By The Farmer's Dog | September 14, 2017

Coconut oil has become a must-have health item in recent years, popping up in food blogs, natural beauty products, and your Trader Joe’s shopping cart. Once shunned by the health and fitness community for its high saturated fat content, coconut oil has since secured its spot as a serious superfood. Here’s why you should be sharing that jar with your dog.

The Stats:

Coconut oil is made by pressing the fat from the white meat of the coconut. It contains about 117 calories per tablespoon and 13.6 grams of fat, about 87% of which is saturated fat. Coconut oil doesn’t contain any protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals… so what makes it a superfood for you and your dog?

The health benefits of coconut oil all come down to one thing – medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. MCTs are digested differently than other kinds of fat – the kind you would find in vegetable oil, dairy products, and fatty cuts of meat – by both humans and dogs. MCTs are easier to digest and are immediately burned as energy instead of being stored as fat. They also contain fewer calories than other types of fat.

The Benefits:

1. Improves digestion and increases nutrient absorption
2. Increases energy levels and boosts athletic performance
3. Helps with the management of IBS and other digestive issues
4. Contains natural antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties
5. Balances blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity
6. Relieves pain from arthritis and other inflammatory bone and joint conditions
7. Boosts immunity to protect against infection and disease
8. Reduces allergic reactions, including flea allergy dermatitis
9. Moisturizes skin and improves coat condition
10. Enhances cognitive function and protects against neurodegeneration

How to Feed It:

If you want your dog to experience the health benefits of coconut oil, all you have to do is mix it into his food – some dogs may even lick it right off the spoon! The recommended daily dosage for dogs is about 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of bodyweight, but you’ll want to work your way up to that amount by starting with a ¼ dose. Keep an eye on the you-know-what; as long as your dog is able to tolerate the oil without developing diarrhea or loose stools, you can gradually increase his daily dose until you reach the recommended amount. Another simple way to incorporate coconut oil into your dog’s diet is to bake it into homemade dog treats.