoo I have been given by a vet irritates her even more. It seems like coconut oil is the way to go, hopefully it’ll work.

  74. I have a 6 month old golden retriever and we found out she has red mange and she has a hot spot. Will coconut oil help with her red mange and her getting hot spots?

  75. I take coconut oil, a little bit of plain yogurt, a bit of peanut butter mix together and put in ice cube tray and freeze, sometimes I vary it up by mashing a bit of banana in it. We have 3 labs; a 13 yr.old, a 5 yr.old and a puppy. They all like the tasty freezer treats.

  76. what about coconut milk, is it any good for dogs/cats

  77. Do you vaccinate your animals?

  78. Great info, but why was your dog not spayed?

  79. As this is the 1st time of seen your site, I find it both helpful and educational as well. Great tips for better nutrition for my dogs and my wife and I. My question is this, I have a 3 year old American Pitbull Terier that constantly licks her rear, butt. I have had the glands and or sacs ruptured by our vet on the interior walls of the inside of her anus to provide some comfort but 1 or 2 days later she continues licking. She is an indoor dog living with another male dog 10 years old and they are parasite free. They both are up to date always with shots and are both on the monthly pill for heartworm, flease and ticks. Any help would be greatly appreciated

  80. This seems like great stuff for my small breed who is costantly licking her paws and her rear! I wanted to know if its a good idea to stop her on trifexis and use coconut oil as a flea preventative instead. ( just get a heartworm med instead of the trifexis). She is an inside dog but we live in the South where you need a flea preventative all year. Do you just give it internally or do you have to put it on externally also for preventing fleas?

  81. Will coconut oil help with hair balls? My 14-yr old kitty is having trouble with them. She hates (hiss, bite, attacks) to be brushed. Any healthy home remedy suggestions would’ve greatly appreciated!

  82. I’m considering adding coconut oil to my kitten’s diet on a regular basis, in addition to his raw diet. Have you thought about feeding your pets a raw diet?

  83. Hi, I see two different sites you list in your blog of where to purchase the coconut oil. Can you please let me know which you buy now. Also, is one for topical and one for cooking??
    Here are the links you list:


    • I love both brands and both can be topical or internal. I bought my most recent coconut oil from here because I was already purchasing a lot of other groceries from there.

  84. When using the coconut on the fur, do you bathe them afterwards? Or leave the coconut on the fur?


  85. You said that giving coconut oil is a great way to make sure they are getting enough saturated fat in their diet. We feed a raw diet, so they already get a lot of the fat that they need.

    I’m just wondering if coconut oil will provide too much fat or if it will still be beneficial. I can’t see it hurting them, but it is just a thought I had when considering that a lot of people feed kibble when you referred to the lack of saturated fat.

    Any thoughts?

    • It’s really up to you, but my feeling is that coconut oil tends to get converted to energy almost immediately, rather than being stored. So it should still be good.

  86. I didn’t know that not all coconut oil tastes/smells like coconut, which for me and my cats was a problem. My cats wouldn’t touch anything with coconut oil in it, as they were repelled by the smell. By accident, I found that some coconut oil is tasteless and odorless, and that is what I use now, exclusively. My cats like it, and I like it very much. One of my cats licks the container if I’m not watching her. It can be mashed into wet food, but take it easy at first. Also, if you leave little blobs on a plate, they should come and eat them. But don’t overdo it. They say keep things proportional in treating pets, by weight. So if a 175 lb person is taking 2 Tbsp a day, and you have a 30 lb dog, divide it out as best you can, and approximate. I don’t think there is any hard and fast rule as far as amounts. But try Nutiva coconut oil, as it is one of the ones with no taste/smell.

  87. I feed coconut oil to my dog, she loves it.

    She is currently battling lice (I know, ick!!!!) and although we opted for one dose of Frontline to try to relieve some of her misery, it has basically failed. After much research (there’s loads out there on fleas and ticks, and some on lice but seems quite limited) I have coated her in coconut oil 2 times a day and then dusted her with Diatomaceous Earth. She is a Golden Retriever with long thick fur…..YOU CAN IMAGINE!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, it seems to be helping as lice will suffocate with both the oil and DE and I am finding mainly dead lice on her. It doesn’t kill the nits, but we’re working on that with bathing and combing. The places where she has scratched so much she’s raw is benefiting greatly with the oil. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy!

    Anyway, since she already loves to eat her daily coconut treat, this has been a wonderful solution – lets hope it continues to work on the lice.

  88. I have a miniature labradoodle… How do I get the coconut to go through all them pretty little curls if I’m rubbing it on her? Thank you so much!!????

    • Hi Amanda, let me just say that it will be a labor of love. I get my Golden down on the floor, spread out sheets on the carpet, warm the oil in my hands and then massage into her (and we use a lot!), getting as close to the skin as possible. The dog should relax as it feels good to them….but it may take a while depending on how big your dog is.. Then, the oils will naturally get to your pooches skin especially if you continue to rub and brush her. Hope that helps.

  89. I am new to all things herbal and natural, but have been hearing so much about the alarming dangers of chemicals, that I decided to see what it was all about. After searching a bit, I very quickly came across this blog site. I’m hooked and have spent the last 5 days reading everything I can on this site and trying to take it all in at once. I immediately went out looking for ingredients so that I can try everything and am looking forward to the new regime and seeing my family’s (including the dog’s) reaction. Commercial toothpaste was the first thing to land up in the bin and I am experimenting with various essential oils and toothpaste powder vs paste. Thank you Katie for sharing all this valuable information with us!

  90. So glad I found this! I usually give my dogs a tablespoon a day mixed with their food and now that I’m staying with my inlaws I tried it on their dogs. (I have two and they have four). I couldn’t figure out why my inlaws dogs were getting sick off the coconut oil and mine weren’t. All the other articles I found never mentioned to gradually give it to them. So glad that I now know better!

    Also, thank you to the person who said to use 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water and coconut oil for the dogs skin. My inlaws have a black lab mix with schizophrenia and anxiety issues so she pulls out all her hair on her back. I tried the mixture and it worked wonders! Her skin is healing and the fur is coming back along with her anxiety lessening. Coconut oil is seriously a miracle!

  91. Is oil of oregano safe to give to dogs?

  92. We found out my cat had a congenital birth defect when she was 6 years old. Her liver was in her chest cavity. She became ill suddenly and lost a lot of weight from vomiting and then not eating very much but started to eat clay cat litter (i guess it had a nutrient she needed?). 2 vets told us she was not a candidate for surgery however we didn’t want to put her down right then. They gave her a steroid shot that gave her a bit of an appetite for the first time in a couple of weeks. She was only 5 pounds.
    She was switched over to only canned food, as much as she could eat. she was ravenously hungry which gave me hope. After the steroid shot wore off things weren’t looking good as she had stopped grooming herself entirely by then. So I brushed her and wiped her down. And realized that she probably wasn’t grooming herself because if she got a hairball it would be more painful for her. I immediately thought about coconut oil since it’s so healthy and I knew that some people used it to keep fleas away. How much harm could a little mixed in with her food be? She loved it! She gagged the first bite, like normal, but not after that. If it was a hairball it slid through. It must have also helped her food absorb and pass easier because she is up to 8 pounds now and no longer eats litter. I suppose the food passing faster by her squished chest-liver-stomach has helped her. She looks so much better now and her coat is nice and shiny too. Thank you for sharing the other uses and the amount you used.

  93. Thank you. I was looking for confirmation that coconut oil would be affective as a flea treatment for my cat. If nothing else it will moisturize his skin. I was glad to read it is also an antibacterial, since he has been scratching and has lots of scabs.

  94. Katie, I love your site.
    I have a question I hope someone can give a suggestion to. I have a lovely 9 yr old Cocka poo who has bladder stones. Vet wants to operate of course, being a senior I can’t afford the 1000.00 bill and can’t see myself putting her through another surgery. She had surgery in 2006 to supposedly correct a urinary leaking problem which did not help. That vet told me she had ectopic ureters, she was spayed at same time. She is on a med to help slow in down.
    This vet said the stones are because of the food. I bought the best I could afford and I thought was a better kibble from pet store. The vet said she needs to be on MediCal Urinary SO formula they sell.
    Through out the day I am giving her homeopathic meds, a little fresh lemon juice, pure cranberry juice and ionic silver at night in her food, Probiotics in morning. I will add coconut oil in her food. Any other suggestions would be very welcome. Molly was 5 months old and a gift from my children after my dear husband suddenly passed away.
    With gratitude.

  95. Hi there, I have a lab x who licks her legs until they are raw. I’m wondering if adding coconut oil to her food daily would help stop this. Also she itches alot and she doesn’t have fleas at the moment.

  96. Great article! Thanks so much for the helpful information! The benefits of coconut oil seem to be endless 🙂
    I shared this article on our facebook wall!
    Coconut Oil is fantastic for dogs! It is so healthy and not to mention delicious- dogs do seem to like it.

  97. I adopted my cat from my local shelter a couple months ago. Poor thing had been there for YEARS (just because she’s a black cat) and she had a terrible problem with ear mites. She had sores on the backs of her ears because she was scratching so much =(
    I read all over the internet that coconut oil was good for dealing with ear mites because a.) it smothers the mites, and b.) it soothes the skin and helps promote healing. Well I gave it a shot.
    I melted about 2 teaspoons and dipped 2 cotton balls in it, then gently placed them just in her ears (she didn’t fight me at all but then again she is a really great cat) and I just rubbed her ears like an everyday ear rub to get the oil worked in. She stopped scratching, her sores cleared up, the fur on the backs of her ears grew back, and inside her ears cleared up beautifully.
    I LOVE coconut oil!

  98. We started brushing our dog’s teeth since it has such good reports on brushing teeth with it for humans. We have been doing it for a week she loves to let us brush her teeth now. She knows she gets a little chunk when we finish brushing.

  99. Will the cooking coconut oil work as well. It is the same consistency as corn oil and you wouldn’t have to warm it up first. Thanks

  100. Is it safe to rub the coconut oil on my 10 week old puppies skin and put some in her food? She is always scratching and has little rashes around her underarms. I feel so bad for her and want to put her out of her misery the most natural way as possible. Thanks!

  101. Our new adopted kitty is about a year old, solid black, about 9.5 lbs and adorable. She does, however, have quite a few bumps on her back at the base of her tail and some other places. We changed her diet when she came to us, we use Blue Mountain, grain free for both our babies. The bumps appeared to be clearing up some. Then our son told us he started giving his big boy, lab-pit mix about 150 lbs with serious skin issues, gnawing on his paw and always had to have a hood when he is left alone; the coconut oil has worked wonders on him. So we started our new baby on it and she loves it. I started today rubbing it in to her skin as well. How much should I give her to eat every day; she licks it off a spoon. I want to make sure it is ok to feed it to her every day as well as apply it directly to her skin. I hope to see some good results very soon.

    • How is your kitty doing now after about a month? I’ve seen an improvement in my black cat after 2 weeks! He was just getting bad dandruff, I am only adding it to their food so far. I tried brushing it into his coat but the dog kept trying to lick it off haha 🙂

  102. What type of coconut oil do i use skin oil hair oil or extra virgin oil?

  103. Thank you Never thought of brushing my dogs teeth with it. duh! I oil pull with coconut oil. And if it safe enough for me then it should be for my dogs. Don’t know what I never thought of this. Thank You for all the great info.

  104. This is from Coconut meat has a high fat content and the fat is quite unusual, being composed mainly of fatty acids that are much shorter in length than those found in meat and most vegetable fats, such as corn. Coconut fat is referred to as medium chain triglycerides or MCT. MCT are actually used therapeutically in humans and some other species because they can be absorbed from the intestine in some disease situations in which regular fats are not absorbed. However, feeding MCT to cats can result in a disease called hepatic lipidosis, a condition in which the liver becomes excessively filled with fat. This disease can be life-threatening for the cat.

  105. I am wondering since my fur babies sleep in my bed if I out the coconut oil on their fur will this leave stains on my bed or furniture. My smallest baby has very bad skin allergies and also gets yeast infections on his skin from the scratching and biting. I have just started him in the coconut oil in his food tonight. Cant wait to see the outcome!

  106. My dog suffers from skin allergies she is so raw and itching. I was told to use coconut oil I tried it for the first time tonight in her food she loves it . I’m hoping internally helps I was told to also rub it on her but won’t that cause her to lick herself more ? Which will cause more irritation .

    • I am putting coconut oil in my dogs food we have been on it for about 2 weeks now, I am not seeing any difference in the scratching, if I put it on their skin won’t they start licking it off they love the taste of it.

  107. Cold Pressed Virgin Olive Oil is best for human or pet consumption or external use for many reasons. Just do a quick search! Coconut Oil liquifies on your hands or at about 78 degrees room temperature. Cooking, microwaving, etc depreciates it value. To apply to pet food just stir it into dry kibble or wet food.
    FYI re ITCHING: I personally had a terrible reaction to amoxicillin turning my skin into red spots from scalp to toe! Then the red spots joined hands and I developed purple spots on top of the solid red scary itchy miserable person I had become. It was an itch that Benydryl & histamines etc did not tame! I took a bath every night, dried and rubbed on a thin coat of Coconut Oil from Scalp to toes including my eye lids, ears and lips. The CO would stop the itch immediately. If I had any hot spots during the day, I repeated the CO by dipping into the jar, liquifying CO on my hands and applying a thin coat. While my sheets and night clothes did have some oily spots, they washed out easily. Better than scratching to death!
    I also use CO in winter when the backs of my senior citizen hands crack and bleed. I apply at night before bed and put gloves or socks on my hands to keep them extra warm and moist. I also use it on hot cereal instead of milk.
    Right now my Maltese has a hot spot and I am applying a thin coat of CO when ever I see him biting or scratching. I put CO on the skin [and fur] on his back and he looked bad but stopped biting. In about a week it had absorbed and he looked more like his old self. I also put CO on his food.
    I am going to try CO for ear plucking and cleaning both. Will it make the hair too slippery to pluck? Do I have to wait until after plucking to clean with CO?

  108. I want to start giving my dogs coconut oil but need to know how much to start them on and for how long before I increase the amount. ..I have 2 larger dogs, both between 60-80 lbs. A pug that’s about 22lbs, and chihuahuas that weigh between 3-6 lbs.. My dogs have been getting brewers yeast tablets from day one and have never had fleas. I do worry about mosquitoes and ticks. Any help would be so appreciated… Thank you!!!

  109. hey I need some advice recently I seen my cat has fleas and they were bad at first but I had to wait for some money so I can treat her for them . But I got to thinkin I have a giant jar of coconut oil i use it for everything so i looked it up to make sure I could use it on her cuz I found she has a couple of sores now from the little jerks but any way I found this an read obviously so I tried to put it on her an rub in but I only got her head and her neck an now she’s freaking out and won’t let me brush threw it or finish putting it on her she hates me right now an I feel so bad for her an ik I gotta wash it out eventually but she’s gonna tear me up idk what to do I talk to her and try to sooth her but she wants nothing to do with me lol anyone have some advice for me

  110. I have just had my first introduction to “hot spots” on my dog. She’s part Chow & Australian Cattle Dog” So her hind end has a lot of fur. I knew she had dry skin so I’ve been using Aveno Baby shampoo on her. Plus she plays with a neighbors puppy so I thought maybe she was just sore from her playing. Well, we found a huge hot spot and was given an antibiotic shot and pain killers. I’ve been cleaning it with warm water and a little Ambosol (for tooth aches) because it works wonders for numbing sores (on people too, not just in the mouth). Yesterday I started putting coconut oil in her breakfast. So here’s question 1. About how long before I’ll see any changes and less scratching issues? Question 2. Can I rub a little on the hot spot? It’s huge and she’s miserable. If I can how often? Question 3 She’s 48 pounds should I give it to her twice a day? Question 4. She gets yeast infections in her ears so should I put a couple drops in her ears or is what I mix with her food enough?

    This is a wonderful blog with a lot of good pointers. Thank you so much

    • We use amber original listerine on our dogs for hotspots..Works wonders

  111. I just gave my oldest long hair cat some for her hairball issues – I gave her very little to see how she reacts to it. She seemed to have enjoyed it and I am hoping it helps with her digestion. I can only brush her when she is in the mood and I have to use a human brush with natural bristles.

    We shall see – thanks Wellness Mama

  112. Since I’d like to try it topically at first with my small dog rather than feed it directly, when you put it on your animal’s fur, doesn’t it get all over the carpeting when they lay down? Can it be rubbed in so that doesn’t happen?

    Any info/advice would be appreciated.

  113. How do you use coconut oil in dogs ears for ear mites/ cleaning?
    We already add CO to our dogs feed and use it topically on his coat with great results, we would also like to use it for his ears but are unsure how to get best results.

  114. When I read so many positive reports on feeding coconut oil to dogs ,I thought my prayers have been answered ,so we started feeding two tsp Virgin coconut oil morning evening to my pet an orange Ron English Cocker Spaniel it been five days but there is no relief,we are still removing 50-100 plus ticks on daily basis ,we also tried using neem oil feeding him 3 drops daily and also rubbing coconut oil with neem oil added to it but there is no relief, in Jan we had him injected , he was tick free for eight days only against 3-4 months relief,tried anti tick collar (Bayer ) it worked only for 3 days only fourth day found ticks under collar area itself ,we are now desperate I do not want to use chemical on him again ,Please help and advice.

  115. i just wonder how you all measure and use. I store mine in the refrigerator as the label says but it’s so hard, I can barely scrape it in a measuring spoon….suggestions, tips….I just started using this 2 days ago. Thank you!!

  116. Hi,

    I have been using coconut oil on myself and I never knew it can be used on pets. I just adopted a new dog (it’s my first) and it’s coat is a bit yellowish since we’ve gotten it. It doesn’t clean off even when we bathe him. Does coconut oil help in any way? Also, I have read that I can brush it’s teeth using the oil, It’s said to remove plague and nasty smell. How much should I use? Anyway, I’m using the Tiana extra virgin coconut oil from Holland & Barrett. It’s 100% raw. Does that work?

    Hope to get an answer. Thanks!

  117. I treated (“treated”) my cat’s ears with coconut oil because they were filled with brown/black crud and I suspected mites. Swabbed them out with cotton balls and coconut oil once a day for a week. My cat’s ears immediately became inflamed, red, and absolutely terrible – worse than before. As my holistic vet said when he finally saw the little guy and diagnosed a bacterial infection that required ACTUAL MEDICAL TREATMENT: every now and then a health trend comes along and sweeps the human world. You’ll be able to spot it because of the ridiculous, all-encompassing nature of the claims about it (e.g. “it cured my skin! and my stomach issues! and my moods! and my lung cancer! and it did my taxes!” etc.). Coconut oil is NOT a cure-all and the opposite of helpful in many cases, as my poor kitty and I found out the hard way. Nor is it strictly “anti-bacterial and anti-fungal” as so many dubious, under-informed health blogs claim. Yes it has some anti-bacterial/fungal ‘properties’; no it does not work even 1% as well against vicious bacteria/fungus as products specifically formulated to do so. Just an FYI for those who commented saying this harmed their pets.

  118. Do you use a combo of coconut oil and oregano oil for infections in your dog? If so what’s the ratio and how much do you give her? Thx!

  119. What do you think of Kirkland’s organic coconut oil??

  120. You mention fleas, but my jack russell mix keeps attracting ticks. Have you found coconut oil repels them as well?

  121. Seems that coconut oil is not safe for cats long term. Just because it is good for some people, we need to think is it good for a pet? Even in people, Ayurveda considers CO very heavy and difficult to digest for many.

  122. Love coconut so will be an easy transition when I can afford it..


    Carol Lincoln

  123. All you people applying CO, ACV, WH, or whatever it is, doesn’t heal what’s going on with your pet on the inside. While you’re applying all these topically your pets immune is still suffering. Treat their immune and you may get somewhere

  124. Can anyone tell me what would 1/4 of 1/2 a tablespoon be and how to measure it?


    • 1/2 T =1 1/2 tsp

      So 1/4 of that would be just under 1/2 tsp. go with 1/4 tsp slightly rounded and you should be pretty close.

  125. Hi. I use coconut oil a lot on myself, but I was looking for information about use in pets. My cat has skin allergies and I wanted to try it out on her. The information I found said that if cats have a tendency toward weight gain or any kind of pancreatic problems that coconut oil use is not a good idea. Coconut oil adds too many lipids to their bloodstream and that it should be used in felines sparingly regardless of weight.
    I like the idea of your article, but you should also include the risks as well as suggesting people seek advise from their vets before you write an article about the benefits of coconut oil use on pets. You’re not letting people know that coconut oil use could possibly be harmful and that it is not suggested for daily use.
    It’s fine if you want to make that decision for your pets, but you’re advising people without providing proper research..

    • I saw that article as well. It also said not to give it to dogs at all… Can cause pancreatitis. It sounded as if it is based on science. Just an FYI for those giving it to dogs.

  126. Hello 🙂 this has probably already been asked and answered but @ Katie – Wellness Momma my dog weighs 80lbs do I need to start him off on 1 tsp or can I start with 2 tbs?

    • I always start off at a smaller dose just to make sure it doesn’t hurt their tummies.

  127. I do use it on cat’s coat, but we have a flea infestation and I haven’t noticed the coconut oil helping at all. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but fleas are tenacious and vicious and cagey. I am going to tell my friend with a hyperthyroid cat to start using it.

  128. Hi, I live in Sri Lanka, the beautiful Tropical Island, where coconuts are widel grown and freel available, M doggies love it. Sure it improves the coat and less problems with thier health….[ Some letters are not working in m aptop, sorr about that…!]…

  129. I add coconut oil to my dogs food in the amounts recommended. I know certain ingested foods/spices/oils are transferred through the pored of the skin (such as with neem) , does this happen with coconut as well? I’m curious if this adds to the benefit of flea repellent. I used coconut oil externally when my GSD had fungal overgrowth on her vulva area due to over prescribed antibiotics for uti (second opinion vet changed her diet to grain free all red meat and it completely cleared no issues since) and this oil cleared the area within two weeks of consistent cleaning. Also I’ve noticed a significant reduction in shedding of both heavily shedding pups!

  130. I give my GSD 1000mg pill of coconut oil and she does not have fleas. Stopped giving it to her and they returned. Going to put her back on it to get rid of them.

  131. how do you apply it to there skin directly? easiest way?

  132. Can this oil be used on grooming tools instead of other chemically filled oils when grooming your pet with clippers?


    • Why not use fish oil, after all, that’s all WD is

  133. I read everyone’s comments about how their cats and dogs loved the coconut oil and how well they did with it, so I went to the store and bought a jar got it home was so excited hoping my cats would just eat it up and omg everyone turned their nose up…I just looked at them in a daze..!! even the outside cats wouldn’t eat it…it’s the virgin compressed coconut oil I bought it at an organic store paid alittle more than I wanted but I thought if it would help the cats coats and give them alittle more energy …why not..well..the little stinks…guess I figure something out…!! that’s how it went for me 🙁

    • Hi Kathy,
      The secret is in the introduction and amount that you give.
      Daily Dosage

      It is best to give coconut oil with food. You can drizzle the coconut oil on top of your dog’s and cat’s food. The recommended maximum dosage is:
      ¼ teaspoon for every 10lbs of body weight twice daily, or
      ½ teaspoon for every 10lbs of body weight once daily.
      When first introducing coconut oil to your dog’s and cat’s diet it is best to use a lesser amount that the maximum dosage indicated above. The dosages above represent a typical maintenance dosage. Introductory dosages should be in the range of ¼ tsp per day for small dogs, cats, puppies and kittens and 1 tsp per day for large dogs. If you know that your dog has a sensitive digestive system then start off with a few drops of coconut oil a day. You can then gradually increase the amount of coconut oil over several weeks.

      Large amounts of coconut oil given to a dog or cat can cause diarrhea or greasy stools while his/her body adjusts to the change in diet. Start with small amounts, such as ¼ teaspoon per day for small dogs or puppies and 1 teaspoon for large dogs, or even just a dab if your dog’s or cat’s constitution is sensitive. If your dog seems tired or uncomfortable or has diarrhea, just cut back the amount temporarily. Gradually increase the amount every few days.

      The reason for this phased-in approach is because coconut oil kills bacteria, viruses, parasites, yeasts, and fungi, your dog or cat may respond negatively to the detox aspect of coconut oil. Signs of detoxing too rapidly may include lethargy, headaches, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and diarrhea. If your dog does have any such reaction, just temporarily cut the daily amount back to allow your dog’s and cat’s system to gently adjust. This is another reason why dividing your dog’s intake of coconut oil between two feedings a day is a good approach.

  134. I use it for my two indoor cats.
    I mix some into their kibble (low quality due to one’s sensitivities to anything else, sadly) to help them get those nutrients.
    On the sensitive one, one side effect to her sensitivity to kibble was hair loss. I started rubbing the area with coconut oil once every few weeks and she has all her hair back. Even the cat I don’t rub it on has much softer fur. Both are more playful than they were before I started this and both of them love it!
    I use it as a lotion and my cat will try and lick it off me.

    • You feed a low quality kibble to your cats?
      The reason you’re having so many problems is because of this kibble. Coconut oil is a great addition to kibble because kibble is the second worst thing you can feed your cat. Honestly, it must cost you a fortune and I’m not talking about the kibble.
      Have you ever researched the ingredients, how its made and worst of all, what it does to your cat? I don’t think so.
      Adding the CO is the best thing you’ve done for those cat’s. Can you imagine for one minute how your cats immune would strengthen if you added more wholesome food, such as a meat, organ and bone? Imagine how much healthier they could be

  135. “consumed a high amount of saturated fat in the wild and the beneficial fats in coconut oil are a great way to make sure they are getting enough in their diets.”

    Wild dogs and cats do not eat coconuts. They eat mostly muscle meat, organs, bones and this is the best thing sense sliced bread! Hahaha

  136. Great info re: coconut oil but I notice many people having problems with pets having yeast infections in the ears . I spent a lot of money on stuff from the vet , nothing helped .! I searched around for a naturopathic Dr. who carried OZONATED OLIVE OIL !!!! This works wonders for pets and people ……try it !

  137. Hi Katie, here we make our coconut oil from the milk, or buy it in the market, which I use. Now I’ll start giving a few drops to my 24 yr old dog she’s a fussy eater.

  138. Believe it or not my dad had only gotten his first shots from the vet he was exposed to the outside because my 5 year old let him out he got parvo he was trowing up and diarrhea i called the vet it was well over my budget i tried giving my dog coconut oil orally and kept him very hidrated i also went to a robinson pets store and purchased penicillin injections to give him he was up the next day still kinda wobbly but by the tird day he was eating again and was playing i keep giving him coconut oil he has beautiful hair and is a very healthy dog now

  139. Hi Katie, it was funny reading about your cat because ours is the same. Tigger loves coconut oil. I started using coconut oil as facial cream. When I open the glass with coconut oil, Tigger is already on top of the sink asking for some of it. Today I noticed that his hair is so soft. It wasn’t like that before. So I decided to do a search about it and found your article. Thanks so much!


  140. Hi Katie,

    Thanks for this post. Was curious, you recommended Tropical Traditions coconut oil, but have you tried their coconut oil for pets yet? Do you know what the difference it would be?


    • I have and it is good quality. It is just a cheaper version 🙂

      • Thanks so much!

  141. I had read the benefits of coconut oil and started putting it in my dogs food two years ago. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that it was also repelling fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Haven’t seen any on my dogs. I quit using the chemical expensive drops and and extremely pleased. Very satisfied with its benefits. Recommend it to people all the time.

  142. No one should try anything on their pets without consulting a veterinarian first. Your success with these treatments is more from sheer luck than wise application.

    • The majority of vest do not know anything about natural prevention or treating and the only education they get on nutrition is reading the kibble label that they flog off in their practices. Taking advice from a conventional vet is fine if you like wasting your money and in a lot of cased make your pets worse.
      Holistic and homeopathy and Chinese Medicine vets on the other hand, know more on these subjects.

  143. Hello! I tried looking through the posts in case it was already answered but couldn’t find anything…my pup seems to have a major reaction to our buildings grass during summer months…paws become red and she licks to the point of infection, we have tried epsom salt soaks, Vetracyn, she eats grain free, etc… this last month has been a nightmare with her living coned, with wraps and boots on 2 different feet. I would really like to try coconut oil but if I apply to the paws do I rinse? Do I wrap? The vet had just prescribed some topical spray that literally did nothing which is why i”m looking toward a more natural route. Thanks in advance for any information you can provide! Oh and I definitely plan to start feeding her the VCO as well!