Published: July 26, 2017  

Last updated: July 18, 2024  

There has been some recent controversy about coconut oil and dogs. When I first researched this in 2017, my immediate answer is YES, coconut oil is good for dogs.

Coconut oil is a great health supplement for your dog, for his coat, paws, teeth and ears. It’s been said to help control fleas and help with constipation.

But some warn that the high amounts of saturated fats in coconut oil pose more health risks than benefits. When I read “Coconut Oil For Dogs: New Research Says Stay Away” by Dogs Naturally Magazine, my eyes glazed over with too many medical terms I don’t understand.

I am not a vet or nutritionist, so I recommend talking with your vet, do some research of your own and then make you decision based on your dogs individual health needs.

My summary is that coconut oil is still good for more most dogs. And I will continue to feed it to my dogs as treats, but not on a daily basis.

Coconut oil for dogs benefits

  • Great for odor control and a healthy, shiny coat
  • Helps reduce itching if your dog has allergies, eczema, flea allergies, or dermatitis
  • Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal, antibiotic, antiviral properties making it a great option to treat yeast infections
  • Regulates insulin helping to control or prevent diabetes
  • Brush your dogs’ teeth with coconut oil to clean and control bad breath
  • Applying coconut oil directly to your dogs’ skin can help repel parasites, disinfect cuts and smooth cracked paw pads
  • Boosts metabolism, reducing weight and increasing energy

Is coconut oil good for dogs itchy skin?

I first learned about how coconut oil is good for dogs in my search for ways to help our dog, Ginger, with her allergies.

As soon as summer came along, she was itching like crazy. I wasn’t sure if it was the season or her food making her itch, but it was obvious she was allergic to something. I found that coconut oil was a great way to help her stop itching. And I tell you, my dogs LOVE coconut oil. They go nuts over the stuff!

The coconut oil does help Ginger with the itching, it didn’t cure her allergies. I still needed to figure out what she was allergic to.

Topical application of coconut oil can help sooth dry and itchy skin for you and your dog! Simply take a small amount in your hands and run into your dogs skin and fur.

Dog smelling coconut oil jar

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Coconut oil for dogs fleas

Coconut oil a great natural option for repelling fleas and ticks on your dog. They do not kill the fleas but prevent them from wanting to be on your dogs body. Apply a small amount by running your hands into your dogs skin and fur.

Coconut oil for dogs teeth

The natural anti-fungal, antibiotic, antiviral properties make coconut oil a great option for brushing your dogs teeth. Simply apply a small amount to your dogs toothbrush and brush away.

It’s important to note that it works great as maintenance but is unlikely it will remove any existing plaque buildup.

Coconut oil for dogs ears

Coconut oil could help sooth irritated infected ears. But should not be used as the sole solution to get rid of ear infections. For that, I recommend you first see your vet. Also read my article: The Secret to Getting Rid of Ear Infections in Your Dog at Home.

Coconut oil for dogs paws

You may thoroughly rub coconut oil on your dog’s paws to help sooth dry or cracked paws. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and can help heal minor paw injuries.

I personally prefer Musher’s Secret for our dogs paws. It seams to work better than plain coconut oil.

Coconut oil for dogs constipation

Yes, it can be useful as a stool softener or laxative. Hence the reason to never feed your dog too much coconut oil! But if he is constipated, then feed him a little extra until it helps him release the stool. Be very careful as too much can make things worse!

Can a dog be allergic to coconut oil?

Although unlikely, it’s possible your dog be allergic to coconut oil. If you notice a reaction such as a rash or itching after giving your dog coconut oil, discontinue using it and see if she is still having a reaction.

There are other supplement oils you can use that may be better for your dog, such as fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids.

How much coconut oil should I give my dog a day?

It’s always a good idea to talk to your vet if you have any concerns about adding something new to your dog’s diet.

It’s important to note, that not all coconut oil is created equal. You want to buy unrefined, organic, virgin coconut oil.

Start slow. Do not start giving your dog the full dosage right away. Your dog’s belly could get upset and end up with diarrhea. You also want to make sure your dog doesn’t have any bad reactions to the coconut oil.

The recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of dog. I personally only give our dogs 1 tablespoon each per day. Ginger is about 50 lbs and Bear is 95 lbs.

Dog Weight – Daily Dosage
10 lbs – 1 teaspoon
20 lbs – 2 teaspoons
30-40 lbs – 1 tablespoon
50-60 lbs – 2 tablespoons
70-80 lbs – 2-1/2 tablespoons
90-100+ lbs – 3 tablespoons

Start out small for the first few days with a 1/4 teaspoon each day for a small dog, 1/2 teaspoon for a medium dog and 1 teaspoon large dogs. Slowly increase to the full dose over the next few days.

I have collected some great recipes for dog treats that use coconut oil on my Pinterest board, so check it out!

Where to buy coconut oil for dogs

You can buy coconut oil in almost any grocery store or if you prefer, Chewy has some great dog coconut oil options to choose from. Make sure it is unrefined, ORGANIC, virgin coconut oil.

Next on your reading list:

I’d love to hear from you… leave a comment below and let me know if you decide to use coconut oil on your dog. Does he eat it, or do you use it topically? Your opinion matters, it could help others trying to decide and make the right decision with their dog and coconut oil.

About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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  1. Thank you! I really enjoyed reading this email. When I got my abused rescue dog in July 2019 she had very dry skin that looked like dandruff on her black coat. I read about coconut oil so I give Pippa a daily dose of about 15mls in her food! She now has no more flaky skin but a beautiful shining coat! I recommend it! It’s never given her diarrhea! Greetings from Rosemarie in Howick Kwa Zulu Natal South Africa.

  2. Actually I think it is a question, I had read everything about coconut oil and had decided it would be great for my female dog, she has a yeast infection in her ears and on her vaginal area, so I went to the organic store and bought some yesterday, not thinking there is a difference in a couple of them, that being refined or unrefined until I read your information about yeast infections, I just grabbed coconut oil not knowing any better and it is refined how important is it to only use the unrefined? I was all ready to give her the bath and use the oil now I’m not sure I can. HELP PLEASE.????

  3. I have a shitzu. She is 10. She has “episodes “. Almost like a seizure. But sometimes lasts for 36+ hours. She’ll turn in circles , runs non stop and barks. Throwing her head back and can’t sit still. Unusual since she normally sleeps all day. The vet has no idea but has prescribed Valium. Which I hate because she doesn’t stop she. Just does it in a drunken state. Please tell me any homeopathic remedies you can think of. Thank you.

    1. I am so sorry Tracey! It’s so hard to see our dogs suffer and not know how to help them. Unfortunately, I do not have experience with seizures. I really recommend finding a new vet that believes in homeopathic remedies that can help you.

  4. Thank you so much for the info on dog ear problems. Have a chiwinnie that i have spent couple thousand $$ to try and remedy her ear problems. Will be ordering the ECO EARS & trying it. Hope it works because she & i both are at our wits end. Will be letting u know in couple of weeks.

    1. I’ve had several dogs that went through red rash, constantly scratching, I removed all corn grains from her diet and gluten free. 7/ 10 days she was back to normal, so now I don’t feed them anything with corn , process of elimination Wheat also can be a culprit id start with removal of corn .always feed a all natural food ,blue buffalo, Racheal ray , ive had great results, hope this helps

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