Coconuts are tasty and nutritious. As dogs can eat many things, veggies and meat included, they are equipped for a varied diet.
So, can dogs eat coconut?
Yes! You can share your coconut with dogs.
Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Coconut?
As a pet owner, it is normal that you ask yourself all sorts of questions about your dog’s diet. If one of them is – can dogs eat coconut, you will find your answer here.
Coconut is generally safe for dogs.
But when feeding your dog coconut, however, you need to be careful. Coconuts come in shells, and it is a bad idea to give your dog coconut straight out of a shell. The shelling can break off and it can be quite sharp, so it can hurt your dog’s mouth, throat and stomach.
So, when feeding coconut to your pooch first make sure there are no shells present.
Coconut comes in different forms. As coconut meat, coconut water, coconut milk or coconut oil, even coconut flour.
Store-bought or picked fresh from a tree, it is a fact that coconut is a great treat for your canine companions.
And as with anything new you want to give to your dog, please heed veterinary advice first.
Benefits of Coconut
Coconut has many health benefits for your dog. No wonder coconuts are so popular today and people go crazy over this healthy food.
Coconuts do not contain many vitamins, only small amounts of vitamin B. But, coconuts are still nutritious as they do contain protein and some important minerals such as iron and copper which provide great health benefits. These two minerals help with improving blood cell count, add to this selenium which coconuts also have, and your dog’s cells are protected.
Not everything coconuts have is good for your dog. Coconuts contain medium-chain triglycerides which can cause GI tract irritation, especially in smaller dogs.
Adding coconuts to your dog’s diet as a small treat is a good idea. You can feed your dog raw coconut, coconut flakes and dried coconut. But do so in moderation.
Coconuts are filled with fat, but this is different than fat from fried food. It is called medium-chain fatty acid. And fatty acids are good as they can even promote weight loss because they are used as a direct source of energy. So, adding coconut to your dog’s diet can be beneficial if your dog needs to lose some weight.
Recent research has shown that previously praised lauric acid is not that beneficial, as it is mostly fat but does not behave like medium-chain fatty acids which means it is stored as fat and not absorbed. This recent discovery is a big problem, because coconut contains plenty of lauric acid.
Nevertheless, lauric acid has anti-inflammatory properties which means it can help reduce inflammation and even aid with certain health conditions such as yeast infections which come mainly as skin conditions, as well as flea allergies.
But, even so, coconut still contains too much saturated fat which, as you might know, is not good for you or your dog. So, feeding your dog coconut in moderation has never been more important.
Coconut also contains plenty of antioxidants that help boost the immune system and fight off pesky parasites that can disrupt bowel movements.
Additionally, coconut contains manganese which is beneficial for bone health. So if you let your dog eat coconut, it will have strong bones as well.
As you can see, there are many benefits of coconut.
Different Forms of Coconut
Pet owners, especially dog owners, often search for a variety of options to treat their dog friend. Coconut as a treat is a great option for your pup! Coconut flesh is easily chewable and a great way to enrich plain dog food.
But when looking for answers to the question can dogs eat coconut, have in mind the form of the coconut.
Coconut oil is losing its potential. Most recent events have shown that coconut oil is actually not good for anyone. It mostly contains saturated fat which can cause high cholesterol, and you wouldn’t want that for yourself or your dog.
Coconut water is also problematic. Coconut water is mainly bought in stores, so be careful when considering feeding it to your dogs. They will eat it, that is not a question, but store-bought coconut water contains added sugar and other potentially harmful substances. Sugar is certainly not good for your dog, so it’s better to give them raw coconut meat or fresh coconut milk.
How to Feed Coconut to Your Dog?
If you’re wondering in which ways to give coconut to your dog, there are some tasty dog treats out there that contain coconut. One of them is basically coconut water or coconut milk ice cream with fruit!
Your dog might like peanut butter more, but the taste of coconut is still desirable and it has greater benefits for your dog.
As we’ve discussed, coconut comes in different products, but it is safest to treat your dog with coconut meat, while coconut oil, coconut water and coconut milk are not the best choices.
Can Dogs Eat Sweetened Coconut Flakes?
Coconut meat is the best option for your fog. It can be purchased dried or raw. It comes in shreds or flakes which are easy for your dog to eat. Coconut in this form retains most of its nutrients, just be careful when choosing which one to buy. Some coconut flakes can have added sugar and other substances that you don’t want to feed to your dog. Always make sure to buy unsweetened coconut.
Coconut oil comes in jars and is easy to feed to your pooch. Give small amounts first to see how your dog reacts and to let them familiarize themselves with the taste. Always buy non-hydrogenated oil. Coconut in this form is great because you can use it on your dog’s skin, fur and paws to hydrate any dry area.
In fact, recent research has shown that coconut oil is best used for outside applications and it shouldn’t be eaten at all! Filled with saturated fat and low in nutrients, coconut oil has lost its good standing.
As discussed, coconut water, milk or cream may not be the best options. They might contain added sugar and even sodium. Which means the best choice is still coconut flakes or coconut oil. So always go for unsweetened variations of these products.
Should You Feed Your Dog Coconut
We’ve established that yes, you can feed your dog coconut, it has significant health benefits and it is a nice treat. But should you?
There are many vegetables out there that have all the health benefits coconut has, such as asparagus, cauliflower and spinach and other.
Consider all the issues that coconut may present and decide for yourself. Sometimes it is better not to share, because your dog can’t and shouldn’t eat all that you eat.
Dogs can eat coconuts and fresh coconut milk, as well as unsweetened flakes, and it may be even good for your pooch, but there are problems with coconut that can’t be overlooked and you should always have that in mind when deciding if you want to give coconut to your dog.