Chances are you’ve heard people talking about how amazing coconut oil is for your dog. And how it can even reduce excessive shedding.
But is this really the case or is it just another myth?
Here’s what you need to know…
Does Coconut Oil Help With Shedding, Really?
Yes. Coconut oil is a very effective, natural and safe way to reduce shedding.
Well, before we can answer this, let’s first consider one of the root causes of excessive shedding. Dry, irritated skin.
There are many reasons your dog could have dry, irritated skin too. Some of the more common reasons are over bathing, poor diet or even an allergic reaction of some kind.
In any case, dry skin causes excessive shedding.
Which also leads to excessive scratching, which further increases shedding and in some cases, can even result in bald patches.
The good new is, Coconut oil solves this. Primarily by helping your dog develop a healthy, moisture rich skin and coat.
The medium chain triglycerides (MCT) within coconut oil are the main reason for this. MCT is a healthy fat and has a range of benefits for your dog, other than just helping create a healthy skin and coat.
For example, MCT can help with a common flea allergy found in household dogs, known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis. It won’t kill the fleas, but it can help treat the nasty effects of this, once you’ve removed the fleas.
It can also help with dermatitis, inflammation from insect bites, other adverse skin reactions from allergies and even wound healing if applied topically.
Apart from promoting healthy skin, coconut oil has many other benefits too. Such as promoting a healthy thyroid and digestive system, and even reducing unpleasant dog odours.
No wonder they call it a superfood!
So yes, coconut oil absolutely helps reduce excessive shedding. And it’s a great natural supplement to have around, due to it’s other benefits.
What Kind of Coconut Oil Should You Use?
Without a doubt, the best type of coconut oil to use is virgin coconut oil. The nutrient, mineral and MCT content is higher and it’s generally just better quality.
The main thing that separates regular and virgin coconut oil (other than the benefits) is the source of the oil and how it’s extracted. In short, virgin coconut oil extracted from fresh coconut milk, and without heat or exposure to sunlight.
As a result, like most things in life, there’s a higher price to pay for this higher level of quality.
But when you consider how much you will be using and the numerous benefits to your dog’s overall health and wellbeing, it’s worth it.
How To Apply Coconut Oil For Shedding (and How Often)
You can apply coconut oil topically (on your dog’s coat) or orally (feed it to him). In this section, we explain how to apply coconut oil using both methods.
Method 1) Add Some Coconut Oil To Your Dog’s Food
This method will likely give your dog the most benefit. Since it will not just benefit his skin and coat, but also his entire body.
And the good news is, most dogs enjoy eating coconut oil!
Start with half a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil per day, within your dog’s food. It’s important to start with a small amount, so as not to disrupt your dog’s digestive system.
Sudden and/ or excessive doses of coconut oil can result in diarrhoea and is not good for your dog. So start with a small dose and monitor how your dog reacts to it.
All going well, you can increase this over time, to a tablespoon for a full grown medium size dog per day.
This is just a general rule of thumb though. Always monitor the situation (for example check your dog’s stools) and consult your local vet if you have any concerns.
It’s also worth understanding that coconut oil is made up of around 90% saturated fat. And even though it’s a healthy fat, it is still fat and does contain calories. Which means your dog could gain weight if you feed him too much.
So it pays to maintain regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet to avoid excess weight gain.
Option 2) Apply Coconut Oil On Your Dog’s Coat
This method is simple and effective.
All you need to do is apply coconut oil to your dog’s coat and thoroughly massage into his skin. Allow 5-10 minutes for the oil to soak in, lightly rinse off any excess oil with water and dry your dog with a towel.
That’s it! Repeat this process weekly or fortnightly for best results.
Worth noting, you don’t need to bath your dog fully after each session, because over bathing itself will dry out your dog’s skin.
This is especially true when it comes to using low quality shampoos. Because the chemicals within these can cause all kinds of nasty irritations and dry skin.
So it’s important to maintain a proper bathing regime to ensure a healthy coat.
Coconut oil is a very effective way to reduce dog shedding.
It helps with many types of skin irritations and promotes a healthy skin and coat. Which is exactly what you want when reducing excessive shedding.
There are also many other great benefits of using coconut oil for your dog’s overall health and well being. So it’s well worth having a quality jar of virgin coconut oil on hand.