The short answer: Yes! Dogs can eat coconut without too many issues.
Coconut meat is healthy and contains a lot of fiber, so it can cause a little bit of gastrointestinal upset if too much is ingested. However, it is okay for dogs to eat it in general. However, make sure that you do not give your dog the entire coconut. The shell is extremely hard. It can cause your dog to struggle trying to eat it, or even choke.
Here are a few benefits of feeding your dog coconut meat.
1. It hydrates them.
Dogs might usually drink water to stay hydrated, but allowing them to enjoy certain fruits can help them stay hydrated while enjoying any health benefits the fruit provides.
Coconuts specifically contain carbs, fats, and protein that can give your dog good energy and provide a great mood boost!
2. Coconuts contain lauric acid.
Lauric acid is a type of saturated fat that is known to help contribute to healthy skin, hair and nails. This means a soft, beautiful coat for your dog!
It also benefits the immune system, giving the body what it needs to help fight off viruses and decrease inflammation. Due to these benefits, a lot of dog owners choose to provide coconut meat as a snack to dogs that suffer with joint pain.
3. Coconuts provide vitamins and minerals.
A lot of dogs may lack vitamins and minerals in their kibble diets. If this is the case, coconuts can help dogs meet their health needs.
Although coconuts provide a slew of benefits, please make sure to check with your vet before introducing new foods into their diet.
Different Ways To Serve Your Dog Coconut
Coconut Oil – This can be given to dogs in moderation, one-two times a day. Please make sure to keep in mind that coconut oil is pure saturated fat, so feeding them too much can be bad for their health.
Coconut Milk – Coconut milk in small amounts can be a great way to freshen your dogs breath. As with any treat, make sure to give it to them in moderation.
Dried Coconut Flakes – These are fine as long as there is no added sugar. Most coconut flakes on the market have a lot of added sugar, which is not good for your dog. Avoid coconut flakes with too much added sugar or similar treats.
Coconut Water – Coconut water is a great way to treat your dog and hydrate them. It provides all the same benefits as coconut meat, excluding fiber. Do not be afraid to incorporate this into your dog’s diet! As with coconut flakes, it is best to get the coconut water straight from the coconut. Many store-bought varieties can have added sugar.
Are Coconuts Safe For Dogs?
At the end of the day, can dogs eat coconut? The answer is yes. Fresh coconut is not harmful to your dog at all, and can be incorporated into a healthy dog’s diet.
However, any store-bought coconut products run the risk of having preservatives and added sugars that can harm your pet. I would highly recommend getting their coconut treats from a fresh coconut.