You’ve probably been hearing about the benefits of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) in your diet. What about Fido? Dogs can also experience positive results from having ingredients like coconut oil added to their daily food.
We’ll review 14 products to help you find the best MCT oil for your furry friend’s needs.
As always, consult your vet first. Your pup’s doctor knows him best and can provide valuable input about these supplements.
This coconut oil is pure, unrefined, and USDA certified organic. The product is GMO-free and is safe to give to dogs orally or topically. It’s responsibly sourced from a farmer that uses sustainable practices. You can purchase the supplement in a 54-ounce jar.
What Are MCTs?
- Overdosing MCTs can cause diarrhea.
- Some dogs are allergic to coconut and would react to coconut oil
- Dogs prone to pancreatitis could have a flare-up due to the fat content
- You may see weight gain if you give more than your pal needs
How Much MCT Is In Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil contains three of the four types of MCTs:
- Lauric acid – 42%
- Caprylic acid – 7%
- Capric acid – 5%
The rest of the triglyceride content in coconut oil consists of long-chain triglycerides and saturated fats.
Advocates of MCT oils for dogs say that supplementing Fido’s diet can bring health benefits including:
- Weight control – Studies suggest the way a pup’s body metabolizes MCTs results in a higher energy expenditure that can help reduce weight gain and fat deposits.
- Treating wounds – MCTs belong to a class of antimicrobial lipids and can be a useful aid in the treatment and healing of wounds. A study of the effects of coconut oil as a wound treatment in laboratory rats demonstrated accelerated healing. The topical application may be useful to reduce inflammation and boost the body’s production of new skin.
- Promotes healthy skin and coat – The MCTs in coconut oil help to hydrate the skin and can help prevent damage to hair. Many recommend this supplement to foster a soft shiny coat and to treat dry skin. Rubbing a small amount of coconut oil on your furbaby can help add moisture to the skin and ease itching. It will also refresh the coat and help to protect the hair follicles.
- Improves brain function – MCTs in coconut oil provide the brain with the extra energy source of ketones. Studies show that supplementation improves cognitive function in dogs as they age.
- Aids digestion – MCTs can help boost gut contractions to keep things moving in the digestive tract. In addition to keeping the gut moving, the fatty acids in MCTs aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients. They may also help curb inflammation and promote healing in animals with autoimmune diseases or leaky gut issues.
- Natural Toothpaste – Coconut oil and other sources of MCTs have demonstrated antimicrobial properties. You can use this product to clean your special pal’s teeth.
- Bad Breath – Whether you use coconut oil to brush your pooch’s teeth, or you add a little to his food, this supplement helps to freshen his breath.
- Flea and Tick Repellent – Studies demonstrated that using virgin coconut oil shampoo to treat dogs infested with ticks, fleas, or mites was effective to eliminate the parasites. MCTs applied to the coat may also repel the tiny pests.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease – MCTs can help reduce the body’s production of inflammatory proteins called cytokines. That means these supplements may be able to combat diseases like inflammatory bowel disease.
- Immune System – Studies demonstrate that MCTs help to activate the immune system. The supplements show antifungal and antimicrobial effects, and they can boost the gut’s secretion of digestive antibodies(IgA).
- Arthritis – Like turmeric for dogs, virgin coconut oil contains compounds called polyphenols. Research results suggest these molecules help to reduce swelling and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Yeast Infection – Coconut oil may be effective to treat yeast infections, by preventing overgrowth of the organism, Candida albicans.
- Ear Infection – You may be able to use coconut oil to soothe your furry friend’s discomfort when he has an ear infection. However, this is not a replacement for a veterinary exam and appropriate medication.
- Hot Spots – Some people use coconut oil to treat hot spots, or acute moist dermatitis, in their pups. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this balm may be helpful as a part of the treatment regimen. Consult with your veterinarian first.
- Choose unrefined or virgin coconut oil. Refined products are manufactured from dried coconut meat and go through a purification process. They don’t have as many nutrients as the raw product, and they smell and taste different.
- Find one your dog likes. Depending on the source of the coconut and the manufacturing process, different products will have variable odor and flavor. You may need to run taste tests with Fido to find his preferred brand.
- Go non-GMO. There are differing opinions about including genetically modified organisms (GMO) in products like coconut oil. As long as the jury is out it’s best to play it safe and avoid sources that have GMOs.
- Use Certified Organic products. Certified organic farms will not use pesticides on their trees or chemical fertilizers on the land. The resulting product will be natural and should have maximum nutritional value.
Unless your furbaby is allergic to coconut, there aren’t many risks associated with feeding the oil to your pooch in appropriate quantities. However, Fido could get diarrhea if you feed him too much coconut oil.
When starting your pup on the supplement, it’s important to use small doses and build up slowly. The antimicrobial effects of the MCTs in coconut oil can trigger a detoxification process.
Side effects include:
- Flu-like symptoms
Fish oil for dogs is a long-chain fatty acid and contains the Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Like MCTs, these supplements are often given to dogs to promote healthy hair and skin. They can also support healthy brain function, heart health, eye health, and the immune response.
Coconut oil contains mostly MCTs and saturated fats. They’re broken down differently and can boost metabolism and energy levels. These fatty acids also support antimicrobial activity in the body and promote healthy skin and coat.
Does MCT oil help dogs with itchy skin?
Many owners report that applying MCT or coconut oil to the skin can help with dryness and itching. Results can vary.
How do I use MCT oil for my dog?
MCT oil is an oral supplement that can be added to your food. When you start giving this product, use smaller doses and build up to the recommended dose on the package.
Coconut oil can be given orally or topically. Please refer to the recommended dosage section of this review or the manufacturer’s directions when giving this supplement by mouth.
Can I freeze this to make homemade treats?
Yes, coconut oil is safe to freeze. Be careful that each individual treat does not exceed the recommended dosage of coconut oil.
Related article: 105 Homemade Dog Treats
Do I need to refrigerate coconut/MCT oil?
No, coconut/MCT oil is stable and safe to store at room temperature. Coconut oil will solidify at temperatures below about 76 degrees F.
Will this product make my dog’s fur greasy?
The product is an oil, so it can be greasy. It will depend on the amount that you use and the particular product. Massage the oil into the hair or skin may help to reduce greasy residue.
First in Show Goes To: Our Top Pick
After reviewing the above products and comparing them to our criteria, we select Stuart Pet Supply Coconut Oil for Dogs as our top pick for MCT oil for dogs.
This product is an organic supplement made from non-GMO products. It uses unrefined, virgin coconut oil for maximum nutritional benefit.
Owners report that dogs like the flavor and consistency, and they see noticeable improvements in skin and hair when giving this product to their pups.
Based on the product sourcing and processing and owner feedback, we choose Stuart Pet Supply as our Top Pick.