Coconut oil has multiple benefits for human health, including encouraging fat burning and weight loss, antimicrobial properties, antioxidants, a boost to the skin, hair, oral health, and more.
But is it as healthy for dogs as well?
The good news is that you can use this plant-based oil for many health advantages for canines. Dog parents use it as natural toothpaste for skin nourishment, alleviation of itchiness, and reducing the pup’s shedding.
Read on to learn more about coconut oil for dog shedding and how to apply it for the best results.
What Causes My Dog’s Shedding?
Before we delve into using coconut oil to reduce shedding, it is good to know what causes it.
First, shedding is a natural process that helps remove damaged or old hair in canines. Some breeds like German Shepherds, Akitas, Siberian Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and others shed more than others, like Poodles.
In some cases, sudden heat waves or cold spells can cause abnormal shedding too.
The problem arises when your furbaby starts shedding excessively out of the blue for no apparent reason.
Some possible causes for sudden and extreme shedding in pups include skin irritations, dry skin, chemicals, or bathing too often. Or allergies, dietary problems, and other medical conditions.
It is always advisable to speak to your veterinarian to determine a possible cause for the excessive shedding and dry skin so that it is addressed first.
Sometimes, a simple change such as switching to another type of dog food or using a new shampoo can resolve this problem.
Coconut oil is another efficient natural remedy for reducing the shedding in pups that suffer from itchy and dry skin.
How Can Coconut Oil Resolve Dog Shedding?
Coconut oil contains highly nutritious healthy fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCT). It can nourish, disinfect and moisturize the dry skin of the pup, alleviate the itchiness and irritation, and help improve the health and shininess of its coat.
Dogs can also benefit from the consumption of coconut oil. It helps boost immunity and metabolism, improves the pup’s digestion, and helps eliminate bad breath.
This excellent plant-based oil is also a natural insect repellent and ointment for treating insect bites. It can also help treat dermatitis and acts like sunscreen for canines.
In other words, it is a true superfood for our dogs and us!
How to Choose the Best Coconut Oil for Treating Excessive Dog Shedding?
The number of different brands, types, and varieties of coconut oil sold on the market, may make you bewildered when it comes to choosing the best one for your pup.
The rule of thumb is to pick virgin coconut oil if you buy it to relieve skin irritations and reduce the shedding of your furry companion.
Virgin coconut oil is derived from fresh coconut milk without thermal treatment or sunlight exposure, making it the most natural form of coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is the least processed and unrefined type and contains the most nutrients and minerals of all other types. Its content of healthy MCT fats is also higher than others.
The downside is that this unrefined plant-based oil is more expensive than the lower-quality refined options.
Then again, it has a richer texture, healthier fats, and nutrients and thus is more efficient for soothing itchy and irritated skin.
So, if you want to get the best for your furbaby, we strongly recommend that you opt for high-quality virgin coconut oil.
Related: What Essential Oils are Bad for Dogs?
How To Use Coconut Oil To Reduce Dog Shedding?
You can apply the coconut oil topically or add it to your pup’s food if you want to help reduce the shedding of the coat and improve your pet’s skin health.
While you can use either of the two methods – topical or oral application- we recommend you use them simultaneously for the best and quickest results.
Here is how to do it.
Using Coconut Oil as a Topical Treatment for Shedding
This is a straightforward method for alleviating your furry friend’s dry and itchy skin conditions. It is suitable for pups who cannot ingest the oil due to allergies or digestive problems or in cases where you need to treat a small affected part of the body.
To apply it, scoop up a little of the oil from the jar with your fingers and then spread it on your pup’s skin and coat.
Avoid getting any of the oil in the nose or eyes of your furry companion.
Raw coconut oil should spread easily. But if you want to simplify the process, you can melt it a little first. Do this by placing the jar in hot water or popping it into the microwave and setting it to 30 seconds at the defrost setting. This will make the plant-based oil more liquid and less sticky and thus easier to spread all over the coat and skin of your four-legged friend.
Massage the oil into your pup’s skin to absorb it faster and more efficiently.
Leave the oil on the skin and coat for 10 minutes, then rinse it gently with water. Do not use soap or shampoo, and don’t worry about leaving some of the oil on the skin or fur.
Though, you should be careful about the oily dog lying on your furniture or bed after this treatment.
Repeat the procedure once a week until you see an improvement. But try not to overwash the pup with too much water and use harsh soaps while dealing with skin issues.
Using Coconut Oil As An Oral Treatment For Dog Shedding
By feeding the coconut oil directly into your pup’s mouth or adding it to its food, you will ensure that it can use all of the other health benefits of the oil.
Most dogs will enjoy the taste of some coconut oil, so you shouldn’t have a problem feeding it to them directly with a spoon or mixed with some food.
But keep in mind that while it is loaded with nutrients and healthy fats, coconut oil is high in calories. Plus, too much fat intake can lead to digestive and other problems in canines.
So, talk to your veterinarian about the proper dosage to add to your pup’s dietary regimen.
You may want to start with a minimal quantity and monitor your furry companion for any side effects before adding more to its food later on.
For example, start with half a tablespoon per day for a week, then gradually increase the quantity to one full tablespoon.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Coconut? Is Coconut Safe For Dogs?
Coconut oil is an efficient natural remedy for alleviating skin irritations and itchiness and reducing the shedding of your dog’s coat.
Plus, it has multiple other health benefits for canines, such as oral health improvement, metabolism, immune system, and digestive system enhancement, protecting the paws from excessive heat or cold, tick and flea protection, sunblock, and more.
So, add a jar of high-quality virgin coconut oil to your pantry, and you will be amazed at its many uses for yourself and your furry friend.