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Does Coconut Oil Really Help With Dog Shedding? The Truth

Coconut Oil For Dog Shedding

Let’s be honest, you’re willing to try anything to minimize your dog’s shedding…

It’s a matter of importance as your place is becoming as furry as your dog.

You’re wondering what would help you solve the problem. And coconut oil popped as a top result.

But is it effective? And how much should you use for it to be so?

Continue reading to discover:

  • How to apply coconut oil to a dog.
  • 7 other benefits of giving coconut oil to your dog.
  • 3 risks associated with the usage of coconut oil in dogs.
  • What’s the best coconut oil to use to aid your dog’s shedding.
  • And many more…

Does coconut oil help with dog shedding?

Coconut oil helps with dog shedding. The lauric acid that’s abundant in the oil penetrates the hair shaft. From there, it’ll contribute to much healthier and more beautiful fur. Other benefits of coconut oil include preventing skin conditions and irritations. It can also keep fleas and ticks away. 

Why does coconut oil help with dog shedding?

Coconut oil helps with dog shedding because of its abundance in lauric acid. It’s a type of saturated fat that’s extracted from plants. Moreover, it’s used in medicine for its many benefits.

According to research, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid.

That type of saturated fat has a high affinity for proteins present in hair. 

Then its structure is straight, and its weight is low. That’s why it can easily penetrate onto a creature’s hair shaft.

Once it does, the benefits will start rolling in…

It can help reduce shedding in dogs. Moreover, it’ll improve the appearance of your dog’s coat.

You can expect your canine’s fur to get back to being majestic. And sometimes, even better…

That’s because coconut oil can make your dog’s fur appear even fuller and thicker.

You might also want to know: What home remedy can I give my dog for shedding? 

Other benefits of coconut oil in dogs

Shedding isn’t the only problem that coconut oil might help you solve. It has plenty of benefits to offer for your dog’s health.

Let’s talk about them one by one…

It promotes overall healthy skin

Coconut Oil Promotes Overall Healthy Skin

Coconut oil can also prevent dry skin in dogs.

This research says that coconut oil is effective in hydrating the skin.

The study is done on humans with xerosis. That’s a condition where one has chronic dry skin.

Despite the subjects being human, vets are confident that it can have the same effect on dogs.

So, coconut oil is extremely moisturizing…

So much that it’ll hinder flakes from forming on your canine’s skin.  

Moreover, coconut oil can contribute to your dog’s fur strength.

That means recurring coat and skin damage will be less likely to occur in your canine.

With that, you can expect your dog’s coat will appear shinier and become healthier.

It can help keep ectoparasites away

Ectoparasites are the kind that attaches outside the host’s body.

In dogs, the most common ectoparasites are fleas and ticks.

Now, coconut oil is reported to ward off these bloodsuckers.


That’s because this something of a holy grail has antimicrobial effects.

Take it from this test-tube experiment:

The lauric acid found in coconut oil proved to inhibit thick-walled bacteria.

This type of property prevents your dog from inviting pests on their skin.

Moreover, you can use coconut oil during the infestation of these parasites.

Many attest that it can eliminate those pests.

Now, your dog gets saved from many diseases that these parasites bring…

But not just that…

Their skin and fur will also remain beautiful and healthy.


First, having these parasites causes discomfort to your pooch.

You will see your dog constantly biting and scratching themself. They’ll also be consistently licking the base of their tail.

Now, all those scratching, licking, and biting can cause serious skin damage.

The power of coconut oil to ward off these parasites can prevent those from happening.

It has wound healing properties

Moreover, coconut oil can also heal your dog’s wounds from the parasites’ bites.

This ability is also due to the oil’s antimicrobial effects.

Many studies find coconut oil as an effective agent to kill the following:

  • Fungi.
  • Viruses.
  • Bacteria.

Inhibiting these will make any wound less likely to develop into an infection.

With that, the injury will also heal faster.

It improves digestion

Further in this article, you’ll find out how to properly give coconut oil orally to your canine.

With that, it’s clear that you can feed coconut oil to your dog.

And going for this method won’t only help with your dog’s shedding…

But it can also improve your dog’s digestion.

Vets in PetMD say that the oil is directly absorbed in the GI tract. Then, it goes to the liver, where it gets metabolized.

That last part also turns the oil into usable energy for your dog’s body.

Increase energy levels

Increase Energy Levels

As mentioned, coconut oil becomes usable energy once it’s metabolized.

That’s always the deal with putting fats in your dog’s diet.

So, coconut oil will help increase your dog’s energy levels when fed to your dog.

Note: This is something to watch out for as well. If your dog already has high stamina, you might want to think twice about giving it to them through food.

Reading tip: 17 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms + 11 Tips To Calm Down Your Dog

It can help eliminate doggy odor

This is a benefit that even you, as a dog parent, will reap…

Coconut oil can help eliminate your canine’s signature doggy odor.

That’s why it’s an ingredient in most dog shampoos.

Contributes to bone health

AKC tells us that maintaining bone health is among the many benefits of coconut oil.

So, it’s perfect for your shedding dog and your arthritic pooch.

Risks associated with the usage of coconut oil in dogs

Despite its many benefits, there are still risks in using coconut oil in dogs.

However, these adverse effects are rare. And it might only appear in scenarios where the oil isn’t used moderately.

Aside from that misuse in the amount of coconut, there’s more to watch out for. Namely:

Allergic reactions

To start, the risk of an allergic reaction will always be present.

So, be careful when introducing this treatment to your dog.

Fido might develop irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) if they’re allergic to the oil.

As the name suggests, it’s a skin condition that’s caused by an irritant.

In this case, coconut oil is to blame.

With that, watch out for the signs of ICD in your dog. And according to PetMD, those are:

  • Itching.
  • Bumps.
  • Rashes.
  • Swelling.

If these are present, take your dog to the vet immediately. Also, stop using coconut oil in your dog ASAP.

It can affect your dog’s smelling ability

Giving coconut oil to your dog through their food poses a specific risk to your dog…

I’m talking about its harmful effects on your dog’s scent-detecting skills.

According to this study, a diet that’s high in saturated fats is the culprit.

And I mentioned before that coconut oil is abundant in lauric acid, a saturated fat.

With that, your pooch’s smelling-ability might be the price to pay for their great fur.

It can cause weight gain

Causes Weight Gain

As I said, you can give coconut oil to your dog orally.

Moreover, the substance is oil. Therefore, it contains many calories and fat, saturated fats to be exact. 

Now, constant usage of this substance might lead to your pooch gaining weight.

Note: With that, it’s best to seek the advice of your dog’s vet first before using coconut oil. That’s whether you’ll opt to use the topical or oral treatment.

What is the best coconut oil for dog shedding?

The best coconut oil for dog shedding is virgin coconut oil (VCO). That’s because most of the benefits are observed in that kind. 

Another great choice is homemade coconut oil. You can make your own by extracting it from coconut milk.

First of all, many kinds of coconut oil are available for use. There are:

  • RBD.
  • Refined.
  • Organic.
  • Fractionated.
  • Hydrogenated.
  • Expeller-pressed.

However, virgin coconut oil (VCO) is the best one to use for your dog’s shedding.

Let me tell you why…

Virgin coconut oil (VCO)

This type is also called unrefined coconut oil.

The good thing with this is that it’s the least processed type of coconut oil. 

Also, VCO is the most-studied kind of coconut oil. 

Many research centers around the use of VCO and find many benefits from it.

Among many, this study tells us that VCO is rich in antioxidants.

What are those?

They’re substances that slow the damaging of cells. That’s why it’s mostly present in preservatives for food.

Moreover, it’s a study done on rats. And the findings are more than just its abundance in antioxidants.

As I said, coconut oil helps maintain your dog’s bone health. In this study lies the proof for such.

But, let me stray back to our main topic, which is shedding…

VCO is mainly used in dog shampoos because of its restorative properties.

Like I said, using this will make your dog’s coat fuller and healthier.

Moreover, its moisturizing ability is unmatched. It can improve damaged skin due to dryness.

Excited to see these benefits manifest in your dog’s health? Then, here’s a recommendation for a tub of chemical-free virgin coconut oil.

Homemade coconut oil

Want to ensure that everything’s indeed chemical-free and safe for your pooch?

Then, you can go the extra mile and make the coconut oil yourself.

A quick disclaimer, it wouldn’t be an easy process, but it’ll surely be worth it.

Method #1: Extraction

In making coconut oil, you must extract it from coconut milk.

You can do that by boiling the milk until the water evaporates from it.

The oil left behind will be the coconut oil that awaits to help your dog’s shedding.

Here’s a more instructional video for you to learn this process from:

Method #2: Fermentation

The first method’s too complicated? Or do you want to try another way of doing it?

Regardless of which, good thing another way is available.

You can make coconut oil for your dog by fermenting coconut milk.

Squeeze the coconut milk and pour it into a glass or tub of your choice. Then, cover it with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band.

Leave it for 2 days before the oil becomes released. 

While waiting, you can observe this process as well. You’ll see that the milk and oil will separate from each other. Kind of like when you try to mix water with oil.

After that fermentation period, you must heat this new mixture. Doing so will make the liquid evaporate. Heating it will also help eliminate extra moisture.

Take note of the expiry date

Be aware that coconut oil can go bad.

Fortunately, its shelf-life is long. It can range from 18 months up to 2 years.

And, you can maximize that up to more than 2 years.


Just make sure to keep it in a tightly-sealed container. You should also place it under room temperature.

Not following both causes the coconut oil to break down faster. 

However, the former is quicker. That’s because oxygen breaks down fat faster than heat does.

Note: When the coconut oil turns into liquid, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. In that form, it’s still useful.

“Can I refrigerate the coconut oil?”

The answer is yes, you can. Doing so won’t contribute to the coconut oil’s shelf-life.

However, it might turn into a harder consistency. Such can make it more challenging for you to use on your dog.

Moreover, here are the signs that the coconut oil has gone bad:

  • Smelling sour.
  • Tasting bitter or sour.
  • Having black oil spots.
  • Becoming yellow in color.
  • Forming blotches or chunks.

If these signs are evident in the oil, don’t use it anymore on your pooch. Regardless of whether you’re giving it to them topically or orally.

How to apply coconut oil to a dog?

To apply coconut oil to a dog, you must start with a small amount. For those that use one with a lotion texture, the size of a grape will do. If you’re using one with a liquid form, a teaspoon would do.

Moreover, the key will always be moderation, and it’s essential during the first usage. That applies to both topical and oral approaches.

Topical use of coconut oil in dogs

Step #1: Start by rubbing the recommended amount onto your hands.

Step #2: Softly pat your dog’s coat. Run your fingers through their fur.

Step #3: You can massage a little of the oil on their skin.

Step #4: Let your dog stay greasy for 5 minutes before you wash the oil off them.

Optional step: If the oil is still evident on their coat, rinsing them with a light shampoo will help.

Tip: If you’re going to do that, use a shampoo with organic coconut oil as an ingredient.

Moreover, you won’t have to worry if your dog licks themselves while you let the oil set. As clarified, coconut oil is edible for your pooch.

Putting coconut oil in your dog’s food

Coconut oil is safe for dogs to consume. But as I said, you must do so in moderation.

So, follow the amount suggested from vets from PetMD.

The first thing to note is that you must give coconut oil to your dog with meals. You can do so once or twice daily.

Here’s how much to give to your dog depending on their size:

SizeDaily coconut oil intake
Small dogs1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon daily0.04 oz (1 mL) to 0.17 oz (5 mL)
Large dogs1 tablespoon0.5 oz (15 mL)

Warning: I mentioned before that coconut oil has high-fat content.

So, it’ll be best if you don’t go for this method if your dog’s overweight.

And if they’re not, still monitor your canine’s weight during their use of coconut oil.