Can Dogs Drink Coconut Water? Is Coconut Water Safe for Dogs?

Coconut water is considered a safe and healthy drink for us humans. It is naturally sweeter than water and replenishes electrolytes in the body, keeping us hydrated. These benefits mean that we not only drink it straight, but we add it to smoothies and other refreshing drinks and combine it with sweet foods to make a tasty treat.

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But is it safe for dogs? Yes, in small quantities.

Are there any health benefits? Health concerns? And, if it is safe for dogs, how is it best served? Read on for all the answers about giving coconut water to your dog.

dog and coconut at beach
Image credit: Pedro Hoehl, Flickr

What Is Coconut Water?

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside the coconut. It is usually tapped from young coconuts and should not be confused with high-fat coconut milk or coconut oil. It is considered a good source of hydration, replacing electrolytes in the body, and is often chosen as a low fat, low sodium alternative to sports drinks. With that said, coconut water does still contain quite a lot of calories, and many people overlook this because it is called water.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Drink?

Opinions on the safety of coconut water for dogs do vary, although most experts agree that it is safe as long as it is consumed in only small amounts. When consumed in limited quantities, it serves to rehydrate the body and replace lost electrolytes. It is not toxic for dogs, and it is highly unlikely to cause any allergic reaction. With that said, it should only be consumed in moderation, largely because of the number of calories that a single serving contains.

Health Benefits

Coconut water is a beneficial source of hydration, as long as it is consumed in moderation. It also contains several vitamins and minerals, chief of which include:

  • PotassiumPotassium is prevalent in dogs’ bodies. It is used in muscle growth and to provide and maintain strength in your dog. It also boosts their metabolism so that they are better able to absorb other nutrients. It maintains bones and essential organs and improves the cognitive function of the brain.
  • CalciumCalcium is an essential mineral and it serves a lot of purposes. It promotes strong teeth and bones and it ensures that your dog’s blood clots properly. It also aids in the proper movement, extension, and contraction of the muscles so healthy calcium levels ensure healthy movement from your dog.
  • Vitamin CVitamin C is an antioxidant that helps get rid of free radicals in the body. Although dogs actually create vitamin C in their liver, some dogs require supplementation to ensure that they have a healthy level of this important vitamin.
Fresh coconut water
Image credit: Phu Thinh Co, Flickr

Health Concerns

There are some health concerns associated with giving coconut water to your dog. Firstly, the water should be removed from the coconut, because the husk of the coconut is difficult for a dog to digest and could cause choking if they consume the meat fiber.

Coconut water also contains approximately 60 calories per cup, which is obviously a lot more than is in water and will have a bearing on your dog’s daily calorie allowance. If you do plan on giving your dog some coconut water as a healthy alternative to plain water, bear in mind its potential for causing weight gain.

How Much Coconut Water To Give Dogs

When introducing any new food or liquid to your dog’s diet, you should start small and work up to a healthy amount. Something as sweet as coconut water may not agree with your dog’s stomach, which means that it could cause problems like diarrhea and vomiting.

Start with a few ounces a day, either on hot days or when your dog is showing mild dehydration symptoms. You can increase this a little, if necessary, but do not need too much or too often because of the high calorific content of this liquid.

How To Serve It

You can give a small amount of the water in a bowl, or mix it in with their dry or wet food to add a sweet and nutty flavor.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a way to feed coconut water on a hot day as a means of cooling your dog down, why not combine it with a little tap water and freeze it to create coconut water ice cubes? If your dog really likes the taste, these can even be used as a healthy treat, either for training or as a general reward.

Alternatives To Coconut Water

Coconut water is considered safe and non-toxic for dogs, but it is also high in calories, so it should only be given as a treat and in a relatively small volume. The most obvious alternative to this sweet, watery treat, is plain old water. Water is the only liquid that your dog needs to stay hydrated, and you should always ensure that there is a fresh bowl of water readily available for your dog to drink.

dog and coconut
Image credit: Rob and Stephanie Levy, Flickr

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Is Coconut Water Safe for Dogs?

Coconut water is safe for your dog to consume. It is not toxic and is unlikely to cause any negative reaction. It contains potassium, vitamin C, and other vitamins and minerals that are considered healthy additives to their diet.

Offer it as an occasional treat, add it to their food, or make coconut water ice cubes to cool them down on a warm day. But remember that it does contain calories, so you should avoid giving it too frequently or giving too much of it in one go.


Featured Image: NUM LPPHOTO, Shutterstock