Can Coconut Oil Improve Your Dog or Cat’s Cognitive Function?  4

Alpha_DME_Coconut_Oil_PetWe’re big fans of coconut oil.

We recommend it for everything from cracked paw pads to flaky skin.

But did you know that it can actually improve your dog or cat’s cognitive function?

Coconut oil is an excellent source of medium chain fatty acids, a kind of Omega-3 which has been proven to have many health benefits, and perhaps one of the most surprising is the fact that it can improve cognitive function in older dogs!

One study found that dogs whose diets were supplemented with medium chain fatty acids had higher levels of something called n-3 PUFAs in their brains. These omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are known to protect the brain against diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

In fact, the cognitive benefits have been seen after only one dose of concentrated medium chain fatty acids.

Since coconut oil is a great source of these medium chain fatty acids, we recommend coconut oil to many of our senior patients, and human doctors are beginning to do the same:  researchers are now looking into whether supplementing with coconut oil specifically can help Alzheimer’s patients.

Does your pet have dementia?


Many people don’t realize that dogs and cats can suffer from dementia, just as people can.

But it is actually quite common in our older patients.

Symptoms include night-time restlessness, crying for no clear reason, and confusion – patients may forget where the door is or be unable to find their water bowl.

If there is a chance that something as simple as coconut oil can help stave off these symptoms, then we should certainly try it!

Talk to us first, though, before you add coconut oil to your senior pet’s food.

Since it is a saturated fat, it may not be good for patients with certain kinds of liver or heart problems.

There are some other supplements which can also support good brain health, so feel free to check out our article on 3 supplements that can help your pet’s aging brain.


Kandy Peterson says:

Is there a health difference between refined or unrefined coconut oil for your animals. We ended up get refined but not sure if they should have this type or not?

Healing Paws says:

There’s a lot of debate on that topic, but we usually recommend unrefined since in our opinion, less processing is almost always better. The amount of Omegas in each is the same. The main benefit of refined is that it doesn’t TASTE like coconut, which could be good if your pet hates the taste of the unrefined stuff. Virgin unrefined coconut oil can be found in Cost Co and most health food sections.

Erica says:

Is it safe to give coconut oil to a cat with Chronic Kidney Disease?

Healing Paws says:

Some omegas are good for kidneys and some aren’t – please consult with your vet!

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