Can Dogs Eat Coconut?
We’ve all heard the fact that dogs can eat coconut oil and pet owners are frequently advised to include it in their dog’s diet But what about the meat from coconuts? Do we need to give real pieces of coconut meat to our pets? The answer is simple: yes! Coconut meat is equally healthy, if perhaps more so than coconut oil itself. They have similar characteristics since they are both from the same source. Coconut is not toxic to dogs, however, it contains medium chain triglycerides. These can cause stomach irritation and gastric bloating. You should consult your vet before giving your pet coconut, naturally. However, the benefits will outweigh the risk. If your dog enjoys the flavor of coconut, you are welcome to offer him a piece.
The coconut meat is rich in lauric acid which is a medium-chain fatty acid. In more scientific terms, this means that your body can absorb all the molecules and use them as a primary supply of fuel. Lauric acid is especially good in fighting off infections, such as influenza. It can also help treat yeast-related infections like ringworm as well as Giardia. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. It has drastically decreased swelling in rats during lab studies. Inflammation that is lessened can help speed the healing process for burns, hot spots, and other injuries. Inflammation is the primary reason behind arthritis and so giving coconut to your pet may help his joints feel more comfortable, especially as inflammation eases. Make sure you remove the coconut shell before feeding your dog coconut as the shell can get stuck within the esophagus, causing digestive irritation, and possible obstruction.
Boosts the Immune System
Coconut is a great source of antioxidants that support our immune system. It also assists the body to develop a healthy response to foreign microbes. Coconut gives the body an additional defense against harmful bacteria and viruses. It also helps fight parasites and even fungi. Although coconut consumption isn’t proven to treat all illnesses, however, some studies show its antiviral qualities. As well as its capacity to decrease inflammation, coconut can be the perfect food for dogs that are unwell or recovering from an injury or illness.
Benefits the Skin
Coconut oil is used both internally and externally since the oils can be extremely beneficial to your dog’s coat and skin. If your dog takes a bite of coconut meat and suffers from skin issues, his condition may improve. The anti-inflammatory qualities will aid in reducing yeast infection, burning spots, and flea allergies as well as dry and itchy skin along with the essential fatty acids that help to promote an incredibly soft and healthy coat. On the skin, the oil functions as a moisturizer, and can be applied to cuts to reduce inflammation and speed healing.
Why Types of Coconut Products Can Dogs Eat Safely?
As per the ASPCA, the coconut flesh is a source of oils that could cause diarrhea, stomach upset, and loose stool. Although it’s unlikely to cause harm to your pet in small quantities, however, you should be careful when feeding the diet to your dog. Always seek advice from your vet before introducing any new food to your pet’s diet.
As per Sophia Silverman, co-founder, and president of A New Chance Animal Rescue, a 501c3 dog rescue that is based in Bedford Hills, NY, dogs can consume coconut oil in small quantities without being poisoned, there’s a controversy about whether it’s beneficial for dogs. “There is not a lot of research being done on this either, which makes it difficult for pet parents to properly weigh the pros and cons,” Silverman says.
If you decide to give your pet coconut oil, you should do it cautiously since “it can cause potentially severe gastrointestinal problems in some dogs,” Brister warns. Additionally, she points out the possibility that pancreatitis is a potentially life-threatening inflammatory condition of the pancreas as a result of feeding dogs tiny amounts of coconut oil – only 1 tablespoon twice daily. Additionally, coconut oil can also trigger diarrhea when consumed in large dosages.
If you feed your dog coconut oil in your homemade food, Brister advises against it as the sole fat source since it’s not an excellent source of essential fats. Coconut oil contained about 2 percent of essential fat called linoleic acid (corn oil is around 54 percent). “This is also important when considering it as an anti-inflammatory for issues like skin conditions–it is not going to be as effective as other oils because it is low in those essential fatty acids,” Brister says.
What is the benefit of applying coconut oil to your pet? Some people apply coconut oil topically to relieve dry skin, which Brister claims “can be beneficial for certain canine patients due to it being rich in vitamin E. Talk about the use of coconut oil with your veterinarian first, as itchy skin could be the result of an underlying problem that requires medical treatment.”
Coconut water can be described as the semi-clear and sweet liquid that’s found in young, green coconuts. As the coconut matures the water becomes hard and forms the white flesh that is formed around the coconut’s shell. title=”(opens new window)”>The ASPCA says that coconut water is rich in potassium and shouldn’t be fed to pets. Brister adds the following “no major benefits of coconut water have been reported, especially when dogs are fed a balanced diet.” Therefore, it’s better to hydrate your body with coconut water, but offer your pet water that is pure H2O.
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Coconut milk is produced by mashing and grating coconut meat before making it drinkable by mixing it with water. “No major benefits of supplementing a dog’s diet with coconut milk have been reported, especially when dogs are fed a balanced diet,” Brister clarifies, but milk can be a valuable energy source for animals who require them, like those who have Megaesophagus or severely malnourished.
However, as with its flesh counterpart, coconut milk can occasionally contain oil that can cause stomach upset or diarrhea in dogs. Therefore, it’s recommended to speak with your vet about whether this is beneficial for them to drink, in light of their medical conditions. When you’re next with the coconut milk it’s recommended not to take it home with your pet.
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Is It Worth the Risks to Feed My Dog Coconut in Small Amounts?
Silverman suggests always speaking with your vet before altering the diet of your dog, as well as “don’t be afraid to ask questions of your vet; that’s what they’re there for!” Additionally, Brister recommends starting anything new under the supervision of a vet and with very small doses.
If you decide to feed your pet coconut oil “its possible benefits of having anti-inflammatory properties do not necessarily outweigh its risks, even at very low doses, especially when other types of oils may offer better benefits,” Brister says. Additionally, she states coconut meat, milk, or water may not be able to provide the benefits in exchange for the expense and effort.
What can you do to offer a dog coconut?
When you first begin adding coconut oil into your dog’s diet, it is best to need gradually increase the quantity of coconut oil slowly. If you feed coconut oil to your pet it could cause detox and digestive issues.
Because coconut oil can eliminate yeasts, fungi, parasites, viruses as well as bacteria in your pet, it is possible that the dog could react negatively to the cleansing properties of coconut oil. The symptoms of a rapid detox may include vomiting, fatigue as well as flu-like symptoms. Headaches and fatigue.
If a substantial portion of coconut oil feeds dogs it could cause diarrhea or greasy stools as the body attempts to get used to the changes. Start with a small amount such as a quarter teaspoon per day for puppies or small dogs and a teaspoon for larger dogs. If your dog is suffering from an upset stomach, you may need to give a small dab.
If you notice that your pet is ill or tired, or suffers from diarrhea, you need to reduce the amount you give him at the moment. After that, you can increase the dosage gradually over a few days. It is also possible to include coconut oil in small quantities with doses divided over the day.
Be aware that it is best to feed your dog coconut oil in addition to food. Liquid coconut oil or solid coconut oil could be added to food anytime during the day. It can be added to any dish with coconut oil that is solid and quickly melting in hot water.
What is the best time to avoid coconut for canines?
Coconut isn’t poisonous for dogs, however, it is a source of medium chain triglycerides, which might cause gastric upset or bloat. If your dog consumes coconut in large amounts it may experience digestive (GI) problems like diarrhea or constipation.
The coconut’s shell is harmful to dogs as it’s extremely difficult to chew hard to break and can cause choke or blockage of the intestinal tract. The hairy texture can impact your dog’s bowel movements since the fibers are affixed to the intestines. So, make certain to not give your dog coconut shells when you offer coconut as a reward. Use fresh, ripe, and fresh meat instead.
If your dog is eating coconut and exhibits signs of diarrhea, upset stomach, or vomiting, discontinue serving it and consult your veterinarian. Always check with them before adding new foods to your pet’s diet.
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