Even though we feed the same foods, treats, and chews to our dogs, Ginger’s teeth are way worse than her siblings.
We get her teeth cleaned annually at the vet, but six months later, the plaque is already making its way back.
Whereas, Calvin, our 12-year-old, has excellent teeth and has never needed to get a dental done.
Not only does Ginger not have good teeth, but she also has a hard time going to the vet by for dentals. She gets very anxious and panics.
The last time Ginger was in for a cleaning, she had an absolute melt-down crying, and she wouldn’t go into the kennel.
Our vet is amazing, so when as soon as Ginger panicked she took her to her office to get her calmed down, then gave her some medicine to relax her a bit.
But because it is so traumatic for Ginger to go in for dental cleanings, I started to look for home remedies that could help improve the health of her teeth.
That’s when I stumbled upon coconut oil for dogs teeth. Read on to see what I found!
Coconut Oil for Dog’s Teeth?
I had just read an article regarding coconut oil pulling to improve dental health in humans, and though I know dogs can’t do pulling, I thought there still might be a way to use it for dogs.
Using coconut oil for cleaning Ginger’s teeth is very appealing to me, because of coconut’s many other health benefits.
Plus, coconut oil is a natural product and not full of chemicals or allergens.
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Additionally, it is available in an organic form, which is strictly a personal preference.
And, if my dogs ingest any of it, I don’t have to worry about it causing GI upset since they consume coconut oil for other reasons regularly.
Is Coconut Oil Safe for Dogs?
Not only is coconut oil safe, but it also has a lot of health benefits.
Amongst the many benefits, coconut oil aids in promoting good oral health.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, coconut oil reduces plaque and gingivitis, plus it prevents tooth decay.
Because coconut oil is a natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, it can fight off the bacteria responsible for plaque, as well as reduce and repair gum damage.
Coconut oil is safe for dogs to consume, and in proper amounts carries benefits such as:
- Natural flea preventative
- Promotes good skin and coat health
- Kills Staphylococcus – a bacteria responsible for causing most infections
- Aids in maintaining a healthy weight
What Kind of Coconut Oil Should You Use?
Additionally, if you can find one that states centrifuged coconut oil, which is the extraction method, that is the purest variety of the different coconut oils.
However, it is also the most expensive.
If centrifuged is not available, look for cold-pressed, which is the next best variety.
How to Use Coconut Oil to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
In fact, coconut oil contains almost 50% lauric acid, which is responsible for killing bacteria and viruses.
Additionally, lauric acid is effective at fighting bacteria responsible for bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
What You Will Need
- Finger Brush, Dog Tooth Brush, or Damp Gauze
- Coconut Oil
- First, put a small amount of coconut oil on the tool of choice.
- Then, gently but firmly hold their head as you brush their teeth in small circular motions, being sure to clean the back molars.
- After you finish brushing your dog’s teeth, rinse the brush with warm water.
If your dog is resistant to you brushing their teeth, try using a dental chew bone with a light coat of coconut oil smeared on it.
As your dog chews on the bone, the coconut oil will spread onto your dog’s teeth, and the chewing motion will act as the brush to help work the oil in and clean the teeth.
Unfortunately, this method will not be able to clean all of the teeth evenly like brushing, but it will still help improve your dog’s dental health.
It is essential to find a toy with ridges or nubbins.
The added texture will aid in keeping the oil on the bone and act as a brush as they chew.
Benefits of Using Coconut Oil on Dog’s Teeth
In addition to fighting plaque, gingivitis, and tooth decay, coconut oil has other oral hygiene benefits too.
- Freshens breath
- Safe to use
- Reduces inflammation
- Whitens teeth
- Generally works well for dogs with allergies
- Your dog may prefer the taste of the coconut oil to dog toothpaste
Plus, besides oral health, coconut oil can be used topically for:
- Minor cuts and skin abrasions
- Improving the overall health of your dog’s coat and skin
- Killing and preventing fleas
Finally, if you use essential oils on your dog, coconut oil works as an excellent carrier oil.
Coconut Oil Dangers, Cautions, & Dosage
Although coconut oil has many benefits, there are few things to be aware of before using it with your dog.
Second, if you start with too high of a dose to begin with, it can cause diarrhea.
For brushing your dog’s teeth with coconut oil, you only need a small amount as it will quickly liquefy and spread easily over the teeth as you clean.
When brushing your dog’s teeth, there’s no reason for concern if your dog ingests some, but be aware if you are also using it daily as a supplement to cut back a little on the days you are brushing their teeth.
Using coconut oil to brush your pup’s teeth does not take the place of veterinary dental care.
But it will help keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy in between dental procedures.
I like using coconut oil since two of my dogs, Calvin and Sophie, have food allergies.
Some of the commercial dog toothpaste flavors contain allergens, like poultry. And the varieties that don’t contain chicken are ones my dogs don’t care for, which is why coconut oil is the ideal option for us.
If you have a dog that doesn’t love the flavor of their toothpaste, has food sensitivities, or if you are looking for a more natural dental solution, you should give coconut oil a try.
So far, it has been working great for our family.