There is no doubt that Coconut oil is trendy these days. However, not everything that gets trendy is beneficial. If you’re wondering whether you truly can brush dog teeth with coconut oil, then continue reading this post.
Perhaps you were looking for natural ingredients to brush your dog’s teeth with and saw coconut oil popping everywhere. I just want to take a moment and thank you for researching this topic before jumping on the bandwagon. Your dog’s health deserves more than just a couple minutes of research.
Sometimes these trends are ineffective, other times they’re extremely harmful. That is why it’s always great to double check and research any information you hear about.
Brush dog teeth with coconut oil – What is it
Coconut oil consists of ninety percent saturated fat. This is where all of the controversy begins. Many studies prove time and time again that saturated fat is bad! However, some people are still advocating for coconut usage, claiming that it is “not like the other
girls saturated fats”.
Playing the devil’s advocate
Today, I want to play the devil’s advocate. Let us see if there is enough support behind all the claims on coconut oil benefits when it comes to oral hygiene.
It is true! The benefits of Coconut oil are almost finite, but do they play a significant role in maintaining oral hygiene? The defending team says that Coconut oil consists of a high percentage of Lauric acid.
This acid provides the coconut oil with its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. This makes the whole brushing your dog teeth with coconut oil sound very plausible.
There is a another reason why people are loving this as a toothpaste substitute. Coconut oil truly stands out among the other saturated fats. Why? Because coconut oil contains medium chained triglycerides (MCT) content.
MCT gets praised a lot thanks to the currently popularized diet, the Ketogenic diet. MCT gets digested very easily, giving people more reasons to use it. Many dog owners who use coconut oil to brush thier dog’s teeth will talk about how this helps their dogs with digetstion and weight loss.
However, people brush over the fact that it is still saturated fat. Saturated Fats increase the risk of heart diseases according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Coconut oil is amazing for the skin and even has antibacterial benefits. Theoretically, it makes sense to use it instead of toothpaste. However, remember that while we can spit the toothpaste after brushing our teeth, dogs can’t. They will swallow it.
Do we have strong scientific proof?
There aren’t many studies made on whether if coconut oil is actually effective in keeping the teeth clean or not. The proof is weak, but let us pretend we hailed and believed the minimal proof provided for a second.
The studies recommend we use coconut oil as an adjuvant to the standard oral hygiene care routine. This means that we shouldn’t only rely on coconut oil for oral hygiene. Again, that might be beneficial for us humans, but not our lovely canine friends.
The suggested frequency of using coconut oil is once every day because of its effectiveness in controlling buildup plaque. Brushing your dog’s teeth with coconut oil every other day is only a little bit effective. Only brushing your dog’s teeth once or twice a week bears almost no benefits.
This is probably true, but what about the daily intake of saturated fat? Daily recommendations per ten pounds of body weight exist. However, why take something that is unhealthy regularly even if it is within the permitted limits?
Also, at least one visit per year to the vet is still recommended. This means that coconut oil fails to stand alone and win the battle against dental issues.
Brush dog teeth with coconut oil- Insta Love story
The most important reason people are advocating for this trend is that coconut oil is natural and not made of chemicals.
The word natural immediately induces the halo effect. This word gives the promoted item an instant uplifting mask of ultimate greatness. It makes people gravitate and switch routines without giving it much thought.
However, that way of thinking is very unhealthy. A lot of natural things are toxic. Just because something is “natural,” that doesn’t mean it is better and safer than another product compounded chemically. I know this might be a difficult pill to swallow, but it is an important wake-up call.
Brush dog teeth with coconut oil – The Verdict
So can you brush dog teeth with coconut oil? Many blog posts say that you should do it, but there isn’t much of scientific research out there to support such claims. I am not canceling any potential effctiviness of coconut oil, but the risk related to consuming so much saturated fat still stands strong and tall.
I wouldn’t recommend using coconut oil as a substitute or a daily adjuvant to your dog’s oral hygiene routine. What I will highly recommend is that you ask the veterinarian about any natural alternative before you test it out.
Until then, stick to using a dog’s toothpaste and a baby’s toothbrush when you brush your dog’s teeth. Check out our How to Brush a Dog’s Teeth blog post to learn more about dog teeth brushing.
I will be posting an entire post dedicated to different natural ways to clean your dog’s teeth very soon. I will of course also mention if they’re safe and effective, so stay tuned for that.
What do you use to clean your dog’s teeth? Would you ever use coconut oil to clean your furry friend’s teeth? Let us know in the comments down below why you would or wouldn’t do so.