As non-dairy milk alternatives become more popular in the US for humans, you may have found yourself wondering if they’re good to share with your dog or puppy. Coconut milk is one of the non-dairy milks that has probably been used commonly for the longest period of time. You find coconut milk in many Indian and Thai recipes and of course, the classic cocktail, the Piña Colada. If it is something you use regularly, it might be okay to share some with your best friend too!
History of coconut milk and dogs
There isn’t much known about whether dogs drank coconut milk before its recent surge in popularity. Coconuts are high in fat and calories as well as some really important nutrients. However, due to the recent surge in popularity and the recent focus on the health benefits of coconut and coconut oil, it is not surprising that more dog owners are turning to coconut milk for their pups too!
Can my dog drink coconut milk?
Yes, in moderation. Coconuts and coconut milk may have some health benefits for your dog. You want to make sure you are only feeding unsweetened coconut milk, as the sweeteners in some packaged coconut milk are not good for your dog. Additional sugar adds unnecessary calories and can lead to weight gain for your pup. You also want to watch for stabilizers like carrageenan and xanthan gum, these can cause stomach irritation in both humans and pups.
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4 safety tips for feeding your dog coconut milk
- Make sure coconut milk is organic
Pesticides used in non-organic coconut milk can be bad for your dog. You want to feed the most natural products available. If coconuts are grown where you live, or you can purchase a whole, organic coconut, this is a good choice for your pup as the coconut milk will not have been processed at all!
- Don't overfeed your dog with coconut milk
As with anything, too much of a good thing can be bad for your pup. Coconut and coconut milk are both high in fat. Too much fat in your dog’s diet can lead to both weight gain and a medical condition called pancreatitis. If your dog is lethargic, vomiting, hunching or has diarrhea after consuming coconut milk (or anything else for that matter), be sure to take them to the vet to get checked out for pancreatitis.
- Stop if coconut milk irritates dogs stomach
Do not force your pup to drink coconut milk. If your dog is refusing to drink it or showing signs of stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea after drinking coconut milk, it is not beneficial to continue offering it to your pup. Discuss with your vet other ways to feed the nutrients that coconut milk offers if you have concerns.
- Never give your pup a whole coconut
Do not offer your pup a whole coconut, the husks are not easy on your pups digestive system. Additionally, too much coconut in one sitting might be too much fat for your dog.
Health benefits of coconut milk for dogs
Coconuts and coconut milk are believed to have many health benefits for your dog. These include:
- Strengthening the immune system
- Improving your dog’s breath
- Helping fight viruses
Adding coconut milk to your dog’s diet can be both delicious and beneficial if your dog enjoys drinking it. Like humans, some pups may not care for the taste or it may not sit well in their stomachs. If your dog is turning up their nose at coconut milk, don’t force the issue. There are plenty of other ways to help them enjoy a balanced diet without coconut milk.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.