Flaxseed has nutritional value for dogs, but giving them too much could be harmful to their health. Continue reading to find out how canine health can be improved by feeding your dog flaxseed.
Can Dogs Have Flaxseed?
Flaxseed or flax oil added in small amounts to dog food is beneficial. Flaxseed, for instance, can be used by dog owners to improve the healthfulness of both store-bought and home-cooked dog food, as well as the bulk and fiber of treats for their canine companions.
Overfeeding your dog could increase toxicity levels, so don’t give it more than one or two teaspoons per day.
What Is Flaxseed?
The seeds of the ground flax plant, also known as flax or linseeds, are what are commonly referred to as flaxseeds. First cultivated by Egyptian farmers in the Nile Valley for its fibers and textiles. Its seeds, however, are a rich resource for omega fatty acids and dietary fiber.
Flaxseeds and ground flaxseed became widely consumed around the world; however, large amounts of flaxseed’s naturally occurring cyanide can be poisonous.
What is Flaxseed Oil?
In order to extract the oil, “flaxseed oil is made by cold pressing the ripened seed of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum),” explains Dr. Tori Countner, founder of The Balanced Pet Vet and a veterinarian in Los Angeles.
Is Flaxseed Good for Dogs?
As you can see, flaxseed has many applications and advantages for canines.
Dr. Countner recommends flaxseeds for their beneficial effects on digestive health, skin and coat quality, and immune function.
Flaxseed’s high fiber content is one of its most notable advantages. According to Dr. Counter, “the fiber content is high in ground flaxseed, not flaxseed oil,” making it an excellent addition to your dog’s food for those times when they are constipated.
When applied to coats, flaxsee has been shown to improve the skin condition of dogs in as little as 14 days.
Your dog’s immune system will thank you for feeding him flaxseeds.
To help the body’s immune system fight off disease and illness, “Ligands are also found in whole or ground flaxseed,” says Dr. Countner.
These ligands, also known as phytoestrogens, have been used to treat a variety of health conditions in humans, including breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.
That’s great news for our dogs, too,” Dr. Counter says.
Health Benefits of Flaxseed for Dogs
If you want to improve your pet’s health, try giving them a small amount of flaxseed on a regular basis. Here are three potential positive dog health effects that may be caused by the food:
1.Inflammation is reduced thanks to the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in flaxseed and flaxseed oil, also known as flax oil.
As your dog ages, the anti-inflammatory properties of these fatty acids will help them move and feel better.
2.To support a robust immune system, give your pet flaxseed oil, which is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
EPA and DHA are two chemicals that have been shown to improve your dog’s immune system, skin, and fur.
3.Because of its high fiber content, ground flaxseed can help your dog’s digestive system function more efficiently. Your dog’s health, stool regularity, and gut microbiome can all benefit from a daily dose of flaxseed.
Health Risks of Flaxseed for Dogs
Flaxseed may be good for dogs’ health, but it also comes with a few risks. Before giving flaxseed to your dog, think about the following potential side effects:
1.Flaxseed is beneficial for dogs, but if given in large quantities, it can cause constipation due to the high fiber content.
Constipation is a symptom of a blockage in the digestive tract, and both whole flaxseeds and ground flax can cause that. Use flax oil instead of ground flaxseed or feed it sparingly and infrequently to avoid this.
2.Poisoning from flax occurs because the plant produces low levels of cyanide. Even though it’s highly unlikely that your dog will eat enough flaxseed to become fatally cyanide poisoned, he or she may still suffer from unpleasant side effects.
Loose stools, a fast heart rate, and high blood pressure are common symptoms of cyanide poisoning. Start slowly and keep a close eye on your dog after they consume it.
3.If your dog has a delicate stomach, feed flaxseed in small amounts on a regular basis rather than all at once to prevent stomach upset.
If your dog eats too much flaxseed, he or she may become ill with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If either of the latter two symptoms persists, veterinary care should be sought.
How to Give Dogs Flaxseed
You must feed your dog the right kind of flax seeds.
Dr. Counter recommends only feeding your dog processed ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil. Keep the ground flaxseed in the fridge so it doesn’t go bad.
Add a safe dose to their yogurt or peanut butter for a tasty treat.
Keep an eye out for diarrhea if you decide to add flaxseed to your dog’s diet. “The fiber content can cause stomach upset if introduced too quickly,” says Dr. Countner, so you might want to start on the low end of the dosing range.
Additionally, organic flaxseed can be found in veterinary-formulated dog supplements. This will improve your dog’s skin and coat health by adding fiber to their diet.
Dr. Countner recommends consulting a veterinarian about the best dosage for your pet.
Flaxseed Side Effects for Dogs
However, not all flax seeds should be fed to dogs.
Dr. Michael Greger warns against giving dogs whole flax plants, raw flaxseed, or unprocessed flax meal because of the risk of toxicity.
Countner. Diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, abnormal breathing, rapid heart rate, or seizures are all symptoms of poisoning or toxicity.
Flaxseed and flaxseed oil should be given to your dog with extreme caution, and you should talk to your vet before doing so if your dog is currently taking any medications, especially those that affect blood clotting, blood pressure, or glucose.
Wholesome Flaxseed for Your Dog’s Wellbeing
The decision to add flaxseed or flaxseed oil to your dog’s diet is one that should be made after consulting with your veterinarian, as these foods have been shown to have a number of health benefits.
Supplements and chews made from ground flaxseeds make it simple to administer this nutrient to dogs who can benefit from it.