Coconut oil works great to reduce dog shedding. Dog shedding is often caused by dry skin. Coconut oil contains MCTs, which moisturize and hydrate your dog’s skin to reduce excess shedding. You can use coconut oil topically or orally. Both methods are incredibly effective.
You love your dog: their loyalty, their excitement when they see you, and those adorable tail-wags. One thing you may not love is the amount that your very furry friend sheds.
Depending on the type of dog you have, shedding can be a major pain and can seemingly consume your life. Between washing sheets, lint-rolling furniture, and showing up to work with fur all over you, shedding can be downright aggravating.
Of course, your dog can’t help it. But there are ways to help your dog shed less. Shampoos, special treats, and wipes can all help your dog shed less.
However, if you’re looking for an all-natural solution to shedding, coconut oil can be a lifesaver. Read on to find out if coconut oil is a good fit for your shedding needs.
If your dog has excessive shedding, it may be due to overly dry and itchy skin and can even have deeper causes such as alopecia. See your veterinarian if you’re worried about how much your dog is shedding.
What is Coconut Oil?
In recent years, coconut oil has become a natural cure for many ailments. It has risen in popularity as a natural solution to common problems.
Technically, coconut oil, or copra oil, is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts. Copra is the coconut’s dried meat, created by drying the meat with sunlight, fire, or a kiln. The extraction and drying of copra is known as the dry process. The wet process extracts coconut milk from the coconut instead of copra.
For dogs, coconut oil works because of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides). MCTs deeply moisturize and hydrate your dog’s skin, which reduces excess shedding.
Is Coconut Oil Safe for My Dog?
Coconut oil is completely safe for dogs because of its simple and natural ingredients.
There are two primary methods for using coconut oil to treat shedding (we will get to those shortly), and both are very safe for dogs.
Also, coconut oil may be beneficial for your dog’s health beyond helping with shedding. Using virgin coconut oil is recommended because it’s higher quality.
How to Use Coconut Oil on My Dog
The first way to use coconut oil on your dog is topical. This is best if your dog can’t ingest coconut oil for any reason or has a sensitive stomach. Plus, it’s quick and easy.
To begin, scoop some coconut oil out of the jar with your fingers and spread it over your dog’s coat and skin.
There are no specific measurements, just make sure you thoroughly coat them in the oil. It’s also important to massage the oil into your dog’s skin and not just spread it on top of their fur.
If the oil is too stiff to spread, try warming it up in the microwave for a few seconds or in your hands to make it spread more easily.
Be careful to avoid your dog’s eyes and nose, as it may irritate them.
Wait ten minutes for the oil to set in before rinsing the oil off your dog.
Use just water. Avoid soap as it can strip the oil away. If there’s some excess, it won’t do any harm to your dog but may end up getting on furniture or fabric.
You can use coconut oil as a topical weekly, but be aware that over-washing your dog can lead to more dry skin and make shedding worse.
You can also give coconut oil to your dog mixed in with their dinner. This is a good option if you want to use coconut oil for its added benefits beyond shedding.
Coconut oil may:
- Help with your dog’s digestion
- Help reduce allergic reactions
- Help prevent infection
- Help keep your dog’s coat shiny
It’s important to be aware of just how much you’re giving your dog, as coconut oil is high in saturated fat, and too much may harm your dog or upset their stomach. It’s recommended to start slowly to get your dog used to coconut oil.
Try starting with 1/4 to 1 teaspoon a day, depending on your dog’s size. The larger they are, the more they can tolerate.
Give your dog ample time to adjust. Eventually, you can work up to 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight a day.
Advantages of Coconut Oil For Dogs
There are plenty of advantages to coconut oil.
The same medium-chain triglycerides that help reduce shedding can help with dermatitis. It is also shown to reduce inflammation from insect bites. What’s more is that it can help resolve skin irritation from allergic reactions.
Coconut oil contains fatty acids, which can help improve cognitive function and slow cognitive decline. It also has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
Coconut oil is shown to help with digestive issues, thyroid problems, and overall metabolic function.
For older dogs, coconut oil may be especially beneficial. It has been shown to help with arthritis, energy, and bone health.
It may even eliminate unpleasant odors your dog has.
As you can see, coconut oil has many benefits beyond simply reducing shedding. However, it’s still important to check with your veterinarian for any issues your dog may experience and consult with them before starting your dog on any new regimen.
Disadvantages of Coconut Oil For Dogs
Coconut oil is safe for most dogs, but there are exceptions. A dog with an allergy to coconuts will likely have a negative reaction which can seriously harm them.
If you’re giving coconut oil to your dog in their diet, monitor how much you’re giving. Too much can irritate your dog’s stomach, and dogs with specific health issues like pancreatitis may not respond well due to its high fat content.
If your dog is overweight, coconut oil adds extra calories without adding any substantial nutrients and may raise cholesterol because of its saturated fat.
Alternatives to Coconut Oil
Although coconut oil is safe for dogs, if your dog is allergic or this method isn’t working, there are other natural options to help reduce shedding.
Other oils like fish oils can work like coconut oil due to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain.
If you’re worried about your dog’s shedding, see a veterinarian, especially if at-home remedies aren’t working.
It may be necessary to start your dog on a special diet or medication to help reduce shedding or treat an underlying health issue that may cause excess shedding.
Coconut oil has many benefits beyond reducing shedding. When applied topically, it can help moisturize your dog’s skin, which will reduce dry skin and irritation, a major cause of shedding. When added to your dog’s food in moderation, it can keep your dog’s coat glossy and healthy.
Also, coconut oil can help older dogs with arthritis and bone health. The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil will help your dog with other skin issues such as dermatitis or allergic reactions.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.