Is Coconut Oil Toxic to Dogs?

By Elizabeth Tumbarello

If your dog has dry skin, you can try treating him with dietary supplements instead of medications. Coconut oil is an option that is not toxic to dogs, although you do have to take some care when using it.


Coconut oil is a saturated fat often given to dogs with dry skin or itchiness to improve coat condition, provide energy and aid in weight management.


Because it is a medium chain fatty acid, coconut oil is not toxic at any dosage when given to most dogs. They simply pass unused portions through urine and fecal matter.


The best coconut oil is labeled as "organic extra virgin." That term refers to how the oil is processed. Organic extra virgin oil contains fewer pollutants and harmful fats.

Side Effects

If you give your dog too much oil in one dosage, she may have loose or runny stools. A dog's stomach takes approximately two weeks to adjust to the extra fat content, so you should take the time to work up to the correct dosage of 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds of body weight.

Expert Insight

Although coconut oil is not toxic to dogs, you should consult a veterinarian before starting any type of supplement regimen for your pet. Dogs who have immune system problems, are pregnant or are otherwise in a compromised state of health may need special consideration.


Using a supplement may only treat a symptom and not cure the root cause of the dog's problem.