I have been considering adding coconut oil to my poodle’s food. He has a tendency to get itchy (tried to figure out what it is by limiting his food, but he just seems to be an itchy dog). I was wondering what the specific benefits of coconut oil were. I have heard it helps with the skin and coat, but does it help itchiness as well? He had fish oil added to his food for a while and didn’t seem to mind that and helped his skin throughout the winter. Also, how much coconut oil would I add to his food? He is about 13.8 pounds.
ab1028, I have a 13-lb terrier mix who gets 1 teaspoon of raw extra virgin unrefined coconut oil at breakfast every other day. It has made his coat super soft and shiny. He still itches every once in a while but that was not a concern before, so no change there.
I’ve been getting into the habit of feeding my newfoundland and standard poodle mix puppy a half tsp of coconut oil for about a week. It has done wonders with his breath! You have to slowly build it up to the recommended amount so that it doesn’t play havoc with his stomach all of a sudden.
Do you know if it will help the itchiness at all if there is an existing problem? He isn’t itching himself until he bleeds or anything or chewing his paws, but he is definitely much itchier than a dog normally should be. Thanks for all the help!
I give unrefined organic coconut oil internally and also use it externally for both my dog and cats. Initially I used it to help alleviate and improve some skin conditions both had. Now I use it for maintenance to keep their skin and coat healthy and moisturized; I really like the results. I feed it a few times a week and apply externally to one cat that has dry skin patches.
The most improvement in their skin and coats came from changing and improving their diets. You wrote that you tried to limit food. One suggestion I have for you is to try dog foods with different proteins (and starches if you feed kibble) to see if it may be a protein (meat or plant source) that does not agree with your dog. Keep the ingredient lists of each food and compare them if you observe a reaction to determine if they contain common ingredients that may be the culprit.
Another thing to consider is maybe your pup has seasonal allergies. I have never had a pet that suffered from this, but there are several posters on DFA that do. If allergies were an issue I would consider feeding local bee pollen or local honey to my pet. Here’s a link to a DFA forum on the subject and also a few articles about bee pollen and honey:
Here’s some links to articles about coco oil you may find helpful, good luck!
I do rotate foods. Right now he is eating Orijen adult, and he has also eaten Acana Pacific, Wild Prairie, Grasslands, and Now! Fresh. I am wondering if it is seasonal allergies as well. There is also a strong possibility that he is getting bitten from mosquitoes. During the winter, we were supplementing his food with fish oil and he was definitely not as itchy. Not perfect, but not bad either.
Thank you so much for the links!
You are welcome! I hope you find the culprit. I am not sure if rotating my dog’s food was the answer (although I do this and believe in it) as so much as it was finding the offending ingredients and eliminating the bad food ingredients such as dyes, soy and artificial stuff. Good luck!
He never was on a bad food. He has always been on at least a 4 star food. We have tried to find the offending ingredients and found out that bison, beef, and many grains he reacts to. Jasper also likes the rotation because he tends to get tired of food after 2 small bags. We change the food every bag and he does well without any digestive issues. It could just be that it is an itchy dog that needs extra supplements to help reduce it.
Sounds like you are on top of his diet. At least you have found some intolerences; hopefully there aren’t anymore! I have only found one possible protein that makes Bobby itch, duck. I am not entirely sure since it was only a 1 lb sample of food; maybe another ingredient was the culprit. I plan on trying a duck kibble from a different manufacturer in the future to see if it makes him itch.
My dog was on a five star kibble, but I just never thought about the canned food I used. I have always fed kibble with a little canned food and water; just enough to make a gravy and coat the kibble. I don’t even want to write what canned I was feeding. lol The skin issues were definately from it. Once I stopped feeding the bad canned food, his skin improved within five days.
Canned and fresh foods make up a good portion of his diet now. I believe the moisture from them really helps his skin too.
Your dog sounds like mine, Bobby enjoys the variety. I also buy small bags and switch to a new brand, protein, and starch with each new bag; no transition and no digestive issues.
If your dog has any irritated skin try rubbing some coco oil on it. While I was sorting out Bobby’s skin issues that would really make him comfortable. He had red, itchy skin on the inside of his hind legs, tail/butt, and groin area. He was constantly licking these areas. He would sleep like a baby after I rubbed some coco oil on it. The relief doesn’t last forever, but it helps!
The beef, bison, and grains tend to just make is very, very itchy. He doesn’t have any intolerances that we know of. He doesn’t itch himself to the point of being red, raw, of losing fur, but he just shouldn’t be this itchy. I am considering trying to find a dog safe mosquito spray for him. We used to give Jasper canned food with his meals, but sometimes he would get tired of it. The canned foods he had were Go! and Wellness (95% and CORE). Now he gets kibble with an Orijen freeze dried treat sprinkled on top (to entice him to eat it). For supper he often has Orijen freeze dried medallions, which he really enjoys. For snacks (and we know that these don’t make him itchy), he gets fruits and veggies, freeze dried treats, buddy biscuits (hard and soft ones), and ice chips/cubes.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by ab1028.
Some signs of food intolerances are itchiness, dry skin, skin irritations (ex: hot spots), digestive issues, yeast infections in the ear, but there are many more signs as each dog is different.
I never knew that, I though digestive troubles meant that there was a food intolerance. Thanks!
I only just skimmed through the posts, so I might be a replaying record – but if you’re not able to track a food suspect, it might be environmental allergies. I heard you mention mosquitoes – that’s very possible, also some dogs are sensitive to grass, pollen, etc.
Maybe try adding a little spoonful of raw organic LOCAL honey to his food daily and see if that eventually helps. I’ve heard of honey working miracles on itchy allergy dogs. If you want a “quick fix”, then you could try Benadryl (or the equivalent for dogs, I’m assuming you can find allergy tabs)
So I’ve tried adding the coconut oil and my 11 yr old GSD will not touch it. Same with the raw honey, which I use. He has severe seasonal allergies and I know this would help. I’ve tried adding tiny amounts and even getting him to lick it off my hands. He just gives me the look! Any suggestions would be appreciated
The only suggestion I have for enticing your dog to eat coco oil is trying to melt it and see if he will lick it out of his bowl.
Only one of my cats will eat coco oil in his food, but it can’t be mixed completely in (or melted) because he won’t touch it. I have to hide a small solid amount in his food. The other cats will not touch their food if something is hiding or mixed into it. Sometimes they eat it alone in solid form or melted, when all else fails I just rub it onto their fur. My dog absolutely loves it no matter what and if I don’t watch him he will lick it off the cats fur! lol
Sometimes added supplements don’t agree with our pets and he may also be telling you this by not eating it.
As for the honey I have never had a pet with seasonal allergies, but definately would try either local raw honey or local bee pollen if they did. Since honey doesn’t interest him, I would look into bee pollen. I would imagine it is easier to administer. Here’s a few links with more info on bee pollen and honey. Good luck!
The first time I tried feeding onyx coco oil I tried to mix it into his food. He didn’t touch it. Then I put the solidified coco oil on a treat and he sniffed at it. So then I sat down beside him with the coco oil on the treat and opened his mouth and put a little bit on it. He licked his lips and seemed to like it. The next few days I fed him the coco oil the same way, I’d take a little and put it in his mouth. He also knows that when he is done eating the oil he gets the treat, so he has something to look forward to. Nowadays Ive graduated to being able to put it on the side of his food bowl and him licking all of it off. He still gets his treat of course!
Thank you all for the suggestions! Some of these I have tried and some I have not. I will update as I put them in the practice.
My Labrador loved coco oil. Then one day, she completely refused it! I decided to melt it and pour it over the food….it solidified when it touched the bottom of the bowl, and she ended up wasting a lot of kibble.
People on here suggested I take her off of it for a few days then give her smaller quantities. Bingo! That worked! I waited a few days, and then she would (most of the time) eat it without a problem.
When she is seeming picky, I will melt it, pour it over her food, and then pour about 1/2c hot water over (enough to cover the food completely). That way the coco oil won’t solidify and gets distributed evenly. I’m sure you could add some canned food, chicken broth, or something else to hide the flavor if your dog doesn’t like it anymore…
Thanks again for all the feedback. I had success last night. I mixed it a few hours early with some kibble and warm water and let it soak for several hours so that the food dried out a bit. He ate that fine. His diet is mostly raw so I havent figured out how I’m going to incorporate it into the raw yet. Hopefully if I get him used to the taste of it in some kibble he won’t mind it mixed into the raw.
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