Dog eating a coconut on the ground

Can Dogs Eat Coconut? Yes, And…

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Coconut in all its forms is gaining popularity in many people’s diets. For health consciousness or a flavor boost, this ingredient can add character to many dishes. Since you may enjoy cooking with this ingredient, you may wonder: is coconut bad for dogs?

Perhaps your pet has been recommended to try a new diet involving this fruit. Or, maybe your pup snuck a bite of your coconut dish, causing you to ask, “can dogs eat coconut?” in a panic. Don’t worry. We will tell you all you need to know.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut?

Yes! Coconut is a non-toxic fruit that is safe for your dog to consume in moderate amounts. Furthermore, the fruit contains many beneficial elements like antioxidants and lauric acid. Antioxidants can actively fight infection and swelling. Lauric acid is believed to provide energy without increasing cholesterol.

However, due to the saturated fat content of coconut meat and oils, it is best to keep this food as a balanced part of the diet.

What Types of Coconut Can My Dog Eat?

Coconut oil, meat, and other pure coconut products are safe for your dog to consume. Nutrients come from the raw fruit and its oil, so it ultimately comes down to which form of coconut your dog likes best. However, remove the rind from coconut meat before feeding it to your dog. While the shell is not poisonous, it could pose a choking hazard or cause stomach blockage.

The healing effects of coconut oil even extend beyond eating. Due to the anti-inflammatory and moisturizing results of the oil, you can safely put coconut oil on your dog’s skin to soothe itching and promote hair growth. Furthermore, you never need to worry about your dog licking the oil since it is safe to eat!

How Much Coconut Can My Dog Eat?

All foods should be given to our dogs in moderation. Coconut is no exception to this rule. If your dog enjoys eating coconut meat, you can incorporate a small portion of this into the regular diet up to once a day. If your pet prefers coconut oil, you can include a daily dose of ¼ teaspoon up to one tablespoon with a meal depending on the size of your dog.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about the surprising benefits of coconut, don’t be afraid to introduce this into your dog’s diet as a tasty and healthy treat. Remember to observe your pet closely when new food is introduced and check with a veterinarian if unsure. In small doses, this food may have big benefits!

To find out what may agree with your dog’s tummy, we have a list of foods dogs can and cannot eat as well as an entire series of guides on the topic of what’s safe for your pet to eat, check out our series of guides below:

Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe? Can Dogs Eat Kiwi? Can Dogs Eat Pineapple? Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower? Can Dogs Eat Lettuce? Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? Can Dogs Eat Tuna?
Can Dogs Eat Beans? Can Dogs Eat Celery? Can Dogs Eat Mangoes? Can Dogs Eat Plums? Can Dogs Eat Turkey?
Can Dogs Eat Beets? Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon? Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows? Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Coconut? Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? Can Dogs Eat Pork? Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Fish? Can Dogs Eat Olives? Can Dogs Eat Radishes? Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Can Dogs Eat Peaches? Can Dogs Eat Raspberries? Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Can Dogs Eat Ham? Can Dogs Eat Pecans? Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? Can Dogs Eat Honey? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage? Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?

Obviously you’re likely interested in the quality of your dog’s food and your pet’s health, in addition to having questions about what your dog can and can’t eat. We happen to have a ton of resources on these very topics!

One is our guide which will teach you how to add fiber to a dog’s diet, along with or our guide to choosing the high fiber dog food. If you’re looking into dog upset stomach we have a guide for that as well, and we can even help answer how long does it take a dog to digest food?. If you’re portioning your dog’s food you can also check out our guide to choosing the best automatic dog feeder.

We also have a series of health and nutritional information for your dog. Our dog weight calculator and our answer to how heavy should my dog be? can help you determine if your dog is the proper weight and size, and we even have a collection of breed-specific growth charts such as our goldendoodle growth chart, great dane growth chart, golden retriever growth chart, chihuahua growth chart, or our labrador growth chart.

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.