Is flaxseed oil good for dogs?

Flaxseed oil comes from the flax plant and has numerous beneficial properties for animals when used in the recommended quantities.

Flax seeds are obtained from the flax plant or  Linum usitatissimum . It is from these seeds that the oil is extracted, particularly rich in fatty acids and antioxidants. Flaxseed oil for dogs can be a very useful supplement in their diet.

What is flaxseed oil?

Flaxseed oil is the vegetable source of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid and basic component of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds contain three times more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6. Other components of flaxseed oil are fiber and lignin.

Additional sources of omega-3s are dark green vegetables and some vegetable oils that are less assimilable by animals.

Benefits of flaxseed oil

Regular use of ‘ oil flaxseed reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure and has a positive effect in the prevention of heart problems. In addition, it helps to strengthen the immune system of dogs.

Flax seeds have been recognized as having the potential to reduce the risk of contracting certain chronic diseases, as well as to improve the thickness and shine of the hair. In addition, they are a good preservative of processed products, such as feed, protecting them from oxidation during the cooking process and extending the useful life of the product.

Flaxseed fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) have numerous beneficial effects , such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects.
  • They strengthen the immune system: they are useful for allergy sufferers.
  • They improve the skin and coat.
  • They improve osteoarthritis and joint problems.
  • They reduce the constriction of blood vessels; decrease blood pressure.
  • They contribute to the functioning of the kidneys.
  • They reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Gut bacteria transform linolenic acid into eicosapentaenoic fatty acid, which the dog is able to digest.

Fiber (which is also part of flaxseed oil) contributes to the prevention of constipation and promotes gastrointestinal health.

Lignin is another of its components; possesses antifungal and antiviral properties. Furthermore, it is transformed in the intestine, by the bacterial flora , into substances that can be used by the animal. These transformed lignins exhibit antioxidant properties and protect cell membranes while keeping cholesterol levels low.

How can we get Flax Seed Oil into dog’s diet?

Many feeds already include, within their composition, the presence of linseed oil. If the food product is of good quality, it also contains the recommended amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from various plant and animal sources. However, if you wish to introduce this substance into your diet, you must take into account the body weight of the animal.

Flaxseed oil can be purchased in capsule form. It is more digestible than seeds and easier for the animal to take; it is very important, however, to follow the instructions provided in the package insert and avoid giving excess linseed oil in the dog’s diet.

It is advisable to contact the veterinarian before introducing a supplement to the pet’s diet on a regular basis, especially if the pet suffers from health problems such as diabetes, hypoglycemia or intestinal disorders.

Other healthful oils

Salmon oil , cod liver oil , olive oil … All of these oils are good for dogs, for the same reason: they contain a high percentage of fatty acids that provide health benefits for the dog.

However, we must not confuse them with medicines. Oils of vegetable or animal origin can act as supplements within the diet and constitute a preventive resource to preserve the health of the animal, but they can never replace a treatment for a disease or the diagnosis of a veterinarian .

Flaxseed oil for dogs has many benefits, but once it has been opened, it is important to store it properly to maintain its nutritional properties and prevent it from going rancid. Make sure you follow the directions to give your dog the correct dose and keep the product in the best condition.

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