Can Dogs Eat Coconut?

Finding new treats to give your dog can be tricky, as you want to vary their diet, but you want to make sure that you are giving them suitable food.

Adding new flavors to your dog’s diet is important for keeping them interested and preventing them from getting bored, but you need to make sure that the food you are giving them is non-toxic. 

Coconut is a tropical fruit (see also ‘Can Dogs Have Kiwi?‘) that is incredibly popular either as a flavor in drinks, sweet treats, or simply eaten on its own. As coconut has lots of health benefits, can you feed it to your dog? Before you give your dog coconut, you need to check that it is suitable first. 

This article will explain if you can give coconut to your dog and if it provides them with any additional nutrients. Find out more about whether or not you can feed your dog coconut below. 

Can Dogs Eat Plant-Based Foods?

If you are looking to give your dog treats (see also ‘Why you should never feed your dog rawhide‘) that are not store-bought, there are lots of different plant-based foods that your dog will enjoy. A misconception is that all plant-based foods are suitable for dogs as they are natural and will not harm them, however, this is not the case. 

Some plant-based foods are unsuitable for your dog as they can cause them harm, so it is important to check that the food you are feeding your dog is suitable for them. You should only be feeding your dog foods that are appropriate for them. 

Can You Feed Your Dog Coconut?

Dogs can eat coconut, but they can only eat it in moderation. Although they can enjoy eating coconut in small quantities, you cannot feed it to them in large quantities as this can cause them harm.

Coconut contains chain triglycerides, which can irritate your dog’s GI tract. This can cause them to experience painful bloating and abdominal pains. 

To avoid your dog experiencing these side effects, make sure that they are only eating a small amount of coconut now and again. Although the chain triglycerides are not toxic to dogs, you want to avoid them having too many as they will experience stomach pains (see also ‘How to treat and reduce gas in your dog’) and bloating, especially if your dog is more sensitive to new foods. 

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Shell? 

You should avoid giving your dog coconut shell as this can be dangerous for them to consume. As the shell of a coconut is hard, you want to make sure that you avoid giving this to them as it could cause a blockage in their stomach or damage their intestines. The sharpness of the coconut shell could scratch their insides, so avoid giving it to them. 

Some people think that coconut shell is a great dental treat to give dogs as it is made from natural ingredients, but this isn’t the case. It can cause more harm than good, so make sure that you avoid giving your dog pieces of the shell and just stick to giving them the flesh of the coconut in small quantities. 

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?

For humans, coconut oil is extremely beneficial for our bodies, so can it be beneficial to dogs? There is research to suggest that coconut oil can positively affect your dog’s coat and skin health. Therefore, it is suggested that having coconut oil in small quantities can aid your dog’s health. 

However, there have also been studies that suggest that coconut oil may not be the best option for your dog. Studies show that coconut oil can irritate the gut lining of your dog and it can cause them to have abdominal pains and diarrhea.

Research suggests that coconut oil can reduce some inflammation in your dog, but it can also cause inflammation as well. 

Therefore, it is advised that you consult a veterinarian before you give your dog coconut oil as you need to make sure that it will not cause your dog harm. 

How To Give Your Dog Coconut

If you decide that you want to try giving your dog coconut after discussing it with a veterinarian, there are some tips to consider before you dive straight in. 

Do Not Overdo It

Coconut is very high in fat, so you mustn’t give too much of it to your dog. Despite coconut being very high in fat, you want to avoid giving your dog too much coconut as this can irritate the lining of their stomach and cause abdominal pains. Therefore, you should only give your dog very small amounts of coconut occasionally. 

Do Not Give Them A Whole Coconut

As you should only be giving your dog small amounts of coconut on occasions, you should not be letting them eat a whole coconut in one sitting. This will cause them harm and stomach problems, so make sure that the quantities are small. 

Can Dogs Eat Coconut (1)

Stop Giving Your Dog Coconut If It Causes Irritation

If your dog starts having diarrhea or vomiting (see also our article on why your dog is gagging), not eating, or not drinking, stop giving them coconut and seek immediate help from a veterinarian. This will indicate that coconut does not agree with your dog, so stop giving it to them and take them to a veterinarian immediately.

Frozen Blackberry And Coconut Treats

Help your dog to stay cool on a warm day with frozen blackberry and coconut treats (see also ‘Can Dogs Have White Chocolate?‘). Simply crush blackberries and mix them with coconut water. Pour the mixture into bone molds and freeze until they become hard. Once they have hardened, give the treats to your dog on a hot day to help them keep cool with a delicious treat!

Final Thoughts

To conclude, dogs can eat coconut, but only in small quantities. You should see advice from a veterinarian before giving your dog coconut, but you mustn’t give them large amounts of coconut as this will cause them to have abdominal pains. 

If you notice that your dog is in pain or has diarrhea after having coconut, stop giving it to them and seek immediate advice from a veterinarian. You should not give your dog coconut again after this.

John Lowery

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