The health benefits of flaxseed or linseed oil have been identified by humans since time immemorial. It is a rich source of omega-3-fatty acids, which have been recognized as cholesterol lowering agents. Apart from that, flaxseed oil offers various health benefits for humans. This oil is also found to be beneficial for pet animals, like cats and dogs.
Flaxseed Oil Supplements
You can find a wide range of dog foods, which boast of a high nutritional value. However, these commercial foods may be deficient in some key nutrients, like omega-3 essential fatty acids, which protect the animal from various diseases and disorders. So, flaxseed oil supplements are recommended for dogs. It is available in liquid form or as capsules. Some people use ground flaxseed as a supplement, instead of oil. However, flaxseed oil in liquid form (especially the cold pressed one) or as capsules are preferred. Normally, this oil is golden in color, and has a nutty smell. It has to be stored in a cool, dark place. Once it turns rancid, the oil has to be thrown away.
Flaxseed oil has long been recommended for dogs as a food supplement. It was mainly used as a remedy for skin conditions, like itching and loss of fur. Now, flaxseed oil is one of the most popular supplements for dogs, as it is found to be beneficial in various ways.
- This oil is an effective remedy for skin problems, like shedding. Flaxseed supplements are given for a healthier coat and skin.
- Flaxseed oil is also an anti-inflammatory agent, which fights illnesses, like inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.
- It has also been suggested that regular use of flaxseed prevents cholesterol, high blood pressure, and problems related to heart beats. It is also good for preventing and controlling heart diseases in dogs.
- It is believed that, flaxseed oil is effective for preventing certain types of cancer. It has also been suggested that intake of this oil is good for slowing down the rate of cancer growth.
- Above all, flaxseed oil boosts the immune system of your pet. Supplements with flaxseed oil are recommended for preventing and controlling the symptoms of allergies in dogs.
- Lignin, one of the compounds in flaxseed oil, has antifungal and antiviral properties. It is contended that, lignin is also responsible for the cancer-fighting properties of flaxseed oil.
- According to some studies, flaxseed oil regulates various bodily functions in dogs, like calcium and energy metabolism and the functioning of kidneys and arteries.
Usually, flaxseed oil is added to the dog food, as per the recommended dosage. The dosage for dogs is determined according to the type of the dog, and his weight. The recommended dosage is one teaspoon for every 25 pounds of the body weight. You may administer it as a single dosage, or split it as per the number of meals. It will be better to mix this oil with semisolid or liquid food, rather than dry food. However, some dogs may not have the ability to break down the components in flaxseed oil, thereby reducing its health benefits. In some cases, dogs may develop an oily coat with dandruff flakes, after consumption of flaxseed supplements. In both cases, you can stop giving such supplements for dogs. You may use fish oil as a replacement for flaxseed oil, if the dog does not show any improvement, after consuming the latter supplement.
In short, flaxseed oil is beneficial for the overall health of dogs. However, seek the opinion of the vet, regarding the use of flaxseed supplement and the correct dosage.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.