No, you don’t need to rinse coconut oil off your dog.
It’s safe to use and can help with a variety of issues like dry skin, hot spots, and allergies.
Coconut oil has been used as an essential part of many holistic diets and health regimens over the years.
It’s also commonly recommended by vets or pet nutritionists who specialize in holistic care.
If you want to get your dog healthy, it’s important to understand what this stuff does – and how you can use it safely.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of coconuts (the fruit not the nuts).
The meat of the coconut is called copra, which is dried, pressed, and then refined into coconut oil.
Unlike other oils that are made from plants, coconut oil is made from saturated fat.
This means that it contains no polyunsaturated fats.
In fact, it’s one of the most saturated fatty acids out there.
It has a melting point of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celsius) which means that it will solidify at room temperature.
When heated above its melting point, coconut oil becomes liquid again.
One tablespoon of coconut oil weighs about 8 grams and is considered to be a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), meaning that it’s easily digested by the body.
MCTs are metabolized differently than long chain triglycerides (LCTs) as they have a faster rate of metabolism and absorption.
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid.
These acids are all medium-chain fatty acids and they’re great for helping maintain good cholesterol levels and keeping blood sugar steady.
What are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs?
There are multiple ways that coconut oil can benefit your dog.
Here are some of them:
- It’s non-greasy, which means you won’t have to worry about getting any residue on your hands if you’re ever going to give your dog a bath.
- Coconut oil is highly moisturizing, so it can protect your dog from the harsh effects of winter weather or summer heat.
- It contains lauric acid, which helps boost immunity, fight infection, and reduce inflammation.
- It’s rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have been shown to be beneficial for pets with skin issues. MCFAs are more easily digested than other fats.
- It promotes weight loss in pets, especially when paired with exercise.
How do I apply coconut oil to my dog?
You can apply coconut oil to your dog in a number of ways.
The most common way is by massaging it into your dog’s coat (including under the pads).
You can also rub it on their skin directly, but be careful not to get any of it in your dog’s eyes.
This stuff is sticky and can cause irritation if it gets in there.
It’s best to keep the coconut oil out of reach of your dog’s paws, so that they won’t get it on their paws.
Once applied, let it sit on your dog’s skin for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Make sure to wash your hands after touching the coconut oil, too.
Some people even recommend using gloves when applying it to your dog, especially if they have sensitive skin.
If you can’t find coconut oil anywhere near you, you might try looking online for other types of animal-safe oils.
Many people swear by olive oil, which you can buy at any grocery store.
You could also try jojoba oil, which is made from the seeds of the desert shrub.
While these oils aren’t quite as effective as coconut oil, they may still provide some relief.
How often should I apply coconut oil to my dog?
Coconut oil is typically applied topically to dogs for the purpose of treating dry skin, hot spots, allergies, and other conditions.
You can even put it under their tongue for a quick dose of relief from gas pain.
You’ll find that most people recommend applying coconut oil every day, but they may differ slightly depending on the condition your dog is experiencing.
Some people will tell you to apply coconut oil regularly, while others will suggest waiting a couple days before reapplying.
The best thing to do is talk with your vet about exactly what you should be doing when it comes to applying coconut oil to your dog.
Are there any risks associated with using coconut oil on my dog?
If you’re worried about the safety of coconut oil, then you might be wondering if it’s okay to apply it directly onto your dog’s skin.
The answer is yes, but only if you follow several precautions.
First, make sure you purchase a quality brand of virgin coconut oil that contains no additives or preservatives.
There are plenty of cheap brands out there that contain synthetic fillers and other chemicals that can cause adverse reactions or even death.
Second, make sure you buy organic coconut oil so that you know it hasn’t been exposed to pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Third, never use coconut oil on your dog if they have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions.
The best way to prevent these kinds of problems is to start slowly and gradually introduce coconut oil into your dog’s diet.
Start with small amounts at first, then increase the amount over time until you find the perfect balance between your dog’s needs and your own comfort level.
You could also check with a vet before starting to determine whether your dog is actually allergic to coconut oil.
What are some alternative uses for coconut oil on my dog?
There are a few different ways that we can apply coconut oil to our dogs.
The first is through topical application.
This means applying coconut oil directly to the affected area.
You can put it on your dog’s paws, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, belly, etc.
You can even add a bit to a bathtub to help soften their fur!
You can also rub coconut oil into the coat of your dog to help moisturize it, especially if they have dry skin problems.
Just be sure not to go overboard when doing this – you don’t want to make them too oily.
A little goes a long way here.
Another way to use coconut oil is to mix it with other ingredients to create homemade remedies.
Some examples include mixing it with honey to treat cold sores on the lips, adding it to apple cider vinegar to help clear up acne, or adding it to baking soda to help relieve itching from fleas.
Finally, you can also use coconut oil to lube up your dog’s toys.
This helps prevent the toys from breaking down quickly, which can cause choking hazards.
Plus, it keeps the toys clean so that they stay fresh and fun for longer.
Where can I purchase coconut oil for my dog?
You can find coconut oil at most grocery stores, natural food markets, and even pet supply stores.
You’ll probably see several different variations on the label, including organic, raw (unrefined), refined, virgin, etc.
This is all pretty much the same thing – just different ways of describing the quality of the product.
The more natural the product is, the better.
For example, coconut oil that is unrefined will be less processed than one that is refined.
Unrefined coconut oil is often referred to as “virgin” because it hasn’t gone through any refining processes.
Refined coconut oil comes from the oil being separated from the meat of the coconut kernel and then being further processed through additional chemical methods.
The end result is that refined coconut oil is very similar to other vegetable oils, such as soybean oil or corn oil.
Because coconut oil has a high melting point, it’s not suitable for cooking.
However, if you heat it up enough so that it begins to melt, you can get some benefits from it.
When you cook with coconut oil, the fat molecules break down and create smaller molecules called fatty acids.
These fatty acids have antibacterial properties when they come into contact with bacteria.
So while coconut oil isn’t great for frying or baking, it can still help fight bacterial infections, especially ones that cause acne.
Here are some examples of things you might use coconut oil for:
- Dry Skin & Dry Coat
- Hot Spots
How do you use coconut oil?
For most purposes, I recommend buying unrefined coconut oil.
That means the oil hasn’t been processed beyond the extraction process from the coconut kernel.
Some people argue that refined coconut oil provides more nutritional value, but I disagree.
While it might be easier to digest, it doesn’t contain any antioxidants, which is why we prefer to buy
unrefined coconut oil.
This stuff should go straight onto your dog’s skin without rinsing first.
After applying coconut oil, you should let it sit for about five minutes before you gently massage it
into his coat.
Apply sparingly, and rub it in thoroughly.
Don’t worry too much about getting every last bit of coconut oil out of the bottle.
Just make sure the areas you’re treating are well-moisturized.