Flaxseed is the seed of the flax plant or Linum usitatissimum. It is from this seed from which the oil is extracted, very rich in fatty acids and antioxidants. Flaxseed oil for dogs can be a very beneficial supplement in your diet.
What is flaxseed oil?
Flaxseed oil is the vegetable source of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid, the base component of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed contains three times more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6. Other components of flaxseed oil are fiber and lignin.
Other sources of omega-3 are dark green vegetables, and certain oils of plant origin less assimilable to animals.
Flaxseed oil benefits
Regular use of oil flaxseed lowers cholesterol, high blood pressure, and is good for preventing heart problems; It also helps strengthen the immune system of dogs.
Flaxseed is recognized for its potential to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, as well as to improve the thickness and brightness of the coat. It also preserves better-processed products, such as feed, by protecting them from oxidation during the cooking process and improving the shelf life of the product.
Flaxseed fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) have many beneficial effects, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Strengthens the immune system: it is beneficial for animals with allergies
- It improves skin and hair.
- Improvement of osteoarthritis and joint problems.
- It reduces the constriction of blood vessels; lowers blood pressure
- It helps the functioning of the kidneys.
- Reduce the risk of heart attacks.
The intestinal bacteria transform the linolenic into the eicosapentaenoic fatty acid that the dog can digest.
The fiber that is also part of flaxseed oil contributes to the prevention of constipation and promotes gastrointestinal health.
Lignin is another of its components and has antifungal and antiviral properties. It is also transformed in the intestine by bacterial flora into products that can be used for the animal. These transformed lignins have antioxidant properties and protect cell membranes while keeping cholesterol levels low.
How to incorporate it into the diet?
Many feeds already include flaxseed oil in its composition and, if the feed is good, it also contains the recommended amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from different plant and animal sources. But if you want to incorporate it into the diet, you have to take into account the animal’s body weight.
Flaxseed oil can be purchased in capsules; It is more digestible than the seeds themselves and easier to take for the dog, but it is very important to follow the indications of the leaflet and not to administer an excess of flaxseed in the dog’s diet.
It is advisable to visit the veterinarian before regularly incorporating a supplement to the pet’s diet, especially if you suffer from health problems such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, or intestinal problems.
Other beneficial oils
Salmon, cod liver oil, olive oil … are also beneficial for dogs for the same reason: they contain a high percentage of fatty acids that provide benefits in the dog’s health.
However, we should not confuse it with medication. Vegetable or animal oils can be a supplement in the diet, prevention to maintain the health of the animal, but they will never replace treatment for a disease or the diagnosis of a veterinarian.