By being omnivorous, dogs can digest almost all foods- from raw meat to vegetables and grains. Their adaptability makes it easy for you to meet the nutritional needs of your furry friend. However, dogs ability to digest a wide variety of foods doesn’t necessarily mean that all veggies and fruits out there are healthy for your pooch.
Some foods that are digestible to humans can be less than ideal for dogs. The effects can vary from upsetting your dog’s tummy to causing permanent damage or death. Therefore, it is imperative that you know which foods to and not to feed your dog. In this article, we take an in-depth look into understanding the nutritional value of coconut to your pooch: What are the risks and benefits of this tropical fruit in your dog’s diet?
Can Dogs Eat Coconut?
Yes, dogs can eat can Coconut. Coconut meat, raw or fried, is safe for dogs provided that it is served in the correct way and with the right portions. We recommend you keep these five insights in mind when giving coconut treats to your pet:
• Too much coconut flesh can cause stomach upsets in pooches. As much as your furry companion wants more and more coconut treats, try to apply moderation and cautiousness. One spoonful is likely enough for a day.
• Some dog breeds have sensitive digestive systems and often struggle to digest coconut meat that is not fresh. It is, therefore, advisable to give your dog fresh coconut flesh most of the times and only throw in mature coconuts on selected occasions. Better still; consult your veterinary professional on the ability of your dogs breed to digest coconut easily.
• The fruit’s hard shell can barricade your dog’s intestines when swallowed, causing stomach aches and bloating. It could also get lodged in the dog’s esophagus, weakening the throat muscles and leaving the sick animal vulnerable to esophagus chocking.
Admittedly, the shells can make tasty chews for your dog’s dental strength, but this benefit is by far dwarfed by the negative, sometimes lethal, intestinal obstruction threat.
• Water from a fresh, baby coconut is suitable for your dog. However, you should avoid bottled coconut water because it can contain excess artificial sweeteners and other additives.
• Coconut oil is an excellent addition to a dog’s daily meals; however, because it is extremely calorie dense, you must avoid using it in large quantities or portions. More than a spoonful in a single meal would be considered excessive for most dogs.
What Are the Benefits of Adding Coconut into Your Dog’s Diet?
On top of being safe and tasty, coconut has many valuable health benefits for your dog. Some of them include:
i. Coconut flesh contains a medium-chain fatty acid called lauric acid, which can:
• Help your dog fight influenza and other viruses.
• Reduce the effects of arthritis and other inflammatory joint pains in your dog.
• Improve your dog’s mental function
• Reduce allergies and indigestion problems.
• Boost your pet’s energy levels.
ii. The fruit is rich in antioxidants
• These antioxidants will help expedite a dog’s recovery process from an injury or illness.
• They have potent antiviral and anti-bacterial properties that help your dog to fight off any bacterial and viral attacks.
• They can also help your dog to combat parasites.
iii. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer. You can apply it to your dog’s itchy, dry skin to promote healing and keep flees at bay.
iv. Coconut water has high levels of magnesium, calcium, zinc, and other electrolytes that can lower the risks of dehydration in dogs. Coconut water also has enzymes and vitamins that are critical to keeping a dog’s pH levels in check.
What If My Picky Dog Won’t Eat Raw Coconut?
Well, if your furry companion isn’t into raw coconut flesh or water, you can always add his/her favorite flavor into the coconut before feeding it to him/her. The idea here is to make the coconut delicious and refreshing without lowering its health benefits and without adding any excess sugars, carbs, or calories. Here are three ideas for you to try:
• Mix coconut water and some blackberry juice. If it is during summer, you can always freeze the mixture to make yummy, bone-shaped coco treats. Other fruits such as pineapples and blueberries can work too.
• Make coconut cookies using coconut water, coconut oil, shredded coconut, almond milk, and a banana. This kind of treat is useful not only because it is delicious but also because it is low-calorie and doesn’t upset sensitive dog tummies.
• A cookie made by a mixture of beef or chicken broth, egg, cinnamon, all-purpose flour, and coconut will make your picky dog interested.