You can cook your pet’s food with it, feed it directly to your dog, and use it as natural toothpaste, but have you ever considered using coconut oil for dog shedding? While any coconut oil will do, there’s a specific type that’s especially good for dogs with dry skin. Here’s what you should know.
Why do dogs shed?
To understand why coconut oil is effective, it’s helpful to know the root cause of dog shedding.
Dry and irritated skin, no matter the cause, is almost always the source of dog shedding. There are exceptions to this rule, like dogs who suffer from alopecia, a disorder that causes hair loss (although coconut oil can even help treat that).
Dry skin on dogs is caused by a number of reasons, such as being bathed too frequently, using harsh soaps or chemicals, dietary problems, allergies, and more. Of course, it’s important to treat the root cause of your dog’s dry skin, while also treating the symptom of shedding.
See a vet to determine what’s causing your dog’s excessively dry skin. You may need to switch foods, shampoos, or make some other simple lifestyle change that will make a world of difference in your dog’s quality of life.
In the meantime, know that dry skin causes shedding. Dry skin also causes scratching, which just increases the irritation and shedding, and can even cause bald patches on your dog’s coat.
How does coconut oil help with dog shedding?
Coconut oil works to treat shedding by deeply moisturizing and disinfecting dry, irritated skin and fur. It contains MCT (medium chain triglycerides), a healthy fat that’s highly nutritious and helpful not only for shedding, but for many other issues with dogs as well.
Using coconut oil can help boost metabolism, aid digestion, eliminate bad breath, and increase immunity. It also works as a sunscreen, flea repellent, insect bite ointment, and dermatitis treatment.
Coconut oil truly is a superfood! Sure, it’s great for dog shedding, but you should always keep a jar around for its multiple amazing uses.
What’s the best coconut oil for dog shedding?
With coconut oil increasing in popularity, there are a number of types and brands available on the market for purchase.
So how do you know which coconut oil you should buy to treat dog shedding?
For shedding, and for most other purposes, the best type of coconut oil is virgin coconut oil. Virgin oil is different from other oils in its method of extraction and source. It’s extracted from the fresh milk of coconuts and has not been exposed to heat or sunlight, which can compromise the oil’s health benefits.
Virgin coconut oil also has a higher MCT content, which is what helps moisturize your dog’s skin and coat to treat shedding.
Additionally, it has higher mineral and nutrient content and is typically higher quality than other forms of coconut oil, which is important especially when consuming it.
The brand name doesn’t matter as much as a label stating it’s virgin oil, so you can buy a generic brand as long as it’s virgin.
Higher quality typically comes with a higher price tag, but regular coconut oil just doesn’t have the same benefits as virgin coconut oil, and so may not be nearly as effective.
A jar of coconut oil can go a long way and has a variety of uses, so you probably won’t regret this small investment.
How to properly use coconut oil for dog shedding?
There are two ways to treat dog shedding with coconut oil, and you can use both at the same time or just your one preferred method. Using both at the same time increases the benefits and makes healing time faster, so it’s worth it to at least try them to see what works best for you and your dog.
The two ways to treat dog shedding with coconut oil is to apply it topically (on your dog’s skin and fur) or orally (by feeding it to them).
Here’s how to properly use each method.
1. Applying coconut oil
This method is quick, simple, and might be better if your dog’s stomach is sensitive to coconut oil or cannot ingest it for any reason.
- Simply scoop some coconut oil out of the jar with your fingers and spread it all over your dog’s fur and skin (there’s no right or wrong amount as you’ll be rinsing it off anyway, but you want enough to completely coat your dog). Be careful not to get any in their eyes or nose.
- The oil should spread easily in its raw form, but you can also make it more of a liquid by warming it between your palms or for a few seconds in the microwave. Make sure the oil is massaged into your dog’s skin and not just sitting on the top of their coat.
- Let the oil sit for about 5 minutes, then gently rinse off any excess oil with water (it’s perfectly okay to leave some residue, although you might want to keep your dog away from furniture and linens). Don’t use soap as this will strip away the oil and can contribute to your dog’s dry skin problem.
- Repeat this every week for improvement, but again, don’t over-wash your dog in any way when trying to heal dry skin.
2. Feeding coconut oil
This method gives your dog the most health benefits, as coconut oil naturally treats a variety of health problems and is a great dietary supplement. Also, most dogs love the taste of coconut oil, so you shouldn’t have much trouble getting them to eat it — they think it’s a treat!
However, remember that coconut oil is essentially fat, so giving too much to your dog too fast can result in tummy troubles.
To avoid this, mix half a teaspoon of oil in with your dog’s food per day, then gradually work your way up to a tablespoon per day. And as always, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes in your pet’s diet.
Coconut oil can definitely help treat and prevent dog shedding. It can be applied directly to the skin and coat or used as part of a healthy diet for dogs. However, it’s important that you properly measure out the amount of oil you’re giving your dog, as too much will cause digestive issues.
Coconut oil has many other benefits as well — from reducing itching to helping with digestive issues. So always keep a jar handy, you may be surprised at all the ways you can use it!