coconut oil for pets
Holistic Wellness

Powerful Benefits of Coconut on Your Pet’s Health

Is Coconut Oil a Miracle Worker?

Miracle, no. However, coconut has incredibly powerful health benefits for pet’s health. I have an obsession with coconut. Not the taste, which I can’t stand. That being said, the smell reminds me of summer, everything fresh and clean. I use coconut oil post-shower as moisturizer and also use it as a base for many of our aromatherapy products. It has a multitude of health benefits.

Benefits of coconut for your pet

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Coconut has powerful health benefits for humans and pets. Share on X

Coconut contains 90% saturated fats, which most of you think are extremely unhealthy. Did you know that coconut is a little different from most saturated fats:

Whereas most saturated fats are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), coconut oil is comprised mainly of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), or medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Our bodies metabolize (break down) and recognize medium chain fatty acids differently than long chain fatty acids, producing a very different effect. ~ Dr. Jean Dodds’ Pet Health Resource Blog

The powerful health benefits of coconut are not specific to humans and may be used by cats, dogs, and horses as well.

Overview of Coconut Benefits

  1. Antibacterial
  2. Anti-fungal
  3. Anti-inflammatory
  4. Anti-viral

5 WAYS Coconut Can Increase Pet Health

1. Digestion

Coconut aids liquid absorption in the digestive tract and results in firmer stool. But more, it aids absorption of fatty-soluble vitamins important for pet health.

The bland flavor of coconut oil lubricates kibble. As a result it is easier to digest and more palatable for those finicky eaters.

My rescue dog, Gonzo, is a very picky eater. And he is not afraid to say no. Just the other day, he picked out each green bean with his teeth and placed them outside of his bowl. Everything else was gone. But the green beans remained. A not so subtle message for his human?

Funnily enough, I added a tablespoon of coconut oil to his food today. I wanted to see if it made a difference. Indeed, the bowl was licked clean without a single green bean remaining. Now if only this would work with my children.

2. Skin and Coat

Saturated fats provide a wonderful moisturizing element to your animal’s skin and coat. Gonzo has seasonal allergies and dander, which is very noticeable on his black coat. There is no eye sore like white dander sticking to a black coat. After only a few days of giving him a spoonful of coconut oil with his meals the difference was astounding.

Your pet's nutrition has a direct effect on their overall health. Share on X

3. Wound Healing

With both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, coconut oil makes a wonderful topical ointment for small wounds, scars, and hot spots. Coconut is long lasting, does not need to be refrigerated, and melts at high heat. Coconut provides a thin, breathable layer over wound sites allowing for air flow to stimulate healing. In fact, coconut oil is an essential ingredient in our popular Healing Salve.

4. Clean teeth

We all know how important dental health is to our pet’s overall well being. My dogs love using dental treats, such as the Natural Balance Dental Chews. But if your dog or cat is picky, try brushing their teeth with coconut oil instead.

Coconut oil eats away at the bacteria and plague in your dog’s mouth. As a result it reduces bad odors, plague, and prevents gum disease, which have a direct result on pet health.

5. Internal Health

Coconut oil can have a positive impact on your pet’s internal and behavioral health.

“In dogs, the Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic. ~ Dogs Naturally Magazine”

A healthy source of energy that increase your pet’s metabolism safely. Further, coconut fights germs from the inside out, keeping your pet healthy naturally.

How to Use Coconut on Animals

1. Internally

My dogs love the taste of coconut. They will eat it straight off the spoon, although I prefer to feed it mixed with their food or as a treat. Gonzo especially loves the K9 Granola Factory’s Coconut Chips.

At a recent appointment with our holistic veterinarian, I was tasked with keeping Gonzo still for the acupuncture needles. My vet’s snack of choice? All natural coconut flakes. Low in calories but loaded with a multitude of benefits. Veterinarian recommended!

*Do NOT use coconut internally if your pet has or is at risk for pancreatitis or has trouble metabolizing fat.

2. Topically

I recommend coconut oil to my massage clients for many reasons. Dander, hot spots, elbow rubs, bites, and small wounds can all benefit from the antibacterial properties. Because coconut oil acts as a wonderful base for essential oils and herbs, I use it in many of my Signature Aromatherapy Products.

Coconut oil is light, non greasy, and safe for ingestion when your dog inevitably licks it. Lastly, it acts like a lubricant when grooming your dog. Be careful, however, a little goes a long way.

Coconut Oil Hacks for Animals

1. Detangler. Fractionated coconut oil (FCO) is wonderful for detangling even the worst matted fur. Did your horse or dog run through the briars or have burrs and shavings in his coat or tail? FCO in a spray bottle does the trick and adds a beautiful sheen!

(Parents want to know a secret? I’ve also used FCO to get rid of gum in my daughter’s curly hair. No scissors necessary.)


2. Pest repellent. Now, on it’s own coconut oil is not very strong, but it does lend itself to being a mild insect repellent. Want something stronger but organic and good for the environment? Try an all natural insect repellent.

3. Moisturizer. Those paw pads a little rough? Does your dog have elbow rubs? Put a little coconut oil on them. If your pet licks the site? No big deal because it helps digestion.

4. Hot horse? I’m looking at all you OTTB lovers out there. Coconut oil is a wonderful supplement for grain that doesn’t make your horse “hot” like other oils do. It also aids digestion and helps  keep your horse’s intestines moving the way they should, without contributing to ulcers.


Working with animals like I do every day, I see firsthand the impressive healthy benefits of coconut oil. Consult with your veterinarian for any internal use, and start slow and gradually increase according to your animal’s weight.

Do you already use coconut oil with your animals? What has your experience been?


  • Lola The Rescued Cat

    I’ve heard so much about the benefits of coconut oil. I haven’t tried it with my cats yet (or myself!), but since Lola is a finicky eater, I think I’ll give it a try with her. Question: after a shower, does the oil leave your skin greasy? Do you have to wipe any off before getting dressed?

    • Heather Wallace

      Remember with Lola that it is best to start with a very little amount and gradually increase depending on her weight. I’d love to know how she likes it!

      Regarding using coconut in the shower, it does not leave your skin greasy. When it warms in your hands in liquifies and soaks in through your open pores. Simply dry off as usual. Your shower may get a little slick if you use it a lot so just keep that in mind.

  • Sonja of Montecristo Travels

    Does the fly and tick spray come off as oily? I have a logn hair Chi and would love a natural solution to helping keep ticks, flies and fleas off but a lot of them are SUPER oily and as someone that prefers not to over bathe her dog ….? We use coconut oil for sooooo many things. Teeth, also to cook his food … to help his pads stay soft in winter. Amazing stuff.

    • Heather Wallace

      Yay, I love hearing that you use coconut oil already and that you love it. It’s one of those things that I don’t believe is hyped enough.

      Regarding the Fly & Tick Spray, it is not oil based and does not leave a residue so it is good for even long-hair Pomeranians. I use it every day on my dogs. My current website does not allow for international shipping (I’m moving systems soon) but if you email me your mailing address at I can give you a shipping price.

    • Heather Wallace

      I’m sorry to hear about Mr. N. My parent’s dog has had pancreatitis quite a few times. Coconut is definitely not good in that situation. But topically it still works great.

  • Jana Rade

    I don’t know if coconut oil is a miracle ingredient but it definitely has some great benefits. The benefit I see as the most important is what it does for gut health. Gut health then translated into happier skin etc.

  • Sherri

    Good advice. I love the taste of coconut especially with chocolate. I haven’t tried it with my dog Victor yet but do use toppers because hg e’s a picky eater. I need something for him good for arthritis.

    • Heather Wallace

      Coconut flakes make a great topper if you don’t want to mix in coconut oil. I have massage quite a few clients with arthritis and our local holistic veterinarian recommends a special diet to help combat the symptoms. If you are interested, send me an email and I’ll be happy to give you the information.

  • Kitty Cat Chronicles

    I’ve never used regular coconut oil, but I do have FCO that I mix with essential oils to use topically on myself and my husband. I know essential oils are toxic to cats, but I think coconut oil is safe. I’ll have to look into it more! Thanks for the info!

    • Heather Wallace

      Coconut oil on its own is okay for cats in small quantities, especially topically. I love using essential oils on myself, and the dogs and horses. Cats sadly are too sensitive as you say and are unable to process them.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne loves CocoTherapy brand treats. They are all coconut based and he goes nuts for them. We also use their coconut shavings to sprinkle over his breakfast meals. Love it!

    • Heather Wallace

      Yum! Gonzo loves his coconut bites. He likes them better than other treats, which surprises me because he’s so picky. I knew Bruce Wayne had excellent taste.

    • Heather Wallace

      I try to do things naturally as much as possible, and coconut covers a lot of bases. I’d love to know what you think.

  • Dolly the Doxie

    We’ve been aware of the benefits of coconut oil for dogs for sometime. But we haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet. And mom is so glad to find someone else that can’t stand the taste! Love Dolly

    • Heather Wallace

      I tried coconut water once and just couldn’t do it. I don’t know why! I love the smell and I use it in my hair and on my skin. But Gonzo and Beau love the taste.

  • Beth

    My sister’s Pug disliked the taste of coconut too. I think that was the only thing she wouldn’t eat. I’ve read that coconut oil is very good for humans, and I’m not surprised that it is good for dogs too.

  • Luna C. Lupus

    I swear by coconut oil for both my dogs and myself. I clean my dogs’ teeth with it and it also helped heal my Bailey’s skin irritation on her ears. It’s amazing!!! <3

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