can dogs eat coconut

There's no debate around it: coconut is delicious.

Its meat is creamy and nutty, while the milk is rich.

Plus, coconut water is refreshing, especially on a hot summery day.

On top of that, coconut offers a lot of health benefits.

I love coconut so much that I want to share the same love and benefits with my dog.

But the question is, can I?

Is coconut safe for dogs?

You are not alone in this concern, and a lot of owner wants a clear answer to it.

So for this blog, we’ll be shedding light on a lot of dog owners’ concerns about coconut as food.

I’ll be talking about what coconut parts and products are safe for dogs and the coconut benefits for dogs.

Additionally, I’ll also detail vet-recommended portions of coconut for dogs.

Can dogs eat coconut? Let’s find out together!

coconut for dogs

Can Dogs Eat Coconut?

Now for the big question of this blog: can dogs eat coconut?

And the answer is yes—dogs can eat coconut!

Coconut fruits don’t have substances that are toxic to our pet dog.

In fact, the coconut tree and its fruits are not included in the official toxic plants list of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

That being said, you should still be careful when feeding or giving your dog coconut.

Some coconut parts and products are either inedible or pose a health risk when consumed in large amounts.

is coconut safe for dogs

What Part of a Coconut Can a Dog Eat?

As I’ve mentioned, while coconut is perfectly safe for your dog’s consumption, some of its parts are inedible or can pose a health risk to them.

And as a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to know what you’re feeding your dog and how it affects them.

Who knows, you might be giving coconuts to them all wrong!

So what are the parts and products of coconut that dogs can eat?

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Meat?

Can dogs eat coconut meat?

Yes, they can!

Coconut meats that are available in the market are often processed.

The flesh usually comes as dried and shredded, so I suggest that you sprinkle it on your dog’s homemade food.

Alternatively, if your dog enjoys the taste of coconut meat, you can use it as a form of treat!

Just make sure to buy them in larger flakes instead.

RELATED: Recipe: Grain-Free Pumpkin Coconut Dog Treats

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Oil?

Can dogs eat coconut oil?


Coconut oil exists in different types based on how it is produced.

But generally, coconut oil exists mostly in three forms: refined, unrefined, and virgin coconut oil.

If you want to use coconut oil as food for your dogs, I recommend using virgin coconut oil out of the three options.

Since TopDogTips don’t advocate feeding your dogs fried foods, oil with a low smoke point, like virgin coconut oil, works just fine in dog food.

But we’ve been using coconut oil on our skin and have produced great results.

Can dogs have coconut oil in their skins and fur as well?

Yes, they can!

You can apply coconut oils to dogs externally too.

Again, be sure to use virgin coconut oil as it is the healthiest option out of all three forms.

RELATED: What Are the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Milk?

Can dogs have coconut milk?

Yes, dogs can consume coconut milk, but in small amounts only.

Should you decide to feed your dog with coconut milk, always make sure to buy organic and unsweetened ones.

RELATED: 6 Must-Know Tips for Making Your Own Homemade Dog Food

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Sugar?

Can dogs eat coconut sugar when you add it to their food?

Yes, coconut sugar is safe to consume.

In fact, coconut sugar is a healthier alternative compared to table sugar and other alternatives such as honey, cane sugar, and even palm sugar.

This is because coconut sugars do not spike your dog’s blood sugar levels compared to other sugar compounds.

Coconut sugar is a coconut product that comes from its sweet sap, just like palm.

And while dogs don’t necessarily need sugar in their diet, it’s often an important ingredient in a lot of homemade dog cookie treats.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Flour?

Can dogs eat coconut flour in a lot of homemade dog treats for them?

Yes, dogs can consume coconut flour!

Coconut flour is made from dehydrating coconut meat and grounding them into a powder-like consistency.

Like coconut sugar, coconut flour makes a great alternative to a lot of commercial flour, like wheat flour.

This is because coconut flour is gluten-free, unlike most grain flour.

Coconut flour also doesn’t spike your dog’s blood sugar as much as all-purpose flour.

RELATED: Recipe: Grain-Free Dog Treats with Coconut Flour

Can Dogs Have Coconut Water?

Lastly, a lot of dog owners ask, “Can dogs have coconut water?”

And the answer to that is still a yes!

It’s safe to let your dog drink coconut water in moderation.

Just take note that it shouldn’t replace your pet’s drinking water.

coconut benefits for dogs

Coconut Benefits for Dogs

If you are looking for a reason to feed your dog with coconut, start by thinking about how it can improve your dog’s health.

Coconut packs a lot of nutritional benefits that dog owners like you should know and consider.

Here are the potential coconut benefits for dogs.

1. Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Does your dog have itchy inflammation on its skin?

Is your dog’s body swelling in so much pain?

If those are the case, then coconuts can help you with that.

One of the coconut benefits for dogs is its ability to reduce inflammation in your dog’s body.

A 2010 study has shown coconut to contain anti-inflammatory properties for dogs.

Lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid, reportedly helped in treating the lab mice’s red swelling areas on their skin.

The same substance in the coconut was also reported to relieve pain from the swelling body joints of the mice.

So what do these all mean for your dog?


It means coconut can help alleviate a lot of symptoms of inflammation, starting from swelling down to pain.

If you do keep a senior dog, coconut’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help alleviate its arthritis symptoms.

2. Contains Antioxidants

Would you be surprised to find out that coconuts also show great potential to become an excellent antioxidant?

In fact, a study made in 2013 was conducted to determine coconut’s antioxidant properties in mice along with sunflower oil and olive oil.

Results showed that all three types of oil have antioxidant properties.

But it’s in coconut that it produces the best results in terms of how it reduces the amount of free radicals in the subjects’ bodies.

This means that coconut for dogs can significantly reduce the damage from free radicals and decrease the risk of cancers.

3. Promotes Healthy Skin and Coat

Coconut for dogs is a healthy food treat, but your dogs can use it externally too!

The great thing about coconuts is that they can be a moisturizer for our pet dogs.

In a 2004 study, researchers found that coconut oil significantly hydrated the skin.

This was backed by a 2008 study about how coconut oils are effective at treating skin ailments like eczema.

Additionally, because coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties, they also reduce the number of swellings that your dog has in its skin.

4. Contains Anti-Microbial Properties

Rather than asking, “Can dogs eat coconut,” you should instead ask, “Why should you let dogs eat coconut?

And so, another coconut benefit for dogs that you need to know is that it combats microbes inside and outside of its body.

While there are no recent studies to prove that coconut can cure diseases, there are studies that point to its anti-microbial properties.

In the study, fatty acids like Lauric and capric acids were effective at stopping bacterial growth.

But that’s not all!

There’s another study in 2001 proved coconut to contain anti-viral and anti-fungal abilities.

is coconut bad for dogs

When Is Coconut Bad for Your Dog?

If you think coconut is all sunshine and rainbows for your dog, think again!

Despite all the coconut benefits for dogs, it can still pose some health risks for them.

So if you are wondering when coconuts can be bad for your dog, I’ll help you shed light on your concern.

Here’s how coconut can be bad for your beloved pet.

What Happens if a Dog Eats Too Much Coconut?

Too much of anything is bad for your dogs, and that includes coconuts!

For example, coconut meat, oil, and milk contain high levels of fat content.

Too much of these can increase their cholesterol and can even lead to your dog’s weight gain.

Excessive coconut oil and milk can also upset your dog’s stomach problems.

And while coconut water is extremely good for your dog, it has a high concentration of potassium in it.

This means if you’re not moderate with giving your dog some coconut water, you’ll risk overdosing them with potassium.

Is It Okay for Dog to Chew on Coconut Shell?

Can dogs eat coconut shells and husk?

Well, if we people can’t eat it, we shouldn’t feed it to dogs too.

It’s no surprise that neither humans nor dogs can eat coconut shells because they’re extremely hard and difficult to chew.

Forcing to feed it to dogs can result in potential choking of your pet and even intestinal blockage.

Processed and Commercial Coconut Products have Additives

A lot of commercially-available coconut products in the market have been industrially processed.

This means that most of these products have chemicals added to them during the manufacturing process.

Most of these chemicals are in the form of preservatives to help extend the product’s shelf life.

Processed coconut products also have most of their nutrients killed.

So while these chemicals don’t harm your dog, it doesn’t do them any benefit either.

But the one thing you should look out for in a lot of commercial coconut products is the sweeteners.

These sweeteners are a sure way to either result in weight gain or increase your dog’s blood sugar level.

One particular sweetener—xylitol—is something that you want to avoid in coconut products.

While this sweetener is safe for human consumption, it’s an extremely swift poison for your dog.

That’s why if you want to feed your dog with coconut, I recommend going for a more organic and natural option instead.

Better, you can crack open a coconut yourself and feed the contents directly to your dogs!

How Much Coconut Portions Can I Give My Dogs?

So how much coconut should you give your dogs?

I recommend that you should be modest with the amounts across all coconut products.

You shouldn’t treat them as a dish of their own but rather as a treat or an addition to their diets.

For shredded coconut meat, I recommend a big pinch for them in their dish.

As for coconut oils, a tablespoon of coconut virgin coconut oil goes a long way to deliver the nutrients to your dogs.

Lastly, I recommend only a few ounces of coconut water to hydrate and energize your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut: Should You Feed Your Dog With It?

Can dogs eat coconut?

Yes, they can!

Coconuts are versatile plants where almost every part of them has a use.

That’s why it’s no surprise that you can also get a lot from its fruit seed alone.

You can feed it to your dog in almost every form possible, starting with its meat down to its extracted oil.

Coconut for dogs also makes a delicious treat that they can eat over and over again.

More than that, coconuts are also nutritious, making them a fine addition to all of your dog’s meals.

Just make sure to keep feeding them the right amount, and your dog will benefit greatly from coconuts without upsetting their bowels!

Now, before you go…

Are you interested to know if what other human foods are safe to consume for dogs?

Wondering if you can feed sunflowers to your dogs?

How about avocado?

Or perhaps you are interested in what types of beans are safe for your dog’s consumption.

Then feel free to check out the articles below to learn more about these foods!