Benefits of Coconut Oil for Pets

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

Other Pet Treats and Food

If you want to make homemade treats for you pets, these dog treats and these cat treats use coconut oil and your pets will love them! Or if you are searching for a more natural pet food option that is shipped directly to you, check out Nomnomnow.

Some brands of the best brands of cbd oil for dogs use coconut oil as a carrier too.

Learn more about how we do Natural Cat Care & Holistic Alternatives in this post.

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.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


337 responses to “Benefits of Coconut Oil for Pets”

  1. Renaé Avatar

    Hello, two of my four fur babies suffer from flea dermatitis. One if which shows no signs & I have to check her skin thru her very thick fur to see if she’s having a breakout. Whereas, the other scratches & bites herself to exhaustion.
    Too many shots can be damaging to a cats health, so I needed another solution. My cats are indoor only, but fleas can still get in the house.
    Cedar shavings & natural diatomaceous earth (not silica) help keep them away from patio & doors.
    My poor Raven has reactions so severe as to be covered in scabs around her neck & tail.
    Unrefined coconut oil massaged well into her skin twice a week works miraculously. She is sitting next to me, relaxing & not scratching.
    All my kitties love to eat coconut oil. I puree it with oatmeal & freeze it as a treat. What can I say, they lick ice cubes dropped on the floor! Hence the kitty-pop idea.
    Coconut water was used for IV during WW ll when saline was unavailable as it is identical to blood plasma.
    Nature knows what she’s doing. Coconuts rock!

  2. Terri Fallis Avatar
    Terri Fallis

    First I would like to say how sorry I am in you loosing Daisy. Our animals have always been part of our family and I have shed many a tear in the loss of a baby. Something about they burn so brightly but are with us to short if a time. Its not fair hut to loose one by accident…they just don’t know how dangerous it is outside that fence. I want to join your website so to monitor your recipes for dog and cat food. I quit feeding most store bought food when we had the grain scare out if China and to learn that 75% our the grain purchased for pet food companies comes from China. Then I learned about the battle with the FDA not wanting to monitor and enforce the pet food mfgs to list true ingredients on labels, like hiw would you like to read road kill which is allowed or the deaf chickens and hogs that drown and set in flood water for weeks were to he rendered for pet food advised by the FDA themselves. I think we need BIG changes in the manufacture of pet food but the cost would have to change which would create a new problem for the average pet owner. I started feeding my animals what I cook (within reason) after reading the details I just mentioned. The list goes on if you oay attention to what is in the media. I knew about the organ meat but not the bones. Bones scare me a little if you have ever had one lodge in your dogs gut and spend a lot of time feeding them fish oil to pass it or have surgery. I spent many years as a director for a doberman rescue after having the breed starting with my parents. I lice to hear about the coconut oil helping with cancer. Dobes are prone to it, then add the stress of being a throw away it gets worse. I can’t count the losses. Thank you for your time spent in learning the needs and requirements of our furbaby loved ones. Mine are my children. I am adding the coconut oil to their diets this week. I am a follower starting now!

  3. Taylor Avatar

    I had no idea that coconut oil could be good for pets. You mentioned that brushing your pets with coconut oil every few weeks can help. I’m interested to learn if how often you use coconut oil for brushing would also depend on how much fur your pet has.

  4. Jessica Shirley Avatar
    Jessica Shirley

    Is your dog a Pyranees? We have a Pyranees dog named Daisy as well, if so.

  5. Kayla Avatar

    I use coconut oil for cooking myself and absolutely love it so when I read about all the benefits it has for dogs, I started giving it to my dachshund as well! He loves it! It really helps with keeping his skin and fur nice and shiny.

  6. Betty Avatar

    Even though I use coconut oil all the time (makes great popcorn), I never thought to use it for pets either. My cat has pancreatitis which some believe is caused by too much fat in the diet so I switched from raw to low fat very high quality canned foods on the advice of a holistic advisor at our holistic pet store (I’d never feed kibble but she was estimated to be six when I adopted her so no telling what she ate her first six years). I refuse to feed her the low-fat food the vet sells because it is so unhealthy. Anyway, I’ll ask my guy’s opinion about coconut oil too but I wonder if it would be okay to give her a smidgeon of this oil in her food. Every once in a while now I cut open a wild caught salmon oil capsule and put that in her food. She seems energetic and her fur which is thick, shiny and silky.

  7. Karen Avatar

    DE does not kill parasites internally, you’ve obviously been reading from a dishonest source

  8. Karen Mitchell Avatar
    Karen Mitchell

    I’d be looking at the dogs diet, when this happens its a good sign that there’s a loss of nutrients.
    You could supplement with coconut oil, see my other comment below.
    What worries me is the imbalance the dog could have in other amino acids.

  9. Angela Avatar

    Recently I noticed that my cat has acne on his cheek under his whiskers. I have been treating him with coconut oil, but he licks it off every time. It does help with the itchiness, but the area sometimes scabs over and he loves to remove the scabs. Any suggestions?

  10. Martha Avatar

    I was reading different articles on how to combat itching for my dog. I thought she had allergies which may be the case but maybe not. I was giving her benadryl a lot. I read that yeast can cause severe itching also and was advised to change her whole diet. I think that is a little extreme she is 11 years old and stuck in her ways. Her entire back end by her tail was sore and red not to mention the white fur had turned rust color. I was putting coconut oil on her skin (still do not as often however) but I started putting it in her food. In about 2 weeks time her skin has improved about 80 % and itching has decreased tremendously. On my way to having a have a happy and healthy fur baby.

  11. Nicole Avatar

    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!

  12. Ellie Anna Avatar
    Ellie Anna

    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.

    1. Karen Mitchell Avatar
      Karen Mitchell

      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.

  13. Miriam Maxey Avatar
    Miriam Maxey

    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.

  14. Mara Avatar

    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?


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