When it comes to giving your dog a coconut, the idea that directly comes to mind for most dog owners is their dogs playing around with the coconut itself as if it were some toy of theirs.
But, when it comes to actually eating the coconut, this is where the question of whether dogs can eat coconuts or not comes into play.
Can Dogs Eat Coconut? The Short Answer
The short answer to this is YES, your dogs can eat coconuts safely without being subject to any kind of harm. Coconuts per se are not toxic to your dog, but it must be said that coconuts contain medium chain triglycerides that can lead to your dog having digestion problems, stomach ache and bloating, so it’s really a matter of giving them to your dog in moderation and observing how they react to them.
Why Should Dogs Eat Coconut?
Some of the benefits of feeding your dog coconuts are that coconuts help:
- Fight viruses.
- Keep harmful bacteria away.
- Protect from infections.
- Boost immune systems.
- Form red blood cells in the body.
- Improve dog coat and skin conditions.
- Keep dog coat smooth and glossy.
- Fight off annoying issues such as flea allergies and itchy skin.
- Improve dog odor.
- Reduce bad dog breath.
- Regulate and balance insulin and thyroid levels.
- Aid in healing arthritis or ligament problems.
- Aid in healing cuts, wounds, bites from insects and stings when applied to them.
How Much Coconut Should I Give My Dog?
You don’t want to over-do it here, especially due to the fact that coconuts are rich in fat, and you don’t want to negatively affect your dog’s health markers or lead them to obesity.
Always note that, as with any other food you newly introduce to your dog’s diet, you should always monitor how your dog reacts to it. So, to ensure no serious negative side effects occur (such as diarrhea), introduce coconuts to their diets at a very gradual pace at first.
Now, how exactly do you incorporate coconuts into your dog’s overall diet? Coconut for your dog is available in many different forms, including fresh solid, dried solid, water, oil, milk, and flour. You can add any of fresh, dried, and liquid coconut forms directly into your dog’s food, that’s the preferred method for most dog owners out there who feed their dogs coconut.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Water?
Coconut water is known for its various nutritious and health benefiting characteristics, containing loads of vitamins, minerals (calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc), electrolytes and enzymes. So obviously, YES, your dog can drink coconut water, and it’s a very good thing if they do.
One thing you can do with coconut water is use it as a treat/reward when you’re training your dog. Apart from being super tasty and refreshing, it’s known for boosting your dog’s energy, which is perfect if your dog is starting to slack off after some time training. During a hot summery day, coconut water can be one of the best treats/rewards for your dog, ever!
A Note About Coconut Shells
Never give your dog a coconut with its shell on to eat, because this will almost certainly always lead to obstruction in your dog’s digestive system.
You will come across some articles saying that giving your dogs coconut shells to chew on will improve some of their chewing habits, but that’s just a risky game. How can you make sure your dog stops at just chewing the shell and doesn’t actually swallow any of it? Also, how can you be sure the coconut shell (being as hard as it is) won’t damage your dog’s teeth? So, better safe than sorry, keep your dogs away from coconut shells.
Playing with coconut shells is fine, as long as it’s done under your (or someone else’s) supervision and your dog doesn’t chew the coconut shell.