Health-conscious people who don’t want to put on weight often add coconut milk to their diet. Also, we know it is a good substitute for cow’s milk, and dogs can’t have cow’s milk. That’s why we may wonder, Can dogs have coconut milk?
Fortunately, coconut milk is safe for our paw friends, as it doesn’t have any toxins except for nutrients. Well, these nutrients can only reach dogs if the this milk does not have sweeteners, preservatives, or anything that can harm them. Moreover, coconut milk carries health benefits and health risks. Hence, you must consider some safety concerns before feeding this milk to your dog.
Can Dogs Have Coconut Milk?
Dogs can drink coconut milk, but not as much as we do. Since they are mammals and don’t rely on plant-based foods, coconut milk should be in small portions for them. Besides, this milk should be free from sweeteners, additives, etc.
It would be better if you let your paw friend drink the liquid version of coconut milk, not the creamy version. This is because the coconut cream is highly concentrated in a mixture of coconut oil. For this reason, high-textured coconut milk can add more fat to dogs.
Benefits Of Coconut Milk For Dogs
Dogs are lactose-intolerant; that’s why they need to avoid cow’s milk and other dairy products. But if your dog is begging for a sip of milk, you may offer him coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. As it is vegan-free and cruelty-free, dogs can enjoy it, thinking it is like the milk that we drink. Hence, the first benefit of coconut milk for dogs is that it does not trigger allergies as it doesn’t have lactase, and dogs can drink it safely.
Coconut milk contains some nutrients that can offer health benefits to dogs. For example, it has small amounts of vitamin C, iron, fibre, magnesium, protein, and calcium. Vitamin C and its antioxidants will protect your dog from skin issues and other diseases. Again, the fibre and iron will maintain his digestive health and haemoglobin level. Magnesium will promote his brain health, and protein will promote his muscle health. Lastly, its calcium will take care of his bone health.
Another benefit of coconut milk is that it doesn’t have carbs or sugar. Hence, your dog can escape the risk of rising blood sugar levels from drinking this milk. Although it doesn’t have sugar, it can provide some healthy fatty acids to dogs, such as MCTs. These can aid in dogs’ immune systems, brain function, weight loss, fighting cancer, and so on.
Note: The benefits of coconut milk are only inevitable for dogs when they drink it in moderation.
Risks Of Coconut Milk For Dogs
Along with health benefits, coconut milk can pose health threats to dogs. This especially happens when dogs don’t follow the guide and drink too much of it.
As said earlier, coconut milk has fatty acids like MCTs. Meanwhile, it has a fringe MCT as well, named lauric acid. This saturated fatty acid is a bit hard to digest. This means drinking coconut milk in high quantities will lead to improper digestion for dogs. Besides, high levels of saturated fats can be responsible for increasing cholesterol levels in dogs, resulting in heart disease.
Vets say high fats can inflame dogs’ pancreas, leading to pancreatitis. So make sure your dog doesn’t drink too much coconut milk, or else he will get this disease.
Coconut milk, which is a bit more concentrated, i.e., coconut cream, has coconut oil. If you are offering your dog this texture of coconut milk, he may vomit, have abdominal pain, diarrhoea, etc. He will show these symptoms after eating the coconut cream in high quantities.
We, humans, prefer coconut milk that has xylitol, carrageenan, sugar, etc. for enhanced taste. Unfortunately, these ingredients are toxic to our canine friends. That’s why sometimes coconut milk poses health threats to dogs not because of the milk but because of its ingredients.
How To Offer Coconut Milk To Dogs?
Before you offer coconut milk to your dog, you have to know what type of coconut milk he should have. Usually, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives, flavours, etc. found in some coconut milk are toxic to dogs. Therefore, dogs should drink coconut milk that has no harmful ingredients. In short, they can have unsweetened or plain coconut milk.
Well, there are different ways to feed this milk to dogs. You can dilute it with water to make it less concentrated, which will lower the lauric acid, and the amount will be sufficient. Another way would be to freeze the milk in an ice cube tray. Then let your dog lick one cube a day. This would be a good option during the hot summer.
How Much Coconut Milk Can Dogs Drink?
One of the main reasons why dogs should have coconut milk in moderation is because of its high levels of saturated fats. Coconut milk has 5% fat, whereas its concentrated form has 20% fat. It means dogs should have fewer amounts if they have coconut cream instead of coconut milk.
For extra-small dogs, like Yorkies, ⅛ cup of coconut milk is enough. Again, small breeds, like beagles, can have ¼ cup, and medium breeds, like Basset Houndscan, can have ½ cup. Large breeds, like German Shepherds and Pyrenees, can drink coconut milk in less than 1 cup.
When Can Dogs Have Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is safe for dogs, and this fact is not the same for all of them. For example, your dog is lactose-intolerant, and this complication is so severe in him that he can’t consume even coconut milk. In this case, coconut milk cannot be his best friend. Again, dogs who are allergic to plant-based foods can consume vegan products, like coconut milk.
We know that the fats present in coconut milk can result in pancreatitis in dogs. Hence, dogs who are already dealing with pancreatitis should not have a single sip of coconut milk.
Apart from all these, your dog is only allowed to have this luscious drink when his vet allows him.
Frequently Asked Questions: Can Dogs Have Coconut Milk?
Can dogs drink coconut milk every day?
Dogs cannot drink coconut milk every day as it is high in saturated fats. Taking it regularly can make them gain weight, leading to obesity.
What is safe milk for dogs?
Milk that doesn’t have lactase is safe for dogs. It includes coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk.
Is coconut cream safe for dogs?
Licking the coconut cream once or twice won’t harm dogs. However, this cream should be plain and unsweetened. Otherwise, your dog can vomit and have an upset stomach.
Is coconut yoghurt safe for dogs?
Coconut yoghurt is safe for dogs if it doesn’t contain xylitol and other additives. Its amounts should be less in quantity, as it contains more fats than coconut milk.
Since coconut milk offers some potential health risks, you may still question: Can dogs have coconut milk? The answer is yes; they can have coconut milk in moderation unless they are allergic or have pancreatitis. Most importantly, their vet should know that you are introducing this drink to your pet.
If you don’t trust market-based coconut milk, you can make it yourself for your dog. Just remember not to add sugar, sweetener, or additives.