German Shepherds, Dry Skin, and Coconut Oil (Safe, Natural Healing)
Have you heard of all the hype about curing your German Shepherd’s dry skin with coconut oil?
I’ve used this botanical wonder to treat and prevent my German Shepherd’s itchy, flaky skin for years and have noticed amazing results!
Now you’ll learn how to get the most from this natural oil and to help soothe your itchy German Shepherd today.
Is Coconut Oil Good for German Shepherds?
Yes, coconut oil is good for German Shepherds and can help aid their digestion, improve their coats, avoid hot spots, and much more! It’s a natural alternative to those owners seeking a holistic treatment and who want to avoid typical medications. There are many ways to use coconut oil if you don’t want to give your dog the oil orally.
The benefits of coconut oil come from the fats, known as saturated fat, that it’s primarily made of. Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat. WebMD states that good fats are needed for the proper functioning of body systems.
But not all fats are created equal.
There are two groups of fats: saturated fats and unsaturated fats. These saturated and unsaturated fats each have several more types of fats within them.
What are Medium-Chain Triglycerides?
Coconut oil’s secret weapon that makes it so potent is the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which is good fat.
MCTs provide an array of benefits—digestion recovery, immune system encouragement, metabolic improvements that help with weight loss, and even skin, coat, and thyroid health.
The MCT of coconut oil is composed of lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid, and palmitic acid. Lauric acid has antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, while capric and caprylic acids are known for their anti-fungal effects.
MCTs are also well metabolized and provide an instant source of fuel and energy. This energy enhances athletic performance and can aid in weight loss.
In some dogs, MCTs in coconut oil may help balance their thyroid, which helps overweight dogs lose weight and inactive dogs feel more active.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for German Shepherds
Coconut oil for German Shepherds has skin and health-improving benefits, such as antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal properties. This means the natural oil can reduce yeast and fungus on the skin and it’s therapeutic for irritated skin, hot spots, abrasions, and cracked paws.
“Virgin” oil naturally starts with fresh coconut and is not exposed to chemical processes such as bleaching or filtering. This natural process makes it safe for dogs and humans to consume in beneficial quantities.
But did you know coconut oil provides many more benefits than just soothing dry skin that improves your Shepherd’s health?
Skin and Coat Health Benefits
- Improves eczema
- Heals dry skin and softens calluses
- Aids with flea bite allergies and contact dermatitis
- Minimizes odors
- Improves skin health
- Helps keep the coat glossy, sleek, and shiny
- Soothes itchiness
- Helps prevent and treat yeast and fungal infections
- Decreases allergic reactions
- Promotes wound healing
- Diminishes hot spots
Stomach and Digestion Benefits
- Improves digestion
- Better nutrient absorption
- Aids in healing digestive issues, such as colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Decreases or stops bad breath
- Relieves coughing
- Helps in repelling intestinal parasites
- Assists with weight loss
- Increases energy
- Contains powerful antioxidants to help reduce cancer risk
- Antibacterial and anti-fungal agents help prevent and fight disease
- Helps build strong bones
- Promotes good brain and nerve function
- Boosts the immune system
- Regulates insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
- Helps prevent or control diabetes
- Aids arthritis and ligament problems
- Helps prevent infection and disease
How Much Coconut Oil to Give a German Shepherd?
Begin slowly with smaller amounts of coconut oil to see how your German Shepherd reacts. Your dog needs time for their body to adjust to the addition to their diet.
Starting with larger amounts of coconut oil can cause unnecessary reactions, such as diarrhea, greasy stools, or upset stomach (source).
Here’s the recommended dosage and routine for German Shepherds.
For the first two weeks:
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day.
- Use as a treat or mix with their kibble.
After the initial two-week period:
- 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight daily, preferably split into two or three daily doses.
- Work up to this amount by increasing the dosing slowly over a week from their initial dose.
If you prefer to use the product on the skin topically, then keep reading for helpful tips below.
Apply Coconut Oil Topically for Dry Skin
Besides oral dosing, apply coconut oil directly to your German Shepherd’s coat for dry skin problems.
Coconut oil contains components beneficial to skin issues and absorbs more readily into the skin.
When applied appropriately (in a thin layer that you rub in thoroughly) there won’t be a greasy layer and the natural beneficial components will work on the surface of the skin.
Topical application of coconut oil in the form of a spray is my preference, since my German Shepherd is plush coated, and her hair is thick (this makes topical applications with the oil easier).
Bathing Your German Shepherd with a Coconut Oil Treatment
A coconut oil treatment leaves your dog’s skin velvety smooth and helps create a healthier skin protective layer.
These treatments also improve the health of your dog’s nails and paw pads.
- Apply coconut oil straight to the skin. Let the oil absorb for about five minutes. Massage the oil into dry areas prone to itching.
- With your double-coated GSD, it’s difficult to get down into the skin through the thickness of the fur—invest in a Zoom Groom tool for better results and ease of use. The Zoom Groom brush is soft and gentle.
- After five minutes of massage and letting the oil sit, apply this moisturizing coconut-based shampoo and work the shampoo in with the Zoom Groom massaging brush. This removes dead hair and loosens dry, flaky skin.
- Finish with a thorough rinse to remove all traces of the shampoo and coconut oil. Any shampoo left on the skin leaves your dog’s skin more irritated if not rinsed completely.
- Over washing your German Shepherd can lead to more skin dryness and irritation, so don’t bathe them more than once a month.
Maybe you want to use coconut oil, but don’t want to provide a full spa experience for your dog. If you’d rather avoid bathing your dog, follow the easier recommendations below.
Daily Application Method
If you’d rather not wash your dog, then use these steps for more frequent use and application.
Give your dog “pets” and “body rubs” to apply the coconut oil externally. Let your dog taste a bit first, so they know it’s a good thing.
Here’s the full method I use:
- Take a small amount of coconut oil and rub it into your fingers to soften and warm it.
- Spread the oil on your hands and run your fingers through your dog’s coat reaching down to the skin, aiming to spread evenly the oil across the body.
- Only use a small pea-sized dollop of oil to start.
- Be sure to spread the fur or use the Zoom Groom massaging brush to reach down into the skin, where the dry, itchy, irritated patches are.
- Don’t over-apply or your dog’s fur will be too greasy.
- You may apply the oil multiple times a day but beware that some German Shepherds like the taste of the oil and will lick where you apply the treatment. This over-licking causes skin irritations to worsen.
Once your dog realizes the oil application doesn’t burn or hurt like so many products sold for dry skin, they won’t resist and will run right up for you to apply it. Alternatively, use a natural spray with coconut oil daily.
Coconut Oil Dry Skin Spray
Applying a coconut-based spray is much easier on you and your dog for frequent treatment.
While the sprays rarely contain as much active ingredient as 100% coconut oil, they are easier to apply. The spray moisturizes dry skin and absorbs fully. So your dog is less inclined to lick it and irritate their already painful skin.
I prefer this natural gentle spray, which helps my GSD stop itching and relieves her dry skin. It’s got coconut water as the main ingredient.
Brush your German Shepherd first to remove any loose fur and dry skin. Then, spray the coconut oil treatment generously.
You can use the spray multiple times a day. As a bonus, it’s good for both a skin soother and a smell refresher in between baths.
I find the spray absorbs much better than the solid coconut oil cream. And it’s easier and less work than trying to rub a solid cream into a thick, double-coated GSD.
Coconut Oil Supplements
I think if my dog could vote she’d want food as her dry skin treatment. She’s all about the tasty!
So, I also like this all-natural and tasty coconut oil supplement for her enjoyment and my peace of mind to help her dry skin.
She never argues about taking it, I don’t get my hands dirty, and there’s absolutely no bath or rubbing required!
It’s a win-win for us both!
Plus, it’s easy to use in a pump and the oil is specially made for dogs with skin problems. It’s an amazing all-around product for health.
Side Effects of Coconut Oil
Your GSD may experience some side effects from coconut oil, but normally this happens if you give too much coconut oil too quickly.
I recommend that you start slowly.
See how your dog reacts and then gradually increase the dosage if needed. Check with your vet to be sure that coconut oil is the right choice.
The most common side effects include diarrhea or greasy stools. If your dog has pancreatitis, metabolizes fat inefficiently, or is on a low-fat diet, then consider using coconut oil topically in tiny doses and check with your vet (source).
Giving coconut oil to your dog isn’t a guaranteed magic fix. But if you want a natural treatment for dry skin, it’s worth it to try unless your vet has warned otherwise.
More Help: German Shepherd Itching Constantly? (Quick Solutions for Relief)
What does science say about coconut oil?
There is a debate on whether coconut oil taken internally is safe or beneficial.
Research shows that there may not be as many health benefits of taking the substance internally (source).
However, external application is shown safe for dogs (source).
A coconut-based shampoo and coconut oil bath treatment are better options for those concerned with oral administration.
Choosing the Safest Coconut Oil for Your German Shepherd’s Dry Skin
Choose a brand made from unrefined coconut oil, also called virgin coconut oil, that is proven and tested for dog use and consumption.
Different oils have different smells and tastes, which some dogs love while other dogs won’t eat it.
Tastes can range from butter and smooth, bold coconut flavor, nutty, to bland.
My German Shepherd savors the taste of this organic, extra virgin coconut oil. The price is so low for how many servings you get that it’s an affordable, organic option!
I noticed this brand is less greasy on the skin than others I’ve tried. And, my GSD seems to enjoy the soothing oil on her flaky, dry skin problems.
Experiment with different brands to find one that your dog likes to see what suits their unique taste preferences. Most dogs happily eat coconut oil as a treat, but you may find your dog isn’t happy about the taste.
Do you want to know more tips that I use to increase my German Shepherd’s longevity? Read more about the ways to lengthen a German Shepherd’s life span.
Using Coconut Oil for Your German Shepherd’s Dry Skin
Coconut oil is great for helping your German Shepherd with dry skin!
If you’re worried about giving your dog oil orally, then try the many options I’ve listed. There’s no need to stress about dosage when applying the oil directly to your dog’s skin solves their dry skin problems.
There’s no doubt that we all want to take care of our German Shepherds carefully and naturally.
And coconut oil comes in so many forms it’s easy to find what works best with your dog.
So, what are you waiting for?
German Shepherds, dry skin, and coconut oil are an amazing combination together!
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