You have surely heard that coconut oil is a good addition to dog’s diet. It is often used as a natural remedy for digestive issues in canines, and can also prevent skin conditions such as yeast and fungal infections. On top of that, coconut oil is a powerful virus destroyer and can lessen the risks of many diseases including cancer.
But what about the coconut meat itself? It is a natch that coconut meat is as nutritious as coconut oil since they came from the same place. Regardless of that, it is important to hear what the dog experts have to say, since there are certain human foods doggies cannot safely eat.
Can dogs have coconut meat?
Yes, coconut meat is safe for dogs. Nevertheless, the fact that coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT), a fatty acid that could cause dogs gastrointestinal issues.
Given that, it is best to offer coconut meat in moderate amounts. Young coconut meat offers amazing health benefits to dogs just as it does to humans, so you may share some with dog. Your dog could get extra energy from the healthy fats in coconut meat. It is also ideal in warding off diseases since it contains special fatty acids that fight bacteria.
You can even give your pet a whole coconut, so they have something to chew on. Just make sure to keep an eye on him so that he doesn’t ingest the shell. Also remove the little hair on the outside of the whole coconut because it could obstruct his throat.
How about coconut water and coconut milk?
Yes, you may treat your doggie with a few ounces of coconut water a day. Several sources agree that it is the next best thing to water, since it is naturally free from fat and cholesterol. Some vets suggested giving coconut water to dogs because it is a rich source of vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.
More than the health benefits, your pooch can also benefit from the refreshing taste of coconut water. It is a fun way to quench his thirst during the hot days or after a long walk. Nowadays, there are already coconut waters especially made for dogs. But if you can’t find any in your area, just choose organic coconut water without sweeteners since coconut is naturally sweet on its own.
Limit your dog’s coconut water intake so he will not suffer from any negative side effects. In an interview with the Sun Herald, dietitian Tania Ferraretto pointed out that coconut water can have a laxative effect if ingested in excessive quantities.
Medium chain triglycerides also have weight-loss effects. If your dog is on the thin side, giving him foods with MCT will not help. Consult your vet first before adding coconut in any form in your pet’s diet.
On the other hand, coconut milk is also safe for dogs to consume. Some pet owners also use it as an alternative to dairy when baking dog treats. You may ask your vet about adding it to your pet’s treats if the dog is lactose intolerant or suffering from colitis.
Despite the fact that coconut water and coconut milk are safe, we should not forget that water remains as the best beverage for dogs. While coconut-based beverages are nutritious, don’t forget that they still contain carbohydrates. When buying coconut water for your dog, choose the ones that do not contain additives.
Benefits of Coconuts for Dogs
Coconut was not called the “fruit of life” for no reason – it has so many health benefits. Below are listed some ways our pets can benefit from consuming coconut meat every now and then:
- It improves their digestion. When consumed in reasonable amounts, coconut can make your dog feel full because of its high fiber content. If you have a dog who is always hungry, it will help to give him coconut since the fatty acids in it will keep him from snacking throughout the day.
- It lowers cholesterol. This is because half of the entire fat in coconut is lauric acid, which can improve cholesterol levels. This protective type of fatty acid is also good for the heart.
- It can improve your pet’s bone density. A cup of coconut milk has as much as 240 mg of phosphorous. This mineral works together with calcium to build strong bones and teeth.
- Coconut is a great source of potassium. Did you know that coconut contains as much potassium as bananas? If your dog drinks a cup of coconut water, he will get the same potassium amount from four pieces of bananas.
Can dogs consume treats with coconut flour?
Yes, in fact, your pet can benefit from eating foods with coconut flour because it is one of the healthiest kinds of flour. Compared to nut flours, coconut has fewer carbs and also boasts calorie-free fiber. Dr. Jockers said foods with coconut flour are good for people with gluten sensitivity and a leaky gut.
Dog treats made with coconut flour are also less expensive compared to treats made with wheat flour. Because coconut flour is very absorbent, you only need to use a little amount of it to achieve a perfect consistency. If your dough is too thick, you just need to add more liquid to get your desired texture.
If you are using coconut flour as an alternative to wheat flour, you only need to incorporate one-fourth cup of coconut flour for every cup of wheat flour called for in the recipe. In case you are wondering why it looks very dry, it is because coconut flour is just basically ground and dried coconut meat.
It may take some time before you can create the perfect dog treats with coconut flour. But once you’ve mastered using it, you will love the fact that it is a healthier alternative to other types of flour.
Can You Use Coconut Sap as a Sugar Alternative for Dogs?
Yes, the Animal Wellness Magazine listed it as one of the best sugar alternatives for canines. Pure coconut syrup is an excellent source of amino acids, potassium, and B vitamins.
Compared to refined sugar, coconut sap underwent a more natural manufacturing process, so it is deemed more wholesome than regular table sugar. It retains most nutrients from the coconut palm.
5 Dog Treats with Coconut
It is true that our fur babies need a healthy balanced diet. But we also want to make them happy, and one of the ways to do it is to offer them treats once in a while. Thinking of incorporating the goodness of coconut in your doggie’s snack? Try any of these recipes one of these days:
1.No-bake Coconut Dog Treat – when you are rushing and don’t have time to bake, this easy-peasy recipe is great for you. Apart from coconut oil, you only need three more ingredients: peanut butter, rolled oats, and finely shredded coconut. Combine the first three ingredients in a food processor before coating them with the shredded coconut.
2.Sweet Potato and Coconut Oil Dog Treat – this treat only uses three ingredients: oats, coconut oil, and sweet potato. You will need a processor to achieve a dough-like consistency. Once everything is well combined, cut the dough into small portions before putting it in the oven.
3.Grain-free Coconut Flour Soft Chews – this recipe uses quite a lot of ingredients, but that is not really a big deal especially if your pet is a little spoiled. Besides, everything is healthy so you can give them to your dog without any guilt. Apart from the coconut flour and coconut oil, you will also need mashed sweet potato, unsweetened applesauce, eggs, and a pinch of unrefined salt. You may add a bit of raw honey if your dog likes the taste of it. Just combine all the ingredients and bake for around 20 minutes.
4.Homemade Frozen Peanut Butter and Banana Coconut Oil Dog Treats – most dogs enjoy the combination of peanut butter and banana. Just go for raw and unsalted peanut butter because it is the best for dogs. The fact that these treats are frozen makes them more inviting for doggies. The recipe calls for equal parts of softened coconut oil and peanut butter. So, if you are using two cups of peanut butter, you need to add two cups of coconut oil. You will need medium-sized bananas as well.
5.Coconut Delight DIY Dog Biscuits – the recipe uses a combination of brown rice flour and coconut flour bound by two eggs. Instead of water, it uses a cup of coconut water so this one is hands-down bursting with coconut flavor! The added honey and organic virgin coconut oil make the dish more nutritious.
What to do if your dog ate a coconut with shell?
Most dogs would eat everything, even things that are not meant to be eaten. If your fur baby accidentally ate a few pieces of coconut with the hard shell on them, keep an eye out for symptoms.
Your pet might start vomiting and acting restless. You may administer Pepcid AC twice a day. The recommended dosage is 0.5mg for every pound of body weight. The medication works as a histamine blocker and should reduce your pet’s stomach acid levels.
While Pepcid AC or any brand of antacid can be bought without prescription, it is important to be extra cautious when administering it to dogs. Inform your vet that you are about to give the medication so you will be guided accordingly.
It will help to serve him foods that can move the hard shell along. Offer him bread this time around. Your dog needs foods and medications that will somehow soothe his GI tract because the coconut shells are quite sharp.
Coconut and all its forms (oil, meat, sugar, and water) are safe for canines. Just like with anything, it is important to offer coconut to dogs in moderation. If you are planning to add coconut to your fur baby’s diet, consult your vet or a pet nutritionist first. You could start offering it to your dog little by little to see if he will like the taste.