Can Dogs Eat Dried Coconut?

Coconut is a tropical fruit that is enjoyed by human beings all over the world. Apart from the raw fruit, variations such as coconut oil, coconut flakes, and dried coconuts are also available. This fruit is extremely hydrating in nature and filled with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Coconut and coconut products are available easily throughout the world and they are mostly affordable as well. Dogs can generally consume most fruits and vegetables. Although they have no active need for it, fruits mainly act as treats for your pet. The best part is that they make for natural and healthy treats. 

Is it okay for dogs to eat dried coconut?

The answer is in, Yes they can. Any form of coconut is perfectly fine for your dog. Not only is it safe for your pet to consume dried coconut, but it is also actually beneficial to their health. However, many companies add sugar to dried coconut. This is what you need to look out for. Heavy quantities of sugar are absolutely not good for your dog. In that regard, make it a point to check the ingredients list while buying dried coconut and buy the ones which have no added sugar.

Are there any health benefits of feeding dried coconut to my dog?

Yes, absolutely! Dried coconut is a very good ingredient that you can add to your dog’s diet both in its treats or in its meals. Coconut is an extremely nutritious fruit that will have a positive impact on your dog’s health. Filled with vitamins, minerals, good fat, and carbs, dried coconut can take care of many of your dog’s nutritional needs. 

  1. Excellent for bone health – As a dog parent, it is natural that you worry about your pet’s bone health. It is important to take care of them especially while they are growing up and once they become a senior. Dried coconut contains manganese. This mineral has been directly linked to better bone health in dogs. If you think your dogs lack strength in their bones, it is time you try out including a small amount of dried coconut to their diet. 
  2. Source of energy – Every 100 grams of dried unsweetened coconut contains 7.5 grams of Protein and 25 grams of carbs. Both of these are essential for a balanced meal for your dog. Protein helps with muscle growth and is probably the most important nutrient that your dog needs. This is especially applicable to dogs who are young, big in size or engage in a lot of physical activities. The carbs help the dog with energy to remain active. Dried coconut is a good source of energy for your dog, especially because it is natural. 
  3. Boosts immunity –  Coconuts contain phenolic compounds such as gallic acid, caffeic acid and salicylic acid. These compounds have amazing antioxidant qualities which are extremely beneficial for your dogs. Antioxidants are necessary. They help in enhancing the immune system. This means that feeding dried coconut can actually make your dog’s immunity increase. Strong immunity also ensures lesser risks of diseases. Antioxidants also help in damage repair. So if you have an ageing dog, adding a solid source of antioxidants can be a good choice. It will help reduce cellular damage and help your dog to be stronger. 
  4. Reduces Inflammation – Coconut contains Lauric Acid. Although this component has innumerable health benefits for your dog, what it does in the case of inflammation is remarkable. In case your dog suffers from the problem or has trouble in its joints, dried coconut can help with it. Lauric Acid also has other advantages. It helps in treating yeast infections and certain bacteria as well. This makes dogs stronger and more resistant to diseases caused by those strains. Dogs with arthritis or other bone trouble can find coconut very soothing.
  5. Good for gut health – Just like most foods, coconut has a high fibre content. Dogs need fibre because it improves gastro-intestinal activities. This means that food consumed is better processed. This leads to better intestinal health. If you have a dog who has gastric problems or has trouble during bowel movements, you can try adding dried coconut to its diet. The water content in coconut also helps with hydration. That is also a reason why coconut helps dogs with such problems. Good gut health can lead to happiness and activeness in your dog.
  6. Improves brain function – Dogs can often suffer from cognitive functioning. This can lead to brain degeneration which is harmful for the pet as well as the family it has. Some of the common symptoms of degeneration is dissociation from members of the family, inability to follow instructions, losing interest in play and games they previously liked and major changes in sleep patterns. Noticing this at an early stage is useful for recovery. Research has proved that coconut is directly related to betterment of cognitive functioning in dogs. So if your dog faces such issues, adding dried coconut to the diet can give an extra push towards recovery. 
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How to feed dried coconut to your dog?

Dried coconut is not only a good source of essential nutrition, it is also packed with flavor and is affordable. In fact, many packages of dog treats contain dried coconut in them. The dried coconut should be served to pets in a fixed quantity. So, the best thing that you can do is to make it a dog treat. Here is a simple dog treat recipe with dried coconut. 

Bite-sized Coconut Balls 

This 4 ingredient dog treat recipe is sure to become your dog’s favorite snack. You will need rolled oats, peanut butter, unsweetened dried coconut, and peanut butter. 

Step 1 – Take two cups of rolled oats. Add 2-2 ½ tablespoons of peanut butter and ⅓ cup of coconut oil to it. Mix in a blender. 

Step 2 – Once the mixture turns into a paste, make small balls with it. You must take care of each ball to keep a check on your dog’s calorie intake. 

Step 3 – After the balls are made, roll them on a plate filled with dried unsweetened coconut. 

Step 4 – Once they are coated with the coconut, put them in a freezer for half an hour. 

Additionally, you can also add banana to the mixture, in which case you would have to adjust the amount of oats to maintain the consistency. This simple treat can easily become your dog’s favorite so be careful and strictly stick to the portion size. 

Precautions before feeding dried coconut to your dog.

Although dried coconut is completely safe for dogs, there are a few things you should take care of before feeding it to your dog –

  1. Always consult your vet before you add anything new to your dog’s diet. Medical history and conditions if any must be kept in mind before making changes. 
  2. At all costs avoid feeding sweetened dried coconut to your dog. Sugar is dangerous for dogs. It can cause massive gastro-intestinal troubles in your dog which can persist for a long time. For dogs with hyperglycemia, it can also be fatal. 
  3. Always keep a check on the quantity of consumption because excessive coconut can cause health problems in your dog. 
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Our Verdict

Dried coconut is completely safe and healthy for your dog. If you think your dog needs minerals that can help with muscle growth and joint pain, you can add this ingredient to your dog’s diet after consulting your vet.    

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