What's the Difference Between MCT Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil?

What's the Difference Between MCT Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil?

Both Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and Triplex MCT-3 Oil have amazing benefits for our furry friends, but what exactly is the difference between the two?

6 Tips to Protect Your Pet from Heartworms Reading What's the Difference Between MCT Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil? 11 minutes Next 8 Ways to Keep Your Cat Cool and Comfortable This Summer

If you're a CocoTherapy fan, you'll know that two of our most popular products are our Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and our Triplex MCT-3 Oil. Both of these oils have amazing benefits for our furry friends, but what exactly is the difference between the two?

In this post, we'll explore the key differences between Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and MCT oil and answer real questions from customers just like you. Plus, we'll share our top tips for incorporating these oils into your pet's daily routine and maximizing their fantastic health benefits!

What Are Virgin Coconut Oil and MCT Oil?

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and MCT oil both come from coconuts but have distinct compositions and uses. VCO is rich in a variety of fatty acids, particularly lauric acid, making it a powerhouse for immune support and skin health.

MCT oil, on the other hand, is a concentrated source of medium-chain triglycerides, providing quick energy and supporting cognitive health. In this section, we'll take a closer look at each oil and provide a quick overview of their key benefits and characteristics.

Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil is made by cold-pressing fresh coconut meat, preserving its natural nutrients. It's rich in lauric acid, which has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.

VCO contains a mixture of fatty acids, including medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which contain 6-12 carbon atoms, and long-chain fatty acids, which contain 14 – 22 carbon atoms. Its rich, nutty coconut smell and taste make it a favorite for both pets and pet parents.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key benefits and characteristics of VCO:

  • Broad range of fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil contains approximately 92.1% saturated fatty acids, 6.2% monounsaturated fatty acids, 1.6% polyunsaturated fatty acids. The numbers below are averages based on samples taken. Numbers can vary slightly depending on the age of the coconut, growing conditions, and variety.
  • Natural nutrient preservation. Cold pressing retains the oil's natural nutrients, enhancing its health benefits.
  • Rich coconut flavor and aroma. Its distinctive taste and smell make it enjoyable for pets and pet parents alike.
  • Versatile uses. Ideal for immune support, skin and coat health, allergy relief, and more. Can be applied topically or taken orally.


MCT oil, such as our TriPlex MCT-3 Oil, is a purified form of medium-chain triglyceride oil derived from organic coconut oil. MCT oil is refined to isolate specific medium-chain fatty acids, primarily caprylic (C8) and capric (C10) acids, and in some cases, small amounts of lauric acid (C12).

These MCTs are rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body for quick energy. MCT oil has a mild coconut smell and taste, making it a versatile addition to your pet’s diet.

Here are the key benefits and characteristics of MCT oil:

  • Concentrated source of MCTs. Primarily consists of caprylic and capric acids, offering quick energy and metabolic benefits. CocoTherapy’s TriPlex MCT-3 Oil contains 8-10% lauric acid.
  • Refined for purity. Purified or distilled to isolate the most beneficial medium-chain fatty acids.
  • Mild flavor and aroma. Subtle taste makes it easy to add to your pet's diet.
  • Targeted health benefits. Great for quick energy, weight management, cognitive support, and managing seizures. Typically taken orally as a supplement.

How Can VCO and MCT Oil Benefit My Pet's Health?

Now that we've discussed the key differences between Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and MCT oil, let's take a deeper dive into how these oils can benefit your pet's health. Each oil offers unique advantages and can be used in different ways, making them a powerful duo for supporting your pet's overall wellbeing.

Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil provides a broad range of health advantages, making it a versatile addition to your pet’s health regimen. Here are some of the primary ways it supports your furry family member's health and wellbeing:

  • Immune system support. VCO is packed with lauric acid, which has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it excellent for boosting your pet’s immune system and fighting off infections.
  • Skin and coat health. Applying VCO topically can soothe itchy skin, heal minor wounds, and keep your pet's coat shiny and healthy. It's a great remedy for pets with dry or flaky skin and can also be used to treat hot spots, cracked paws, and other skin issues.
  • Relief for allergies and itchy skin. The anti-inflammatory properties of VCO help reduce itching and irritation caused by allergies, providing much-needed comfort to your pet. It can be particularly beneficial during allergy season or for pets with chronic skin issues.
  • Antibacterial and antiviral properties. VCO’s high lauric acid content helps combat bacteria and viruses, making it a natural way to protect your pet from various infections.

Health Benefits of MCT Oil

MCT oil, especially CocoTherapy TriPlex MCT-3 Oil, offers unique benefits that are particularly useful for active or health-challenged pets.

  • Quick energy provision. MCT oil is rapidly metabolized into ketones, providing an immediate energy source. This is ideal for active pets or those needing a quick energy boost before a walk or playtime.
  • Support for cognitive health and epilepsy. MCT oil supports brain health and can help manage conditions like epilepsy by providing a steady energy source for brain function. It’s like giving your pet’s brain a power-up, helping them stay sharp and alert.
  • Use for yeast infections and skin health. The antifungal properties of MCT oil, particularly due to caprylic acid, make it effective in treating yeast infections and promoting healthy skin. This makes it a go-to solution for pets prone to yeast overgrowth or skin infections.
  • Weight management and metabolic support. MCT oil helps in managing weight by promoting a healthy metabolism. It can be a valuable supplement for pets needing to maintain a healthy weight.

With these benefits in mind, you can see how both Virgin Coconut Oil and MCT Oil can be powerful tools in supporting your pet’s health. Whether you’re looking to boost your pet’s immune system, improve their skin and coat, or provide quick energy, these oils offer a range of benefits that can help your furry friend thrive.

How Should I Use VCO and MCT Oil for My Pet?

So far, we’ve explored the benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil and MCT oil and how each can support your pet's health. Now, let’s discuss how you can use these oils to keep your pets healthy and happy.

How Much Should I Give My Pet?

Determining the right dosage of VCO and MCT oil for your pet depends on their weight and health condition. For pets new to these oils, start with a small amount and gradually increase it.

As a general rule, for VCO, 1 teaspoon (5g) per 10 pounds (4.5kg) of body weight is a good starting point. For MCT oil, 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) per 10 pounds (5kg) of body weight, or 1/2 tablespoon (7.4 ml) for 30+ pounds (13.6 kg) of body weight. Start slowly, for example, start at a quarter of this and build up slowly. Use similarly for cats and other animals. Always monitor your pet for any signs of digestive upset, such as diarrhea or greasy stools, and adjust the dosage if needed.

Can I Use VCO and MCT Oil on My Pet's Skin and Ears?

Yes, both VCO and MCT oil can be applied topically to address various skin conditions and improve overall skin health. For itchy skin and hot spots, apply a small amount of VCO directly to the affected area. It acts as a soothing balm and promotes healing, so your pet can find relief from itching and irritation.

For yeasty ears, use MCT oil by applying a few drops to a cotton pad and gently wiping the inside of the ears. This helps keep the ears clean and free from yeast. In addition, VCO can be used as a natural toothpaste. Rub a small amount onto your pet's teeth and gums with a piece of gauze to promote dental health and freshen their breath.

More Practical Tips for Using VCO and MCT Oil

Integrating VCO and MCT oil into your pet's daily routine can be straightforward and beneficial. Here are some practical tips to help you get started:

  • Mix with food. Adding these oils to your pet’s food can make it easier for them to consume. The mild flavor of MCT oil and the rich taste of VCO can enhance the flavor of their meals.
  • Apply topically. For skin issues, apply the oils directly to the affected areas. Ensure the oil is absorbed well and avoid letting your pet lick it off immediately.
  • Use MCT oil in the morning. MCT oil provides quick energy, helping your pet stay active throughout the day.
  • Use VCO at night. VCO can be used in the evening to provide long-lasting benefits and support your pet's overall health while they rest.

Common Questions & Concerns About Using VCO and MCT Oil

When it comes to adding new supplements to your pet's diet, it's natural to have some concerns. In this section, we'll address some common questions and worries that pet parents have about using Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and MCT oil.

Are VCO and MCT Oil Human-Grade?

CocoTherapy Virgin Coconut Oil and Triplex MCT-3 Oil are human-grade and produced in USDA-certified organic facilities. This means the oils meet high-quality standards and are safe for both pets and humans.

In fact, these oils are highly beneficial for both people and pets, ensuring everyone in the family can enjoy their health benefits!

Will Coconut Oil Clog My Pet’s Pores?

A common concern among pet parents is whether coconut oil might clog their pet's pores. However, there's no need to worry – high-quality VCO, like CocoTherapy Virgin Coconut Oil, absorbs fully into the skin without clogging pores.

VCO acts as a protective and moisturizing agent, making it an excellent choice for maintaining your pet’s skin health. This is especially beneficial for pets with dry or flaky skin, as it keeps their skin hydrated and healthy.

Is It Safe to Store Coconut Oil in the Refrigerator or After Exposure to Sunlight?

Coconut oil is very stable and does not easily go bad. It can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator without losing its effectiveness.
In warm climates, it may liquefy, and in cooler climates, it may solidify, but this doesn't affect its quality or efficacy. It's fine to use after exposure to direct sunlight, but we do recommend keeping it in a cool, dry place to maintain optimal quality.

Could Your Pet Benefit from VCO and MCT Oil?

In this guide, we've discussed the many benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and MCT oil for your pet's health. From boosting their immune system to improving skin health, these oils offer a range of advantages that can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

While the benefits of both virgin coconut oil and MCT oil over-lap, you may choose one oil over the other for specific reasons for your dog’s individual needs. Choosing which oil is right for your pet depends on his unique dietary needs and health issues.

As mentioned earlier, supplementing your pet's diet with both oils can provide even more benefits, as they offer unique and complementary advantages. Just be sure to start with small amounts and gradually increase the dosage, monitoring your pet's reaction.

Additional reading:

TriPlex™ MCT-3 Oil VS Therapeutic-grade Organic Coconut Oil - Product Uses and Applications

Looking for high-quality, human-grade VCO and MCT oil you can trust? Check out our CocoTherapy Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and Triplex MCT-3 Oil. And you have any further questions, don't hesitate to get in touch – we're always happy to help!